easiest way to hi-res, dvd-a, sacd.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Charlie C, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    first off, this is my first post here. a friend suggested I come here cause there aint much flaming and such. i hope so.

    I am in search of the easiest way to hi-res audio and such. but of course I dont have much $ to spend.
    Ive seen some unit by SHARP, the sd-px2

    it says dvd-a sacd and such but when I called the tech support, they ... well they suck s***. suposedly I HAD to have DD and DTS to utilize DVD-a and SACD. Ive done some reading so I know how wrong they were. Ive tried to see where a unit is but havent seen anything locally.

    does anyone know about this unit? or does anyone have a simple way to hi-res?
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Charlie,

    There are quite a few Universal players out there that won't break the bank, can you give us an idea of what your budget is?

    You are correct in that you do not need DD/dts for the multi channel hi res, but you need the 6 channel audio inputs in your receiver. Some DVD-A discs 'do' have DD or dts tracks as well - in which case you would need DD/dts to listen to those mixes.
     
  3. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    well, not necessarily. the players' decoders will decode dd/dts material too, which can be listened to via an analog connection in 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 channel mode.
     
  4. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    well, suposedly this SHARP unit poweers the speakers too. so its an all in one unit I guess. my concern is that I know Ill want more power than that little thing can put out so I was wondering if I could hook it up to another amp, hence my calls to SHARP.

    I have a jvc DVD-a player but my HT is only 2 channel and my receiver is, well after seeing what some here have, a piece of crap. its some awia unit. im sure is junk.


    would this SHARP unit DO IT for me? ive been to a friends house where hes got one of those HTIB's by Pioneer. it sounds good to me, but when I got to BB or CC, they laugh and tell me I need loads of power and this and that and ....jeez it makes my head spin. I wan something simple I can easily upgrade too later. like an old DD Ready receiver with 5.1 in and 5.1 pre-out when I upgrade to amps.
    my dvd player can do the decoding for me. but then Id have to get a new player cause of SACD.

    Im just glad I dont have a g/f cause right now id about settle for Bose and I know the girls like bose.

    I guess im kinda confused on what I really want. ive heard so much about hi=res and it sounds great when I go listen to stuff. but I have no real clue as to where to start. I like music definately more than movies. I live in a 1400 sq ft loft, and I can be as loud as I want. actually my little awia cant go as loud as I want [​IMG]

    can anyone help?

    budget? huh well...
    I want to start at 2 channel cause I cant afford 3 speakers and a sub right now and a receiver/dvd player.

    gosh, id say right under $1000 for now to do as much as possible. Ive seen Rotel's all-in-one unit but its $1500 and i dont think it does sacd, only dvd-a.

    PS side poll : which is better i your opinion, dvd-a or sacd?? is it all worth it???
     
  5. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    from the looks of it, that is a player/receiver all-in-one dealio that WILL do dvd-a and sacd as well as dd/dts material.

    http://www.digitallyunique.com/sd-px2.html?wcw=overture

    i'm confused about your question, now.

    EDIT: oops, i posted this after you had posted, again, charlie, so i didn't see this second post.
     
  6. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    being what it is, an all-in-one, i sorta doubt it will have multichannel, pre-amp level outputs for connecting it to another amplifier, however it might. have you checked the sharp website for a manual?

    personally, i would recommend against an all-in-one that integrates the player and receiver/amplifier like this. it's extremely limiting in terms of upgradability.

    pioneer makes a relatively inexpensive univeral player, the 578A, that goes for around $150, iirc. you could run it in it's "2-channel" mode with your current receiver until you could afford a real, multichannel receiver.
     
  7. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Charlie -

    You'd let us spend up to $1000 of your hard-earned cash? Whatta guy!!!

    Actually, if you're seriously thinking about spending that much to get your foot a bit wetter in HT then you could do quite well. Yup, that amount sure won't buy what some folks spend just on a piece of wire (or two), but it can get you some very competent electronics and stuff.

    There was actually a thread here (and in this forum even, I think) where a whole bunch of folks came up with complete systems - electronics, speakers, wire, you name it - and the grand total had to be under $2K. Yeah, yeah, I know that's way beyond the limit here, but the point is that there are a whole bunch of lists in that thread, with prices and opinions to boot, that could give you a decent idea on what more to look at. The thread was started by Chu Gai a little over a month ago and had the phrase "Mr. Phelps" in the title - that should give you enough to do a search and find those lists.

