Just got my new SACD player and I have about 1000 questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    So I'll try to number them for you guys [​IMG] First I'd like to thank whoever it was that pointed me to the sale on those IXOS 6 cable bundle of analog cables at accessories4less. They were a lifesaver.
    Now onto the problems at hand. I just got my SACD player delivered today. I bought the Sony SCD-CE775 player. At $200 with free shipping I thought I couldn't go wrong. Here are some questions/problems I have so far:
    1. I have the player hooked up via the 6 analog outputs for super audio cd and I have it hooked up via digital optical cable for regular cd playback. This is all to my Onkyo 595. The first problem I have is that when I put in the new player I pulled out my old cd player and for somereason it won't let me change the optical outputs from multichannel. Actually it changes both of them to the same thing, so if I say that optical 1 is not multichannel it changes optical 2 to the same thing. Not sure if it did this with my other cd player but I don't think so. Is there anything to worry about here? I just left them as both multichannel because I need multichannel for my dvd player, and regular cds played fine. Could there be any problems though?
    2. I notice on the 595 that there is no designated button on the player for the multichannel inputs. So I just put it on cd and it plays sacd fine. I'm assuming if it was DVD-A I was using then I would choose whatever video button my dvd was on also. I just want reassurance that this is correct for peace of mind. I am paranoid every time I change anything or hook up new equipment [​IMG]
    3. Reading the 595 manual it states that to listen to multichannel music (I'm assuming only when using the multichannel inputs) I use the audio selector on the front and change it to multichannel. Not a big deal but rather annoying when you have sacd and regular cds in the player because you would have to change it every time. Now it does have an auto sense feature, but when I choose this it says something like autosense opt1. Opt1 is the optical connection to the new player I believe, but it doesn't switch to the SACD when it is playing. So basically it is useless. Is there anything I'm missing, or will it not autoswitch to multichannel music?
    4. I picked up 3 SACD's and one of them was the 5.1 Roger Waters Live. When playing this I notice number one that the surrounds are not really audible. I put my ear up to them to make sure I had hooked everything up correctly and there was sound but it was VERY low. I know that the player has adjustable levels for each speaker, but I'm wondering if this is just when you listen to SACD or if it is changed for all hometheater use. Meaning if I change the settings via the cd player will it affect the avia settings I have for movies and regular cd listening? As I write this I think it probably doesn't, but better to ask and be safe.
    5. Should I keep 2,3,4, and 5 channel mixes in their direct modes? I tried changing the 5 channel mode to 5 small plus subwoofer but it sounded way too bass heavy and was basically worse than dolby prologic II. In direct mode the sub is barely used except on the low end which sounds kind of weird to me. Is this how the recording is intended to be listened to? Is this the best way to listen to SACD's?
    6. ICBM - I heard someone say that you should have one of these for SACD players without bass management. I don't have the money right now, but I was wondering what exactly an ICBM does. Does it allow you to control the bass that is going to each of the 5 or 7 speakers? Please enlighten me or link me if you can.
    Ok I think that is all the questions I have, WHEW! I hope you guys can help me because I see the potential of this player. I also picked up Jacintha - Autumn Leaves and Stevie Ray Vaughn - Texas Flood. Those 2 channel mixes are what really blew me away. The Jacintha recording was just so clear and crisp. I was very pleased. This was on my budget system too. The speakers are Eosone RSF400 towers up front, Polk CS400i center, and Energy eXL15's in the back by the way. I have to say that the Roger Waters recording was not up to the potential I know it has. My DTS demo cd had a clearer surround stage. By the way, I noticed that my dts cd wouldn't play through multichannel, is this because only DVD-A and SACD user the multichannel analog outputs? Ok I"m rambling and frankly pretty excited to see what this thing can do once I have it tweaked. This is incentive to get new speakers so that I can listen to the 2 channel mixes in all their glory. I'll give a comprehensive review of the unit and whether I think it is worth it after everything is "perfection."
     
