Do analog outputs on DVD-A produce markedly improved sound quality over the DD mix?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Scott Stephens, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have a DVD-Audio player yet but happened across a DVD-Audio demo disc and played it through my regular DVD player (the regular Dolby Digital mix). It sounded pretty good. But then again I don't have anything to compare it to.

    Before I upgrade to a DVD-Audio player, I was just curious if the separate analog outputs produce markedly improved sound quality over the "normal" DD track?

    Just curious; any info would be much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    it definitely sounds better, but it's not (necessarily) because of the analog connection. whether the improvement is "marked" is certainly arguable, though.

    remember, dd IS a lossy format. dvd-a isn't.
     
  3. AndrewErickson

    AndrewErickson Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a couple of DVD-A discs myself and would like to purchase a DVD-A capable player. However, the good players are in the $500 region and I will not pay that much. The cheap players tend to have crappy bass management or none at all! That just blows me away. I would suggest setting all your speakers to large and your sub to none to experience what the DVD-A will sound like.

    Sure, it's lossless but the music industry has handicapped it so bad that it's doomed to be the next Betamax!
     
  4. Chuck Mullen

    Chuck Mullen Stunt Coordinator

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    Doesn't ones receiver handle bass management?
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    If you are using a hi-res format (DVD-A or SACD), typically the player applies bass management because (with some proprietary and/or expensive exceptions for the next little while) the hi-res signal cannot be carried over a coax or optical digital cable where the receiver would then apply bass management a la DD or DTS. The problem is that many players offer only a fixed crossover point (often at 100 or 120hz), convert DSD to PCM to apply time or bass management to the signal (this upsets 'purists', you'll have to judge for yourself). Some pre/pros apply analogue bass management after the fact but with the exception of Outlaw Audio's 950, I believe the rest are fairly expensive (someone correct me on this if I'm wrong). My receiver, an Integra DTR 6.4, can apply bass and time management to the multichannel inputs, but it re-digitizes the signal, adding an extra AD/DA conversion which some would find too much of a compromise (again, one must let one's own ears decide). I don't have a hi-res player yet, so I can't speak to the transparency (or lack thereof) of my receiver's ability to do this. I do know that at my receiver's price point (1000$ US--retail) there are no others that can do this of which I'm aware. Another solution to the bass management issue is to get an Outlaw Audio ICBM, which applies analogue bass management to the signal and is said to be quite good (don't have one, nor have I heard one, myself). It seems that the hi-res formats have placed a number of obstacles in their own path and are thus making it difficult for people who are not inclined to fiddle with "a gazillion adjustments" (as a friend of mine put it) to enjoy the format. That's too bad as I'd like to see hi-res available to everyone without complications (which would make the source material cheaper for me to buy, if for no other reason).
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I am not sure I would call the difference dramatic, but DVD-A would, with certain material, sound better, assuming the mix is the same and the only difference is the format.

    FWIW, I started out with DVD-A without benefit of a DVD-A player. I bought Bigg Phatt Bands Swinging for the Fences disc, which has a 5.1 DVD-A track, as well as a DD track.

    I was blown away by the DD track. Probably the best disc I own in terms of pure sonics. And it only got better when I did step up to a DVD-A player.

    Here is a FAQ put together by several members that addresses many of the questions users have when they are new to hi-rez audio.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...22#post1800722

    BGL
     
  7. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks brian and paul; great info.
     
  8. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Toshiba SD-4900 multi-channel DVD-A/V player on sale at Best Buy for $60.00. Thirty day return policy. Try it in your system.
     

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