Help with SACD setup please!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Hobbs, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all. I'm a newbie and this is my first post.

    Background (optional reading):

    Not long ago, my wife and I decided to spend some $$ on a small home theater. So we ordered the BOSE Acoustimass 6 speakers and an Onkyo receiver. When it arrived we excitedly set it up and turned it on. We listened for a minute, then my wife looked at me and said, "This sucks." I thought that pretty much summed it up.

    All we had ever heard were good things about BOSE. I was sure I had something set wrong on the receiver, because I couldn't believe the sound could be so flat. After a few hours of playing around with settings, I couldn't make it sound any better.

    The next day, I decided to do some research. Turns out we aren't the only ones to be disappointed in BOSE. Before long I stumbled onto this site and have been lurking for a couple of weeks now. I'm happy to say that the BOSE is on its way back to the store. (We returned the Onkyo also, but it wasn't the problem.) Based on your great advice (and a tight budget), we are now the proud owners of the following:

    Sony Vega KV-27FS13 TV

    Denon 1802 Receiver

    Sony DVP-NS500V DVD/SACD

    Paradigm Titan mains

    Paradigm CC-170 center

    Paradigm Cinema rears

    Sony SA-WM40 12" sub

    We are still waiting on the TV to be delivered (tomorrow!), but we could not be happier with the audio! We were dancing in the living room when we turned on those Titans! I know to some of you guys this stuff is hardly great, but to us it sounds amazing. And the whole thing cost us about $2000. If we had known that $2000 could go so far, we would have done this a long time ago.

    Enough background, now to the point of my post:

    So far setup has gone pretty well. However, I'm stuck right now on the SACD player. We have been using regular CDs the last couple of days on it with no problems. But today I was reading the manual (imagine that) and realized that I needed to use the 5.1 channel inputs or the SACD wouldn't go through. I was just using a digital coax. So I picked up 3 pairs of audio cables at BB and now I have disconnected the coax (temporarily) and am trying to get the multichannel SACD to play.

    When playing the sample SACD that came with the player in multi channel mode, I am only getting sound from the mains. I am getting sound from all 6 speakers when using the digital coax and DPL2.

    Also, if I switch to 2 channel on the SACD sampler, I am not getting any sound from the sub. The sub works great in stereo and DPL 2 mode when playing a regular CD.

    So I have 2 questions:

    1) How do I make multichannel SACD actually use all 6 channels?

    2) How do I get sound from the sub in 2 channel mode?

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    well, here goes. the reason you're only getting 2-channel sound from some SACD recordings is that they are only recorded in 2-channels. [​IMG] if it was recorded/mixed in 5.1, it will play in 5.1 channels. when using the 5.1 inputs on the receiver, the signal goes straight thru to the amps and does not get processed. this does two things:
    1) conserves the sound quality b/c the SACD track is sampled at a much higher rate than your receiver can
    2) avoids all DSP modes. in other words, you can't use DPL2 to 'create' 5.1 channels out of a 2-channel SACD recording. (that's all DPL2 does to stereo CD's...it forges 5.1 channels out of the 2-channel recording.)
    btw- you shouldn't have gotten ANY sound out of the player when using SACDs and only having the digital connection in place. SACD IS NOT passed thru the digital output; only your stereo CDs are.
    for the subwoofer problem: see #1 & #2 from above. since the sound is passed thru the receiver to the amps (and the receiver doesn't get to touch the signal), the receiver does not cross over your signal at whatever level you set it to. this is a major concern to most hi-res lovers, and the Outlaw ICBM ( www.outlawaudio.com ) was created to solve this problem. unless you add an external crossover or something similar to the ICBM, your main speakers will be sent the full range signal and your sub nothing (with SACDs only).
    now if you reattach that digital cable, you will get sound from the sub when in 2-channel mode, but ONLY for normal (or 'redbook') CDs. hope this explains it!
     
  3. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the response Thomas.
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i dont think that any SACD players offer really good bass management, especially in the lower price-ranges. if you are looking to trade your SACD player in for a better one, i would suggest looking at Sony's ES line. the build quality is leaps and bounds better, and the sound is also much better (for SACD's and redbook CD's). you will definately notice a difference through your Paradigms. www.oade.com has the best prices on them if you're interested...
    for a list of SACD titles and more info, check out www.sony.com/sacd
    by the way, i think you probably talked to the same Best Buy rep that told me (and was insistant upon believing) that SACD and DVD-A were 32-bit formats. [​IMG]
     
  5. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    Mark, I just bought the Sony 500 and I have a Denon 1802. I have yet to buy a SACD, but my bonus sample disc was Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (6 track version).

    I was able to get Multichannel by setting my Denon to Ext. In, and the Sony to Digital & 5.1 ch output in the Custom settings menu. (Just making sure - you're connecting the outputs labelled 5.1 ch output to the Denon's Ext in, right?)

    And I got my sub to work on 2 ch audio by playing with the surround button on the remote.

    I also set my speakers to Small in the Sony's Custom menu (the one with the toolbox). Don't know what difference this has made yet.

    I'm still playing with the unit, but I will probably be returning it soon, as I'm not too happy with the picture, and there's not that many places that sell SACDs near me.

    EDIT: I just realized... I don't think I'm getting the .1 channel....
     
  6. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    It turns out that I needed to go into the on-screen menu and tell the 500v that I have a center and rear speakers and a sub. I just got my tv delivered today so I hadn't had the option to change these settings yet. Now I am definitely getting multichannel sound out of the sampler SACD.

    I haven't had much time to listen to it yet, but I set all the speakers to small, so maybe I'll start getting some LFE sound now out of my sub. I'll report back after I have some time to play around with it.

    Gui - I just watched a couple of scenes from the Matrix this morning and the picture looks quite nice to me with the enhanced 16:9 feature that the Sony has. You said you aren't satisfied with yours. What is the problem? What picture are you comparing it to? I'm still trying to decide whether or not to keep the 500v. I can't afford many SACDs (blew the whole budget on the system) and I'm not very excited about spending $250 for bass management. So if this is considered a sub-par DVD/CD player, I'd rather switch to something else myself.
     
  7. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    The only way I've figured out how to get the .1 LFE to work with the 500 is to hook the sub directly to the DVD player itself.

    and it's not going to be fun having to switch cables everytime I want to listen to a SACD.

    The picture looks a bit 'soft' to me... Other people on this forum have said that this is due to the anamorphic downconversion. So if you use the 16:9 enhanced mode on your VVega, the image should look fine. I have a 4:3 RPTV that doesn't have a 16:9 mode or let me do the 'squeeze' trick properly.

    Lots of stores out there have 30-day return policies, and I'm taking advantage of them. This week, I'm getting a Panasonic RV-32, and I'll do a head to head comparison. If a Futureshop around my area ever gets a Pioneer 440, I'll compare that too.
     

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