Sony DVP-NS500V : Bass management?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Gilvey, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Hi Forumers,
    Looking not to invest a whole lot in SACD at this point and needing a replacement DVD that plays CD-Rs, I was considering this player as a good combo. However, someone who's got one says in this thread that there's no bass management for SACD whatsoever, just for DD...what's the deal?
    While I have your rapt attention, any reason to go with the SCD-CE775 changer purely for reasons of SACD quality?
    Thanks, you're "all that".
     
  2. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    I responded over on the "other" forum, but here it is again for the benefit of HTFers:
    The bass management *definitely* has an effect on the SACD, just not necessarily the effect you might expect or want.
    Setting speakers to small clearly strips the bass out of them -- no problem there.
    However, the LFE (.1) channel is set at least 10db too low. Dolby Digital and DTS DVD soundtracks boost the LFE level by 10db, sort of as a loudness compensator, I guess. However, MC SACDs don't appear to do this. If you've calibrated your 5.1 system to take the 10db boost into account, then you'll hear very weak bass from the LFE channel on SACD. You can "fix" this by boosting the "sub" channel 10db in the player's setup menu. You'll still need to fiddle with the sub gain to get things exactly right, but you'll be a lot closer.
    Further, redirecting the sub channel to the mains doesn't work, since it's redirected 10db too low, and there's no way to boost it once it's mixed in. So you've got to use a line-level sub.
    Finally, there's no "2CH + sub" mode on the 500 for using stereo SACDs with a line-level-connected sub, as there is with the CE775 and other audio-only Sony players. So you've got to hook up the sub speaker-level.
    If you've been paying attention, you now realize the big problem. [​IMG]
    So, the bass management is there, but it may as well not be.
    For a cheap stereo SACD/DVD/CD-R machine, it's a great deal, especially at the new reduced prices. But if you don't have full-range speakers all around, don't expect to get multichannel to work without heartache and rewiring (or the purchase of an ICBM).
    Ryan
     
  3. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    No problem. I've got one of each, but I haven't tried the bass management in the 775 at all, since it's in my stereo-only system. I don't know if the 775's bass management behaves any better than the 500's, but I do know for sure that it has the "2CH+sub" mode for stereo SACDs. (Note that the bass management doesn't affect CDs at all, but you should be able to use your receiver's bass management for those.)

    I do like the 775 better for playing music, since its controls and displays are geared exclusively toward that, rather than the 500's compromise between audio and video functions. For $250, it's a steal.

    Ryan
     
  4. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Well, I wound up grabbing a 500V anyway to experiment with since I needed a new DVD/CD-R and, for the $200 I paid, SACD was basically free. Figured I could grab a dedicated SACD if need be.

    I've not played around much with it yet, but the most obvious problem is the lack of a subwoofer signal for stereo SACD's from the multichannel outs, as you mentioned.

    What I'm doing for stereo SACD, in that case, is using the stereo outs from the player. The receiver then applies its own bass-management to it. I've A/B'd this to the multi inputs and, aside from no sub with the multi, I can't really discern a difference.

    So far pretty nice, better than cd even over my modest multi-channel system.
     
  5. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    Cool, glad you're liking it!

    SACD gurus will tell you that using the receiver's bass management for SACD is a no-no since the receiver does an analog-to-digital conversion, does the bass management, then converts back to analog. This is bad because the receiver's A/D and D/A converters are of lesser quality than the SACD source (not to mention PCM instead of DSD) and thus degrade the signal.

    But if you can't tell a difference and are happy with the result, that's all that matters. Enjoy!

    Ryan
     
  6. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  7. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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  8. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I think that it won't be too much of an issue for me anyway, as I think I'll probably tend toward multichannel titles rather than replace stereo stuff that I've got in other formats.
    Question: Is the stereo track on a multichannel SACD a discrete stereo one, or some sort of "folddown" from 5.1?
    One thing I just found out this morning (almost embarassed to admit it) is that DVD-A titles also include a DD or DTS 5.1 track of the mix, so I can grab some of those also. Not the highest resolution to be sure, but I do like much of what's released on DVD-A. And I'll have a decent collection when that perfect universal player happens along. [​IMG]
    Thanks for your help again.
     
  9. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    Stereo tracks on SACD are always dedicated tracks, not folddowns. It's my understanding that all SACDs, including multichannel titles, include a dedicated stereo mix as part of the format spec.

    On DVD-A it's never quite clear from the packaging whether you get true stereo or a folddown. In fairness, the DVD-A folddown process is much more advanced than Dolby Digital's, in that the mixer can embed cues into the multichannel mix to assign the stereo channels, but the results are still widely considered inferior to a "real" stereo mix.

    I own exactly one DVD-A title (the Firesign Theater's Boom Dot Bust), so I'm hardly an authority, but I've read the DTS tracks (and to a lesser extent the DD tracks) on DVD-As often sound very good.

    Ryan
     
  10. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Does anyone know if the sony 650v has the same SACD decoder and same bass management problems as the 500, or does it use bass management similar to the audio only players?
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ryan,
    You are right in that all multi-channel SACDs included dedicated stereo tracks as part of the format protocol.
    Jack,
    Congrats. on your purchase. If you are looking for suggestions for quality SACDs, post a question on the music board. Many here can make suggestions, and I just might myself. [​IMG]
     

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