  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I'll try and answer a few of your questions, but I don't do SACD yet and I don't have an Onkyo so I may not cover it all. You have to use the 5.1 connections as you are doing for SACD because your receiver cannot do it since there isn't an agreed upon secure digital connection yet. However your SACD player can also decode CDs, and output that through the analog connections also. So if you put CDs and SACDs in there at the same time, don't worry about the autosensing option on the receiver, just use the multi-channel inputs and let the SACD player decode the CDs.

    Now I am concerned you're not actually using the 5.1 inputs. The player may be downconverting the SACD to 2-channel 16/48 or something similar and outputting it through the digital connection at the same time. You need to switch over to the multi-channel input on the receiver. I don't think the autosensing will pick between the optical and 5.1 connections. The reason it may not do this is because if you are doing DVD-A you get downconverted stereo through the optical input at the same time you get the analog signal through the 5.1 connection. However if you are watching a DVD video, you get the DD or DTS through the optical, while also getting the decoded analog signal from the 5.1 input. So at least in my setup when I switch to DVD-A my receiver requires me to select the 5.1 input.

    As far as the optical being set to multi-channel, this is probably ok. What its doing is telling the receiver that it should look for a multi-channel signal coming in, however it should know when 2-channel pcm is coming in also.

    The ICBM is made by Outlaw Audio and is a crossover for all 6 channels (normal 5 plus optional rear center). It allows you to selectively set the crossover for each speaker and routes the bass to the sub. Basically you'd route your 6 analog cables to it, then connect the ICBM to the receiver. Its a good idea if your player doesn't have bass management.
     
  3. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    4. Those level adjustments are for SACD only. Since the decoding and levels are set in the player, it won't affect your receiver's levels because they are bypassed when you are using the 5.1 analog outs

    5. It will depend on your equipment(how low each speaker can go). There's no absolutes, but for most systems the 5 channel small w/sub will be best. If the sub is too loud, you can turn it down relative to the other channels by turning the balance toward the channel and away from the sub. For two channel you can go direct if your Mains can go low, but if not then use 2 channel + sub.

    6. The ICBM allows you to do bass management that is bypassed by your receiver through the 5.1 channel inputs. It goes between the SACD player and the receiver. For specifics, go to outlawaudio.com. You will need an additional 6 analog audio cables to hook it up.

     
  4. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    Are all 5 of your speakers and your sub all properly calibrated (with AVIA or another source)?

    If not, that could be the answer to 4 and 5.
     
  5. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Ok so here is what I have found: After reading the manual at work I found that you can't change the speaker output levels if you are running it in direct mode. As far as I can tell it was meant to be played in direct mode, so I will keep it in that mode. I did try 5 small + sub as stated earlier, but that sounded horrible. I may just try to temperarily change the speaker levels via my receiver since there is a way to do this, but then again I may just leave it alone. I still don't get much in the way of surrounds on the Roger Waters cd but I dont' have anything to compare it to so it may just be mixed that way. It sounds awesome so I'm going to leave things the way they are. If I made some wrong connections then I wouldn't get any sound or something very bad from the surrounds so I don't think that is it. So I believe I have everything set up right. I also changed the analog/pcm listening preference setting to direct mode but I dont' know if this even applies to SACD. It is analog but it is multichannel so who knows. Actually does anyone here know? LOL. Thx for all the help and keep it coming. [​IMG]
     
  6. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    I just saw the other post: yes my system is calibrated using avia. Perhaps I could calibrate it again since it has been awhile. If anyone knows if it is just the mix for the Roger Waters cd then that would close the books on the issue though.
     
  7. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Your receiver's speaker levels, set using Avia, are totally bypassed when you are using the 5.1 channel decoder inputs.

    Like I said, if you want to boost the surrounds or tone down the sub, you will have to do it in the 775's menu when playing SACDs, not your receiver.

    Many discs are intentionally mixed heavy upfront with the surrounds used for ambience. I have noticed this with some discs in all of the multi-channel formats(DVD-A, SACD, & DTS CD).

    DJ
     

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