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Where's State-of-the-Art today?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Unless we're listening to live, it's recorded to a  device and played from the device or copied to some sort of media, like SACD, to play on a device. So, what's the best format/player to enjoy music today? I've been thinking about buying a new Sony 5400ES SACD player that will play multi channel SACD's. Will that kind of source component bring me a more realistic presentation of a live music performance than something else out there: perhaps, a turntable, analog tape deck,, CD player, Bluray player, or computer player?


Edited by sterling1 - 4/14/13 at 3:02am
post #2 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post

Unless we're listening to live, it's recorded to a  device and played from the device or copied to some sort of media, like SACD, to play on a device. So, what's the best format/player to enjoy music today? I've been thinking about buying a new Sony 5400ES SACD player that will play multi channel SACD's. Will that kind of source component bring me a more realistic presentation of a live music performance than something else out there: perhaps, a turntable, analog tape deck,, CD player, Bluray player, or computer player?

Well, there is a cult following for vinyl. Many people prefer it to digital music. Some also like reel-to-reel players. Both of them have the advantage that analog methods have theoretically infinite sampling rates. With digital music, if you want top-of-the-line sound, look for stuff either originally recorded in (or ripped from vinyl to) high bit depth and sampling rate-preferably 32 bit, 196 khz. You will need a very high-end DAC to play this music though. If you really, really want top-of-the-line, then jitter is a HUGE concern-lower is better-it is basically whether the individual frequencies are being reproduced as the perfect rate, so the jitter is how far off it can get. The lowest I've ever seen is the Galaxy Clock on the Diamond DACs, which will cost somewhere around $40-$50 THOUSAND dollars.

 

So top-of-the-line is really, really high.

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Where are we going with it all? Is multi-channel SACD state-of-the-art today? Some science suggest there is no benefit to anything over 24/96, so where do we go, or what do we need to buy today to enjoy  better sound? I'm quite satisfied with my current HT system for all off my home entertainment; yet, my SACD player, being almost 13 years old, does not play multi-channel SACD's. I've been thinking about buying a new player which will play multi-channel. Will this get me state-of-the-art?  


Edited by sterling1 - 4/18/13 at 4:36am
post #4 of 34
It's very personal. Everyone reaches their own state of the art. Some believe 16 bit gets you there if done right. Really though that is the challenge to discover.

I would say it is the combination and application of the equipment available not if it is digital or analogue. Things do change but they also stay the same. Some times I wonder what improvements have taken place in the last twenty years. One thing for certain occurred when you could get great headphone sound for under a grand. The price to performance ratio is a big change the last five years.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post

[...] Some science suggest there is no benefit to anything over 24/96 [...]

 

Wrong, no benefit over 16 / 44100 (for playback).

post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by roncaron View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post

[...] Some science suggest there is no benefit to anything over 24/96 [...]

 

Wrong, no benefit over 16 / 44100 (for playback).

 

Yes, except in the very rare case where (1) the source material contains frequencies above ~22.05 kHz; and (2) the listener is capable of hearing those frequencies. Maybe I should have said extremely rare. Otherwise? You're right, of course.

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

Well, there is a cult following for vinyl.

There never was a cult following of vinyl. It was the only available affordable format for many years, even finding its way in the dashboard of some cars.

Other more affordable and convenient formats replaced it as time went by.

post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

Well, there is a cult following for vinyl.

There never was a cult following of vinyl. It was the only available affordable format for many years, even finding its way in the dashboard of some cars.

Other more affordable and convenient formats replaced it as time went by.

 

Its current revival is by adherents to the Cult of Vinyl, a format which is fragile and offers same the reduced resolution available in the 1960's.

 

Its replacement, which occurred in olden times, was by the more convenient but more expensive CD format. It also offers additional resolution.

post #9 of 34
The biggest advancements in the computer source is the player setups, USB conversion, I2S implementation, jitter knowledge and control. To me, removing S/Pdif and taking the I2S conversion off the receiver directly to the DAC (without filtering) will be the biggest evolution
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

The biggest advancements in the computer source is the player setups, USB conversion, I2S implementation, jitter knowledge and control. To me, removing S/Pdif and taking the I2S conversion off the receiver directly to the DAC (without filtering) will be the biggest evolution

So,  would you say for the best sound today, I should purchase  music from HDtracks for playback from my computer rather than buying multi channel SACD's to play from a suitable player? I've been told by the experts on the matter that multi channel SACD's are state of the art today..


Edited by sterling1 - 4/20/13 at 4:53am
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

To me, removing S/Pdif and taking the I2S conversion off the receiver directly to the DAC (without filtering) will be the biggest evolution

Why would that be? I2S needs five lines, including ground. That's a lot more wiring than SPDIF. So a lot more worries about exact timing between the different signals in the wire loom. Jitter and timing problems are just a cycle away. Long cable runs will be a headache.

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamilcarBarca View Post

 

Its current revival is by adherents to the Cult of Vinyl, a format which is fragile and offers same the reduced resolution available in the 1960's.

 

Its replacement, which occurred in olden times, was by the more convenient but more expensive CD format. It also offers additional resolution.

 am afraid that you are very much mistaken. There is no reduced resolution in vinyl of the type you assume to be. CD has nowhere the same level of resolution as vinyl.

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

 am afraid that you are very much mistaken. There is no reduced resolution in vinyl of the type you assume to be. CD has nowhere the same level of resolution as vinyl.

+1. I've always heard that analog means a pretty much infinite sampling rate, and is only limited therfore by production methods and materials.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

 am afraid that you are very much mistaken. There is no reduced resolution in vinyl of the type you assume to be. CD has nowhere the same level of resolution as vinyl.

 

 

Incorrect,  Vinyl has very finite limits and the high levels of noise and distortions of vinyl over the audible spectrum compared to even 16/44.1 render its information capabilities (including possible dynamic range) at least an order of magnitude worse than humble redbook CD, this is not a matter of opinion it is founded in Information Science. You may like the sound of vinyl but unless you have some magical definition of resolution (remember continuous is not the same as infinite)  you are quite wrong. If vinyl had the infinite resolution incorrectly attributed to it it would have infinite bandwidth and infinite SNR which clearly it does not have.

post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

+1. I've always heard that analog means a pretty much infinite sampling rate, and is only limited therfore by production methods and materials.

 

Here is a very interesting article on material limits

 

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/iandm/part12/page2.html

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