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Will you stick with hirez audio?


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174 replies to this topic

#21 of 175 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 27 2004 - 06:13 PM

I was just thinking about high res audio in the context of BluRay vs HD-DVD. One train of thought goes that whichever format the studios pick will win for next gen DVD. OK, so I agree that I see one problem with high res audio, is that the record labels really don't seem to putting a lot of push behind it. Shoot, I remember when CD hit back in '84 or so. That marketing effort blows the doors off anything I've seen for DVD-A or SACD.
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#22 of 175 OFFLINE   Ken Groulx

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Posted March 27 2004 - 06:31 PM

Resolving and expensive systems aside, I believe the initial question proposed is whether or not we will stick with hi-rez. The answer: sadly, no. If sonic elitism means being confined to a couple releases a year, then enjoy.

#23 of 175 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted March 27 2004 - 07:22 PM

Kind of off-topic......or is it?

AAC chosen (so far) for a dvd-audio's dvd-rom section.

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#24 of 175 OFFLINE   Robert A. Willis Jr.

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Posted March 28 2004 - 04:51 AM

If you are a jazz lover, SACD has tons of good stuff and much more in the pipeline (as I stated before I am buying hybrids even though I don't have an SACD player yet). I do have a DVD-A player and have about 100 disks. How many of you were around when the cheapest CD player was $1000? How much software do you think was available then? It took years before some critical mass was reached.

Does anyone own an HDTV? How much programming is now available?

Hi-rez sound quality is much better than redbook on my system and I have plugged in a number of players over the past year. The 24/192 disks or mixes are fantastic and I prefer them to the multichannel mixes (24/96) on the same disk and I am am a multichannel advocate.

Lee is correct in that the resolution of your system is a factor. There are many systems that don't benefit much from hi-rez and that is a fact. I don't mean to demean anyone's system but high performance is just that. Does Toyota manufacture Lexis? Does Honda manufacture Acura? Is there a differance in price? Is there a difference in performance/quality? Do you want to pay for the difference?


Hi-rez will be fine. Things are still in flux but in two or three years there will be plenty of software and it will cater to just about any perferance. The only problem is that a few years later we will be complaining about the problems with availability of Super-Hi-Rez or some such.

#25 of 175 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 28 2004 - 07:42 AM

Quote:
I am also disappointed with the lack of new music coming to either format at any sort of regularity.


Very good and valid point Justin. As much as I want to see the world go hirez for extra quality, the titles releases have been slower than I would like.

Quote:
If you are a jazz lover, SACD has tons of good stuff and much more in the pipeline (as I stated before I am buying hybrids even though I don't have an SACD player yet).


Jazz on Super Audio is very impressive and deep. Lots for my to buy there-only limited by my budget. Posted Image
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#26 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 28 2004 - 03:24 PM

Quote:
Lee is correct in that the resolution of your system is a factor. There are many systems that don't benefit much from hi-rez and that is a fact. I don't mean to demean anyone's system but high performance is just that. Does Toyota manufacture Lexis? Does Honda manufacture Acura? Is there a differance in price? Is there a difference in performance/quality? Do you want to pay for the difference?


But Lee always says that SACD is so superior that you could appreciate the difference on a boombox. Posted Image

#27 of 175 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted March 28 2004 - 04:58 PM

I have been peeking in on all the SACD/DVDA threads around here and while everyone seems to make good arguments one way or the other, I'm afraid the high speed at which technology changes may leave the slow progress of these formats behind. I was much more optomistic a few months ago. I was thinking of getting a mid-range uni player ($500) but will get a low end one instead. If things change in the future, I can always upgrade. In the meantime, I'm still only buying DVDA's for the DD/DTS layers. I still think there will be a better way to listen to music in the future, I'm just not so sure what it will be. Gene
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#28 of 175 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted March 28 2004 - 06:30 PM

I really don't think the music industry will move over to one of the upcoming HD dvd formats as a carrier for hi-res/surround music--what would they gain?

LJ

#29 of 175 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted March 28 2004 - 07:08 PM

Quote:
... as a carrier for hi-res/surround music--what would they gain?


early adopters will buy the same music all over again Posted Image

meanwhile.. yes I love my multichannel so I'll stick with the new formats.
>
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#30 of 175 OFFLINE   Robert A. Willis Jr.

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Posted March 29 2004 - 12:34 AM

Quote:
But Lee always says that SACD is so superior that you could appreciate the difference on a boombox.

