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  1. #1
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    3 channel stereo with NAD T750?

    I just picked up an NAD T750 surround receiver off eBay that supports the old Dolby Pro Logic. It's just a simple stereo settup, so I'm not worried about Dolby Digital. But I have a few questions:

    Will I be able to watch movies that are decoded in dolby digital, using this receiver?

    Also (my main question) can I listen to music on the three front channels?

    Sorry, I'm a newb when it comes to surround sound.

  2. #2
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    Well I answered those myself. Three channel stereo sounds horrible. LoL

    Anyway. Can anyone explain to me the big audible difference between Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic?

  3. #3
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    Big Difference.

    Dolby Pro Logic is an analog based system which works off of two (right and left) analog channels. It then "derives" two other channels (Center, mono surround) from these two, much like the old four channel stereos from the 70's did. In fact, DPL is a direct descendent of Columbia's SQ four channel matrix system from those days.

    Please note that mono surround... Even though you might have two separate amplifier channels driving two speakers, the signal fed to these is the same. The audio range of the surround channel is not quite hi fi, being more in like with a good AM radio, but for the effects needed to enhance movie watching, it does quite a deent job.

    This is the only type of surround you can use with VHS tapes and can provide a much better experience than one might imagine form the meager specs mentioned in the previous paragraph. Try "Iron Giant" for a good demo (and a fun movie)

    Dolby Digital is a whole different animal. It lives wholy in the digital domain. This takes a digital stream and feeds it to a decoder (either in the receiver or the DVD player) and processes it through a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) to render 5 (or 6) totally separate and distinct (as opposed to matrixed) channels AND a separate subwoofer channel.

    The connection for the digital stream to the DAC is a single connection, either a 75 ohm coaxial cable for an electrical signal or a glass/plastic thingie with funny plugs called Toslink, which passes an optical signal, via light . Either should work just as well but coax is cheaper and easier to work with. ..and toslink requires two additional processing stages as well. Your choice.

    It is quite an improvment over DPL both in terms of the number of distinct channels, their bandwidth, and their separation from each other. Another similar format, DTS , operates along these same lines and shares the same advantages.

    IIRC, your 750 is, if not the very first, one of NAD's first forays into HT, from around 1998 or 1999. Although it doesn't have the ability to process Dolby Digital or DTS internally, I do believe it has analog inputs to allow you to use the DAC's internal to a DVD player. Finding a DVD player with this decoding nowadays is not difficult. http://www.audioadvisor.com has Pioneer for $180 that does this, as well as DVD-Audio AND SACD decoding. That should bring your sound right up there with more modern receivers.

    FWIW, I've never been impressed with what DPL does to music either.
    Last edited by markw; 03-24-2004 at 12:05 AM.

  4. #4
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    Aha! So if I get a nice DVD player that does Dobly Digital decoding itself, I can kill three birds with one stone! I get a DVD player, a CD player, and Dolby Digital. Correct?

    So what exactly is the Dobly Pro Logic II? Just another technology similar to Dolby Digital?

  5. #5
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    DPL II is nice, but...

    ...I wouldn't trash wacha got for it. Wacha got now, combined with the proper DVD will sound just as good as a new unit. In fact, probably better than most.

    DPL II the next generation of DPL. It's a little better for SOME* music and movies but since you're going for DVD's and true DD/DTS, you can live happily without it. VHS tapes do benefit from it but I didn't have a complaint when I was using it on my old AVR, a DPL only unit.

    FWIW, even DVD's played back in analog two channel sound "decent" when played thru plain old DPL.

    Go for it on your next upgrade but trust me, you can live easily with what you have for a while. It ain't all that earth shaking like the change from DPL to DD/DTS will be. Now, that's a change!.

    Check out that Pioneer at AudioAdvisor for a do-all player. For $180, it does literally everything currently available on a 5 1/4" disc. ...and it will jack right into what you have.

    *IMNSHO, most music that was recorded in 2 channels simply sounds better played back in two channels. Very little two channel music benefits from artifical ingredents. YMMV

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    Thanks Mark.

