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DVD Audio - looking for all first hand experiences

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnnyN, Sep 18, 2001.

  1. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all. I'm looking for hands on reviews of any DVD Audio Hardware and Software, although I'll post a seperate software only thread in the music forum.
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    Somebody has to pay for retail businesses to let us walk in and audition high quality equipment side by side with our own dvd's and movies. I don't mind paying a premium to support this kind of service and convenience, I wish others would consider this when buying discounted b-stock merchandise from shady internet dealers.
    JKB
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Johnny, I bought the Technics DVD-A10 in February for $380 and feel it was a steal. The build quality is excellent, as is the all-around performance for the price. I don't use it as a DVD player since I have a Sony DVP-C670D for that purpose, but the 'A10 is very capable in that role. However, the 'A10 is only a decent CD player, which is typical for mid-priced DVD players. So, I never use the 'A10 for CD playback.
    As for DVD-Audio playback, I find it to be an improvement over CD. I have 13 DVD-Audio titles currently. Unfortunately, there are not many titles out, and new titles are coming out very, very slowly. Furthermore, DVD-Audio is not currently taking advantage of its capability of delivering 24/192 PCM stereo, which should be markedly better than 16/44.1 (CD). Warner and other producers of DVD-Audio discs want to include high-resolution surround-sound tracks (e.g., 24/88.2 or 24/96) on all releases, and one side of a disc will not accommodate both a high-resolution surround-sound track and a 24/192 stereo track. For one reason or another, manufacturers have not put the surround-sound track one side and a 24/192 track on the other side. Maybe that would prohibit inclusion of a Dolby Digital and/or DTS track for playback on DVD-Video players. I'm not sure.
    So, if you are a stereo fan, you will get 24/96 stereo tracks on many discs, which are better than the corresponding CDs. However, I would love to hear 24/192 material for comparison. The closest to 24/192 I have is the Jonatha Brooke Steady Pull DVD-Audio disc, which has a 24/88.2 surround-sound track and a 24/176.4 stereo track on one side. Truthfully, I don't find the 24/176.4 stereo track to be better than 24/96 stereo tracks on other discs. I've read that Steady Pull was only recorded in 24/48 PCM, so that could explain why.
    Overall, I am happy with the 'A10 and the 13 DVD-Audio discs I have. Steely Dan Two Against Nature, Fleetwood Mac Rumours, and Metallica Metallica are all excellent (all have 24/96 stereo tracks). However, I have also bought into the SACD format and prefer it to DVD-Audio. Although there are no recordings common to the two formats and I have to use different components to compare them, I feel SACD is superior sonically. It doesn't hurt also that Sony is making first-rate SACD player, both in terms of build quality and audio performance (Sony's SACD players are outstanding CD players at their respective price points). Furthermore, there are far more SACD titles available than DVD-Audio titles.
    If you could only buy into one format, I would go with SACD. Of course, the decision comes down to personal preference. Also, look at the software available in the two formats and decide which format offers you a more pleasing selection commensurate with your interests.
    Note that all DVD-Audio players play DVD-Video discs and that the majority of SACD players available currently are audio-only components (the Philips SACD-1000 and Sony DVP-S9000ES are exceptions). However, Sony is coming out with three DVD-Video-compatible SACD in the next month or two, and Marantz will be coming out with one as well. Finally, Sony's early SACD players only play stereo SACDs (e.g., the aforementioned 'S9000ES), but all newer models either released in the past few months or coming shortly will play multi-channel SACDs. Multi-channel releases are starting to hit the market.
    Hope this helps. Good luck!
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    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  3. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Johnny,
    I have the Panasonic RP91 playing through a Denon 5800 and I can say that the DVD-Audio discs I've heard have been quite good.
    I presently own the Corrs In Blue, Natalie Merchant Tigerlily, ELP BrainSalad Surgery, Steely Dan Two Against Nature and Jonatha Brooke's Steady Pull.
    The Corrs, Steely Dan and Jonatha Brooke all sound pretty good. The Natalie Merchant and ELP are pretty good but not great.
    I'm also waiting for two channel 24/192 to come out to see what that sounds like. The 24/176.4 on the Jonatha Brooke is good but not mind blowingly clear.
    Patrick
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    My DVD Collection
     
  4. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    I see. These are all very helpful first hand experiences. I myself am looking to adopt both DVD-Audio and SACD, but given the currently availability of multichannel on SACD, I'm investing in DVD audio first. I'm just trying to take the best path to equipment though.
    I've currently got two DVD players and neither have progressive scan capabilities, not a big deal since I don't have HDTV yet, but someday I will have quality video display and I will need progressive scan eventually.
    I was thinking of buying either the Technics A10 or the Denon 3300 and keeping it relatively cheap so that I can have a player dedicated to just DVD Audio for now and then investing in an SACD with progressive scan capabilitites later when I get an HDTV display and more SACD multichannel titles are available.
    Anyhow, those are my considerations, I'm a multichannel freak, I want both formats, I have a finite budget, and I want progressive scan (not quite now).
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    Somebody has to pay for retail businesses to let us walk in and audition high quality equipment side by side with our own dvd's and movies. I don't mind paying a premium to support this kind of service and convenience, I wish others would consider this when buying discounted b-stock merchandise from shady internet dealers.
    JKB
     
  5. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have a Technics DVD-A10 that I got from J & R for a mere $350 a couple months ago. Look for my full review in the "reviews" section here at the HTF. It think it's a great DVD player, and the DVD-A that I've heard (very little) sounds fantastic! I'm waiting for an ICBM for further DVD-A fun.
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    Philip Hamm
    Pat's the best!™
    AIM: PhilBiker
    click on the little green house to see the evolution of my home theater!
     

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