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So What if You Skip Surr. on SACD?

 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1774
Registered: Oct-04
Wanting to upgrade cables, but not a fan of the surround portion of SACD? I'm wondering - why not just order sub and mains cables - and skip the surround pair? What harm would it do?
Sure would save money, and if you're not a surround audio fan, well, so what?
Comments?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 308
Registered: May-06
Are you thinking 2.1 or using a center channel too?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1775
Registered: Oct-04
MW - just 2.1 - I turn down the surround speakers to near zero as it is now - so if I were to buy a GOOD pair of interconnects plus a sub wire - seems it would save money and give me what I hear, anyway.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1776
Registered: Oct-04
Add, please: I see where several very expensive players, such as Arcam Dv 135, only offer SACD 2-channel. Hmm. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4293
Registered: Feb-05
BTW Larry I use the Bettercables sub cable find it to be outstanding...and cheap.

http://www.bettercables.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=22

I only listen to SACD in 2 channel.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1777
Registered: Oct-04
Art: thanks for the reply - and the link.
Epiphany here - as I went to the BC site - and found the Silver Serpents all on sale!
Hmm - I quick-as-a-bunny ordered up a pair of analog interconnects and a new SS digital coax as well. Just couldn't pass up nearly half-off prices.

I had been "waffling" over the BC cables for some time, though had been (I thought) satisfied with the Cobalt interconnects on the 5.1 setup.

Now - I'm scrapping the surrounds on the 5.1 and just going with 2.1 for analog outs from the Cambridge. Almost never listened to music in surround, anyway - just used the surround for movies - and that, of course, on the digital cable.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 13416
Registered: Dec-03
Do you have SACD media? Does your SACD player have stereo analog outputs?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1779
Registered: Oct-04
Berny: yes, I have many SACDs - and yes, the Cambridge has both the 5.1 SACD analog outputs and a single-pair analog output as well.

Hope that answer is what you needed, sir?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 13417
Registered: Dec-03
I am just wondering because you stated you were not a fan of the surround portion of SACDs. If that is the case, do you find the stereo output of the SACD player adequate for your needs? If that is the case, I don't see why your plan for a good stereo mains and sub cables would be any harm.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1780
Registered: Oct-04
Berny: Yes, I do not listen to SACDs in surround anymore - used to, but tired of it, so I just "turned off" the surround speakers in the 5.1 analog mix.

That leaves me with mains and sub - and that's quite enough!
My interest now is to get the best sound possible, thus my cable upgrading concerns.

My recent test with Kimber Silver Streak, Cobalt and Blue Jeans cables made me realize that my wife can hear things I can't - and that more 'spensive ain' necessarily better. The Kimbers sounded rather strident, and lacking in bass - while the Cobalts and Blue Jeans came out about even. Not great, not bad.
Now, having taken mucho advice, I've ordered up a pair of BetterCables Silver Serpents - and will test them against my current Cobalt mains cables.
Sigh - it gets too difficult for this ole scribe! (grin)
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 13420
Registered: Dec-03
I am interested in those cables and would appreciate your comments when you get them. I am currently using Kimber and Blue Jeans.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1258
Registered: Nov-05
BTW Larry - The Arcam originally made that player for 5.1 SACD as well as DVD-A 5.1, but they had a distortion issue and instead of fixing it, just made the SACD 2 channel only instead.

Good luck with the cables Larry, it could be a lot of trial and error to get the right ones. I hope not.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1781
Registered: Oct-04
M.R. - my entire life has been trial and error - mostly error, my friend! (grin)

I'll let all know our reaction to the Silver Serpents, and all of the cable variables on Jerry's system, when he gets it set up.

Stay stewe. . .uh. . ."tuned."
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1783
Registered: Oct-04
OK - BIG QUESTION HERE: If I simply remove the surround cables from the 5.1 outputs on the Cambridge, and set the 5.1 setup to "none" for the surrounds, will I be missing any audio that might find its way into the Mains speakers?
I'm always concerned that I'm messing up something.
right now, I have only the L & R fronts and the sub turned "on" on the player's setup menu.

Also - the player gives me a chance to make "default" either 5.1 or stereo 2-ch on the SACD menu. Would the sound be degraded if I choose 2-channel? And would I still have to have both L & R and sub cables?

Colnfused, as always. . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4295
Registered: Feb-05
"the player gives me a chance to make "default" either 5.1 or stereo 2-ch on the SACD menu."

No...that's how mine is set. Most SACD's are have a 2 channel layer and that setting assures that you will hear the 2 channel layer rather than the downmixed multi channel. Also on the back of your player there may be separate L/R jacks if you are going to default to 2 channel than if you just use the front 2 in the 5.1 analog setup. Check the back to see, it's definitely the case on mine.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1784
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Yep, I've got regular 2-ch out RCAs in the back - but will the sound in those be the same as the SACD? As you know, in 5.1 mode, the player, not the receiver, handles bass management. Which one would handle bass management in the separate 2-ch analog outputs? And would I need a sub cable there, as well? Confused, as usual. . .
I guess I don't understand which DAC does what, or whatever.
The Cambridge manual is NO help - one of the worst I've ever read. . .
Think I'll just go the way I have it now - with only L & R and sub turned "on" in the 5.1 mode - seems to work just fine.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1785
Registered: Oct-04
Art: When going into SACD "setup" on the Cambridge, I'm given a menu that allows me to choose 5.1, 2-ch or Redbook CD as the default selection. Natch, I've got it set on 5.1.
I think I've read somewhere that if you downmix the 5.1 to 2-ch you lose quality. Right? Heck, I'm going 'round in circles on this.
So - is the separate 2-ch output on the player a downmix, or just the front 2 channels. In which case, which handles bass management - player or amp?
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4296
Registered: Feb-05
If you set to 2 channel I don't believe it's a downmix but instead is reading the 2 channel DSD layer.

Why do you need bass management...always been a mystery to me. Run fronts full range then set up your sub.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 13443
Registered: Dec-03
A few more questions Larry R.

Do you happen to have a regular CD and SACD of the same material/music? If you do, can you notice a significant difference in the reproduction/recording of the materials when playing in stereo mode?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1788
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Thanx - read the Old Dawgs thread for updates.

The Silver Serpents are "in the mail," and when "Jon" and I were talking this ayem at Jerry's new setup, he said he hopes I can bring them over for a "shootout" with the Kimbers and the Cobalts.
Turns out he's quite a knowledgeable guy - EE degree from college and he designs circuits when he's not selling rigs.

I manage to learn - despite myself! (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1789
Registered: Oct-04
Berny: sorry, signals and messages crossed.

Yes, I do have several discs of same material: Miles Davis Sketches of Spain, for one. Will hunt for others.

Haven't compared them yet - will be doing that in just a few minutes.

But the couple of hybrid SACD discs that I've already played - well, I swear that - for me - they seem to sound better in 2-ch than in 5.1. How can that be?

Interesting post from M.R. about the Arcam and the distortion issue, so they put out a 2-ch rig instead of the 5.1 version! How weird! Wonder if I'm facing the same thing here - somehow cleaner sound from the 2-ch than the 5.1 layer? Beats me. . .

Moor sooon
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