DVD-Audio: is it for me?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Aaron Reynolds, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Maybe an odd question.

    I realized just the other day that my DVD player supports DVD-Audio. I enjoy my sound, and have what I consider to be a very nice power amp and decent pre-amp, and some pretty lovely speakers. I'm a big fan of LaserDiscs because of the PCM track, and don't much care for Dolby Digital. DVD-Audio sounds like something I'd be into.

    Here's the hitch: I'm running a two-channel stereo system. I don't intend to move to 5.1 any time in the near future.

    Now, looking at DVD-Audio discs, it appears that most, if not all of them have a two-channel high resolution audio track. This is what I'd be listening to.

    Just how much better is this two-channel track than a compact disc? Is it a large, noticeable upgrade? Where do you hear the difference -- what part of the sound is impacted most clearly?

    I'm a big David Bowie fan, and I love the live album "Stage", which was just released as a DVD-Audio disc. I was thinking of getting this as a test, to see what I thought of it. I figured this would be better than buying something that I was totally unfamiliar with, because I'd have something to compare it to.

    Can anyone offer me advice on this? Should I go ahead and do it? Would there be something better to start out with to really show off the format in two channels? Am I missing out on the major part of it by not listening to it in 5.1?
     
  2. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Aaron,

    Go for it. You may be surprised. 24/96khz sampling tracks can sound terrific when done right.

    The resolving power of your stereo system may play a role but I usually hear an improvement in midrange detail with DVD Audio.

    Don't worry too much about 5.1, a well done two channel disc can sound very enveloping as well.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    A/V Sources is a better fit for this discussion than the Music area, which is why it was moved.
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Since you already have a DVD-A capable player, it's worth it to buy a couple of DVD-A discs and see (hear) for yourself. I also enjoy the music videos, interviews, lyrics, etc the DVD-A offers. The higher resolution, while subtle, is an improvement over cd's. To me you are, but others feel it can be more of a distraction or a "gimmick". It also depends on the m/c mix and who did it. Most are fine, some are fantastic and others (Toto IV?) are strange to say the least. Another peeve of mine is sometimes the song order is different than the cd. The added songs are a treat, but why the different order? Just put the new ones at the end. Not a big deal but still...
     
  5. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Stage is out on DVD-A now?
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Tim, not quite yet. The simultaneous CD and DVDA release of STAGE got a bit wonky - the CD is out now (though I can't say I've seen it on shelves yet), but the DVDA is lagging behind a bit. I've seen scans of the CD packaging and it includes a great essay about the remixing of the album for this latest version. The cover art of the CD version is somewhat ruined by the bottom inch of the front cover having huge copy guard and FBI warnings across it. But aside from that neuvo-McCarthy-era crap, it looks nice.
     
  7. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Will - thanks for the info. I checked Amazon and found info for the CD rerelease, which they say streets on 3/15. Hopefully, the sound quality on the DVD-A will be good, which will allow me to retire my well-worn vinyl [​IMG]
     

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