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Sacd/dvd-a in stereo

 

bobbyt
Unregistered guest
Can any sacd or dvd-a disc be played in just stereo? If I only want 2 channel do I still need the 5.1 cables?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2521
Registered: Dec-03
Can any sacd or dvd-a disc be played in just stereo?

Yes. Sometimes they have only 5.1, so the left and right channels will be missing something. But many have two-channel mixes of the whole recording, which you can choose in "audio setup". And they are very good. There is also on DVD-A discs the two-channel downmix, which you can select from the player's digital audio set-up.

If I only want 2 channel do I still need the 5.1 cables?

No. In fact the analogue L and R cables give great results with CD as well as DVD-A/SACD.
 

bobbyt
Unregistered guest
John, Thanks so much. I think you answered this question but let me make sure. Do universal players handle multichannel and stereo? Can the player be set up to play both or do you have to choose one or the other? And if so, will I need cables for both--the 6 for dvd=a/sacd and the 2 for cd redbook? Sorry so many questions at once.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2527
Registered: Dec-03
bobbyt,

Do universal players handle multichannel and stereo?

Yes.

Can the player be set up to play both or do you have to choose one or the other?

Usually the player recognises the type of disc and chooses the format for you. With multiple formats on one side of one disc it usually chooses "the best", You can change that in the player set-up, usually. DVDs have on-screen menus, too. It is not a problem.

And if so, will I need cables for both--the 6 for dvd=a/sacd and the 2 for cd redbook?

No, as above. 6 is enough. You can add two more if you want to go to the dedicated amp CD input. Cables do not have to be expensive,
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

My experience with SACD/DVD-A universal players operating in pure stereo has been somewhat rocky. Not exactly because of the formats, but, mostly, due to little information being given to the support systems for these formats. I had purchased a Toshiba 4960 universal player. It was fraught with problems that I thought should be simple to answer with a cal to technical support. After 6 weeks I still have no answers from Toshiba though they assure me the problem will be resolved. I sent the player back to the seller, at Toshiba's suggestion, to await their answer. I believe I will move on to another unit as the remote and display on the 4960 are pitiful. The 4960 is a low priced player that I wanted for DVD-A as I already have SACD capabilites. The new Pioneer player in the beneath $200 range is reported to not be as good as the previous, now discontinued, model. (The same appears true for the higher priced Denon 2910.) The Samsung is an unknown property. Then the price for universal players moves steadily upward. Larry R. has found a Yamaha he is happy with and writes about it on "Teaching Old Dogs ... ".

Depending on the price you want to pay these formats appear to offer more flexibility and assure more compatibility with a two channel system. By $5,000 the McIntosh player seems to have all the bases covered. There is a need for a TV hook up for at least the initial set up of the player. And there are apparently some universal players that might require a permanent TV hook up to access the full potential of the DVD-A format. John may know more about that. He is the forum's DVD-A proponent (disdaining SACD for political reasons) and should be considered one of the posters you need to listen to on this format. Since I have not made my purchase yet, I'm unfamiliar with DVD-A but I have been told not all DVD-A discs will include a high rez two channel program and those that do not will not neccessarily mark the box accordingly. The lower resolution DVD-video tracks can still be accesssed in two channel by the players set up menu with a TV hook up. Since SACD began as a two channel format I am unaware of any SACD disc that will not contain a two channel mix.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks I have found in a two channel high rez set up is bass management. It appears to be more or less nonexistent on many of the lower priced models and less than satisfactory on many of the mid priced models. The $5,000 McIntosh again seems to have all situations accounted for. Whether this will be of concern to you will, of course, depend on how you want your system set up.

Any corrections, John?


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2538
Registered: Dec-03
No, J. Vigne, no corrections. All well said.

I am not sure about "political"; it is not as simple as that. If SACD gets going I will certainly get a player, eventually.

There is still this excellent thing called PCM stereo (thread here) on some DVD-V discs. If you have a DVD-Video player that will play that, plus DTS 5.1, then you are already into hi-resolution audio, I think. "True" DVD-A is maybe a step ahead of those two, at least the DTS 5.1, but it depends, I think, on whether they use the full resolution: 5.1 channels of 96 kHz; two channels of up to 192 kHz, all at 24-bit. Most DVD-A discs fall short of that; it takes a lot of disc space.
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