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DVD-Audio through 2 channels

 

New member
Username: Davidr

Calgary, Alberta Canada

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-04
This is my first ever post :-)

I am currently building a system and have yet to venture into the realm of 5.1. I am only sitting at 2 channel stereo with some Paradigm Monitor 7's (NAD 473 receiver and 513 DVD player). I am basically trying to decide whether to upgrade to the NAD T533 DVD player due to the possibility of DVD Audio. However, since I will probably be sitting at 2 channel stereo for a while I was wondering one: if DVD Audio would work with my setup of 2 front speakers (and how the setup would work ie. which set of outputs to use) and 2: whether I would see much increase in performance from DVD Audio versus CD with this setup. Thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 844
Registered: Aug-04
David,

For DVD-A you use the analgue outs from the player.

IMHO, you should get a universal player that incorporates SACD as well. Absolutely an improvement in sound over redbook cd's from both formats. And SACD will help provide a far greater range to choose your hi-rez recordings from.

Also, a T533 user in this forum has found that this player will not play DVD-A's with a particular copy protection. He is awaiting a fix from NAD to reach his dealer.

See "Nad T533 player and user review" under the DVD thread.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2258
Registered: Dec-03
David,

What I recommend is that you get a DVD-A disc. These all have DVD-V tracks, too, so you can play one on your T513. You can then take that disc along to a dealer, and try the T533. My Rantz is correct, some record labels are introducing a copy protection system for DVD-A. You should check with your dealer that he knows about this issue: in my dealer existing T533 stock will not play one DVD-A (it is only one of twenty) and I have loaned them that disc. NAD looks after individual customers, has checked my T533 serial number, and confirms i need a firmware upgrade in order to play that disc. NAD is particularly responsive iand on-the-ball in Canada, I think. Talk to the dealer from whom you bought the T513

There is a two-channel, hi-resolution format on some DVD-V discs, just as good as two-channel DVD-A, called PCM stereo (sometimes "24-bit stereo"). If you get such a disc and choose "PCM" in digital audio out setup on the T513, you will get some idea of what DVD-A has to offer.

My answer to both your questions is "yes".

I also recommend the T533, which is excellent value for money, in my opinion. Here is the link My Rantz mentioned.

NAD T533 DVD/CD player user's review, and DVD-Audio
 

New member
Username: Davidr

Calgary, Alberta Canada

Post Number: 2
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks Rantz

I agree that Universal is the way to go. I wonder if anyone knows whether NAD or Rotel will be coming out with a Universal player in the near future? I don't really know why they wouldn't unless they need to pay royalties to be SACD compatable or something.
 

New member
Username: Davidr

Calgary, Alberta Canada

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks also to John.

I read your post about the 533 and it is basically the main reason that I am leaning towards getting the 533. Thanks for your advice on the PCM. I will check it out.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 851
Registered: Aug-04
No problem David.

I'm also going to recomend the Denon Universal players. I've had the DVD-2900 for about 5 mths now and have given it - well - pretty much a fair flogging. It is used on a daily basis whether for movies or hi-rez audio. And it excels at both.

See www.denon.com

The new line-up are the 2910 and the more expensive 3910 which doesn't seem that much more than the former for the extra money. You may even get a run-out 2200 or 2900 at a good price if you're inclined but the new models have hdmi connections, and a few other goodies.

Anyway, as you may be a NAD fan, which I can certainly understand, do some auditioning with a few brands if you can and good luck with it.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2260
Registered: Dec-03
You are welcome, David,

My Rantz and I have "chewed the fat" over DVD-A and SACD and I think he will agree we do not need to go into all that again here!

But... you say "I don't really know why they wouldn't unless they need to pay royalties to be SACD compatable or something." and I think your guess is correct; the licence holders have a very tight grip on SACD encoding, both as regards discs and players. My guess is it costs a bomb in fees to include SACD capability in a player, unless you happen to own the licence, in which case other people are paying for you to include your proprietary hardware and software, thus keeping the competition at bay.

Sometimes the "bad guys" win, ending up in a position of being able to charge us more for something that can be done better and more cheaply, and eventually extinguishing the real innovators who took risks and made the initial investment. I have Microsoft in mind as a prime example (leads off topic- I will not follow!).

