SACD Bass Management

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by David Berry, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    I just want to get this clear in my head. I own a Sony SCD-C555ES SACD player and a Denon 3802 with Paradigm Studio 60v2, Studio CC, and Mission 700 bookshelf speakers for the rear plus a Paradigm PW-2200 subwoofer. The SACD player is connected to the receiver via the 5.1 analog output only.
    Now, here on in, correct me if I am wrong.
    For normal redbook CDs, the output from the SACD player is a full signal for the left and right front speakers. The bass management is done in the Denon receiver. I have it set that all speakers are small, and that below 80 Hz the signal gets sent to the subwoofer. Thus, the signal gets separated in the Denon receiver.
    For SACD playback, my understanding is that if you set a speaker to small in the bass management in the player itself, the crossover is at 120 Hz. This leads to problems as once the bass management is done in the player and the appropriate signals and frequencies are sent down the 6 cables, then bass management is once again done in the Denon. I can envision part of the signal getting dropped because of the mismatching going on.
    I guess my question is what do you guys do with respect to the bass management in both your player and your receiver because as I see it, one must optimize both.

    Thanks,

    David
     
  2. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    My understanding is that the Denon AVRs (except 5803 and upgraded 5800) perform NO Bass Management on the EXT-IN connections. Signals input at EXT-IN are sent directly to the AVR's amplifiers and out to the speakers. Only flagship receivers and separate pre/pros have the ability to convert 5.1 analog inputs to digital, apply bass management, reconvert to analog and then send the output to amps and speakers.

    It is also my understanding that the vast majority of bass management schemes in players apply ONLY to DD/DTS and NOT to DVD-Audio or SACD. For high-rez, all channels are usually sent a full range signal. Some players are supplying a kind of default (crippled) BM on the high-rez 5.1 outputs. They pull EVERTHING under 100 or 120Hz and add it the .1 signal on the sub channel. They then send full range to the mains and and the stripped signals to the center and surrounds. Ugly, huh?

    Most people futzing with high-rez BM give up and get an ICBM from Outlaw. This gizmo provides limited, though flexible, BM (no delays) on the analog signals. It'll cost you around $250 plus another set of interconnects. Best thing to do in high-rez is download the manual for the player and see if you can figure out EXACTLY what's going on for high-rez BM. Watch out for reveiws in the trade mags - the reviewers rarely get the BM specifics right.

    Good luck.

    Austin
     
  3. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    With the direct analog inputs your receiver doesn't do bass management. What happens in the sacd or dvd-a player is what you get. That is why some people buy an outboard bass management device like the Outlaw ICBM. The flagship Pioneer Elite 49tx does bass management, but it goes through a analog to digital conversion. There has been a lot of debate in this and other forums about a degredation in the signal when it goes through the extra system, but if you can really hear the difference is questionable. I'm sure not taking sides.
    You might do a search on the Outlaw ICBM. I have been tempted to get one myself. It does give you the flexibility of setting crossovers and redirecting bass.
    If John Kotches and Lee Scoggins jump into this you will get so much information your head will explode.[​IMG]
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    David, are you sure the 3802 does bass management on the 5.1 input? I tend to think it does not. Most head units do not. I have my 555 hoooked up with both the 2-channel out and 5.1 out. I know I get all the bass via the 2-channel output. I recently added a pair of Paradigm Monitor 11's for front and made my Monitor 7's the surrounds. I set the 555's bass management to all large. I know I'm losing some bass at the centre speaker, CC350, but this is the best that the multi-channel stuff has sounded so far. I'm moving in a couple of months and when I do I'm planning on experimenting with a sub for the centre channel, making it a truly full-range channel too. You ought to dabble with the thought of getting two more 60's for sides if you really like 5.1 music.

    I think you should hook up the 555's two-channel output too. Then you can play back stereo with all the bass for sure. The 555's bass management is better than what's been on any of my DVD-A decks but it stille is very lacking. I have considered a bass manager, the Outlaw unit actually, but decided all full-range speakers would be better. Best wishes!
     
  5. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks all,

    Just to reiterate the above responses:

    Regardless of what speaker size I have set up and what frequency I have the crossover at in the Denon, it is completely bypassed because the way in which I have the player hooked up (EXT-IN). Thus all bass management is performed in the player, and the Denon simply amplifies what it is given.
    Great.

    Rachael B,

    You mentioned that you also have it hooked up with the 2-channel out. It is stated in the manual that the exact same signal is sent also to the L/R channels in the 5.1 configuration. What is gained by doing this? I am assuming that you have those two extra interconnects hooked up to your CD inputs in the back of your receiver or pre/pro.

    David
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    David, I've felt certain that I was getting more bass using the two-channel CD input on my pre. The bass below 80 hz is definitely going to the sub where nothing should be lost and it is best audibilized. I also disconnect the 5.1 cables and move them to my DVD-A and Muse decoder from time to time. I like the stereo hook-up to fall back on if nothig else. I feel like the bass has evened up somewhat since I got the Monitor 11's and changed my setting to all large. I stille think the stereo feed is better with my pre, Marantz AV9000, slightly. Best wishes!
     
  7. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    sorry for the repeat,

    I have bass management woes on my Marantz 8300.

    I don't have access to an ICBM unit, but have 2 unused receivers.

    Can I use 1 as an alternative outboard BM unit?

    Do I just run the subwoofer cable into the external amp (where I adjust the sub level somehow), and route back into subwoofer input on my main amp?

    please advise.

    thanks!
     
  8. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  9. Jose T

    Jose T Stunt Coordinator

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    David:

    I would try this on your 555-ES settings. Adjust the speakers to MC-Direct thus sending any the signeal to all speakers. You are in essence avoiding any BM. See hoe it sounds in yuor set up. I have the same player and its made a differebce with CD and SACD playback.
     
  10. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, thank you for the new responses. Since July 2002, I have sold the SCD-C555ES player and pretty much all of my home theater electronics and have focused on 2-channel stereo as I found that I was listening to the front 2 speakers most of the time. I now have a Marantz SA-14 SACD player (still did not give up SACD!).

    Regards,

    David
     
  11. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    switching my speakers to large has improved bass for some reason!
     
  12. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    Personally I am somewhat skeptical of the need for extensive bass management for music. Music by and large does not contain very high bass levels, unlike HT. IMO once you start screwing around with the signal you have lost many of the hi-res advantages anyway.

    Mark
     
  13. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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    Mark, I agree 100%. Good post!
    [​IMG]
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    There are more and more receivers that are including bass management on their 5.1 inputs, but most STILL don't say how the b.m. operates: is it done at 48kHz sampling rate (low-res), 96kHz or 192kHz (best-res digitally speaking) or is it analog-based (best option IMO)?
    This is another reason I would stay away from b.m. for music purposes.
    LJ
     
  15. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  16. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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  17. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Music and BM: I have a BFD hooked up to my sub. I have the crossover set to 60 Hz for the mains in my pre/pro. The BFD "lights up" any time contect below 60 Hz is sent to the sub. I see it easily: there is substantial enough content below at least 60 Hz that I wouldn't want to give it up. And accidentally a few times, I have forgot to turn on the mains power amp, and I get to listen to the sub 60 Hz content. It's there. Low E on a bass guitar hits 40 Hz or so. But there is also the bass drum, moog pedals, keyboards, organs, etc, that go lower. SVS' site for example list bass content in some music selections.
     
  18. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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