DVD-A and SACD lack of bass

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by dany, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    I'm on my second Player that plays Multi-channel audio. First one,the Yamaha C750 played both and the one i have noe,Sony DVPNC-555ES plays just SACD. The one common thread i found in both is lack of bass. Is it me or is it the way it is? I've had the level on the sub up all the way on the player bass management and the volume on my sub maxed. Speakers set to small and large and still a lack of bass.
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    This is a common issue with the early players, can't say I have any hands on with the newer machines. There was a lot of discussion here back a couple years ago, but I don't know if those threads are still accessible.

    Bottom line: Many users found that they needed to goose the sub level by about 10 dB to get its level equal to the other channels.

    Here is a link to a FAQ that discusses the issue:

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

    You may need to scroll up or down to get to the actual post...not sure why.

    I don't think there has been any consensus as to exactly why this is. Some have theorized that it has to do with the elimination of the +10 dB lfe boost required with DD. Not sure that explains it, and there are some users that do not report the problem.

    All I can say is that, if you set-up is correct, and the bass is AWOL, a +10 boost (give or take) is what you need. It has been agreed that, among those with the issue, no bass is actually missing, its just too low.

    BGL
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    DVD-A and SACD rarely (if ever) have a dedicated LFE channel (the .1 in 5.1). Any bass going to the sub has to be sent via some form of bass management.

    Option 1)
    Done in player. Might suffer from lack of boost as Brian describes.

    Option 2)
    Wire front mains into sub and use sub's built in xover. Not as useful for MCH music.

    Option 3)
    Done outside of player.
    a) an Outlaw ICBM (or similar device) that gives great flexibility and is analogue--possible drawback, can't use speaker distance settings correctly, requires an equidistant speaker placement for optimal use

    b) a receiver/pre-pro (like my Integra DTR 6.4) that re-digitizes the analogue MCH signal and applies the same settings as those already programmed for Dolby/DTS. Advantages: flexibility and (on some) speaker distance settings apply
    Possible drawback: requires A/D/A conversion that some claim degrades the sound (have found no personal evidence of that, but they're my ears and my gear--YMMV)

    c) iLink (Firewire)--works with hi-res the way toslink/coax digital works with CD and DVD-V. Best solution so far, though limited and pricey in availability.

    The fact that there are no standards for recording MCH hi-res (unlike Dolby and DTS, which have specific requirements) only makes this bass issue more confusing and problematic. Options 2 and 3 overcome the bass problem by properly directing it to the sub and allowing you to set bass output levels to taste. Option 1 might allow this too, but some players don't have any setting controls for hi-res output, other than large or small.
     
  4. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I'm not familiar with those players, but if they are like the players I've had then the bass management is for DVD-V, not hi-res. I haven't seen a player with decent BM for SACD or DVD-A.

    A few related things to keep in mind:

    1. Most music doesn't contain the amount of bass or as deep of bass as we've come to expect from DVD-V.

    2. The lack of real strong bass in music doesn't necessarily mean it's under-represented. It just might be that because many are used to running the sub hot or artificially boosting the bass to an unnatural level it seems that way.

    Even considering those things there are certain setups or discs that are problematic. It's really the fault of the hardware manufaturers for not having the same kind of BM for hi-res as for DVD-V, and for not having a common, non-proprietary digital standard for transmission between the player and receiver/pre-amp(although hopefully that will change with HDMI, but early models still seem somewhat limited in functionality).

    DJ
     
  5. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Just to clarify things, many players that lack sufficient output through the sub, is only happens from the LFE or .1 channel,not the redirected bass from other channels which also in this case eminates from the sub.The recording industry has no standard set as what goes into the LFE channel,or anything at all,so the percieved bass or lack there of, may varies by disc by disc.
     
  6. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    For instance,i'll play the police in SACD,sub level in the player maxed as is the volume on the sub and it sounds good but it just doesnt have the bass you know that cd should have. Then i'll put in a DTS music disk and it just lights up with clean,great sounding bass,just what i expected it to be like.
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Which Police SACD do you have? I have the Hits package. I'll play it through my system to see how the bass is compared to a DTS concert disc and a standard CD. It could be the disc.
     
  8. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Every breath hits.
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    It would be informative if you were able to play some test tones recorded in the different formats and see what you get.

    On my machine, ALL formats were effected equally, so it was an easy fix to just get some gain on the combined sub/LFE channel.

    The Chesky Ultimate DVD has identical tests in DVD-A and DD. Might be helpful to use something like that as a measurement tool, rather than any specific music disc.

    As I think someone already said, MC mixing is all over the map. I personally have discs with no .1 channel, some where all the bass is pre-mixed to the .1, some where the .1 duplicates the bass in the main channels (which will give you double bass), and some where the .1 is used but sparingly.

    At least with a properly authored test disc, you should know what you are starting with.

    BGL
     
  10. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Is that the case? I don't know if they've actually improved bass redirection. I know my RP-91 had no bass management for DVD-A and my new player, which I've only had a few months, the S97, doesn't either. My 555 ES SACD player is older now and it has BM, but it is totally ineffective. I hope you're right that alot of the new players have decent BM.

    As for LFE, if by MC mixing standards we mean the majority position, then LFE isn't used by the engineers who don't have to answer to the suits upstairs. They mix 5 full range channels, as it should be if things are being taken care of on the harware side.

    DJ
     
  11. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I ran the Police Hits MCH SACD through my system and compared bass output to other things (Peter Gabriel UP--CD, PG Secret World--DVD-V concert, Fleetwood Mac Rumours--DVD-A) with all settings left the same. I think it's the disc. There just isn't that much low frequency info in the Police mixes. I have other SACDs that show no signs of lack of bass.

    Do you have any other SACDs with which to experiment? If so, list them and if I have any of them, I'll run them through.
     
  12. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Yeah that would be my prefference as well,however some like Chesky use the .1 channel as a "height" channel,and I don't think he answers to anyone upstairs.
    Michael Bishop[Telarc] mixes it -10db[LFE], who knows what the others do,like I said it's all over the place.
     

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