DVD-A under $200 and a few ???????'s [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : DVD-A under $200 and a few ???????'s

10-30-2004, 04:57 PM
Since I'm in the market for entry level DVD-A players I've done some research and learned quite a bit. It looks like there are several players available for under $200 that offer multi format capability. Of particular interest is the Pioneer DV-578A @$149. Anything I should worry about with this particular model?

Also, what exactly are the bass management issues I keep hearing about? I'm under the impression that the HT receiver would handle boost/cut and phase. Why the need for the player to do it as well?

N. Abstentia
10-30-2004, 05:39 PM
The receiver will not handle any bass management, crossover, or level adjustment functions because the DVD-A player will use the multi channel analog inputs and not a digital input. Might want to verify that your receiver has the correct inputs first.

10-31-2004, 04:09 AM
My receiver has 6 multichannel analog inputs on the back. They are labeled as for 5.1 set-up. So since my sub plays in phase without adjustment already, my concerns would be x-over frequency and output level for the sub frequencies? I need to make sure that the DVD-A player offers these features? Does it also need to offer time alignment/output adjustment for all the other channels in order to set up for optimum, or do these functions remain active in the HT receiver?

Also curious, where do folks purchase DVD-A titles? I asked at Circus City and the salesgirl had no idea what I was talking about.

N. Abstentia
10-31-2004, 06:03 AM
Yes, the player will need to have all those functions. That's one reason why I chose the Marantz DV-6400 player.

There is one record store near me that sells DVD-A and SACD titles, and it's a small local chain. They have a very limited selection, so I order most of my DVD-A discs from www.dvdempire.com and SACD's from www.tower.com

Also, if you are by chance looking into the Bob Dylan SACD's, they are available at the BMG and Columbia House record clubs as free selections.

10-31-2004, 08:08 AM
In further researching the Pioneer mentioned above I've found that it does have both base management and time delay functions for the other channels. I did not see mention of output adjustment for the other channels. Unfotunately the Pioneer website is not cooperating and I can't seem to get the complete specs for it. The model I'm interested in is not listed under product manuals. I can't find it to view it and see exactly what it can do and how.

10-31-2004, 03:12 PM
toenail: Try researching the DV-563a, the predecessor (last year's) model...You should be able to find a manual for it, and changes this are probably extremely small, if at all...Good point of reference.

11-01-2004, 04:01 AM
Thanks for the advice Kex. I was able to register on their site and view the specs for the DV-563a. It does offer distance and output level control for all channels. It also has a test tone generator to help with this process. I think I may grab one of these players this afternoon and give it a whirl.

11-01-2004, 02:56 PM
Good news/Bad news

I got the DV-578A today. At a glance it doesn't appear to have output level control for the individual channels, but does have distance compensation. I just got home and am going to fiddle for a bit and see if I can learn more.

11-01-2004, 05:22 PM
Despite what I've read online I've not found any adjustment for output level control for any channels on this unit during 5.1 analog playback. It does have distance, just not output level. I can't find a test tone generator either. Fortunately I use a dedicated subwoofer amp with separate volume control and can adjust that independently. Oddly enough, there doesn't seem to be a problem with output levels being off kilter, despite the fact that I sit 4 feet one of my rear surrounds and 10 feet from the center/mains. Perhaps the time alignment is more crucial? I was able to verify this by watching several Matrix scenes that I'm very familiar with, in 5.1 analog. The depth front to back, the height, the rear effects, the overhead sweeps all seemed right on. Sound quality actually seemed better than with DD through coax (see other thread).

At a glance this unit seems like a great find but I've not had the opportunity to try DVD-A with it yet.

11-01-2004, 07:28 PM
Some further findings about this new dvd player. Output level control for the 5.1 channels is still handled by the HT receiver, despite what I've been told previously. That would explain why my output levels seemed spot on during initial testing with scenes from Matrix. It makes me wonder if the distance settings are also retained by the HT receiver and whether they are redundant if selected on the DVD player. Also makes me wonder about x-over frequency, though the separate tracks from the original 5.1 recording should address most of that issue. I'll have to experiment with both.

