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DVD-A and SACD may not be audibly distinguishable from 16/44.1 - Page 2

post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspf View Post
Wow, I have never seen this before. Is there any description what this HDCD software decoder actually does? Can you verify its operation with some test bit streams? Does it leave unencoded streams alone?
There is a hydrogenaudio thread about the format including the author of the software (Christopher Key).

What I have used it the peak extension, which I see the most useful feature of the format, works just fine.
post #17 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
One possible test flaw

Yamaha's newest universal model (DVD-S1700) has been reviewed as severely lacking in its SACD playback:

quote from The Absolute Sound, Sept '07:
"...both micro and macro-dynamic information were slightly crimped, and this added a bit of staging squeeze. The S1700 flattens out low-level transient cues and micro-dynamic information is a bit too much..."


One could infer that the previous model (DVD-1500) was no better. Not the best source to be using to benchmark an entire format.
1) It is extremely iffy to infer anything about one model (version) from a different one - for instance would you infer anything about a Ford Mustang from knowledge of a Ford Pinto. Or the Kef Coda 8 from the Coda 9, you shouldnt they are different designs.

2) The SACD format delivered by whatever platform has so much technical superiority in terms of bandwidth and dynamic range that even if the example used isnt the very best available it is so superior to CD that it doesnt make that much difference. If you are saying that only the best SACD players are better than CD players it looks to me like the difference is not based on SACD vs CD but different implementations i.e there is nothing intrinsic about SACD that makes it audibly superior.

3) You quote a sighted subjective review, the paper is based on the results of blind testing where the subjects agenda and any biases wont be relevant as they wont know whether they are listening with/without the second stage.
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77 View Post
1)

2) The SACD format delivered by whatever platform has so much technical superiority in terms of bandwidth and dynamic range that even if the example used isnt the very best available it is so superior to CD that it doesnt make that much difference.
Can I deduct from the above that a musical track stuck on a CD would have a lesser bandwidth and dynamic range compared to the one on the SACD?
How do those two compare to the master recording? Would the master have the same bandwidth and dynamic range as the CD or SACD, or none of the above?

For reference: the dynamic range on my Marvin Gaye vinyl pressings are the same as on the CDs.
post #19 of 66
The main advantage to the SACD and DVD-A formats isn't really that they have better sound quality. It's that by using those formats, they're at least announcing that sound quality is a goal, and that they'll be using a better master. So even if it's not really utilizing the full capabilities of the enhanced bandwidth, it's going to attempt to sound good. So you're less likely to get ultra-compressed tracks optimized for mp3 and fm playback.
post #20 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
Can I deduct from the above that a musical track stuck on a CD would have a lesser bandwidth and dynamic range compared to the one on the SACD?
How do those two compare to the master recording? Would the master have the same bandwidth and dynamic range as the CD or SACD, or none of the above?

For reference: the dynamic range on my Marvin Gaye vinyl pressings are the same as on the CDs.
1) Its deduce, deduct means to take away, okay that works here as well

2) Theoretically the CD is limited to 96db and 22.05K - the SACD and DVD can carry more - whether they do or not is up to the mastering and engineering and so on

3) Dunno - depends on how well the transition from tape to playback medium is done

4) As I understand it if you have 70db actual dynamic range then a medium that gives you 120db will deliver er 70db, but I may be wrong, to me it looks like doing a 2400dpi scan of a picture that was printed at 1200dpi, you cannot gain any information, you can just put stuff in gaps created by the resampling - some would call this guesswork others call it interpolation.

5) We dont know the actual DR of the recordings used in the tests, that would be interesting, however , if you have recordings with real 120db dynamic range you are either going to have serious hearing damage if you listen on headphones or seriously pissed off neighbours if you listen on speakers
post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
The main advantage to the SACD and DVD-A formats isn't really that they have better sound quality. It's that by using those formats, they're at least announcing that sound quality is a goal, and that they'll be using a better master. So even if it's not really utilizing the full capabilities of the enhanced bandwidth, it's going to attempt to sound good. So you're less likely to get ultra-compressed tracks optimized for mp3 and fm playback.
Hmm... I don't really see that necessarily. If the DVD-A and SACD formats only exist to prove a point, then that's a very expensive proposition for a company (or consortium of companies) to make. The real reason has to be to convince the public that DVD-A and SACD do make a huge leap forward in sound quality in order to justify buying equipment and media that support those formats and generate profits. To generate those profits they must either 1. bombard the public with advertising or 2. actually make something that sounds significantly better and/or makes life more convenient than the current dominant format. "Ultra compressed tracks optimized for mp3 and fm playback" exist either because of technical limitations of the medium or simply because the general public judges them to sound good.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by yage View Post
Hmm... I don't really see that necessarily. If the DVD-A and SACD formats only exist to prove a point, then that's a very expensive proposition for a company (or consortium of companies) to make. The real reason has to be to convince the public that DVD-A and SACD do make a huge leap forward in sound quality in order to justify buying equipment and media that support those formats and generate profits. "Ultra compressed tracks optimized for mp3 and fm playback" exist either because of technical limitations of the medium or simply because the general public judges them to sound good.
The general public thinks "louder" = "better". DVD-A and SACD have already failed in the general marketplace, they're a niche market, much like vinyl. Early dual discs used better mastering on the SACD or DVD-A layer than on the CD and DVD-V layers in order to demonstrate easily the difference. The real differences are extremely subtle, and won't be apparent on most playback systems. So regardless of the difference in capabilities, the real difference is is that you'll get better quality masters more often than not if you buy the SACD or DVD-A release rather than the CD release. Some companies (see Chesky) actually do use the full bandwidth available on SACD, and use the same masters for the CD layer. Other companies (see Columbia) release the same old garbage on SACD. So we have to generalize a bit when discussing generalities, and research a bit when buying specific discs. For example, the Rolling Stones put out several SACDs that were spectacular remasters, then later replaced them with DualDiscs with the original master, without being obvious with labelling which was which.
post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
Some companies (see Chesky) actually do use the full bandwidth available on SACD, and use the same masters for the CD layer. Other companies (see Columbia) release the same old garbage on SACD. So we have to generalize a bit when discussing generalities, and research a bit when buying specific discs. For example, the Rolling Stones put out several SACDs that were spectacular remasters, then later replaced them with DualDiscs with the original master, without being obvious with labelling which was which.
Full bandwidth? You mean like up to 50K Hz?

