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#43263 - 10/13/02 02:19 PM Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bbarden Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 27
With all this talk of bass management, hiss, inverted sub phase, etc. I wanted to post my very recent positive experience with a new player I am enjoying with my 950. I purchased the Pioneer DV-45a DVD-V/DVD-A/SACD player. About 2 hours ago I had my first taste of DVD-A, namely Chip Davis' Fresh Aire 8 and Blue Man Group Audio. I've yet to hear SACD, but I understand it can sound even better than DVD-A, if that's so I'll really be impressed because the two DVD-A discs I have simply have blown me away. The resolution, dynamics, range...WOW! If you're looking for a 'universal' player to go with your 950, check out the Pioneer 45a and 47a (or 47ai).

Stop fussing and enjoy.

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#43264 - 10/13/02 06:20 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Dude- I'm using the 45a with my 950.

The analog 80 Hz crossover on the 5.1 inputs is about 180 deg out of phase with the digital crossover used for digital inputs and 2 channels inputs that are A-to-D'ed, processed, and then D-to-A'ed. Will confirmed this on his system too.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43265 - 10/13/02 07:54 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
MCH Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 128
Mr. Brown
Do you think then the 45A is not a good buy at this point because of the weak bass managemnet? Or is the bass management acceptable for most systems?
Maybe I should wait for the next generation. Or possibly the new Yamaha 2300 will get it right.

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#43266 - 10/13/02 08:23 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bbarden Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 27
So far, I've not used the 950 analog 'bass management', I'm using the 45a 'bass management', I believe the crossover for 'small' speakers is 100Hz (I think, not sure where I read it).

Is sub phase still inverted when not using 950 80Hz switch?

Short of a DVD-A or SACD multi-channel AVIA, how can I go about testing phase? other than listening...which so far I cannot tell a difference 90 or 180 out. I've got a Vandy V2W.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin C Brown:
Dude- I'm using the 45a with my 950.

The analog 80 Hz crossover on the 5.1 inputs is about 180 deg out of phase with the digital crossover used for digital inputs and 2 channels inputs that are A-to-D'ed, processed, and then D-to-A'ed. Will confirmed this on his system too.

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#43267 - 10/14/02 12:03 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
santaclarajim Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Santa Clara, California
Quote:
Originally posted by bbarden:
So far, I've not used the 950 analog 'bass management', I'm using the 45a 'bass management', I believe the crossover for 'small' speakers is 100Hz (I think, not sure where I read it).

Is sub phase still inverted when not using 950 80Hz switch?

Short of a DVD-A or SACD multi-channel AVIA, how can I go about testing phase? other than listening...which so far I cannot tell a difference 90 or 180 out. I've got a Vandy V2W.



All,

heard and saw the Dv-45a at Kevin Brown's house.

Quite impressive!

I bought one today myself on ebay.

Regards,
Santa Clara Jim

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#43268 - 10/14/02 01:07 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Jed M Offline
Desperado

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 526
Loc: Home on the range
Wow! "Mr. Brown"

Moving up in the world Kevin. I guess you are now the second most famous Kevin Brown in California.

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#43269 - 10/14/02 02:32 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Except that I dabble in some recreational ice hockey every now and then, and haven't picked up a baseball in years...

The "out of phase" problem is with the 950, not the 45a. (Sorry!) Everything comes out of the 45a in phase. (Assuming you choose the distances correctly, which don't work anyway for SACD. But my tests included that.)

Even if using the BM in the 45a, it still might be out of phase. The problem is that *all* crossovers, whether digital or analog induce a phase shift. In the 950's case, the shift is *different* between the 2, such that they are about 180 deg different.

All you need to check for phase is a discrete tone test disc. (I very quickly showed SCJim how to do it last night! When we do the Anthem vs 950 face off, we'll repeat it at his place.)

Check out...

http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubb/Forum15/HTML/000558.html

The "best" solution for now is... Set the phase correct for the digital coax/optical inputs. Then when you switch to the 5.1 analog inputs, just either flip the phase switch on your sub, or twiddle the phase knob about a 1/2 turn. In both cases, all my speakers are small.

I agree, the 950 and 45a is a very nice combo. But with the phase correct, we can all be sure we are getting the best sound possible...
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43270 - 10/14/02 11:19 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
surroundophile Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Chicago, Il. USA
bbarden:
If you are using the 5.1 analog outs of the dv45 into the 950's 6 channel analog in, you ARE getting some bass management in the 950. The bass from the "5" channels is ALWAYS redirected to the sub ".1" channel, no matter what position the switch on the back is in. This is the double bass thread discussed much here.

As far as the out of phase problem, I DO NOT have it, and don't understand how you guys have it.
I have a Pioneer DV-47Ai. Connected via optical, and 5.1 analog. Digital Bass Management is set to small and 80Hz. Analog Bass Management is on (rear switch). I have a DVD-Audio disc that checks the bass phase, depending on crossover point. This track is in BOTH DVD-Audio AND in Dolby Digital on the disc.
In 5.1 analog (DVD-A), speakers & sub are IN PHASE. Switching to Coax-DVD and accessing the Dolby Digital track (same as DVD-A track), speakers & sub again are IN PHASE.

Am I misunderstanding something here?

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#43271 - 10/14/02 11:20 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
surroundophile Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Chicago, Il. USA
bbarden:
If you are using the 5.1 analog outs of the dv45 into the 950's 6 channel analog in, you ARE getting some bass management in the 950. The bass from the "5" channels is ALWAYS redirected to the sub ".1" channel, no matter what position the switch on the back is in. This is the double bass thread discussed much here.

As far as the out of phase problem, I DO NOT have it, and don't understand how you guys have it.
I have a Pioneer DV-47Ai. Connected via optical, and 5.1 analog. Digital Bass Management is set to small and 80Hz. Analog Bass Management is on (rear switch). I have a DVD-Audio disc that checks the bass phase, depending on crossover point. This track is in BOTH DVD-Audio AND in Dolby Digital on the disc.
In 5.1 analog (DVD-A), speakers & sub are IN PHASE. Switching to Coax-DVD and accessing the Dolby Digital track (same as DVD-A track), speakers & sub again are IN PHASE.

Am I misunderstanding something here?

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#43272 - 10/14/02 04:03 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Quote:
The bass from the "5" channels is ALWAYS redirected to the sub ".1" channel, no matter what position the switch on the back is in. This is the double bass thread discussed much here.


If the switch in the back is set to ON, there is no double bass. All bass (LFE and speakers below the crossover) is sent to the sub, but all the speakers are high passed too.

The double bass only occurs if you have the switch in the off position, then all the bass is sent to the mains *and* the sub.

SOP, go take a look at the link I provided. Explains (maybe not very well! ) the issue with the 950's digital and analog crossovers...
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43273 - 10/15/02 11:03 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bbarden Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 27
So how have you that have the 45a/47a/47ai settled on setting it up with the 950? Are you using the 80Hz crossover in the 950 or are you using the Pioneer's manaagement?

For now I'm using the 950, and have set all speakers to Large in the Pioneer.

I did test phase of my sub, mine is also out, for now I'm just 'flipping' the phase switch depending on use. I do the more accurate eval as time / wife permits.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin C Brown:
If the switch in the back is set to ON, there is no double bass. All bass (LFE and speakers below the crossover) is sent to the sub, but all the speakers are high passed too.

The double bass only occurs if you have the switch in the off position, then all the bass is sent to the mains *and* the sub.

SOP, go take a look at the link I provided. Explains (maybe not very well! ) the issue with the 950's digital and analog crossovers...

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#43274 - 10/15/02 02:12 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
surroundophile Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Chicago, Il. USA
bbarden:
I have the 47ai set up with the bass management off, in other words, all speakers set to large. That's the only way To do it, since the 950's bass summation is always on.

KevinCBrown:
I went back and re-read your post, and got just the opposite results! I am usinging a Chesky DVD-Audio Test Disc, that has both DVD-Audio & Dolby Digital tracks. They have tests that give tones at your selected crossover frequency (I used the 80hz one) that say " in phase...out of phase". The
DVD-A track (6 channel analog in) has the first track (in phase) louder than the second one (out of phase).
I then switch to the DVD optical input, switch the DVD player from DVD-A to DVD-Video (done in an internal menu option, The 950 says Dolby D 3/2.1. I play the SAME test band for 80 hz., and again the first tone (in phase) is louder.
I don't understand why yours is out of phase.
Maybe the DD decoder (which you aren't using in your test) adds a stage of inversion?
However I'm glad I don't, because my sub has no phase reverse switch!

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#43275 - 10/15/02 07:02 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bossobass Offline
Desperado

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 430
Loc: charlotte, nc usa
a crazy thought just occured to me. i am beginning to think that the 950 employs NO low pass filter to the .1 channel in 6 ch bypass mode.

are you guys using your sub's crossover in these phase tests?

i am also beginning to think that the 950 has NO digital crossovers, but rather, the selectable crossover points are selected digitally, but still only engage the analog crossovers, after d/a conversion.

so, when in a dsp mode with speakers set to small, when you select the high pass point, you automatically select the low pass point of the lfe channel, which is the same point. but, when in 6 channel bypass mode, the high pass/low pass point (switch 'on') is preset at 80hz...but... only for the 5 channels. the .1 channel has no low pass filter applied. if you aren't using the sub's filter, in dsp mode, you have a phase corrected L/R4 low pass on the lfe, and in 6 channel bypass, you have no filter at all.

if you are using your sub's low pass filter, in a dsp mode, you have cascading filters and, in 6 channel bypass mode, you have only the sub's filter.
i guess trying the test with the sub's crossover in and with it bypassed might shed some light.

this is just a thought, nothing more. it occured to me as i tried to find info in the manual about the digital crossovers (of which there is none).

[This message has been edited by bossobass (edited October 15, 2002).]
_________________________
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#43276 - 10/15/02 08:44 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
SOP- I don't know why you are getting the results you are. Both Will and now bbarden have gotten what I did. One of these days, I'm gonna order that Chesky DVD-A test disc, and then I'll let you know why/how if that one is any different. Remember, my tests have always been with either linear PCM from the DVD player, or 2 channel analog from the DVD player, but then A-to-D'ed, processed, then D-to-A'ed all in the 950, or the L + R front 2 channels of the 5.1 analog inputs. Maybe DD/DTS is also out of phase with the stereo (digital & analog) inputs, but in phase with the 5.1 analog inputs. Hard to believe, but could be true... One more thing, you have to have the distance to the mains in the DVD player set to be close to or exactly the same as the distance to the sub. Otherwise, you could be thinking that the LFE/mains are in phase, whereas the crossed-over low freqs from the mains to the sub (in the 950) are still out of phase. (If that makes sense.)

BoB- "i am also beginning to think that the 950 has NO digital crossovers, but rather, the selectable crossover points are selected digitally, but still only engage the analog crossovers, after d/a conversion."

That can't be true. The 950 *only* has an 80 Hz analog crossover, but it has 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 Hz digital crossovers (I might be missing 1 or 2 there). Also think about the Rotel. No analog crossovers, but still the same (or close to the same) choices for the digital ones. That's because Outlaw added the analog 80 Hz a la the ICBM to the 950, but both pre/pros have the same Cirrus DSP engine, hence the same digital crossovers.

I also have all speakers set to large in the 45a, and am using the analog crossover in the 950.


[This message has been edited by Kevin C Brown (edited October 15, 2002).]
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43277 - 10/16/02 12:26 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
SOP- The more I think about it, the more I bet that the phase test on the DVD-A test disc is simply between the LFE signal sent directly to the sub, and the mains. So the analog crossover in the 950 isn't even used (or used very little; i.e. the signal to the sub is dominated by the LFE and not by whatever could be crossed over from the mains). Any info on the disc in terms of how that test is structured?

Last week, I even "asked Chesky," if I wanted to get a disc in *addition* to the DVD-A test disc, which would they recommend between "The Super Audio Collection & Professional Test Disc" (not an SACD, but a DAD, a DVD-V disc with up to 24/96) or "An Intro to SACD," but I haven't heard anything yet.


[This message has been edited by Kevin C Brown (edited October 16, 2002).]
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43278 - 10/16/02 09:11 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
DollarBill Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 180
Loc: Durham, CT
Quote:
Originally posted by bossobass:
a crazy thought just occured to me. i am beginning to think that the 950 employs NO low pass filter to the .1 channel in 6 ch bypass mode.


