sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?

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ec

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sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« on: 22 Jul 2017, 03:22 am »
All, 

I am a few months from completing my HT.  I will be buying net new video equipment such as a PJ, screen and bluray player (probably the Oppo UDP-205) and probably in a year or two, new speakers to replace the PMC TB2s.  I still have my SP 1.7 which like the rest of my equipment has been stored for the past 7 years.  If I understand correctly, you can only get the full fidelity of bluray (and SACD and DVD-A) from either the loseless digital stream via HDMI or using the 5.1/7.1 analog outputs to the inputs on an prepro.   

Is there that much of a sonic difference if I run the 5.1 analog out from the bluray/universal player into the SP 1.7 (which I believe does a A/D, D/A conversion) to that of running the lossless digital audio via HDMI to a modern prepro like the SP-3?

I would love to purchase the SP-3 but I do not have the budget especially since I am already buying an entirely new video chain.  I will only have two video sources: Universal Player and a Bell HD Satellite box which I can use the spdif out to the SP 1.7 spdif in for audio so I really do not need that much HDMI switching.  I can attach both video sources directly to the PJ or use an external HDMI switchbox.   I do recall the SP 1.7 5.1 analogs sounding excellent with SACD and DVD-A from my Denon 5900 in my previous setup but that was 7+ years ago.  I haven't kept up.  My other option is to get a "value" priced prepro that supports HDMI to hold me over till I am ready for an SP-3/SP-4.

I would appreciate your thoughts and first hand experiences.



« Last Edit: 20 Mar 2018, 02:55 am by ec »

Mag

Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input vs HDMI input on newer prepros for bluray
« Reply #1 on: 22 Jul 2017, 04:26 am »
I'll answer based on my SP2, I do not know what the differences are between SP 1.7 and SP2.

The SP does not have HDMI, not a problem for sound as long as you can feed the video HDMI out to projector or HDTV.

You can use either the analog or digital input on the SP for audio. Typically with blu-ray the Lpcm stereo track has the best sound. Not every blu-ray or dvd I'm referring to here has a stereo pcm track of good quality. So then typically the dts track is the next best, and the digital dolby.

You will get better sound by having the SP process the sound and then using the preferred soundfield on the SP, this is why pcm is preferred over dts, dolby, tracks. This will give you good sound comparable to other multi-channel processors.

Now if you want to up the sound to another league. Then you would output the blu-ray player signal to an outboard dac ( I recommend a BDA-1,2,3) output the BDA-? to analog in on SP and then select the soundfield of choice or you could use digital stereo.

I believe using a dac to SP will give you audio on par with the SP3. :smoke:

Phil A

Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input vs HDMI input on newer prepros for bluray
« Reply #2 on: 22 Jul 2017, 11:17 am »
When I had my SP1.7, for movies I used the analog outs of my Oppo player into its analog inputs and got great results.

ec

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input vs HDMI input on newer prepros for bluray
« Reply #3 on: 23 Jul 2017, 01:10 am »
Phil and Mag, 

Thanks for your responses.  I should have clarified the 5.1 will be used for bluray movies so the BDA-3 won't work for me as the BDA-3 has stereo outs.  Looking at some old threads:  The SP-2 has better surround processing when using the digital in vs the SP 1.7.  The SP 1.7 and SP 2.0 have the same circuitry for the 5.1 analog in and 2 ch bypass.  I can always do the spdif out and analog out from the bluray player and do the "is it live or Memorex test".  I will probably save my money and not buy a value "prepro".  I guess its good that I don't have a prepro with HDMI in with processing so I won't know what I could be missing.

Mag

Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input vs HDMI input on newer prepros for bluray
« Reply #4 on: 23 Jul 2017, 01:29 am »
You can still do 5.1 by going through dac to SP. You use the SP processor to get your 5.1 instead of the selecting 5.1 on blu-ray because the pcm stereo track is usually better in transparency. If you're a fanatic like myself that transparency difference makes all the difference in achieving bliss.

