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All speakers cannot produce SACD or DVD Audio (1 Viewer)

Troy TN

Stunt Coordinator
Apr 2, 2000
I was thinking of getting new speakers and leaning towards the new Klipsch Reference series RF-7's tower speakers. I plan to get dvd audio and or Sony SACD in the future and I noticed no one makes speakers that cover the frequency range of these formats (except Sony). I have the Denon 5800 which has DACS capable of passing the full range of dvd audio/sacd but all speakers except Sony brand are limted in the upper frequency range. What are your thoughts on this? I have read these new high resolution formats can cause amps to get hot and ruin speakers due to the higher frequencies and 99% of current products out there cannot handle or pass through these full frequencies..
Can someone share with me if they are having any issues in their systems using one of these new formats or is this not an issue at all?

John Kotches

Senior HTF Member
Mar 14, 2000
A couple of points to make.
1) Your internal DACs on the Denon are irrelevant as the high-res signals are only available as analog signals. No standard has been implemented yet for digitally passing the signals. I have heard rumours, but not confirmed, that the digital standards for both SACD and DVD-A have been finalized, but no one is implementing them yet.
2) The amount of HF energy is negligible, and won't damage your speakers.
Of more concern is only Sony Multi-channel SACD players are implementing Bass Management (for SACD) and so far no player that I've run across has Bass Management for DVD-A.
As such, you have to watch out for Bass more than the HF stuff.
As an example, Steely Dan's Two Against Nature DVD-A disc has electric bass and kick drum in all 5 channels. I'm fortunate to have 5 speakers capable of 40Hz (or lower) bass response, so I'm not missing anything along the way.
Your Denon does some bizarre bass management, check out a lengthy thread on the Panasonic RP-91 DVD-A player AVS Forum discussion / testing of Panasonic RP-91s lack of Bass Management.
John Kotches
Contributing Writer
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Senior HTF Member
Feb 15, 2001
The amount of HF energy is negligible, and won't damage your speakers.
Actually, I have heard that lots of speakers have a resonant frequency a little above the 20 kHz limit. If you send them a signal at a higher frequency, the tweeter driver/support will ring like crazy. Whether this will be audible or not (since it's above 20 kHz) is a different issue, but the original statement is correct - these speakers cannot reproduce the frequency range of SACD. You may still be right about the damage part, I don't know about that. Also, the designers of SACD/DVD-A apparently thought that the human ear could pick up information at those higher frequencies, otherwise I see no reason for the format to have such a high frequency range.
So, this is one case where "SACD-ready speakers" might actually be more than a marketing gimmick.

Brian Perry

Senior HTF Member
May 6, 1999
I think it should also be pointed out that most amplifiers and speakers are not capable of producing the full resolution of DVD-A or SACD. 24 bits correspond to a S/N ratio of 144 dB, which is way, way beyond anything out there. In fact, 20 bits are capable of 120 dB dynamic range, which is above the thermal distortion of almost all amps.
So, while I would say that these formats will not put any greater strain on your components, the components themselves would be the limiting factors in your system.

Ryan Pream

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 11, 1999
You have excellent ears if you can hear higher frequencies than your speakers can produce. You might go to a doctor and have a hearing test before you spend more money. Most adults are doing good to be able to hear 18khz sounds.

Jay Sulzberg

Sep 23, 2000
Just for the hell of it, I thought I'd mention thay Tannoy has come out with a "Super Tweeter" that will match a number of their high end speakers. I'm sure most of the pets in the area will enjoy the extended definition.

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