Just jumped into the Hi - Rez market... sort of.

Discussion in 'Music' started by Steve Winkler, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Picked up my first two Hi - Rez discs last night. The Eagles, Hotel California on DVD Audio and don't laugh, Shania Twain, Up! on SACD ( my nephews worship her ).

    Anyway, I don't as of yet have a player that will play the advanced resolution tracks, thus my "sort of" comment in the subject line. None the less, I must say I am very impressed with the regular dts and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks from The Eagles disc when played through my old Panasonic RP-56 dvd player. Hard to imagine it sounding much better[​IMG] .

    In regards to the Shania Twain disc, it's a Hybrid so I listened to it in my truck on the way home from my electronics store and was pleasantly surprised that it has cd text diplaying disc and song titles. Is this true for all SACD's or just a precious few like cd's??

    I bought these two formats to make myself buy a decent universal player in the near future but I, like many others out there, am trying to wait for prices to drop and bass management issues to be resolved. With the stronger Canadian dollar I am considering an Outlaw ICBM to alleviate the bass management issues, but what player to buy then? I'd like to wait for the Yamaha S-2500 but I fear it's going to be over that $1000 mark.

    Until then, I may have to live with mid-rez music I guess[​IMG] . Thanks for reading. Comments and replies always appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Steve, nearly all SA-CD's and SACD's have text. I've only seen a few European ones that did not. So, it's the opposite, nearly all do. Start savin' for a player and get the A/V Sources Forum to help you pick one out.[​IMG]
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Welcome......there are some pretty enthusiastic Hi-Rez supporters here, so feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

    And if someone jumps in and starts going on about how one format is superior to the other, just tell 'em to shut the hell up![​IMG]

    Good call on wanting to make sure that the BM issues get sorted out...so many uni-players get it so very wrong.

    Now, I do use an ICBM with my Pio 45a. But, there are some current players at reasonable prices (the Denon 2200 comes to mind) that do have reasonable settings (the Denon has an 80 hz crossover), that are fine for most users with main channels that will go that low.

    If/when you do the deed, here is a link to a FAQ that was put together by some of the members here that should help with any hook-up/set-up questions you may have:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...22#post1800722

    You may need to scroll down....sometimes the link puts you a few posts too high in the thread.
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Come on in ... the water's, ah, shallow. :b
     
  5. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Had you bought the Shania's Up on DVD-A you could have been listening to the DD 5.1 track and have 3 misic videos to boot! DVD-A Rules!!!![​IMG]

    Wes
     
  6. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies, links, and info everyone. I have a modest collection of 600+ cd's so I call myself a music enthusiast and I'm really excited to hear this next level in music fidelity. I was considering the Denon 2900 but they are still fetching a pretty good price in these parts.

    I've read here and other forums that the 2200 is a solid player, but not as good in the audio department which is my primary concern. I think the Denon 2200 and Yamaha S-1500 can be had around here for $500CAD and that is more in my price range. I think if the Loonie breaks the 85 cent mark I'll pull the trigger on the ICBM and give myself an early Christmas gift.

    I'm off to read the link posted and research some more.

    (Wes, I almost bought the DVD-Audio version of Shania Twain as it was the same price but wanted one of each format to start. The videos would have been a nice bonus as she is pretty easy on the eyes.[​IMG] )


    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    While you're waiting, if you want to try a good DD 5.1 mix, get the Fleetwood Mac Rumours DVD-A. It was the first hi-res disc I bought and I had it for six months before owning a DVD-A capable player. I too had a hard time imagining how much better DVD-A could be, but it is. I also had Hotel California and REM's Automatic for the People well before owning a hi-res player.

    Welcome to the club.
     
  8. Perry Jonkheer

    Perry Jonkheer Second Unit

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    The Denon DVD-2900 which is superior to the 2200 can be had for $600ish. I bought it for $650 last year...

    The audio internals to this player are above and beyond what the 2200 has.
     
  9. Mike__P

    Mike__P Extra

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    Just dropped into the forum again after an absence.

