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Dvd audio

 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
hiya guys.
this sort of naivity may be annoying to you all, but i am struggling to negotiate the minefield related to dvd audio
basically i have a simple hi fi set up at the moment,
these are Marantz CD5000
Marantz PM4200 amp
and a pair of monitor audio bronze B2s
you may all have gathered that this is a budget set up. but i am a student!
with this budget limitations in mind i wanted to slowly upgrade my system to accomadate dvd audio, starting with the
Pioneer DV-578A, or a similar model around the £150-£200 mark. i wont be able to afford a new reciever, or speaker package for a while, so is it worth me buying such a player for improved audio perfomance, as video quality isnt my heighest priority (i have a crap tv). would the cd performance be better with just the 2 speaker set up than my present player, and can the dvd audio signal be recreated (or mixed down) with just the two channels and conventional speaker setup? The re-release of neil young albums on dvd audio and some frank zappa stuff has promted my desire for such a system. Is this worth me getting or am i living a pipe dream?
Any help would go down a treat
Cheers
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2041
Registered: Aug-04
I would say the DvD-a's would most likely be a small improvement than most of your cd's played through the Marantz, but I'm only guessing as I have no experience with the Pioneer. CD's would most likely be better played on your Marantz player. Is it worth the cost? It might pay to audition the Pioneer with your favourite discs - if possible.
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
having done a bit more searching i have also found the Nad T533. Is this a better player?
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2043
Registered: Aug-04
I would say so

Here's a review by a well regarded forum member:

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-video/109029.html

 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 5
Registered: Aug-04
In regards to your question about the dvd audio signal being mixed down to 2 channels...

It depends on the album. Many dvd-a releases contain a stereo high resolution mix, or group, as well as the 5.1 group but some don't. Check the outer cover of the disc for a listing of the groups contained on the disc. Until you upgrade your system to 5.1 stick to the discs that have the stereo group. I can tell you that both Harvest and QuAudioPhiliac have stereo groups.

I went through the same upgrade path you are on. I spent about a year listening to dvd-a stereo and at the time loved it. But it was the upgrade to 5.1 that really blew me away.

Bottom line, once you hear high-res (dvd-a or sacd) it's hard to go back to cd. Once you hear 5.1 it's hard to go back to stereo.
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
thanks, well i have just ordered myself a NAD T533, and will be saving up for a NAD T743
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3324
Registered: Dec-03
Thank you for the compliment, My Rantz!

August 2005 "HiFi News" has a review of the NAD T533. It is very positive about the sound quality, less so about the video. That magazine's audio and video reference is very hi-end, and expensive stuff. My interpretation is that this player is strongly recommended, at its price point, if audio is the first priority.

I've put that comment also on the thread:NAD T533 DVD/CD player user's review, and DVD-Audio, which follows on from My Rantz's link, now archived.
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-05
I think i am having a problem with my harvest dvd-audio disc, regarding the set up. It just sounds awful. I am only running in on the T533, through a stereo 2 channel marantz PM4200. I really dont have a clue about the way that the player should be set up for it, it does seem like it os missing channels, and not down mixing, even though its supposed to have a stereo mix on it. My zappa one seems ok, does the player not choose the mix depending on the set up automatically, and do i have to change settings with each disc? cheers
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2088
Registered: Aug-04
You may need to use the on-screen DVD menu to choose 2 channel. Some DVD-A's automatically start in 5.1 surround mode, others need the menu to choose all available formats/channels (just like a DVD movie). If (and I know this does not apply to you) you have a surround system set up, usually once "Play" is visible in the player's screen, pressing "Stop" then "Play" again begins the 5.1 mlp layer. Hope this helps.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3337
Registered: Dec-03
Adam,

What are the options for the disc, according to the disc and its packaging?

Do you have a TV connected, so that you can use the "On-Screen Display"?
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2089
Registered: Aug-04
Sorry John - did I get it wrong?

"it does seem like it os missing channels, and not down mixing, even though its supposed to have a stereo mix on it"

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3341
Registered: Dec-03
No, you are spot-on, I think, MR.

I am just trying to understand the problem, and what Adam has at his disposal to find the solution. I know a bit about the T533, but nothing about the disc. The T533 is very dependent on which disc menu options you have - it is not easy, or even possible in some cases, to over-ride the menu. And all this assumes you have an OSD, to set the player up correctly. I would not recommend this player to someone who wants it just for audio. Without the OSD, I doubt there is any way of running the audio set-up, which is what Adam needs to do in order to know which settings he has. Whether all DVD-A players are like this, I don't know.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2091
Registered: Aug-04
John

Okay, apart from being necessary for the player's set-up options, all DVD formats require the TV or display (OSD) to locate the DVD menu, but a player's set up will not interfere with the DVD menu selection - will it?
 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 6
Registered: Aug-04
The stereo mix on the Harvest dvd-a is on Group 2. Insert the disc. Wait for it to load. The word 'menu' may show in the player's display. Press stop so that the word 'stop' shows on the display. Using the remote enter the number 2. This will start Group 2. "2-1" will display indicating Track 1 of Group 2 is playing... "think I'll pack it in and buy a pickup...". Awesome!

