DVD-A or SACD ???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Derek Baker, May 29, 2002.

  1. Derek Baker

    Derek Baker Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry to ask this - i'm sure it pops up once every few days...
    I REALLY love music...and need to upgrade to either DVD-A or SACD. Which one? I'm assuming it's not that straight cut, and i want to know people's personal preferences and why - to help me make my own decision.
    A new Pioneer DVD player just released now plays both formats - i don't know how well, but maybe another avenue for me to look at [​IMG]
    Looking forward to people's ideas...
     
  2. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    I'd suggest a search on either or both keywords. That should keep you busy reading for days.

    Anyway the short answer is DVD-A is far superior.

    Just kidding, Lee.
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The Pioneer Elite DV-47A does indeed play both formats, and, IMO, very well, though some feel that SACD performance is lacking (I don't). It goes for $800 - $1000, so if you can spend that much, that will solve all of your problems (as well as giving you a fantastic DVD player).
    If you have to choose the format, my advice would be to look at the music that's out there. What's the point of getting fancy-schmancy equipment if you're not going to use it? Check out sites like www.elusivedisc.com for available music titles.
    In general, it seems like there is more rock and pop for DVD-A and more jazz and classical for SACD. So, I personally prefer SACD.
     
  4. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I'll go way out on a limb and say that all other things being equal, they both are superior to regular 16 bit 44.1 KHz PCM CDs. No flames, please. [​IMG]
    If you have the room on your component rack, you could probably get separate DVD-A and SACD players for less than the Pioneer combo player. Of course, then you have to figure out if you have enough inputs on the back of your receiver to support multi-channel from both formats. [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  5. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    Multi channel and classic rock then DVD-Audio
    SACD for 2 channel of Classical and jazz.
     
  6. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    I second the Pioneer. I've not compared it to other SACD players, so I can't fairly comment on its specific SACD performance compared to others. I CAN say that SACDs sound terrific on this player, however, because they do.

    The sound from DVD-A seems a little "flashier" to me if that makes any sense. It very well could be (and probably is) the particular discs that I have, but the multi-channel mixes on DVD-A 1) seem to "fill my room a bit more" and 2) seem to have more "gimmicky" surround mixes. SACD's are beginning to sound a little more subtle and natural to me, but again I can only compare the discs I own.

    Anyway, the Pioneer is a great player, and I've had no trouble with it at all so far. Sure, I wish it had been $500, but they deserve a bit of a premium for "pioneering" the universal player.

    One thing to watch out for: this player has no bass management for hi-rez formats, so if you don't have either a) full range speakers or b) bass-management on your processor's 5.1 input, you might need to look at an external bass management module (like the Outlaw ICBM, for instance). I imagine that future players will have this built in.
     
  7. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    Lets *hope* they have the functionality built in. [​IMG]
    Derek,
    Yours isn't so much a question of technology as it is available titles. What are your music tastes? I feel that both formats are stellar, regardless if one format is or isn't better than the other.
    If you're into more Jazz or Classical then maybe look into pickup up a Sony SCD-CE775 for less than $200. If you like more 'pop'ular music maybe take a look at a DVD-A device like the Panasonic RA60. With either one, I highly recommend investing in an Outlaw ICBM to handle your bass management needs. You can get by with the CE775, but with most DVD-A devices I feel it is almost an immediate must have.
    Personally my music tastes are all over the board, it really depends on what mood I'm in when asked. For this reason I've got a player for both formats (DVDA only recently though). I've chosen to go the budget route with both formats for now though (CE775 & Panny RA60)...This way I can afford both units and get an ICBM. If you've got a more 'liquid' financial situation than I perhaps you'd want to go with some higher end models or the DV47-A w/ an ICBM.
    The common thread? Get an ICBM. [​IMG] And enjoy the music.
    -Aaron
     
  8. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Was I the only one who read "ICBM" and immediately thought "Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile"?

    Sorry, back to the topic at hand.

    Regards,
     
  10. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    I have the Panasonic RP-91 and an ICBM from Outlaw Audio for bass management.
    DVDA on the Panny is wonderful. Great sound.

    If you need a better DVD player and want to also upgrade to DVDA, get the RP91 and an ICBM. It's a great combo.

    BTW, if you like Rock and Pop Music, DVDA is the way to go.

    If you like Jazz and Classical better, check out SACD.