Bosso,

I haven't really tried getting into this phase thing yet, perhaps this weekend. But, I can tell you that I'm quite certain there is a LPF on the sub channel in 6 ch bypass. My previous unit was a Kenwood receiver (VR-409) that has a 6 channel bypass. When playing certain DVD-As, I'd get snare drum, high frequency reverb and early reflections, and even vocals in the sub. I would always have to engage the filter on my sub to remove (and consequently lose) the material. With the 950, I have no need to engage the sub's filter because the the pre/pro is doing the filtering for me. Several months ago, I asked Outlaw about this very subject because of my experience with the DVD-As and the Kenwood and Scott reported to me that the 950 has a LPF set at 120 hz on the 6 ch bypass sub channel. The ICBM has a 150 hz LPF on its sub channel.

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#43279 - 10/16/02 09:31 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
surroundophile Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Chicago, Il. USA
Kevin,
Yes, the test is between then LFE & the mains. BUT, you have to select a test track based on you crossover point. There are selections just like the 950 has for the digital crossover.....40,60,80,100 hz. I selected 80, and played it. It then sends an 80 hz tone, which, because its exactly at the crossover point, will come from BOTH the sub & the mains, making a phase test between the mains & sub possible. I don't think there is ANY signal on the LFE. I could check if you'd like by pulling that cable.
This weekend, I'm going to try to redo the test using a stereo PCM disc the way you are with stereo PCM coax vs stereo input via the 6 Ch Direct to see what happens.
I didn't know Chesky was into SACD! I have the DVD-A test disc and a DAD test disc (the DAD is the only DAD I have, and can't get the 950 to run it through DPL2...have another thread here on that).

Bosso- the 80hz filter IS there, or I wouldn't get any output on this phase test.

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#43280 - 10/16/02 09:38 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
surroundophile Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Chicago, Il. USA
Kevin,
I forgot....I DO have the distances set on the 47ai. By the way, my manual says the the distances do NOT apply to SACD playback. Is the 45a the same? This implies we STILL don't have complete bass management in a "universal" player yet. Also, the bass output from the LFE is week. I have to turn the level to max, and the main channels to minimun to get them to match. At first I thought is was a problem with the 47ai's tone generator. But then I saw a post on the HTF with the same problem. I checked the levels with the Chesky DVD-A disc, and yep the LFE channel output is weak.

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#43281 - 10/16/02 09:47 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bossobass Offline
Desperado

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 430
Loc: charlotte, nc usa
dollarbill: THANX for the info! none of my sacd discs have high freqs into the lfe channel....you answered my 1st question.

kcb: i am sure the cirrus chipset includes digital crossovers (lex, kenwood, marantz, rotel use it). i just found it odd that the crossover info is listed in the preamp analog section of the specs page. and, nothing in the specs about the 80hz 'analog' filters. i appreciate your help.
_________________________
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#43282 - 10/16/02 04:04 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
SOP- I finally "matched levels" with Avia on the 45a analog outputs. I didn't have a problem with the sub. It is lower, but I could still get it to match the other channels. For example, on the 950, I have all levels within a dB or 2 of 0 (not "referenced", just "levelled"), and my sub ends up at -3 dB. On the 45a, I had to put the sub at + 2 dB to match the rest of the channels. Maybe there's more than 1 iteration out there.

Yeah, I gots to get me my own DVD-A test disc...
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43283 - 10/16/02 11:12 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Will Offline
Desperado

Registered: 05/28/02
Posts: 605
Loc: LA's The Place
Quote:

Scott reported to me that the 950 has a LPF set at 120 hz on the 6 ch bypass sub channel. The ICBM has a 150 hz LPF on its sub channel.

This is the first I've heard about the analog LPF on the LFE channel from the 950. That's not written up anywhere as far as I've seen.

Does anybody know if there is a LPF for the LFE channel in the digital domain, as well?

Also, am I to understand that any music above 120 Hz on the LFE does NOT get redirected elsewhere, such as to the main speaker channels?

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#43284 - 10/17/02 12:50 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
If it is 120 Hz, then there should be a slope to it, so there's still some info above 120 Hz send to the sub.

On the Sony I had, the low pass on the sub was selectable (120, 150, 180, 200 Hz or something). Something for the 950's big brother when it comes out!

Stuff like that should be in the manual somewhere...
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43285 - 10/17/02 10:07 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bossobass Offline
Desperado

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 430
Loc: charlotte, nc usa
Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin C Brown:
If it is 120 Hz, then there should be a slope to it,

Stuff like that should be in the manual somewhere...


_________________________

i agree. if you don't know what's happening to the signal, how the heck can you tailor it properly to your own taste?

question to all:

should the lfe channel be controlled by the (a) processor or (b) outboard or (c) either/or with a bypass option?

what features are necessary to control the lfe channel?:
1.) fixed, selectable x-over points
2.) variable x-over
3.) phase reverse switch
4.) variable phase control
5.) parametric eq
6.) subsonic filter
7.) level control
8.) selectable slopes
9.) delay control (time alignment)

vote: a, b, or c and which, if any #'s, with comments.
_________________________
"Time wounds all heels." John Lennon

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#43286 - 10/17/02 02:30 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Will Offline
Desperado

Registered: 05/28/02
Posts: 605
Loc: LA's The Place
The immediate question is, what does the 950 do with high frequency input in the LFE channel, in analog 6 channel processing as well as digital processing. I don't think the manual says.

However, while DVD-A/SACD's may send high frequency signals to the LFE channel, I don't know if DD or DTS may do this as well. How high in frequency can the LFE channel be, in DD and DTS?

[This message has been edited by Will (edited October 17, 2002).]

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#43287 - 10/17/02 03:17 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
DollarBill Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 180
Loc: Durham, CT
Quote:
Originally posted by Will:
The immediate question is, what does the 950 do with high frequency input in the LFE channel, in analog 6 channel processing as well as digital processing. I don't think the manual says.

However, while DVD-A/SACD's may send high frequency signals to the LFE channel, I don't know if DD or DTS may do this as well. How high in frequency can the LFE channel be, in DD and DTS?

[This message has been edited by Will (edited October 17, 2002).]


With regards to the 6 ch analog direct subwoofer input, the LPF filters out high frequency information at 120 hz. It is not redirected anywhere, it's simply gone. I didn't ask what the slope is. I think that this is only problematic if you have a full range speaker hooked up to your subwoofer output. The stuff I heard coming from my subwoofer with my previous unit with DVD-As tended to distort because the speaker is simply not designed to reproduce the higher frequencies.

In the digital domain, I have to imagine the subwoofer channel will get signal based upon the crossover settings which will yield a maximum frequency of 150 hz plus higher frequencies determined by the crossover slope. What happens to an LFE signal in DD or DTS with hypothetically high frequencies is a question the Outlaws would have to answer.

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#43288 - 10/17/02 10:13 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
BoB- All of your numbers are desirable. And just to be clear, for the dedicated LFE channel *as well as* all the bass that is crossed over from the mains.

But is rare to nonexistent for any component to have everything you listed, unfortunately!

I believe that there is no reason why all of that can't be incorporated in the pre/pro's software. Digital and analog (although with analog, might have to do high quality digital processing for cost effectiveness, 24/192...).
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43289 - 11/01/02 07:26 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Hun Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Riverside CA USA
I have similar experience with surroundophile,regarding the LFE channel phase.It's in phase!
_________________________
The Hun

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#43290 - 11/02/02 04:06 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
It's not in phase with a PCM coax digital input, or any 2 channel analog input that is A-to-D'ed and back again.

I don't know how that DVD-A test disc test is setup. (I actually have it now, just haven't gotten around to testing it yet. )But by using discrete test tones & an SPL meter, the "problem" is very apparent.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43291 - 11/02/02 04:02 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Quote:
How high in frequency can the LFE channel be, in DD and DTS? and LFE signal in DD or DTS with hypothetically high frequencies

Does this help? From: http://www.extremetech.com/print_article/0%2C3428%2Ca%253D1531%2C00.asp
“The LFE channel is independent of the main channels and is created by decimating a full-bandwidth input bitstream using a 64x or 128x decimation digital filter, yielding a LFE bandwidth of 150Hz or 80Hz respectively. ADPCM coding is then applied.”
From: http://www.snout.org/movies/bam-sound.shtml
BAM: Theatrical Digital Sound Formats

Dolby Digital (DD)
http://www.dolby.com/digital/
Up to five full-range channels (L-C-R-LS-RS @ 20Hz-20kHz) and a 20-120Hz LFE channel in a 384 kbps (kilobits per second) bitstream (a single line of digital data) (Note: bitstream on a movie filmstrip is 320 kbps; DVD uses up to 448 kbps)
115 dB dynamic range for LFE channel; 105 dB dynamic range for the other channels

DTS Digital Surround
http://www.dtsonline.com/
Up to three full-range front (L-C-R) channels, two 80Hz-20KHz surround channels and a 20-80Hz LFE channel in a 1544 kbps (or 1.544 Mbps) bitstream (laserdiscs use two bitstreams that add up to 1.544 Mbps)
Resolution: same as Dolby Digital
96 dB dynamic range
Up to five full-range front channels (L-LC-C-RC-R), two full-range surrounds (LS,RS) and an LFE channel (frequency range should be similar to Dolby Digital's); no information about bitrate on hand
96 dB (approx.) dynamic range

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#43292 - 11/06/02 05:37 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Hun Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Riverside CA USA
Quote:
I don't know how that DVD-A test disc test is setup. (I actually have it now, just haven't gotten around to testing it yet. )But by using discrete test tones & an SPL meter, the "problem" is very apparent.

Not on my 950.I observe no such problem.
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The Hun

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#43293 - 11/06/02 05:49 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin C Brown:
But by using discrete test tones & an SPL meter, the "problem" is very apparent.


Are you finding a tone at a frequency where it is attenuated and sent to both speakers, then measuring the acoustically summed result or how are you doing this?

At one time I regretted my choice to go full range all around as a waste of resources. I'm starting to revise that opinion ...
_________________________
Charlie

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#43294 - 11/06/02 09:20 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Very simply: I use a discrete test tone CD.

I play the crossover freq (I tried this with both 80 Hz and 60 Hz for the mains, and made no diff), and adjust the variable phase knob on my sub knob until I get the max SPL at my listening position (RS meter on a tripod there, across the room from the sub). Coax digital connection into the 950 1st. Mains and sub on. All levels previous matched. The setting is about 9 o'clock on the variable phase knob.

I do the same exact test, using an analog 2 channel input. (Not bypass mode, but A-to-D'ed, processed, then D-to-A'ed.) I get the same 9 o'clock position. (The knob goes from about 7 o'clock to about 4 o'clock. Maybe 240 deg?)

I repeat the test a 3rd time. This time I use the front L + R channels of the 5.1 analog input. I engage the 80 Hz analog crossover. When I adjust the phase knob for the max SPL, I get about 3 o'clock. Very repeatible. Will and at least one other person have also seen the same thing.

Charlie- You did the right thing. If I had the space, and the denaro, I would have went all full range too. Then you don't have to mess with crossovers at all!
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#43295 - 11/07/02 11:59 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
I wonder if it's the crossover or the digital time delays? Also, I wonder if you could use the digital time delays to compensate?
_________________________
Charlie

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#43296 - 11/07/02 03:51 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Charlie- Finally someone who understands what I did! You are exactly right, and in fact Outlaws themselves mentioned that the delay present for processing the digital crossover might be responsible. (I kind of thought that they were getting more phase shift from the analog crossover, simply because it was analog.)

I put this in another thread, but... I *would* be able to change the phase relationship of all the mains vs only the LFE channel in my DVD-A/SACD player by simply changing the relationship between how far the sub is away vs the rest of the speakers. The problem? Doesn't work for bass crossed over from the mains to the sub in the 950, and my DVD-A/SACD player doesn't do time alignment on SACD (just DVD-A).

But now that you mentioned it, one solution might be to adjust the distances in the 950 to match the phase shift of the digital crossover to the analog one (the reverse of changing distance settings in my DVD-A/SACD player). Just that that would "change" the overall time alignment of my system wrt CDs, DVDs, etc. Something to think about though. And, that might explain why some people don't see this: they don't have the distances set (correctly) in the 950.

