Which is the best way to listen?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by David Preston, May 17, 2003.

  1. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

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    I have a Marantz 4300 receiver and when I play music on it which is rare which is the best set up to put the receiver DPLII Ms.neo6 cinema,CSII cinema,csIImusic,CSII mono, ok there is a lot more to many to type. Just wondering what will sound best when listening to music. I use mostly for HT. I have large speakers I set to small for movies. Should I change them back to large for music. I was just wondering what you guys do. I have a full 5.1 set up.
     
  2. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    I'm pretty sure that most people here (myself included) would tell you that the best way to listen to music is the way that the mix intended. Unless it is specifically mixed for surround (like SACD and DVD Audio recordings), it is best to listen in 2 channel stereo. Although some people enjoy hearing music in other modes, I find that the use of a center channel is too prominant and hurts the imaging. Surrounds are often over-emphasized as well.

    Also, to get the best out of a 4300, I would highly recommend connecting your CD player with analog cables and use Source Direct mode on the receiver. This bypasses all processing and just uses your 4300 as an amp. In this mode, your speakers will automatically be set to large. To summarize, analog-to-digital conversion and too much processing can change and color the sound. For music, most people want to get the most accurate represntation of the recording.

    Chris
     
  3. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    "Which is the best way to listen?"
    The best way to listen is upside down that's fun. J/K [​IMG]

    Tend to listen in 2ch a bit than I do 7ch stereo or DPLII but it's in 5.1 then I listen in surround always.

    Daniel Smith
     
  4. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Try stereo. With the lights down low and a glass of wine. Set the volume, clear your mind and just listen.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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    Agreed....
     
  6. Arup

    Arup Stunt Coordinator

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    2 channel stereo mode with my CD player connected to the ouboard proccesor main input (6ch mode) on my Yamaha DSP-AZ1. This is the only way to go analog as the regular CD input alongwith all other inputs on the Yamaha are digitized.

    Otherwise for exclusive music auditon I use my other system which is a Accuphase DP-70 CDP attached directly to a Yamaha-MX-1000U amplifier and a pair of Yamaha NS-1000x. Closest thing to audio heaven for me.
     
  7. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Besides DVD audio CDs, the only time that I use multi-channel for music is when I occasionally put the Classical Music stations on DirecTV into Dolby PLII Music mode. When there is a whole orchestra playing, it can be nice to have it envelop you. Rock, Jazz, Folk, Prog, etc. is always 2 channel for me.

    Chris
     
  8. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    I vote for 2-channel when listening to music. Anything else is a gimmick, as far as I'm concerned. I don't have an SACD player so can't comment on recordings mixed for multi-channel.
     
  9. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    A vote for in stereo - whether 2 channel, 3 channel, 4 channel or 5 channel. Unless noted on your music source otherwise, that is the mode these babies were built for.

    If you don't have the same speakers for all those speakers, I would go so far as to suggest only sending the sound to matching (exactly) speakers.

    MY 2 cents, use your ears for the best results..
     
  10. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    Me too. 2n channel stereo is the way to go. I would say even more: I try to listen to the music as close as possible to the original, so I always use SourceDirect mode on my Marantz 6200 (even for HT). Actually I only use SourceDirect and occasionally Circle Surround when I watch movies on my TV (not DVDs).
    BTW one thing I've always wondered about is digital vs. analog connections. My DVd playuer (which i also use as a CD) is a Marantz 4100 OSE, which is supposed to be damn good for music (and it is nice actually). I have it hooked to the receiver via a coaxial, but now you say analog connection is better. Why is it so? Would you say I must forget about the coax and use an RCA connector instead?
     
  11. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I, for one, do not hear the distinct betterness of analogue connections. Most current digital connections are very true and offer excellent quality.

    In earlier digital days the alogrythyms varied on the codecs and analogue offered the most consistent quality. That is mostly untrue today (to my ears folks). Analogue does offer a very smooth transition (most call it 'warm') that lowers the confusion in complex frequency reproductions - that is a main reason it is preferred by many folks. I tend to revel in the clarity of that confusion in my digital connectivity[​IMG]
     
  12. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    You can't really compare analog and digital on their own merrits. If you connect a CD player with analog cables, you are using the CD player's DACs. If you connect via digital, you are using the Receiver or Processor's DACs. You also have to consider how many conversions are actually happening (since they can degrade sound). So, depending on what gear you have, your results may varry greatly depending on which connection method you choose.

    Chris
     
  13. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris did a better job on the details. The less is better from a conversion standpoint is well taken. Remember - the final stage in this process is analogue (your speakers) - so any digital prior to that has to be converted at least once to get to something you can hear.

    In a small defense of my statements - there is distinguishable differences to most ears from the fewer converted digital signals and the fewer converted analogue signals. My interesting take is that, regardless of the differences, both (when done well) are very pleasing to my ear...
     
  14. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Agreed. In my opinion, the only real no-no is one that I'm afraid many people do without realizing the implications. That is to connect an analog CD player to a digital receiver in "Stereo" mode. In this scenario, The CD player converts digital to analog and passes the signal to the receiver, which converts the analog to digital for its processing, then converts yet again to analog to go to the speakers. With some Marantz receivers, like the one that David originally asked about, connecting in this manner (not using Source Direct), will bring up a "Peak" indicator from time to time. The manual tells you to use the "ATT" or attenuator function to correct the "Peak" issue. Guess what? That degrades the sound even further! I wish they'd spend a paragraph to talk about the various connection scenarios and recommend the SD mode for non-digital sources.

    Chris
     
  15. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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