I absolutely LOVE this album and think it's one of the best of the new millenium. It's certainly one of Beck's most interested and yet universally challenging. Anyway, I've been wanting to spend some serious time with this album for quite some time and really compare the DVD-A (Advanced Resolution 5.1 + stereo, DD5.1) of the album to the SACD (DSD 2.0 + DSD 5.1), so here is my feedback from my outing.

So the comparison goes as follows:

DVD-A Advanced Resolution Stereo Vs. SACD DSD Stereo

My conclusion here is that the SACD stereo offers quite a bit more resolution even over the Advanced Rez and more importantly made the album feel more open and spacious. The bass was a bit more prominent in the DVD-A, but the SACD was more realistic sounding.

DVD-A Advanced Resolution 5.1 Vs. SACD DSD 5.1

This album is KILLER in any type of surround with loads of interesting mixes that go all around the room. Every track seems to offer something unique. Immediately I noticed a huge more lively feel with the SACD 5.1 mix over the Advanced Rez 5.1 mix. They both are quite exceptional, but there is a huge difference in the delivery and overall fidelity that the SACD is able to achieve and the DVD-A comes up quite short. The surrounds are much more engaged and there is a much stronger overall presence of the tracks.

DVD-A Dolby Digital 5.1 Vs. SACD DSD 5.1

Wow. Talk about a dusting! The Advanced Resolution was able to compete fairly well with the SACD, but this is not even a close matchup. The DD 5.1 is left in the dust on this comparison with the SACD just anihilating it on all levels. The music is far more realistic, emotional, deep, spatial, etc etc. Not only does it have more fidelity, but it offers much more of a 3-D imaging, which fully encloses the listener. The DD 5.1 had a bit more punch with the bass, but very marginal at best.

DVD-A Dolby Digital Stereo Vs. DSD DSD Stereo

Again, hardly any contest here as the DSD Stereo was miles above and beyond what the compressed sounding DD 2.0 mix could offer. It was not even a close call on this one as the SACD just dominated in all aspects.

Definitely go with the SACD if you have the choice. I didn't compare the CD-layer at all on this because it took long enough just to do these tests, but I might add that to the lineup later. All in all a great time of listening and such a great album to hear in all these different ways. The SACD 5.1 is truly remarkable and worthy of ownership for even the most hesitant buyers.