Neat stuff to think about!
_________________________
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KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43297 - 11/07/02 03:58 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin C Brown:
.....the delay present for processing the digital crossover might be responsible.[/B]


Kevin:

This could be tested by noting if the phase difference is greater as the crossover frequency is increased, i.e. the problem is less worse at a 40Hz crossover than a 150Hz crossover. If it _is_ a latency issue in the 950, it would represent a constant delay, which would effect higher frequencies more than low ones, relative to the bass arriving from the other speakers.

Anyway, something to geek-out with



[This message has been edited by soundhound (edited November 07, 2002).]

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#43298 - 11/07/02 04:03 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Or for $200 you could use an UltraCurve for both EQ and time delay on SACD LFE - use one channel inline with the SACD for delay and (optionally) the other inline with the sub output for EQ. Even if you don't trust the A->D->A process for most signals, the LFE stuff should be OK.

Or use 2 of the 100 UltraCurve presets....

Or compensate for digital inputs and engage the relay bypass for SACD....

My first unit should be here any day. The calibrated mic was backordered though.
_________________________
Charlie

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#43299 - 11/08/02 12:38 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Davis S Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 06/06/02
Posts: 65
Loc: Chino Hills,CA,USA
(smart a$$ mode on) Does anybody actually listen to music with the 950? Or does y'all just sit around and measure test tones and the like:>(smart-a$$ mode off)

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#43300 - 11/08/02 02:00 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bossobass Offline
Desperado

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 430
Loc: charlotte, nc usa
Quote:
Originally posted by Davis S:
(smart a$$ mode on) Does anybody actually listen to music with the 950? Or does y'all just sit around and measure test tones and the like:>(smart-a$$ mode off)

__________________________________________

there is a lot to be said for the technical understanding of all of this gear, but it definitely takes some of the magic out of the music.

once, in the 70's, while on tour, paul mccartney decided to go into a bass equipment specialty shop in new orleans. when the owner saw him he immediately thought of something to say besides 'wow', and asked him "so, paul, what strings do you play?" mccartney answered, "long, shiny ones."
_________________________
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#43301 - 11/08/02 02:22 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I'll say that seeing some of the scientificness in action, gave me a new appreciation for what the manufacturers go through to get us gear that we can use to listen to a good tune or two...
_________________________
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#43302 - 11/08/02 06:30 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Quote:
Originally posted by Davis S:
(smart a$$ mode on) Does anybody actually listen to music with the 950? Or does y'all just sit around and measure test tones and the like:>(smart-a$$ mode off)


Hey, have you heard that awsome 1Khz test tone that Hewlett-Packard released - I hear it''s go'in platinum on the record charts!

-just funnin' with 'ya

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#43303 - 11/08/02 03:32 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bossobass Offline
Desperado

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 430
Loc: charlotte, nc usa
[QUOTE]Originally posted by soundhound:
[B] Hey, have you heard that awsome 1Khz test tone that Hewlett-Packard released - I hear it''s go'in platinum on the record charts!
____________________________________________

this is funny!!! it made me think of a few funny lines i read in this forum. someone should start a top ten funniest one-liners thread.

for me, meangene holds the top 2 spots:
1.) amidst a raging 'hissy' thread came this post: "...yeah, but it's a DRY hiss."

2.) somewhere in the middle of a long, meticulous list of meangene's hardware setup was this item: " bass management: remove all pictures from walls."

3.) soundhound currently holds this spot with the above quoted gem.
_________________________
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#43304 - 11/08/02 03:59 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Bosso:

Well, it probably helped that I had my weekly pitcher of margharitas last night

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#43305 - 11/08/02 04:55 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
"...yeah, but it's a DRY hiss."

I had forgotten THAT one..I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. It hit me as particulary humorous because I prefer 'dry' in so many situations. Take 'dry' cold. I can run around in CO all day in a sweater at 2 degrees (in the sun) in Texas I'm freezing at 40 degrees. And I prefer 'dry' wines can't stand the sweet.

Soundhound, you want to know why I 'love' Mexican food. Because you 'have to' order a margerita with it!. ummmm it's Friday...Blue Mesa tonight?

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#43306 - 11/08/02 05:07 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Quote:
Originally posted by Smart Little Lena:
... you want to know why I 'love' Mexican food. Because you 'have to' order a margerita with it!. ummmm it's Friday...Blue Mesa tonight?


Yep, I'm THERE! But anything less than a PITCHER of marguaritas is a waste

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#43307 - 11/11/02 12:17 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
fly guy Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 30
Loc: Big Island, HI
Well....I'm back in the market for a new DVD player.

I thought this thread would be a good place to ask....what players do some of you use??

Right now, the pioneer dv-45a is high on the list because of features (DVD-A and SACD) and price.

Thanks for the input.

fly guy

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#43308 - 11/11/02 02:46 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I have a DV-45a. It only weighs 5.5 lbs or so. Really bugged me at first. But the sound and video quality are quite nice for the price. Will probably have it a while. And it has bass management on everything, although with the 950, that isn't really necessary.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#43309 - 11/11/02 12:02 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
I have the Panasonic RP91, and have been very happy. However if your interested in the dual format capability this one is not for you with DVD-A only. It is also aging with an older Genesis chipset. But I purchased it (at the time) for its workhorse, - well-respected rating. (And dropping price) And most particularly for its screen scaling capabilities, which was a feature slim on most units at that time, since I have a Display that’s locks into Full on progressive mode.
The Pioneer 45 was on my short list to look at, but when I purchased every place I tried was out of stock of the current model I never could check the Pioneer out in person, - so I went with the 91. I wanted to see the new Pioneer coming but would not wait till it hit the market.
I’ve seen a lot of good press on the Pioneer, and would consider it myself to be very worth giving a go.
I found in DVD players more than most units, that not a ONE came with my desired specs (when I purchased) The latest ... Faroudja Sage with 12 bit on video, WITH scaling and aspect ratio controls, (that’s the part that’s hard to find) with DVD and SACD. So I gave up and went for the 91.

I focused on the pic quality for this purchase more than the audio but the 91 does a great job in passthru, where I have an option to disengage the video side of the unit when I use it soley for CD’s.

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#43310 - 11/11/02 12:19 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
If I can ask a slightly off-topic question...

Anyone with any of these Pioneers (or Lena with your Panny) know if they will downmix a 'phantom center' while playing DVD-A or SACD??

I've asked this EVERYWHERE and no owners seems to ever know.

Obviously I'm in very small minority by not using a center chan., so this feature is probably useless to you all, but I just need to know if it can be done, or if I'll be forced to build a center chan, and buy one more amp for my room.

Thanks!

Also, any of you compare the CD output from these players to the 950's analog vs. the 950's own DAC via digital connection?

"Huge diff.!"
"Subtle diff".
"Hard to say, but I prefer..'x'"

Sorry to ask if I maybe I missed it if you already did.

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#43311 - 11/11/02 12:20 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Do either of the above units have a DVD-Video lock mode where a the DVD-A part of the player can be disabled? The reason I ask is that the DVD-A spec says dual mode DVDs (most DVD-As out there) should be presented as DVD-A in the DVD-A players and have their video compatible data ignored. Some DVD players with DVD-Audio capability can have the DVD-A section shut down to allow access to the DVD-V parts in a csae like this.

[This message has been edited by charlie (edited November 11, 2002).]
_________________________
Charlie

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#43312 - 11/11/02 04:08 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Az- There is a thread on HTF now with your concern as far as the Pioneers go. No phantom center. If you disable it in the player, you lose it. There was at least one other player mentioned that did the same thing.

Charlie- I don't remember a feature like that. You can choose from the DVD-V or DVD-A parts from the menu on your display though (not the player's display, your main (TV) display).
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43313 - 11/11/02 06:19 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Azryan/Charlie,

I'll check on the Panny. But give me a few days, have to 'find' the manual tonight, which may or not be clear particularly on Azryans question, may have to try it to see.
I know I have not thought about locking out the Audio (A) side before. Just the Video.

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#43314 - 11/11/02 06:55 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
I'm going to try to look at my Panasonic tonight (RA60, younger and lesser sibling of Lena's RP91). I know that the setup includes the option to set speakers to large, small, or off, but I don't know if the player pays attention to it when handling DVD-Audio discs (the manual seems to say that it is, but I don't trust the manual all that much -- I want to prove to myself that the player can handle it). As for Charlie's question, all I know of is the feature that many players have to disable to video circuits. Of course, even the pure DVD-Audio discs (such as Blue Man Group, which has separate sides for DVD-Audio and DVD-Video) include some video material, and discs with Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on the same side as the DVD-Audio material -- and on my player, you can (or have to, depending on how you look at it) switch between DVD-Audio and DD 5.1 with the Audio button even if the disc's menu doesn't give the option.

------------------
gonk -- Saloon Links | Pre/Pro Comparison Chart | 950 Review
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#43315 - 11/12/02 02:50 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Thanks all.
So Kevin, no phantom center on the Pioneer, but maybe on other players?

I guessing ALL these DVD-A/SACD players can output a phantom center from the analog outs when playing DD or DTS right???

Meaning they can downmix a phantom center in the player and then you do NOT need to have a center chan RCA cable output.

Or can't they do this even?

Maybe time to start begging Outlaw for this feature on their future disc player I guess!

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#43316 - 11/13/02 08:36 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Finally found a minute to toss in a DVD-A and run a test. I had been under the impression that DVD-Audio playback bypassed the speaker settings in the player (delay, bass management, etc.), but the manual reads like DVD-Audio playback makes use of those settings. The manual is apparently not as clear as it should be, because with the center channel disabled it still worked with DVD-Audio discs. Sorry, azryan.

------------------
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#43317 - 11/13/02 11:01 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Azrayan,

Walk me thru what you want me to try and I will. Not positive this is what you are trying to ask.

If you want the ability to disable the Center and let the mains create a phantom, (although phantom is not addressed in the manual). This is what I tried.

On the Outlaw while in 6-channel Direct, - playing a DVD-A ‘Woman on Top’. I tried disabling the center speaker in the Panny menu. I still got sound out of the center. I stopped and disabled the center channel thru the Outlaw setup. (Disabled in the panny & Outlaw menus). And this worked, I had no center.

On a different disc, again in 6-channel Direct, “Night in Paris” DVD-A. I disabled the center channel in the Panny menu only, the Outlaw was on ‘Center small’. And this worked, I had no center.

There seems to be differences between the discs themselves as to ‘how’ I get there. But on either discs one method or the other I could disable my center.

Let me know if this is not what you are looking for, give me a roadmap and I’ll attempt whatever!.

Just rereading posts above you seem to be checking to see if the center channel information will be downmixed into the fronts. How would I test wheter or not this is so. Since I put the Beethoveen's on line, anytime I run just the fronts (in Stereo bypass) (and here on the multi-channel DVD-A with center disabled) I have the illusion of a center channel running. But not the expertise to judge if the center channel info is just discarded when I disable center or mixed into the fronts?


[This message has been edited by Smart Little Lena (edited November 13, 2002).]

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#43318 - 11/13/02 01:59 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Ok Gonk, so you're saying you set the player's center chan. to 'none' (or 'off' or whatever)... and play a DVD-A disc, the player ignores your 'center -none' setting and outputs the center info anyway? That's what you mean right?

Does it ignore this 'center -none' if you try DD or DTS?
Just trying to see if it's a DVD-A thing ONLY.

Lena,

"If you want the ability to disable the Center and let the mains create a phantom, (although phantom is not addressed in the manual). This is what I tried."

Yep. Exactly.

"On the Outlaw while in 6-channel Direct, - playing a DVD-A ‘Woman on Top’. I tried disabling the center speaker in the Panny menu. I still got sound out of the center."

Hmmm... that sounds like what I think Gonk found with his. It ignores your 'center -none' setting it seems.

"I stopped and disabled the center channel thru the Outlaw setup. (Disabled in the panny & Outlaw menus). And this worked, I had no center."

The Outlaw shouldn't need to have it's settings changed for what I'm after. That'd just be turning off the center chan. audio.

"On a different disc, again in 6-channel Direct, “Night in Paris” DVD-A. I disabled the center channel in the Panny menu only, the Outlaw was on ‘Center small’. And this worked, I had no center.There seems to be differences between the discs themselves as to ‘how’ I get there."