    I certainly plan on keeping what I've got. I just need a decent system, because after I sold my old NAD C340 and C420 rig...I've just been using little satelites and a wimpy sub (20 dollar value total) on my laptop in the dorm. I can't listen to that stuff for more than 10 minutes without a headache, so I had to have something. DPL is fine for me. And I prefer 2-channel for music anyway. I DO need a good cd/dvd player, however. So I might just get something like the Pioneer you suggested, simply for the added effects with movies. However...I would RATHER have a matching NAD...just for matching looks if anything. NAD is so sexy.

    But I'm sure an NAD DVD player that does its own DD decoding would probably be a bit expensive. Do you know of one?

    Anyway, I might just get the pioneer anyway. Thanks Mark.

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    Whoah there, podner!

    [QUOTE=markw]...I wouldn't trash wacha got for it. Wacha got now, combined with the proper DVD will sound just as good as a new unit. In fact, probably better than most.[/QUOTE

    Say what? "Just as good as a new unit.? In fact, probably better than most? Au contraire Mark. A "new unit" will have DD and DTS decoding, plus DPLii and sound waaaaay better for watching movies than what he now has. No matter whether or not he gets a DVD player with on-board decoding or not, he's still gonna be hearing the film soundtrack in Pro Logic, and then - only if the DVD player has the facility to output a 2-channel version of what's on the disc. That NAD receiver will not accept a decoded Dolby Digital signal ... only 2-channel stereo source material.

    DPL II the next generation of DPL. It's a little better for SOME* music and movies but since you're going for DVD's and true DD/DTS, you can live happily without it.
    A little better for SOME music and movies? C'mon ... gimme a large break. DPLii is every bit as big a leap forward over the old DPL, as DD/DTS are over DPLii according to just about everyone.

    Check out that Pioneer at AudioAdvisor for a do-all player. For $180, it does literally everything currently available on a 5 1/4" disc. ...and it will jack right into what you have.
    As I said before, only if it will output a 2-channel signal will it "jack right into what you have".
    woodman

    I plan to live forever ..... so far, so good!
    Steven Wright

  8. #8
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    Dunno about that, Woody.

    I do believe that although that NAD unit does not contain an internal DD/DTS processor, it accepts 5.1 analog inputs so it will work with DVD's with built in processors. If not, then I stand corrected, but I'm pretty sure it does. I was considering one of these when they first came out.

    Also, I THINK (I'll verify tomorrow via phone. I'm ordering 'phones anyway) that that Pioneer processes DD/DTS as well as SACD. It does specify 5.1 analog outputs but, then again, perhaps I'm assuming here. Again, I'll check tomorrow and get back. Ad copy can be misleading in it's omissions and ones assumptions.

    FWIW, I don't have SACD or DVD-Audio capabilities yet myself. Still kinda curious but haven't yet jumped on the "hi-rez" bandwagon

    DPL II is better for 2 channel movies but do you think it's "better" enough that it justifies his going out and replacing the unit now, particularly when a DVD with built in DD/DTS decoding will provide him with everything else he needs?

    And, I'm sorry but, IMNSHO, very, very few two channel music recordings benefit from DPL or even DPL II. It's a gimmick. Some things just sound better in the original two channels.

    And, That NAD doesn't stink. NAD's have prety solid audio stages and from my limited experience tend to be above average in sound when compared to comparably rated units. It's got the analog inputs to keep it from becoming obsolete. It came out when DD first hit and DTS was still waiting in the wings. Now is the time for him to capitalize on their forthought.

    Again, add a DVD with external decoding and, aside from DPL II, he'll have most everything he needs.

    I'll call AudioAdvisor to verify thet unit decodes DD/DTS as well as SACD and DVD-Audio. I hate to be wrong but will admit it the few times I am.
    Last edited by markw; 03-25-2004 at 06:09 AM.

  9. #9
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    Worst case scenario...

