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I just bought some new DVD-As for my panasonic rp-82.. the music and clarity is phenominal... however i have a question. When playing dvd-a do i set my speakers all to small and sub on? or use full range speakers..all set to large with the subwoofer off?


My setup is 5 x Oprheus speakers (4ohms)


SVS PC20-39+ subwoofer


Using ROTEL RMB1075/RSP1066
 

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DVD-A and SACD multi-channel recordings typically have a LFE track specifically for your sub. The stereo recordings vary, I've seen 2.1 and 2.0 - it's really a matter of preference, give it a try either way.
 

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You would like to use the same bass management configuration as you use for Dolby Digital and all other sources -- typically high-pass (small) for all of your speakers, with bass redirected to the subwoofer below the crossover point (80 Hz or 100 Hz).


Unfortunately, multi-channel DVD-A signals cannot be sent to the receiver with a digital connection and you are forced to use the Multi-channel analog inputs on the receiver. This bypasses all of the bass management settings in the receiver. Add to this the total lack of any stanardization in channel usuage on DVD-A discs and you've got a complete mess.


Some people just throw their hands up and run all their speakers full-range with no subwoofer when playing DVD-A discs. Others try to figure out if their DVD-A player offers any bass management features. Or, the Rotel RMB-1066 gives you the option of redirecting bass from the DVD-A channels through a separate subwoofer crossover. However, this is a "plus" mode -- no high-pass filter on the satellites, so the same bass is duplicated in the main speakers and subwoofer.


Personally, I take a different approach. I simply refuse to spend one dollar on a format that is such a mess. If there were a DVD-A disc that I absolutely had to have, I would just listen to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. That's plenty good enough for the re-hashes of old quadraphonic mixes from the 1970s and godawful "audiophile" recordings that make up a significant portion of the DVD-A library.


Fortunately, I've already got the orginal SQ Quad LPs of all of those, so I'm not buying many DVD-A discs. I swore off buying junk music just because it's "audiphile" a couple of decades ago when I found myself listening to a direct-to-disc recording of a Japanese bar band doing Sam the Sham and Pharoah's "Wooley Booley". After one chorus of "roory boory....roory boory....", asked myself, "what in the hell are you listening to?"


I do buy a lot of Dolby Digital and DTS concert discs, many of which are fabulous. I "went to" the DVD Eric Clapton "concert" last Saturday night. "Down from the Mountain", "Tina Turner Live from Amsterdam", "Paul Simon in Paris", "Yo Yo Ma/Mark O'Conner Appalachian Journey", "Roy Orbison Black and White" and many others are excellent. It seems that after ignoring the genre throughout the Laser Disc and VHS Hi-Fi years, the music companies are finally starting to get with the program.
 
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