    BestBuy has a couple of multichannel units - Pioneer 963A & a Toshiba changer - that both do SACD & DVD-A and are under $150 or $180. There are a number of receivers referenced in the "Mr. Phelps" thread that you could pick up on sale for no more than $350 or so that should have the power and features to fill that loft. A little research and you'll be well on your way to spending ~$500 or so on decent stuff.

    The kicker in all of this will be speakers, 'cause multi-channel formats like SACD & DVD-A kinda need enough speakers to cover the multi-channels. Yeah, yeah - you can listen to "hi-rez" in 2 channel, but you'll still want adequate speakers to hear that purportedly higher resolution. Please don't take that the wrong way - some SACDs, etc. really do seem to sound much better, at least to me. Others really don't seem worth the premium charged - YMMV. There are also plenty of threads on favorite MC SACD/DVD-A titles you can scan through on your own. Once you've spent all that time researching you'll have a much better idea if you might prefer 2-channel SACD, etc. or if you want more. Then you'll start to think about those speakers... [​IMG]

    Check the back of that Aiwa unit - 'cause a cheap way into this might be to just pick up one of the players listed above. They both do fine for CDs, DVDs, etc. and if you can get them hooked up to the Aiwa you could sample some SACDs in 2-channel output. You'll be better able to decide if you want to spring for a receiver, speakers, or what (or just send the rest of the cash to me). Either way, you'll have yourself a competent entry into MC audio capabilities and it's a logical step along the path you might likely take anyway. Good luck!
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Charlie C,

    An example system for stereo hi-res playback:

    Receiver w/6.1 preamp outputs for external power amp:

    Pioneer VSX-D812

    In my opinion most universal hi-res players have too many compromises, so.....

    EDIT: oops just remembered you wrote you own a JVC dvd-audio player, so deleted dvd-audio player example.

    * As far as I know, JVC or Panasonic dvd-audio players have no bass management for dvd-audio (most surround engineers recommend using five full-range speakers anyway), so for surround music playback pick your speakers carefully.

    Sacd player

    Sony DVP-NS755V

    IIRC sometime later this year Sony is supposed to start selling an audio-only sacd player for around $150(?)-IMO that would be a better choice & less $$$.

    Speakers

    LOTS of choices-take your time. Here are two examples I like:

    Boston Acoustics CR85

    JBL E50 (black version)

    If you want a little bit less precision-relatively speaking-but lots more volume (hehe-future girlfriends will probably hate this speaker. And CV's are not the "junk" speakers the audio snobs say they are):

    Cerwin-Vega CLSC-10 (fixed link)

    This package is slightly over your $1K limit. Buying a universal hi-res player or a receiver with no preamp outputs will help bring down the price. One advantage of a universal player for hi-res surround music playback: only one set of 5.1 cables needed to connect to receiver.

    But whatever you do, DON'T SKIMP ON THE SPEAKERS.
     
  9. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    gosh, sorry it took so long to get back. i dont have internet at home yet.


    Ok, that pioneer looks good and cheap lance, but how good are the digital amps? since speakers will KILL my budget, are there CHEAPER receivers out there like this pioneer? Harmon kardon is a good brand right? do they have a receiver like this one? I guess I dont think I need 600 watts from the amps, do i? is there something a bit cheaper with lower rated amps?

    ive been reading up on speaker efficiency and ohms and amps and watts and this and that and my head is about to friking explode!!! i really appreciate the help guys.

    ScottCHI - Ive tried to get the manual for that SHARP unit, but their customer service , well they suck. I havent heard much good about sharp, so I dont expect ill be getting that unit. it just looked so simple.



    i heard a friends dad's sacd system over the weekend. wow!!! I really want one. his dad did say they have DTS 5.1 audio discs out there too.

    So let me get this straight.
    Dolby digital, dts, sacd, dvd-a are all multichannel formats AND they all play multichannel music? which is the best? if im starting out, will the DD and DTS-A mixes work until I upgrade? how much better are the dvd-a and sacd mixes over the DTS-A and DD-A?
     
  10. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    I just posted a WTB on the hardware for sale/trade area.
    i guess Ill try to buy a used receiver first to get started. Cause I have to buy 5.1 speakers too! and Im guessing the .1 doesnt cost .1% of a regular speaker either.

    Id like to buy new, but I gotta get something descent in my new place. im moving to a 1400 sq ft loft in the downtown area.
     
  11. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Please clarify your budget... it's not clear from the above whether the $1000 is for everything or just the receiver + dvd player... or whether you already have speakers.

