DVD Audio Bass

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chris Biggs, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Chris Biggs

    Chris Biggs Agent

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    I have a Yamaha 595a receiver and a Panasonic RP91 DVD-Audio player. I hooked up the 5.1 to the receiver to receive the surround sound from the first DVD audio title (Shania UP) and was suprised to hear little to no bass from my properly calibrated system (video essentials).

    Is there something amiss? I turned up the bass settings from the player +6 dB, but this did not help much. I can get better bass by simply turning up the sub, but this throws off my Dolby Digital calibration.

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Your carefully set up levels on your receiver are bypassed when using the 5.1 inputs. Most DVD-A players allow you to adjust levels on the player to compensate for this. If your player has level settings try setting them to the same as you have the receiver's settings.
     
  3. Chris Biggs

    Chris Biggs Agent

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    But when I calibrated in the player, I could not get the bass to come up more than 6 dB. It is still very low. Switching to Pro-Logic and the digital feed via coaxial connection yields significantly more bass. It is when I bypass the receiver settings that my bass is low.

    I plugged Video Essentials in and fed that audio through the 5.1 inputs like the DVD audio, and everything matches with my SPL meter.

    Anyone have any other ideas?
     
  4. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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  5. Chris Biggs

    Chris Biggs Agent

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    That looks like what I may need, but gee whiz. I'd hate to think I got this nice new player and to get it to work right, I need to spend more money.

    From what I have described, does this sound like bass management may be my problem or does it sound like the player is not performing correctly
     
  6. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    The settings in the audio menu of the RP-91 are for DVD-V. It does not have bass management for DVD-A like most players released at that time.

    The ICBM is the way to go if you have satellites or smallish bookshelves all around. Another option would be a new player that does include bass management for hi-rez, but I don't know how good BM is now in the newer players since I've had my RP-91 for awhile.

    DJ
     
  7. Chris Biggs

    Chris Biggs Agent

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    Well, shoot. I was afraid that was going to be the answer. I wish I could just play the Dolby Digital track, but I can't even access it on my player. I can only reach it on a non-DVD-Audio player.

    Thanks for the help, guys. Hope I can return the favor sometime.
     
  8. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    It depends on the authoring of the DVD, as far as being able to access the low-rez track/s on a DVD-A goes--it'll work on some discs. Unfortunately, there's no way to force it into DVD-V mode with a DVD-A disc like some other Matsushita players.

    DJ
     
  9. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    This was known behavior when the RP91, RP82, CP72 players came out. The solution is to set your subwoofer to OFF in the DVD player speaker setup configuration. This will force the player to send a full range signal on all channels to your receiver/processor. If your receiver/processor doesn't do analog bass management, then you need to reconfigure your speakers. If your sub has Left/Right line level in/out, connect the receiver front L/R pre-out to your sub's L/R line level-in and the sub's L/R line-level out to your amp L/R in. Set your receiver's front speakers setting to large and use the sub (not the receiver) to adjust the crossover.
     
  10. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    The ICBM is still the only good answer for that player.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    This disc may have been mixed with the thought that five full-range speakers would be used to play it back, i.e. the LFE channel isn't even being used. The following is why I think this may be happening.

    I can't stress enough the fact that in the pro surround world, surround mixing is still undergoing lots of discussion and experimentation. And the two channels that generate the most controversy concerning their use are the center channel and the LFE channel. And in the cases where the mixer doesn't use the center channel, some of these mixers admit they place just a whisper of sound there only so the end-user doesn't think something is wrong with the disc. And lately I am getting the feeling they are doing the same thing with the LFE channel.

    A number of pros recommend mixing surround music in the studio using no LFE channel at all because they are assuming everyone that uses non-full-range satellites has some sort of bass management system in place to redirect low bass, the same low bass they are placing in whatever 5.0 channel they deem proper. So in other words, these mixers are mixing with the ideal surround system in mind which means (again) five full-range satellites plus a subwoofer, where the sub is provided simply for those musicians that desire extra ooomph in their music & so use the LFE channel to provide that.

