DVD audio question

MountainLady

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and am trying to wrap my brain around how this DVD-audio thing works.

It all started with the "Love" by The Beatles DVD-audio that I bought a couple weeks ago. Included was a regular CD and the DVD-audio disc. I played it on a Bose Lifestyle surround sound system that I bought about 4 years ago. The CD sounded great, but the DVD-audio sounded amazing, even hearing with just 5.1 or whatever it's called that I'm listening to on this system! And I understand after doing a little research that the DVD-audio would sound much better using a DVD audio player that could truly reproduce the sound that is on the disc.

So now my question: How do connect or what type of player do all of you recommend? I hate to get rid of the Bose since I've only had it a short time and it sounds great for movies and even regular CD's (at least it did until I found out about this). My thought is maybe a Denon DVD-audio player that is about $350 on amazon and connecting it to the optical input on the Bose and running it through the Bose system. Would that even work? Would I lose something in the sound doing it that way? Or am I completely on the wrong track here?
 

Alon Goldberg

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For $350 you could purchase a used Denon DVD-2910 off Videogon or Audiogon. This is an exceptional DVD Player, with excellent DVD-Audio and SACD playback. In fact I would recommend using the analog outputs on this player as opposed to the digial outputs, as the DAC's in the Denon are superior to those in your receiver.
 

Ed Moxley

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You MUST use the 6 analog outputs, to listen to the high resolution 5.1 surround tracks, of a dvd-a disc, unless you have the very high end Denon receiver to go along with the Denon player, and use it's Denon link setup.
The high resolution tracks don't play over digital coax or optical outputs. If you listen through them, you're hearing Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 tracks. If the Bose doesn't have the 5.1 analog inputs, on the back, you won't be able to listen to the high resolution tracks of the dvd-a............

These are very nice players too. http://www.oppodigital.com/
The DV-970 HD and the DV-981 HD players are capable of playing dvd-a and sacd discs, along with upscaling your dvd movies, for HDTVs. Everyone raves about the great quality of these players.
Good luck with whatever you decide on!
 

MountainLady

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This is the type of Bose system I have. Mine is an older model, but I think the inputs and outputs are basically the same.

Ack! It won't let me post the url until I have 10 posts. But it's the Bose Lifestyle 35. Mine is a second generation, but I think the new ones have the same basic inputs.

But it looks like I don't have the right outputs. Or am I just misunderstanding what the specs say?

I'm going over to look at the other system you recommended. Thank you for the prompt replies.
 

MountainLady

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What do you think of the Denon DVD-1930CI? This seems like it would do pretty much what I want it to do? Are there big advantages in sound in the 2910? or the Oppo recommended by Ed?

And if I were to replace the receiver and speakers, what is the least I could spend and still get sensational sound?


Maybe I'm going overboard for the sake of listening to a limited number of DVD audio titles that are available and that I like. I was perfectly happy listening to a regular CD in surround before I heard the DVD audo version which isn't even playing at full capacity. Now I can't wait to hear what the possibilities are. I guess I should find a store that has one hooked up. (not easy, most people have never heard of them).

Does anyone here have one at home? Is it worth the money?
 

Alon Goldberg

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Between the Denon DVD-1930CI and the Oppo 981 I would choose the Oppo without hesitation. But overall, the Denon DVD-2910 is certainly a step up in audio quality.

Typically speaking, between replacing receiver and speakers, the speakers will make the biggest difference by far. That being said, the Bose Lifestyle 35 uses proprietary cabling to connect the Acoustimass module and speakers. Therefore, if you are looking for an upgrade you will need to replace the full system including speakers.

Bose speakers are not well received on this forum, so you may want to count your loses and start fresh if you are looking for an upgrade.
 

MountainLady

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I'm thinking about doing that, Alon. I could use the Bose system in another room.

Any suggestions for speakers and receiver? Does the receiver make that much difference other than the watts per channel? Or is it mostly just other bells and whistles that you're paying for?
 

Alon Goldberg

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Like anything, it depends! On the vast majority of receivers you can ignore the wattage ratings, these are heavily inflated, and for the most part receivers will not output the magical 100 watts per channel when all channels are driven (often closer to 45-50 watts per channel).

In any case, a few questions to get you started:

1. What are the dimensions of the room?
2. Do you have a preference towards loudspeakers, bookshelf speakers, satellite speakers, in-wall speakers?
3. Are you looking to build a 5.1 system or 7.1 system?
4. Is the system primarily for music or movies? What percentage of each?
6. What is your budget for speakers, subwoofer and receiver?

Also, what components will you be connecting now and in the future? Do you have any plans to purchase HD DVD or Blu-Ray? What TV do you own?
 

Ed Moxley

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MountainLady............
http://www.crutchfield.com
Look over that site, and read up on the features, of the different brands. As Alon said, don't pay too much attention to the watts per channel (wpc), although you don't need to totally ignore them either. If you see something you like, I'd see if you find it cheaper, somewhere else. Crutchfield isn't the cheapest place to buy anything.

