Blu ray sounds better than a CD, why???

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by doggy, Jun 21, 2017.


    1. doggy

      doggy
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      Not too sure where to post this.

      I was listening to the Whiplash soundtrack cd on my hifi and I wasn't overly impressed with the cymbals. The I played the Blueray through the amp via an optical cable and it sounded so much better. Is that down to the production of the cd?
       
    2. muljao

      muljao
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      It's down to the DAC. I'm assuming cd player is plugged in to amp via RCA?
       
    3. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
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      I suspect an element of it is Different Mixes. The BluRay was specifically mixed for the movie and things may have been done to enhance the Dynamic Range. But they probably used a different mix for the Audio CD of the Sound Track.

      Though it could also be a difference in the DACs. (digital to analog converter)

      If you use RCA Cables, then you are using the DAC in the Player. However, if you are connected by Optical Cable, then you are using the DAC in the Amp. So, that aspect is possible.

      But I think it more likely a difference in the Mixes between the BluRay Movie Mix and the CD Audio Music Mix.

      CD is limited to 16bit and a Sample Rate of 44.1khz. BluRay is considerably higher in both. A BluRay is typically 24 bit and 96khz Sample Rate with, I think, the potential to go as high as 24b/192k. However, just because that capability is there, doesn't mean they are using it. It is hard to determine what the actual mix is on any given BluRay. But the potential for higher resolution sound is there.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    4. muljao

      muljao
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      Hi Steve,

      I'm all wrong,I thought it was the whiplash Audio cd, I believe transferred from one player to the other so I'd say it's just the difference between the active DACs when played in different machines. The Blu-ray may of course sound different.

      Edit- I edited this as I disagreed with Steve, but read OP wrong
       
      Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
    5. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
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      So, let's be clear here. You are not comparing the BluRay Movie to the CD Sound Track, you are comparing the CD Sound Track in the CD Player to the CD Sound Track in the BluRay Player?

      Right or wrong?


      In that case, yes, the difference is most likely the DAC in the CD Player vs the DAC in the Amp, and apparently the DAC in the Amp is better. Or at least you like it better.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    6. doggy

      doggy
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      Sorry. To clarify. Audio CD on the cd player and the Blu-ray disc on the amp via optical.

      It's the last scene at the jazz festival, it can probably be found on YouTube if you haven't seen the movie.
       
    7. doggy

      doggy
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    8. doggy

      doggy
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      Watching this scene on the Blu-ray sounds better than the same track on the CD.
       
    9. doggy

      doggy
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      So my next question is this. If there is a better source than cd why aren't we listening to it?
       
    10. Jampot90

      Jampot90
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      Presumably the blue ray player is down mixing to stereo in this case, if not is there a centre speaker and sub in the mix?
      Perhaps you could play the cd in the blue ray player still with the optical out to the amp? It might provide more food for thought. Make sure any processing in the amp is switched off too.

      Probably because the range of music available on Blue Ray is severely limited.....

      Jim
       
    11. Mark.Yudkin

      Mark.Yudkin
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      Since you have optical from the BDP to the Amp, but analogue from the CDP to the amp, the difference is in the DACs you are using and is unrelated, in your case, to the sources.

      It may be that BDA can have better quality sound than CD, for the reasons given by Steve in the last paragraph in post #3, and perhaps this time, unlike with SACD or DVD-A, BDA will take off as a format. However, in your specific case, it is your setup that is responsible for any differences you hear, as your setup's optical connection limits BDA replay.
       
    12. goonybird

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      I used to use analogue BD player out for best audio but then found HDMI gave way better sound quality compared to analogue and optical. I suspected there may be handshaking with the HDMI? Note the Yammy BD1067 has been compared favoribly to Oppo players. Also listening done with Pure Direct only.

      (quote) Probably because the range of music available on Blue Ray is severely limited..... (quote)

      Re comment on Blu Ray availability. There are quite a lot of Blu Ray Pure Audio discs out there.
       