Uh HuhPosted Image

#31 of 175 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 29 2004 - 01:33 AM

Quote:
But Lee always says that SACD is so superior that you could appreciate the difference on a boombox.


I stand by this statement. I have done a couple of tests where you have boombox systems that take an RCA input. You can definitely still hear a difference with a cleaner source whether it be analog hirez like LP or digital hirez like SACD. The extra sampling gives so much more music (DVDA included) that differences are noticeable to any critical ear.

Quote:
I really don't think the music industry will move over to one of the upcoming HD dvd formats as a carrier for hi-res/surround music--what would they gain?


Profits and royaltees from new music sales.
Lower costs by having one common carrier format.
More unit sales by having consumers replace collections like Feisal said. By the way, I like replacement as a consumer because it usually means a better product at the end of the day and, in music, better mastering on better equipment...
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#32 of 175 OFFLINE   Mike Broadman

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Posted March 29 2004 - 02:10 AM

I didn't know that any format or product required any "loyalty," where you had to decide whether you stick with stuff or not. I thought folks just buy the music they want.Posted Image

#33 of 175 OFFLINE   Doug Otte

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Posted March 29 2004 - 02:42 AM

I'm a little unenthused about the SACD pop/rock titles, but I'll definitely stick w/ it for classical. Classical SACDs seem to be flourishing. At my age, I'm moving back to enjoying classical, and SACD has fueled the fire. It's even motivated me to upgrade my speakers from JBL N-Series to KEF Q Series (coming this week - can't wait!).

Final answer - I'd like to have more of my fave 70s progressive/80s progressive/e-music on SACD, but I'm still more than happy w/ what's available on SACD, so I'll keep buying & I don't see a problem w/ the classical releases drying up.

Doug

#34 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 29 2004 - 03:11 AM

Quote:
I stand by this statement. I have done a couple of tests where you have boombox systems that take an RCA input. You can definitely still hear a difference with a cleaner source whether it be analog hirez like LP or digital hirez like SACD. The extra sampling gives so much more music (DVDA included) that differences are noticeable to any critical ear.


You can't have it both ways. You can't claim that any system can benefit and then turn around and ask people if their systems are high-end.

Myself, I'd happily wager $1000 that in a blind test, no statistical meaningful number of people chosen from the general populace could pick the SACD layer from the CD layer of a Steve Hoffman mastered SACD on a boombox (using the analog inputs for both).

In fact, using Hoffman-mastered SACDs, I'd wager that less than 1% of the population (again, picked off the street and with no training) could reliably tell the difference on a $2000 system.

(I'm using Hoffman as an example, I'm sure there are a handful of other people who are mastering dual-layer format releases using the exact same analog chain, split, and putting the necessary care into both layers).

To answer the question of 'sticking' with the format...of course I will. But for mono/stereo-only releases, performance and mastering drives my purchase decisions...not format. Format is way down on the list of what makes things sound good.

#35 of 175 OFFLINE   Darryl

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Posted March 29 2004 - 04:45 AM

Good question Lee.

I'm only buying software that will play on non hi-res hardware, namely SACD hybrids and DVD-A's. That way my software will still be worth something when my current player goes belly up. I bought a bunch of single-layer SACDs right after I bought my hi-res hardware, but now I'm doubting that the next generation of players (3 or 4 years down the line) will be able to read them.

Although SACD and DVD-A both provide me with a better listening experience than CD, I'm actually hoping both formats get displaced by something more marketable.

#36 of 175 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 29 2004 - 06:52 AM

Quote:
Although SACD and DVD-A both provide me with a better listening experience than CD, I'm actually hoping both formats get displaced by something more marketable.


I partially agree, ie. I think BluRay and HD-DVD represent a big opportunity (that may not be taken) to totally redo the media storage universe for everyone's benefit.

Quote:
To answer the question of 'sticking' with the format...of course I will. But for mono/stereo-only releases, performance and mastering drives my purchase decisions...not format. Format is way down on the list of what makes things sound good.


This is how I look at it based on my playback and record engineering experience...there are three big determinants of sound, all equally important:

1. Original Recording (equipment used, performance, microphone placement, amount of mixing purity, etc.)

2. Mastering quality (using best sources, best equipment, a good engineer like a Steve Hoffman, Jared Sacks, etc. at the controls)

3. Sampling Rate if Digital/Tape Recording Device if Analog. There is not much that can make up for laying down the original tracks at a higher sampling rate. My experience with analog tapes is that they can capture dynamic range far better than they are ever given credit for. I have personal experience with tape recording (reel) machines that definitely highlights quality differences in equipment there. I think if you do the original recording in either DSD or 24/96 it sounds far better than any redbook ADC operating at 16/44 or 24/48.