Hmmm.. I don't get it. Seems like it worked that time. Weird.
-edit- Ohhhhh.... Maybe that disc has no center chan info.?? are you able to get center audio with that disc in any setting??
I forgot that many discs just don't have a center chan recorded.

"But on either discs one method or the other I could disable my center."

Turning it off on the Outlaw should either just shut off the center audio (no good), OR it's getting the DD version of the disc (defeating the point of it being a DVD-A disc), OR maybe the Outlaw is reprocessing the DVD-A signal to digital then you can hit it w/ full bass manag., delay, downmixed center etc... but this would (at least in theory) defeat the hi-res. aspect of DVD-A.

Did you ONLY have the analog cables plugged in on the second test that seemed to work? Maybe that time the audio was DD coming in one a digital cable??

"Let me know if this is not what you are looking for, give me a roadmap and I’ll attempt whatever!."

Sounds just right what you're doing. There just seems to be a few variables to eliminate though. Can you unplug the digital cable so for sure the Outlaw is only getting the analog outs from your player? And are you sure that "Night in Paris" DVD-A has center info recorded on it?

"-you seem to be checking to see if the center channel information will be downmixed into the fronts."

Yes. Exactly.

"How would I test wheter or not this is so. Since I put the Beethoveen's on line, anytime I run just the fronts (in Stereo bypass) (and here on the multi-channel DVD-A with center disabled) I have the illusion of a center channel running. But not the expertise to judge if the center channel info is just discarded when I disable center or mixed into the fronts?"

The easy test is when the center is ON it should sound very close to the same with it off (depends on how your mains are set up). Should be very clear to you.

A more direct test would be with a disc that obviously has a single vocalist singing dead center so the bulk of her/his voice is recorded in the center only.

If your player in NOT downmixing that center info when you 'set it to', the singer should sound totally weak and MUCH quieter since the mains mostly would just have light 'ambiance' of her/his voice recorded in them. I'll sound like the singer's almost gone.

Did I explain that confusingly enough?? I tried to make it clear, but kinda hard to word.
Basically it should be pretty clear/easy to hear if the center info is lost or downmixed to your mains.

You can test this for sure with DD/DTS DVD's. Play a DVD in 5.1 but unplug the center speaker. You'll tell instantly that the dialouge has been totally gutted.

Then set the Outlaw to 'center -none', and it'll downmix the center info into the mains and (as long as you're sitting dead center on almost anybody's system)it should sound VERY much like you just plugged your center speaker back in (but you didn't).

My wife and I actually find a 'phantom center' more open and seamless than an actual center -part of why I'm asking about if DVD-A/SACD players can do it. Just more amp/speaker cost I'd rather avoid.

THANKS!!!!!


[This message has been edited by azryan (edited November 13, 2002).]

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#43319 - 11/13/02 02:56 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
I did not try messing with DD or DTS tracks on these 2 discs,…will do. Although the ‘Paris’ DVD-A (which I checked is listed as an A disc on the web) was giving me fits trying to roust either of those 2 (DD/DTS) out of it when I first purchased, (I hijacked a thread possibly in Fav. Demo’s on this very topic). I’ve got my Panny menu’s down better now. So I’ll give it a go again. For the test I just detailed it was only while in 6-channel Direct. Which should disable my optical digital connection, but I will try unhooking this later to verify that by changing menus in the Panny and Outlaw, something is not being thrown (somewhere) into a Digital conversion. I would think it would bypass the optical entirely with 6-Direct selected.
One thing I have found about DVD-A discs are wide variations, in menus, abilities, how you go about accessing tracks, (this could use a little more standardization in this industry).

As regards the sound, I flipped the center on/off and noticed no particular degradation in sound, it changed a hair but I really only listened for this (It was a very quick test) on ‘Women on Top” with vocalists. (Also the majority of the time I was listening from another room!) All information still seemed to be there with center disabled and no noticeable reduction in strength or volume. I wondered however how much a center track might have repeated in the L/R and that was why I asked for clarification on how you wanted it tested.

If you’ll forgive me…all I do these days is work (and the forum) but tonight (very rare for me) I am actually going to an annual gala event. With waiters in tux’s plying me with wine, buffet, live band, and shopping (I try to knock out/start my Christmas shopping here as much as possible for the 35 jillion family members) and have to stop work early today to clean up for this event.

Give me a couple days, I believe I have also aquired at least one or more new choices in DVD-A. (I’ll try a broader demo), and I’ll run it all through its paces, as you suggested. Let me know if you think of anything else you want me to do.

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#43320 - 11/13/02 03:17 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Quote:
Ok Gonk, so you're saying you set the player's center chan. to 'none' (or 'off' or whatever)... and play a DVD-A disc, the player ignores your 'center -none' setting and outputs the center info anyway? That's what you mean right?


That's exactly right -- setting the center to "none" in the DVD player made no difference to the DVD-Audio playback. It still played the center channel.

Quote:
Does it ignore this 'center -none' if you try DD or DTS?
Just trying to see if it's a DVD-A thing ONLY.


Didn't test it with a DD or DTS track -- was running late for work. Since the settings are specifically intended for the player's DD and DTS decoding, though, I'd hope it paid attention to the settings.

------------------
gonk -- Saloon Links | Pre/Pro Comparison Chart | 950 Review
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#43321 - 11/14/02 05:18 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Azryan, just go to the blackboard and write 100 times. Sony 60” LCD’s are not that bad.
Now that we have that over with, follows the further test results.

(Aren’t I just wicked….. )

I had 4 selections:
1: Silverline: Dream Suite III: DVD-A, DTS, DD 3.2/1
2: Silverline: Night In Paris: DVD-A, DTS, DD 3.2/1
3: Silverline: Women on Top: DVD-A, DTS DD 3.2/1
4: Maverick: Alanis Morissette, Under Rug Swept: DVD-A DD
Checked all discs first before starting this time, in attempt to find heavy infor localized to the center channel. I checked all 4 discs, starting the first min. of each track and each had info in the center that was basically repeated in the FL/FR.
In other words the simple ‘gut test’ from a DVD-video dialogue only in center channel would not apply to any of my DVD-A selections as too much information is repeated across the fronts in all channels.

Disconnected the optical digital cable from the P-91 and the 950.
Ran the center test again: With Center speaker disabled in the P-91 menu, set to Small on the Outlaw.
No center sound from Disc # 1/2/4
Center speaker disabled in the P-91 and center disabled in the 950. No center sound Disc #3.

My personal thoughts: You can use the P-91 and the 950 and purchase DVD-A’s and get a majority of the experience you are looking for.

There was no difference at all on many tracks especially as regards #1/2 (classical) in fact on a couple of tracks it did broaden the stage to a favorable slight effect in a way I might prefer if I was optimizing each track, (but I won’t, - I’ll leave my center in play). The only Degradation was on #4 Disc, where I needed to push dB to get the same effect as with center. I also noted on this disc only that I really needed to push calibration up on my FL about 2-4 dbs. . Then it was a fair match. I did not optimize my mains for this test, as if I intended to run them without a center at all times.
Morissette’s vocal did not gut out, nor disappear but there was a localization and crispness to her vocals I would miss without the center. (My preference). I feel having a center available just broadens your options.

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#43322 - 11/15/02 02:38 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
massi2u Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/01/02
Posts: 18
Having selected 2-channel 96/24 format of a
DVD-Audio disc, shouldn't the 950 read
PCM 96k from the digital input?
I have four DVD-A all display PCM 48k.
The player will allow a choice to down sample
which I have tried both ways,still no 96k.

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#43323 - 11/15/02 03:33 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
You can't use the digital input with DVD-Audio -- the player's digital output is not getting the 96/24 (thank you, RIAA). You need to use the 5.1 analog input, and it doesn't say anything but "bypass" in that case.

------------------
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#43324 - 11/15/02 08:14 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
There is a such thing as a Digital Audio Disc (DAD) that will put out 24/96 digitally. It's really a DVD-V disc with a 24/96 track. There are some at www.chesky.com.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#43325 - 11/17/02 02:56 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Thanks again Lena,

I guess I'm still not sure what you're hearing though when you disable the center when playing DVD-A's so it's hard to know what's going on.

It sounds like it's downmixing the center info, but it's still a guess I guess?

I have 'Under Rug Swept' on CD... I played track 9 'You owe me nothing'... and her vocals are very dominant in the center (except during the chorus where she overlays here vocals left, right, and center).

For my own test...
I then set the 950 to Center -Large, and switched the audio to DPLII-C (since there's no adjustments w/ DPLII-C it should act the same for you).

Her voice is very weakened in the center image since the 950 is trying to play into a center speaker but I don't have one. You can still clearly hear her singing from the mains but it's much quieter (too quiet) and distant sounding.

There's a 2-chan. version on that DVD-A you have right? (I hope), you should be able to do this same trick and then we should have the same reference point.

You'd play the 2 chan. PCM or DD version (if it has one) from the digtal out and set the 950 to convert it from stereo to DPLII-C. Then unplug the center chan. You should hear the same weakened vocals that I described.

How would you say that her vocals from that test compared to the test where you take the hi-res 5.1 DVD-A track and you set the center to NONE (on your DVD-A player, not the 950) and then unplug the center chan.? (testing this you should have the analog input on the 950).

"(My preference). I feel having a center available just broadens your options."

If the player is downmixing the center info I just shouldn't need one. If it doesn't then I'll HAVE (no option) to build a center speaker and buy another amp. Buying another amp to match my main speaker digital amp would be VERY costly (too costly probably) as would be making a center speaker to match my Newfrom Research 645 main speakers.

The center image I have on CD's and DVD's is razor sharp and inherently level and tonally matched to my mains (since it IS my mains). I've honestly never heard a center chan. that made a better center image or could blend as well with mains (usually 'cuz of the center's typical horizontal array design).

What 'options' do you gain other than being able to change the center's level (which I'd want to keep set at the same level as my mains)?

"Azryan, just go to the blackboard and write 100 times. Sony 60” LCD’s are not that bad."
At risk of you not helping me out w/ the phantom center thing anymore, I can't say that the LCD Grand Wega has good black level or invisible pixel gaps. Sorry. I didn't know you had one when I made my comments, but I still stand behind 'em.

Hey, nothing's perfect. I could tell you things that's are 'wrong' in every one of my components incl. my handmade subwoofers.

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#43326 - 11/17/02 08:20 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Azryan,

Very smart, to try to set a baseline from how my ears hear to yours!

If your out there right now. How many surrounds do you have on line? Shouldnt' effect as much as the fronts, but I'll run as many surronds as you have to keep the level in the room simalar as possible. Are you running surrounds or just your mains?

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#43327 - 11/17/02 10:10 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
It sounds like it's downmixing the center info, but it's still a guess I guess?
I have 'Under Rug Swept' on CD... I played track 9 'You owe me nothing'... and her vocals are very dominant in the center (except during the chorus where she overlays here vocals left, right, and center).

I still have no expertise to decipher how much center track information is repeated in the FL/FR tracks on a DVD-A when using the 6-channel passthru, or how much might be the 950 downmixing?
Do you see what I mean? If all DVD-A’s REPEAT track inform across the 3 front’s channels of a 6-channel recording, you will not ever have the issue except to a minor degree. What you miss from disabling your center track is repeated in the L/R so you get the info anyway. IF that is HOW all DVD-A’s are recorded.

I do know now that our ears are on the same page. Absolutely, - after disconnecting center interconnect with 950 Center/large, Optical, DPLII-C. It was gutted! When I played Track 9, on the chorus or (refrain) portion of this song ONLY (when she’s repeated in the L/R’s ) it was passable only if I bumped the dB way up.
But never in the melody itself, especially as I am not familiar with the words to this track, it was practically indecipherable what words she was singing, - she was drowned in the background instrumentals badly.
Also (as you described) retreating so far in the distance as to appear as if she had gone far away over a hill away from the staging area.

There's a 2-chan. version on that DVD-A you have right? (I hope), you should be able to do this same trick and then we should have the same reference point.
Some DVD-A’s (not all) have you access a DVD menu to engage DTS or DD versions of the disc. On ‘Under Rug Swept’ there is no choice on the DVD menu; you just insert dic and play. It’s listed on the jewel as being capable of DD or (6 channel accesable by DVD-A capable player only).