Anyway, DVD-A for 5.1 and "PCM stereo" for stereo seem to be at at least as good, for sound quality, as SACD, (this is a second-hand opinion, coming from me) and are also simpler and cheaper for everyone involved. The end user may prefer to get discs in SACD format because of the catalogue, and then he/she will obviously need an SACD player. My only opinion here is that this choice is purely a result of marketing strategies, not technical and audio specifications.

NAD is not the only audio electronics maker to have resisted SACD so far; Cambridge Audio, Arcam, Naim, Mission etc still do not make SACD players as far as I know. Nor Meridian, but you could argue they have the opposite vested interest, since they have a stake in the success of MLP, the DVD-A packaging algorithm.

Arcam's pdf document dvd-a vs sacd (430 kB) is interesting. Even the hardware costs of including DSD decoding are formidable, and it offers no advantage in terms of sound quality.

Whether they, NAD, and I are all behaving like King Canute still remains to be seen.

Here is a thread with my take, and others', on PCM stereo.

I am not saying anything against My Rantz (old friend and debating partener, here), or Denon. Denon and Pioneer obviously make great stuff, and have gone the "universal" route. But there are signs that even these big guys have avoided eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with SACD, saving money, probably, and keeping life simpler by converting DSD to LPCM for processing, for "bass management" and so on. I still not persuaded that things would not be a whole lot better if all hi-res and multichannel discs were in LPCM in the first place.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 852
Registered: Aug-04
"My Rantz and I have "chewed the fat" over DVD-A and SACD and I think he will agree we do not need to go into all that again here!"

All evidence to the contrary eh John?

David, if John's theories are correct I wonder how Pioneer could have afforded to put a very cheap universal player onto market? I think any licencing or royalty costs (if any) would be greatly reduced over product numbers. As far as sound quality - John is yet to actually hear SACD. Myself, I think it is brilliant as I do DVD-A. Of course, like any format, it has to be a well engineered/mix.

But, both offer stereo and if you're considering H/T in the future, any of these players will suit your needs.

My advice is not to be deterred by anyone's theories and do your own homework and auditioning. I just believe that for my money, having all the options on board has proved well and truly worthwhile. Of course if worrying about Sony/Phillips making another buck or two keeps you up at night then your decision will be an easier one. Good Luck!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2262
Registered: Dec-03
All evidence to the contrary eh John?

Sorry, My Rantz. You got me. I come out slowly, with my hands up.

As far as sound quality - John is yet to actually hear SACD.

That is correct, too. That is what I meant by "this is a second-hand opinion, coming from me". All talk and theory; not much action; not much cash. I keep thinking of new epitaphs. It can't be healthy.

But maybe just take a look at the link, above, "dvd-a vs sacd " from Arcam. They make quality stuff, most people will agree.

I'll go now.... [slinks off].
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 854
Registered: Aug-04
So do Linn!
 

New member
Username: Davidr

Calgary, Alberta Canada

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks guys.

Rantz, Denon would definitely be my next option. The 2910 looks impressive but I will have to audition a few. However, perhaps I will wait on my decision of new player until I have my H/T complete. Maybe by then the format war will be settled, although I think this very unlikely.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2264
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz:- Yes. Linn also makes and sells SACD discs, so it would be strange if they did not make a player for them. They used to make LPs, once....
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 859
Registered: Aug-04
Yes John they do make SACD's. But not DVD-A's yet they see the wisdom in manufacturing universal players.

And some of the most reknown recording engineers, such as Elliot Scheiner for example, utilise both formats and bespeak their qualities. But then he's only an expert in his field.

What I don't understand, is why people who enjoy music need to join sides in a battle which should only be fought by the recording companies. We, the consumers, should be supportive of all improved formats. Both can coexist - the world IS big enough.

The most up to date information suggests both formats are advancing with gusto and yet you seem to want to deny anyone interested in hi-rez the benefits of the sound quality of SACD and the increased catalogue of hi-rez music it provides. I wonder, had the T533 been a universal player, if your opinion would still be so negative.

My apologies David, should you happen to return here, I had no intention of bringing the battlefield here. But, I must make my stand against antisacdism for the good of music lovers everywhere.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2270
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

We were asked about 2-channel DVD-A. Personally, I'd recommend a turntable, but that's an answer to a different question.

