sacd better/same/worse dvd-a???

Technically, both are superior to CD, but a lot of course depends on the recording engineer(s). A badly recorded SACD or DVD-A still sounds bad.

Reviews of either format seem to point to them pretty equally matched, if one has the same "music" available in both formats, where a fair comparison can be made. A lot of people do however say that there is no such thing as a player that can handle both formats and can play back both formats in 'best possible quality'. So, you'd have to actually buy an exclusive SACD (+CD) player and a DVD-A player to really hear the potential of either format at its best.

I have tried listening to both formats, on my multi-type player (one that handles both formats and plays DVD video as well) - a Pioneer DV-655A. This isn't a top-notch player at all. So far, I've not at all been impressed with DVD-A, which seems to be more 'multi-channel CD' than anything else. However SACD sound from this machine certainly is a step (leap?) above CD sound - much smoother HF, much much more detailed midrange. Bass is palpable and quick. Soundstage is more solid, and has greater depth. Does it so happen that this is an 'ok' player for SACD and lousy for DVD-A? Maybe.

It may also boil down to taste in music. DVD-A material (at least where I live) tends to go towards the more 'pop', whereas SACD releases are more into classical (i.e. Telarc) and jazz genre (with some Sony SACDs from their older pop collection, but rare - i.e. Michael Bolton, James Taylor). Some new artists trying it out like Chuck Mangione, Shania Twain, several releases from Chesky artists, Linn... This could also be the reason SACD seems to sound 'better' in the sense that the music where the technology can "really" shine, where detail, smoothness, etc are important, is being released on SACD.


Cheers!!

ps: I certainly do not agree with SACD being *..*, single-bit converters are the norm in CD players now, simply because multi-bit converters were first put into CD players, but were found to be 'wanting'...
 
both formats enhance bandwidth and dunamic range compared to CD.

In my view, SACD is a bad design from an engineering standpoint. A completely different encoding is used, with no technical advantages (but many bull-**** advertisement advantages).

Basically, they engineered a format with better than CD sound using a completely different scheme to make pirating more difficult. That is not to say that SACD cannot sound better than DVD-A (this all depends on the mastering engineer etc). It is also not to say that SACD is an inferior choice (as it supports dual layer CD compatibility and better software support).

But as far as I can analyse the much-touted 1-bit dsd it is a bad approach from a consumer standpoint.

Knut
 

dddac

Member
Paid Member
2003-07-02 10:10 pm
Wiesbaden
blog.dddac.com
I am playing my selected recordings on SACD (yes, old remixes does not bring a lot) on a nicely modified sony 777 es. The spatial information and sound print details are enormous. Basically SACD is like NO dac designs, no pre ringing due too FIR filtering. I am not sure the comments I have been reading about c**p SACD are made by people who actually have been listening to a good set and nice SACD recordings. Very very nice... I agree on the multi channel CD comment from Audio DVD. It is still a tuned version of CD. SACD is a great concept and marketing is needed to get a broader public to actually buy recordings, otherwise it is not economical and the real enthousiasts will have to refrain from this great medium :angel:

br
doede
check my passive I/V - transformer 777 modification on www.dddac.de :)
 

clem_o

Member
2005-06-14 6:34 am
Manila
Hi to all,

Yep, I can certainly agree SACD players can be mod'd and can benefit a lot from the mods. There's in fact a thread on modifying a pioneer player (dv565?) and a lot have reported better sonics by changing capacitors, adding vibration dampers etc.

For those who are commenting that SACD technology is *..*, please do listen to a good unit (if you haven't) before saying anything about the technology. (And, if you have and still have the same opinion, ok, I won't argue with that).

There's one thing I think that should be pointed out, perhaps this is the reason why some SACD player buyers haven't been too happy - is that an SACD player typically doesn't play back CDs as well as a 'CD only' player. It simply isn't economically feasible to have optimized post-DA LPFs for each technology, so a tradeoff in its design occurs. In my case, I've had to stick to having two players - one for CD(only) and the other for SACD.

Cheers!


Edit: I recently had a chance to really AB test CD versus SACD - I have the Clair Marlo "Let it Go" CD (gold version, Sheffield Labs) IMHO this is one of the best CD recordings I've heard. The other day I chanced upon an SACD version - very pricey at the equivalent of ~$46 (ouch). I don't regret spending on it, after having a listen!
 
I'm sure you're more informed than before, wouldn't that be 'wiser'? :)

Suggest:

- determine how much you are willing to spend on a player.
- based on the budget, look for candidate SACD players.
- find a shop that has the item, bring your CD player to the store
- AB test between the two on a Hybrid SACD disk (such disks have both a CD and SACD layer).
- decide if the sound is worth the cost.

In truth, most practical people will probably decide that its *not* worth it. But those who are in pursuit of the 'best' possible sound that technology has to offer might - at least for those who are happy enough to deal with digital audio, that is.

Cheers!

ps: this extends as well to the price of the software - check your local stores how much SACDs cost over standard CDs...
 
There's one thing I think that should be pointed out, perhaps this is the reason why some SACD player buyers haven't been too happy - is that an SACD player typically doesn't play back CDs as well as a 'CD only' player.

I've read in reviews and reader's comments that Sony SACD players for instance don't reproduce CDs as well as their CD-only players do.
I wonder if this isn't intentionally so in order to push the "new" format.

