SACD vs DVD Audio

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DaveP

Guest
I've had my Sony NS700 a little while and as yet I havn't bought a single SACD disk so I thought I'd take a look at the available titles on Play.com. Having trawled through the 141 or so disks I was surprised how few actually appealed to me. The price of £17.99 was off putting to say the least.

Out of curiosity I took a look at the fewer DVDA disks (62) and there were six on the first page I wouldn't mind owning! And they are only £12.99!

Looks like I'm going to have to convince my wife it's time to dump my 12 month old deck that cost nearly £400 and buy a DVDA player!

Before I do this, can any of you guys tell me if you think A) that the list of SACD titles will improve and get cheaper or B) if the sound quality of each format is the same? If not which is better?

Thanks

Davep
 

kevenh

Standard Member
Hi DaveP,
Not quite an answer to your question, but DVD-A disks usually have several versions on the disk.
e.g. 1. Dolbly Digital 5.1 track , 2. Advanced resolution stereo, and 3. Advanced resolution 6 channel.

The 1st one will play on all DVD players.

Haven't bought a disk myself yet, so I'm only spouting theory at you, but hopefully others will join in the discussion :cool:
 
I

infomatique

Guest
Originally posted by DaveP
The price of £17.99 was off putting to say the least.

Out of curiosity I took a look at the fewer DVDA disks (62) and there were six on the first page I wouldn't mind owning! And they are only £12.99!

Looks like I'm going to have to convince my wife it's time to dump my 12 month old deck that cost nearly £400 and buy a DVDA player!

Before I do this, can any of you guys tell me if you think A) that the list of SACD titles will improve and get cheaper or B) if the sound quality of each format is the same? If not which is better?

Thanks

Davep
I have an SACD player at present and am expecting delivery of a DVD-Audio unit in the near future until it arrives I will not be able to answer your question as to which is best soundwise and even then it will only be my opinion.

I would be inclined to hang on to your present unit because everything is so uncertain.

The SACD selection has to improve ... the good news is that 22 Rolling Stones albums are now available at $14 from www.amazon.com I have ordered a number of these (basically because I don't have anything by the Stones)

I live in Dublin (Ireland) and I import all my CD requirements mainly from the USA (sometimes from Canada or Germany) and I have not noticed any difference in price between the two formats. BTW the prices in the US appear to be very good ... try www.amazon.com

Comparing both catalogues the DVD-audio releases do appear to be more interesting but to be honest both catalogues are based on old material and while I may be 52 years of age I would much prefer to see more recent material (I am a bit fed up with the Eagles, Dire Straits, Blood Sweat and Tears, etc.)

At this stage I cannot see the current catalogues having much appeal for younger music fans.
 

Rachael Bitchlist

Novice Member
Dave, that is a crappy price for SACD's! You can get a lower price here in the U.S.A. You can get the majority of titles here for $15 to $20, Dollars...not Pounds! Some, not all, of the audiophile labels are charging more.

As far as DVD-A goes be careful what you buy. I'd avoid all Silverline releases. They don't have a dedicated stereo mix included and most of their titles generally sound inferior. Some of the first DVD-A's won't play on anything but a DVD-A player, Aaron Neville's Devoution and Beuna Vista Social Club are prime examples.

DVD-A sounds just fine to me but here's what irks me about the format. You have to use a video monitor to turn many of them on. Authoring standards are just too broad and some discs just won't play on some players. Boz Scaggs' DIG played just fine on the JVC player I used to have. It won't even load on my Panasonic RP91. Aaron Neville's disc wouldn't play on my RP91 either until I did an unauthorized firmware upgrade on the player.

The Emerson, Lake & Palmer DVD-A doesn't have a dedicated stereo track. The disc implies that it does but I'm pretty sure that the stereo is down-converted. It doesn't sound right to me. Authoring standards just stink!

SACD has, by far, the best selection of jazz. DVD-A does have a better selection of rock, to some extent, but it's mostly older titles. The output of DVD-A titles has slowed to a crawl. It makes one wonder if the format will ever get going? Universal and Sony are firmly behind SACD. Warner just can't seem to get DVD-A in gear.

Be very careful what you buy in the way of DVD-A. Best wishes!
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
DaveP

I would be VERY wary of both SACD and DVDA

For interest, did you know DVD A take up is faster than DVD V and that was 10x CD! DVD A is just being used by the masses and not the audiophiles who spend time talking about it! There are far more DVD A players around than people think.
 