How would you say that her vocals from that test compared to the test where you take the hi-res 5.1 DVD-A track and you set the center to NONE (on your DVD-A player, not the 950) and then unplug the center chan.? (testing this you should have the analog input on the 950).
No comparison, - If you were to hear (as you must have) what I heard on the DPL-II gutting test. I would advise no way without the center. On the 6-channel/analog/no-center test there was no degradation noted anything close to the extreme loss of information when performing the DPL-II/gutted center test. The differences with center enabled/disabled in the 6-channel/analog test paled in comparison. (Remember, - on the one disc I did have to cancel the center through the Outlaw to get rid of it) (I have a new 5th DVD-A I’ll check to see if I can disable center on this one sole through the Panny) There were differences as I detailed and only on certain tracks on the two classical discs would I rate the gain as more pleasing than playing with a center. The others were fairly even although I would have to optimize my speakers to run without the center. On the ‘Under Rug Swept’ disc, given the choice (after hearing both) of running my center or not, I did feel I lost a certain fullness without the center on line, but it was nothing compared to DPLII gutted.

"(My preference). I feel having a center available just broadens your options."
I’m really thinking of HT DVD-video’s on this I just can’t imagine running ‘The Matrix’ etc. without the full compliment, (however I’m never actually TRIED it, so I guess I should, - to really know what I’m talking about). Just referring to a general thought that you probably have a few selections that would always be optimal running with a center. (Not major, just some improvement) Vs the times (when you have choice) that the mains can spread the soundstage more favorably in the way you prefer.

If the player is downmixing the center info I just shouldn't need one.
And whether its downmixing or the recorded tracks (on a DVD-A) are duplicated across the fronts. I think you will enjoy it. On mine…the Panny 91/950/Beethovens, - it can be done.
The center image I have on CD's and DVD's is razor sharp and inherently level and tonally matched to my mains (since it IS my mains). I've honestly never heard a center chan. that made a better center image or could blend as well with mains (usually 'cuz of the center's typical horizontal array design).
I think I perceive the preference for not dealing with a center much better after purchasing the new Beethoven’s, (before I might not have understood). I really was not using my 2-channel bypass on the 950 before to any great degree. (Although part of my purchase decision centered on the fact this was a 950 feature). Now with the new speakers on line, - I am listening to 2-channel ALL THE TIME. Its incredibly nice.

What 'options' do you gain other than being able to change the center's level (which I'd want to keep set at the same level as my mains)?
True,….I do use this option when the recording itself needs it. But often am too lazy to bother and just ‘accept the source’ as it is fed. I feel having the center can help 'beef' up a poorly recorded disc.(illusionary).

I didn't know you had one when I made my comments, but I still stand behind 'em.
As you should……always.

At risk of you not helping me out w/ the phantom center thing anymore
You’ll have to forgive ME, I tweak ‘people’, but never out of ‘meanness’ (I’m not that sort). I do it because I’m feeling my oats, being inexcusably silly and playful. It never scared me to go toe to toe with a guy on an arguement face to face for the sheer and simple joy of interchange. (Nasty habit, picked up from spending far too many years when I could often be the sole female amongst some pilots, ex-military types, and skydiving characters, they were ALWAYS messing with each other, and I learned to ‘join’ in, partly in self-preservation).

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#43328 - 11/18/02 03:32 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
Lena,
Quote:
I still have no expertise to decipher how much center track information is repeated in the FL/FR tracks on a DVD-A when using the 6-channel passthru, or how much might be the 950 downmixing?
Having listened to a few discrete multi-channel music discs, I agree with you that this is not an easy thing to determine. I've found some albums to be mixed so that the vocals are only in the centre channel; others are mixed so that the vocals are spread gently across the front three channels; yet others have the vocals only in the front L/R channels with subtle instrumental fill in the centre channel. Then of course there's the DVD-A of Natalie Merchant's 'Tigerlily', where you can hear her from all the channels. It's louder in the front centre, but it definitely is the exact same vocal track (not backing vocals) in all 5.1 channels. I'm sure this made sense to someone, somewhere. But this sort of inconsistency makes it next to impossible, based on listening alone, to figure out if a downmix is happening.
Quote:
...after disconnecting center interconnect with 950 Center/large, Optical, DPLII-C. It was gutted!
That's to be expected with matrix decoding (like PL II and Neo:6), where the vocals extracted and sent specifically to the centre. But on discrete multi-channel mixes, where the vocals may not have been mixed into the centre channel, disconnecting the centre speaker may not cause the song to sound quite so "gutted" (if at all).

So Lena, instead disconnecting the centre speaker, let me ask you if you're willing to try something else. Follow:

If you set up the 950 as having no centre speaker, it is reasonable to assume that it'll split the centre channel content and send it to the front left & right channels. That means that you should hear the centre channel content coming out of the other two front speakers. But, as mentioned earlier, this may be hard to determine. However, setting the centre to "none" also means that nothing should be coming out of your centre speaker. Soooooo, if you could reach behind your front left & right speaker and simply detach the speaker wires, you'll only have the centre speaker operating up front. Make sense so far?

Now, having done that, set your 950 to "no centre" and play a DVD-A disc through the 6-channel analog inputs. Is anything coming out of your centre speaker?

Best,
Sanjay
_________________________
Sanjay

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#43329 - 11/18/02 10:06 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
set your 950 to "no centre" and play a DVD-A disc
Will do, if things get quiet this afternoon, today.
Won't the Outlaw just 'cut off' the center if I choose none. Regardless of downmixing?
How do you want the Panasonic during this. With center/no center?

When running the first test, center disabled in the Panny only on all discs (but the one which had to be disabled on the Outlaw Center menu also), I did walk over to my center, since the Beethovens 2-channel a great phantom, - and verifiy that the center was 'dead'.

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#43330 - 11/18/02 02:03 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
Quote:
How do you want the Panasonic during this. With center/no center?
With centre, please. This way you can tell whether the 950 disengages the centre even on bypass. (I have a friend whose pre-amp takes "analog bypass" very seriously; i.e., he can set centre to none, he can even unplug the unit, and the signal goes straight through to the output.)

Meanwhile I'll try to find a DVD-A disc that has exclusive centre channel content in order to test whether downmix is occuring.

Best,
Sanjay
_________________________
Sanjay

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#43331 - 11/18/02 07:43 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
"If your out there right now. How many surrounds do you have on line? Are you running surrounds or just your mains?"

I've got a sepp. surround amp and I just kept if off. I figure it'll only confuse these tests to have them on.

"If all DVD-A’s REPEAT track inform across the 3 front’s channels of a 6-channel recording, you will not ever have the issue except to a minor degree. What you miss from disabling your center track is repeated in the L/R so you get the info anyway. IF that is HOW all DVD-A’s are recorded."

That's too wierd?! That Alanis DVD-A just shouldn't be recorded like that? It must be SO diff. from the CD.
How can someone get a sharp center image of her standing there singing when her voice is almost as dominant in the mains? Must be like a giant wall of Alanis or something?

"I do know now that our ears are on the same page."

Ok. Great! So now I know that your DVD-A would sound totally different than what you and I did w/ the DPLII tests. Cool.

"On the ‘Under Rug Swept’ disc, given the choice (after hearing both) of running my center or not, I did feel I lost a certain fullness without the center on line, but it was nothing compared to
DPLII gutted."

Wow! I'm just shocked it was so subtle. I REALLY thought the two tests would end up the same-ish or similar. Wow!

"I’m really thinking of HT DVD-video’s on this. I just can’t imagine running ‘The Matrix’ etc. without the full compliment, (however I’m never actually TRIED it, so I guess I should, - to really know what I’m talking about)."

Heh... but you HAVE tried it! Every time you listen to CD's you have a phantom center.

The Matrix IS an awesome surround disc without a doubt, and you lose nothing when the center is mixed into the mains 'info-wise'.

Some people don't have a very good main speaker set up though and there's a cloudy 'gap' to the center image compared to an actual center, but that 'gap' (or blurriness) will be there on CD's too so even if people reject a phantom center for DVD's they'd still benefit from the improvement w/ their CD's.
You of course still need you surrounds on for the Matrix, but you might be suprised by the fact that CD's can sound exactly the same as having a rear pair of surrounds (though they can't ever phantom a rear center).

If you like Pink Floyd..., you should check our Roger Water's CD Amused to Death (as good as Dark Side or The Wall). It's recorded in Q-Sound.
If you're sitting dead center (like we all do when critically listening)... there's a ton of sound effects and voices, etc.. that sound like they're coming ONLY from the surround speakers.

If you turn your head to look at your surrounds the sounds pops back into the mains. Same if you sit slightly off center. There's a lot of CD's that do this but that CD's a must have IMO too.

"-that you probably have a few selections that would always be optimal running with a center. (Not major, just some improvement) Vs the times (when you have choice) that the mains can spread the soundstage more favorably in the way you prefer."

Hmm... it sounds like you think my phantom center spreads the center chanel info out making it wider than it would be with an actual center speaker?

If that's what you mean... I swear to you that it doesn't do that at all.

I wouldn't like it if it did that (I've own center speakers in the past, and heard many great set ups in hi-fi shops from Linn, Revel, B&W, etc..).

When a person is talking in the center it sounds like it's coming from a center speaker that doesn't exist. Not at all like the voice comes across from a wide soundstage. The image is sharp and 'person-sized'. As in not spread out.

"I think I perceive the preference for not dealing with a center much better after purchasing the new Beethoven’s, (before I might not have understood)."

The Vienna Acoustics Beethovens? Yes, GREAT speakers. You should try a phantom center with the Matrix to hear what it does. 100% solid open soundstage. I think you'll really love esp. if you have a less capable center than the VA's quality.

My Newform Research use the same Scan-Speak drivers as in the VA Mahlers (but with a 45" ribbon tweeter).

Did you buy a matching center for the Beethovens already? If not, you might save thousands if it's just you and your husband sitting in the center (as my wife and I do).
Saving $ on a center speaker/center amp can get you into a higher priced/quality set of mains.

This sounds like what you got for yourself (if you didn't get that matching center yet 'cuz it's a lot of money).

"You’ll have to forgive ME, I tweak ‘people’, but never out of ‘meanness’ (I’m not that sort)."

No. No. Not at all. Everyone here knows you never say anything mean.

And I think you know my mouth it quite large and I (at times) DO say things out of meanness! hehe

Thanks for adding to this too Sanjay!

Sanjay wrote,

"Having listened to a few discrete multi-channel music discs, I agree with you that this is not an easy thing to determine...."

MAN! This really shouldn't be this hard! These jerks really need to label these discs and player companies need to tells us what the heck their players are actually doing!

Can't wait for Outlaw to get into a universal player. I'm sure we'd know 100% what it's doing. Don't wait for the 'digital output' guys. If your player sounds great we'd just need a multi-chan preamp for it.

I've found some albums to be mixed so that the vocals are only in the centre channel; others are mixed so that the vocals are spread gently across the front three channels; yet others have the vocals only in the front L/R channels with subtle instrumental fill in the centre channel."

Downright WACKY! What are all these crazy engineers doing!?!

Then of course there's the DVD-A of Natalie Merchant's 'Tigerlily', where you can hear her from all the channels.- I'm sure this made sense to someone, somewhere."

Not us though right!?! Who are these people in the recording studios!?! And to think... here we are trying to carefully recreate the goofy things there're coming up with!

"Meanwhile I'll try to find a DVD-A disc that has exclusive centre channel content in order to test whether downmix is occuring."

That's be great! Too bad someone can't just burn a DVD-RW in MLP with JUST a center chanel recorded. Then we'd all know for sure what's going on here.

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#43332 - 11/18/02 10:10 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Must be like a giant wall of Alanis or something? Yes its a lot of Alanis, sort of like this:
http://www.art.com/asp/sp.asp?PD=10086446&RFID=249949

Seriously I went back and forth playing these DVD’s with ear on the center/L/R and there was mucho vocals in the L/R etc on most of them.