    It's early and I haven't talked to AA yet but the possibility of being wrong bugs me. I did a little search for DVD players with internal DD/DTS decoders for our buddy and came up with this. Can't beat the price...

    http://www.6ave.com/product.jsp?x=DVDS25K

    Granted, it doesn't have SACD aor DVD-Audio, but it DOES come at over $100 less than the Pioneer @ AudioAdvisor.

    So, for $70*, he gets DD and DTS as well as a CD player. Not too bad for an inexpensive solution, wouldn't you say?

    Now, about his computer speakers.... some things are simply wrong!

    * plus the needed interconnects
    Last edited by markw; 03-25-2004 at 04:57 AM.

  10. #10
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    Agree with Mark

    I agree with Mark on this situation. The gains that you get from DPL II are very small. I've found personally that I like to watch 2 channel TV and movies in direct mode vs. DPL II. If you're listening to music, the DPL II mode is just silly. I don't need sound effects coming from my surrounds and when you get parts of some instruments like background guitar coming from behind and to the side, you know that's not what the sound engineer had in mind when doing the recording.

    DD/DTS obviously is a different story. These are discrete formats and the sound coming from each speaker is the sound that is supposed to be coming from that speaker. This format is head and shoulders above DPL II and 2 ch.

  11. #11
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    Hey, for the record. I'm on a TIGHT budget. And for music, I prefer 2-channel anyway.

    As for movies, I wouldn't mind having the DD, as I'm sure it's a world of improvements over the DPL. And the NAD T750 DOES take external 5.1 inputs. In fact, the manual plainly states that this feature is available for later upgrades to Dolby Digital via an external processor. So I might have to check out Mark's suggestions.

    So woodman? You're saying that the DVD player will process DD, then send it to the 5.1 input of my receiver as a 2-channel signal? Then my receiver will convert that BACK into 5.1 channel as DPL? I ask...what's the point, then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    Hey, for the record. I'm on a TIGHT budget. And for music, I prefer 2-channel anyway.

    As for movies, I wouldn't mind having the DD, as I'm sure it's a world of improvements over the DPL. And the NAD T750 DOES take external 5.1 inputs. In fact, the manual plainly states that this feature is available for later upgrades to Dolby Digital via an external processor. So I might have to check out Mark's suggestions.

    So woodman? You're saying that the DVD player will process DD, then send it to the 5.1 input of my receiver as a 2-channel signal? Then my receiver will convert that BACK into 5.1 channel as DPL? I ask...what's the point, then?
    Most newer DVDPs have built in DD/DTS decoding. IF your player can ouput via analog jacks then what you're getting is a 5.1 signal. Your receiver doesn't take a 2 ch. signal and change it into 5.1. As well, DPL wouldn't be operational when you're using the 5.1 inputs. DPL and DPL II take a 2 ch. signal and modify it so that the sound can be broadcast through the 5.1 channels.

  13. #13
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    So in order to utilize my 5.1 inputs to get Dolby Digital, I need a DVD player that will output 5.1 SEPERATE channels?

    I haven't been able to find a DVD player that outputs more than 2-channels? I'm confused, now.

    The Pioneer DVD player that Mark was referring to several posts ago...will it decode Dolby Digital and output the 5.1 seperate channels to my 5.1 inputs?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    So in order to utilize my 5.1 inputs to get Dolby Digital, I need a DVD player that will output 5.1 SEPERATE channels?
    Yes. Look at the back of your receiver. There are 6 jacks labeled "analog in" and channel designation or some such. This is where you would plug in 6 interconnects from the DVD with a built in processor.


    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    I haven't been able to find a DVD player that outputs more than 2-channels? I'm confused, now.
    Click on this: http://www.6ave.com/product.jsp?x=DVDS25K

    Read the specs. Note the price. It has built in DD/DTS decoders that output 6 analog channels. You plug these 6 channels, via interconnects, into the back of your receiver, figure out how to select 'em and you now have DD/DTS going in your receiver.

