Getting The Most Out of High Resolution Audio: Playback Solutions
Posted March 2014
As high resolution media evolves, there are more and more options for playback, but you can still put together a simple and effective system to take advantage of these new technologies. We’ve put together three different types of high performance playback solutions, along with tips for better performance, to get you started!
System 1: Stereo Listening with the Essence HDACC and Legacy Signature SE speakers
Good for: Adding two channel Blu-Ray HD Audio to your existing system
The Essence HDACC ($699) is a versatile preamp that conveniently allows you to play back Blu-Ray Audio. Start with a Blu-Ray player (any standard player will do, since we are sending an HDMI signal to the HDACC). Connect an HDMI cable from the output of your Blu-Ray player to the HDMI In on the HDACC.
Finally, connect two XLR cables from the XLR output of the HDACC to the XLR inputs of your amplifier. You are now ready to enjoy uncompressed 24 bit/192kHz stereo audio from Blu-Ray HD Audio. You can playback CDs as well!
The Legacy Signature SE speakers provide great resolution thanks to the Legacy silver/graphite midrange driver and Dual Air Motion Tweeter System (the same as in the flagship Whisper XDS and Aeris speakers). This dynamic speaker has extension down to 22 Hz via two 10” aluminum diaphragm woofers, allowing you to experience what Blu-Ray HD Audio has to offer.
Looking for material? Check out Sprung Rhythm on Blu-Ray- mixed and mastered on Legacy speakers!
Looking for more?
-Substituting the Focus SE, Aeris or Whisper XDS will provide greater dynamic capability (24 bit files are capable of up to 144 dB of dynamic range!), low frequency extension, and resolution.
-Take your existing CD/DVD player or Sonos player with coaxial output and connect it to the coaxial input on the HDACC.
-If you like using your computer to store and playback your music, connect a USB 2.0 cable to the input of the HDACC, and download the Amarra software here, to play back files from your computer at up to 192kHz through the HDACC.
System 2: 5.1 Surround Sound with the NuForce AVP-18 Preamp-Processor, Legacy Classic HD, Cinema HD center, Studio HD and Metro subwoofer.
Good for: Adding surround to your existing system when you already have amplification. Fitting speakers into a tight space without compromising performance.
For this system, we will show you how to setup your Television/Blu Ray player with a 5.1 Legacy Audio speaker system.
Connect an HDMI cable from your Cable Box to one of the HDMI inputs of the NuForce AVP-18 ($1,095). If you are using a Blu Ray player, you can connect its HDMI output to one of the extra HDMI inputs on the AVP-18. Finally, connect the HDMI output on the AVP-18 to the HDMI input of your TV (this passes video to your screen).
Now it’s time to connect your speakers. You can utilize a 5 channel amplifier, or a 3 channel amplifier alongside a 2 channel amplifier for your left and right speakers. First connect an RCA cable from the FL and FR outputs of the AVP-18 to the amplifier- this is for your left and right Classic HD speakers.
The Classic HD inherits the same silver graphite midrange drivers and top AMT tweeter from the larger Legacy speakers. They have received the Home Theater Magazine Top Picks Award, and provide clear dynamic performance- great for home theater.
Next, connect an RCA cable from the LS and RS outputs of the AVP-18 to the amplifier for your Studio HD surrounds. Studio HD packs a ton of performance into a small footprint, and can be easily placed on a stand or shelf (handy when you don’t want to mount on your walls). Studio HD features the same top tweeter as the rest of the speakers in this system, for great synergy between the speakers.
Next, connect an RCA cable from the C output of the AVP-18 to the amplifier connected to your Cinema HD center channel. Cinema HD is the smallest of the Legacy center channels and features the same silver/graphite drivers as the rest of the Legacy line, combined with a spiral ribbon tweeter for authentic dialogue reproduction. Best of all, it can easily fit into or on top of your current entertainment center- no remodeling required!
Finally, connect an RCA cable from the SW output of the AVP-18 to the left line in of the Metro subwoofer. The smallest Legacy subwoofer, Metro digs down to 20 Hz and when combined with Classic HD, provides full frequency response while only taking up 16x16 inches of floor space. The internal 500 watt amplifier powers the 12” subwoofer and passive 15” radiator to provide deep, dynamic performance.
