SACD, DVD-Audio & Blu Ray-Audio Discussion Thread

gibbsy

Moderator
I've just bought and am listening to King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King, the Steven Wilson 2009 DTS 5.1 remix on DVD-A. Enjoying it.
 

AFM1

Active Member
I recently bought the REM Monster 25th Anniversary boxset and I must say I prefer the older dvd-a (2 channel and multichannel versions). Not a fan of this recent hi-res remaster. Anyone else tried it?
I saw that but as it wasnt an Atmos mix (like in the Automatic For The People boxset) I assumed it would just be the same mix lifted from the DVD-A. I therefore didn't get it. But from your review it seems it's a new surround mix for the 25th reissue. Interesting, and I may have to get it now - you never know I may like it more, but interesting to compare / good to have both options.
 

Theo Maxtible

Well-known Member
I've just bought and am listening to King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King, the Steven Wilson 2009 DTS 5.1 remix on DVD-A. Enjoying it.
That's good to hear that you're enjoying it. I appreciate this album so much more than when I first heard it on LP back in the very early 70s. Do you listen to the DTS mix because you don't have a dedicated DVD-A player to access the MLP options - or do you do that purely out of interest? Funnily enough, I haven't bothered to listen to any of the DVD-A stereo mixes, or even the CD. The album is such a wonderful mix musically in my opinion, changing from chaotic to melodic, and then back again and again - and Greg Lake's beautiful voice.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
That's good to hear that you're enjoying it. I appreciate this album so much more than when I first heard it on LP back in the very early 70s. Do you listen to the DTS mix because you don't have a dedicated DVD-A player to access the MLP options - or do you do that purely out of interest? Funnily enough, I haven't bothered to listen to any of the DVD-A stereo mixes, or even the CD. The album is such a wonderful mix musically in my opinion, changing from chaotic to melodic, and then back again and again - and Greg Lake's beautiful voice.
I just used the DTS mix from a Pioneer LX500 UD player. Don't know if I can access the MLP options on it, will have to check. Normally I will be listening to the CD playing on my Denon DCD 2500 SACD player via headphones. I love all the old prog rock titles, sadly the wife does not, hence headphones.
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
Don't know if I can access the MLP options on it, will have to check.
You should be able to. The LX500 is a fully featured universal disc spinner, including DVD-A and SACD.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
That's exactly what I thought after having Googled-around to have a look at the Pioneer UDP-LX500; it looks a lovely bit of kit!
It is a nice bit of kit... But according to European player owners over on the AVS forum, it's no good at playing PAL DVD's as it outputs 25.000 fps encoded content at 60Hz :eek:
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It is a nice bit of kit... But according to European player owners over on the AVS forum, it's no good at playing PAL DVD's as it outputs 25.000 fps encoded content at 60Hz :eek:
You have to select 'Source Direct' and all content is played as per disc. I've no problems with the few DVDs I still have left. PAL plays normally, 24/50.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
You have to select 'Source Direct' and all content is played as per disc. I've no problems with the few DVDs I still have left. PAL plays normally, 24/50.
If you're interested it was this post: Official OPPO UDP-203 Owner's Thread

So to confirm... if you spin a PAL region 2 disc in your player and select 'Source Direct', your TV displays '50Hz'...
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
Haven't seen any problems playing DVDs on mine either, although they have typically been Music Concerts that are not available on Blu Ray.
 

Theo Maxtible

Well-known Member
I've just added the DVD-A album "Riding with the King" by B.B.King and Eric Clapton to my collection.

Unfortunately, I've just put my nearly-14 year old Arcam AVR350 in for repair/upgrade, so it'll be a while until I can appreciate the album properly. I played it through the TV speakers last night, and (no surprises) thought it sounded very dull and flat!

Once I have my AVR350 back, my intention at the moment is to reinstate my Arcam DV137 as my main multi-channel hi-res audio player, and have my Cambridge CXU as the main video player (incl. obviously for BDs also). I just have a simple question, which relates to the fact that I'm slowly running out of available/free inputs on my AVR350.

