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Listening Multichannel Hybrid SACD- DSD on laptop / PC

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Can we actually using our own laptop / PC CD-ROM drive to listen to Multichannel Hybrid SACD- DSD ?

or do I require special hardware in order to get the CD played.

 

I'm planning to listen this CD with my IEM is that really worth it or at least playable ?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Opus-Unique-Classical-Guitar-Collection/dp/B000IONF32/ref=pd_sim_m_72

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000294RMG

 

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 27
There is a foobar2000 plugin called SACDDecoder that lets you play SACDs on a computer; however, if you'll be using IEMs to listen there is really no point. You won't be able to take advantage of the multi-channel format since IEMs are only stereo. Furthermore, since this is the Sound Science forum, I should tell you that an AES study shows that there is no audible difference between the DSD and the Redbook layer on an SACD, so if I were you, I'd just listen to the Redbook layer.
post #3 of 27

The multi-channel stuff can be simulated on headphones.


However, I find that the stereo version sounds better on them anyways.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post

There is a foobar2000 plugin called SACDDecoder that lets you play SACDs on a computer; however, if you'll be using IEMs to listen there is really no point. You won't be able to take advantage of the multi-channel format since IEMs are only stereo. Furthermore, since this is the Sound Science forum, I should tell you that an AES study shows that there is no audible difference between the DSD and the Redbook layer on an SACD, so if I were you, I'd just listen to the Redbook layer.

Ah yes, so in this case buying more expensive SACD won't give me more clarity and details or at least simulate the musical instrument positioning with my Westone W4 (4 BA) IEM ?

 

because there is significance price difference in normal CD and the SACD version.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

The multi-channel stuff can be simulated on headphones.


However, I find that the stereo version sounds better on them anyways.

how can you simulate and what application is that on Windows ?

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

how can you simulate and what application is that on Windows ?

You would need a soundcard with Dolby Headphone or something similar, or some kind of mixamp. Runs about $30 for the cheaper soundcards.

 

Like I said though not really worth it for music, as the stereo masters generally sound better on headphones. Binaural sound is the best technology for headphone positional cues  and that only requires stereo.

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Ah yes, so in this case buying more expensive SACD won't give me more clarity and details or at least simulate the musical instrument positioning with my Westone W4 (4 BA) IEM ?

because there is significance price difference in normal CD and the SACD version.

There is a significant amount of evidence that essentially proves that high resolution formats are completely useless for playback purposes as the Redbook specification (when properly dithered) already offers more dynamic range and resolution than what a human can hear. The difference is that SACD versions are often mastered better than CDs; however, I am not sure if this is the case with the specific album you are referring to. Either way, there is no benefit to using a high resolution format for listening.

I also second what chewy stated regarding positional cues - it is usually better to listen to the stereo version on headphones because headphones are designed to simulate positional cues in stereo mixes, while a separate piece of software that enhances this simulation is more imperfect than what a human engineer can achieve when mastering stereo. You are basically adding an extra filter that guesses how something is supposed to sound while the stereo mix already has these positional cues that headphones are designed to use.
Edited by jupitreas - 12/4/12 at 6:21am
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post

it is usually better to listen to the stereo version on headphones because headphones are designed to simulate positional cues in stereo mixes, while a separate piece of software that enhances this simulation is more imperfect than what a human engineer can achieve when mastering stereo.

 

Stereo mixes are usually optimized for listening on loudspeakers, though.

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

You would need a soundcard with Dolby Headphone or something similar, or some kind of mixamp. Runs about $30 for the cheaper soundcards.

 

Like I said though not really worth it for music, as the stereo masters generally sound better on headphones. Binaural sound is the best technology for headphone positional cues  and that only requires stereo.

Hm.. my laptop uses on board sound card, so in this case can I use USB DAC amp instead ?

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

Stereo mixes are usually optimized for listening on loudspeakers, though.
True, but headphones are still designed to use those positional clues.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

Hm.. my laptop uses on board sound card, so in this case can I use USB DAC amp instead ?

Most USB DAC's aren't going to have this. You'd need a mixamp or a dolby surround sound processor. These are unfortunately kind of expensive for whatever reason, like $80+.

 

This tech is really mostly used for gaming though(which is why all the mixamps/dss processors are made by gaming headset companies), I don't think it works all that great for music in comparison to just using stereo mixes. Especially if you're looking for original clarity, as it messes with the sound signature.


Edited by chewy4 - 12/4/12 at 9:40am
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Most USB DAC's aren't going to have this. You'd need a mixamp or a dolby surround sound processor. These are unfortunately kind of expensive for whatever reason, like $80+.

This tech is really mostly used for gaming though(which is why all the mixamps/dss processors are made by gaming headset companies), I don't think it works all that great for music in comparison to just using stereo mixes. Especially if you're looking for original clarity, as it messes with the sound signature.

Actually, you can do this entirely for free using Foobar2000 and the various plugins that are available for free.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post


Actually, you can do this entirely for free using Foobar2000 and the various plugins that are available for free.

I'll have to check those out, never heard of a strictly software plugin doing this but it's certainly feasible. I'd imagine they all sound different in one way or another, I'm curious if there are any that can do SACD music better than my soundcard.

 

But yeah if that's the case and those plugins are decent then those surround sound processors really are only good for gaming, so definitely don't buy any of those.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post

There is a foobar2000 plugin called SACDDecoder that lets you play SACDs on a computer;

Interesting. Would this also allow foobar2000 to rip the files from the SACD onto a computer? If so, what would be settings to do this have to be for a bit-perfect rip?

 

destroysall.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

I'll have to check those out, never heard of a strictly software plugin doing this but it's certainly feasible. I'd imagine they all sound different in one way or another, I'm curious if there are any that can do SACD music better than my soundcard.

But yeah if that's the case and those plugins are decent then those surround sound processors really are only good for gaming, so definitely don't buy any of those.

It is possible to get Dolby Headphone to work with fb2k for free (since the dll file is bundled with demo versions of some DVD player software). I am not aware of any better headphone surround sound processor?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroysall View Post

Interesting. Would this also allow foobar2000 to rip the files from the SACD onto a computer? If so, what would be settings to do this have to be for a bit-perfect rip?

destroysall.
Honestly, i don't know. I don't even think there are any PC CD drives that are capable of reading the DSD layer on an SACD disc anyway... As far as I know, people have been using their PS3s to rip SACDs. I've never done it myself since I consider it a waste of time (as there is no audible benefit).
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