DVD5 - Multichannel Audio

Posted by: Obsessed1 on 13 December 2004

Are the multichannel DVD-Audio boards yet available for the DVD5? Has anyone heard them? And if they are available, how much are they?

As an aside, I was listening to Pink Floyd's 5.1 channel SACD of DSOTM through my AV2/150/175 last night, and it sounded great (even though my SACD player is a mere Sony that cost about as much as the NACA 5 in my system).

It seems a bloody shame that Naim couldn't find a way to incorporate SACD into the DVD5. Even if they kept it as a user-added upgrade and charged appropriately. It seems like there just may be enough decent SACDs trickling to market to make the universal player a tempting proposition.

If the DVD5 + scaler + DVDA boards costs about as much (or more) than Linn's Unidisk 2.1, it is going to be a very difficult choice in terms of which unit to buy. Even moreso given that my source indicates that the Linn Ikemi is to be discontinued in favour of (another) Linn DVD player.
Posted on: 15 December 2004 by Geoff P
Obssesed

I have a Sony 333ES multichannel SACD player which has been around a while. Subsequently I replaced my DVD player with a Denon 2900 which is an excellent quality DVD player and also a "universal" DVD-A /SACD player.

Comparisons between DVD-A and SACD on the Denon are futile because of the difference in the encoding formats and the lack of matched titles for direct comparison. To my ears the DVD-A playback is superior on the Denon. This I believe is due to the fact that the DSD off SACD is converted to a "common" format which also suits DVD-A decoding somewhere inside the electronics and performance is affected as a result.

Sony is one of the so called "inventors" of SACD and has tuned it's SACD replay in it's dedicated products to a much more open and appealing sound. So right now I use my Sony for SACD replay and reckon treated like that it has a slightly better average sound presentation than DVD-A off the Denon.

As I understand it the Linn Unidisk costs a lot more because it keeps the SACD and DVD-A processing streams separate through to the analog outlets.

Based on my experience to date I would not spend a lot of money for a "universal" player. I think dedicated electronics is better just like a dedicated CD player is better. I hear tell the DVD-5 has had a lot of work put into it to give approxm CD5 quality CD replay by using a completely separate analog signal board, which stands a good chance of working. Though I'm sure Naim will do the best they can on the DVD-A mulitichannel add on for DVD-A which is really an extension of the DVD-V processing already in the box it would be a whole different set of electronics to add SACD.

Incidentally Denon is a good example of the tough competition Naim is up against when it comes to cinematic quality component video replay. They are a hellava a lot cheaper and come very close in quality.

regards
GEOFF

"Just trying to make a NAIM for myself"
Posted on: 15 December 2004 by Neill Ferguson
Obsessed 1

The price for the DVD 5 with the DVDA board is 2,600. There is no price as yet for the scaler as this option is not yet available.

I have to totally disagree with Geoff P on all DVD player being of equal performance.
Having tried the Denon 2900 and many dvd models there are major differences in sound and video performance.

It is the same difference as with CD players, ie we can all tell the difference between a CDS3 and the cd5i

One point however Geoff is spot on with is that dvda is better than SACD on most machines I belive this is due to the format being simply better

All though both formats are dead in the water and soon to be replaced by the new buzz format Blu ray, wonder how long it will last.

Neill

[This message was edited by Adam Meredith on Wed 15 December 2004 at 19:10.]
Posted on: 15 December 2004 by Obsessed1
Thanks for your responses, guys.

Neill - I agree that support for both DVDA and SACD is somewhat tenuous. Nevertheless, there are some good titles out there on both formats that are serious fun to listen to in multichannel.
And my problem with the DVD5 is as follows: so what if it plays CDs with quality rivalling the CD5i or CD5x? If I want to listen to regular CDs it certainly won't be through the HT system, it will be through my killer 2-channel audio-only system.

Geoff - Your points are very interesting. If the video quality of the (much) cheaper universal players rivals that of the DVD5, maybe the answer is to get a cheaper Universal player to use for DVD-V and multichannel audio, and maybe get a CDX2 (or even CDS-3) for the 2-channel rig.

Now THAT would seem to cover all angles.

[This message was edited by Adam Meredith on Wed 15 December 2004 at 19:14.]
Posted on: 15 December 2004 by Geoff P
quote:
have to totally disagree with Geoff P on all DVD player being of equal performance.
Having tried the Denon 2900 and many dvd models there are major differences in sound and video performance.



Hi Neil
I don't see anywhere where I say all DVD players are of equal performance. Perhaps I was less than clear what I said was:
.....Denon is a good example of the tough competition Naim is up against when it comes to cinematic quality component video replay. They are a hellava a lot cheaper and come very close in quality...
By that I meant Denon not "all" DVD palyers. Certainly using component thru my plasma the Denon 2900 gives a cinematic progressive scan picture. I have seen the DVD5 in action and though it is good it is not 3 times better than the 2900 which it should be based on price difference.

