My first SACD-thumbs down

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Br, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    I decided to pick up a SACD today, I have had the player for a month but just have not had the time to buy a disk and when I did the selection was limited. I wanted to get a disk I had a redbook cd copy of for a direct comparison.

    I purchased the Top Gun soundtrack as it contained music I was very familiar with. This disk is two channel stereo and offers no multi channel track. My first impressions were that the mids and highs were better on the SACD than the redbook cd, no real surprise. I listened to both albums and if I was playing these on a limited system I would go with the SACD, but my system is not limited.

    My system consists of two Swans Diva 6.1's and dual SVS subwoofers for two channel playback. So I put in this disk and the first thing I do is double check that my amp for my subs is turned on. It is but for some reason there is no use of my subwoofer at all. I was expecting that it would but I guess I should not be surprised as my two channel dvd-a disks do not use the sub at all either. On top of it the bass was lacking from my 6.1's. Now these speakers have average to slightly above average in my opinion, but the only way I was getting good bass was to go to the 110db level, not what I usually have it set at. I just don't get it, I put in the redbook cd, use a analog connection and I have bass, I put in the sacd and there is nothing, why is this? How do they expect the format to take off if most people are not getting any use out of their subwoofer?

    Using a direct comparison to dvd audio I would say that dvd-a has more depth than SACD, but that is a very inexperienced opinion. I will say that with no multi channel track and zero bass I see no reason to spend extra cash when I have the redbook cd.
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Greg, if you're using the player's 5.1 output, try using the player's two-channel output. I think you'll hear bass. Also, have you set the bass management system for 5.1? Generally, I think SACD's sound best in stereo. I'm liking the 5.1 mixes more since I added full-range side speakers and run them large. I stille think the bass is better in stereo, generally. I think, I hope, 5.1 mixes will improve. Best wishes!
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Greg, how do you have the bass management feature on your player set? Regardless, I don't think you will get subwoofer output for stereo material when using the 5.1-channel outputs. Overall, I have to say that the Top Gun SACD is nowhere near the best of what SACD has to offer. The SACD is deeper and smoother than the remastered CD, but still, it is not one of the better-sounding discs.
     
  4. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    Keith, right now I have my player hooked up via the 6 channel cables and a digital cable. I understood that the playback would be from the 6 channel cables. There are two extra analog connections that cold be made, but I was assuming these are for normal cd playback, which I am using the digital cable for. I have my player set up the best it allows and that is the speakers set to small with a subwoofer.

    I was looking for a sacd that I had in cd, which is limited right now as my entire collection was ripped off last year. I did not want to buy jazz(not that familiar with) and classical(not to dynamic sound)and that is mostly what the had. I was debating on Blood Sweat and Tears or Toto. It just frustrates me to not have my subs involved like they should be, less buying more equiptment.
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    IMO, rock music does not gain as much from SACD as jazz. I don't why. YMMV.

    NP: AC/DC, Let There Be Rock, the movie, Live In Paris, CD
     
  6. EricK

    EricK Second Unit

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    Greg,

    Unfortunately you chose a mediocre SACD to start off with.

    Also follow Keith's advice and hook up an additional set of cables from the 2ch analog outs. You will get much better stereo performance from these and most receivers have full bass management for 2ch analog inputs.

    Depending on what kind of music you like, I might search here for suggestions on SACD software. There is quite a bit of good stuff out there.

    Eric.
     
  7. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    Eric,

    How does the receiver know which imputs to pass the signal thru. If you are correct, that the signal could be passed thru the 2 channel analog inputs, could I keep my 6 channel inputs set up for my dvd audio player and use the 2 channel analog inputs for my cd player and thus be able to use both players for hi resolution?
     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Greg, your receiver should have a seperate input that you set. For example, on my receiver, the 6 input analog cables are called "EXT 5.1," and the two stereo analog is called "CD."

    When I had the the Sony SACD players, I felt that stereo sound from the EXT 5.1s sounded better. I have not tried comparing them on my DVD-47A. I'll do that tonight.

    Btw, why would there be bass management on the stereo input but not on the 5.1 input?
     
  9. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    Yes I have the 6 channel inputs connected as is required for multi channel playback. I have never connected the 2 channel inputs as I thought for hi resolution playback the signal was sent thru those cables. I hit 6 channel on my reciever and thats how it plays, would it play if I only connected the 2 channel analog inputs? would I still hit 6 channel on my reciever? my reciever says 6 channel defeats all bass management on the reciever, so I am not sure how this 2 channel analog connection works.
     
  10. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    OK, I think I understand your situation. It appears that when you're playing redbook CDs, you're going in to your receiver via digital, so bass mgmt and thus output to your sub can be heard. With two channel SACD, the sound will go out either the main channels of the 6ch output or the 2ch output, or both. Unless your receiver can be set up to digitize either the 6ch or 2ch analog inputs (2ch should support A->D; getting analog bypass out of a receiver's 2ch input is more rare), you won't get signal going to the sub. I am assuming that your source SACD player does not perform bass mgmt on 2ch SACD (not sure if any SACD players do this; I doubt it).

    So, if you get the 2ch output of the source connected to the 2ch receiver input and make sure it's set up for bass mgmt (i.e., no analog bypass), then your sub should wake up. Of course, you'll be trading off the extra quality that the hi rez format provides in the process.

    Doug
     
  11. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    Doug,

    obviously I want the hi resolution, and from my understanding that has to be sent out of the 6 channel outputs of my player to my receiver. This seems like a major drawback that there is no .1 channel encoded on these disks. I think I will be in the camp that this format has little chance of impressing the masses if they cannot use their entire system that redbook uses. Do all 2 channel hi res formats not use the .1 channel.
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  13. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I am confused.

    Multi-channel SACDs must have an LFE track, right? That is the 6th cable.

    I don't understand why stereo SACDs wouldn't work exactly like regular CDs regarding bass. If you hook up a regular CD player to your receiver using analog cables, would some bass get routed to the sub? If so, then it stands to reason that the same would hold true for a SACD player connected the same way, no?

    NP: Chick Corea, Sundance, CD
     
  15. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    I have the Sony CE 775 player, I have never set up anything thru menus. I read were there is some bass managment items and this might have been turned off, I wll check this tonight. All of a sudden I think I have seen a light go off in my head that I am the root of my own problems!!!!!!
     
  16. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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  17. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    I believe my 775 is setup for 5channel+sub, not 2 channel+sub, unfortunaltly there is not one setting that handles both, I am finding this out from this thread, thanks for the heads up.
     
  18. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    I have that player and I recommend going through the manual. There are several options for 2ch and multichannel play back in the player's menu. In fact there are quite a few options. I know that one of them for 2ch music is to add an LFE signal to get the sub involved. I dont' know how it does it, but if you choose this option then you get 2.1 playback. Not sure if this sounds good/bad because I always use direct play back.


    My favorite SACD demo is Roger Waters Live. Incredible soundstage even on my crappy speakers. Nice LFE on it too. That is how 5.1 should be done.
     
  19. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ryan, thanks for the explanation. It confirms what I thought was happening.

    Can someone please explain what the ICBM does and how it works? I've seen it mentioned a number of times but don't know what it is. It does seem like something I would be interested in though. The one disadvantage of my player is that it does not offer those base management options that the Sony player does.
     
  20. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    I *think* (my 775 is set up for plain ol' 2-channel, so I don't know for sure) that there are separate settings for 2-channel and 5-channel bass management, so it should be possible to enable "2CH + Sub" for stereo mode and "5CH + Sub" for multichannel.

    Ryan
     

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