Most discs are setup so that Group 1 is the 5.1 mix and Group 2 is the stereo mix. Some discs will have both mixes on Group 1. Use the button on the remote (might be called 'Audio') to toggle between the two mixes. I have an Eric Johnson disc where the 5.1 is Group 2 and the stereo is Group 3, but that's rare. When in doubt, hook up the player to a TV and use the on screen menus.

There is a bit of a learning curve when starting out with dvd-a. Hang in there - it's worth it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2093
Registered: Aug-04
Ah! Thanx Wavelength! Handy tip. That'll give my plasma extra life. LOL!
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2095
Registered: Aug-04
Hmmn - just tried that with Roy Orbison's Black & White Night DVD-A. Stereo & surround are on seperate layers - not groups. Could only change with the 'audio' button or menu options. Will try others later.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3345
Registered: Dec-03
Yes, thanks, wavelength!

I never understood "Chapter" and "Group". I am still not sure what these refer to. The manual is not very clear, or I had failed to pay attention. I will try it on my T533.

I have several DVD-A discs which have no two-channel, and all I can do then is set "Audio" options to "Off" for surrounds, center, and sub. This is a lot of fiddling, the OSD and the TV are essential, and the resulting sound is like you are in a swimming baths. Probably I should set the player so that surrounds are "On" even when I have no speakers connected, and then the reverb is no longer messing up the stereo.

Adam, you have to have an OSD to be able to try all these options. So I believe.
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-05
yeah, ur right guys. it is annoying me that i have to have a tv connected to the player to pick the right type of playback without it automatically detecting settings. it is a bit of a fiddle, but i have to say it really does sound excellent, even on my budget system.I guess as Wavelength says that the best way of doing it is to learn the "commands" to access the stereo tracks. Do many dvd audios not carry a stereo track?. Its not practical for me to have a surround sound set up at the moment. I also just tried that "shortcut" to the stereo track on harvest, it didnt work!
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-05
in fact its more like put the disc in, then 2,enter,2enter.If all Neil albums follow this then thats fine. Although the Zappa Quadiophiliac album is a lot harder. This is so annoying!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2099
Registered: Aug-04
Since my preference has been 5.1 this hasn't really been a problem for me. If both the 2 channel and multi-channel versions are on seperate layers of the disc I can use the 'Audio" button on the remote to select either. If not, and they are on separate chapters, then the OSD or good guesswork is required to navigate the DVD menu for selection.

On my Denon universal player, this where SACD is another advantage, no matter what default has been chosen in the set-up, just press a button on the faceplate to select an available option: Multi-channel layer, two channel layer, or CD layer.

It's a shame the DVD consortium doesn't understand that many of us just like to listen without watching pictures or reading the lyrics, then they could have allowed similar options to those of SACD.


 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jun-05
i have noted in the set up screen on the nad that there is a choice for disc audio langauge. I presume that this picks the default language layer for the disc. It is also possible to add new codes to play the default language. Does anyone know of such a code that will automatically play DVD audio stereo as the default "language". Is this even possible?
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jun-05
hi, i am just about to recieve a NAD T743 to go with my NAD T533 dvd-a player. What woud be the best way of connecting the two devices, bearing in mind i havent got 5.1 speakers yet, and just the 2 speakers for stereo. Would i connect it through the cd inputs on the amp, or the front two speaker channel inputs on the 5.1 analogue inputs on the amp?. is there acually a difference in performance. i will be using both cds and dvd audios in this stereo config
cheers
 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 7
Registered: Aug-04
Dvd-audio will only output from the dvd player's 5.1 analogue outputs so use the 5.1 front left and front right inputs on the amp. You could make a different connection for CDs. My experience has been that CDs sound best via the 5.1 outputs/inputs as well.
 

New member
Username: Crazyhorse

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jun-05
thanks guys, u have been a great help on here
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3379
Registered: Dec-03
I have a similar system and find the same as wavelength. The "Ext 5.1" input to my older NAD T760 receiver is better than all other inputs, even for stereo. However, I think I recall the T743 has a "Stereo direct" connection and this probably does the same thing. This is to by-pass the digital sound processor board which gives Prologic, EARS, and other things.
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 701
Registered: May-05
I would like to see more movie soundtracks released in DVD Audio, as I have just listened to John Williams score for "War of the Worlds" such a chilling piece of score mix engineering by Shawn Murphy" and why duel versions of it are not being released is beyond me at this point.

It's like DAB digital Radio Broadcast, 192Kbs and only 2 channels, what drugs where they taking when they came up with that concept I really don't know.

As for DVD Audio they have to get there act together and not make a bad name for themselves...
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