Does anyone use SACD only in two channel?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by PaulDA, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I've given some thought to getting a dedicated SACD player next year (budgetary reasons) as I want something better than the intro level machine. I, like most people, have only one set of multichannel inputs and am loathe to use switchboxes (I have a DVD-A player already and I don't want to change it, just add SACD). Although SACD is frequently multichannel, my understanding is it was originally two channel only, and all SACDs have a high-res stereo layer. Has anyone faced a similar conundrum regarding connectivity and opted for two channel SACD? If so, are you satisfied, dissatisfied? Did you just get a universal player to simplify matters? Did you get switchboxes that were "good enough"?

    I know, a lot of questions, but I've just about decided to start buying hybrid SACDs of anything that interests me and having the SACD potential on tap, so to speak, when I get a player.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I am using switch boxes to connect SACD and DVD-A to my receiver, and honestly cannot hear a difference with/without the switch boxes in the signal path. See my signature link for the equipment used.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I have a Denon 2900 for M/C music listening in my theatre. I have a stereo in another room for Phono and stereo SACD. It wouldn't bother me much to give up M/C SACD. I dislike about half the M/C mixes I hear anyway. It's a very excellent stereo format with the better players. I put my best player on the stereo where I feel if offers me the most benefit. Why not just hook up your SACD for stereo. I've found that the 5-channel stereo modes on many head units often times create a more pleasing, to me, sound than actually playing the 5-channel mix on a disc. I don't judge music solely by the channel count, no channel anxiety here![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I use my Sony DVP-NS500V DVD/SACD player in a 2-channel system. It's connected to a Cambridge Audio A500 stereo integrated amp, powering a pair of NHT SB2 speakers. Since the system is located in a small den, I can't stuff 5.1 speakers into it.

    So far, I am quite satisfied with the performance of the system, considing I only invested about $750.00 into it. Maybe I will get upgrade the Sony to an universal player, but it depends on the upcoming models.
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I don't think I suffer from channel anxiety[​IMG] (though I could be wrong). My only multichannel music experience so far as been DTS 5.1 CD, DD and/or DTS layer on DVD-A. My DVD-A player is on order (Cambridge Audio Azur 540D--amazing redbook playback for a DVD player, IMO). I wanted to go with decent DACs for CD as I have hundreds of those and only 6 DVD-As. A number of titles have come out on SACD that interest me, however, and I will likely start buying at least any hybrids until I get a player. I am seeking the best resolution first, and multichannel second, so I may just plug in an SACD player in two channel mode.

    I am curious about the following idea, though. Would a dedicated SACD player and a dedicated DVD-A player (each with reasonably high quality DACs) through a switch box be better than a low priced universal player directly into the multichannel analogue inputs of the receiver? In other words, would the better DACs outweigh the additional step in the pathway that would be avoided by a universal player with lesser quality DACs?
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Paul, if your total budget for two players and related cables, switchers is going to exceed what a Denon 2200 or 2900 would cost, why not just buy one of them? I could see how it easily could.

    Paul, the switching might reduce sound quality some tiny bit. IMO, it wouldn't be noticable unless you moved towards really hi-end equipment, that's revealing by nature. I wouldn't worry 'bout it.
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Rachael, my total budget would likely exceed the universal player, but I would not be getting them at the same time, so that is attenuated somewhat. I was initially going to get the Denon 2900 but my speakers cost more than I planned, so I set my sights on a 2200. However, even that became too expensive, owing to recent and unforeseen events. However, I have everything else for a new system, except the DVD player. Redbook CD performance is VERY important to me and I searched for a long time to find a player that will do well in that regard. I had thought to get a cheaper universal player (Pioneer 563) and a dedicated cd player, but I decided I wanted better quality playback for the hi-res than the Pioneer would give me. I auditioned the Cambridge Audio 540D and found a) excellent picture quality in interlaced mode (no prog scan needed for my TV), b) better DVD-A than Pioneer and c) most importantly, the best redbook playback of any player I auditioned (Denon 2200, a couple of Yamahas, Pioneer 563) at 200$ less than the Denon 2200 (second best redbook in my list). The DVD-A performance of Cambridge was, to me, virtually the same as the Denon. So, on price point and CD playback, the Cambridge won out and I ordered one.

    My receiver is an Integra DTR 6.4 and my speakers are Boston Acoustics VR-M60s, VR-M50s and VRC centre with PV900 sub. I consider this set up to be as nice as I could get for the money I had, though it's not going to cause anyone to say WHOA!!! I'm inclined to believe the switch boxes won't degrade the signal enough to matter, but I will likely try out the SACD format in two channel initially, just to see. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  8. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    bear in mind any bass management issues that this may entail. for example, if you wish to bass manage the 2-channel analog sacd signal at the receiver to create a sub channel, it's going to involve a conversion back to digital then back to analog, again, (i think) at your receiver.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have the same opinion as Rachael B - I don't like most M/C mixes, so I opt for the 2ch.

    I have my SACD hooked to the m/c inputs on the receiver though, and do listen to the occasional well mixed m/c disc. My Denon 2200 is hooked only via 2ch for hi-res, and though it is going to a standard analog input and having BM done by the receiver, both formats still sound considerably better than redbook.
     
  10. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    why don't you bass manage at the player? do you use a different xover than 80Hz? or do you have a separate sacd player on your mc inputs (sorry, not entirely clear)?
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sorry, that wasn't clear, I have a 222ES for SACD and the 2200 for DVD/DVD-A. Yes, one m/c input on the receiver, occupied by the 222. I send full range stereo from the 2200 for DVD-A. I don't have many DVD-As, so I haven't bothered with a switch box to switch between the two, so I just use the stereo DVD-A tracks. My receiver uses an 80Hz x-over.
     
  12. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Does your receiver allow you to apply time/bass management to your multichannel inputs? Mine does this, though it converts DSD to PCM (I started a thread at AVS on this point some time ago). When I hook everything up and calibrate it (some time this summer after we've bought our house) I plan to try all the permutations (though I guess I'll have to wait re:SACD).
     

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