Debate at work

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  • 01-07-2004, 03:08 AM
    Over50
    Debate at work
    Is there enough sacd's and dvda out there to compare which one sounds better. Some people say hands down sacd sound better and some say dvda sounds better. What do you people think.
  • 01-07-2004, 04:06 AM
    maxg
    Vinyl sounds better
  • 01-07-2004, 05:39 AM
    bturk667
    In my opinion...
    It all depends on the recording quality. If a record is engineered and recorded well, then it will sound good no matter what the format. A well recorded CD will sound better then a poorly recorded SACD or DVD-A. But hey, I love the sound of vinyl, just like maxg.
  • 01-07-2004, 06:07 AM
    markw
    Like the guy above said, it all depends on the recording, not the media.

    When SACD first came out, Sony went around with a bunch of remixed, reequalized recordings of old chestnuts. Everyone was amazed athow much better it sounded. Well, Duh!

    Now, if they ever (and I ain't holding my breath) release simultaneously on all three main formats (SACD, DVD-Audio, Redbook), the SAME version at the same level, then a valid comparison just might be possible.

    Until then, it's basically an apple to oranges comparison.

    FWIW, I've heard more than a few stunning redbook cd's lately.
  • 01-08-2004, 06:31 AM
    kexodusc
    I have read several articles in the past week on this very topic. (just type in "SACD vs. DVD-A" on yahoo) What I have found the general consensus to be is that in theory, DVD-A is suppose to have more potential, but current utilization of the format can be somewhat disappointing.
    It's probably still too early to tell.
    As far as vinyl goes, yes, it still usually sounds better.
    Let's be fair though, I'm reasonably confident that by the time SACD or DVD-A reaches the same age as Vinyl, they would definitely sound better.
    I serioulsy doubt either format will survive as long though.
    There is something beautifully esthetic about Vinyl that the digital format hasn't been able to reproduce yet.
  • 01-08-2004, 01:56 PM
    Woochifer
    I think any of these format debates are ridiculous so long as participants are using CDs, SACDs, DVD-As, or LPs as the basis for their conclusions. Few of us have access to studio master tapes, so we have no clue as to what the source material actually sounds like. Between different formats, the transfers are done at different times, potentially using different level, EQ or other processor settings. Adding to what others have said, what often gets ignored in these debates is attributing audible differences to the format, when in actuality the mastering process constitutes a whole other variable in itself.

    As for comparing SACD with DVD-A, it's almost a wheel spinning exercise because most digital studio masters were originally done with a PCM format (which is the carrier for both CD and DVD-A). This means that the SACD transfer would first require a conversion from PCM, which would potentially negate any advantage that the DSD carrier format has. Really, the only way to do the comparison properly would be to have a live session with feeds going simultaneously to both DSD and PCM recorders, and have the playback discs mastered at identical levels in their native format. Supposedly, the real potential of SACD is more audible when the original recording was done using a DSD recorder, but there are very few native DSD recordings out there right now.

    Personally, I welcome the new formats as an opportunity to creatively explore what's possible with multichannel, as well as clean up a lot of poorly done CD transfers. As for which format is better, I don't think it's relevant so long as the result is an audible improvement over what we currently have.
  • 01-09-2004, 10:37 AM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Wooch is correct(as usual). I however had the oportunity a year ago to mix a live recording session of the LA Symphony orchestra doing a original work by a composer(who's name I cannot remember now) to be released on DVD-A, SACD, and CD. We of course were doing as Wooch describe with feed going directly to a DSD recorder, and to a PCM recorder at 24/96khz resolution. We compared the DSD signal at the recorders output, with the PCM recorders output, to the mixing desk output direct. To these ears I would have given the DSD output a sliver of edge, however there were times when the PCM sounded closer to the desk feed, and then moments later the DSD stream sounded closer. I could have easily walked away from this recording session thinking it was a toss up between the two, but more times than not I could not tell the live feed from the DSD stream.

    When I had to choose which format to go in my system(I wish they had more affordable multi format players) I went with SACD for now.

    I think both formats are VERY good sounding. My fellow engineer for that session believed that DVD-A has the potential to sound better than DSD, I however cannot agree with that comment. Both formats have so much resolution that it has caused most of the really good engineers to take a second look at their recording technique and equipment. I think that is a good thing for audio in general

    By the way, vinyl can NEVER sound as good as DVD-A or SACD.
  • 01-09-2004, 11:59 AM
    thepogue
    1 Attachment(s)
    Attention...all Personnel Head For A Local Fallout Shelter.....
    "By the way, vinyl can NEVER sound as good as DVD-A or SACD.".....


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  • 01-09-2004, 05:25 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Wooch is correct(as usual). I however had the oportunity a year ago to mix a live recording session of the LA Symphony orchestra doing a original work by a composer(who's name I cannot remember now) to be released on DVD-A, SACD, and CD. We of course were doing as Wooch describe with feed going directly to a DSD recorder, and to a PCM recorder at 24/96khz resolution. We compared the DSD signal at the recorders output, with the PCM recorders output, to the mixing desk output direct. To these ears I would have given the DSD output a sliver of edge, however there were times when the PCM sounded closer to the desk feed, and then moments later the DSD stream sounded closer. I could have easily walked away from this recording session thinking it was a toss up between the two, but more times than not I could not tell the live feed from the DSD stream.

    When I had to choose which format to go in my system(I wish they had more affordable multi format players) I went with SACD for now.

    I think both formats are VERY good sounding. My fellow engineer for that session believed that DVD-A has the potential to sound better than DSD, I however cannot agree with that comment. Both formats have so much resolution that it has caused most of the really good engineers to take a second look at their recording technique and equipment. I think that is a good thing for audio in general

    By the way, vinyl can NEVER sound as good as DVD-A or SACD.

    To quote from some movie I saw once "Never just got a lot shorter"! Vinyl can and usually does sound better than DVD-A or SACD. Since "sound better" is totally subjective, it's not only possible for vinyl to sound better, it's an absolute for many of us.

    Have you perchance done any similar comparisons as you did with the two high rez format with one high rez and redbook CD? Curious as to the outcome. The reason is many people on this board and elsewhere have stated that neither DVD-A nor SACD can ever sound better than 16/44.1. :)

    I've no real experience with DVD-A but I find much more enjoyment from SACD than I ever have with redbook.