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SACD Digital [or not] Surround

 

New member
Username: Nutopia

Post Number: 8
Registered: Aug-04
I understand that SACDs cannot be played through a digital connection. I went to buy some new RCA cords yesterday and the guy at the store seemed quite angry when I told him I didn't want digital cords for my surround sound setup. He kept saying that I don't really have true surround sound. Even with my 6 RCA cables.

What footnote am I missing from him that makes him correct from his point of view? Or is he just wrong?

I also bought a surge protector/electric filter. I assume that's a good investment, anyone want to reassure me? Wasn't cheap...
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Just a guess, but, I would say you are missing a good store with knowlegeable employees.

Surge protector - usually good.



 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 201
Registered: Jun-04
Spank naughty salesman. Multichannel SACD is up to 5+1 discrete channels. Your player read it from disc and send each channel separately to receiver through 5.1 analogue out. So if we define "surround" as "sound comes from more than two different angles, with reference to listening position", then m-ch SACD through this analogue interconnect is surround.

Cheers
AL

 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 67
Registered: Aug-04
Actually, the salesman was partially right.

If your unit is a DVD player that plays both the SACD and DVD-A formats (in other words, not a Sony!), then you won't need the digital connection for listening to any hi-rez recordings.

But, if you plan on watching movies through the unit as well, you should get some type of toslink or coax interconnect to listen to the Dolby Digital or DTS tracks. I don't believe your receiver/amp will decode these without one.
 

New member
Username: Nutopia

Post Number: 9
Registered: Aug-04
Robert,
I have a Sony (sorry, it is 400-discs which was important to me--college life can damange CDs faster than the sun!) but I do recall seeing the DTS and/or Dolby Digital lights come on my receiver [Kenwood] when the discs are being played from the Sony DVD player. I don't know if that is enough of a sign, but I do know that it *sounds* like it works. Do you think I should still try to get a digital hook-up?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1710
Registered: Dec-03
Greg if your dvd player has built in dolby digital and dts
decoders then you technically don't need a digital cable because
the player does the decoding then sends the signals to your reciever.

but it doesn't have to be that way. sacd and dvd-a have
to do that because of copyright laws that won't let
you pass them as a digital signal. but you can with dolby digital and dts.

Also depending on the d to a converters in your player or
reciever one may sound better then the other if it has better ones.

Also if you have a 7.1 setup and play a 7.1 movie
the 5.1 outs from your dvd player don't do the
proper decoding.

me personally I use the digital cable for movies "coaxial"
and use the 5.1 analog cables for music.
if your dvd player does not have dts and dolby digital
decoders built in then you won't get the propper surround.
just because the dvd player says dolby digital or dts
doesn't mean it the decoders built in, just means it
can play those disks.

A descent digital cable should cost you about $20
and would make sure you can play your movies correctly
"as long as your reciever has dts and dolby digital decoders"

Hope that wasn't to confusing!
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 210
Registered: Jun-04
Yes, If you want receiver to do true 5.1 DD or DTS decoding, you have to use digital interconnect (coaxial or optical).

If you don't have 5.1 surround speakers, digital cable might still be better. Receiver can have better surround simulation.

Cheers
AL
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 211
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Mr. K, seems we do stereo posting.

Greg, as you see there are many people here at the forum, willing to help you out. Welcome back with more questions, if you need to.

Cheers
AL
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1711
Registered: Dec-03
arnold not neccaseraly.

"If you want receiver to do true 5.1 DD or DTS decoding, you have to use digital interconnect (coaxial or optical)."

If his dvd player has 5.1 DD or DTS decoding built into it
then he doesn't have to have a cable. the player does the processing
Instead of the reciever. of course if there is a certain digital
sound field on the reciever you would like to use
it's more than likely not going to work. but you
will still get 5.1 surround the way it was recorded.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1712
Registered: Dec-03
good to see yu arnold!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 214
Registered: Jun-04
Good to be back! My ISP seem to be in a good mood today, so far...

True, it's sometimes possible to let player do the decoding. I was more thinking of the case when receiver does that job.

Hmm, I think I'm getting the inspiration to try again letting the DV-565A decode DTS. Didn't sound so good last time, but I didn't fiddle with the setup then.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 68
Registered: Aug-04
I may be incorrect, but aren't DVD players with "built-in" decoders rather rare these days? Plus, if you have a receiver or amp that can handle six channel input, chances are it will have a superior DAC than such a source unit would any way.

Greg-

I mentioned Sony because I believe they are the only manufacturer that puts out a CD player that handles SACD. I think they have only two models. Everyone else makes hi rez in DVD units, which you probably would want a digital cable for any way. You didn't mention the model# of either your source or receiver/amp units.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1714
Registered: Dec-03
Arnold it's very possable the dts decoder and or dac's in your reciever
Is better then that in the dvd player.