    Once again I'm reminded that (my) ignorance is bliss. I'm still enjoying the heck out of my Pioneer 578A ($180), which has revolutionized my music listening. I buy only SACD's and DVD-A's now. For the cost of the 578A, to me the idea of postponing enjoyment of the multi-channel, hi-rez formats until a fabulous player is available/affordable is just crazy.

    But then again I "solve" the bass management problem by pointing the remote at the SW and turning it up. (grin)

    -- Mike
     
  10. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Perry, that is what I've read about the two Denon's. I hope I can find a 2900 here for $600US, or roughly $710CAD. With it's crossovers at 80hz that may be good enough for me.

    Thanks for the welcome Paul, Fleetwood Mac is on the list!!

    Mike, I've thought about the Pioneer 578 as well, and the ICBM together. That combo would cost less than any other stand alone player I'm looking at. Readily available and inexpensive... hmmmm.





    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  11. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    I went out and bought the Pioneer 578A at Best Buy for $180CAD just to test the waters of the formats. After listening to the few discs I have, Hotel California - Eagles DVD-Audio, and Up - Shania Twain SACD,
    ( added "Shaman" from Santana, "When I look In Your Eyes" Diana Krall, and "30 #1's from Elvis all DVD-Audio) I'm not sure on the increase in fidelity over the 5.1 Dolby and/or dts mixes.

    By that I mean the differences are very subtle to my ears. There appears to be a little bigger soundstage and a kind of airiness to the music but again, it is subtle to me.

    This could be due to any number of things I suppose:

    1. My ears and their ability to discern sound quality.

    2. My equipment. DAC's, cables, receiver, speakers etc.

    3. My settings of the equipment. Large vs. small, sub on/off
    Crossover flexibility or lack there of.

    4. Listening position. Has quite an effect on 2 channel stuff.

    I'm not convinced yet either way really. For $180 bucks, and a flexible return policy, I've got another 27 days to experiment with this player.

    Any more comments, suggestions would be appreciated.



    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  12. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Points 3 and 4 require some work to get right, to fully appreciate hi-res. Once you get it right, you should see why hi-res is so good.
     
  13. Mike__P

    Mike__P Extra

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    The multichannel aspect tends to be more significant to me. What is your take on that? Have you had a chance to try it?

    You sound pretty discriminating. I'd love for you to go pick up a Denon or something else more pricey with "a flexible return policy" and report on perceived differences.

    -- Mike
     
  14. Mike__P

    Mike__P Extra

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  15. Robert Powers

    Robert Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,

    Are you listening to it in analog mode? That is the only way you can listen to it. Your receiver should display an analog signal instead of a digital signal.

    A little over a year ago I bought the older model of the Pioneer universal dvd player (DV-563A) and at first it took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong.

    First of all I didn't have the six 5.1 channel cables hooked up from my dvd player to my receiver. I corrected this problem but I still couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

    It was then that I figured out that my receiver has an external decoder switch for 5.1 channel that I have to manually press in order to hear the true SACD and DVD-Audio formats. I then found out what all the fuss was about while listening to "Fleetwood Mac's Rumours" DVD-Audio.
     
  16. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert, yes I've got it hooked up via the analog outs to my Yamaha RX-V 3300's 6ch input. From there the receiver applies no processing, no dsp's, no bass management. The Pioneer 578 diplays what track, time, and what resolution you are listening to, either 96khz/24bit 3.2/1 or 2ch or 192khz/24bit 2ch.

    I also have my old Panasonic RP-56 hooked up to my Yamaha via an optical cable in order to compare the Dolby and/or dts 5.1 tracks. I also tried the optical through the Pioneer and it displays whether or not you have the Dolby or dts track on and it's resolution 48khz/24bit.

    Mike, yes I've listened to multichannel and for anyone coming from 2ch cd to this, they would be impressed. What I'm saying is, coming from the Dolby and/or dts 5.1, it isn't as big a jump; at least to me so far. I may indeed have to pick up a Denon or Yamaha at another return friendly retailer and try them out just to compare.

