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should I upgrade to digital audio now? (1 Viewer)

drexel

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Apr 5, 2003
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I have a Kenwood VR-6050 5.1 receiver with 2 floor speakers and a subwoofer hooked up to it. It sounds pretty good now, but my dvd player is connected with my analog audio/video cables. Would it make a difference in sound if I upgraded to an optical/digital coaxial cable even though I only have 2.1 channels hooked up? Would my receiver still be trying to put out all 5 channels of audio in digital audio mode, even if I disabled all speakers but my 2 front and subwoofer?
 

Michael Reuben

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Michael Reuben
Would my receiver still be trying to put out all 5 channels of audio in digital audio mode, even if I disabled all speakers but my 2 front and subwoofer?
It depends on the receiver. But IMO there's no point in switching to a digital connection unless you're planning to add the full array of speakers.

M.
 

drexel

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On the boxes for digital audio cables, it says "increased clarity and audio detail"... does this hold true for the 2 channel versions? Will there be digital special effects for my subwoofer channel? I plan on expanding to 5.1 and maybe adding the powered speaker for 6.1 in the future, but for now, will the digital cable add any sound quality to my system whatsoever?
 

Michael Reuben

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The digital cable will add nothing. Any good 75-ohm cable will carry the digital signal adequately, regardless of what the marketing hype says. The question is whether your receiver will do a better job processing the digital signal than your player (which is currently doing the processing). In your present setup, I doubt you'll hear much improvement (if any), but you can always try it.

Will there be digital special effects for my subwoofer channel?
Possibly. When DVD players downmix 5.1 tracks to stereo (which is what you're doing now), they typically ignore the LFE track (the ".1"). OTOH, there's a good possibility that your receiver won't do as good a job downmixing the center and surrounds as your player (or won't downmix them at all). So the overall effect may not be worth it.

M.
 

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