Am I correct in stating, that unlike the hi-res audio on DVD-As and SACDs, the audio on BDs can be passed through conventional digital connections (ie digi-coax/optical) without detriment to the signal? Part of the reason for asking, is that the AVR350 does not accept audio over HDMI, and it only has one set of MCH analogue inputs which would already be assigned - along with the stereo analogue which are also in use.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Am I correct in stating, that unlike the hi-res audio on DVD-As and SACDs, the audio on BDs can be passed through conventional digital connections (ie digi-coax/optical) without detriment to the signal? Part of the reason for asking, is that the AVR350 does not accept audio over HDMI, and it only has one set of MCH analogue inputs which would already be assigned - along with the stereo analogue which are also in use.
Optical or coax will limit the audio to SD. Depends then on what is on the disc, if there is Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD-MA then you will just get the SD versions of those formats. So a considerable drop in audio quality, but still better than CD 44.1.
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
the audio on BDs can be passed through conventional digital connections (ie digi-coax/optical) without detriment to the signal?
This is incorrect.

Non-HDMI connections will limit you to the core versions of either Dolby TruHD or DTS HD MA which are standard DD and DTS respectively, although you may get them at their full bit rates of 640bps and 1506bps.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
Once I have my AVR350 back, my intention at the moment is to reinstate my Arcam DV137 as my main multi-channel hi-res audio player, and have my Cambridge CXU as the main video player (incl. obviously for BDs also).
Out of interest...

Do you find that your Arcam DV137 (DVD) player offers an improved audio listening experience over your Cambridge CXU (BRD) player, when connected to your Arcam AVR350 via their multi-channel analogue audio outputs?
 

Theo Maxtible

Well-known Member
Out of interest...

Do you find that your Arcam DV137 (DVD) player offers an improved audio listening experience over your Cambridge CXU (BRD) player, when connected to your Arcam AVR350 via their multi-channel analogue audio outputs?
That is an extremely difficult question to answer, but I tend to sway slightly towards the Arcam DV137 in preference. In fairness, because my Arcam AVR350 has only one set of multi-channel analogue inputs, it's not possible for me to do a side-by-side comparison. The closest to such a comparison is using stereo analogue inputs, as my AVR350 has enough of those. For a while, I had the Cambridge CXU as my primary multi-channel player, but my DV137 was my only hi-res player for quite a long time prior to me buying the CXU. Then, I decided to have my CXU as my primary 2-channel audio player, but since starting to buy BDs, and specifically a couple of BD-As, I wanted to know that I wasn't missing out audio quality-wise by playing the multi-channel option through digi-coax. I have to say that the sound quality was impressive over digi-coax (and I sometimes think that's all that matters), but without being able to do a comparsion, it's very difficult.

When I finally get my AVR350 back from repair/upgrade, I will have to decide what I do. Do I use the DV137 as my primary MCH-audio player - or the CXU? Unless of course I "upgrade" to a multi-channel amplifier that does accept audio over HDMI, and then both players can pass audio over either analogue or HDMI. Oh well................................................................
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
I appreciate this album so much more than when I first heard it on LP back in the very early 70s
I must admit this is a vexing issue for me. I've always loved ITCOTCK, but sonically I was never blown away by it during the 70's and 80's when I only had it on vinyl. I now have it on so many formats its bewildering. However, I'm not sure I'm 'that' convinced by any of them. I 'like' Steven Wilson's work on the stereo version, that cleans it up no end. The surround versions though continue to disappoint. I bought the DVD-A and, well, my socks stayed firmly on when listening to the 5.1! Cue the Blu-ray, and the 'definitive' version (an admission by SW that he wasn't happy first time out?) of ITCOTCK. Into the Oppo it went, and.. oh dear.. Again the stereo was good, again the 5.1 left me less than enthused. Maybe I'm expecting too much from one of my favourite albums of all time?

Good to see you still going theo, in particular this thread. Last time I checked in, this had become rather overrun with tumbleweed..
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Strange that it is not referred to as a DVD Audio (or DVD-A), merely DVD (audio only). That just makes me suspicious. Perhaps I'm just being overly cautious.
It is alas, just a DVD. It has 24/96 lpcm stereo and 25/96 DTS and AC3 encoding. As you know, with the Audio DVD's they just use the standard soundtrack section and as such they are bandwidth limited (half that of a true DVD-Audio). Still, it will be nice to hear it in 5.1 regardless. It IS a Steven Wilson surround mix to boot!
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
I've only listened to the album once so far, but it certainly sounds very interesting music and I definately like it.
...I'm not going to leave it this long again before posting! I can't keep up with you lot adding more news! Anyway, first, I'm shocked you've never heard of Camel, and second, you hit the bullseye with their most famous album. I'm not bowled over by the Camel SHM-SACD's, but they certainly aren't the worst Digital versions I've heard by a long stretch. There are two more, Rain Dances and Moonmadness, but whether you can lay hands on them for a sensible price I couldn't say. Both have vocals (unlike the Snow Goose) both are highly enjoyable, with Moonmadness closer to what you've heard already.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
..and finally! As its topical, I've added quite a few BD-Audio's to my collection over the last year or two. I highly recommend the following with apologies if they've been posted here already:-