If you like Pink Floyd..., you should check our Roger Water's CD Amused to Death (as good as Dark Side or The Wall). It's recorded in Q-Sound. My husband was just asking me if I knew of or had ever heard of ‘quad sound’, commenting on how it was one of the earliest attempts at creating an acoustical emulation of surround. I’ll look it up.

it sounds like you think my phantom center spreads the center channel info out making it wider than it would be with an actual center speaker?
No. I know what you mean by a perfect rendition of a human vocalist dead center stage and razor sharp and realistic, -, that can pop out of excellent CD. I (think) I’m trying to refer to the fact that the center channel carries more sound information than just the human sized vocalist. And when the recording (or mixing) is not done by a talented studio, that filling that center area in with a center speaker can just beef up the thinness of the whole experience of a sub-par recording. You can get a bigger soundstage, in the sense of is it a 3 piece band (like) Vs orchestra (like) spread out and full, - when the recording is bad. And at times on certain DVD movies where the sound engineer has been very busy. An effect will pan from center then L/R then to the surrounds. (A 3 stop movement to audibly track) Does phantom center recreate that shift from center track to Fronts? (a car rolling by the side of the actor, bullit zinging etc.) I guess it could in theory if it can put a vocalist dead center who isn't there?

The Vienna Acoustics Beethoven’s? Did you buy a matching center for the Beethoven’s already? Thank you, - Yes and Yes. Its Hi Ho, - Hi Ho….off to work she goes….(to pay for them). (Actually what I lost was a retaining wall I was about to have built, - will have to put off for a bit, in fact this retaining wall has been bumped at least 3 times this last year in favor of AV purchases! (The old one is falling boom)
I couldn’t stand the center not up to the mains when in digital or 6-direct, (since I do use one) so I got the Vienna Maestro. I really like these speakers, I have trouble trying not to talk about them all the time at the moment…(like a kid at Christmas, as a matter of fact it IS my Christmas). They floor me every night. So does the Outlaw running them by the way. I will fess up, I wondered if the Outlaw would keep up with speakers which pass more clarity and detail out at the end point than my old set. The Outlaw floors me too, the only thing holding the 950 back turns out WAS my speakers. What’s coming out of the (new) speakers IS GREAT, and it is the Outlaw passing it. I’m sure these speakers are not the end all, but they are a nice stop on the path. I have not heard many of the speakers I would like to personally audition, they are just not located where I have time to travel and some I’m interested in I guess could be mail-order only….. But how much more detail can you hear than when a lip catches as singer breathes??? And the tone? Resonance and proper (musical instruments have color to me) of a guitar/bass strings/violins/harp/flute/piano you name it….is there. Another plus, (just for the visual…the cabinetry crafting is superb. Many many things that always bothered me in the vast round of speakers readily out and about to hear, are corrected or minimally -existent in the these Viennese boxes, there are just more suited to my personality.

The husband had come in and was on the AV. I think he may have just moved out to work on (yippy) our new AV display stand he broke down and started building, (the guy we wanted for this job retired). I’ll see if I can sneak some time to run Sanjay’s test.
Tomorrows out…I’m taking off to go ride for the day, so if not now may be a couple of days to get to it...(Business backs up when I’m gone).


[This message has been edited by Smart Little Lena (edited November 18, 2002).]

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#43333 - 11/19/02 12:50 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
Now, having done that, set your 950 to "no center" and play a DVD-A disc through the 6-channel analog inputs. Is anything coming out of your center speaker?

Sanjay, no nothing out of the center with 6-channel analog/ Panny center speaker ON/ Outlaw Center speaker NONE/ speaker wire removed from the FL/FR. And the Law (or the Panny) is definitely Not trying to downmix to the surrounds. Things get awfully sparse.

Azryan, I listened one more time to Alanis Track 3 “Hands Clean” she starts out a few seconds into the track heavy with a quieter vocal in the center (does not have A LOT of instrumentation going on here). I can hear that her vocals are in the FL and FR very very faint. Although I still feel it looses some impact, there has got to be downmixing going on. What I hear in the FL/FR with center on in this portion just doesn’t create the detail of her whispery stylized voice coming from the center speaker. She’s almost sliding on her S’sssss in the center here and I don’t hear that from ear to the FL/FR. When I switch to center/none its there in the FL/FR, so it must be dividing it between the two.

Have I found a DVD-A for you! Simply labeled “Trey Anastasio” I didn’t know what or whom it was I just picked it up because it appeared to be one of those mismarked priced as a regular CD.
So far I really only like a couple of tracks on it. BUT, the guy must be big 2-channel aficionado who likes surround (or his mixer forgot that option on the board). There is practically nothing recorded in the center channel, once in a blue moon there’s a few runs/notes played through the center. But he just stays out of it most of the time. At least in my quick 1-min play of the start of each track just now. And put this one also in the group of DVD-A’s with which you can disable center thru the panny.alone. (now 4 out of 5).

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#43334 - 11/19/02 03:49 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
Lena,
Quote:
Sanjay, no nothing out of the center with 6-channel analog/ Panny center speaker ON/ Outlaw Center speaker NONE/ speaker wire removed from the FL/FR. And the Law (or the Panny) is definitely Not trying to downmix to the surrounds.
Thanx for checking. So at least we know that nothing gets sent to the centre when it's set to 'NONE'. Next step, if you're willing: reach behind the centre speaker and unplug the wires, leaving only the Left & Right working up front.

Now, play a DVD-A that you know has some significant centre channel content. In the 950's set-up menu, go back & forth between centre set to 'NONE' and back on. If you hear a difference between the two settings, then some sort of downmixing is going on; you'll clearly hear it in your front-main speakers. If you don't hear any difference between the two settings, that means that centre channel contentis not being re-directed to the fronts.

BTW, the reason I'm asking you to check whether there's a phantom downmix feature in the 950 and not the RP-91 is because, if it this feature is present in the 950, then it'll be good news for anyone who wants to listen to DVD-A and/or SACD without a centre. I mean, if it turns out that this feature exist only in the RP-91, that's nice but it doesn't help anyone who doesn't have that particular player.

Thanx,
Sanjay
_________________________
Sanjay

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#43335 - 11/19/02 02:33 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Lena you mentioned -
"You can get a bigger soundstage, in the sense of is it a 3 piece band (like) Vs orchestra (like) spread out and full, - when the recording is bad."
"-An effect will pan from center then L/R then to the surrounds. (A 3 stop movement to audibly track)"

It seems like you prefer to have the center speaker sort-off 'disconnected' from the mains though which is counter to what most people try to do... to blend the center so that it's seamless into the mains (though that's often tough to do for many reasons).

Maybe I misunderstand what you meant, but it kinda sounded like that?

What I hear with my phantom center is one soild soundstage. If something's recorded dead center that's what you hear, BUT (I think this is what you're asking?)...If it's recorded slightly left of center that's where you hear it.
It doesn't sound like it's coming from the center, nor does it sound like it's from the left speaker because the right speaker is playing some of that info.

When a soundtrack is cut-up into 5.1 tracks, the left right and center aren't totally sepp. tracks. All three have sounds constantly panning left/center/right. I just skip the center, but the panning is exactly the same, and none of the info is lost, or shifted in it's imaging.

It just doesn't work well when you're sitting far off center of course, but I never am, and then you can't get around the fact that your speaker levels will be off and your view of your screen will be on an angle. So center or none, sitting off-center is a poor spot anyway.

In fact w/ my mains being a few feet in front of my screen, even when I'm WAY off center (like past my left main speaker, the angle I'm sitting at from the screen still makes the center info (which then comes much more from the left than the right) line up w/ the center of the screen.

Was that too confusing they way I wrote that?

About your speakers you wrote -"But how much more detail can you hear than when a lip catches as singer breathes???"

You might be suprised. Having already had my Newforms for a couple years, and the 950 for several months, I tried the eARTwo digital amp, and found the improvement to be as big as when I replaced my old speakers for the Newforms. And the Newform ribbon is one of the best reproducers of micro details like the breating you mention.

Might want to try the Acoustic Reality eAR amp. It's costly, but you'll hear even more detail than you do now, and from day one (though it does break in over a few months). And if you don't hear a diff., send it back and get a full refund. Next to no risk to hear for yourself.
NO WAY I was gonna send mine back though.

And yeah, just like you mentioned... all this was still just what the 950 was outputting. Though I don't think the 950's one of the best, it's better than most people are probably hearing it. (I thought I might send the amp back because the 950 held it back, but the improvement was BIG).

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#43336 - 11/19/02 02:54 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Oh yeah Lena... about that new DVD-A..

You said "So far I really only like a couple of tracks on it. BUT, the guy must be big 2-channel aficionado who likes surround (or his mixer forgot that option on the board). There is practically nothing recorded in the center channel, once in a blue moon there’s a few runs/notes played through the center."

Are you 'sure' that there's even any center chan. recorded? Your system should have NO problem fooling you into thinking you're hearing center chan even if there's none recorded.

Have you tired some scenes of the Matrix yet? Flipping back and forth from center-small to center -none will show your exactly what the diff. is. It might help you tweak your mains placement to sharpen up the center (if you find it less sharp that's probably why).

There's a very clear test of phantom center pannig with the menu screen to Apocolypse Now! (sp?).

Helicopters pan across the screen in front of you, (and you also hear them behind you-but that's beside the point).

In my system the panning is perfect. The sound doesn't change at all as it goes from right to left. That's what I mean by 'one solid soundfield'. To get it that smooth you have to have a perfectly matching center (almost impossible due to horizontal design and diff. driver arangement and diff. axis response, and physical speaker placement above or below the screen).
It can be done, but all that amp/speaker cost and adjustment trouble just to get the effect most people can create with their mains alone.

Room shape (and stuff in it)/speaker placement constraints sometimes keep the mains from being set optimally though which may degrade a phantom center like I described above, but then that's what you hear from all your 2-chan CD's (that most people haven't maxed out to their full potential -including myself)
We can only make due with the room and equipt. we own right?

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#43337 - 11/19/02 03:01 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Sanjay, you wrote, -
"BTW, the reason I'm asking you to check whether there's a phantom downmix feature in the 950 and not the RP-91 is because, if it this feature is present in the 950, then it'll be good news for anyone who wants to listen to DVD-A and/or SACD without a centre."

Great point. For the 950 to do this though, it 'must' convert the analog signal back into digital right?
And then it's able to downmix a phantom center and do all the other stuff like level balance and full bass managment (meaning 'not' the analog 80 Hz setting).

Maybe the best test is for someone (say... Lena the A+ Best Sport!!) to compare normal DVD-A analog playback (from a disc that 'has' a center recorded) to what (if any) audible damage the 950 does by proecessing it digitally and then back into analog.

This test could be with the center on or off/downmixed since the main thing would be to hear someone's preference or opinion on how 'clean' the 950 re-processed the analog DVD-A signal.

That's what you're talking about right?

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#43338 - 11/19/02 03:42 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
Ryan,
Quote:
For the 950 to do this though, it 'must' convert the analog signal back into digital right? And then it's able to downmix a phantom center and do all the other stuff like level balance and full bass managment (meaning 'not' the analog 80 Hz setting).
Actually, I was talking about the Analog Bypass function on the 950, not the digital path. After all, we're trying to figure out how you can listen to DVD-A with a phantom centre; and this involves analog bypass specifically. Right?

BTW, I don't see why the 950 would need to convert the DVD-A signal to digital in order to do a phantom centre mixdown. It just has to re-route the analog signal of any speakers that aren't being used to the front Left & Right. Once that is done, it can then apply the analog 80Hz filter.

So there were two things I wanted to check: first, when the centre is set to none, will the 950 actually turn off that output. (Already answered.) And second, to find out what happens to the signal that was supposed to come out of the centre output. If it turns out that the 950 does indeed re-route the centre channel signal (even when using the Analog Bypass connection) then that allows you to use any player you want and still get a phantom centre.

Best,
Sanjay
_________________________
Sanjay

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#43339 - 11/20/02 12:34 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
re you 'sure' that there's even any center chan. recorded? Yes, for all of this testing, because I have tried to determine what’s recorded in each channel, I have been walking over to the speakers and putting my ear up to them to hear what’s coming from what. This guy just doesn’t like the center, but uses it for a quick ‘run’ of notes once in a little while with no rhyme or reason. (PS. I got excited over this for a sec, cause I thought OKAY he popped into the dead quiet center channel for a sec, surely this will only be in the center channel, but when I moved to the FL/FR, the little bit he popped into the center WAS repeated in the FL/FR....urgggg.)

Have you tired some scenes of the Matrix yet? Not yet, somebody borrowed and it has not found it’s way home, (Lost many DVD’s this way, I’m starting a ‘checkout’ list, so we can track who took what in future this gets expensive!)