    If your total budget is in fact $2000 for everything, by all means go to the "Phelps" thread, where at least a couple dozen smart-choice systems are specified to meet a $2k budget... go here: http://makeashorterlink.com/?O55B25BA8

    $2k really is a reasonable minimum amount to consider for entry-level HT... if your budget is in fact $1000 for everything, then you'll need to go the HTIB route (with likely addition of a universal player)... and those products are improving all the time... do not get the bundled 'specials' at BB or CompUSA... Onkyo, Yamaha are pretty good bets for HTIB... Secrets did a rough comparison of several HTIBs here: http://makeashorterlink.com/?I6DB24BA8
     
  12. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    ok, I have a dvd/dvd-a player, 2 speakers, awia 50 watt STEREO receiver, VCR, 27" tv.

    budget right now to upgrade is $1000 for whatever is deemed to be upgraded. music is definately more of my initial focus.

    $400 receiver
    $400 speaker
    $200 sub
    ??????????????

    If I can find a used receiver, I can definately get better speakers.

    oh yeah, how much is the average sub. I wish I could get one of those SVSubs Ive read about.

    I am leaning toward yammaha or harmon kardon receivers. they seem to get the best reviews here for sound/options/power. I mean to get to BB and CC this week to 'play around' with them. get used to features and whatnot. who here uses DSP's other that DLp or THX?


    PS thanks for the Mr. Phelps link. really helps seeing a complete system together. seem like lots put emphasis on the sub. how important is the sub for music/hires music? in stereo, remember I still dont have speakers.
     
  13. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Look at these speaker + receiver packages:

    Rocket ELT: http://www.av123.com/products_produc...s&product=37.1

    Cambridge SoundWorks (various price points): http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...=ht_systemsrec

    More or less in your price range... more importantly, each makes good, bang-for-the-buck speakers.

    Speakers are more important than receivers, esp at this level.

    Forget a separate SACD player, as the two players would require a receiver with two 6-channel inputs (virtually none have this)... so either forget SACD or get a universal player... Pioneer and Toshiba have them at around $150.

    Otherwise, hit the stores and audition.
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Charlie:

    * The only reason I chose that VSX-812 was because you said you wanted a way to hook up an external amp. If you don't care about that but still want a new receiver, then you could buy a VSX-414 (@$200) or Yamaha's entry-level receiver (@$250). I like the Yamaha a little better myself.

    * Personally speaking I no longer trust Harmon/Kardon equipment.

    * No Pioneer standalone receiver I know of uses a digital amplifier; only some Panasonics, a few Sony ES models & a Harmon/Kardon use these. But Pioneer's regular amps seem fine to me.

    * I am not sure how loud you listen to your music so cannot accurately answer your question about how much receiver wattage is enough, other than this kind of fuzzy method: if you regularly listen at levels that prevent a normal conversation (in other words, you would have to shout to someone standing directly beside you), then unless you buy those Cerwin-Vegas, the two receivers I mentioned above probably are not powerful enough.

    * In my opinion subwoofers are overrated. Just as with a center channel, they can be a nice SUPPLEMENT to a surround system, but they are not mandatory. And anyway, Dolby Labs and the DTS people would not have provided those "no sub" and "no center" options with their audio formats if they were. Actually, if your front mains are large enough you may not even want a separate sub. But only you can decide this (remember, not every movie and especially, not all music, contains bass going down to 20Hz which is where a "real" subwoofer can reach down to).

    * A nice Chevy-quality subwoofer with a 10" woofer will cost around $300-$400 at a brick & mortar store. For many average living rooms, these may not win a loudest-sub contest but IMO they will provide plenty of palpable & fun bass for true fans of music/movies if your front mains cannot.

    BTW with dvd-audio and DTS-CDs you do not have to use a full 5.1 system to hear surround music. Two fronts and two rears will suffice after your receiver is set to "no subwoofer" and "no center" AND when you play a DTS-CD or a dvd-audio disc's included Dolby Digital and/or DTS tracks. >>> In your JVC's playback options menu there should be something labeled "dvd-video playback mode" that you can choose to do what I just described (check your manual on how to do this). The player will then act like a regular dvd-VIDEO player & let you access the DD and/or DTS tracks.

    The Sonys may also let you choose a similar 4.0 channel configuration for sacd surround playback-I personally do not know about this. Maybe someone else here can answer this question?

    BUT: unfortunately for hi-res surround fans, the bass management systems for these new formats on many players can be so effed up that I think they could actually cause more problems than by just bypassing the b.m. altogether & running the system full-range instead (but only if your speakers are large enough). And to be honest, I don't even know if any hi-res surround b.m. systems even offer a TRUE "no sub" option.

