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Reviews: Weber: Clarinet Quintet, Invitation to the Dance, Flute Trio - Van Swieten Society

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Reviews: 2

Site review by Geohominid September 6, 2009
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by jeff3948 April 18, 2015 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The performances of Weber's Clarinet Quintet, solo fortepiano piece, and the Flute Trio are superb. I won't say any more about the performance because it is not the problem here. In the SACD stereo mode the balance for the quintet is good with a very slight volume favoring the left channel and the church acoustics are captured superbly as well. However, the piano solo and especially the flute trio clearly favor the left channel and the recording seems uncomfortably out-of-balance. Then when you try listening to the SACD in Multi-channel mode, the out-of-balance gets much worse toward the left channel. I wondered why that was, so I did some testing. First, I made sure that my analog output connectors were connected correctly, and they were. Then, after much analysis, I discovered that 3 of the 5 channels were assigned to the wrong channel. The Right Front is actually the Right Rear and the Right Rear is actually the Center Channel, and the Center Channel is actually the Right Front. Since my SACD player has 7.1 analog outputs in the back I was able to correct this by re-arranging the output connectors. Once the connectors were re-arranged to correct the incorrectly assigned channels, I was able to listen correctly to the SACD in 5.0 multi-channel mode. The Quintet was fairly well balance with still a very slight out-of-balance toward the left channel. Again, the piano solo and the flute trio were more heavily out-of-balance toward the left side, just like in the 2 channel stereo version. If you connect your SACD player via the HDMI or Denon Link connection, there is generally no way you can correct the channel assignment mistakes unless you temporarily re-arrange your speaker output connections. I then, of course, had to re-arrange the connectors back to the correct assignments after listening to this SACD in multi-channel mode. I give this SACD a 5 star rating for performance. 4 star rating for stereo sound given the slight out-of-balance, and a 1/2 star rating in multi-channel mode because of the channel assignment mistakes, because I feel the customer should not have to correct the engineers mistakes. If the channel assignments were correct I would have given the Multi-channel recording 4 stars because it is very good but still slightly out-of-balance to the left. So the overall rating would be around 3 stars. A message to Van Swieten Society: Please get your technical act together, because it's important to those of us who love multi-channel surround sound.

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