    Paul, yeah I have tried pretty much every combo of speaker size with and without sub and for me and the equipment I use only certain combos sound good. On both DVD Audio and SACD all speakers set to small, sub on, sounds good. On both DVD Audio and SACD all speakers set to large sub off sounds pretty good. Any other combo sounds pretty bad most likely due to poor bass management.

    For two channel stuff I find if I sit a little closer than my normal spot, I almost don't need surround on some discs.
    Soundstage opens up or something.

    As I mentioned earlier on in this thread, I can hear some differences (more so on two channel perhaps) but they are subtle.

    Thanks again folks for your comments and replies.

    Steve
     
  17. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    The BM/TA capabilities of that particular Pioneer are not very flexible, IIRC. I know the 563a had a crossover of 200hz for DVD-A and a 6/12 slope for SACD, crossed at 120hz. I'm pretty sure the 578 carried these settings over, but I'm not certain. As your receiver doesn't apply any BM/TA, you are stuck with the Pioneer settings. I have yet to see a universal player that applies speaker delays to SACD in DSD native format. My Marantz DV6400 certainly doesn't. It crosses DVD-A at 100 hz at the common 12/24 slope, but crosses SACD at 80hz at the 6/12 slope in DSD (seems to be Sony's prefered slope--don't know why). I use my receiver's digital BM/TA to apply a uniform 80hz xover at 12/24 to both DVD-A and SACD, as well as speaker delay to SACD--though this necessitates a layer of A/D/A, my receiver's ADCs and DACs are quite transparent to my ears.

    Some people report a substantial improvement when using an Outlaw ICBM, but that does remove speaker delay from the equation in all formats.

    Some Denon players, can't remember which ones, will leave the DSD stream unaltered--without speaker delay settings, or, if you choose that setting, will convert the DSD to PCM (as my receiver does) and apply speaker delay settings.

    Those who can afford it can get iLink equipped players and receivers. However, while all signal manipulation remains in the digital domain (unlike my receiver's solution), I'm not certain if DSD remains native with all BM/TA within these machines. I think the higher resolution of DSD is sufficient to withstand PCM conversion and remain notably better than CD sound, even if it's not quite as hi-res as pure DSD throughout. The debate over this rages on, but in the end, just about all my hi-res purchases, regardless of format, have been worth it.
     
  18. Robert Powers

    Robert Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,
    Did you buy the Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" DVD-Audio? I noticed a big difference while playing the beginning of track # 6 "Silver Springs" (when the tones come out of the rear speakers).
     
  19. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Very informative post Paul. I would love to have a player and receiver with i-link, firewire, or whatever the electronics maker wish to call it [​IMG] . I would also love to not have to upgrade some of the larger more expensive components of my home theater every 2 years just to have the latest connections and convenience. [​IMG]

    That said, I may grab a newer Denon and/or Yamaha and see if I can discern an audible difference over the Pioneer.

    Robert, no I haven't picked up Fleetwood Mac yet. I have not found it for a reasonable price yet. Most DVD-A and/or SACD around here can be had between $17.99CAD & $23.99CAD, but the Rumours disc is running $26.99CAD.

    I find that to be a little steep.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  20. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Not to push my own player, but if you're considering Denon (as I was), be careful of Canadian MSRP. The 2900, last June, was 1895$, the 2200 was 1195$ and my Marantz DV6400 was 799$. In the US, Denon 2900 was 1000$, 2200 was 640$ and mine was 620$. Why the big difference for Denon when the Marantz was the same price (factoring the exchange)? Who knows. It's not just Denon, but those were the three I considered. I auditioned them and found the Marantz a lot better than the 2200 for audio and perhaps a touch under the 2900. The video capability of the Denons is rated much higher than my Marantz, but I don't have prog scan, and, in the end, I only use it for audio, so I consider my player a steal vs the 2900.

    As for the Yamahas, they weren't out when I bought mine, but prices, I've read, are more reasonable.

    Just looking out for your wallet.[​IMG]
     

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