Part of my reasoning in getting the NAD T533 was that a higher proportion of the cost of its design and manufacture went into sound and picture quality than in comparable machines with SACD. This could be wishful thinking. If the Denon 2200, for example, is much the same but plus SACD, it was three times the price; the 2900 four times, I think. This could be all wrong. It is the same reason I bought a Rega Planar 3 years ago, and that was a good choice; there is nothing in it that is not there for sound quality alone. At that time audio cassette was touted as about to replace LP. I don't have so much disposable dosh, and wish I didn't have to worry so much about how to dispose of it.

But I'll buy you a drink.

What would you like?
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 864
Registered: Aug-04
John A

I know David asked about 2 channel DVD-A, but I added the suggestion he consider SACD also - and he was quite okay about it. Remember a little while back when posters asked about DVD players and you were forthright in recommending they add the DVD-A option? You know about the goose and the gander no doubt.

I recently read a review about the T533:http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2004/nad_t533.shtml

It's strong recomendation by the reviewer was the excellent CD audio quality over picture & surround modes but I'll let you read it. The picture quality in the Denon 2200 & 2900 models have become almost legendary as has the surround sound. CD audio is most likely where the NAD pips them. And I have never doubted, for the money, that the T533 is an excellent machine. But the point of my post above remains: as audio enthusiasts, we should embrace any improvement for the consumer regardless of the politics. It is where, I believe, we should all be unified and if there is a story to be told, just as you told me and countless others about DVD-A, then I would feel remiss in keeping it to myself.

I appreciate the drink, but I know my throat will remain dry, so save your money for the move. Just a glass of water ta!

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2272
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

You are quite right, and I thank you.

However I am not taking the line that people should concern themselves with politics when deciding what to buy. As it was in my own decision. All I am suggesting is that, if one wants the very best sound quality for the money, one might try to think if there are any hidden costs of SACD, and I am speculating what these might be. Things are often not what they seem.

David sparked that line with his remark about wondering why NAD, Rotel, etc seem to have no plans for SACD. Personally, I think he got it right first time. The Arcam statement - do take a look - is from a small independent, with its own, high, standards, and probably goes for many such companies. I kind of admire those guys.

I will check out the review. Nice that it is from NZ. I wonder where everyone else has been with the reviewing that model. It is seven months old here, ten months in N America, I think.

Well, when you're so inclined, the next round is on me. It would be my pleasure.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 869
Registered: Aug-04
Just to finish my input here, I find it strange that the T533 has appeared in NZ yet is still not available here in Aus. Neither are the new Denon universal palyers. The distributer here handles Nad, Denon and Linn as well as various speaker brands:

http://www.audioproducts.com.au

David,

From what I have been reading, I think the format war will soon fizzle to leave both advancing for our benefit. And even if one loses, there will be enough titles around by the time that happens to keep us listening for quite a while. That would be another benefit of a universal player. Good Luck!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1641
Registered: Dec-03
well glad to see you two got that cleared up.

yes my feeling is the same as mr. rantz.
if your going to buy a hi rez player might as well get one
that plays all formats.

also arcam has now decided to make sacd players.

the statemeant was we don't want to jump in and make something if it isn't
going to last but it looks sacd has gotten a solid hold.

I have heard simular rumblings from rotel.
so i'm sure soon all will carry sacd players.

as brian johnson would say. HAVE A DRINK ON ME!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 871
Registered: Aug-04
Thanks Kegger, the tab is in the mail!

Cheers.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2274
Registered: Dec-03
Yes, David, Good luck.

Thanks, Kegger. Good to know.

I too think SACD is gaining more acceptance, and is now likely to be around for a some time. If I go SACD I will consider getting a separate player, I think.

That looks like a pretty good distributor, My Rantz, there are some respected names on their list. BTW since when were Queensland, New South Wales etc. called "states".....? Is ACT now called ACS....?
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 873
Registered: Aug-04
The only thing with a seperate player John is that if you want the surround version, you only have one set of analogue in connections on your receiver.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 875
Registered: Aug-04
Sorry, I have to get to bed I'm not seeing straight - John, they've been called states ever since they became states? What did you think they were? And as far as I know the ACT is still the ACT.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2277
Registered: Dec-03
Mr Rantz,

Thanks. Yes, or get a separate receiver or processor.

I thought they were called "territories" as in ACT = "Austalia's Capital Territory". I could be about a century out on that, I know.

Don't reply. It'll wait till tomorrow. Blink on "Old dogs" and you've missed six posts. ...

All the best.
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