Marillion - Brave (excellent, and a truly awesome surround mix by the master himself.)
Marillion - Afraid of Sunlight (again, a wonderful surround mix, this time by Michael Hunter)
Steve Hackett - The Night Siren (great album, really nice surround mix)
King Crimson - ITCOTCK (hmmm, not convinced this is 'that' much better than the DVD-Audio)
Steven Wilson - The Raven that Refused to Sing (usual miserable stuff from Steven - its great! Excellent in stereo and surround)
The Pineapple Thief - Dissolution ('beware' concept album! Apart from that really excellent musically, nice job done on the surround mix.)
Alan Parsons Project - Eye in the Sky. (great album, excellent in stereo and surround)

BD Audio discs I have heard (but cannot afford - alas) and can heartily recommend -

Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland (wow!)
The Beatles - The White Album (these new surround re-issues have caused, as its the Beatles, huge divisions in opinion. For me, I love the surround version of this, Giles Martin (with a little help from his friends) has done a great job. Add in the unusually good 'Esher' demos, and even at £100 this is worth it)
The Beatles - Sgt Pepper (the hoffers got into a hell of a scrap over this one, but I enjoyed it!)
Chicago - V (quadio blu ray. I have the DVD-Audio, but this version blows it away. If you like Chicago, give this a whirl.)
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
Unless of course I "upgrade" to a multi-channel amplifier that does accept audio over HDMI
I would suggest that your next upgrade be to a separate av processor and power amp. If you buy a solid mch power amp, you aren't going to need to change it and then you aren't paying for amplification each time you 'upgrade' the processing side. Just my two-penneth.
 

SeeMoreDigital

Well-known Member
I would suggest that your next upgrade be to a separate av processor and power amp. If you buy a solid mch power amp, you aren't going to need to change it and then you aren't paying for amplification each time you 'upgrade' the processing side. Just my two-penneth.
If it's possible to find a pre-amp that offers HDMI (digital) to multi-channel phono/RCA (analogue) audio transcoding, this would be interesting!

The Arcam AVR350 is a fabulous sounding amplifier, in both stereo and surround modes. I can well understand why people want to keep them...

@Theo Maxtible: Can the Arcam accept multi-channel PCM audio via it's HDMI inputs and pass this out of the multi-channel analogue outputs?
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
If it's possible to find a pre-amp that offers HDMI (digital) to multi-channel phono/RCA (analogue) audio transcoding, this would be interesting!
Ermmm, that's what they all do! Take a digital input (HDMI or otherwise) and spit out an analogue signal for connection to a power amp or active speakers.
 

Theo Maxtible

Well-known Member
@Theo Maxtible: Can the Arcam accept multi-channel PCM audio via it's HDMI inputs and pass this out of the multi-channel analogue outputs?
No, the AVR350 will not accept any audio over HDMI, ie video only.

I'm quite weak on the technical side of things, but to my understanding, quite a few higher/high-end brands were "suspicious" (not quite the right word I'm after) about audio over HDMI around the time the AVR350 came out. I bought mine late 2006 - not sure when it originally came on to the market. I believe Meridian used their own digital connection for audio sources, and Denon also had their own digital connection on some of their kit. Naturally, things have moved on, and we are now several or more versions on for HDMI, so I assume things have progressed.
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
No, the AVR350 will not accept any audio over HDMI, ie video only.

I'm quite weak on the technical side of things, but to my understanding, quite a few higher/high-end brands were "suspicious" (not quite the right word I'm after) about audio over HDMI around the time the AVR350 came out. I bought mine late 2006 - not sure when it originally came on to the market. I believe Meridian used their own digital connection for audio sources, and Denon also had their own digital connection on some of their kit. Naturally, things have moved on, and we are now several or more versions on for HDMI, so I assume things have progressed.
Meridian just put their HDMI board in a separate box. This acted as a way of 'upgrading' many of their processors via their proprietary connection.

Denon used HDMI but also had a separate clock-sync connection which used a normal coaxial cable. This was supposed to reduce the jitter between player and processor. It wasn't required though.

I recently bought an Anthem AVM60 and it sounds fantastic and is very flexible.
 

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