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How do I connect my SACD player?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, I just picked up a used Sony SACD payer for real cheap, but now I am wondering how to connect it to my reciever. It looks like I would use 3 pairs of RCA cables like these: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...t=1#largeimage Could anyone please confirm this for me?

I always thought that with RCA cables the red one was for the right speaker and the white one was for the left speaker. Is that true or does it not matter?

The SACD player has 6 outputs...2 for the front speakers, 2 for the surrounds, 1 for the center, and one for the sub. The front speaker and surround outputs are colored red and white, while the center and sub outputs are colored black. I'm pretty sure I just use standard RCA cables for the front and surround outputs...but I'm not sure about the center and sub outputs. And if the center and sub outputs do use RCA cables, does the red cable go in the center or the sub output? Or does it make no difference?

Thanks a ton for any help. I've been waiting a couple of years to hear the one SACD (Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral) that I own.
post #2 of 12
Three pairs of those cables will work fine. It doesn't make a difference what color the plugs are. The red/white colors on the RCA plugs are for convenience, but the cables are the same. Just make sure you're consistent when going from the player to the receiver (center out to center in, etc.)
post #3 of 12
With analog, you may need to boost the output of your subwoofer by 5db to 15db. (The boost needs to happen in the receiver, not the player.) That is definitely the case for analog transmission of movie soundtracks, where LFE is recorded -10db in relation to the other channels. With SACD, LFE is not recorded low. But, some players lower LFE themselves to maintain consistency with other formats. The manual for your player may provide some guidance about it handles LFE. Or not, unfortunately.

If you have small speakers, bass management in the player will usually lower the SW output by another 5db to make room for the redirected bass from the main speakers.

You may find the bass is just fine with no adjustments. But, if it seems weak, try boosting the SW for the analog inputs in 5db increments until it sounds right.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Tulpa. And thanks forthe extra tips, BIslander.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, so I got the RCA cables I needed to hook this thing up today, and I plugged them all in, and...the sound is EXTREMELY quiet. I can only hear it if I put my ear right up to one of the speakers. It is just barely audible. I don't know what I could have done wrong. Does anyone have any ideas? I so desperately want to hear this SACD...how frustrating...

edit: nevermind. I figured it out. I had to select 7.1 output on my receiver. Initial impressions...wow, I am hearing stuff I've never heard before. The bass is really weak just like you said it might be, Islander, but I'm think I'll be able to get it working.

edit #2: Everything seems to be working fine. It sounds incredible. The only problem is that the bass is kind of weak. I turned the knob on my sub all the way up, and it's still weaker than it usually is. I have a pretty decent sub (the ED A2-300), so it should definitely be putting out more bass than this. Anyone have any ideas how I can increase the bass output? For some reason when I put my receiver in 7.1 output mode, it won't let me adjust the speaker levels. I thought to try it on the SACD player, but it only seems to let you adjust the volume of all of the speakers compared to the fronts...it's weird. There is a line...on one end it says F and on the other end it says SW. As you move down the line toward SW, more of the sound seems to go to the sub and less goes to the fronts. You can do this for the center and surrounds, too. I tried setting it so all the sound went to the sub instead of the fronts, but it didn't really seem to increase the bass...it just sounded alot worse because there wasn't sound coming out of the fronts.
post #6 of 12
You need to boost the output of the sub in your AVR. Remember, it is arriving there from the player 10-15db lower than the other channels. Many receivers have a setting for the analog inputs where you can do the boost.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by arachosia View Post

The bass is really weak just like you said it might be, Islander, but I'm think I'll be able to get it working.

The only problem is that the bass is kind of weak. I turned the knob on my sub all the way up, and it's still weaker than it usually is. I have a pretty decent sub (the ED A2-300), so it should definitely be putting out more bass than this. Anyone have any ideas how I can increase the bass output?

