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Questions from an SACD newbie

Discussion in 'Music' started by Scott Stephens, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi;

    Just got DSOTM for my new SACD player and I'm digging it. But, as a newbie, I have a few questions:

    1. What speaker setting should I have on my SACD player?

    I've got Paradigm Monitor 7's in the front, CC-350 center, and Mini monitors for the surrounds. I'm not sure if I should have the speaker settings (on the SACD player, not the receiver) on "small" or "large."

    2. What's the best place online to buy SACDs?

    3. What are some "must-have" SACD titles, and where would I find a listing of all SACDs available?

    4. Has anyone heard Keb' Mo's "Just Like You" on SACD? I've read that people have said that "The Door" sounds great, but "Just Like You" is a superior album, in my opinion...but I'm leery of buying it without hearing some thoughts on the mix.


    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks....
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Scott, I am going to let others chime in on this thread in regards to bass management because my processor (Anthem AVM-20) handles that for me. I think before I had the Anthem do the DSP, I set my Sony SCD-555ES to do internal bass management with 5 small speakers + Sub, because at the time I was running 4 bookshelf speakers with a center channel. If you have tower speakers that run full range, you may want to set all speakers to large. Again, I am not the best at the technicalities of bass management here, I'll let others take the lion's share of that conversation.

    In regards to your other questions...

    Best places on-line to buy SACD's in my opinion for selection include either www.amusicdirect.com or www.elusivedisc.com. I also know that www.circuitcity.com, www.bestbuy.com and www.towerrecords.com also carry SACD's and often have great prices, if a limited selection.

    I have about 25 SACD's and the best ones in my opinion are obviously the new Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Couldn't Stand the Weather", Alison Krauss and Union Station's "New Favorite", Dave Brubeck Quartet "Time Out", Miles Davis "Kind of Blue", Diana Krall's "When I Look In Your Eyes", and any of the Stones discs. I think of all my SACD's, the Krall discs (also check out "The Look of Love") are the best reference quality recordings.

    Usually the Chesky and Telarc discs are recorded impecably as well.

    I have Keb Mo's "The Door" and it is a great sounding disc, but the material is not my favorite and doesn't find it's way into my player as much as some of the others.

    Finding a listing of all available is tough. Here is a pretty comprehensive, but very unofficial and incomplete listing....Go Here
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Evan:

    I checked the spec page for the AVM 20 and it doesn't list how the bass management is accomplished (digitally or analog). The page isn't very clear on which signals (& from what inputs) are being converted to whatever digital form.

    I'm not trying to scare you but your sacd player's hi-res signal MAY be getting downgraded by this processor.

    As I recently wrote in another forum here, this is another reason I have decided to eventually convert all my HT/5.1 music system's speakers to full-range models, something with at least an 8" woofer or its equivalent. This way I won't have worries about what is REALLY happening with my dvd-audio player's signals (I just got my Pioneer DV-656A yesterday).

    Here's a poll & message thread on Steve Hoffman's forum on how different people are dealing with bass management: "How are YOU doing Bass Management for high-res audio?"

    LJ
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I used to have the exact same speaker configuration. I'm assuming your head unit has no bass management for the 5.1 input like the majority of 5.1 inputs out there. Reasonably, the 7's are your only speakers that qualify as LARGE.

    I suggest you hook-up both of your player's (you should of specified the model) analog ouputs, the 2-channel and 5.1 set if you have available inputs. Compare the bass of stereo SACD to 5.1's bass. Proably, no matter how you adjust the player's bass management, you will hear more bass in stereo. That will give you a goal about how to get that much bass in 5.1 .

    Your proable options, get another pair of 7's (or 9's or 11's) and set your player for all LARGE or get an Outlaw bass manager and try what you may or just accept less bass for 5.1 playback till possible future equipment makes B/M really practical and easy. I put my 7's on the sides and got 11's and set my player to ALL LARGE (read: no bass management). I stille think stereo SACD has more bass, which leads me to believe that mixers are making little or no effort to keep bass out of the centre channel. Maybe 1% of folks have a centre channel that really is LARGE. You and I don't that's for sure. I think M/C SACD's should be mixed with no deep bass in the centre channel but.... Bass management is a challenge for M/C SACD and DVD-A for that matter till we get proper digital connections in a widespread way.

    Run some searches of this forum and try to retrieve the many reviews of SACD's that have occured. There are quite a few. I've written a bunch myself. Best wishes!
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Oh, Scott, THE DOOR is stereo only and sounds really good. JUST LIKE YOU has a M/C track and it's quite good. Buy it![​IMG]
     
  6. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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  7. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    I appreciate everyone's input--thanks.

    Rachael (or anyone else),

    Sorry I neglected to say what my SACD player/receiver configuration was. I have a Denon 3802 and a Sony SCD CE-775. Since DSOTM is my only SACD to date, I don't have any 2 channel discs. Will 2 ch SACD's play via the 5.1 analog hookup, or do I also need to run cables from the 2 ch analog out to listen to the 2 ch SACDs? (I have my player normally hooked up to my receiver via the optical out).
    _____________

    "I suggest you hook-up both of your player's (you should of specified the model) analog ouputs, the 2-channel and 5.1 set if you have available inputs. Compare the bass of stereo SACD to 5.1's bass."

    I'm not sure where I would hook up the 2 ch cables (independent of the 5.1 inputs) on my receiver if this is needed: for the Ext. in jacks on the back of my Denon, I've got Front R/L, C, Surr R, Surr L, and then 2 inputs for the 2 back surrounds (which aren't being used).

    Thanks.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Scott, I suggest you use your reciever's analog CD inputs for stereo SACD and the 5.1 input for the M/C outputs. You do have a stereo SACD. In the DSOTM hybrid you have the stereo SACD, M/C SACD, and the CD. You can use the 5.1 input for stereo SACD by using the remote to switch to stereo but your 5.1 input has no bass management and that should sound bass shy. The majority of SACD's are stereo only. That's proably gonna change gradually because more and more new releases include 5.1 tracks due to popular demand. However, many albums won't be M/C like the Stones remasters. You should try one of them. My fav would be LET IT BLEED. Another amazingly good sounding stereo SACD is The Zombies' Greatest Hits. Every SACD you might buy isn't going to be M/C proably...? Best wishes! [​IMG]
     

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