1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

So how does SACD/DVD-A compare with CD/Vinyl?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Mr Underhill, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +6
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
    AVF Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,854
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,227
    No real suprise here. A test of my Audio Note CD2 (a grand new, rather less now) vs a Marantz DV8400 (£1200) both playing REM's Automatic for the People on CD and DVD-A respectively in front of a blindfolded audience resulted in a 4-1 win for the Audio Note. The CD2 then won again 3-2 playing DSOTM against the 8400 on SACD. All tests were done in stereo and were convincing enough for the retention of a dedicated CD player for a while yet.
     
  3. Nike

    Nike
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    bournemouth, UK.
    Ratings:
    +17
    I also have a 757ai, and would sooner listen to a CD played on my MF X-Ray than CD/DVD-A/SACD on the Pioneer.

    Having said that, I do really like the Neil Young 'Greendale' dvd-a. Not heard it on any other format though.

    Can't beat the turntable for lengthy listening sessions though :)
     
  4. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +6
    What surprised me is that it was the DVD-A that consistently impresses me.

    From what I had read I had expected the CD to be no-where and to prefer SACD.

    The irony is that it appears to be DVD-A that is dying.
     
  5. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,988
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    Its a mistery. Instead of going up in quality from CD to DVD-A, the market went DOWN in quality to MP-bloody-3!!

    Excuses like, u need an amp and 5 speakers are crap since most people have home theaters now.
    You can buy a cheap home theater for a couple of hundred pounds these days so there really is no excuse.

    No matter how good an LP or a CD could ever be, it could never be a 5.1 set up.
    And that, in my opinion, is the way forward.

    I listen to DVD-Audios on my PC and on my Pioneer DV747-A and i could never go back to CDs or LPs.
    It just a shame that there arent enough DVD-Audio disks arround!

    As for SACD, well i really couldnt tell the difference between the CD version and the SACD version of a Japanese album I bought (where i live). Like I said unless its 5.1 or better, there really is no point and most people cant tell the diference unless the sound is coming from more than 2 speakers.

    It is a shame that both Audio and SACD are dissapearing.
    It is unjust that a crap format like MP3 should take the lime light over these 2 amazing formats!
     
  6. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
    AVF Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,854
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,227
    I'd argue that this is often a good thing. There's an interesting debate going on in seperates and systems about this but given the choice between listening to DSOTM on 180g vinyl or gimmicky surround mix, I'd rather eat my own scrotum than do the latter again. Even the stereo mix isn't an improvement.

    Until new material recorded from the very beginning for 5 channels is released, most 5 channel mixes are tatty interpretations of what should be going on in surround and nothing more.

    I do broadly agree about MP3 however.
     
  7. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +6
    I'm not convinced that SACD will disappear.

    Vinyl has hung on due to people like me who prefer it. SACD is being produced by a number of specialist producers, especially in the classical field.

    DVD-A seems to be stuttering badly. This is a real shame, despite some of the interesting mixing/positioning decisions.

    There was an interesting article in Hi-Fi News a couple of months ago describing some interesting thinking about techniques to stop the brick wall filtering that is used. From what I'm hearing there is real potential here; and some good thinking to improve it further.

    Both of these formats need to get a critical mass of users behind them to survive - and I suspect that DVD-A won't; but I hope I'm wrong.
     
  8. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,988
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +229
    I guess its true that unless a soundtrack or album is originaly recorded in 5.1, the quality of the DVD-A's we are geting are a bad representation of what real 5.1 should be.
    Having said that, what about Movie DVD's?
    Arent they remasterd after filming in order to get 5.1 sound?
    Most original movies werent recorded in 5.1 were they?
    They add it on afterward in the sound studios.
    The difference is that they spend time and money to do it right. So really thats all a good DVD Audio needs, time effort and money to be done properly.
     
