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High Resolution Audio Comparison


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203 replies to this topic

#1 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 19 2002 - 02:12 PM

Friends,

Please see the following links for comparisons of the new high resolution formats DVD Audio and Super Audio:

http://www.hometheat...m/Practical.doc

http://www.hometheat...m/Technical.doc

*************************************

To download these Word documents, please right-click on the above links, select "Save Target As" and file name. The files will then download automatically.

*************************************

Disclaimer!

Please note that I tried to keep the Practical as objective as possible while Technical are notes gathered from many years as a recording engineer and a final gradation on sound quality differences.

Please share with me your thoughts and ideas.

I hope this will further help Forum members and visitors understand and manage the complex choices presented by the two formats.

Posted Image
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#2 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 19 2002 - 02:18 PM

Technical difficulties Posted Image

Bear with us as we figure out a way to make these documents downloadable.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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#3 of 204 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted November 19 2002 - 07:05 PM

Lee,

Your title counts are way off for DVD-A in the Practical doc.... DVD-A is 377 or 416 depending on whether you take the Quad list title count or the Meridian sponsored list at High Fidelity Review.

I realize that this paper goes back awhile, but if you had wanted accurate counts, you should have asked -- 230 titles might have been accurate sometime in mid 2001.

Also, I'm not a major reviewer -- and my inclusion with people like Bob Stuart, Mark Waldrep and the others, while flattering, is not something that I have earned to date. If you want to include a "big name" reviewer use Dr. Robert E. Greene from TAS. I'm not Bob Stuart, but I'm sure he would appreciate it if you spelled the company name right, it's Meridian. Why leave off Alastair Roxburgh from Alpha Digital/EAD or John Dawson at Arcam from the DVD-A supporters list?

As far as breakthrough titles go on DVD-Audio, HC is good, but don't forget that Fleetwood Mac's Rumours sold more copies. Then there's Queen's A Night at the Opera. These certainly deserves listing.

The number of DVD-Audio players on the market exceeds the 20 you are listing, regardless of whether it is actively marketed players or number of players since launch.

Currently it's
Panasonic: 5 models
Toshiba: 3 models
Denon: 4 models
Meridian: 2 models
Pioneer: 1 (DVD-A only is what I'm counting not universal)
EAD: 2 models
JVC: 5 models minimum

I haven't even hit all the players yet, and I'm stopping at 22, as I've already proven my point......

I have also excluded HT in a Box.

You did not mention that the noise characteristics of High-Res PCM are linear across the pass band, and ignored the rising noise characteristic of SACD, beginning at 4k.

There are other things I don't like, but that's enough for 2:00am CDT on a first glance.

Regards,
Surround Music Enthusiast / Curmudgeon in Training
Opinions are my own, not representative of the publication I write for.

#4 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 01:22 AM

Quote:
Also, I'm not a major reviewer -- and my inclusion with people like Bob Stuart, Mark Waldrep and the others, while flattering, is not something that I have earned to date. If you want to include a "big name" reviewer use Dr. Robert E. Greene from TAS. I'm not Bob Stuart, but I'm sure he would appreciate it if you spelled the company name right, it's Meridian. Why leave off Alastair Roxburgh from Alpha Digital/EAD or John Dawson at Arcam from the DVD-A supporters list?


Posted Image

You could be more supportive of what is a very good effort at clarifying the field. The list was done about a month and a half ago and the totals were correct then. As for title counts, I got the numbers from a press release from Warners I believe. Maybe they are behind also.

Quote:
You did not mention that the noise characteristics of High-Res PCM are linear across the pass band, and ignored the rising noise characteristic of SACD, beginning at 4k.


There are two problems with this. First, many people believe that the noise does not dip below 12K. Second, most engineers do not feel the ultrasonic noise is audible.

Of course, to have a balanced view, we could go into the zero crossing distortion that PCM has inherent.

If you want to criticize the whole list fine. There was enough thought and research behind this that I can respond point by point.

Your words would carry more weight with me if you at least thanked me for the effort.
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#5 of 204 OFFLINE   Mike Broadman

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Posted November 20 2002 - 03:14 AM

The links still don't work. How are you reading them, John?

#6 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 03:54 AM

Mike,

I am still having trouble as well.

Packy is able to access them however.
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#7 of 204 OFFLINE   James Q Jenkins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 04:28 AM

Lee, no offense, but from reading your posts over the last few years it seems to me as if this would be the equivalent of a white paper comparing Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows XP presented by Steve Ballmer. Posted Image I mean your SIG is "Super Audio: So Close It Kisses The Master Tape!" for gosh sakes.

I can't read the links. I will do so however if I have time when they are up.
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#8 of 204 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted November 20 2002 - 05:21 AM

Lee,

Quote:
You could be more supportive of what is a very good effort at clarifying the field. The list was done about a month and a half ago and the totals were correct then. As for title counts, I got the numbers from a press release from Warners I believe. Maybe they are behind also.

Wow... there have been somewhere between 140 and 190 titles releaesed in the last month and a half on DVD-A? That's impressive as hell. Of course it's also just plain wrong.

