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Sacd

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by ChrisCollins, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. ChrisCollins

    ChrisCollins Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the post but I am new to this. Can you use sacd in only 2 channel stereo or does it only work with 6 channels, and what connections do you use as I havent seen SACD connections only??
     
  2. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Well-Known Member

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    SACDs will have one, some or all of the following layers:

    1) high resolution multi-channel mix
    2) high resolution 2-channel mix
    3) dts mix
    4) Dolby Digital mix
    5) "redbook" CD mix

    1,3 and 4 are all 6-channel (assuming the recording was mixed to use all 6 channels), but only (1) is in high resolution. Not all SACDs have a multi-channel mix, so if that's what you want, make sure you read the label before you buy.

    To take advantage of the high resolution output of the SACD player, you need 6 analog (RCA) cables. The SACD player should have 6 RCA jacks that say "multi-channel out", and your receiver needs to have a "multi-channel in" section.
     
  3. ChrisCollins

    ChrisCollins Well-Known Member

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    Ok so as long as the SACD has a high-res 2 channel mix than I am set using it in to channel mode. I dont have 5.1 set up only 3.1, and I wasnt sure if I could even use SACD
     
  4. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Well-Known Member

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    Nathan, I don't think that ANY SACDs have a DTS or Dolby Digital mix. That is DVD-Audio.

    Chris,
    SACD's come in either single-layer or dual layer. A single layer SACD only has high-resolution content, in the form of stereo or multichannel mixes, sometimes both. A dual-layer SACD (also called a "Hybrid") has a redbook CD layer as well as the high-res layer, so that you can play the disc on any CD player. Single layer discs can only be played on SACD players. Furthermore, there is no way to digitally transmit the high-res SACD audio, so you have to use the analog outs of the player for SACD, while the redbook audio can still be transmitted digitally. I believe that every SACD must have a 2ch high-res mix, while every other type of content (redbook, 5.1 surround) is added on with the 2ch mix. Remember, SACD was at first only intended to be a 2ch listening source.
     
  5. ChrisCollins

    ChrisCollins Well-Known Member

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    Ok so if there are 6 channel outs for SACD and I only want to use 2 channels, or 3 with a sub, can only 3 channels be connected
     
  6. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but make sure you use the high res 2-channel mix, or else you will lose the surround information. Also, be sure to use the "multi channel out" jacks on the player, and not the regular "audio out" L/R jacks.

    For me, the difference between regular CD and high-res 5.1 was night and day, but I haven't listened a lot to the 2-channel mixes. If you have a very good system, the 2-channel high rez mix will probably sound better to you than the original, but for me, I don't know that I would hear much of a difference.

    I suppose the multi-channel mix sounded so good to me that I didn't bother with the stereo mix, but I will have to give it a listen and compare to the redbook versions.
     
  7. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right, Chung.
     
  8. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Well-Known Member

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    If you want to use only 2 channel sacd you should use ONLY the front left/right outputs from the 6 channel output on the DVD player and then connect those to the front left/right inputs on the 6 channel input of the receiver. Make sure you go into the DVD players menu and select SACD 2 channel as the default value for SACD.
     
  9. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Well-Known Member

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    So if the 2-channel mix doesn't have a separate subwoofer output (like the multi-channel mix), couldn't you connect the front L/R from the multi-channel output on the player to a regular audio input on the receiver?

    That way, you could use your receiver's bass management, since a lot of receivers don't have bass management for multi-channel.
     
  10. ChrisCollins

    ChrisCollins Well-Known Member

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    So with 2 channel will I hear an audible difference?
     
  11. FeisalK

    FeisalK Well-Known Member

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    Chris, IMO it will depend on your system's resolution. Also 2.0 channel SACD means there is no separate bass channel like 5.1
     
  12. ChrisCollins

    ChrisCollins Well-Known Member

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    So how do I get around playing it in 2 channel with a sub?
     
  13. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that you could connect the front L/R outputs from the multi-channel out on your player to a "normal" (not multi-channel) L/R input on your receiver, which would allow you to use bass management in your receiver, thus sending low bass to your subwoofer.
     
  14. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Well-Known Member

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    well, what player and what receiver/prepro are you talking about using, exactly? tell me exactly what you want to do.

