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Surround Sound Talk about everything from 5.1 to 7.1 to Dolby True HD and beyond.

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Old 10-16-2008   #19
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Default Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment

You don't need high-end components to hear the improvement of lossless audio.

Just like you don't need esoteric gear to hear the difference between a low bit-rate MP3 or apple compressed file and the original CD. I can even hear the difference switching between lossy and lossless of the same song on my ipod while driving my car on my car stereo with road noise. It doesn't mean everyone would care as much about the difference as I do. But it's there to be heard by anyone who wants to take the time to listen.

Lossless on movies is a no-brainer. Those of us who enjoyed laserdisc know what a step backwards we took with compressed audio on DVD. And we could hear the better sound of the linear PCM on laserdisc even without expensive high-end systems. My friend has a devestatingly pathetic sony "rack system" reciever that's 10 years old, tizzy as a cheap japanese receiver could sound, and has the paper-cone tower speakers that came with system. Guess what. Lossless sounds better on his system that lossy compressed audio. Sure, it would sound better still on Maggies and tube amps. But apples for apples, lossless sounds better.

Even modest, mid-fi systems will reveal a more natural sound with lossless. Lossless isn't about more dynamic range. It's about more natural tones and timbers and more subtle, refined decays and acoustics that are lost in the lossy file. even if a mid-fi system can milk everything out of a musical track that's buried in the recording, it *can* still sound better with lossless than with lossy files that have been further degraded.

The only people who tried hard to convince us that this wasn't the case were some industry folks who didn't want people to pick Blu over Red because of Reds inability to consistently deliver lossless sound. Now that we've ended up with a format that *can* deliver lossless on every title if the studios want to give it to us, there's no reason to pretend that we can't hear what we can.

Last edited by DaViD Boulet; 10-16-2008 at 03:45 PM..
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Old 10-16-2008   #20
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Default Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment

Originally Posted by glocksout View Post
I would say you could just wait on a processor, if it is truly the cost you're worried about. Instead, use a BD player which decodes the formats with good multi-channel DAC output. The new Elite BDP-09 should be killer.
That's exactly my point. I really like my Anthem gear, but there is no HDMI 1.3 version. So, I'd prefer to leverage my existing setup with a BR player with internal decoders and upgrade my preamp in a few years.

So, from what little I've seen (in about 10 minutes of looking) there seem to be some reasonable BR players that have good(?) analog 7.1 output.

The question is, then, whether or not the new codecs via analog provide a really dramatic sound improvement. My thoughts would be yes?????

Anyone doing that and what are your experiences?
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Old 10-16-2008   #21
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Default Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment

Well here is one way to do this without having to buy a new preamp processor. You can use the Analogue inputs, the same ones you would use for SACD playback, that WILL play the true dts, and true dolby HD sound.

Sunfire in their new preamp still does not allow the sound to come through the 1.3 HDMI cable, they still don't believe that the sound coming through that cable is as good as using the 8 channel analogue imputs.

So if you have a good high end preamp processor and good amp you do not need to buy a new preamp with the 1.3.

I run the 1.3 cable from my brand new Denon blu ray disk player directly to the TV, and run the 8 channel analogue imputs into the preamp for sound.
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Old 10-17-2008   #22
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Default Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment

How about analog inputs. My processor has them but where do I go from there?????????????

PS. Sorry...........................didn't read the ENTIRE thread but which BluRay player should I get???????? Will the Lexicon MC-8 do the job????? and can anyone suggest "musica"l BluRay discs to listen to?????????

Last edited by Bob Walters; 10-17-2008 at 04:50 AM..
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Old 10-17-2008   #23
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Default Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment

Be careful when assuming that a player with analog outputs will satisfy you, especially if you have a high-end rig with decent digital front in like a lexicon processor etc. (only lacking HDMI).

We tried the Panny BD50 at my friend's house for just that reason... and ran the 5.1 analog in to the Lexicon. The sound quality was "ok" but dissapointing compared to even just using *stereo* downmix over optical (still lossless). The d/a conversion in the player clearly wasn't up to the level of his DVD-Audio Pioneer player.

I know that Panny has a new player coming out to improve analog output. But bear in mind that most consumer players aren't designed with analog output stages that will satisfy golden ears... but naturally if you can keep the signal all digital these matters are moot.

I'd recommend pressuring the maker of your decoder to offer an HDMI upgrade path. That will solve all problems, though it will cost more.

p.s. Across The Universe has a great lossless track and is recorded incredibly well.

The new Baraka BD also has exceptional music in 5.1 lossless. Those are great demo discs to compare when you're evaluating a player with analog output.
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Old 10-17-2008   #24
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Default Re: Is DTS Master Cinema worth the investment

Hmmm. . . It seems the way players are being built that the ONLY way to get to hear the new codecs is through the HDMI connection. The digital coax won't pass it and neither will the fiber, so I doubt you are getting anything better than discrete core dts or DD through the analogs.
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