Two channel stereo cd playback is phenominal when compared to my old cd player. Like having a whole new music library. I doubt everyone would find this to be true, it has a lot to do with how poor my old player was. Listening to SRV's The Sky is Crying disc, track #4. Stunning accuracy of drumhead placement, (left to right and front to back) and realism of sound quality. Like a guy playing right in my living room. What amazes me is that I can sense this even at listening levels down to -50db. Image is entirely holographic. Sounds like you could reach out and touch it. I'm pretty much in heaven.

11-02-2004, 04:56 AM
Toenail: I've seen you post to a few threads since you got this unit.
I'm looking at getting a decent, cheap unit for my fiancee's folks for Christmas. The old guy loves classical CD's and already owns a few DVD-A's and SACD's but doesn't have a player.

Could you explain to me whether the receiver does or does not do level adjustment, and delay adjustment when receiving signals via 5.1 analog input from your player?
I didn't think it would.
If the receiver doesn't what can this DVD player do as far as:
1) channel level control
2) time delay settings
3) subwoofer bass management
again, assuming the signal is coming through the 5.1 analog cables.

Looking forward to your review on this unit, the 563A was a big hit here last year, I don't know what changes were made to this one other than price dropping, but I hope it's every bit as good.

11-02-2004, 11:18 AM
Pioneer has a unit for $129(Crutchfield) that does both SACD and DVD-A. I'm considering it.

11-02-2004, 02:46 PM
VR6- That is the same unit I paid $149 for at Circus City- Pioneer DV-578A-silver


1) It offers no channel level control, but my HT receiver covers this. Not sure if this is true for all other HT's or not.

2) It does offer time delay settings for all channels except subwoofer.

3) It offers no bass management that I can see. I've put in a note to the folks at Pioneer Electronics to learn more about this. Am awaiting a reply. Once again, I can control this through sub amp so it's inconsequential.

In a nutshell, the HT receiver seems to take care of all the missing features of the DVD unit. The only drawback I see at a glance is if you want to run sraight from the DVD player into separate amps for each channel with no processor.

I picked up my first DVD-A on the way home and will test for whether the x-over from the HT can still be applied and whether the time delay is redundant. I'll post back soon.

11-02-2004, 04:03 PM

The x-over frequency adjustment of the HT receiver does not affect the sub signal at all during 5.1 playback, BUT, I believe that the since that channel only carries LFE it becomes irrelavent. Like wise, the mains/center/surround are only fed by what their respective channels provide them. This can be adjusted somewhat by choosing "small" or "large" settings for speaker set-up. My understanding is that this only affects the lower threshold of x-over frequency, though I've found no published specs stating that it changes from 100hz to 80hz or something similar. The output level of the sub can be altered with use of the HT receiver during 5.1 playback. The phase of the sub can not be altered by the HT reciever during 5.1 playback.

I think most powered subs offer x-over, output and phase adjutment ability. Because of this fact, bass management for MOST entry-level systems is not an issue.

The time delay function works fine on the DVD player but doesn't seem to work on the HT receiver during 5.1 playback. This is fine since it's not needed in both place simultaneously. Keep in mind I wasn't sure exactly what to listen for but I adjusted the distance from 4' to 30' for the rear surround while playing a DVD-A disc and could detect no obvious difference.

Hope that answers some questions. Still the biggest benefit of this unit thus far has been it's 2 channel analog output for cd. Really clean. Also, the DVD-Video while using 5.1 analog outs for soundtrack instead of DD coax is impressive. It's funny because my main goal was to aquire DVD-A/SACD and so far I've had so much fun with DVD-V and CD that I have yet to take advantage of this feature much.

11-03-2004, 05:53 AM
Thanks for taking the time out to share some info about your new toy...when you get around to playins some DVD-A's and SACD's, I'd like to hear more comments...
Also, how's the video quality? Do you have a large TV?
what player were you using before?

11-03-2004, 06:02 PM
The TV is a 1987 Mitsubishi 35" CRT. This is a bit of a limitation as technology has advanced a bit since then. I sit 10 feet from the screen due to restrictions in the layout of my livingroom. A bit close for that size screen, needless to say. I also don't have component input on this set. In order use the progresive scan feature of the DVD player, you need to use the component output. It does have S-video ins, which is how it's configured currently. All told the picture is actually pretty good. Most impressive are contrast and color. Some detail is lost due to the TV so I can't judge that acurately. My TV also does a slight ghost to the right, about 1-2 mm, which doesn't help. When I replace that set with modern HDTV I'll be able to give a better assesment.