So I would be reluctant to prefer any of these three over the others. The most amazing recordings sound lifelike when when all three elements are present. One good example of all three being present is Jared Sacks work on the Channel Classics SACDs which are original DSD recordings, often minimally miked, and well mastered. Posted Image
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#37 of 175 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted March 29 2004 - 07:26 PM

Quote:
Although SACD and DVD-A both provide me with a better listening experience than CD, I'm actually hoping both formats get displaced by something more marketable.

Five things the record companies would need to do to address major dissatisfiers:

1. Get rid of all copy protection / DRM. (Beyond that, make discs user-friendly, with things like tags (artist/album/song names) to support jukebox players.)

2. Provide much better backwards compatibility with CD (as in: all discs have a hybrid CD layer that works in any sort of audio CD/DVD/SACD player or computer CD/DVD drive). (It's easier displacing the main stereo's CD player than every CD player in existence.)

3. Fix the user interface so that for audio-only listening (no TV screen), the discs/players are as easy and standard to use as CD players or CD changers.

4. Price the discs to sell, not to gouge people for 50% or more above the cost of CDs.

5. Bring lots of titles out, with the mastering done right the first time.

#38 of 175 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted March 30 2004 - 01:57 PM

Although I haven't completely lost interest, Marc Collela's comments in his post #6 resonate with me.

Quote:
Maybe it's more pertinent to ask if hi-rez will stick with me. They're not doing a very good job of it!
Good point, Rachael (in your post #15).

I'm concerned about the hardware future. Robert Willis' post #24 comments about it taking years for the CD market to reach critical mass notwithstanding (and with the caveat that I think competing hi rez formats is a significant difference that problematizes the comparison) allow me to 'think' (read: engage in speculative worry and teeth gnashing) out loud for a moment: IF: a) the hi rez market doesn't 'blow up' a la DVD-V in terms of market penetration leaving us with, amongst other things, the current paucity of universal players; and b) hi def DVD does not become the medium for hi rez music, what if (just as with standard rez DVD-V) it takes Pio or some other manufacturer years to make a hi def DVD player that also supports both hi rez audio formats? What if no manufacturer does so at all because the hi rez formats are deemed even more moribund by the time hi def DVD debuts than they arguably are now?

Let's assume that if Blu-ray becomes the hi def DVD standard, those players will include SACD functionality because of Blu-ray's Sony and Phillips backing. Let's also assume that if AOD becomes the hi def DVD standard, those players will include DVD-A functionality because of AOD's Tosh et al./DVD Forum backing.

Are we going to be 'doomed' to always having to have two players in our rigs? One for hi def DVD of whichever flavor and another for the other hi rez format?

Tosh supposedly has a uni on the way this summer, and it is inexpensive and easy for DVD Forum manufacturers to include DVD-A playback in their DVD-V players. But if Pio and supposedly soon Tosh (currently the only manufacturers of late model, <$1k uni players [I think that Yamaha is over a year old now]) stop doing so, and SACD becomes the MD of the hi rez audio era (I think only Sony makes MD hardware, yes?), then we might be looking at a situation in which--as we move into the hi def DVD era and standard DVD-V unis get older, die and become more expensive to repair--you have to go to Sony for an SACD player and then whomever for DVD-A . . . and hi def DVD.

I guess another/briefer way to look at is, IF AOD wins AND you want to keep SACD playback (and hi def DVD players aren't also unis), you're looking at two machines.

It took about four years from the introduction of the hi rez formats 'til we saw a budget uni. Is there any reason it will be different with hi def DVD players?

-p

#39 of 175 OFFLINE   John Geelan

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:58 PM

I always feel bad for the Hi-Rez titles that have been left to rot at local stores.

My local CC and Tower have their SACD/DVDA bins full of product with no one around to buy them. They just pile up.

I hoping for a big sale one day.
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#40 of 175 OFFLINE   Sam Owens

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Posted April 01 2004 - 12:00 AM

After an initial burst of enthusiasm, my interest has cooled because I can't do decent bass management on SACDs on my 655A (45A) without spending $$$ and because DVD-A has released precisely two titles in the last 6 months I have been interested in buying.

Unlike many folks here who only want M/C mixes, I am finding myself listening to the stereo mixes more and more because I get proper bass management on my Marantz, most M/C mixes aren't that much different from stereo and I get excellent stereo imaging in my setup.
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