DVD Audio Bass

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug Smith, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    I just bought a new Toshiba DVD A player. It is the first time I have listened to my DVD Audio discs on a proper player. In the past I have listened on my old DVD Video player. I am wondering why the bass is noticably less striking when played this way. Eg. when playing a DTS CD the bass is overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, the sound is fantastic. I am just wondering why the difference?
     
  2. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    It's possible that your tone controls are defeated when using your 6 channel analog inputs.

    That's the way it is on my Sunfire Theater Grand 2.
     
  3. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    I assume you know about Bass Management, Doug?

    -JNS
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Doug:
    DTS, for reasons I'm not sure of, 99% of the time has more bass than Dolby Digital or dvd-audio. In fact, I swear I just read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that DTS was working on this problem.
    Since no dvd-audio player besides two very expensive Denons (the 9000 & 3800 models) have bass-management ("b.m." from now on) for dvd-audio, with your Toshiba you'll have to adjust the bass using your sub's level control. Over on Audio Asylum's Hi-Rez forum several owners of that Pioneer universal player reported it had NO b.m. for dvd-audio. Many people are thinking the b.m. setting menu for DTS, Dolby Digital and SACD also affects dvd-audio. It does not. The high-speed processor chips used to provide the proper delay (distance) settings & b.m. for dvd-audio's data-intensive PCM high resolution signals seem to be very expensive right now. Even Panasonic's ultra slick DVD-XP50 dvd-audio doesn't have it (I asked Panasonic) since I wanted to buy this player for its dvd-audio playback capability only.
    This issue is the only thing that really bothers me about dvd-audio. Right now, we are just relying on the surround music engineers to NOT put low bass in the rear or center channels so they won't get distorted.....or fried [​IMG].
    For the dvd-audio people to recommend people put five full range speakers and a subwoofer in their listening room is very unrealistic. What I would consider reasonable would be 4 bookshelf models with 6.5" woofers for L, R, LS, RS; a sonically-matching center channel with two 5.25" woofers & a vertical midrange/tweeter array for proper dispersion characteristics. Infinity, JBL and Boston Acoustics make this type of center; and the sub. Obviously, if you have a very large listening room or you like Metallica at concert levels [​IMG] you might need larger models.
    For now, I'm content with using the Dolby or DTS tracks on my dvd-audios.
    LJ
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  6. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    I might add that the amount of bass varies widely from disc to disc. I have a Toshiba 4700 and without any fooling around of levels several dvd-a discs sound pretty good for bass. Blue Man group, Riding with the King (Clapton and BB King), Metallica, Linkin Park. I do have small tower speakers in front, which may help some, but they are by no means full range towers.

    If you do a search on bass management you will find mention of a device for bass management by Outlaw, called the ICBM, which sells for about $250, that will really help you out.
     
  7. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Yeah its wierd. In my Marantz manual it even states to change the bass to -10db when playing a DTS music source - its the only place in the manual it says to change the level. Luckily Marantz comes with a source direct, which when activated with DTS discs evens everything out. Otherwise going into your receiver and changing settings everytime you played DTS would be a nightmare.
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Brian L.: I really, really don't think the Pioneers have any bass management for dvd-audio. Those people on AudioAsylum (I wish I could remember who) that own that 45A player said the bass settings that worked for DTS, SACD & Dolby Digital did nothing for dvd-audio. And if I recall correctly, Pioneer was contacted and they also said neither player (the 45A or the newer 47Ai model) had bass management for dvd-audio.
    On Denon's site they make a big deal about & are very specific about the dvd-AUDIO b.m on their $3500 "9000" model and $1200 "3800" model. They describe it quite thoroughly:
    http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/products.asp?l=1&c=4
    From above link:
    "Full Digital Bass Management for DVD-Audio, featuring Analog Devices 32-bit processor; 80Hz crossover with 12dB high and 24dB low pass slopes; Adjustable delay time(0-15ms)"
    But on Pioneer's site for the 45A & 47Ai players all it says under audio features is simply "bass management". Not very reassuring and backs up the AudioAsylum member's observations:
    http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pi...,92158,00.html
    LJ
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  10. Michael Gilliam