    The specs do contain the following text, which is somewhat ambigious. "Built-in DTS(r) & Dolby Digital(r) Decoders for Stereo Output". I believe the "stereo output" is a misnomer. It does not need the "Built-in DTS(r) & Dolby Digital(r) Decoders" if all it was doing was stereo. This retailer isn't to awful clear on what it's units do. The Panasonic site doesn't back this guy up to well. Reading thru the hype is bullshiite.

    In any case, I found this on the Panasonic site : http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...Model=DVD-F85K

    After checking the Panasonic site, I'm pretty sure it does everything you need but lists for $149 but it DOES do DVD-Audio . Again call to verify before commiting.



    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    The Pioneer DVD player that Mark was referring to several posts ago...will it decode Dolby Digital and output the 5.1 seperate channels to my 5.1 inputs?
    I was mistaken. Sorry about that. It decoded only SACD and DVD-Audio, not DD/DTS. Sorry. But, the one I referenced above does.

    Oh yeah, any of 'em play CD's. That's where that "stereo output" would come in handy.

    There are others out there if you wanna shop around. Perhaps you'll find a sale. Always call to verify that there are built in DD/DTS decoders and 6 analog outputs for them.

    P.S.. .if music is real important, consider a pair of headphones.
    Last edited by markw; 03-25-2004 at 05:39 PM.

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    Awesome. Thanks, Mark. But for some reason, that page at 6ave.com just loads a blank page, with just the navigation bar on the left and the banner across the top.

    Exactly what model is it? Perhaps I can find it on another site.


    EDIT: Nevermind. I'm assuming you're referring to the Panasonic model you referenced on Panasonic's site.

  16. #16
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    Hmmm.. 6th Ave made me enter a zip code before it would let me brose. I wonder if this had any bearing in this matter?

    Anyhoo, the one I initially infatuated with was their model DVD S25K. Upon further examination of the specs, I came to the delusion they didn't make any sense, and this was confirmed by loooking at the momma Panasonic site.

    Look at the momma Panasonic site (http://www.panasonic.com) and go thru the menus for consumer DVD players for model DVD-F85K. From that point on, look for that model among the retailers you're comfortable with.

    After weeding thru the specs on this site, I think this would be the best choice.

    FWIW, I found this blurb on their site. Thought it might interest you.

    "Built-in DTS® & Dolby Digital® 5.1-ch Surround Decoders
    When you play DVD movies encoded with DTS®6 or Dolby Digital®7 soundtracks, the built-in decoder processes all six channels of audio information (left front, right front, center, left-surround, right-surround and low-frequency effects) without the need for an external decoder, and with the right audio components, lets you enjoy the amazing fidelity of discrete 5.1 channel surround sound. The decoder also allows you to control speaker configuration."

    Interesting thing... when I go to that blurb, it gives an option to list all items that featurew this. Surprisingly, the first one I listed is not there, although 6th Ave indicates it should be from their text.

    Once this CD/DVD hurdle is crossed, we'll talk about headphones...
    Last edited by markw; 03-26-2004 at 02:30 AM.

  17. #17
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    Okay, I found the Panasonic F-85 (didn't read F-85K on front but did read F-85) at the local Circut City (Best Buy only has the F-65, and the Best Buy salesman told me I would probably never in hell find a dvd player that had 5 outputs). It sales for $149 and I looked at the back of it, and it has a butt load of audio outs, rather than the standard two left and right. I couldn't count exactly, as it was a tight fit back there and there were cables everywhere. But I'm assuming it was 5.1 outputs. SO...I know it will output individual channels rather than the two left and right (stereo). I couldn't find a salesman, as none seemed to know I was in the store, and I really didn't care to hunt one down as I didn't figure he would know much anyway. haha

    But when the time comes for me to make a purchase, I'll have to ask a few more questions. But I'm pretty sure that with this player, I could use it to decode the dolby digital and then just route it through my receivers external 5.1 inputs and have dolby digital surround. Correct?

    I'm also wondering what type of sound quality this player would have with regular CD audio (stereo), though...