From my understanding what you are referring to 5.1 is just 2.1 as these dts, dolby, tracks are matrix-ed to 5.1 by the blu-ray processor. The only true multi-channel format is multi-channel sacd, which you could do with a BDA-3 dac to SP if I am not mistaken.

ec

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass
« Reply #5 on: 20 Mar 2018, 02:54 am »
I finally purchased an Oppo 203 and will be using the analog outs into the 5.1 analog ins to my Bryston SP 1.7 so I can listen to SACD and DVD audio and get the high resolution MC audio from Blu Ray 4K.  I will be configuring the pieces this weekend (speaker size/x-over, distance and trim).  I looked at the SP 1.7 manual and I couldn't find the answer.

Question(s):  Is the Analog 5.1 in on the SP 1.7 a true bypass?   If I configure the speaker distance and trims on the SP 1.7 will this apply to the 5.1 analog bypass?

The manual does state it does not do bass management.  What I want to avoid is setting the speaker distance to say 12' on the Oppo 203 and setting it for 12' on the SP 1.7 where I will end up with an aggregrated speaker distance/delay of 24'.  Similarly I don't want to run into the same aggregration problem with the trim.  I need to set the speaker distance etc on the SP 1.7 because I plan to use the SP 1.7's bass management and multichannel capabilities for some 2 ch audio sources (analog and digital)

James Tanner

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass
« Reply #6 on: 20 Mar 2018, 10:28 am »
I finally purchased an Oppo 203 and will be using the analog outs into the 5.1 analog ins to my Bryston SP 1.7 so I can listen to SACD and DVD audio and get the high resolution MC audio from Blu Ray 4K.  I will be configuring the pieces this weekend (speaker size/x-over, distance and trim).  I looked at the SP 1.7 manual and I couldn't find the answer.

Question(s):  Is the Analog 5.1 in on the SP 1.7 a true bypass?   If I configure the speaker distance and trims on the SP 1.7 will this apply to the 5.1 analog bypass?

The manual does state it does not do bass management.  What I want to avoid is setting the speaker distance to say 12' on the Oppo 203 and setting it for 12' on the SP 1.7 where I will end up with an aggregrated speaker distance/delay of 24'.  Similarly I don't want to run into the same aggregration problem with the trim.  I need to set the speaker distance etc on the SP 1.7 because I plan to use the SP 1.7's bass management and multichannel capabilities for some 2 ch audio sources (analog and digital)

Hi EC

The Passthrough is a true passthrough - so all settings MUST be done in the OPPO.

james

ec

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #7 on: 20 Mar 2018, 02:02 pm »
James, perfect, this is what I hoped for.  And yes it does make sense to make quality equipment.  The SP 1.7 has been in storage for the past 7 years and used for at least 4-5 years prior to that is still going strong.

TJ-Sully

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #8 on: 20 Mar 2018, 10:56 pm »
hi ec

If I understand your questions correctly, I have a similar experience to share.

I also own Bryston's SP1.7 processor (love it) and recently purchased an OPPO 203. In initially setting up the 5.1 audio, I used the analogue outputs from the Oppo to feed the SP1.7. And the sonic results were terrible.

So, i tried something else. I unplugged all the analogue cables - and ran a good quality digital coax cable OUT from the Oppo and INTO the SP1.7. Then I mucked around with the settings on both the Oppo and the SP1.7. and BOOM - the sonic improvement was dramatic =  happy camper.

As Mike Pickett explained to me, if using analogue out from the Oppo - the SP1.7 simply acts as a volume control and you are relying on the IC- based op amps  inside the analogue section of the Oppo - rather than discrete op amps inside the SP1.7.   Bryston processing power wins hands down.

Based on my experience, i would not recommend using the analogue outputs from the OPPO.

For the video section, i simply ran HDMI from the OPPO directly to the TV.

Hope this helps.

TJ.


ec

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #9 on: 21 Mar 2018, 01:57 pm »
TJ - thanks for sharing your experiences.  I do have an optical cable attached from the Oppo 203 to the SP 1.7.  My intention was to use the digital out for CD playback.  The Oppo user manual says that SACD, DVD-Audio, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD can not be send via coax or optical because of bandwidth limitations (plus the old SP 1.7 wouldn't be able to decode these).  So I would have to use HDMI or the analog outs from the Oppo.  The latter being my only choice.  I do have a few SACDs and DVD-Audio discs that I listen too.  The good news is that I can do the A/B switching in real time once everything is calibrated.  I was thinking of getting the Oppo 205 with the better analog's out but it is significantly more expensive and I do plan to upgrade the SP 1.7 in the future with a PrePro with HDMI in.  The SP 3 would be my first choice because it doesn't haven't the bells and whistles that I will not use namely room correction and ATMOS.  Hopefully I can get to it this weekend and will post back with my results. 