    From what I've read, most surround mixers don't want to "dumb down" their music mixes just to make them compatible with those $300 HTiBs that use 4" full-range-cone sats and subs (ahem) equipped with 6.5" woofers. This sounds good to me. [​IMG] And as I've mentioned before, personally I think any speaker that has flat response down to at least 50Hz would be suitable as a pseudo full-range speaker; my bookshelf Boston CR9s with an 8" woofer can get down flat to 42Hz and I never thought they weren't providing enough bass extension, even while playing the Beastie Boys, 311, or Massive Attack (volume of bass is a different & subjective matter and varies among the listening population). I personally think the mixers say to use full-range types to help make sure the surround fan uses the largest speaker he possibly can, or otherwise that fan might erroneously think using the tiny sats with 4" woofers that are so prevalent today will work perfectly fine.

    And don't confuse MUSIC bass with movie bass: I know that some music uses synthesised bass lower than 30Hz but its still very rare. Bass around and below that frequency played for extended periods (what movies DON'T do) can cause physical discomfort for some people and obviously most musicians don't want their listeners running for the Advil bottle or the Depends while listening to their CD.

    I will admit this: since I am not into hi-end audio the thought of buying five largish speakers doesn't worry me that much. If I was in the financial situation I went to college for (don't ask! [​IMG] ), here are some satellite speakers I would seriously consider for a full-range surround music system--that also is used for HT--in the typical $200K house living room:

    * Four JBL E50s plus matching 3-way center channel

    * Cambridge SoundWorks Newton M80 bookshelfs + MC500 cc

    And if the house doesn't need a new paint job [​IMG] .......

    * Four Vandersteen Model 1C speakers + matching cc

    * 4 Boston Acoustics VR2's + the VRC cc

    And of course a good subwoofer. And IMO the Newton cc is the only one large enough for really good music reproduction.

    If you've ever heard a well-mixed surround music disc and like the surround format in the first place IMO the extra financial expenditures to play back such music correctly will be worth it. And I don't know if all this helped anybody or just scared them off from adopting a surround music format at all; but until the pros themselves write something here this is what I have seen and/or theorized myself.

    Now to go see if the lawn mower will start after five months of sitting in the garage! [​IMG]

    LJ
     
  12. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I agree with your observations, Lance--nicely put.[​IMG]

    DJ
     
  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Thanks David.

    And here is some of the reasoning behind my full-range theories >>> can you imagine what a typical "full-range" surround system would be like in that typical living room? Just off the top of my head, for a satellite to get to a flat 20Hz, I figure it would take a 15" woofer in something like a six cubic foot vented enclosure or a long-excursion fifteen incher in an @3cu/ft sealed enclosure. You would probably want to use an 8" midwoofer since most fifteens capable of 20Hz reproduction don't handle the lower mids too well so this would mean a complicated four-way system. And don't forget the proper amp to drive all FIVE of these monstrosities to decent levels.

    Now doesn't the above scenario sound silly? For years people have been using speakers equipped with--depending on the size of their listening room--6.5", 8", 10", etc woofers and feeling perfectly satisfied with their bass output. Why all of a sudden do we have to run out and buy five humongous speakers costing out the wazoo simply because we need three more of them just so we can "properly" hear the music?

    LJ
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Still, it's very rare for music to dip down to 20Hz, and rarer still for something in the rear channels to do so. And while it's true that the extreme bass-hound craves every last subsonic frequency encoded on a given disc, most of us give up some bottom end with our music setups, whether two-channel or surround. It's a trade-off, like everything audio. Speakers large enough to grab that last octave are simply not viable in many of our homes, and integrating a subwoofer introduces too many other problematic issues. Yes, yes, everybody on the home theater forum has monster subs, sometimes two, but I'd wager that no more than 5% are within a mile of being well-integrated. I don't know many "audiophiles", I guess, because every home theater setup I've heard in the homes of friends/acquaintances has boomy "modey" bass with a frequency response about as flat as mountain range. It sounds positively terrible, and I'm certain they don't even realize it.

    One guy had a nasty room resonance in the audible range, and every time the bass rattled the room at the frequency, he would turn to me, positively beaming, and say "wow... just listen to that bass!"

    But the upshot is to get yourself an Outlaw ICBM-1 ($199 for B-stock).
     

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