For speakers, there are quite a few good brands, ranging from several hundred dollars, to several thousand dollars. Polk, Paradigm, Boston Acoustics, B&W, Klipsch, and my favorite.........Allison http://www.allisonacoustics.com
These are also very good speakers: http://www.svsound.com/
These folks (SVS), make some of the best subwoofers, you can buy anywhere.
Good luck, and enjoy looking.
 

MountainLady

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1[ Alon, the room is about 20 x 40 ft. (It's a kitchen and familyroom combined.)
The rear speakers are set back about 25 feet the way I have it set up now.

2. Satellite speakers would be the first choice. Could go larger for the front speakers, but not really for the rear. The acoustics aren't great with lots of windows and french door on one side and open doorways on the other.

3. For the DVD audio I need 7.1, right?

4. Both movies and music. Movies on the weekends. Much of the time I listen to music through the iPod connected to the system and have many regular CD's. I only have 2 DVD-audio discs and who knows how many more they will come out with?

5. $1,500 maybe? Or as little as possible and still get great sound.

This DVD-audio thing has become an obsession in the last couple weeks. It just sounds so amazing, even on the Bose which won't play all the tracks. Maybe I'm going overboard in wanting to play these DVD-audio discs. If the technology dies out and goes to something different I'll probably be stuck with a dozen or so discs and a lot of equipment I don't need.
 

Alon Goldberg

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That's quite a large room for satellite speakers, I may suggest bookshelf speakers. In any case, you can find some very good 5.1 systems within your budget from SVS and HSU. Combine these with a Pioneer 1016 receiver and you're all set to go.
 

Ed Moxley

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No. A 5.1 system is all you need. But of course, a 7.1 system is nice, if you have room for one.............
 

MountainLady

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Then again, there's the question of whether this technology will survive or be replaced by something altogether different. Although these players will play DVD-A as well as SACD, suppose they come up with something else? After all, this stuff has been around since at least 2000 and hasn't really taken off. I had never even heard of it before going to buy that CD.

But I'm just obsessed with wanting to hear that DVD-A by the Beatles the way it was meant to be heard. Even with the system I have, some of the songs bring tears to my eyes.
 

gene c

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DVD-A and SACD are barely hanging on at best, but there are a few new releases occasionally. DualDisc was supposed to help but mp3 has been very harmful to the success of hi-res. There are a few threads in the music forum that will also bring tears to your eye's, for other reasons. I bought a Yamaha 6770 uni player a couple of years ago and now have around 50 mostly DVD-A's and a few SACD's. Even if I never buy another disc I'll be able to enjoy what I have for years to come so I consider the money well spent. Check the music forum for recommendations of other discs such as The Beach Boys-Pet Sounds DVD-A and Dire Straights-Brothers In Arms DualDisc. It's not to late to enjoy what's already out there.
 

Ed Moxley

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If you like Pink Floyd, you've gotta hear the sacd of Dark Side Of The Moon! It is amazing. It is like hearing that album for the first time.............again! This sacd set the standard, for all multi-channel music!

The multi-channel music didn't do well, because of mp3 music (as gene c said), and the marketing for it was terrible. Plus, the average person isn't going out to buy the special players, that music takes. The average person isn't even buying surround sound systems. That's why most dvd players ship from the factory, with the DTS turned off.
 

Jacob C

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I should also note that according to Oppo the 970 sounds better than the 981. Yes it is the older unit but I have it and it sounds quite good. I can personally comment on how it stacks up against the 981 or the Denon.
 

MountainLady

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gene, you have a point about enjoying the discs you have even if the technology eventually dies out. But it would be nice if it didn't.

I agree about mp3 being a big factor. I'm a huge fan of mp3 for different reasons. For much popular music it's great to dl or buy music on iTunes, transfer it to my iPod and take it with me or just connect the iPod to the surround system and listen to hours and hours of playlists that I can add to, change or rearrange. And they all sound good compared to vinyl records of days gone by. And it's perfectly adequate for most popular music.

The thing that makes me excited about the DVD-A is listening to music with a lot of instruments, like the Beatle Love DVD or to classical music with a whole orchestra behind it. Imagine hearing Beethoven's 9th Symphony or Saint Saens 3rd with DVD-A. It would be like sitting in the middle of a concert hall. I'm thinking things with "big" sounds, even a big band in a large hall.

Any other suggestions of DVD-A discs that you guys own?
 

gene c

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At the risk of getting my hand slapped for discussing software in the audio/video forum: Donald Fagin-Porcupine Tree-The Eagles-Jeff Beck, and so many more. Do a search/start a thread in the Music forum. And DTS cd's, also in 5.1, sound great too. And concert dvd's. Most are also in 5.1 but not DVD-A of course.
 

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