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sacd vs. cd

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Has anyone done a comparison of the difference in sound between sacd and regular cd. Telarc is releasing discs that have both formats on the same disc. I would really like to hear the difference thru er4 headpones by switching back and forth if this is possible with the same player.
A salesman (audiophile counselor) told me I could get into sacd for $2600.00. That would buy a lot of headfi .
post #2 of 17
you can get into SACD a lot cheaper than that. The class A rated 333es sold for $400-$550, and you can get the comparable 222es for about $550 now from oades. Although some would disagree, I feel that the 333es is strong both in redbook and sacd; jude and macdef will back up that statement.

Anyway, most sacds not released by sony are hybrid and have one redbook layer and one dsd layer, which one can switch between at will. Let me tell you, SACDs are worth the money.
post #3 of 17
Robert,

Listen to what Jon is telling you! I have a bunch of Telarc hybrid disks and I have done a comparison. SACD disks that have been recorded in DSD (that's the ONLY way Telarc does it) have a much more realistic sound. You hear much more natural decay to the sounds (very noticeable with piano), the harmonics are much richer, and the whole sound takes on a much more rich flavor. The digital "nasties" or harshness so prevalent in PCM (redbook) recordings is completely gone.
post #4 of 17
If you just want SACD now, and you are on a budget, the Sony DVP-NS500V street prices at about 220$. It supports DVD, SACD, CD, Video CD, DVD-R, and DVD-RW. Its not progressive scan (sorry home theater buffs). But needless to say, its a pretty 'multipurpose' player for just over 200$. I've been thinking of buying it just to get a taste of this whole SACD thing, and to have an actual DVD player (I just use my computer right now). At that cost, I'm sure it doesn't sound phenomenal, but at least you can reap some of the rewards of the new format without breaking your bank, which is important for people like me who have a very fragile bank

If you want DVD-A instead, check out the toshiba SD4700 or SD5700. They both support DVD-A, DVD, MP3, CD, Video-CD, DVD-R and DVD-RW. The 5700 adds HDCD support. It also has progressive scan, which is neat. They street price at about 210$-250$.

Anyway, those are some uber-cheap entries to the DVD-A and SACD world. Certainly not like the top notch players, but they'll give you a good taste of the format.

peace,
phidauex
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I wonder how the entry level sacd's compare to the highend ones. Don't all lasers read the same and differences will occur in the electronic chain ;conversion etc. I'm not interested in bells and whistles.
Anyway Phidauex hope you get your sacd and and let us know.
post #6 of 17
There's a huge difference between entry level SACD players and higher end ones. For example, the earlier non ES SACD players sony released sounded bad. Don't know about the newer ones... either way, get the NS500V or the 333es or 555es as those can be modded.

The difference of sound comes mainly from the analog section of the player. Most people think CD players are all digital... not true. They convert digital signals to analog signals and that is where the big difference lies. Basically, the sound can be ruined once it gets out of the DAC by cheap opamps, caps, etc.
post #7 of 17
So, are you saying that most transports sound the same? All the differences you've pointed out seem to be in the DAC or the output stage.

I don't see why transports should be different. Jitter shouldn't be an issue with the transport, because the player can use an uncompressed buffer to store the music (like the portables do). That buffer would ensure that timing issues don't get in the way. Furthermore, high-speed memory is incredibly cheap. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
The difference of sound comes mainly from the analog section of the player. Most people think CD players are all digital... not true. They convert digital signals to analog signals and that is where the big difference lies. Basically, the sound can be ruined once it gets out of the DAC by cheap opamps, caps, etc.
post #8 of 17
Edog,

Theoriticly, you're correct that the transport won't make much of a difference -
BUT -
I have heard a difference between one optical cable and another optical cable, and light pulses should just be light pulses, right?

The buffer issue that you hit on is supported by Bel Canto - as they have been recommending the use of a DVD player as a transport over a CD player when using the DAC-1. Don't know if they are still in that camp now that they are selling the DAC-2, but it was all buffer related. I'd try belcantodesign.com and see if they are still pushing DVD or CD as a transport.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by edog
So, are you saying that most transports sound the same? All the differences you've pointed out seem to be in the DAC or the output stage.

I don't see why transports should be different. Jitter shouldn't be an issue with the transport, because the player can use an uncompressed buffer to store the music (like the portables do). That buffer would ensure that timing issues don't get in the way. Furthermore, high-speed memory is incredibly cheap. Maybe someone can enlighten me?
I'm surprised no-one ever answered this question -- the short answer is, "because they don't" (...buffer the data, that is). Needs to be real-time. I don't know why, when you're talking purely audio (obvious in the case of DVD -- needs to synch with the picture). I would think that this would be a superior design.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by shorton
The buffer issue that you hit on is supported by Bel Canto
Are you saying that only Bel Canto players buffer the data read before passing it to the DAC?

The fact is that all cd players buffer the data read, because they have to. The data at the cd layer is sort of "scrambled" at the bit level, and afted read has to be temporarily buffered into a FIFO, and then has to go through a quite complex process. It has to be "de-scrambled", separated into the actual samples, checked, and error corrected before played. All this process is done real time, and is controlled by the same fixed clock feeding the DAC. So, there sould be no jitter problems related to the transport in any decent cd player.
post #11 of 17
"Are you saying that only Bel Canto players buffer the data read before passing it to the DAC? "

Absolutely NOT. I am not aware of any player that Bel Canto even makes. I am referring to the recommended device to hook up to their DAC-1 A/D box.

Bel Canto used to like DVD players better than CD players as their recommended source. Check with them as to the why's and how come's, but it did have to do with the buffering in DVD players.


Maybe I'll see if I can find that and post a link or give a quote. Would that help?
post #12 of 17

Finally found it!

Ok, here is what I was remembering from over a year ago:

What is the best transport to use with the DAC1?

There are a variety of CD and DVD transports that have been reported to work well with the DAC1. Our experience shows that all transports with well controlled low frequency jitter are the best match with the DAC1.

NOTE: There is sound technical support for why a DVD player works well. All DVD players have a minimum of 16MB of SDRAM used as a buffer in which digital data from the disc is stored. The digital information is then re-clocked out of the buffer. This SDRAM acts as a large FIFO buffer eliminating low frequency jitter that could otherwise affect the sound quality. The combination of well controlled low frequency jitter from the DVD player and the high frequency jitter elimination of the DAC1 creates an ideal jitter reduced environment for a high quality musical presentation.

From Bel Canto's FAQ page on the DAC-1...
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by shorton
[BAbsolutely NOT. I am not aware of any player that Bel Canto even makes. I am referring to the recommended device to hook up to their DAC-1 A/D box.
[/B]
Oops... I guess I misunderstood you post.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dparrish View Post

Robert,


Listen to what Jon is telling you! I have a bunch of Telarc hybrid disks and I have done a comparison. SACD disks that have been recorded in DSD (that's the ONLY way Telarc does it) have a much more realistic sound. You hear much more natural decay to the sounds (very noticeable with piano), the harmonics are much richer, and the whole sound takes on a much more rich flavor. The digital "nasties" or harshness so prevalent in PCM (redbook) recordings is completely gone.
post #15 of 17
The MoFi ORM UGII hybrids that've come out...do those original copies (fetching $300 now) really sound that good? I can't imagine that, but I'm humble...as Audiophiles go.
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