[link] 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - Page 2
Head-Fi's Best Sellers
Of course... it was a movie reference to "Tropic Thunder".
(And if you don't recognize the actor, that's Robert Downey Jr.)
Edited by uzi - 3/8/12 at 12:45pm
Anyways, attempting to get the conversation back on track...
I recently bought a Pioneer DV-610AV all region dvd player. My kids are half-Chinese and my wife is speaking Mandarin to them, and we figured that getting them some kids programming from China/Taiwan in Mandarin would act as another learning tool. For around $100 on Amazon, it's a great little unit... and it just so happens to also support DVD-A and SACD (the latter which I couldn't previously play).
Now, one thing I was anticipating was the enforced encryption on SACD. The unit has HDMI, optical digital, coaxial digital and analog (enough for 5.1) outs. Unfortunately, when using an SACD, the optical and coaxial digital outs are turned off. In addition, my receiver is old enough that it doesn't have HDMI support, so I had to go analog out and rely on its DAC.
Regardless, I went out and bought myself Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon on SACD. For some reason, it's one of the cheapest SACDs out there right now and it also happened to be one that I'd want the most. So I did some listening tests, and concluded...
(... and here's where I get on-topic again...)
... that the SACD sounded great and I loved it... but more so because the mastering was good than the fact that it was HD audio. I mean, I could make out some finer details if I listened really carefully, but at the added expense of the medium and the added inconvenience (can't play it on a computer and ripping it to flac is not as straightforward) that it was more or less not worth it. (An additional kicker is that the 2003 SACD's CD layer is a different mix than the SACD layers which has the bass boosted making for a darker sound. I've also got a copy of the 1994 CD that sounds must better.)
Those are knocks against SACD... it feels like consumers are being treated like thieves. I would still consider buying HD audio (like from hdtracks.com) if the price is right (on the fence, haven't picked up any $18 albums yet)... but mostly because of the mastering.
Anyone have similar/difference experiences than me?
- 3,673 Posts. Joined 9/2011
- Location: Chicago, IL
- Select All Posts By This User
Nice article. Thanks for sharing it.
Your SACD experiences dovetail with my own. I actually often listen to them via a regular CD player, because the redbook CD layer on most SACDs still benefits from the mastering done. Likewise, ALAC rips from SACD (using the CD layer) get those better masters too...
A shame we can't access the SACD data more directly, but I somewhat understand their concerns.
Edited by liamstrain - 3/8/12 at 9:35am
Correct. That is how 24-bit media is handled for CMI8788 cards (Xonar ST/STX) under OSS4 and ALSA: 24-bit samples are required to be aligned in 32-bit words in memory.
That statement represents my personal golden rule of source improvement: It's all in the mastering. Seeking the best mastered version of an album, or a song is the reason why I am constantly comparing waveforms, sonograms and listening to different versions of releases. For example, I just deleted Hotel California at 24/192 from HDtracks as the download simply could not compare in any way, shape, or form to the sound quality of the DCC release. However, I found Rumours at 24/96 from HDtracks clearer and improved in most ways (even though the waveforms for most of the tracks exhibit occassional limiting) to the West Germany Target pressing. YMMV, of course.
Edited by adamlau - 3/9/12 at 3:09am