You are now ready to enjoy 5.1 surround sound from your television and Blu-Ray player! This system provides unprecedented performance- both for the dollar and floor space.
Looking for more?
-Substituting the Legacy Signature SE or Focus SE will improve your left and right channel performance. Your main speakers (left, right and center) are the first place to look at when upgrading performance in a surround system such as this.
System 3: 7.1 Surround Sound with the Oppo BDP 105, Legacy Focus SE, Silverscreen HD center, Phantom HD and Deco surrounds and Point One Subwoofer.
Good for: No compromise, full range surround sound and stereo performance.
The Oppo BDP 105 ($1,199) breaks ground for quality and quantity of features. Here, we will setup a 7.1 system that allows you to play back high resolution audio files.
First, purchase a USB external hard drive- we recommend 1TB or bigger. High Resolution Audio can fill up a hard drive quickly, and storage space is affordable. Connect the hard drive to your computer with a USB 2.0 or 3.0 cable, and plug the AC Adaptor into the hard drive. Next, place your music files on your external hard drive. You can do this by dragging the files onto the external hard drive. Once your music collection is on your external hard drive, connect the USB cable to the USB 1 port on the back of the BDP 105.
Now it’s time to make your speaker connections. The Focus SE provide unprecedented dynamic handling, detailed midrange via two 7” silver graphite midrange drivers, extended highs with the Dual Air Motion Tweeter system and deep bass extension down to 18 Hz- perfect for both stereo and home theater use. Connect an RCA cable from the FL and FR outputs on the BDP 105 to your stereo amplifier, then connect your speaker cables to the Focus SE.
We recommend utilizing a 5 channel amplifier for your remaining 5 speakers, however stereo amps can also be used. The Phantom HD and Deco surround speakers are easily mounted on the wall via the included hardware. The Phantom HD are best used as side surrounds- their MS array provides enveloping surround sound that is even throughout the room. Connect an RCA cable from the SR and SL outputs of the BDP 105 to the Phantom HD channels of your 5 channel amplifier, and connect the corresponding speaker cables to the Phantom HD.
Deco is setup similarly to Phantom HD, except the Deco brackets are mounted in the vertical position. After you have mounted your rear Deco speakers, connect an RCA cable from the SBR and SBL outputs of the BDP 105 to the Deco channels of your 5 channel amplifier, and connect the corresponding speaker cables to the Deco. The Phantom HD and Deco surround speakers are designed for optimum performance when placed on the wall, and allow them to be placed out of the way of guests- seen but not heard. The wires are connected on top of the sconce, allowing you to easily hide connections.
The Silverscreen HD is a high performance center channel that can be mounted above or below the screen. Connect your RCA cable to the C output on the BDP 105 and to the corresponding channel on your 5 channel amplifier. ThePoint One Subwoofer provides total control over level, phase, and crossover frequency. Featuring massive dual 15” drivers and 750 Watts of ICEpower®, the Point One delivers quick and powerful bass down to 18 Hz. Connect an RCA cable from the SW output of the Oppo BDP 105 to the LFE input on the back of the Point One.
To access music on your hard drive, select “Music” from the “Home Menu”. Next, select the USB or HD device that contains your music files. You will now see your music, and can press the up/down arrow to select your music. Press the “Enter”, or “Play” button to begin playback. You are now ready to experience both audiophile quality two channel from your hard drive and cinema quality surround sound, in your home theater!
Looking for more?
- Substitute the Marquis XD for your center channel and experience the perfect match for Focus SE (featuring the same dual 12” subwoofers, 7” silver/graphite midrange, and top tweeter).
- There’s no replacement for displacement- Focus SE dual 12” subwoofers have a linear volume displacement of nearly 200 cubic inches for effortless bass down to the lowest frequencies. Aeris provides even greater displacement via its larger driver complement. But, if you need to listen in private, the Oppo BDP 105 has a built in stereo headphone amplifier, for when you don’t want to experience full range audio from 16 Hz-30 kHz.
Setting up a world class high performance audio system doesn’t have to be complicated. These simple steps can help you get the most out of your music library.
Questions about setting up your system? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org