$49.00 SACD, DVD-A, DVD, CD Player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Bill Cowmeadow, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    $49.00 is not out of the question in about a year.

    The question I pose to is this:
    If SACD, DVD-A is the nirvana of playback in the audio world, what argument will the golden ear crowd have to quantify/qualify spending more than $49.00 for a player.
    If the spec for SACD/DVD-A capable equipment is at such a high level if fidelity, how could you tell the difference between players?

    Just wondering.

    Bill
     
  2. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Bill, I upgraded my SACD player twice, each with considerable improvement in sound.

    So, yeah, the playback device certainly does matter.

    In fact, IMO, it's not really worth it to get into high-res if you can't shell out the dough for nice equipment, but I'm probably going to get flamed for that.
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  4. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    Obviously my $49.00 price point was for emphasis only.
    While I'm sure modifications can and do make a difference, whether they can be heard or not is debateable, and for another thread. The question I'm more interested in is this: At what point are we going to say that the technology is so optimised, that any improvements are of no value to our ears.

    Lee, I always read your post's and appreciate your clarity of answers. Thanks
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  6. chris_clem

    chris_clem Second Unit

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    IMHO, even if technology ever does get "optimized" to the point wherein even the cheapest players sound the same as the most expensive ones (no perceptible differences in double blind tests and such), the "golden ear" crowd would still swear that high end equipment would drastically improve the listening experience.

    Just my two cents...[​IMG]
     
  7. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    High end gear looks so cool...

    Seriously, if as Lee and other say, we are in a never ending search for the perfect reproduction of sound, and are destined to never reach it. I find this thinking to border on compulsive.
    There has to be a point at which the music we reproduce matches what is laid down in the mixing studio. I have been to several studios, and I have to say, the fidelity I heard at the mixer was very similar to what I hear at home. If as you say Lee, we can never get true reproduction, I pose this point: If we are looking for something other than what the mixer lays down on the final track, is that not like adding creme to an otherwise perfect cup of coffee? Our sound might be different from that of the mixer, but I don't think we should call it better. My point of the thread is that I think the day is coming when the sound laid down in the studio can be played back perfectly at home.

    For the record, I only have three DVD-A titles in my library of music, and I like what I hear so far.
     
  8. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I don't think we will see super super low priced universal players for quite some time. The manufacturers need features to set apart their higher end models from entry level players, and DVD-A and SACD provide just that. The common buyer does not give a rats ass about improved transports and build quality, but instead looks at the feature set when shelling out more dollars.

    J
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Gentlemen, post about A/V source equipment in A/V Sources. Thanks!
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Bill.... how long has CD been around? a LOOONG time now. Do all cd players sound the same? No. Not by a looong shot. $49 won't get you a great cd player, but it will get you solid play-back. A few hundred dollars will get you a great player, and that's just 2 channels of pcm. I expect SACD and DVDA to grow and mature for a looooong time, with improvements in sound quality and lowering in prices for those better players all the way through.

    It's not hard to play back a CD decently. It IS hard to do it well. I don't know of any $49 cd player that sounds the same as high-end units. (which start in at just a couple hundred dollars or so, and then reach infinity in price, but that's a WHOLE 'nother thread [​IMG] ).
     
  11. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    If a person is content with a $49 player and feels it equals higher end players, great! But that should not preclude other people from purchasing whatever they like. If you can't hear differences, consider yourself lucky.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bill, the CD format has been around since 1982, and today, the player still matters. Sure, you can go to Best Buy and grab an RCA changer for $80, but it won't hold a candle to a $500 player. I am considering the use of the analog outputs here. One has to consider the analog outputs in evaluating the true capability of a CD player. Plus considering the analog outputs levels the playing field in any comparison to SACD and DVD-Audio since we will mostly be using analog outputs with these hi-rez formats.

    Now, it is true that SACD and DVD-Audio are higher-resolution formats than CD, so I can see why you are proposing that a budget hi-rez player should be sufficient. However, let's first not sell the CD short. Yes, SACD and DVD-Audio are better, but a well-mastered CD can sound magnificent. Unfortunately, the vast majority of CDs are mastered like caca. Before one throws the CD format out with the trash of yesteryear, a listen to discs mastered by Steve Hoffman as well as many discs manufactured in the early-to-mid-'80s is a must. The latter category of discs were made before all the digital EQ tweaking was done by the major labels!

    Putting the influence of the player into the context of the hi-rez formats, let's remember that these formats still employ a 5" optical disc with a laser, and 1s and 0x are still converted to analog sound. As such, the sound of SACD and DVD-Audio is still influenced by jitter, power supply, capacitors, etc. Remember, it's not just the feature specs. It's the implementation! More expensive players (almost always) use better parts!

    It is possible that a $200 SACD player in 2008 will beat a $1000 SACD player of 2002 as DSD technology advances. However, a $1000 SACD player in 2008 should beat both, and perhaps even "soundly"!
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe said:

     

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