  9. sticker

    sticker
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Ratings:
    +0
    IMHO I don't think that there is a finer example of what 5.1 should sound like than DSOTM, trouble is too many others have been badly recorded/mixed

    John
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,121
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,389
    I've had DVD-A for a couple of years and have only got 3 disks. I think that a 5.1 mix of most music just doesn't work. I've got an REM disk that although the mix is 5.1 the music just does not lend itself to it and the surround effect adds nothing to the stereo CD in terms of enjoyment. But the other 2 disks I have are from Quenn and all I can say is WOW! They really do work. They IMHO are what 5.1 music is all about.
    I have just got myself a Pioneer 565 player that can handle SACD and am waiting on delivery of a few disks, one of which is DSOTM. I look forward to comparing the quality of SACD to DVD-A.
    I think the number ot titles available on DVD-A is very poor, but SACD although better is still not good! IMHO DVD-A will not die for the simple reason that so many companies have added DVD-A replay to their DVD players, so even if there is only a single DVD-A disk that you want you don't need to pay extra money for new equipment to play it, which would be a waiste and highly unlikely to happen often. All you need is the correct AV setup and a few extra phono leads (or firewire with Pioneer receives/DVDP). Even failing that you can still play the disk as they all have a DD or DTS mix that will play in any DVD player. SACD is only on a few DVD players, otherwise you need a dedicated SACD player. Hopefully both formats will take off and go from strength to strength. It would even be good to be able to buy an album on both DVD-A & SACD, but I wont hold my breath on that one.

    Mark.
     
  11. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +6
    Hi Mark,

    On my system I'd say DVD-A is better than SACD, which surprised me.

    Try Miles Davis tutu and the one Paul Simon album you can get. The mix is straight forward.

    I agree the number of disks available is poor. There is a wider selection in the US, try DVDsoon - it's a canadian site selling DVD-A discs for £12 inc. delivery.

    With the SACDs DSOTM is a show stopper, but for the others I prefered the CD layer of the hybrid discs.

    I think you may be right over DVD-A's longevity as you can burn them. I'm just investigating Linux tools and proprietry DACs to experiment.
     
  12. nikyzf

    nikyzf
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Sadly, quality doesn't seem to matter to most people: they found VHS acceptable and they find MP3 OK. They think anyone who doesn't think MP3 is good enough is some kind of bat-eared freak! These folks will only buy DVD-A or SACD for the surround gimmicks, not for the improved quality.

    On top of that, SACD and DVD-A suffer from a manufacturer-centred battle: Sony-Philips vs. the rest: you won't find DVD-A on a Sony or Philips player. Can there really be room for both formats?
     
  13. roversd1

    roversd1
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I use a certain top loading DVD player and play the DTS mixes from DVD-A disks which then give me far more options to tweak the sound.

    I also have a DVD-A capable player, but after one listening test, I went back to the DTS mixes on the top loader and stayed with CD.

    As for MP3, I found a wicked little player that transmits on FM so it has taken the place of my incar multi changer.

    I try and try to embrace new technology and be the good consumer but unfortunately the crap thats served up kills of any enthusiasm.

    DVD-Video had the chance of high quality audio along with video but no, lets do DVD-A instead and just confuse the average punter. Oh and lets do SACD as well as the CD licenses are running out.

    Remember, although these forums may be busy, we are just an enlightened few that bearly scratch the surface of consumerism - and stuck in a business driven soely by profits rather than quality.
     
  14. gandley

    gandley
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Paradise Lost
    Ratings:
    +269
    the problem though with a dedicated 5.1 is that quite often people dont have a matched speaker set up and how many people use floor standers for all 5 speakers. those little effects speakers are great for effects in films but unless there made by M&K and cost shed loads of cash there not that great for music and will only ruin the SACD experice.

    My NAD CD unit still sounded better than my A11 playing SACD(one of the best universal SACD decs out there).

    This i put mostly down to the fact my NAD outputs to 4 floorstanding speakers in the corners off the room, set amp to output sub in Plus mode then u have as good as 4.1. and it sounds awsome. its reason i think SACD DVD-a arent doin too good. its because on the whole its all hype and in real difference you will only get the benefit if you dig deep into your wallet.

    And then truth is most DONT have a 5.1 setup. and if they do it tends to be at the budget end which is not SACD friendly.

    After a few SACD and DVD-A discs im quite happy to stick with CD. as i feel the difference is negligible

    Oh and part from that theres not much metal on SACD :devil:
     
  15. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +6
    Gandley,

    I think it depends on the software.

    I've got to say that the DSOTM SACD wiped the floor with the CD. Must admit I didn't dig the album out.
     
  16. gandley

    gandley
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Paradise Lost
    Ratings:
    +269
    agreed, some discs are better than others
    but your whole system realy needs a rethink to do multi channel music well.( not yours personaly...)

