HELP! Yamaha DSP-A1 & SACD audio

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Konstantinos_G, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. Konstantinos_G

    Konstantinos_G Auditioning

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    Konstantinos
    I have been a satisfied user of the (ex-flagship) Yamaha DSP-A1 integrated amplifier for some time now, and I just recently purchased the Pioneer DV-747A universal player, which I connected with (good) analogue cables to the "external decoder input" of the Yamaha DSP-A1.

    The amplifier is driving two B&W Nautilus 805 speakers -- when my friend, who has the same player (Pioneer DV-656A with the same DACs as the 747A), the same speakers, the same SACDs (Telarc, of course) visited me, he "freaked" out because of the sound of my system. He has the Denon AVR-3802 amplifier.

    Taking into consideration that (a) speakers are the same, (b) source material (Telarc SACDs) is the same and (c) the universal player is the same (with analogue connections) IS IT POSSIBLE that the analogue circuitry of my Yamaha A1 actually DAMAGES and DEGRADES the SACD quality? My friend told me that the Denon AVR-3802 manual "stresses the fact that AVR-3802 analogue circuitry was optimised for DVD-Audio & SACD". On my manual, of course, there is no mention.

    Is it possible that my amplifier damages the analogue output of the SACD sources? Can old (not THAT old!) analogue circuitry NOT "accept" high-quality and high-frequency recordings, such as SACDs?

    Thank you for your input -- Happy New Year!

    Konstantinos
     
  2. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    5.1 inputs are normally handled as pure analog without any digital processing but there could be differences with the sound of the analog preamp circuits plus the amps themselves are different too. It is possible that the Denon handles ultrasonics from the SACDs better than the Yamaha.

    I'd either listen at his place with your player or your place with his player before making any judgements. Even though the specs are the same, they might not sound identical.
     
  3. Steve Simm

    Steve Simm Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a DSP-A1 as well and just recently bought a DVD-A player. I am routing it throught the 6 channel analog inputs and getting great sound. I don't have an SACD player so can't verify that I would get the same results but feel confident that I would. One thing that I found out after buying an Outlaw ICBM is that the DSP-A1 provides bass management through the 6 channel analog inputs although it is at the 90 Hz cutoff that Yamaha uses. If you are not getting good sound through the 6 channel inputs then look at both the way you have the DSP-A1 speakers setup (large or small) and how you have the bass mgmt set up in the SACD player- I believe it should be set to large and then the DSP-A1 is handling bass mgmt for you. If the sound is still not right then you would appear to have a problem somewhere in your system.
     
  4. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Steve is right. Yamaha was ahead of its time and included bass management on the 5.1 input of the DSP-A1, but not on any units after. Here are some possible reasons why your setup "sounds" different than that of your friend:

    * You are running cascading crossovers. If your SACD player has bass management (I'm not sure if your player does) and you're using it, then you are crossing over the 5.1 signal twice since the DSP-A1's input is also performing a crossover - this would definitely affect the sound.

    * Amps. Your Yamaha amps will sound different than Denon amps. I've owned both brands and they do sound different.

    * The method of the DSP-A1 crossover. I'm not sure, but if your A1 is performing the 5.1 input crossover in the digital domain (A>D, D>A), then this would definitely affect SACD playback.

    You mentioned how your friend is not fond of your system's sound. Good for him. Do YOU like the way your system sounds? Not trying to be funny here. ALL systems sound different - that's OK, as long as the owner is happy.

    Good luck.

    Rich B.
     
  5. Charles Averty

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    It is my understanding that the bass management on the Yamaha is analog.

    There are some schematics of the receiver, that show that.

    Morevover, DSP modes can be made avialble to analog stereo source, while the mutichannel input cannot use the DSP modes.

    Bass-Management with fixed cross-over at 90kHz is available for all inputs.
     
  6. Konstantinos_G

    Konstantinos_G Auditioning

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    First of all, I would like to thank you all for replying to my troubled post.

    OK, my friend got yesterday the same player, namely the Pioneer DV-747A and gave back to the store the DV-656A, which means that the source (material/player) is the same.

    I was aware of the sound feeling that is different between the Denon and Yamaha, but mainly on the digital sources, i.e. a CD player or DVD player would sound slightly different (via coaxial/optical) between Denon and Yamaha.

    They say that Denon is a more "musical" amplifier, and that the Yamahas are towards a more "cinema" amplifier. Perhaps the DACs are different -- Yamaha use their own custom VLSi, whereas Denon use SHARK coverters.

    But that's for the (internal) digital-to-analogue conversion. The 5.1 inputs of my DSP-A1 do *not*, of course, get through any digital circuits (i.e. DSPs). The external inputs are *supposed* to go directly to the amplification circuits. So, in theory, there should be no difference in the audio sensation of the SACD, except the volume and intensity (due to the different amplification capabilities of each amplifier).

    If my theory is correct (I will try to contact Yamaha in Japan, like I did last time) then why are the Telarc SACDs sounding different?

    There is no bass management from the player side, i.e. no such menu exists. Both my friend and I have declared the outputs as "large" speakers, with a fixed amplification of +3dB (instead of a flat +0dB).

    Could it be the cabling to the speakers? My friend has connected the Nautilus 805 using 4-wire method (separating treble to bass) using an expensive cable, whereas I use a cheaper cable (ahem, budget problems :) driving it 2-wire with the little metallic "bridge" attached at the speaker side (for connecting treble+bass to the cable). Can this make a difference?

    Oh, and one last thing. I don't think that the Pioneer player has bass management--in stereo SACDs, the subwoofer seems inactive. I have also declared my speakers (on the Yamaha A1) as LARGE and feeding low frequencies to both MAIN and SUBWOOFER (instead of just the subwoofer only). But the problem seems to exist in the treble i.e. high frequencies--my friend found the sound a bit blurry (if I can say that) and yesterday I listened to the same SACD tracks at his house, just to remember the feeling. He was right :-(

    Guys, thank you for your input on this. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Konstantinos
     

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