The sound doesn't change at all as it goes from right to left. No, NO I don’t mean chopping out of one speaker and popping into another distinctly, that would be distracting! I do mean the seamless pan…
But as far as what I trying to word on why I like having a center. I’ve just always had one in the mix since I started paying attention to all this and am used to it. I guess I just think its more ‘fill’ like adding BS’s into the back of your mutli-channel system. But I really do understand your great passion for the seamless front stage 2-channel creates, (only just now after purchasing the new FL/FR) which could also bypass any extra issues with matching your center into the blend. When I’m listening to my 2-channel and it’s a ‘great’ recording there’s nothing better! So I should give it some time to play with this on some DVD’s.
But since I paid so much for the damm thing (center).and like it. I intend to ‘use’ it, (most of the time)

Now on to the nitty gritty. I have not run Sanjays latest experiment yet. Maybe tonight, BUT I may have confirmed (for myself) that neither the Panny or the Law are downmixing. Sanjay or Azrayan, either of you would have been quicker to pick up on this than I. But the reason for changing my stance suddenly at this point hinges on a tiny section in ‘Under Rug Swept” Track #4 “Flinch”. Yesterday AM, I was waiting for my ride to the barn and she was running late, did not think I had time to run the ‘test’ so just ran the DVD URS to better familarize myself with it. On all the prior tests, due to time contraists, I never played these DVD’s through, I was skipping forward each track/ each disc for about 1 min of play looking for ANY disc that had exculsive center channel info. and could not find ANY that was not reapeated to one extent or the other in the FL/FR. Without playing every one of my DVD-A’s straight through and standing at speaker fabric the whole time it has been amazing that I could not find any infor that was in center that was not repeated in the FL/FR. The reverse is much more common in these recordings where you can find information in the surrounds which is not in the mains, but that’s not what we needed.
Because the stage is seamless in the past I would hear what I thought (hoped) to be stronger center infor and walk over to the speakers, and each time what I heard which I thought might be a section recorded in center only was always repeated in the Fronts. But while letting it play I ran into some tiny moments on this track (if memory serves) around at .50 sec.. Where Alanis sings a line…..So ….The one tiny word ‘So” is repeated as an Echo or reverb effect either recorded by her and added in by the mixer, or it is her backup singers. Later at 1 min + you hear the backups faintly echoing one word here and there but this is ONLY in the surrounds so it gets confusing. Then in around the 3-4 min mark. Again there is a whole refrain where a faint echo repeat of one or more of her words is sung in the background very faintly I believe that this part of the recording (not to be confused with every other time it is also in the surrounds) and IS recorded ONLY in the center channel.
So at .50 sec. The one word ‘So” and a few instances at the 3-4 min range, a few more individual ‘echo’ words. Appear to truly be recorded only in the center channel. When I quickly ran through this several times setting the Panny to no center or the Law to no center. I could not hear the one word ‘So’. It was gone. I’ll play with all this some more and run Sanjays test especially on this portion of URS I just found.

I never would have dreamt that on these several DVD’s so much in the center track is also in the FL/FR. When you disable center, they pick up the slack so perfectly throwing a phantom center up out of the same info in FL/FR it is really hard to determine whats going on. If any one has a DVD-A title they can ‘CONFIRM’ has heavy exclusive center channel, I’ll buy it if I can find it. This has been very enlightening as regards the way most DVD-A are mixed.


[This message has been edited by Smart Little Lena (edited November 20, 2002).]

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#43340 - 11/20/02 01:43 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Sanjay, you wrote,
"BTW, I don't see why the 950 would need to convert the DVD-A signal to digital in order to do a phantom centre mixdown. It just has to re-route the analog signal of any speakers that aren't being used to the front Left & Right. Once that is done, it can then apply the analog 80Hz filter."

Oh you do mean an analog downmixing from the Outlaw. Interesting. I never thought of that. That would certainly be good enough for me and solve my problem, but I've never heard of ANY system that did that?

I didn't think it was even possible (or at least 'if' possible, highly complicated and costly to implement).

Can you think of any pre/pro or Rec. that downmixes the center info to the mains in the analog domain?

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#43341 - 11/20/02 02:10 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
azryan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 222
Lena,

"But since I paid so much for the damm thing (center).and like it. I intend to ‘use’ it, (most of the time)"

Heh.. yeah I can understand that!
I always had a center in my past systems (well... at least since prologic first came out), but once I hit the higher end with signal quality and speakers (like you are at yourself) I sold my last center speaker and wasn't interested in getting a new one.

You actually might NOT want to try using a phantom center on any DVD's, even for a test.
It might make you wish you spent the center speaker cost on something like a new DAC to further improve your 2 chan. CD's.

If you do wanna test it though, try ANY DVD. It doesn't matter if it's the Matrix or not (I was just saying 'yeah' when you first said it).

Actually a quiet dialouge-heavy (sp?) flick might be a better test.
Probably more difficult for a phantom center to pull off than a sound effect heavy flick with lots 'o stuff spread out to all the speakers.

And the cool thing about that test is that it's so fast and easy to switch the 950's center on and off, and replay the same DVD scene both ways.

No guessing about the diff. you heard like you might do if you have to get up, switch cables, adjust volume, junk like that that makes directly comparing stuff so hard.

I say 'no more lending people your DVD's' too if they don't give 'em back to you. That's low. You're probably just being 'too nice' IMO. heh

That seems like a definitive answer now that you heard that one little 'so' from the center on track 4. I'll have to listen for that on my CD of it, and listen if they did any phase tricks to put sounds in a phantom surround. Probably not, but they could have.

You'll have to try that Roger Waters CD to hear this phantom surround effect. It's amazing. I think some Madonna stuff is recorded in Q-Sound too, but I don't listen to her. You probably don't listen to the Heavy Metal band 'Tool', but there's a lot of this effect on their CD's too even though they're not listed as Q-Sound.

I think it's just a matter of recording a specific layer of sound and varying the phase. 180 degrees and it sounds like it's coming from your rear speakers (~20 degrees behind you), while everything recorded normal (in-phase) images up front like you'd expect it to. It can move from front to back and vice-versa too.

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#43342 - 12/08/02 12:49 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Quote:
If I can ask a slightly off-topic question...
Anyone with any of these Pioneers (or Lena with your Panny) know if they will downmix a 'phantom center' while playing DVD-A or SACD??

I've asked this EVERYWHERE and no owners seems to ever know.


I had an idea, although it's not exactly what you asked about. If you really want to downmix the center into the L&R to get a phantom center maybe you could use a small studio mixer to mix the 3 into 2? 'SoundHound' would be the guy to ask on this one I suppose, but it seems like it might work and might let you avoid getting a center speaker and still enjoy DVD-A.

Have a good one.
_________________________
Charlie

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#43343 - 12/08/02 01:12 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
I haven't made the leap to a SACD of DVD-A player yet. I'm sitting on the sidelines for awhile till a good 2nd or 3rd generation universal player comes around. I do deal with surround music in my work, however.

I personally do not really like to have an active center channel when playing multi channel music, preferring to have a 'phantom' center. One reason for this is the physical difference in the placement of the center speaker. Mine is lower than my main left and right speakers, other people may have it above the mains, on top of a TV or whatever. This is not ideal if a seamless soundfield is the goal. Phantom imaging is actually extremely good provided you sit in the 'sweet spot', and for me at least, the front soundstage is more seamless with the front speakers running in stereo.

That said, I haven't a clue about the mixdown capabilities of the current players for the center channel. It will certainly influence my purchase decisions when I am ready to buy. The player will have to have the option to disable the center channel for SACD and DVD-A, yet have the center channel in operation for movies, where I prefer to have a 'hard' center for dialog. I think that is going to be a tall order, and I'm not holding my breath for one player to come along that meets all my needs.

I think in the end, I am going to have to design and construct a simple summing 'mixer' to do the job, with a switch to enable or disable the center speaker accordingly. Such a project would only require a few op-amps.

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#43344 - 12/08/02 05:01 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
I'd have to agree. This is (oddly enough) why I decided to go with a center, in that my HT is not a studio, or to put it differently, there may be 8-12 folks in here trying to enjoy the show. After experimenting around with a lot of different configurations I decided the only simple way to get reasonable dialog_in_center for a variety of locations was a center speaker.

Obviously my requirements are different than yours since I'd assume it's no problem for you to sit near the sweet spot.

I've done some active crossovers and other simple op-amp circuits in the past. I'm thinking about building a pair of centers and locating one on each side of the screen, then doing some tiny bit of mixing left into left center and right into right center. It would be cool if studios would do this (8.1?) but if I get time it sounds like a fun project.

Actually rather than x.1 I'd like to see the 'next' generation of bitstream audio data contain waveforms and location info, then the processor could map the waveforms to transducers as it deems best. All we need to do is tell the processor where the speakers are and it could figure out the rest.

Then we could set our systems up to meet the requirements of our room/audience without fiddling with downmixing etc.

If you do the mixer, any chance you might release the design into the PD?
_________________________
Charlie

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#43345 - 12/08/02 06:48 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Charlie:

If and when I do a design, I'll be sure to post it. It would be as simple as possible since I don't want the signal to go through more circuits than necessary.

The metadata idea is a good one. Dolby already has an "E" variation on DD which has a metadata bitstream which could be used for this kind of waveform steering. It's used in broadcast mostly at this point.

I very rarely have more than one other person in my HT other than myself at a time, so the sweet spot is not an issue.

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#43346 - 12/08/02 07:51 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Actually the mixing left and right into center left/right probably wouldn't work out like I'd want it. What I would like is better dialog steering, but in most soundtracks I'm pretty sure they mostly dump any dialog near the front into the center.

The metadata deal is IMO probably as close to the 'final' word as we'll get in the foreseeable future. It's not an original idea, as you already know. I think I first saw it mentioned in relation to a PC gaming API IIRC. In any case, locating the source of sound in at least 3 degrees of freedom would allow the theater processor to do as good a job as possible with whatever the input is. For instance if you have a 240.2 system with a full hemisphere of transducers and I have a speaker in each corner we could both get the most out of our systems.
_________________________
Charlie

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#43347 - 12/08/02 08:27 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Charlie:

If and when I do make a center dialog steering mixer, it would most likely make use of pan-pots to place the channels exactly as wanted.

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#43348 - 12/09/02 08:06 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Paul J. Stiles Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 279
Loc: Mountain View, CA, USofA
I presently do not have a center channel speaker in my 5.1 system for a different reason: I do not know what reasonably priced (under $700 or so) speaker would be an acceptable match to my front speakers which are Acoustat 2+2 electrostatics. I would not expect the center channel to reproduce below 80Hz or so.

I would like to ge a center channel for movie dialog and for those multichannel SACDs that I may purchase that have center channel content.

Paul

------------------
the 1derful1
_________________________
the 1derful1

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#43349 - 12/11/02 12:30 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
quattro Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 13
Loc: White Bear Lake, MN
I was debating on either buying a SACD/DVD Video player (probably the $249 Sony piece) or getting the Marantz universal player (normally $1,500, however, my friend sells Marantz, so I could get it for about $800).

After looking at what titles are available, I'm leaning towards the Sony. DVD-A selection is really weak. In addition to this, I see a lot of SACD's coming in 2003 and with the price of this Sony, it makes SACD look quite attractive. Does anybody else have thoughts on this?

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#43350 - 12/11/02 01:15 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
MCH Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 128
Quattro:
If you don't need the DVD part of the player I would suggest the Sony CE-775 SACD player if you can still find one. I bought the XE-670 (Canadian single version of the multidisc player CE-775) for $150 CAD ($78US?). This entry player has gotten very good reviews (has the Burr/Brown DACs-1702s?). I am very pleased with the sound. If SACD does become more popular (for me I can only find discs online (PITA)), you can always upgrade to the next generation of players. Or do a mod; this player apparently is very mod friendly and the results are apparently outstanding.
my 2 cents

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#43351 - 12/11/02 02:31 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Mike Raub Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 7
Loc: Champaign, IL
I just picked up a Pioneer Elite 45A universal player for <$400 on line. Works great. DVD-A and SACD both sound great. The Eagles DVD-A "Hotel California" sound like the band asked you to sit on stage with them so you could hear better. I was also impressed with the multichannel SACD of Carol King's "Tapestry". I haven't tried any stereo SACD's yet. If these formats are to succeed, I think multichannel must be the standard. I doubt there is a sufficient market to sustain high resolution stereo.