    Then again run a CD through 7.1 stereo and that sounds about as good as SACD to me.

    i suspect to get best results i dont think the universal players are the way forward. a Dedicated player would probaly sound a whole lot better as that whats its solely ment for..

    Maybe>>:)
     
  17. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,121
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,389
    I think the biggest let down with these formats is also down to the fact that its next to impossible to walk into a music shop and lay your hands on a SACD or DVD-A disk. Last week I was in London and went to the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street and the one at Picadilly Circus (previously Tower Records) and even the HMV on Oxford Street. None of them had a dedicated area for the disks. In Virgin they just said when I asked that they were mixed in with the CD's. Even looking closely for them I still walked out empty handed.

    Mark.
     
  18. Unlight

    Unlight
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,438
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +9
    What is the future of these discs do ya think? Doomed to be another minidisk type failure for commercial releases?

    I dont listen to any "mainstream" music if i can put it that way, and find that I would never find myself in a position to listen to a band who would record music in a 5 channel environment!
     
  19. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,121
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,389
    TBH its the "non mainstream" bands that are more likely to be on SACD/DVD-A. If you like classical music then you are in luck as loads of it are on these disks.

    Mark.
     
  20. ailean

    ailean
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I've pritty much given up on SACD/DVDA, it took me a month to buy every disc on both formats that I vaguely liked (~8). Not seen any new releases since in 7 months that I actually wanted. :rolleyes:

    I think practically DVDA should have won the consumer battle as there are more players out there and anyone with a DVD deck gets something 'more' then CD.

    But at the end of the day I gave up listening to music in my living room years ago and should have realised that there was a lot more reasons then quality that made me stop playing CDs. For years I've only ever listened to music while using my PC or while traveling, so MP3 has won me over as I can fit everything I own on a harddisk in my pocket and randomise the lot.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the consumer MP3 boom is bad as it tends to be centered around low quality 128kbit CBR which I find aweful! But using something like Lame and encoding to 240VBR it can sound very impressive on the right player/headphones.

    All my CDs/DVD music are in FLAC (lossless) format on my PC so I can listen to full quality sources anywhere in the house (WiFi).

    I think the main issue with MP3/AAC is it's being promoted as a sellable source format at crappy bit rates, if iTunes etc offered lossless downloads of CDs (and had bands I like ;) ) I'd jump on that band wagon as there are plenty of artists that I only like a couple of tracks and hate having to buy the whole album or another best of era CD with half the tracks already in my collection. :(
     
  21. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    I'vew tried a few of each format,and the quality has varied from the sublime(like Steely Dan's Two Vs Nature)to the ridiculous,where the producer has obviously listened to early 70's quad discs and attempted to reproduce the same shifting soundstage,with instruments behind,beside and around you.

    The great shame is that when done properly,the sound quality genuinely can better the best that CD can offer,on both SACD and DVD-A,but the catalogues are so poor,being mostly confined to back issues,and the choice in shops so limited.

    If both formats don't get a grip on the marketing and catalogue issues soon,both are in danger of collapsing,although in terms of disc compatiblity with Cd players,SACD has the edge undoubtedly.

    Otherwise,it's another great missed opportunity,thanks to corporate failures.
     
  22. David Robinson

    David Robinson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    252
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Ratings:
    +9
    I only have one SACD so far - Stevie Ray Vaughan - which sounds very good, but I don't have the CD for comparison. As I understand it, SACD involves a 1-bit high bitrate stream. But surely, that's what 99.9% of CD players output these days anyway. All that's happened with SACD is that the process of encoding to 1-bit has been pushed back from the player to the recording process. Admittedly it does allow the resolution to be more than 16 bits, but is the difference audible? I doubt it. The only real advantage of the new formats is support for more than 2 channels.

    On a side issue, my Pioneer player doesn't show any information on the TV screen or the front panel when playing SACD. Surely no-one would design a new CD format in the 21st century without including track and artist information on the disc. Would they? :rolleyes:
     
  23. nikyzf

    nikyzf
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Surely no-one would launch a digital format in 1983 that didn't include the above? :rolleyes:
    I think text is part of the Red Book standard now, but hardly anyone seems to use it. Why not? :confused:
     

Share This Page

Loading...