CD vs SACD/DVD-A

pringtef

Active Member
Was having a discussion with one of my mates the other day regards hi resolution formats, in particular DVD-A.

He mentioned that with CD, a sampling rate of 44,100 samples per second, and 65,636 (16 bit) gradiations the output of the DAC so closely matches the original wave format that it is effectively as close as it gets for the human ear to discern.

The conversation then led on to a discussion of whether or not the increase in quality on DVD-A could be purely as a result of the remastering process, given that much better equipment will now be available than previously for use with the master tapes.

The one area we did agree on was the benefit of multi channel!

Any thoughts? Be interested to hear your opinions.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Given that many digital source makers argue the toss as to the importance of the DAC anyway................ As a quick example in the (dim) past the one bit 256 oversampling was claimed to be "close" (as a fag paper!) to the original and produce a better sound. But nay, said the multi bit defenders, on whom scorn was poured. Now they seem to have been proved right (as many of us then said they would be, but i digress) as multi bit rules again.

However, many still eschew the digital medium as being nowhere near as close as it could, or should be to the original sound. Hence CD is still top dog, and Vinyl is seen by many as THE best source available. From my own experience with SACD and DVD-A, hopefully the best is yet to come as i'm already disappointed with it. Seems i'm not alone, as one of Pioneers top men admitted he still uses Vinyl as his primary source and his own marques top DVD-A/SACD machine was a distant 2nd.

If the DAC was all that mattered, or even the most important part of digital replay then why the massive difference in prices between machines with exactly the same DAC? Because ironically, as with Vinyl replay, the build quality and component quaility elsewhere, is equally as critical. Hence the excellent Chord DAC64 is built like a tank, with top class parts, and sounds fantastic (just been to hear one!)!

Just a few thoughts..................
 

Reiner

Active Member
He mentioned that with CD, a sampling rate of 44,100 samples per second, and 65,636 (16 bit) gradiations the output of the DAC so closely matches the original wave format that it is effectively as close as it gets for the human ear to discern.
That's the theory behind CD and DVD-A / SACD claim to better that with an even finer resolution and increasing the frequency range. Though human hearing stops around 20kHz and get's worst with age (most adults can hear to 15kHz only) they say you can 'feel' the sound, hence they came up with super tweeters extending to 50kHz for example.
Personally I think CD leaves a lot to be desired, in particular mainstream pop and rock recordings - here I would also think that the mastering process could improve a lot.
Haven't been able to directly compare DVD-A/SACD to CD so I can't comment that CD would be able to match the newer formats, but there is room for improvement without the need to replace/upgrade the current equipment.
 

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