Stereo Steve

Novice Member
I know a lot has been written about this, technically and emotively. I have always been of the opinion that SACD has the edge on convenience and PR whereas DVD-A has a slight edge in performance. The other day I decided to run thorough some examples of both to see how they sounded.

First, DVD-A. It's as clean, neutral and punchy as ever. Instrument seperation is superb and most recordings have a sense of space and a certain 'sparkle' that SACD lacks IMHO.

It was when I ran through some SACD's though that I changed my mind. I found that, back to back, the actual SACD experience is much more involving. SACD has the ability to creat a truly enveloping soundfield around you. I find that DVD-A sometimes suffers from over seperation of instruments although this could be down to the mastering process.

DSOTM on SACD played right through in 5.1 is a truly remarkable experience, something none of my DVD-A's get close to. Also, Toys in the Attick is a great example of a rock album in 5.1.

Of course, this may be down to my equipment but I have changed my view slightly in favour of SACD.


Standard Member
A lot of what you say I tend to agree with, I really think its down to the recording quality and the bitrate. CJCross has started a thread that I think encompasses why some DVDA's are a let down



Well-known Member
Steve irrespective of how they sound up against each other : ie full DVD-A resolution 2ch 24-192 Khz or in MC mode 5 ch 24-96Khz (very rare from what I can tell BTW), the simple truth of the matter is that SACD mixes have the following benefits over DVD-A :

Every SACD mix has a discrete stereo mix even on MC mixes so no need for a 5.1 system
Every SACD Hybrid has a CD layer on that plays on a CD player (Even HDCD encoding on some discs – ala Linn Records) And no mention of 1.9mm thick flipper discs either.
SACD Recording quality has never been reduced or has the liklihood of being reduced in resolution unlike DVD-A.
SACD Does not require a TV for menu navigation

The biggest problem I can see with DVD-A is the actual quality of the mixes supplied, these are way below what was promised. I mean for crying out loud I have just bought a DVD-A with only a MC mix @ 24 Bit – 48Khz as the only “DVD-A” material on it. The SACD I have already make me more inclined to buy a SACD player (and a good one at that to focus on that playback format), DVD-A is not that far off DVD-V in resolution terms and FWIW I have heard some stunning DVD-V tracks in stereo from 16/48 & 24/48 LPCM. What is DVD-A bringing to the party as it were ? Even at this late stage in the format wars, DVD-A is not doing enough to get “Bums on seats” as it were. Which is a shame as SACD could be given a run for its money with 24 Bit 192 Khz stereo mixes IMHO.

BTW If anyone wants to hear a stunning music DVD-V then you could do worse than David Gilmour Live at the Barbican recorded in 24 Bit – 48Khz stereo on the DVD-V format. My ears simply cant hear better resolution than this FWIW.


Standard Member
What SACD palyers would you contemplate?



Well-known Member
Sticker it needs to be a couple of things for me personally if SACD is a main concern then it needs to be a :

Sony ES SACD player
DVD-Video capable

Which leaves this beauty :


This was availabe a couple of months ago at Hifibitz for £499 (Now priced at a wincing £849), either that or the Denon 2900. But I would think the Sony has the march on the 2900 in SACD terms, just missing DVD-A playback as downside and being £200 dearer than the Denon. I aint buying one till my current DVD-V player dies and the format wars are decided (along way off BTW)

All IMHO of course.

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