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    My experience is just the opposite from most others. On my system, when I play a DTS CD, I actually have to increase the subwoofer level to satisfy (for DTS-CDs, I do not use the multi-ch analog outs, I prefer to let the receiver decode the info via the fiber optic link--I've even tried the DTS-CDs with the multi-ch outs and the lack of bass is still an issue-at least by using the fiber optic I can adjust the levels; the levels are defeated when using the multi-ch inputs).
    With all of my DVD-A discs, the bass is fine, and never lacking at all. I have bigger speakers in my setup and I'm sure that plays a big role. I have 15" 3 ways up front, a dual 6.5" center, 8" 3 ways in back, with a 15" subwoofer in the right rear corner. The DVD-As (and DTS-CDs for that matter, with levels increased slightly) just sound perfect. With the DTS-CDs the bass up front is perfect, just the sub info is a bit lacking for my tastes.
    Probably off the original point, but I guess my main goal here was to say that I believe speaker size is very much an issue. And although most cannot (or do not desire to) have larger speakers, I definitely believe larger is better. I don't want to just hear the music, I want to feel it-and no, I don't listen to the music at ear-bleeding levels like at concerts.
    Also, there are many discs out there that have amazing bass. I'm talking nice, rich, controlled bass, not just thumping. Give Queensryche's "Empire" DVD-A a listen. Amazing bass and very full sound, nice presence.
     
  11. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Yeah I can agree with the speakers - although size may not matter all that much (pardon the pun). Someone already mentioned that it is just too much to expect someone to have five or six tower speakers around your room (or nailed to the wall in the case of surrounds). If, as some people suggest, DVD A is the most pristine form of music which can be relatively easily listened to, then the mix that is produced from the studio "should" be what the musician wants you to hear in its most pristine form - and this would include the bass line. On my receiver the 7.1 inputs allow for no adjustment - the DVD A player is the only decoder that is in place. Therefore you should be hearing what was intended - does this make sense?
     
  12. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  13. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    DVD-A discs are supposed to contain a "rosetta stone" table of data (its actual name is a stupid made up phrase that forms the acronym SMART) which describes how the player should downmix audio from one channel to another if the listener does not have a full 5.1 setup. They do acknowledge the possibility of listening to multichannel DVD-Audio on a two channel system. Surely they also remembered to include the possibility of a "small speaker" setup which needs to send all bass to the sub? Either they forgot to put that into the SMART spec, or it is in the SMART spec and the studios don't know how to create a proper table, or it is in the SMART spec and most of the DVD-Audio players are not able to properly do as the table instructs (and are therefore defective by definition).
     
  14. Michael Gilliam

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    Brian L,
    Yes, definitely pick up "Empire" on DVD-A. Definitely one of the better discs of the format. You're right about the bass & drums, simply thunderous. Very impressive.
     
  15. Ben Jordan

    Ben Jordan Stunt Coordinator

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    Is there some test can I do on my 45A to see if the BM is working with DVD-A?
     
  16. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Ben,
    Might I suggest pulling out a disc like Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery, the tracks to use are Bennie the Bouncer and Still You Turn Me On.
    Both are 5.0 tracks, so if you get output from the subwoofer on these tracks you are getting bass management from somewhere.
    Regards,
     
  17. Ben Jordan

    Ben Jordan Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks John, I'll pick up one or both of those sometime and try it out.
     
  18. Fletch

    Fletch Agent

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    I have the Tosh 4800 and I have to set the sub on full range and turn it up all the way to get the full effect of the sub.But it sounds great .That is with the 6 ch. mix. DTS is the same as watching DTS movies.
     

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