JSW

Well-known Member
The more I see about SACD the less I want to get a player now, I'm verry happy with DVD-A but theres a few titles i would like that are only on SACD.

Maybe I should trade in me Tosh 900 and get the Marantz DV8300 ???



 

Guest
I did see a site a while back that was selling sacd cds for £12-14 i will perform a search in a bit and try and find the site.

I think more albums are out on sacd than dvd audio. I only have a demo cd for sacd at the min
 

Guest
Cant seem to find the site if you have aol click on shopping and it will be in there thats where i saw it so cheap but you might have to wait for 7 weeks for the cd to arrive im not positive but i think it was tower records or something like that now that im not with aol i cant go and check
 

Rachael Bitchlist

Novice Member
I don't regret buying my SACD player! It's an ES model and it's Redbook playback is vey above average. The better SACD's really shine on it. It's not a DVD-combi player. I's the C555ES 5-disc changer, BTW. I've yet to see a combi player that does SACD really well. The clsest thing was the Sony 9000ES but it's stereo only, and soon to be replaced by the 999ES.

SACD is doing better than DVD-A here in the U.S. We have a way bigger selection of titles. If Play's selection is all there is in the U.K., then I would suggest that you guys are getting the dregs. Are any titles besides the Sony titles available? When I ran some searches at Play to see if I could even find the better Sony titles, I found few of them. I think the U.K. is getting second-class treatment as far as SACD software goes!:(

Why aren't the Stones hybrids from ABKCO on U.K. shelves? Rounder, Telarc, Chesky, Mobile Fidelity, DMP, Analogue Productions....are all making really good hybrid discs. Why aren't they available in not so seepy London town? Hey, hey, hey! Isn't ABKCO a Brit label? Given the age of the source tapes their Stones LET IT BLEED hybrid really sounds terrific. It's very vinyl-ish. I have 11 of the 21 Stones discs and they're all quite good. BROWN SUGAR on Hot Rocks Vol. 1 sounds better than my vinyl copy.

I'm not suprised that so many folks on this board are unimpressed with SACD when I see what's available for software over there.

BTW, the Marantz 8300 is based on the Pioneer 747. I don't know if it's SACD playback will be any better? SACD playback is certainly the 747's weak point. My 555 smokes it! My 555 does SACD better than the $5,000 Pioneer DV-AX10 that I loved otherwise last year.

Me thinks that few folks in the U.K. have heard SACD in it's best light....
 

JSW

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Rachael Bitchlist


BTW, the Marantz 8300 is based on the Pioneer 747. I don't know if it's SACD playback will be any better? SACD playback is certainly the 747's weak point. My 555 smokes it! My 555 does SACD better than the $5,000 Pioneer DV-AX10 that I loved otherwise last year.

Me thinks that few folks in the U.K. have heard SACD in it's best light....
The Marantz is twice the price of the 747 and they have done a lot to it.

According to Hi Fi Choice October issue it is much better than the 747.

Quote: its clearly a better audio player than the 747 and its limitations only become apparent in comparison with much more costly alternatives. Video performance is subtly better, which makes it fine by anyones standards.
Unquote

They also compare it to the much improved Townsend 747 which is £2800

The Marantz retails for £1400 here and unless its capable of pal progressive or a pal progressive hack/upgrade then I will probably get the sony 333es or 555es sacd player and save some money.
 
D

DaveP

Guest
Thanks for all your feedback guys. I think I'll stay with what I've got for now.

DaveP
 

museumsteve

Distinguished Member
Well in last weeks issue of HEW (home entertainment weekly) it had a spread on the UK re-launch of DVD-A that's due to happen. Hopefully it will get coverage it deserves and more people will become aware of the format. This in turn could lead to more music houses/publishers giving it a go.. My fingers are well and truly crossed.

Also on the subject of hi-end SACD players and whether or not we're not hearing SACD in it's true light, my thinking would have to go along the lines of - if you have to spend thousands on a player to hear the format properly then it's a dead-duck, it will simply restrict itself. DVD-A sounds terrific on my sub £1000 Pioneer 939-A I'd hate to think I'd have to spend another £1000+ just for the joys of another new format that is yet to be proven.:)
 

gringottsdirect

Active Member
Oops..... on paper SACD is superior to DVD-Audio, I never really thought DVD-Audio was a runner, but...
Today I bought on DVD-Audio @ MVC:
Billion Dollar Babies.............Alice Cooper
American Beauty..................Grateful Dead
Rumours...............................Fleetwood Mac
Hotel California.....................The Eagles
L.A. Woman...........................The Doors
The Last Waltz.......................The Band
Road Rock 6...........................Neil Young
Miss E...So Addictive..................Missy Elliott
Here's an in-depth technical appraisal..............I like 'em :)

Punk's not dead, DVD-Audio's not dead.......only Dance is dead...
 