    Personal note: while using a Pioneer DV-563A universal player, despite setting it to "no" center channel (& rechecking this several times during this testing process), I could not get it to play my two different dvd-audio discs without the center operating. Very disappointing. But with the Dolby/DTS tracks & with a RS500 sacd sampler disc, the center was turned off as it was supposed to be. The player was manufactured sometime before November of 2003.

    * What format sounds the best? Only YOU can decide this. But a better way to decide which format to adopt is to check out which format includes the kind of music you like to listen to. I don't listen to jazz or classical so I picked dvd-audio and DTS-CD.

    >>> On a dvd-audio disc, the best sounding format to me is listed first:

    1) Dvd-audio tracks (also called the "MLP" tracks).

    2) DTS. IMO on mid-fi equipment DTS can sound nearly identical to the MLP tracks.

    3) Dolby Digital.

    Surround sound can sound awesome but it does take some effort to get it done right, but don't get paranoid about it either.
     
  15. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    I just read a post saying that the quality of sound through the analog ins isnt as good as digital in. what I am wondering is, will that transpose over to true hi-res audio because no receiver decodes hi-res yet? they claim its the 'best' sound but if it degrades before it gets to the amp stage, well let me put it this way:

    Is hi-res worth it ?
     
  16. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i've already told you why characterizing the subjective but perceptible difference in sound between 2 completely different setups as "degradation" is far from correct.
     
  17. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    my bad scottCHI,

    i really am just trying to get this all understood. I thought the *primer* would help, which it did but opened the door for sooooo many more questions.

    "you could run it in it's "2-channel" mode with your current receiver until you could afford a real, multichannel receiver." ive done that with my current setup with my dvd-a jvc player. I have the front 2 hooked up. but i know my system is lacking in every area. although I can tell that the music has been remixed, I cant really tell if it sounds 'better'.

    I found a marantz 4400 with 6.1 analog in and 6.1 pre-out. thats around $300+ . those rockets look sweet. and Ill probably get the rocket tykes. they seem small and they have some good reviewz. wish I could hear them anyone here have them? but that should keep me under budget and I can even get a new dvd player with sacd too!!!

    will let you all know. im checking the marantz out tonite.
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Charlie:

    You have a 1400 square foot loft to fill with sound. This is quite a large space.

    Those Tyke satellites only have 2.5 inch "woofers".

    The sub uses an 8 inch woofer.

    You didn't say what type of music you listen to but I hope it isn't metal or hip-hop but if it is, based on what you have said so far, I will almost guarantee you this system will not meet your volume-level needs.

    High quality components are great, but not if they are being used at their upper limits in a too-large listening space. You are only asking for distorted sound and/or burned-out tweeters and woofers.

    I personally would much rather have a properly matched & robust two channel system than a too-small multichannel one squeaking at me from six different points in a room.

    Do not give in to that pure digital stuff. Sound quality depends on which component (the player or the receiver) has the better digital-to-analog conversion circuits, not just the fact that the connection is done digitally. There is just as much crappy digital equipment out there as crappy analog.

    And you're welcome.
     
  19. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    "* Personally speaking I no longer trust Harmon/Kardon equipment."

    Why is that?



    "High quality components are great, but not if they are being used at their upper limits in a too-large listening space. You are only asking for distorted sound and/or burned-out tweeters and woofers"

    i dont need to rock the house down, i guess ill want to when I start watching movies. ?- do you all listen to music as loud as you do your movies? i mean where is your volume button. I know I wont get spl's from you but just relative to movie experience and all. I mean if I really really need big speakers and a big amp and a big sub, maybe I should just wait.



    "And you're welcome. "

    thank you very very much
     
  20. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I have had both a Yamaha HTR-5590 (MSRP-$800) and a Pioneer Elite VSX-41 (MSRP-$800) over the past 4 months. I just bought a Panasonic SA-XR50 for $240 delivered. Got a Panny DVD-F87 for $85. This plays most formats. This was half the cost I paid for the previous 2 receivers. The digital Panasonic has better sound quality, imaging, and more detail. Not quite as much power as the others, but still adequate.

    I have all JBL speakers. S38's for the mains, EC35 for center, N26's for surrounds, and N24 for surround back.

    I would invest in speakers and try one of the digital receivers. Those who have them are amazed. Before having one, i would never have bought a Panasonic receiver.
     

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