MIKE

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#43352 - 12/12/02 02:01 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Paul J. Stiles Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 279
Loc: Mountain View, CA, USofA
I also bought Carol King's Tapestry album (a glaring omission in my music collection) on sacd. I thought the mutichannel presentation was tasefully done and while I enjoyed the presentation, I thought the recording was "dry". I'm not one to use high-end audio teminology a lot, but I knew that something was on the tip of my mind's tongue (If my heart can have a heart, it's only fair that my mind have a tongue to tell you about it). I listened to Tapestry a couple of more times in the next week and still could not describe to my satisfaction my thoughts on the recording. A few days later, the word "dry" just popped into my mind about this recording and I knew that I had found THE word.

I am looking forward to new sacd releases. I hope there will be a wide variety of NEW material out on sacd. As far as reissues of old recordings, I would love to have the Beatles on sacd. Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lets: YEAHHHH BABY!!! Generally speaking, the Stones are not my cup or tea, or gin.

I have been buying fewer and fewer cds in the last few years because I have been increasingly dissatisfied with my old cd player. The sacd player does a much better job on redbook cds: my cd purchasing may go up.

I think sacd and dvd-a will remain boutique audio media untill a significant percentage of NEW MAINSTREAM POPULAR recordings are released on the medium. I do not know how much clout Sony or Philips has in the music recording, etc. area (Sony is in that business, too), but things are moving slow, it seems.

Paul

------------------
the 1derful1

[This message has been edited by Paul J. Stiles (edited December 12, 2002).]
_________________________
the 1derful1

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#43353 - 12/12/02 11:22 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
I suspect the DVD-Video [DD, DTS] compatible data on most DVD-A disks will help a lot as HT systems penetrate the market in the future. Being able to hear the DTS tracks makes me wonder what the 'real' tracks sound like....
_________________________
Charlie

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#43354 - 12/13/02 12:37 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Jason J Offline
Desperado

Registered: 09/02/02
Posts: 615
Loc: Northern Garden State
I've been reading the posts on this thread and just wanted to add my thoughts on a couple of things.

First, to get the true resolution that DVD-A/SACD is offering to the music listening public, those discs can't go through any processing once they've been decoded by the player. Unfortunately for most, this means you lose your bass management, speaker distance settings, delays, and any other DSP your receiver/pre-amp may add. Some hi-res players can offer bass management because their chipset supports the higher resolution but you'll notice this only on DVD-A. On a well recorded SACD, the whole point, at least to me, is that the audio never touches a PCM source. This is what the main point of the format is all about.

Second, if you eliminate the center channel, you're ruining the sound engineer's mix. The multi-channel format includes information in the center channel so the engineers have been using it. Not using a center defeats the current "state of the art" in the format. I own a couple multi-channel SACD recordings and the center channel plays an important role in all of them.

Finally, I own the Sony DVP-NS500V and I love the sound it puts out. I have it hooked up to the "5.1 direct" input on my 1050. The combination sounds great. I'm also lucky enough to have basically equal speaker distances in my set-up and I'm using the same speakers (M&K K-5s) across the front three channels. The difference, to my ears, between SACD and CD is amazing. The difference between the using the direct inputs and the CD inputs on the 1050 is just as amazing. You really have to take the DSP out of the mix if you want to hear the true benefit of a high-resolution recording.

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#43355 - 12/13/02 01:43 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Just a few things to consider.

First, running without a center speaker is not the the same thing as not using the center channel of the mix. It is completely possible to mix the center information back into the fronts without leaving the analog domain. I have a center, but I thought I should point out the distinction.

Second, yes there is a day and night difference between CD and SACD. According to normally reliable sources this is due to fairly aggressive EQ and other processing that Sony adds during the mastering process.

Kinda like why DTS sounds so different from DD too.

Finally, and this is just my own opinion, the big advantage of DVD-A/SACD is the multi-channel format more than anything else. The bigger samples and/or higher rates make the systems easier to implement well, and so that is good, but offer no intrinsic advantage in absolute sound quality for humans.

That last one is very controversial and I don't expect many here to agree. It is just my opinion, based on solid engineering priciples. Anyone who listened to the 'soundhound challenge' CD got an extreme example of this first hand.

A lot of the bad rep CD audio has stems from two places:

(1) It's hard to implement a really good digital system with a upper frequency limit so close to the Nyquist frequency. Not all implementations were very good, especially early on. Ironically a higher sample frequency would have made implementation easier and possibly fixed the 'problem'. It's like the sample rate argument is right for all the wrong reasons.

(2) A lot of 'Hi-End' folks just couldn't (some still can't) get their heads around how it works. They are often respected in the community and their opinions carry some weight.

Just my $0.02 and YMMV, etc.
_________________________
Charlie

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#43356 - 12/13/02 02:09 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
There is one very real advantage and usefulness for the added lower 8 bits in a 24 bit recording: They make a very convenient place for record companies to stash 'copy restriction' data, a place that will never be heard or even decoded as sound in any player. I don't know if they are doing this, or plan to, but the conspiracy therorist in me can't help but think of the possibilities

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#43357 - 12/13/02 04:02 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176


Interesting idea. The software engineer in me can't watch all those bits go blowing by uselessly without feeling something like pain...

Oh well.
_________________________
Charlie

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#43358 - 12/13/02 05:02 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
bossobass Offline
Desperado

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 430
Loc: charlotte, nc usa
if agressive eq and multichannel is all sacd has to offer, why not just play a cd, matrix it to 6 channels and agressively eq it? whoever said that is either deaf or a moron. in fact, i believe someone quoted tom nousaine or a wank associate of his somewhere in another thread as having said something to that effect. when i read it, what little respect i had for mr. nousaine instantly evaporated.

jason j is correct. if you redirect the center channel info to the mains, you don't get a 'phantom center'. you simply get an entirely new stereo image from your mains. this is the equivalent to switching a stereo mix to mono and calling it 'phantom' stereo.

sacd does not suffer the brick wall limiter @ 20k like pcm. sacd is low passed @ 70 or 80k. it's a 1-bit system at a super fast sampling rate. it's advantages over 16 bit stereo:

1.) 6 discrete channels. give a speaker and amp less to reproduce and they will reproduce it cleaner.

2.) soundfield. no comparison.

3.) dc to 70k. dynamics and detail that are impossible with 16 bit cd...period. and anyone with a system capable of playing it back and normal hearing can tell the difference... easily.

4.) endlessly more possibilities for new instruments and mixing techniques. the surface hasn't been scratched.

5.) hybrid multichannel scad/stereo cd...2 discs for the price of 1 and 1/2 the shelf space.

i agree with and love the title of this thread...Wow! DVD-A/SACD. i also agree with jason j in that, though it's simple enough to set the center to 'no' in my sony dvp-ns900v, it defeats the purpose and distorts the mix.
_________________________
"Time wounds all heels." John Lennon

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#43359 - 12/13/02 08:52 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Bosso:

I sort of mis-spoke when I said 'due to'. I should have said 'could very well be due to' instead. It is rumored that there are easily measured equalization and other differences between the SACD and CD versions of some otherwise identical recordings. Why would that be? Dunno. Could it make them sound 'day and night different'? I bet so. Could that be the reason it's done? The conspiracy theorist in me suspects it could be. Could this guy be lying? Sure. Would it be easy to discover? Yup. Has anyone done the measurements and said he's wrong? Not to my knowledge. Why? 'cause he's probably not lying. Am I motivated enough ot do it myself? No way. I really don't care.

I knew when I said it I was opening a can of worms. I can address those concerns, but in reality nothing I say will probably ever convince anyone to change their mind and no one has ever been able to back the high speed sampling or deep bit theories with any solid engineering or logical arguments that I found compelling.

So it's probably best to agree to disagree on this one peacefully. If you or others want to discuss it calmly and logically I'm OK with it, but I'm not interested in screaming matches, anecdotal evidence or emotional appeals. It may be best to let it rest as a sort of religious issue.

To address your points:

(1) No argument. Also has nothing to do with digital sampling method. An extreme case of this would be a brick at zero input, which exhibits zero distortion.
(2) Qualitative assessments are useful, but I suspect this could be traced back to quantifiable causes.
(3) DC-70K. I doubt anyone anywhere has a system that can put out meaningful levels of output over this range, although I'd sure respect anyone who does. Also, I can only hear (at reasonable levels) up to about 18 KHz. Few adult humans can hear much better than that.
(4) It's good not to scratch the surface I guess? Or is it bad? Anyway, nothing I can disagree with there. I will say that there's no waveform that cannot be accurately represented as a stream of PCM data.
(5) Not my problem. Also, DVD-A can often play in DVD-Video players, which are actually a growing market segment. Amazon has lots of shelves. Don't really see an issue.

And another thing, I know you know better, but PCM doesn't require a brick wall at 20KHz either. The CD audio format, a specific case of PCM, does. And my wetware does a dandy job of figuring out what parts of the signal are 'common' and forming an image on center. Is it distorted? Sure, has to be by definition. Does it usually sound OK? Yep. Are people that swear by this method idiots? Not necessarily. Is the original center mix of a real acoustic event distorted anyway? Probably. Do I use a phantom center? Nope. Have I? Yep.

Anyway, peace and have a good one.


Charlie
_________________________
Charlie

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#43360 - 12/13/02 10:19 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
It is important to remember in all the debates about SACD/DVD-A that in reality we are talking about nothing more than an input/storage/delivery medium. BOTH are excellent formats, but in the end, they are again, just different ways to store bits which represent music data.

Either format can have in theory as many channels as wished, and PCM can have any sampling frequency or bit depth desired. Neither format is limited in any way just by the format itself.

The consumer (and professional for that matter) field is rife with specsmanship, with a healthy dose of BS thrown in. The only way to really judge how accurate SACD or DVD-A is to the original master tape (or to the live microphone feed from the musicians) is to actually listen to that master tape and compare it in real time to the SACD or DVD-A. There can be speculation to the ends of the earth about which sounds better, or what processing may or may not have been done, but in the end, you have to listen to the original source to get to the truth. Of course consumers don't have access to the original masters, so the opinions fly.

SACD is a derivative of Delta Modulation, which is a technically sweet way of encoding data. It is simple and inexpensive to implement in a consumer player, and this no doubt is a good reason Sony is backing it in the first place. PCM is a bit more complex. It costs relatively more money to implement well, which is a reason that it isn't implemented so well in a good number of players.

A good recording is a good recording regardless of whether it's SACD or DVD-A, or CD for that matter. A bad recording stinks just as badly regardless of format.

This all reminds me of a saying in the photography field: Question: "What's the best camera in the world?"
Answer: "The one you happen to have with you when that once-in-a-lifetime shot comes around"


Just humble thoughts from someone who works with this stuff daily



[This message has been edited by soundhound (edited December 14, 2002).]

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#43361 - 12/13/02 11:05 PM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
Jason J Offline
Desperado

Registered: 09/02/02
Posts: 615
Loc: Northern Garden State
I think soundhound is onto something here with "it's only as good as the recording." I think the proper phrase here is that, "You can't shine a turd!" If the music isn't what you like to listen to, no amount of fidelity is going to change that opinion.

As to the claims of another poster here on this forum....umm...use your ears. You claim they can hear pretty high, so go do some critical listening between a properly hooked up system playing a master tape, a DVD-A copy of that source, and a SACD copy of the same source. Well, if you can't hook that up, go find this month's copy of MIX magazine. Then read the Stone's remasters producer's comments after he listened to the aforementioned set-up using the original Stones masters. It's very enlightening stuff to say the least. I think here that soundhound has the proper point again...listen to the testimony of the engineers working with these formats. These people deal with audio every single day and have probably had experience with almost every format out there. Their word may not be the final point on anything, but it does help to show at least me what they like and what they think works. Again, the final judge on any arguement about sound is your ears. If you like what they hear, enjoy!

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#43362 - 12/16/02 12:01 AM Re: Wow! DVD-A/SACD
fmcorps Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 06/06/02
Posts: 197
Loc: Fargo, ND, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Jason J:
I think soundhound is onto something here with "it's only as good as the recording." I think the proper phrase here is that, "You can't shine a turd!"


Well, after many years of living on the great plains let me tell you that yes, you can shine a turd. However, all you get is a shiny turd.

What can I say, no beer and no TV makes Jason...some thing something.

Jason

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