5.1 vs SACD


Active Member
I have a Sony DVPNS930 and a STRDB1070 amp. It plays SACD's and although I only have one - Dark Side of the Moon - I am well impressed with the format.

I am about to buy 101 by Depeche Mode and was pleased to see that it is available on SACD. However I noticed I can get the DVD with 5.1 Dolby sound for about the same price.

Can anyone tell me if there is any substantive difference between SACD and 5.1, if it's going to come out of all the speakers anyway why wouldn't I want to have the pictures 'free of charge'?


Active Member
Ayrton - I have the DVD - its great but tbh the 5.1 mix is not the best Ive heard - infact it sounds better on the stereo track to me.

There were problems with the 101 SACD - not sure if they have been fixed yet but my guess would be that the SACD would sound much better. 101 is a great film though...


Active Member
Thanks for your reply, the info re DM is invaluable and certainly helps me make this decision. For the longer term my question is less specific. On balance which is the better format, or does it make no difference? Or does it depend on the mix of each recording?

For this one it sounds like the best bet is the SACD, the audio is more important to me, the pictures would have been a nice extra but not at the cost of any audio quality.


The main difference is the frequency range used,
standard 5.1 is (I believe) up to 88KHz
DTS96/24 is 96KHZ
SACD 5.1 is 96KHZ
SACD stereo is 192KHz (But only two channels)

So the quality of the SACD will be higher but this is only a fair comparison if they use the same surround mix, some mixes are amazing some are poor it's possible one's good the other isn't.
Stereo on SACD is always a safe bet and sounds amazing.

Whether the picture is worth the sound difference is your choice but I'd use the SACD in stereo if it was me!


Distinguished Member
I've yet to be convinced of SACD, i don't think it offers anything over a good 2ch setup, other than the 5.1 capability.

Which brings me to.......i've yet to be convinced of 5.1 discs of studio material, as was said by the Arcam geeza at the show, sound engineers just don't know what do with the 5.1 channels.

And at the end of the day, it just sounds a mess.


Distinguished Member
On some of the stuff I've listened to, some sound engineers struggle to get 2 channels right..........


Active Member
It's even worse with SACD disks not being clearly labelled to show how many of the 3 available mixes are present (are you reading this EMI ??!!)

That said the Queen-ANATO (DVD-A) and Bowie-Heathen (SACD) are good examples of how to get 5.1 right.

Pity we're yet to get hybrids for each new release - still struggling to find anything that appeals on either format.

The latest video from AVForums

Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom