Newbie question....

Discussion in 'Music' started by Adam.Heckman, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Second Unit

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    I've been kicking around this forum for a bit now and have learned a lot(thanks). I do want to get into SACD/DVD-A, but there isn't many newer titles out, so I'm on the fence.

    Okay, here's my question:
    I've heard people say things about people not having setups good enough to exploit the full potential of SACD. What is a rough 'system requirements' for being able to hear the difference between redbook and SACD?

    BTW, I'm using a Denon 483 reciever with Athena Audition mains. I'm in the process of upgrading the rest from a HTiB.

    Thanks in advance!!
    Adam
     
  2. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The most important thing for great high-res sound is to have your speakers matched as much as possible. Preferrably they should all be exactly the same, though chances are you're using the same system for movies, in which case your rears are lesser than your fronts. This is still fine if they're matched (same line of speakers, for example).

    The other really important thing about speakers is placement. It's real easy to find a diagram showing where they all should go, like on Sony's SACD web site. One common mistake is putting the rears too much directly behind the listener- they should be a bit on the side.

    The source is very important- there is a huge range of quality of sounds that various SACD players can provide. The cheapest models just ain't gonna cut it, IMO.
     
  3. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Second Unit

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    Thanks.
    Now, you talk of speaker matching (working on that) and surround sound. Let me ask another newbie question:

    What is the Major benefit of SACD? Is it surround or is it improved quality? (I am familiar with the higher sample rate as compared to the 44.1k redbook) Right now my mains are far better than my surrounds/center so I play my music through just mains and sub. In this kind of setup do you actually LOSE info when using SACD?? Or will I still benefit from higher quality sound?
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Both.

    All SACDs have a high-res SACD-only compatible stereo track. Only a pair of speakers is necessary to enjoy the improved sound.

    Some SACDs also have surround tracks in addition to the stereo, but there will always be a stereo track.

    If your disc is mult-channel, you set your player to specify which track, surround or stereo, you listen to. With a pair of speakers and the right setting, no info is "lost."
     
  5. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    Unles your amp has the External Audio outs you will not be able to listen to SACDs or DVDAs.
     
  6. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Second Unit

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    Larry,
    My Denon does indeed have external ins for all of the six speakers.

    Thank you all for your information. This is a great forum.
     
  7. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    IMO it would take a serious hi-end stereo to get the same kind of imaging & soundstage you can achieve with a mid-range surround system [​IMG]
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    Just don't ruin your good impression of the rest of us by following up with a question about PAL speed-up.

    To answer your question, I think you can hear the clear benefits of SACD on even a moderate surround system. One of the beauties of 5.1 is that with five spatially-distinct speakers to share the spatial information and a sub to deal with the bass, the clarity is bound to be better. What is harder to answer is whether some remixes are necessarily better in surround than their original stereo. However, the latter point is a matter of personal taste.
     
  9. DaveDickey

    DaveDickey Stunt Coordinator

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    Adam,

    Like you, I use the Athena Audition AS-F2's for my front channels. I have the matched center channel and surrounds as well. The Athena's are teriffic speakers for the price. I have about 60 hi resolution discs (DVDA and SACD). Take my word for it, Adam, you can hear a huge difference between redbook CD's and SACD / DVDA. Everything is more pronounced and crystal clear. Take your time getting into this new format, but I guarantee you that once you start listening to SACD and DVDA, you will be blown away. Some remastered CD's still sound good to me, but many of my old favorites are very hard to listen to anymore. Hi-Rez music will spoil ya'.

    Doing the research to build your system is half the fun...so enjoy yourself.

    Dave
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Adam, terrific stereo is a constant on SA-CD. Don't get caught up in multi-channel anxiety. You'll proably dislike half or more of the M/C tracks you may ultimately hear??? Many of the best SA-CD's are stereo only anyway... like the Mobile Fidelity releases for a prime example. M/C mixing will gradually improve in the future as new stuff is recorded in the fashion necessary for proper or atleast better 5.1 sound. I'd like SA-CD damn near as much if it was stereo only. Great stereo is as easy as a decent pair of speakers and a decent player. Welcum tu hieght-reservation musica, olay![​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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