Previous DVD player was Toshiba SD 2109.

So far I've purchased and listened to two multi-channel music disc's. The first was Diana Krall "The Look of Love" on DVD-A. Second was Allison Krauss and Union Station "New Favorite" on SACD. Initial observations are as follows;

DVD-A ----- I preferred listening to this disc using 2 channel analog output from the disc player and 2.1 channel output on my receiver. I tried the 5.1 analog and found that the surround mix wasn't to my liking. Some of the musical information would appear to generate from behind me and not only seem out of place, but kill the imaging. Not sure if this is a DVD-A thing or a mix issue with that particular release. In particular on the 1st track there was an annoying bongo or some other percussion instrument that would sound like someone rapping on the wall behind my head and a little to my right. Pretty distracting. This negative attribute was on-again, off-again on various tracks on the disc. Two channel stereo (for me 2.1 as I enjoy the added sub with my bookshelf speakers) on the other hand was a delight. Very crisp and stable image. Very holographic. Details of the recording environment became much more obvious, such as the sense of space and precise placement of instruments on the stage. The DVD-A offered hi-res surround, hi-res stereo and DD surround. I liked the hi-res stereo the best. Spec for hi-res was 96/24.

SACD ------- I also preferred listening to this disc in 2 channel (2.1) analog, for the same reasons mentioned above. The amount of musical information that came from the surround channels overwhelmed the front stage and became a distraction. It gave the sense of sitting on the stage while surrounded by the musicians, not sitting in front of them. On the SACD there was no on-screen menu to use, unlike the DVD-A which offeed BIO, pics, menu's etc. The SACD offered hi-res surround, hi-res stereo and CD stereo. I liked the hi-res stereo best. Spec not listed.

I'm not convinced that I like multi-channel audio. I am sold on hi-res stereo though. I've got 3 new titles on order in DVD-A format and am anxious to hear what they are like comparatively speaking. I wish that the surrounds produced ambience related artifacts only instead of distracting from the stage. I would think concert dics would do that well, as the only info from the surrounds should be crowd noise and reverb from the venue. Will update with more info as gathered.

It should be noted that I've taken great measures to set up the system correctly to eliminate that as a possible cause for my initial findings about multi-channel audio. Distance is measured to the inch. SPL is measured with Radio Shack SPL meter and correction factors applied. Equipment is of reasonable quality and shouldn't detract from the listening experience. When used with 5.1 outs or DD/DTS on DVD video playback, the surround mix is perfect, or at least as perfect as it can be given my equipment and the space I have to use it in. Not sure why the muli-channel audio hasn't grabbed me just yet.

11-04-2004, 07:51 AM
Toenail: without knowing your all your musical preferences, it's tough for me to comment on "multi-channel audio"...
To me, too many studio mixers and engineers try to over do it with the surround information being sent to rear speakers instead of just ambient cues...but there are some good discs...alot of multi-channel classical SACD's (Beethoven's 5th for example) are done excellently. It's still relatively new, so it'll take some time and experimentation to perfect multi-channel audio.

I find concerts to be very good though, as the crowd noise is dedicated to surround channels, while the front 3 speakers produce better soundstage and imaging (usually).

I want to get a player for the hi-rez stereo for now though...I've been awefully impressed with some friends systems.

You should post a new thread for some recommendations on decent multi-channel recordings, say, in Rave Recordings here. There's a few good ones out there.

11-09-2004, 01:33 PM
Ahhhhh, finally saw the light in multi-channel audio. Picked up a DVD-A copy of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Rear channels contain only reflections from the recording venue and the sound is superb. Front three channels do the stage, sub does LFE. Night and day difference between this and the other discs I'd tried to date. Will post more on Rave Recordings as suggested.

11-16-2004, 12:04 AM
yeah i cant wait to enter the dvd audio/sa audio home world. have dvd-a in my acura tl and its breath taking. hopefully by christmas ill be there. : )

11-19-2004, 01:45 AM
I have the Denon-DVD1600; it works well in DVD-A mode or just playing normal movie DVD's. I use Audioquest Diamondback Interconnects to a Denon-AVR3805. DVD-A is great, I think it's the best new technology since the inception on the CD.