    13. doggy

      doggy
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      So if optical gives better sound than RCA why don't amps have more optical connections?
       
    14. Wall Of Sound

      Wall Of Sound
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      Blu-ray Whiplash Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio English 2187 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2187 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

      Quite simply, it's a higher 'resolution' of Audio on Blu-Ray, than on the CD
       
    15. BlueWizard

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      In that case, it could be both the different DACs, and different Mixes.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    16. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
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      It is also mixed, according to the information provided, in 5.1 Surround Sound. The Surround Sound aspect could add something to the perceived sound, assuming you are hearing it in 5.1.

      Though referencing your information, the BluRay mix is 16b/48k, so not that far above CD.

      But clearly a different mix.

      As a side note, while SACD is still hanging on, it would seem to me that BluRay-Audio would be the format of choice. Depending on the number of channels, it has the potential to be as high as 24b/192k. And pretty much every house has or will have a BluRay player, though not all will have Analog Outputs. That would seem to make BluRay-Audio the most universally accessible format, beyond CD that is.

      Though I think BluRay might be late to the game. Likely pure computer file based audio (WAV, FLAC, ALAC,...) is the real direction of the future. Still, in a physical format with near universal accessibility, I don't know what beats BluRay-Audio.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    17. doggy

      doggy
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      So if I could buy music in a download form as a flac file it would sound better than a CD?
       
    18. Mark.Yudkin

      Mark.Yudkin
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      The differences in your case are entirely with your equipment. There is nothing intrinsic to the connections or, in your case, with the source media. Analogue from BDP and HDMI to the AVR are identical as far as sound quality is concerned, provided both devices are equally capable. As soon as one device is superior, using its DAC and subsequent circuitry will of course offer a superior sound. Somebody with equipment with opposite superiority will have exactly the opposite experience.
       
    19. Mark.Yudkin

      Mark.Yudkin
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      Except of course doggy has no means to access the dts hd ma track. He is using an optical connection into a stereo hi-fi, so is accessing a stereo down-mix of the dts core track.
       
    20. RBZ5416

      RBZ5416
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      Or is he? He hasn't said what he's using other than it has an optical input. For all we know "the amp" may be an AVR running a full set of surround speakers & sub.
       
    21. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
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      It depends on what you mean by better. It would likely have more Bit depth, and higher Sample Rate, it could be anything from 16b/44.1k up to 24b/192k, though I think 24b/48k and 24b/96k are most common. You can also download files, some files, in DSD, the file format for SACD.

      So, in the sense of Bit Resolution and Sample Rate, yes, downloads can be better. But the MIX also comes into play. If they are well mixed, then they are going to have excellent detail and dynamics.

      CD is locked into a format and standard created in the mid-80's Download files can change as fast as technology will allow them to change. Typically you just need a Software upgrade on your computer and you are set to go when it comes to playing any new file format.

      Also keep in mind that today, 32b/348k DACs are not uncommon, and I think I've seen 32b/768k DACs. Technology has far surpassed the CD Player, though CD still sounds pretty good when the Mix is right.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    22. doggy

      doggy
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      The amp is a Yamaha as301.
       
    23. ShanePJ

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      Basically what your hearing is a higher quality recording as what's been said above.

      I remember doing this with a low end system to the "Musical Fidelity" representative many years ago.

      I had a Marantz PM5004, Panasonic DMP-BDT500 and a pair of Tannoy V4. The other system was an Arcam A19, CD17 and the same speakers.

      I played Bob Marley's "Legend" album.

      Arcam first, and the sound was fine and what you would expect, Then I switched the speakers over to the Marantz/Panasonic combination and played the same track through the same speakers.

      The face on the representative was "What have you done, how have you done that, It's amazing!"

      I had two copies of the same album, one was a Blu-ray Audio (Pure Audio) the other was the traditional CD and that's how I did that.

      Put simply, the Blu-ray Audio obliterated the CD with the same speakers. I found that lower end electronics really were able to outperform traditional hifi electronics with the right software, however, Blu-ray Audio has gone the same way as SACD and is almost dead in the water. The last one I purchase I made was "Ben Howard's" last album.

