Multi-Channel/Hi-Res audio review thread [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-09-2004, 02:32 PM
Like the title says- If you've experimented with multi-channel audio like DVD-A and SACD or just like the clean Hi-Res format for stereo, put your thoughts in this thread. I've seen a few other threads regarding this topic but would like for this one to stick around as reference for those getting into it or looking to learn more about it. No need for a rigid format, but a few guidelines would help.

Try to include the following-
Which format you're reviewing- DVD-A, SACD, Hi-Res Stereo etc
Likes/Dislikes concerning any aspect of the music/recording
Surround Mix Quality- if multi-channel, was it done tastefully or hack surround?
Specific Recording- especially with Classical, which Composer/Conductor/Symphony

Above all else, have fun with it, that's why we're all here!

11-09-2004, 02:49 PM
Vivaldi, The Four Season's. David Juritz/London Mozart Players.

This disc has DVD-A, DTS and DD for audio options. I've only listened to it using 5.1 analog outs from the DVD player. It was recorded and edited in 5 channels @96kHz/24 at St Silas the Martyr, Chalk Farm, London. This is the first multi-channel disc that I've come across that actually makes appropriate use of the rear surround channels (keep in mind I only own about 5 dvd-a/sacd discs). They incorporate only reflections, no direct sound, that add a sense of spaciousness to the listening environment and convey very acurately the recording environment, in this case a large stone church. Tons of depth. This particular rendition of The Four Seasons is very enjoyable. Of the 5 or 6 I've heard, it is one of the best, not overly fancy or unfaithful to the composer's original intent. It has renewed my excitement for multi-channel audio. Hopefully I can find more discs that are this well mixed.

11-09-2004, 03:04 PM
Alison Krauss + Union Station, New Favorite.

This one is my first taste of SACD format. Audio options are Hi-Res Stereo, Hi-Res Surround, CD Stereo. I've listened to the Two Hi-Res formats only. As with many multi-channel discs, I was initially disappointed with what I heard. There were clearly some instrumental tracks being played directly through the rear surround channels which distracted greatly from the front stage. I find music to be almost unlistenable in this format. After switching over to Hi-Res Stereo I was much happier with my purchase. Excellent recording. Everything sounds as it should. I'm amazed at the clarity and image presented. Music is much to my liking, despite the Honky Tonk image usually conjured up when thinking of groups labeled as "Bluegrass" artists. An interesting note, the female lead vocal track appears to come primarily from the center channel during multichannel playback. This differs from my experience with another artist, Diana Krall, who's DVD-A The Look of Love clearly uses parts of her vocal track almost equally in all 3 of the front channels.

11-10-2004, 02:41 PM
My favorite surround album isn't a DVD-A or SACD, but rather a regular DVD-V. The album is Super Furry Animals - Rings Around The World and it sounds as if it was conceived from the outset for a 5.1 mix. This is a mix that enhances the listening experience and never sounds gimicky, unlike a lot of my 5.1 SACDs and DVD-As. Listening to the album in stereo is almost like hearing a completely different album. Although not hi-rez the DTS track sounds so good it's hard to imagine a DSD version sounding any better (it's on the Sony Music label so perhaps we'll see it on SACD oneday).

I think the 5.1 track of The Dark Side Of The Moon has to be my best sounding SACD but I burned out on that album at least twenty years ago so I only ever play it when friends want to hear it. I read Animals is due for a 5.1 SACD release in 2005 and I'll definitely snag that one.

The only DVD-A that has impressed me so far (two plus years later) is the Grateful Dead - American Beauty but the surround mix is just awful (mixed by Micky Hart from his perspective on stage. Blah!). The hi-rez stereo layer more than makes up for it though and makes me wish all albums sounded this nice.

Dusty Chalk
11-10-2004, 07:41 PM
I read Animals is due for a 5.1 SACD release in 2005...Where did you read that?!?!?

11-11-2004, 12:23 AM
Where did you read that?!?!?
On Roger Waters' web site. Wish You Were Here is also getting the SACD treatment in 2005 for its 30th anniversary, supposedly.

Dusty Chalk
11-11-2004, 10:53 AM
My two favourite albums of all time.

N. Abstentia
11-11-2004, 02:43 PM
I have a few reviews on my website in the music section.

11-12-2004, 04:10 PM
N.- That's a great website and a good reference for others. Thanks for posting the link.