Calibrate your player's analog connection with a calibration DVD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arachosia View Post

For some reason when I put my receiver in 7.1 output mode, it won't let me adjust the speaker levels. I thought to try it on the SACD player, but it only seems to let you adjust the volume of all of the speakers compared to the fronts...it's weird. There is a line...on one end it says F and on the other end it says SW. As you move down the line toward SW, more of the sound seems to go to the sub and less goes to the fronts. You can do this for the center and surrounds, too. I tried setting it so all the sound went to the sub instead of the fronts, but it didn't really seem to increase the bass...it just sounded alot worse because there wasn't sound coming out of the fronts.

With a 6 channel analog connection to your receiver you should only be able to listen to your SACDs in 5.1. If you are hearing 7 channel sound you are most likely listening via the digital connection (if you have the player connected that way also). In which case, you are not hearing true, discrete hirez sound. Disconnect your digital connection (if you have one, too) and figure out how to get the multichannel analog connection working. You need to set the receiver to utilize its external inputs.

And the color of the player's outputs and the cables is irrelevant. All that is important is that you connect each of the player's outputs to the corresponding and correct inputs on the receiver.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

You need to boost the output of the sub in your AVR. Remember, it is arriving there from the player 10-15db lower than the other channels. Many receivers have a setting for the analog inputs where you can do the boost.

Here's the problem...I have to switch it to 7.1 input mode to hear anything. But when I'm in that mode, there doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the speaker levels on the AVR. If switch to any other mode, like Dolby Digital or DTS or something, then I can adjust speaker levels, but I can't hear anything from the SACD player.

I'm pretty new to this stuff, so I could be overlooking something, but as far as I can tell there is no way to adjust speaker levels when in 7.1 input mode. Maybe my reciever doesn't have a setting to adjust analog input levels.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Calibrate your player's analog connection with a calibration DVD.


With a 6 channel analog connection to your receiver you should only be able to listen to your SACDs in 5.1. If you are hearing 7 channel sound you are most likely listening via the digital connection (if you have the player connected that way also). In which case, you are not hearing true, discrete hirez sound. Disconnect your digital connection (if you have one, too) and figure out how to get the multichannel analog connection working. You need to set the receiver to utilize its external inputs.

And the color of the player's outputs and the cables is irrelevant. All that is important is that you connect each of the player's outputs to the corresponding and correct inputs on the receiver.

Thanks, Sivad. It's definitely hooked up right, though. I mean, there's really no way to screw it up. The back of the SACD player has 6 outputs...2 for fronts, 2 for surrounds, 1 for the center, and one for the sub. And my AVR has 8 analog inputs for each speaker. I'm only using 6 of them because the SACD player only does 5.1.

I just can't figure out how to boost the bass on the AVR, that's all.
post #10 of 12
What AVR are you using?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by arachosia View Post

I just can't figure out how to boost the bass on the AVR, that's all.

For playback, are you setting the receiver to use its external inputs or not? Since you are only using 6 inputs (5 speakers and the sub), you will only be able to listen to the player's analog output in 5.1 (6 channels). I don't know what you are doing with the 7.1 input mode unless that is what the receiver's external input setting defaults to, in which case you are, of course, still only listening to 6 channels, not 8. That the other 2 channels are not being used in this mode is fine.

There should be a way to adjust the receiver's external inputs' individual levels. Try using the same buttons on your remote that you would use to adjust the speaker levels on-the-fly when not utilizing the external inputs and see if that doesn't allow you to adjust the individual external input levels. And you can also probably adjust the player's individual output levels. Between adjusting the player's output levels and adjusting the receiver's external input levels, you should be able to achieve what you want.
post #12 of 12
I have a Sony SACD player and have hooked it up two different ways.The manual that came with it told me to use the two analog out puts to 2 analog inputs to my Dennon receiver. I sit the after selecting that input I place my receiver on PII which is a mock 5.1 for playing anything 2 channel. The music comes out in a wonder 5.1 mix. You close your eyes and you think they are in the room with you. I have use the 6 RCA and hooked them to my 6 inputs on my Dennon no change in sound. I the type of person that likes to change the volume on my sub itself to get the levels right.
It's hard to believe some buy SACD's and listen in stereo.
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