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In Reply to: RE: How do you play multichannel on Qobuz? posted by Kal Rubinson on May 09, 2020 at 08:00:19
I don't have Roon, but I may give it a try with the Qobuz app and Audirvana using your "methodology". How did you ever figure this out? ;-)
I just tried it.
I wonder if the search function of the Qobuz app on Windows is more capable than the same function of the Qobuz app on the Mac. I tried the terms you suggested ("5.1", "multichannel" "Surround"), and the results returned were albums which had those terms in their album titles - not in their meta information. When you do a search, do the resulting albums show as 5.1 or multichannel in their metadata, as opposed to 2.0 or stereo (while you're still in the Qobuz app)? I seem to remember during my very first days of usage of Qobuz (maybe even during my trial period) that I would see some multichannel file listings from within the app, but, as you say, the app itself does not have the capability to playback more than 2.0 channels. But I have not seen these files for quite some time (over a year), and I never seem to run into them anymore, even while doing aimless browsing.
BTW, full marks to you for successful experimentation to uncover this secret in the first place! ;-)
Here's a screen grab.
Kal - you're a genius! ;-)
HOWEVER, I've tried excerpts from four albums so far:
- The CPE Bach Cello Concertos with Ophelie Gaillard (5.1)
- The Brahms Cello Sonatas, also with Ophelie Gaillard (5.1)
- The Ravel album with Vanessa Wagner (5.1)
- The Liszt Transcendental Etudes with Daniel Wayenberg (5.0)
All of the 5.1 albums seem to send the center channel stream to the subwoofer, with the center channel itself remaining silent - at least on my system. The Liszt Etudes album in 5.0 seems to play properly though all five channels (excluding the subwoofer of course).
So, even aside from the misrouted channels on the 5.1 albums (once again, at least on my set-up), this is a very exciting development indeed! The only other comment I'd make is that the selection of MCh-capable albums seems to be limited at this point - nothing from Chandos, BIS, Audite, and the other usual MCh suspects. ;-)
Anyway, thanks again for the helpful hint as to how to get MCh going via Qobuz!
Very strange. I am wondering how that can happen. Typically, the channel format is: Lf, Rf, C, LFE, Ls, Rs and it should play as predicted. Often, when playing a 5.0 recording without an LFE source, a player can fail to recognise this format (some older Oppo players are in this category) and, while the front three are OK, the Ls plays to the Sub, the Rs plays to the Ls speaker and the Rs speaker is silent.
I cannot understand what is happening too you. I will try those files later today.
I'll try some additional titles myself later today (much later because of our cat's eye appointment). Thanks again for looking into this!
EDIT: Please check my post below for additional info.
I once had a download from Chandos wherein the center channel output went to the subwoofer (similar to the problem I'm having with the 5.1 files I've tried so far with Qobuz). I contacted Chandos about this, and they actually acknowledged the problem and corrected their file, and I was later able to download a problem-free file (of the same album) from them (i.e., with the right outputs going to the right channels). So, in my experience, this kind of thing has been known to happen before.
1. I do not think that anything is wrong at your end or with Qobuz/Roon. I had not previously listened to any of the 4 items you list except for the Wayenberg/Liszt and I began by confirming that was OK.
2. I checked the other three and, at first, I thought that your description was correct but I do not think so now. If I held my ear to my center speaker with each one of them, I can heard than the channel is not mute/empty but, rather, very low in level and conveying only ambience rather than instrument sound. I have come across this before in some SACDs where the all the instrumental sound is on the two "stereo" channels and there is only ambiance on the center and surrounds.
3. I checked this out with some of the other 5.1 albums on Qobuz/Roon and they either played with full frontal (L/C/R) sound or they had only "ghostly" ambiance from the center.
4. FWIW, if there was a channel missing, the order would be shifted up, not down. A missing center feed would put LFE in the center speaker. A missing LFE would put Ls in the sub.
Let me know if you can hear this. Are you really getting a center signal in the sub or are you just getting the LFE signal?
This is on the basis of one album (the CPE Bach Cello Concertos - I'm sure the other two will be the same): I resorted to the simple expedient of turning off all the other amplifiers except for the center one, and, sure enough, there WAS a signal in the center channel. (Yeay!)
However (there's always a however!), what I hear is unlike any other center channel signal I've ever heard before on a MCh recording: it sounds as if everything is way off mike (or, indeed, as if it's some kind of ambiance signal, more suitable for a surround channel). It still doesn't sound right to me.
Of course, it's not what you expected but, as I say, I have come across a few SACDs just like that. See link for an example of one of my favorite SACDs. There's nothing in that "center" channel but for some ambiance.
I love this CD but, especially, the last track, "Mozart The Gypsy & Mozart SÓrba," a rip-roaring take on Mozart's Violin Concerto in A major K219.
It's possible that I had the overall volume at too low a level. However, I could swear that what's coming out of the subwoofer extends too high in frequency to be an actual subwoofer signal (again, kind of like what I heard on that one Chandos download which turned out to be an actual mistake on their part), although OTOH the frequencies do seem to go down quite low too. In any case, I'll do some more experimentation. Thanks again for your help - I really appreciate your efforts and ability to replicate what I was hearing.
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