TJ-Sully

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #10 on: 21 Mar 2018, 11:21 pm »
Hi ec. right on. i see what you're after now.... to be able to play SACD's and DVD audio.
Based on my observations, the added benefit from SACD's would be severely compromised using the processor in the Oppo compared to PCM conversion in the 1.7.  But looking forward to your observations.

As a processor, the SP3 would definitely deliver - and last a lifetime.  :thumb:
I doubt moving to an Oppo 205 would bring any significant amount of additional sonic value.

take care

tj-sully

WillyP

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #11 on: 22 Mar 2018, 12:40 pm »
Why not use the digital output (coax) for the playback of CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs? This is a very comfortable solution (except for SACD).

Given the high quality of the DAC's of the SP 1.7, I wouldn't be surprised if the playback of the CD layer of an SACD gives better results compared to playing the SACD with the Oppo and using its analogue output. This can easily be checked by you.

It is true that you won't use the HD formats, but I did some tests and found out that the DTS core of a Blu-ray disc does not sound as good as the DTS HD MA output, but still very good in its own way and in most cases definitely better than the output in Dolby Digital or DTS format from the DVD version of the same movie.

In fact, I have used my former AV processor - also without HDMI ports - in this way for a few years and I was quite pleased with the sound quality.

Hope this helps.

Willy

TJ-Sully

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #12 on: 24 Mar 2018, 11:53 pm »
agree with Willy 100%

ec

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #13 on: 4 Apr 2018, 03:17 am »
Just a quick update.  I setup the proper distances from speakers to the main listening position, trim and x over (80hz all speakers small) in the Oppo 203 and used the analog 5.1 as I used MultiChannel SACD and DVD-A to test.  The digital signal would not be accepted via toslink (understandably).  I didn't test redbook CD's (stored in the bottom of a pile of bankers box) or any Blu Ray as I don't have my projector or AT screen hung yet.  I am very very impressed with the sound from the analog 5.1 outs from the Oppo 203 to the Bryston SP 1.7.  Because of the flexibility of the SP 1.7, I have the aux trigger set (Projector) only for the TV/SAT and DVD inputs. CD (digital from Oppo 203 for redbook) and tape (5.1 analog bypass to listen to SACD and DVD-A),   Aux (vinyl), VCR (tuner).

I still need to put up the acoustical treatment for some first reflections and run the calibration on an old Velodyne SMS-1 to minimize any nulls and peaks out the bass response from the four identical subs in each corner.

TJ-Sully

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #14 on: 5 Apr 2018, 01:16 am »
nice work ec. what kind of subs are you running?
T

ec

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #15 on: 6 Apr 2018, 01:59 am »
TJ Sully, I am running four passive SVS CS-Ultras (probably close to 10-12 years old now) being driven by two Crown K1 amps.  I do have Bryston SST amps for the 5 speakers though.  Would have loved to have Bryston amps for the subs as well but it was not in the budget at the time.   One of the reasons why I purchased the SP 1.7 was because it did not have video switching as the video output formats changed so much and I don't like paying for things I won't necessarily use.  When I purchased the SP 1.7, I was using a video scaler to CRT projector.   I also like simple to use high performing devices whether it be AV, cars, thermostats etc.   The SP 1.7 is the epitome of simple, well designed and built, high performing equipment.  Because the SP 1.7 does so well sonically through the 5.1 bypass, my next upgrade will be the speakers then maybe I will replace the SP 1.7 with a new/used SP3 depending how far in the future that may be.

TJ-Sully

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Re: sp 1.7 5.1 input - is it true bypass?
« Reply #16 on: 7 Apr 2018, 03:55 pm »
hey ec. i bet 4 subs sounds pretty cool. and must be fun trying to balance them in the room.

I'm running a single REL328 sub. I have limited experience running subs - but this thing is amazing. I am totally hooked
on having a sub for 2-channel listening.  It's pretty amazing how a subwoofer can balance the room and fill the space - as well as making the speakers sound like they are full range monsters. Looking for another matching sub for a stereo pair.

TJ