Regards

Charles
 
The failing isn't limited to Sony players only. This is 'in general' because it isn't possible to optimize the post-digital to analog conversion low-pass filters for SACD and CD formats, essentially because of different cutoff frequency requirements (well, this is one of the reasons at least... )


Cheers!

edit: and, probably because it would costs a bit more to get good FIR upsamplers / DA converters, as needed for good CD reproduction. The funny thing about DSD (in SACD) is that in truth, the digital to analog conversion process is actually simpler than standard CD, since conceptually all that is needed to convert the DSD bitstream back to analog is a good LPF. I guess that if you really wanted very good reproduction for both formats, you'd have to put in practically separate conversion and output circuits for each format into one player; I am not sure if there is such a thing on the market.
 
I guess that if you really wanted very good reproduction for both formats, you'd have to put in practically separate conversion and output circuits for each format into one player; I am not sure if there is such a thing on the market.

My player basically has those. I have connected my amp to the DSD converter outputs since they also output the CD signal. But it has also CD-only outputs with different converters. Maybe worth a try to connect both to different preamp inputs and compare.

OTOH it is not that difficult (at least theoretically) to convert PCM to DSD (because most DA converters do this anyway !) and use a switchable output filter. But commercial designs are always cost-conscious.

My feeling is that DVD-A is a logical step to improve on CD standard (which was released too early or with not enough foresight IMO). They introduced a standard (redbook) that was even worse than other standards for digital recording that already existed back then. The movie industry for instance used 48 ksamples/s about 10 years before the launch of the CD !! So did some other digital recording systems. There are some digital recordings from this time (i.e. pre-CD) that were pressed on vinyl and which sound superb.
With the SACD it looks as if they are going to do the same mistake again (i.e. going to the market too fast with a standard that is too restricted). They'd rather took 4 Msamples/s from the beginnning or some multibit scheme. I think those could be really considered blameless.


Regards

Charles
 
Hi Charles - what player do you have? How is it on SACD/CD?

The process I think you are referring to (PCM to DSD "most CD players do this") is the delta-sigma converter. This is for players that do use such a converter; not all do (for example, those that use the Burr-brown PCM63 DACs are pure PCM, never going to bitstream). Even then, you'd still need an interpolation (FIR) to reconstruct the "missing" digital data since the information on CD is, as you pointed out, sampled at 44.1KHz.

"going to the market too fast" - I think this will always somehow be the case - for example, what's the group's opinion regarding the even newer formats - blue-ray and HD-DVD, with their superior capacity and much higher bitrate? Now that these kinds of disks are technologically feasible, even "more" audio information can potentially be put in... *sigh*...

Cheers!!!
 
clem_o said:
...the even newer formats - blue-ray and HD-DVD, with their superior capacity and much higher bitrate? Now that these kinds of disks are technologically feasible, even "more" audio information can potentially be put in... *sigh*...
And even more conflicting, contradictory permutations and combinations of "standards" to bamboozle the poor consumer.
 
My player is a Denon DVD 1400. I bought it mainly because it was discounted.
There are of course better universal players than this one. But I wouldn't want to spend the equivalent of a small car on a player !

It has PCM1751 converters for the stereo CD outputs and DSD1702 converters for the multichannel outputs.

Even though there are better players out there it may have potential for upgrading.
But I will wait with doing so since I have it only for three weeks now and I don't want to viod the guarantee yet.

And yes, I was talking of delta-sigma ......

Regards

Charles
 
aaronboumans: great bargain! I hope you will have a great experience! :)


charles: oddly, data sheet for the 1751 is not available on the TI website. I wanted to check if the 1751 is one of those that can handle DSD as well as PCM data (the 1738, as used in the Pioneer and some other players, has a DSD and a PCM mode - these are called "advanced segment" DACs by TI - haven't had the time to digest what they mean by that...). I think you could benefit from an upgrade, as the DSD1702s aren't supposed to be that great - they are used for the 'other' channel outputs (LR, RR, Sub and Center) on some players... Please start a new thread to let everyone know how your mods go! :)

Circlotron: Yes, I certainly agree with that. In fact I was hoping that somehow DVD-A and SACD would "merge" (or at least one would die out) so that there wouldnt be a need to decide which format to go for in the first place - that was early last year, and I couldn't wait any longer so finally decided to buy a player that could handle both... may not have been the best decision, in hindsight...

Cheers!!
 
SACD inverior to CD ?

I am strongly !!! recommending to take your time and read this:

http://sound.westhost.com/cd-sacd-dvda.htm

dont skip ...
Read it ! :)

It does explain something very interresting in a straight and refreshing way, as i am used from skandinavians :)
(though it was translated)


snip:

"The problem with SACD can be shown by theoretical calculations, measurements and by listening. I have done lots of all these three and every one of them points clearly in the same direction: SACD has not more resolution than CD above 10kHz. Our early estimations some years ago have now been confirmed by measurements and listening, made both by us and others. Today, many studies have been done, for example by Stereophile who has tested SACD players several times and confirmed our estimations."

If the above article indeed represents the facts,
then merging both formats should be of no option.
Enforcing and supporting DVD-A to release much more
highquality content would be consequently the choice to go for.