      So, what you've done, is max'd your system.

      To bring that kind of quality to you system from the humble CD takes you up a number of levels and costs a considerable amount of money.

      I've gone down the PC route with "High Quality DAC's". It was they only way could find that could transform a CD to that level. This also took me on a nice learning journey too as you have to figure out how to get the best out of your computer as not all 1+0 sound the same when you have many background processor working against them.

      Another point, you also need to archive your music files correctly (Not MP3 or lossy) it has to be a lossless format so you can hear every ounce of detail.

      It has taken me about 4+ years to get music from a computer so sound similar to Blu-ray Audio. I use to up-sample everything to DSD, but since I carried out all the work on my PC, I find that the timing and stereo separation going into my Teac DAC was all I need.

      So, the simplest thing to do, to improve your CD's is to start with a external DAC! One which has its own "clock" (so important) and take it from there. Every step you grow and learn with your system, the better sound and the more you will enjoy it.

      Regards, Shane.
       
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      Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    24. Welwynnick

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      I've started playing and collecting Blu-ray audio discs - audio ONLY.

      It's the best sound I've ever heard at home. Its absolutely sublime.

      Nick
       
    25. doggy

      doggy
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      Ok so I'm slightly more confused now. If I buy a DAC do I plug my cds300 into it and then the DAC into the amp?
       
    26. RBZ5416

      RBZ5416
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      You need to conduct some further comparisons.

      Play the CD in the BD player. If it sounds better than the CDP then the amp has a better DAC or you simply prefer it's sound. Although I'd expect them to be broadly the same.

      Confirm this by connecting the CDP to optical & try again.

      Then try again with coax.

      At the moment you seem to be leaping to certain conclusions based on the comparison between two different media sources. It may simply be that the mastering on the Bluray disk is better to start with or there may be hardware differences. Or maybe a combination of the two.
       
      Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
    27. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
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      The BluRay Player will Play CDs, so try both the CD and the BluRay version in the BluRay Player, and compare the difference.

      Perhaps that's what you already did, but my impression was CD in a CD Player and BluRay in a BluRay Player.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    28. doggy

      doggy
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      Correct.
       
    29. ShanePJ

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      Agreed. The main reason for an external DAC is to improve the shortcomings of the other electronics built in DAC.

      So, with a DAC, everything that has a digital output goes into it and everything that is plugged into it uses the DAC's stereo analogue output. Remember to switch any and all processors off on the AMP if any are being used as this will make the exercise pointless.

      Ultimately, If the CD/Blu-ray is outputting in Stereo, then you should only hear stereo (when using a DAC). Usually, AV amps have a "pure/direct" mode to switch any and all processors off allowing you to hear what is on the disc.

      To carry out a simple test to see if one of your electronics has a better DAC in it than the others. Simpy run Analogue cables to the amp from them. If the disc's sound better, then your onto a winner, vice-versa, if your amp's of an multi-channel AV type, try the Optical output from your CS/Blu-ray player as mentioned above in one of the other threads. If it sounds better to you, again, its a winner.

      DAC's of the none USB type never really excited me as I'd tried a number of them, some quite expensive and some not. I always found that the money difference could not justify the cost differences. Yet with the modern versions, this is very different with many bringing significant improvement.

      My preferences is TEAC's, yet they can be overly bright, if your system is tweaked to deliver an already bright sound. I use mine with an Arcam AVR600 which is slightly warm and the DAC transforms the pace and dynamics of the AMP when in Direct mode.

      As I mentioned, If you do start experimenting, ensure you get one with a build in "clock" or at least one with the ability to add a clock as this is where the magic happens as this is where the music timing is created so to say simply.

      Regards, Shane
       
    30. mclingo

      mclingo
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      I honestly dont think this is DAC related, there are fundamental differences between mixing for movies and CD listening.

      My guess is CD mixing favors accuracy more than movie mixing which concentrates on the fullness of sound and impact.
       

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