    IF you have a receiver with only 2-channel left and right inputs, you could use the player in 2-channel mode (if it has this capability), not multichannel mode, and then you'd set the bass and sub up with your receiver/prepro. OR you could leave the player in multichannel mode, but setup the player with no center, surrounds, or sub and use the player to play the correct "stereo" and not "multichannel" layer upon playback. you'd setup the bass and sub from the receiver with this setup, too. in either of these cases, you'd just connect the player via the front l/r outputs.

    BUT, if your receiver/prepro already has the 6 external inputs, and depending upon your sacd player's bass mangement, you could probably just leave the player set up as multichannel and set the player up with no center and no surrounds. then most players, when in multichannel mode, will allow you to "create" a sub channel to play your 2-channel material with sub output when using the analog outs. then you'd want to use the receiver in direct mode, and NOT for bass management. all you'd have to connect would be the l/r and sub outputs to the receiver/prepro. the player would play the correct stereo hirez layer upon playback, as well as "create" your sub channel for you.

    regarding sacds, ALL sacds are at least hirez 2-channel, and the ones that are hirez multi-channel can ALL be played as hirez 2-channel, as well. so if you want to start buying and listening to sacds in 2-channel, you can, provided you have an sacd player. a dd/dts receiver/prepro is certainly not required to start enjoying the hirez in stereo (with OR without a sub).

    btw, i may listen to the multichannel layer of my sacd's and dvd-a's that have a 5.1 layer, but more often than not, i just listen to the hirez stereo layer, which on dvd-a's (not sure about sacds) is sometimes of higher quality than the multichannel layer, anyway. multichannel music, to me, is just a novelty, and i'd prefer to listen the way the artist intended, in stereo. unless, of course, the artist originally recorded the material for multichannel playback.

    one more thing. try and get a universal player that will play dvd-a as well.
     
  15. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Well-Known Member

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    Scott,

    I hesitated to take the plunge into SACD/DVD-A because (a) I didn't know if I'd even notice a difference with the higher resolution and (b) I thought multichannel was just a novelty.

    After listening to several multi-channel mixes, I have to say that I enjoy them much more than the original stereo mixes. As long as the surrounds aren't used in a gimmicky way, I think it sounds great, and I think separating the mix into 6 channels adds to the clarity.

    To each his own! I've heard people argue both ways.

    --Nathan
     
  16. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Well-Known Member

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    you definitely benefit from the higher resolution whether a multichannel or stereo playback is used.

    and i do enjoy listening to the multichannel mixes to see what the engineer did with that particular palette. and sometimes you CAN hear subtleties that otherwise would not have been "teased out" without the multichannel remix. and i do, almost always, listen to the multichannel layer first, if it's available. and if friends come over and want to hear dsotm on my system, they definitely get the multichannel layer. [​IMG] but the audio purist in me will always go back to the original stereo, even though i realize that that's usually remixed, too, and not by the artist, on most of these discs. when the stereo layer resolution is higher, though, like it is on some of my dvd-a's, it's almost a no-brainer for me. i want that super resolution.

    btw, i've only had my player for a week, so the verdict is actually probably still out on whether i'll listen to the multichannel layer more or not. but, knowing me, i'll probably most often go for the stereo.
     
  17. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Well-Known Member

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    My Sony DVP-NS500V SACD/CD/DVD player is only connected to a 2 channel Cambridge Audio A500 integrated amp....no Dolby Digital, no dts, no processing of any kind.
     
  18. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Well-Known Member

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    now i'm wondering. can you connect a powered sub directly to a hirez player's analog sub out? what about some powered monitors to the l/r outs? can you connect those analog outs directly to an amp(s), bypassing a receiver/prepro, and just let the player do the processing?

    hmmmmm.
     
  19. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Well-Known Member

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    Some CD players have a variable output. Which allows one to adjust the audio volume. It's usually a adjustable knob or a dial. If the player only has audio output jacks, then the volume output will be a maximum output.

    I personally like using SACD in my two channel system only. A well setup two channel setup can sound IMO better than a multi channel output in my experience. There is nothing like getting a 3D sound field with just two speakers.

    If you look at the SACDs in store like Best Buy or Tower Records. You'll notice that much of the catalog disk are older recordings that are remastered to SACDs. Sony has a huge catalog to work with. There are newer recording out on SACD. But, you have to choose if the format has enough music that interest you.
     
  20. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Well-Known Member

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    oh yeah. volume control would be nice, i guess.

    [​IMG]
     

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