    JohnG
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Both formats have their merits. I prefer SACD due to the larger catalog and superior sound, in my opinion. Now, my SACD players are better audio components than my DVD-Audio player, so comparisons between the two components is not fair. Furthermore, I cannot use one component or the same recording to compare the formats, so it is hard to judge which one is truly superior. Still, based on what I have heard, I prefer SACD. Some DVD-Audio discs do sound great though. As others have said, I feel DVD-Audio is the way to go for rock overall, but SACD wins for jazz and classical. I like some of the rock titles on SACD too. As you can see, I like both formats. [​IMG]
     
  12. Sutjahjo Ngaserin

    Sutjahjo Ngaserin Stunt Coordinator

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    I second the concensus here, go for the software and the best choice is to buy a universal player to enjoy both formats, which are superior to Audio CD.

    Personally, using the same equipments, I would say DVD Audio has much better dynamics and has more details while SACD makes it sound warmer.

    For simple recordings like vocals with simple background music, SACD is better but for more complex recording with a lot of different sounds, DVD Audio can't be beat.
     
  13. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

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    Derek,

    You didn't tell us what kind of receiver or pre/pro you have (whether it has a set or two of 5.1 analog inputs), or whetehr you have the amps and speakers for multichannel sound.

    If you are in a 2ch world I'd say SACD, if for no other reason than that the SACD two channel mixes are, on the whole, more carefully done than DVDA. The reasons include the fact that DVDA was designed and marketed as a multichannel format (although it can do stereo the 2ch mixes are always well crafted).

    I have the Pioneer 47A in addition to a 2ch SACD machine. I and others have posted extensively on this machine on the 'sources' forum. My bottom line is that this machine is a very good value for someone exploring the high-res formats. By the time you outgrow its capabilities the format war may be over and/or prices of high end separates may be substantially reduced.

    BTW, people have posted that this machine does not have bass management. I run my speakers full range, but I did note that the setup screen allows one to specify if the center and surrounds are small or large. Does this imply some very basic bass management at some hard wired cutoff frequency?
     
  14. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Rob,

    Bass management is available for DD/DTS only is my understanding, although I have yet to touch the player.

    Regards,
     
  15. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    John -

    You are correct.
     
  16. Derek Baker

    Derek Baker Stunt Coordinator

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    Can someone tell me exactly what the ICBM from Outlaw Audio is AND what it's purpose is?

    I currently have a 5.1 HT set up, with a Pioneer VSX509 receiver (with 1 set of 5.1 analog inputs). I was thinking that buying JUST a SACD or DVD-A player alone would give me what i need?

    Are there any other items that i may want to consider along with my audio player when buying?
     
  17. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    It is basically a bass management module. The way I understand it, you run the 5.1 output of your player into the ICBM, and all the bass (based on a user-set veriable crossover) from all 6 channels are routed to the subwoofer.

    Does this help?
     
  18. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Excuse me for asking a dumb question - but whats the main difference between the two formats? Are they both 5.1? Do they both use the same inputs into your receiver? I have played DVD A discs on my DVD video plyer and they do sound awesome. A friend recently bought a new DVD video/audio player and said he thought some music played better when he just had the DVD video player and was strictly using the digital input. How can this be?
     
  19. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Doug,

    The main difference is that they use different approaches to encoding the audio data.

    DVD-Audio uses the same technique for storing the music as CD does, PCM, at higher sampling rates and depths. The goal is to accurately encode the value of the musical waveform at a point in time.

    SACD uses Delta-Sigma encoding to capturing the music as data. In SACD it's 1-bit at a very fast (2.8mHz) rate. The goal is to capture the changes over time of the musical waveform. If you took calculus and remember any of it, the symbols Delta (change) and Sigma (summation) will be familiar to you.

    Both DVD-A and SACD are capable of 5.1, and depending on your receiver, you might only have 1 set of 5.1 inputs. The only receivers I'm aware of with two external 5.1 inputs are from Denon.

    In terms of title availibility, for the moment SACD has the lead, but it has also been on the market for a year+ more than DVD-Audio.

    DVD-Audio has more manufacturers providing hardware, while SACD has more record labels currently producing titles.

    As far as your friend's results, I can think of a few reasons why the DVD-V results might be better..... I'll give short versions of why:

    1) Lack of bass management for the DVD-Audio side, with main speakers that don't have much ability to go below 80Hz.

    2) Lack of time alignment for the DVD-Audio side, with widely varying speaker distances.

    Hope this helped.

    Regards,
     

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