System Requirements for DVD-A / SACD

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Henry Lambert, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Henry Lambert

    Dec 31, 2003
    Likes Received:
    What would you consider the minimum stereo system required to see the improvement that high rez audio is supposed to be.
    I recently purchased a new DVD player, Pio DV563, to replace a really crappy samsung. At this price point high rez was worth a try.
    I bought a dics in each format to try.
    1. Barenaked Ladies (Maroon) DVD-A
    Sounds worse than the cd. weak bass and harser highs.

    2. Pink Floyd (DSOTM) Hybrid SACD
    The SACD and CD layers sound the same to me.

    Oh! I am aware of the BM issues with this player. I read about them on this forum. I have the sub set to +6 and all other speakers set to -4db in the players setup.
    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Jan 18, 2000
    Likes Received:

    What does your system consist of in the way of speakers/equipment. This could be one of the sources of your disappointing results. Though some here erroneously (IMHO) argue that you can hear the improvement provided by Hi-res on a boombox or HTIB, I disagree entirely in most cases.

    In my experience you need decent speakers capable of reproducing most of the audio spectrum, and a sub of some sort (does not have to be great as most music doesn't contain any super super low frequencies).

    The improvement that is easily recognizable is multichannel presentation. While a stereo track may sound like the same old same old, a multichannel track can add a new dimension to the listening experience.

  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

    Jul 8, 1998
    Likes Received:
    A couple general and specific points...

    1. The crossover for DVD-A in the 563 is 200 Hz which is very, very high. As Justin inquired, we would need to know what your speaker arrangement is to offer an opinion on whether or not that could be an issue. If you are configured for 2 CH only w/sub, then the question is whether or not the 563 does BM with 2 CH material.

    If not, a workaround would be to set the player to 2 CH (not 5.1) and send the stereo pair from the 563 to your receiver. In that configuration, BM would be handled by your receiver or pre/pro.

    2. Justin is spot on WRT the fact that the wow factor for either format is in the multi-channel presentation. Then again, if you are a dyed in the wool 2 CH guy, that may not work for you. For me, it was the sole reason I bought in to hi-rez, and for me, it delivers fabulously.

    3. I personally am not hearing a big jump in sound quality comparing the 2 CH vs. CD layer on my SACDs. One disc in particular is Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic. While the MC layer has me dancing around the room and grinning like the village idiot, the 2 CH layer just plain sounds bad, redbook and SACD. To my ears, the 2 CH SACD tracks sound like a direct port of the remastered redbook CD.

    IMHO, it all boils down to the mastering. CD can sound damn good if properly mastered. Taking a well mastered 2 CH album and doing it in SACD may offer some subtle improvement in certain things (cymbals will sound smoother, for example) but when someone says that 2 CH SACD or DVD-A "blows away" well mastered redbook, I say they are exagerating.

    Now for MC, that were its at.

  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

    Aug 30, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Real Name:

    Brian, there must be something going on here. You should be hearing a big difference. If you list your equipment I might be able to troubleshoot it for you. There may also be a weak Super Audio presentation on the Toys in the Attic but I'm not sure. I have heard good things about it.

    Here are a few things to listen for:

    If your speakers are imaging properly (you can go to for an ideal placement formula), then you should hear significantly more of the soundstage.

    If your electronics have decent resolution, you should hear more midrange accuracy, like a saxophone will sound more realistic. Sometimes a really good orchestra recording is handy. For instance, the orchestra will sound like a collection of individual instruments not just a "massed" uniform sound.

    Vocals should be more clear as well.

    Let me know if I can help.
  5. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

    Jun 23, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I have the Pioneer 563 as well. I love it. Are you running it through your ext decoder on your reciever?

    Also what do you guys mean by BM issues with the player?
  6. Henry Lambert

    Dec 31, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Justin, Brian, Lee, and Matt thanks for your replies.
    My system:
    Boston Acoustics speakers:
    Mains VR970 Built in subs FR 25-20KHz +/- 2db
    Center VR910
    Rears BA Bravo
    Marantz SR6200 Receiver
    Fisher cd player
    Pioneer DV 563A

    I perfer stereo sound to miltichannel. I have tried all the suround options on this receiver and always return to stereo in short order.
    What I was hoping for with High Rez was an improvement in the overall sound quality.
    Now that you can see what system I am running. Do you think that with this MidFi system I should be able to hear an improvement in sound when comparing High Rez to reb book CD.
    The bass management issue is that the crossover points on this player are to high for most systems. I think that the 563 was tailored to the HTIB systems, micro speakers.
    Also, with an older receiver like I have the subwoofer output from the 563 is about 10dbs lower than the other channel. Some of the newer receivers seem to correct this.
    Thanks again.
    Here in Canada SACD's cost at least double what I pay for a CD so I would hope that I could see so improvement for this.
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Oct 26, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Henry said:

    Oh man, don't use a receiver's DSP modes to make judgements on the advantages of surround music! TRUE multichannel music sounds nothing like those "hall", "club", etc. modes that usually use loads of fake reverb where you end up sounding like you're in a public restroom.

    Even after sampling real multichannel music you may still prefer stereo but at least try out 3-4 different surround titles before making a final decision concerning true multichannel music.

  8. Henry Lambert

    Dec 31, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Hi Lance
    Thanks for the reply.

    I was really asking about the sound quality of the music.Are the new formats an improvement in sound quality and what type of equipment would it take to hear this improvement. If my system is not up to the task why spend the extra $$$s for SACD.
    Roger Waters (in the flesh) DVD video 5.1 DD track sounds pretty good for $16.99
    Roger Waters (in the flesh) SACD $31.99 at the same store.
    Is the SACD $15.00 better than the DVD.

    I only have the two dics's mentioned above in my original post.
    The DSOTM in my opinion has the same sound quality as the cd version. CD = SACD
    The BNL DVD-A IMO actually sounds worse than the CD version.

    So what type of equipment would it take to hear the benefits of High-Rez audio.
    I will try a couple more disc's before I write High-Rez off.

Share This Page