Experienced DVD-Audio for the first time last night. I think I got it right...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Cal, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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    With my brand new Panasonic CP72 DVD player and Pioneer VSX-D811S receiver I figured it was high time I checked out DVD-Audio, so I bought Steely Dan "Two Against Nature" and had a go at it. I think I did everything right, but just want to make sure I have the setup procedure correct.

    First, I hooked up 6 analog RCA cables from the Panasonic to the analog 5.1 input jacks on the Pioneer. I then set the Pioneer to "DVD/LD 7.1" analog input. On the Panasonic, I set "PCM Downconversion" to "No", because I was under the impression that "Yes" somehow degrades the signal. Speaker setup on the Panasonic was set to "Multi-Channel", but I left all of the speaker sizes, level controls, and delay settings at 0, because I was told that they have no bearing whatsoever on DVD-Audio.

    Everything seemed to be set up correctly when I played the first track. I checked the audio being output from the Panasonic and it said "PPCM - 96k/24b 6 channel". Contrary to what I had heard, I could adjust the individual channel levels on the Pioneer, but what struck me as odd is that I usually have my sub set at -8 for DTS and DD, but with DVD-Audio I had to turn it all the way up to +10 to get a respectable level of bass. I realize that I do not get bass management with DVD-Audio, but it seems rather extreme that I had to turn the LFE channel up a whopping 18 dB. My main speakers are JBL S38, my center is the S-Center, and the surrounds are the N24, all of which (I thought) are capable of handling more bass than what I was being given.

    Other than the bass issue, everything sounded great. I have never heard cymbals sound so crisp and lifelike. Most impressive was how realistic everything sounded, as if the musicians were in the same room as me.

    Sorry to ramble, but from what I heard last night, this is an incredibly exciting audio format, and I just wanted to make sure that I didn't miss a crucial step in the setup procedure. Perhaps I am missing something in the bass setup, since an 18 dB boost for my sub seems a bit excessive, especially with semi-large speakers all around. Thanks for the feedback, I hope I'm posting in the right forum :b
     
  2. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Brian,

    Welcome to High Resolution audio!

    You need to calibrate the analog outputs of the DVD-Audio player, in addition to setting levels with the Pioneer receiver.

    Go back to the 5.1 (7.1 really) input, then use the tones from the player to set analog output levels on the Panny DVD-Audio player.

    Also, please be advised that you really should be using an SPL meter to calibrate, if you aren't already.

    I'm not sure what your musical tastes are, but here are some worthwhile titles in several genres, across several labels:

    AIX Records:
    John McCuen / Jimmy Ibbotsen Nitty Gritty Surround
    Zephyr Voices Unbound

    Hi-Res Music:
    Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Monty Alexander Trio
    Ray Brown Soular Energy

    Warner Labels:
    Donald Fagen The Nightfly
    The Eagles Hotel California
    Fleetwood Mac Rumours
    Linda Ronstadt What's New

    Silverline:
    Aaron Neville Devotion
    Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band Swingin' for the Fences
    Dishwalla Opaline

    DTS Entertainment:
    Queen A Night at the Opera
    Graham Nash Songs for Survivors
    Les Brown & His Band of Renown Session #55

    Virgin affiliated labels:
    Blue Man Group Audio
    Boz Scaggs Dig (Deluxe Limited Edition)

    I think I've spent enough of your money for the time being.

    Regards,
     
  3. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply, John. I forgot to mention that I did try to use the Panasonic's test tones to calibrate with my SPL meter. As far as RF, Ctr, LF, RS, and LS, no extra calibration was necessary, since the levels were the same as when calibrating in the digital realm on the Pioneer. The problem lies in the fact that the Panny does not output a test tone for the sub (that I know of), which makes it impossible to calibrate that in the analog realm. I left all of the speaker sizes at "Large" on the Panny because I was under the impression that the settings would make no difference either way. Do I need to set to "Small" and recalibrate? Will setting the speakers to "Small" on the Panny output a test tone for the Sub?
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Brian,
    I've heard that disc with no bass management. That was the first DVD-A I ever bought even before I had a player. If your player doesn't have bass management you need an Outlaw ICBM to enjoy DVD-A. That's the bottom line. Your main L/R/C/RR/LR speakers can not handle the bass that is in the main speakers on that disc.
    ....IN THE MEANTIME......
    Switch your DVD-A player to "DVD-Video Mode" (see the instructions) and listen to the DTS track on that Steely Dan disc. It is exceptional.
     
  6. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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    Philip, I did switch the player to DVD-Video mode and listened to the DTS track for comparison. You're right, it is exceptional, but I feel as if the DVD-Audio has slightly better clarity and fidelity. It sounds as if I set up everything correctly, and the lack of bass is merely attributed to the fact that the Panny does not offer bass management.
     
  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    I'm surprised by the amount of difference, but perhaps you should consider Chesky's Test DVD-A disc to work with some tones that engage the decoder to set levels.

    I don't know the catalog #, but it is available through Chesky's website.

    Regards,
     
  8. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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    When calibrating for DVD-Audio listening, I wonder if it wouldn't yield better results if I simply left all of the receiver's channel levels flat at 0 when in analog mode, and then recalibrated using the DVD player's test tones (or better yet, Avia) and made all of my channel level adjustments strictly using the DVD player's channel level controls.

    Any thoughts?
     
  9. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Brian,

    Unless I'm confused here, the only problem that you've reported is no test tone output for the subwoofer channel.

    If this is correct, you're calibrating the subwoofer channel "by ear", which can be problematic.

    If front left/right are able to be lowered in level, you could try the approach of backing down all main channels, which would mean less adjustment for the subwoofer channel.

    Just a thought about a possible alternate approach.

    Regards,
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  11. Steve Meskell

    Steve Meskell Second Unit

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    I hope you guys will "walk me thru" my setup when I get the new Pioneer DVDA/SACD player in June.[​IMG]
     
  12. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I've just started taking an interest in DVD A and SACD, If I own an older DTS/DD5.1 Sony Receiver I;m SOL with getting either is that correct, when you say analog 5.1 jacks I only have the Coaxial or Optical am I safe to assume they players do not support those for copyright reasons? I am setting up a PC Juckbox and have an Audigy 2 that supports DVD A I could go that route.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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