If you don't want constructive criticism about the document, don't have it posted.
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#9 of 204 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted November 20 2002 - 05:26 AM

Mike,

I only clicked on the Practial link last night which worked.

However if you right click on the link and select "Save Target As" you can download the documents to your machine and peruse them at your leisure.

Regards,
Surround Music Enthusiast / Curmudgeon in Training
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#10 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 05:44 AM

Quote:
Lee, no offense, but from reading your posts over the last few years it seems to me as if this would be the equivalent of a white paper comparing Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows XP presented by Steve Ballmer.


James,

This may be true for Technical, but not for Practical as I interviewed several engineers on each side for a balanced view.

As a loyal HTF reader, I was concerned in Practical with creating something useful for the membership and to drive interest in high resolution audio in general.

I wanted to present the facts as best I knew them and let people be aware of the differences. You will see things about the DVDA format, for instance, based on earlier threads where people like KeithH posted their views of strengths and weaknesses of both formats.

As for the record label and title counts, I perused press releases and carefully counted the labels listed on High Fidelity Review which struck me as more complete than other sources. As John finds my DVDA title count off, I did get that number from a Warners press release and saw the number again in some articles on the format. As it now may be low following additional releases in the past month or two, then at least we have John to bring the count up to today. There was certainly no attempt to slant the evidence one way or the other.

The Technical document as I stated is one recording engineer's opinion based on years of PCM use and a couple with DSD. That is a personal opinion of mine but there appears to be gathering consensus that a very high sampling rate does, in fact, capture note transients particularly well.

People here on the board know my signature line well. It would be wise to look at all available evidence and make up your own mind.

I just attempted to make the data gathering a bit easier. Hopefully this will be good enough to add to the HTF FAQ for beginner overviews.

Posted Image

Quote:
However if you right click on the link and select "Save Target As" you can download the documents to your machine and peruse them at your leisure.


Thank you John, this is what were missing for downloading the documents.

Things seem to work well now. Posted Image
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#11 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 05:49 AM

Links seem to be working fine now.

Thanks Packy for your help!
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#12 of 204 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted November 20 2002 - 06:30 AM

Quote:
There are two problems with this. First, many people believe that the noise does not dip below 12K. Second, most engineers do not feel the ultrasonic noise is audible.

Who cares what they believe about the noise dip below 12K. It's been measured on every SACD player that Atkinson has put to the test.

You can chose to ignore the noise rise within one of our hearing's most sensitive regions, I chose not to.

The last time I checked the start of noise increase (4k) was well within the audible band.
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#13 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 06:35 AM

Quote:
The last time I checked the start of noise increase (4k) was well within the audible band.


4K is definitely within the audible band, but why can't recording engineers hear this noise?
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#14 of 204 OFFLINE   Jeff Kohn

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Posted November 20 2002 - 06:51 AM

Links appear to be broken again, I can't download either document.
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#15 of 204 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted November 20 2002 - 06:55 AM

Lee,

Your point of view is so balanced that you just used the Sony/Philips marketing glossies in the technical page.

Nice job on balance there.

Then again, it was exactly what I expected.
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#16 of 204 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted November 20 2002 - 07:22 AM

Can someone give John a hug?
"Only one is a wanderer;
Two together are always going somewhere."

#17 of 204 OFFLINE   mike_decock

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Posted November 20 2002 - 07:30 AM

I snuck a picture of John earlier today:

Picture removed by Admin. Please do not repost.


-Mike...

#18 of 204 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 20 2002 - 08:05 AM

Posted Image

I think the links may be down from multiple hits but I could be wrong. Mine seem to work on and off.

Posted Image
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#19 of 204 OFFLINE   Jagan Seshadri

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Posted November 20 2002 - 09:12 AM

I like the documents, Lee.

Regarding the "Practical" document:
- I agree with mostly everything Posted Image
- Why is "Deficiencies in Redbook" stated as a challenge for DVD-A?

Regarding the "Technical" document:
- The 'cultural lock-in' to PCM is something I had trouble with, and it took a lot more than that Sony/Philips block diagram to convince this former PCM-head of the virtues of DSD. This is mainly because these kinds of diagrams tend to abstract blocks in ways that hide the nasty side and promote the advantageous side.

- SACD is a nine and LP is a ten? Maybe upon initial playback of a very good vinyl pressing on a very good vinyl rig. Digital doesn't degrade!

In support of SACD,
I doubt ultrasonic noise makes a lick of difference for SACD. Ultrasonic noise that is something like -180dB in the 20Hz - 20KHz band is swamped by thermal noise in electronics that lives around -130dB anyway.

In support of DVD-Audio,
I understand why Class B amplifiers have some zero-crossing distortion, but why would PCM have it? I am very skeptical about that.

Rebuttals and comments are welcome!

-JNS

#20 of 204 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted November 20 2002 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
......the equivalent of a white paper comparing Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows XP presented by Steve Ballmer

This is exactly why I have no intention of clicking those links.

From the beginning I've felt DSD (sacd's digital format) was an ill-conceived and executed idea. And to me, DSD has too many strange sonic anomalies that negatively alter the original sound.

LJ


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