I have a Pioneer DVD player (which I use to play CD's/DVD's) hooked up optically/digitally to a Pioneer A/V receiver. The receiver can accept Dolby Digital or DTS for DVD's, and it sounds great. For CD's, the receiver uses Dolby Pro Logic, but there are other settings as well, for example some DSP settings which remove Dolby Pro Logic altogether. I wonder if Dolby Pro Logic is a recommended format for CD's since sometimes it seems a little more muffled to my ear than some of the DSP modes. What do you recommend? What do you use?
For cd's I would suggest using it in just 2 channel mode as that is the way it was recorded. If you prefer to use the full surround, then which ever mode sounds the best to you as you are the listener. Maybe the jazz mode sounds good for jazz and a different mode sounds better with a different dsp, it is whatever you prefer.
If I had to pick between stereo and Stereo and A DSP Surround mode I'd pick stereo hands down. Like 'd lowe' says, that's the way the music was recorded and designed to be listened to. HAVING SAID THAT: I am a fan of surround music from surround srouces (eg SACD) but sometimes it is fun to listen to some CDs processed for surround. In that case see if your reciever has a process that extracts ambience from the original recording and directs that to the speakers rather than using a DSP to generate new signals. NAD has something called EARS on their receivers and it works wonders. I'm a fan of Dolby ProLogic II (Music) as well although I think it does some processing as well as ambience extracting. Typically I say avoid using a DSP if you can and try to keep your tone-controls disabled or 'zeroed'.
Check your manual and see if that reciever has soemthing like the EARS feature (it won't be called that but you likely have something similar).
As Paul says though -- It is 100% personal preference and you may decide with your reciever your ears like the sound using the DSPs just a bit more.
I'm confused. I can turn ProLogic off, and DSP modes off on the receiver, (and it sounds better to my ear) but when I do that, and insert a DVD, the receiver doesn't seem to enter Dolby Digital mode. (The receiver is Pioneer VSX-D810S). It seems like I would have to change settings on my receiver when everytime I change from a CD to a DVD, and from a DVD to CD... unless I'm missing something. Is there a way around this, or am I just misinterpreting something?
Do you have the 6 phono outputs on your DVD player, and the 6 phono inputs on your receiver. That's what sounds the best to my ears, by using the 6 channel direct the 2ch signal comes direct from the DVD player, although I have to play it quite loud to get any good bass response.
Before I upgraded my DVD player, I used Harman Kardon's Logic 7 exclusively, since that seemed to sound the best with most recordings, sometimes I would use the Dolby vs. Ref, but really using any DSP is not preferrable to going direct from the player.
Personally, I find that it sounds even better if the DVD player is connected to the CD input of the amp via the Left and Right analogue connections. In other words, when listening to DVDs switch to the DVD input of the amplifier for use with the digital connection, but for CDs switch to the CD analogue input of the amplifier.
I'm in a rush so I've only read Tigger's response so I am sorry if this is duplicate
Tigger: I ran into this problem when I first started using surround. I did not realize at first that my DVD player has two digital output options: PCM and BitStream. Thus if it was in PCM I could use ProLogic, etc for surround but not DTS or proper DolbyDigital 5.1.
Check in your DVD player menu setup and ensure you've got your digital out set to Bitstream... or at least not PCM.
Much of this depends on the DACs in each unit. If the receiver has a better DAC than the DVD player then let it do the conversion by connecting with a digital (optical/coax). As far as DSPs, I don't much care for them. The room acoustics can make or break these and it usually breaks. Dolby PLII I have found decent for CDs and Kenwoods' Circle Surround isnt bad. But for CDs good old 2 channel is the best. If you really want to hear it in surround go pick up some DVD-Audio discs and play it in DD or DTS. That sounds pretty groovy.
Thanks all for your comments. I followed Frank's suggestion, and it works well. Saves me from having to change the settings on the receiver when I switch from CD to DVD, and vice versa.