    I'm still doing my homework on this one. hehe

    But thanks, Mark. You've been tramendously helpful.
    Warning: My advice is based on what little experience I have under my belt, building on the last 5 years, and is in no way intended as scientific facts. Please also consider that, like the average human being, I may tend to be a bit bias toward my own personal preferences in audio. Use your own judgement and common sense, and please always listen for yourself. If it sounds good to you, the hell with what others say.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    But I'm pretty sure that with this player, I could use it to decode the dolby digital and then just route it through my receivers external 5.1 inputs and have dolby digital surround. Correct?
    Sounds like a plan. Most of those outputs on the DVD will go to those inputs on the NAD. Make sure that whatever DVD player actually has these. Reading thru all those specs forthis unit made me verrrrrrrrry suspicious of ad copy.

    That's 6 interconnects. Don't go crazy on these.

    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    I'm also wondering what type of sound quality this player would have with regular CD audio (stereo), though...
    No guarantees but probably better than you would think. I'm using a $150 Toshiba DVD changer for CD as well as DVD and I'm perfectly content. You might want to tun a separate R/L interconnect to a CD/Aux input on the NAD for the sake of simplicity in operation.

    That's 2 more interconnects.

    Glad to help.. Play it forward when the opportunity arises.

    P.S.. three last words... Grado SR-80 headphones.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Sounds like a plan. Most of those outputs on the DVD will go to those inputs on the NAD. Make sure that whatever DVD player actually has these. Reading thru all those specs forthis unit made me verrrrrrrrry suspicious of ad copy.
    You mean make sure the unit has the 5 seperate audio outs on the back?

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    That's 6 interconnects. Don't go crazy on these.
    What exactly do you mean there? Don't get real expensive interconnects, or don't get them all tangled up, or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    You might want to tun a separate R/L interconnect to a CD/Aux input on the NAD for the sake of simplicity in operation.
    How would I do that? If I have all 5.1 channels run to my receiver's external 5.1 input, how can I still run the 2-channel interconnects to the CD input on my receiver? Or would the DVD player have the 5.1 outputs as WELL as a 2-channel output? Oh god...now I'm confused again. LoL

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    P.S.. three last words... Grado SR-80 headphones.
    What is so great about headphones anyway!? haha
    Warning: My advice is based on what little experience I have under my belt, building on the last 5 years, and is in no way intended as scientific facts. Please also consider that, like the average human being, I may tend to be a bit bias toward my own personal preferences in audio. Use your own judgement and common sense, and please always listen for yourself. If it sounds good to you, the hell with what others say.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    You mean make sure the unit has the 5 seperate audio outs on the back?
    Yep.. Just like you did already. Printed specs are confusing. Eyball the back ofthat sucka and look specifically for those ever so important six multi channel outputs.



    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    What exactly do you mean there? Don't get real expensive interconnects, or don't get them all tangled up, or what?
    Without invoking the great and never ending cable/wire debate here, let's just say that the point of diminishing returns on these items is lower than ad hype and some would have you believe. ... a LOT lower. 'nuff said. That's for more on this debacle, er... debate, see the cable forum.




    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    How would I do that? If I have all 5.1 channels run to my receiver's external 5.1 input, how can I still run the 2-channel interconnects to the CD input on my receiver? Or would the DVD player have the 5.1 outputs as WELL as a 2-channel output?
    I THINK (visually verify on the unit) that some come with a simple analog stereo output for those that might not wish to avail themselves with 5 channels of surround sound. Again, I would guess* that the fronr L/R audio of the 6 outputs would serve the same purpose.



    Quote Originally Posted by r3dline
    What is so great about headphones anyway!? haha
    Just listen to 'em. Good headphones are probably the best investment in your personal musical happiness you cound ever make. $90 or so there is a better investment than hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars in speakers. ...and no pesky room interactions or roommates to be concerned with.

    Keep on keepin' on. You'll love wahcha end up with for a long time to come. ... and from reading everyone's (not just mine) input here you'll learn quite a lot quite quickly. and aside from some hard technical facts, a lot of it falls in the opinion category. ....like my take on headphones, fer instance.

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