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DVD vs CD

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Does DVD (not DVD-A) sound better or same as redbook CD? I have a DVD / SACD / CD player, if DVD sounds as good as CD, I don't mind paying a little premium to listen to the music and watch MTV once in a while. However, I don't want to pay more and have worse sound. Thanks.
post #2 of 21
Short answer: it depends.

IMHO, most DVD players sound worse than CD. It is my understanding that DVD players are trying to do too much -- all the picture decoding stuff _and_ the audio. And then, depending on the design, if they're using the same path, CD playing suffers as well.

However, a nice, fast external DAC can make it sound awesome. I, Robot on Classic Records DAD sounds simply unbeatable. That is my setup (sometimes -- right now, the DAC and DVD player are in different rooms).

But that's only on the few that have a 24/96 PCM track, and those are far and few in between.

That said, I think combo SACD players might be different, since they are perfectly adequate for playing CD's.

But if you already have it, why are you asking? Why don't you tell us yourself?
post #3 of 21
I'd also be interested in any listing of DVD players that actually output PCM at 24/96. My DVD player from '98 downconverts when sending out through digital or analog. I suppose that dual laser DVD players should perform as well as CD players. One thing to keep in mind, most DVD players I've used (or can afford) are noisier when spinning discs, which makes a difference in a small room.
post #4 of 21
The Sony 9000ES is a very good redbook CD player. It can also output 24/96, which does sound very good indeed (I've only got one disk though). Sony thoughtfully included the option to shut down the video circuitry when listening to audio, to minimize internal noise. When using the analog outputs, it's also possible to shut of the digital audio output as well (Best possible mode for SACD). This is not an inexpensive player, however.

I have not done a thorough direct comparison between DVD-V audio and two-channel PCM. My digital output goes to a completely different audio system than my analog output, and my thoughts on which is better wouldn't really be valid (I tried them together long enough to form impressions, but not long enough to confirm them).
post #5 of 21
A quote from Kalman Rubinson in the January 2002 Stereophile (page 127) regarding video-capable players for audio use:

Quote:
"...ultimately, the video circuits represent a compromise--they can't help but have some corrupting influence on the audio performance."
post #6 of 21
I use my Toshiba SD-4205 DVD player all the time for DVD video concerts and think the sound can be quite good. Some of these have excellent sound like my latest DVD of Queensryche - Live Evolution. Some more excellent sounding DVD videos are Steely Dan - Two Against Nature and Santana - Supernatural. The one thing I noticed though is even though I listen mostly through headphones you do have to pick the right format which sounds best. Sometimes the stereo version sounds best and at other times the DD or DTS version is better.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by huy_ha
I'd also be interested in any listing of DVD players that actually output PCM at 24/96.
All of them.
post #8 of 21
Yup, in theory dvd-v pcm (24b/96kHz) should be better than red book cd pcm (16b/44,1kHz), but there are only few dvd players that could even compete with decent cd players in red book playback (try this one: http://www.taelektroakustik.de/eng/t...dvd_1210_r.htm - T&A have a lot of other interesting products as well (excellent amps and cd players, btw, but they're quite expensive...)) - most are so much worse that their 24b/96kHz pcm sounds still worse than red book pcm on a decent cdp.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #9 of 21
My Pioneer DVD outputs 24/96, but it does not sound as good as my Harmon-Kardon FL8300 cdp.

That's with both of the coax digital bitstreams going to the same DAC's in my H-K AVR 300 receiver, which the manual also says has 24/96 capability.

I don't know why it should be that way, since I'm essentially using both as transports. Maybe the video circuits do introduce "Jitter" or something.

Anyhow, the cdp definitely sounds a lot better than the DVDp on Redbook Audio.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by gaineso
I don't know why it should be that way, since I'm essentially using both as transports. Maybe the video circuits do introduce "Jitter" or something.
The DVD player's video circuits should not have much effect on the audio playback. After all, the video and audio playback go through different processors. Also, the DVD's transport can easily handle the data rate required for Redbook Audio -- DVD video requires a much higher bandwidth. I think the problem is that most DVD transports are not optimized for audio CDs. If you used a different DVD player, such as the Sony 9000ES, you'd probably have much better results.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by edog


The DVD player's video circuits should not have much effect on the audio playback. After all, the video and audio playback go through different processors. Also, the DVD's transport can easily handle the data rate required for Redbook Audio -- DVD video requires a much higher bandwidth. I think the problem is that most DVD transports are not optimized for audio CDs. If you used a different DVD player, such as the Sony 9000ES, you'd probably have much better results.
You may be right about a different player. However, it's not much of an issue 'cause the H-K CDP plays CD's quite well and the Pioneer plays DVD's quite well. The only reason I could ever think of for needing the Pioneer for CD is needing 8 hours of music preloaded. I'm sure that I could find time during the playing of 5 discs to swap out a couple.

As for Sony, a.k.a Sorry, with the quality of construction and reliability I've seen from their junk lately, I'd much rather buy something a little cheaper with BETTER reliability. Not quite to Apex level, but JVC and Pioneer make great stuff that has great RELIABILITY. Quite unlike the brand that used to set the standards for the Japanese/Far Eastern portions of the electronics industry.

On second thought, at least if Apex stuff breaks, you can throw it out and get new. Sony's to expensive for that. I think they invented Service Contracts just for Sony.

End of RANT.

Gotta go smooth out, maybe Blue Trane.
post #12 of 21
Forgot 1 thing. Music DVD's/DAD's sound great through the Pioneer.

Eagles "Hell Freezes Over", DTS, Is fantastic. Far better than the CD of the same songs. I don't think there was actualy a CD of that concert.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by gaineso
On second thought, at least if Apex stuff breaks, you can throw it out and get new. Sony's to expensive for that. I think they invented Service Contracts just for Sony.
Too true, but the ES Series is a different kind of beast. It comes with a five-year manufacturer's warranty (in the US).
post #14 of 21
My Toshiba DVD player sounds decent on HDCDs, but that's about it. My 555ES is so much better for everything, even though it can't decode HDCD. I have a DVD of a DMB concert, also have the CD, and there's just no comparison in sound quality... DVD player is darker, kinda muddy, no details...ugh.

Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little, it doesn't sound terrible, just not as good as I'm used to
post #15 of 21
Do an experiment where you compare the digital output to the analouge while playing DVDs. There is clear compression and more distortion in the highs when you use the digital out.
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