Rachael Bitchlist

Novice Member
JSW, I have to drive over to Nashville to see Marantz stuff, 180 miles. I do that from time to time. I bought my Marantz AV9000 pre over thar... So, I haven't seen the 8300 yet. I really can't buy a new player of any sort right now. So, it would be torture to go over there and look! I hope the Marantz 8300 is a big improvement over the Pioneer combi-players, the 45A just hit the street here. It's a striped down version of the 747/47A that sells for $450. The chatter over on HTF forum is that the 8300 is close to as good as the 555ES, which means it ain't half bad. The Pioneer 747 can't touch the 555ES. I was going to buy a 47A till I auditioned it!

More combi-players are in the pipeline. Pioneer is suppose to come out with a new reference player. To quote the local rep, "it will have the build of the DV-09..." Yahamaha, Onkyo, Parasound, and a few others are working up universal players. I think the Yamaha will be the next to hit the street...?

Here's some intresting stats about marketshare of formats in the U.S. that came from the mag, Sound & Vision:

CD - 95 %
Cassette - 4 %
vinyl, SACD & DVD-A - 1 %

"...with vinyl of all things, easily outselling DVD-Audio and SACD combined during the first six months of 2002: 661,000 to 92,000 units."

This doesn't sound like a format war! Not between DVD-A and SACD anyway... It sounds like a fight for survival for the two upstart hi-rez formats. SACD has been on the upswing here in the second half of 2002 with the Stones Remasters being a major impateus. DVD-A is stille lagging far behind with only a scant few releases in the past few months.

Myself, I bought more Records than DVD-A discs this year so far, I like those 180g & 200g platters. I bought a bunch of SACD's, maybe 50, so far this year. I like hybrid SACD best but I'll buy any format to get a title I want.
I stille don't think many folks in the U.K. have heard SACD at it's best. Even if you have a good player, you'd have to bring in discs from the U.S., Canada, Japan, or Hong Kong, me thinks. I look at what Play sells and most of the best Sony titles aren't there. Furthermore, most of the best titles are from other labels. Titles like:

Alison Krauss + Union Station - NEW FAVORITE from Rounder < magnifico (!) any way you play it stereo SACD, stereo CD, or 5.1 SACD.

Sonny Rollins - SAXAPHONE COLOSSUS < Analogue Productions < stunning for a 1950's recording.

Cowboy Junkies - OPEN , Rounder < Margo wails in hi-rez...

Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown & Milt Jackson - THE VERY TALL BAND , Telarc Jazz < DSD recorded and mastered. Not their greatest performances but certainly reference quality audio!

The Coryells - S/T Chesky < The family that plays together....

Remember Jorma Kaukonen from the Jefferson Flying Object and Hot Tuna? His new album BLUE COUNTRY HEART is on Sony single layer stereo/M-C SACD. It's DSD recorded and mastered. Not only is it a great album but it is reference quality recording IMO. Why isn't it in the U.K.?

You have to have great software for players to show their stuff. Where's the beef? I don't think it's in the U.K. yet. That's my point. If you've got an SACD player, I suggest you import a few discs to see what it can do. Germany might be a place to look too. Most of the hybrid SACD's are being manufactured there. Maybe they're sold there too?

There is no format war! I hope universal players proliferate and that both hi-rez formats keep their heads above water. I must admit I like hybrid SACD better, but I never say never...agan...I think....

Best wishes kats!:)
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Originally posted by gringottsdirect
Oops..... on paper SACD is superior to DVD-Audio, I never really thought DVD-Audio was a runner, but...
Why?