By referencing Columbia, do you mean Sony? Sony SACDs, no matter what you think of the company itself, are generally acknowledged as some of the best available. For SACD issues of old titles, some of these could be the "definitive" digital version.

As for the Rolling Stones, I believe there were 22 albums released on SACD. Initially, there were all hybrid SACD packaged in digipaks without any SACD designation on the packaging. Later on, these were replaced by DSD-remastered regular CD versions housed in regular jewel cases. While both the hybrid SACD and the regular CD versions carried the same catalog numbers and SKU numbers, you can readily tell which is which by how they are packaged.
post #24 of 66
Most of the "general public" can't even tell the difference between 192 Kbps mp3 and wave, so how would they be able to hear anything better about higher then CD quality tracks?

Most of what you "hear" in high quality recordings is psychoacoustics...the differences are small enough so that they are not easily noticed by your brain. If you train your ears you can actually hear these changes, although they are VERY minute.

I had to go through two semesters of ear training for school (to be a recording engineer). We had to decipher between CD quality and 24/96 regularly, which is a PITA. You really can't notice anything at first.

We also had to find 2 dB increases in a ten track session (i.e. one track was increased by 2 dB, and we had to find which one it was), and eq exercises, where a certain frequency was boosted/attenuated and we had to say which frequency and by how much.

VERY good training, all in all. It really gets your ears going, and you can notice a lot of new things about the songs you already listen to.

But at the end of the day, most people don't have any training of any sort, and don't really care if they can hear a difference between CD's and SACD (or anything else). In that respect, I think the test was skewed slightly. Unless the test subjects were engineers that have been around the block in the industry, I think the results should be taken with a grain of salt.
post #25 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeywhat View Post
But at the end of the day, most people don't have any training of any sort, and don't really care if they can hear a difference between CD's and SACD (or anything else). In that respect, I think the test was skewed slightly. Unless the test subjects were engineers that have been around the block in the industry, I think the results should be taken with a grain of salt.
Some of the subjects were recording engineers.
Quote:
The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in
a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the
CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the
subjects, on any of the playback systems.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeywhat View Post
I had to go through two semesters of ear training for school (to be a recording engineer). We had to decipher between CD quality and 24/96 regularly, which is a PITA. You really can't notice anything at first.
The only way I'd be able to tell would be to boost the level of off mike sideline discussions up to normal listening level. The only difference is in the super quiet stuff.

See ya
Steve
post #27 of 66
Bit depth is really easy to tell. 1812 overture with real cannons, you'll hear it every time. 96khz vs 44, much more subtle.
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
Bit depth is really easy to tell. 1812 overture with real cannons, you'll hear it every time. 96khz vs 44, much more subtle.
I agree - hearing differences between the same commercial recording at different bit depths or resolutions is often not difficult.

however...

I have never come across a commercial recording that was made in such a way that the high resolution versions and standard CD versions were made via a simultaneous but completely separate analogue to digital conversion processes. The only recordings I am aware of that have been done this way are some current Everest reissues in both redbook CD and DVD audio / video format. The redbook CD and the DVD 24-192 / 24-96 versions were made from simultaneous, seperate feeds from the 35mm master tape and thus there was no downsampling of the high res recording done in order to make the CD version - the CD version was directly converted to digital at 16-44.

Just about every other recording has been downsampled from a high resolution master - and by doing that, the differences between the original and CD version are going to be noticeable if only because of that downsampling process. Even a relatively simple mathematical downsampling process from 24-96 to 16-48 is usually quite audible, let alone a more complicated one of, say, 24-96 to 16-44.
post #29 of 66
I don't give a tinker's d*mn what the tests say, I'll trust my own ears.

My ears tell me it's a cr*p shoot as to whether you get good sound regardless of the method of recording.

I DO believe that SACD and DVD-A are superior formats and CAN sound much better. Whether they are recorded and mastered properly is where the crap shoot comes in.

So what else is new in this life?
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post
.......I have never come across a commercial recording that was made in such a way that the high resolution versions and standard CD versions were made via a simultaneous but completely separate analogue to digital conversion processes.
Closest one I have found is:

http://ssl.blueearth.net/primedia/pr...0&cat=9&page=1

Four versions of the same piece on one hybrid SACD. However, the analog source for the two versions was tape, not the live performance itself.

Everything that I have read on pro audio/recording forums tells me that no one is recording direct to 16/44.1 these days.......it's all 24/96 or 24/88.2 (which to me makes much more sense with respect to downconversion to redbook!)
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