Which is what I suspect with my setup so I use the digital cable.
Let alone I run 7.1 with no 7.1 cables from dvd player I have too!

Well my B&K ref 31 prepro just showed from ups so
I got some work to do.

Here comes 7.1 tube surround!!

 

New member
Username: Nutopia

Post Number: 10
Registered: Aug-04
Thanks for all the info. I'm going to go home and check whether or not my DVD player is doing the decoding. I would assume that it is, only because the receiver is picking up DTS/Dolby signals using the analogue cables (but I really don't know). You guys know more than me, so here are my model numbers:
Sony DVP-CX985V (SACD/DVD/MP3/VCD player)
Kenwood VR-605 (Receiver)



 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1715
Registered: Dec-03
Robert Culp:

"I may be incorrect, but aren't DVD players with "built-in" decoders rather rare these days? Plus, if you have a receiver or amp that can handle six channel input, chances are it will have a superior DAC than such a source unit would any way"

the first part i'd say about a third of them do.
the second part is what I allready said.

and this:

"I mentioned Sony because I believe they are the only manufacturer that puts out a CD player that handles SACD"

I know at least of one marrantz unit. but there are others, even
a few tube cd players that do sacd.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 216
Registered: Jun-04
Interesting point about the chips. My player's DACs are superior, but its bass management might be spooky. Curious about player/receiver DSP, I suppose there might be variations in the implementation of DTS algorithm.

Greg, I'm afraid those DD and DTS lights are deco when using analogue, detection works for digital inputs only.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 286
Registered: Mar-04

quote:

Thanks for all the info. I'm going to go home and check whether or not my DVD player is doing the decoding. I would assume that it is, only because the receiver is picking up DTS/Dolby signals using the analogue cables (but I really don't know).



This bring up a question. If the player has decoded the DTS signal and is sending the audio via the analog connections, how would the receiver "know" it was from a DTS source?


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1717
Registered: Dec-03
sem that's a good question!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 69
Registered: Aug-04
Sem-

That's why I thought onboard decoders were pretty rare in DVD players now. Wouldn't such a unit have multichannel outputs for a compatible receiver?

I believe back when DVD players were first made there were a lot more of these units available. At the time, we only had AC-3 which eventually became Dolby Digital. I had a Yamaha receiver that was DD, but no DTS.

If you had a DVD player with built in decoders, you didn't have to worry about upgrading your receiver right away...
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 217
Registered: Jun-04
Exactly what I meant when saying deco lights. But specs say DD and DTS, when fed digitally.

Greg: Worthwile checking 5.1 analoge for Home theater anyway, the Sony might have better DACs.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 218
Registered: Jun-04
Oops, my last one was referring to Sem's question.

Robert, you draw the rigth conclusion: player decoding does make a lot more sense with 5.1 analogue outs.

BTW: AFAIK DD was the original movie format, AC3 an implementation aimed at household apps.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 940
Registered: Aug-04
I use the digital connections for DVD-V's with our Denon 2900 to our Marantz receiver. In the audio setup tips that came with the Denon, they suggest using the receiver's decoding for DD & DTS, not because the decoders are inferior, but because of the same reason as supplied by Kegger: so all surrounds dsp options are available when wanted.

Usually a DVD player with the extra 6 outputs on the rear panel suggests that it has on-board decoders (either DD or DD and DTS).
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 219
Registered: Jun-04
Just to clarify, my last post didn't aim at outruling DTS for 2-channel. We shant forget many people just connect DVD to their TV.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Sulfur

Post Number: 51
Registered: Dec-03
Sem: If the player decoded DTS to analog, then the receiver will never know. As far as it's concerned it'll be External 5.1 Analog. The gurus are dead on. You will lose any DSP options. If your receiver supports DSP in this case, basically it's reconverting analog to digital to perform DSP, and then reconverting to analog.

Greg: It seems your unit comes with a built-in DD/DTS/SACD Multi decoder, as well as DD/DTS digital optical/coax outs. See pages 26-27 of your Sony user manual. To use the built-in decoder for DD/DTS/SACD you must connect all 6 RCA analog outs (3 pairs of RCA cables) to your receiver, and set the surround mode to OFF. This is path D-1 in your manual. Hope it helps.

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DVPCX985V.pdf
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2357
Registered: Dec-03
Greg,

Just read this thread. You have good advice. BTW DVD-Audio 5.1 comes in through six analogue interconnects, too, but your Sony player will not have that. These are all genuine, multichannel, surround sound formats. Tell the guy at the store he is wrong. It is that simple.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 292
Registered: Mar-04
Anthony said:

quote:

Sem: If the player decoded DTS to analog, then the receiver will never know. As far as it's concerned it'll be External 5.1 Analog.



Yes, which is why I was asking that "leading" question. :-)


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