SACD is equivalent to a 20 bit system and DVD A a 24 bit one. In practice they will achieve these levels and SACD has all that nasty HF mush which can kill amplifiers
 
Z

zcaps57

Guest
SACD is equivalent to a 20 bit system and DVD A a 24 bit one. In practice they will achieve these levels and SACD has all that nasty HF mush which can kill amplifiers.
How can one-bit DSD equivalent to a 20-bit system ?
Yes, that HF mush is DSD quantisation noise increases with frequency.
But Nic... your statement is not much different from saying... SACD's sampling rate is whooping 2.8MHz while DVD-A's sampling rate is only 96kHz. - SACD = superior format.
We all know that's oversimplified approach to comparing the two systems. There are much more deeper and complex issues beneath the numbers that need proper consideration, IMHO.
 

gringottsdirect

Active Member
Originally posted by Nic Rhodes
Why?
SACD is equivalent to a 20 bit system and DVD A a 24 bit one. In practice they will achieve these levels and SACD has all that nasty HF mush which can kill amplifiers
Had a look at www.meridian-audio.com/w_paper/Coding2.PDF
My thinking that SACD, with it's DSD and all, is on the up and up, with hardware and software backing gaining ground, more hybrid discs appearing, some DVD-Audio campers deciding to include SACD in their next generation players eg. Denon.
I thought SACD was the more likely winner of the Hi-Res format battle, especially with stronger marketing from Philips and Sony to come.
I've been buying SACDs for a little while with mixed enthusiasm for the results, sure it would improve.
More recently I've started buying DVD-Audio discs because I am attracted to the titles available.
I was surprised that I like the DVD-Audio performance better in general than most of my SACDs. I am also surprised that I can buy DVD-Audio handily at my local MVC.
Nic, I can see my post reads that I perhaps thought DVD-Audio is a non-runner with paper technical aspects, I meant I previously thought DVD-Audio was dying while SACD was winning, having bought discs I am starting to think DVD-Audio may catch on after all, if universal players become popular maybe SACD and DVD-Audio will run alongside each other.
Have to echo Rachael's shout for the Alison Krauss disc too, although I am biased as I'm a big fan of everything she's done.
 

Rachael Bitchlist

Novice Member
Muchas gracias Ian!:) I hope you're joshin' about Jorma. Did you never listen to the Jefferson Airplane...? Come now! Destatively bonnaroo mon ami!
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Originally posted by zcaps57
How can one-bit DSD equivalent to a 20-bit system ?
Yes, that HF mush is DSD quantisation noise increases with frequency.
Perhaps the terminology is not perfect here, I think what Nic was trying to say was that SACD has the S/N ratio equivalent to a 20 bit player (on a PCM system) though it is a one bit system running at 2.8mhz (120dB). DVD A is a 24 bit system, it runs at up to 192khz (S/N 144dB). Neither system achieves anything like these figures however and 110 – 115dB being pretty well SOTA.

Originally posted by zcaps57
But Nic... your statement is not much different from saying... SACD's sampling rate is whooping 2.8MHz while DVD-A's sampling rate is only 96kHz. - SACD = superior format.
I don’t think Nic is saying that at all for the reasons below

Originally posted by zcaps57
We all know that's oversimplified approach to comparing the two systems. There are much more deeper and complex issues beneath the numbers that need proper consideration, IMHO.
yes we all agree on this. Both are complicated technical issues, I think what Nic was trying to do was boil things down into an easy to understand way, putting things into context with comparisons many could relate too (ie a PCM baseline). He has indicated a liking for DVD A despite the fact he has SACD player.
 

Rachael Bitchlist

Novice Member
Originally posted by Ian J
Ah, that Jorma Kaukonen :)
Aye, Ian, anybody could make that mistake with all the Jorma's running around, eh? :) Jorma is delivering the mail, fixing the Frigidaire, pumping gas, selling Chevrolets, making bank loans, digging ditches... About the only celebrity I see more often is John Malkovich. Everybody is being John Malkovichian-ish. Best wishes!
 

gringottsdirect

Active Member
Originally posted by Rachael Bitchlist
Why aren't the Stones hybrids from ABKCO on U.K. shelves? Rounder, Telarc, Chesky, Mobile Fidelity, DMP, Analogue Productions....are all making really good hybrid discs. Why aren't they available in not so seepy London town? Hey, hey, hey! Isn't ABKCO a Brit label? Given the age of the source tapes their Stones LET IT BLEED hybrid really sounds terrific. It's very vinyl-ish. I have 11 of the 21 Stones discs and they're all quite good. BROWN SUGAR on Hot Rocks Vol. 1 sounds better than my vinyl copy.
Here's a link posted by peteyspambucket on AVS.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11849-2002Sep27.html

Stones fans may like a peep.
 

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