The price of 2,600 for the DVD-5 with DVD-A, is that for TWO channel DVD-A? I thought to get the full 5.1 channels you have to buy an add in board on top of that.

quote:
Geoff - Your points are very interesting. If the video quality of the (much) cheaper universal players rivals that of the DVD5, maybe the answer is to get a cheaper Universal player to use for DVD-V and multichannel audio, and maybe get a CDX2 (or even CDS-3) for the 2-channel rig.



Obssesed
Yes that is what I would do with the following proviso.

IMO to some extent you do get what you pay for until you get to around 800 to 1000 pounds. From there on it is much harder to see vast improvements in picture quality. Arcam for example at around 1k has a very good reputation, aswell as some of our well know japanese manufacturers . Given that sort of investment for DVD-V I agree with you. The 2 channel replay out of the CDS3 for example is far beyond anything offered by the multichannel audio formats and since as Neil says they are already dying the investment to improve the quality of replay will probably never happen for multichannel music, except for perhaps a very few extremely expensive products.

regards
GEOFF

"Just trying to make a NAIM for myself"
Posted on: 16 December 2004 by Neill Ferguson
Geoff

As far as I know that is for the multi channel DVDA board, the price for the base player is 2,300 and the DVDA board a further 315.

I take your point on video performance, but thats only one half the other being in sound. You have to add in straight CD sound and DVD movie sound as well. The dvd looks a good buy on the grounds that a Denon player costs 850 and the CD5X in the region of 1,300. Add to the fact the video picture is better you said so yourself. The bonus that it works very well with the AV2 then this starts to look like a real bargain.

The DVD5 has really impressed all who seem to have had the luck to DEMO one, only seen it at a show and the picture and the sound were very good, through the N-SATS N-SUB combo. I would go as far to say best DEMO of the day.

If you compare the AV2 and DVD5 against the LINN unidisk2.1 and the new KINOS the Naim combo being 4,500 and the linn 9,500 then it really starts to look like a good buy


Neill
Posted on: 16 December 2004 by Geoff P
Neill
I agree if you can commit to an "all Naim" solution then the superior audio qualities of the AV2 will show through. The DVD source player be it a DVD5 or another make such as a Denon does not have a large role to play in the audio sound of multichannel cinema IF it does not do the decoding and only passes a undecoded digital signal to the processor. I agree it is different for DVD-A which IS decoded in the DVD player

If you don't have the budget for the "all naim" solution and resort to, or already have, an A/V receiver such as those available from our japanese friends, to provide decoding and amps for all but the front channels (which can go thru' your naim stereo setup) then the advantages of the DVD5 are less obvious since it is really more a video source.

Certainly if you are starting out with no CD player either then again there is a strong argunment for the DVD5 which will do a good job as a CD player. As for the majority of folks that are already into HiFi, they will probably already have a quality CD player. In these crcumstances combined with an existing A/V setup as described, where the money is really only being invested to get a decent video source, the DVD5 has a tougher time justifying it's price.

regards
GEOFF

"Just trying to make a NAIM for myself"
Posted on: 16 December 2004 by karyboue
... and if it is "so good" playing CDs with the DVD5 you don't need to buy one more Fraim level (or new base if you have too much stacks).
Good good bargain that DVD5. Winker
Posted on: 16 December 2004 by Neill Ferguson
Geoff

No doubt I have made mistakes over the years with my system. I however don't have the room for two systems. So I can only have one that does everything well.

I have read your point on DVD sound, can I point out a couple of things. Yes in most highend systems the decoding is done externally, I agree.
However we are both well aware that the machine can have a big factor in transfering this. Lets take a minute to think, the quiality of the mech, power supply and data streams all have an effect on the sound. A little like a CD transport. Hence the reason different DVD players have a different sound. The Meridian G68 for example has for me a very harsh and bold sound for my taste.
Geoff these are the reasons us movie buff bark on a little about AV kit just like you two channels guys have got to have a cds3.


Neill
Posted on: 16 December 2004 by Geoff P
Neill

Good points. I must admit it is a lot simpler with two channel stereo, the variables are less and easier to control. The advent of all these new digital interfaces and picture standards is enough to drive me to difstraction. I think I have retired defeated and have decided to sit back and watch until teh dust settles.
It a brave person who tries to build the ultimate home video /audio system with things changing so quickly.

Geoff

"Just trying to make a NAIM for myself"
Posted on: 17 December 2004 by Obsessed1
I think the key here is whether you have one or two systems. In this way, both Geoff and Neill are correct.

With one av and audio system, the DVD5 could be the perfect addition. If, however, you are fortunate enough to have a 2-channel rig as well as a seperate av system, the DVD5 is a less compelling purchase.

In the pure AV system, as I see it, video performance is important, and the multichannel audio is a real bonus for those nights when you want to have a bit of fun with surround sound. If you can get excellent or good video performance from a budget unit, the question becomes how much more you are willing to spend for the bonus of the multichannel audio. I don't know the answer to that yet.

Maybe by the time I decide we'll be onto blue-ray anyways. Alas...