• 01-29-2004, 04:52 PM
    DVD-A & SACD--Is it really worth it? Opinions Please!
    All this talk of SACD and DVD-A has got me interested. Are there players that can play both of these formats? What about connection? Do I just need Multi-Ch inputs? What am I looking for in a pretty good, fair priced player? Is it really worth it? I guess all recordings are different, but is it really that much better? Do I need speakers that extend past 20 Khz to enjoy SACD? What about DVD-A? I think i'm going to look into this hype and maybe start buying..Ooh one more thing. If I don't have a center channel, What will the reciever do with that channel?? Thanks for all the help! Sorry for the noob question! I just haven't really looked into this new format.
  • 01-29-2004, 05:01 PM
    This Guy
    Yes there's a Pioneer model at a nice price of $180 I believe and it has both formats, although i can't tell you how good it is. You'd use the analog inputs from the player to your receiver, yes your receiver must have 5.1 analog inputs. No your speakers don't have to go to 20 khz to enjoy it, but obviously better speakers will get you better sound and hence you would enjoy it more with better, fuller range speakers. And without a center your mains would share the signal so you won't miss anything, you'll probably have to tell the player you don't have a center channel though. I don't have any experience with either of these formats so I can't answer the rest of your questions.

  • 01-29-2004, 05:36 PM

    Originally Posted by joel2762
    Is it really worth it?

    I think so, but that's really a matter for you to decide. First, titles are extremely limited right now, so you might end up dropping several hundred bucks on a player and get minimal use out of it until the selection improves. I got into both SACD and DVD-A "by accident". I was helping a friend to shop for a new DVD player. I was attracted to the unit Denon DVD-1600 for its progressive scan feature, video circuitry and DVD-A capability. That was over a year ago...I now have maybe twelve DVD-As, but I'm a rather picky buyer.

    Likewise, I saw a Sony DVD/CD/SACD 400-disc carousel that I thought met my needs well, so picked it up a couple of months ago. I now have around 13 SACDs. The rest of my multi-channel selections consist of 6 DTS music discs.

    The point I'm making is that I took a rather safe route. If I wasn't thrilled with DVD-A or SACD, I still had players that served me in other capacities.

    But I just LOVE the multichannel experience! I love getting blown away by some of the cuts, like "Funeral For A Friend" on SACD, Blue Man Group's "PVC IV" on DVD-A and Sting's entire "Brand New Day" album on DTS.

    Depending on your setup, you may have to drop more money on a processor to get the analog inputs. If you've got a DVD player now, I would suggest picking up a couple of DVD-As to try out the multichannel sound experience. If your DVD player or receiver has a built-in DTS decoder, you will be able to get a taste of the experience, without having to buy a new player. Mind you, you won't be hearing it at the maximum resolution. I would suggest Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours", Blue Man Group's "Audio", Doobie Brother's "The Captain And Me" for DVD-A, and Sting's "Brand New Day" in DTS.

    For me, the music is most important. While it's nice to hear it in the best possible fidelity, I tend more towards the emotional impact of the music rather than "what sounds better...DVD-A or SACD?" To me, they're both winners! I just hope they produce more titles, but I'd prefer that they took their sweet time to record them properly!
  • 01-30-2004, 06:40 AM
    I would say yes, it is worth it. I've been blown away by some titles, and rather unimpressed by others, but all in all both formats are quite pleasing.
    However, I would recommend to people that have "entry level" equipment (whatever that means) that they upgrade their receiver and or speakers with the money they are spending on some of these players...they'll probably get more satisfaction out of the sound improvements those componenents deliver than the few SACD's they might own. Some of these players are rather expensive.
    Personally I've hear SACD players play on some Sony equipment in "Sony Stores" that didn't do the format justice...in the Montreal area, I know the Sony Stores carry PSB speakers too. When demoing different speakers (Sony vs. PSB) the extra resolution was more noticeable on the better speakers, as should be expected. This isn't to say that you won't notice an improvement on any system, but in my limited experience, the improvements are marginal on modest equipment.
    So what I'm saying is these formats may not be worth the cost if you have other compenents that require upgrading first...you be the judge.
    If I had a 200 dollar Kenwood receiver, I think I might put my money towards upgrading that before I bought an SACD player that I'd use 10% of the time I listen to music...but that's just me.
  • 01-30-2004, 07:34 AM
    Hmm lots to consider!!
    I have the 5.1 inputs so this would not be a problem. I was browsing titles, I found a few good ones but i'm not sure if it would be worth it. And DVD-Audio. The manual for my dvd player says that it will not play DVD-A discs. I thought DVD audio was just like a movie except it was audio and could be played in any DVD player easily? What gives? I don't think there's enough titles yet that would make it worth buying a player for me. I think I will stick to the DPL II for now and maybe upgrade or buy a center channel first, but I will keep an eye on this format because one day I might just consider it. As for now I find my system sounds great with regular music. I will demo some of these SACD discs sometime to really let me hear and decide if it's THAT good. Thanks for all the help! Sorry for posting this question again because I know so many people have asked! Thanks!
  • 01-30-2004, 08:00 AM
    Joel2762: I think you might be making the same mistake I did when DVD-A's first became accessible in my area - I got them confused with Music DVD's. There are plenty of DVD's that have concerts and videos recorded on them with Dolby Digital and DTS on them...these are indeed the same as DVD-Videos, because that's exactly what they are, music video DVD's. I find these sound great, and are a wonderful purchase, especially in DTS.
    DVD-A has a Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack usually, but also a whole different type of software doesn't play in many older DVD players. Conveniently enough, the newer software is where the higher resolution audio lies. I think the manufacturers really dropped the ball here. I'm a little ticked that I have to replace my DVD player after only 2 years use, but oh well. If I knew 3 years ago that DVD-A's were going to be more accessible I'd have held out for one.

    BTW: My Dad's from Mt. Pearl, nice to see some people from NF on the boards.
  • 01-30-2004, 09:01 AM
    Oh I see...
    Well I haven't had my DVD player for a year now. That's a rip off... So you mean that DVD-A can be played in regular DVD players except some players don't have the technology for the high rez in them? I thought the whole idea of DVD-A was so that people who don't want to buy a special player could still enjoy multi-channel music with their existing DVD Player. I noticed some DTS discs at FutureShop. I guess I can play these, I have DTS Decoders. They didn't have a large selection though..Oh well! I might look at SACD and DVD-A sometime when I won't waste my money and then only buy 3 or 4 titles that I like. I wouldn't mind hearing the Floyd in SACD though.-> Wow Kex, I'm about 5 mins from mount pearl! Cool!
  • 01-30-2004, 09:55 AM
    Yeah, most DVD-A titles I've seen have DD or DTS that'll work in your existing DVD player.
    Unless your DVD video player is DVD-A compatible, you won't get to take advantage of the high rez formats.
    I still rather enjoy the 5.1 tracks on most of DVD's even in DD or DTS.
    I love the A/V experience too.
    I don't know why Sony doesn't come out with a decent "universal" DVD player that plays both SACD and DVD-A's well and abandon conventional DVD and CD players altogether. They've got a vested interest in the future of SACD, and can profit off DVD-A too, makes sense. Make it affordable and subsidize it with SACD/DVD-A sales.
    In the interest of anti-piracy, it'd make more sense for the manufacturers to "collude" and start making the DVD-A flip discs the norm or SACD's, and eventually phase out CD's.
  • 01-30-2004, 04:44 PM
    Okay, so If I see a DVD-A will I know it has DD/DTS by looking at the back? If it says DD or DTS can it definetly play in my player? Thanks.
  • 01-31-2004, 04:23 AM
    Well, unless it's labelled wrong or something unforseen happens, DD and DTS tracks on a DVD-A will work in your existing player. These sound great IMO, and I doubt you'll notice any sound loss compared to CD. I have a few titles that I actually enjoy better in 5.1 rather than the CD counterpart despite the digital compression DD a DTS put the original sound through. And when you're ready for a DVD-A player, you'll have a few titles to start with.
    If you're into Jazz, Blues, or Classical (or even some techno/trance music) you'll really appreciate the ambiance 5.1 adds and the higher resolution formats.
    Hard rock titles seem to be a bit more hit and miss, but when they're done well, they're a nice improvement too.
    I spend lots of time in Canada because of my job (and relatives when I visit), from what I've seen you can probably find better prices for DVD-A's on E-Bay than most music stores, even after shipping costs. Especially with the strength of the Canadian dollar these days. SACD's are a bit more reasonably priced, but check your local stores out anyway, sometimes saving $1-2 isn't worth a 2 week wait for shipping. Cheers!
  • 01-31-2004, 04:57 AM
    I'm going to have a look at the titles..My DVD player says that it can't play DVD-A but if it says DD or DTS on it then it must. And if it doesn't i'll take it back right. BTW: Nice pic Kex, I'd love a pair of those, I'm hoping to get out sometime to listen to a pair of those. Put those with a nice Servo-15 and some rears and a center...drool...:p