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Format observations on "Time Out"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark All, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    I have SACD, CD (1997 reissue), and vinyl (200-gram reissue) of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Time Out" and have listened to each quite a lot over the last couple of weeks. It's difficult for me to tell much of a difference between the SACD and CD versions, although the SACD version seems to extend a little better at the higher frequencies. What is surprising to me is how close playback quality is between the SACD and CD version. I'm generally not very impressed with the sound quality from a lot of CDs, but the CD sounds quite good in this case. On each version it is like hearing the original tapes, even picking up the occasional "clunk" sound or rustling when someone moved. The tape hiss is clearly evident on each version, which I kind of like because it shows the original recording was not tampered with. Anyone else have observations on these formats for this recording?
     
  2. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    WHICH SACD? Multi & 2CH, or 2CH only? I have the multi & LOVE it![​IMG]
     
  3. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    IMO, the sacd of "TIME OUT" is significantly better than the CD, though I hasten to add that it's a very nice CD, and IMO the multichannel mix should be reference for ambient mixes of older recordings. It does exactly what it should: maintains fidelity to the original mix while vastly expanding and opening up the soundstage and without creating distractions.

    Haven't heard the vinyl.
     
  4. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    Ditto! [​IMG]
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  6. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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  7. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Hey guys,
    I listened to the 2-channel SACD version of "Time Out" so can't comment on the multi-channel experience on this one. I would only compare the 2-channel versions in each format for the sake of consistency.

    Below is what I'm using for playback. Clues may lie there, but I have heard more considerable differences in other SACDs when comparing them to CD releases. My guess is that part of what I'm hearing is the CD version of "Time Out" is very well done in its reisue. Of the three versions I prefer the vinyl slightly. To me it's a toss-up between the SACD and CD right now.

    For CD:
    Rotel RMB-1075 amplifier
    Denon 3803 receiver as pre-pro (AL24 processing on in Pure Direct mode)
    Pioneer CDR (PDR-509) from toslink connection or
    Toshiba DVD (SD-9200) from coaxial connection (no difference can be heard between CD players though, right Lee? [​IMG] )

    For SACD:
    Sony DVD/SACD (NC650V)--the five-disc changer that was out a while ago with the video circuit that can't be turned off.

    The SACD player I have may be a weak link in this respect, but the majority of people may be likely to end up with something similar in the next couple of years as SACD gains acceptance. I thought about getting the new 999ES model but spent money on a new turntable instead. I guess the AL24 processing might help the CD sound as well.
     
  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  9. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Speakers: Polk RTi150 for mains
    Wire: Better Cables bi-wire (10 ft lengths)
    Interconnects: Monster (200 series at 3 ft lengths)

     
  10. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I found that the SACD bested the remastered CD on my system, with the remastered CD still sounding great (meaning if the SACD never came along I would still be happy with the remastered CD). If you upgrade your SACD player a bit though, you may notice more of a difference.

    The multichannel on this disc is very tastfully done, never going over board. If you already own the stereo SACD, I would not bother picking up the multichannel as well though, as it is not really a new or ear opening experience, just nicely done for music of this vintage.

    J
     
  11. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  12. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    To me "Time Out" is one of those timeless recordings one can listen to again and again and not get bored with. Sheer genius. I think people have been saying this since 1959 though. It turns out I actually did have the multi-channel version and didn't pay any attention to it because I was intent on doing the two-channel comparisons. I didn't realize there were two separate discs released for this one though.

    I had thought for quite a while that the SACD performance from my current player was very good. SACDs sound much better than the same titles on CDs for many recordings I have, but my experience with "Time Out" seems to show I'm not getting the full benefit of the SACD experience. It makes sense that the inexpensive multi-channel DACs in the NC650V are adequate but nothing special and were only there to give a taste of the format's potential. I guess it's time to consider buying the 999ES again.
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    All,

    I feel the remastered CD is quite good (I am continually impressed with the Sony/Legacy SBM-remastered CDs), but the SACD is definitely better. I have both the multi-channel and original stereo SACDs, and I have not noticed a difference between the stereo tracks on these SACDs. Both are noticeably better than the remastered CD. The remastered CD kills the old Columbia Jazz Masterpieces CD, however.


    Lee said about the Sony DVP-NC650V:

     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  15. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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  16. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rich said:

     
  18. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mark, great. Looking forward to hearing the results. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    I did some switching and testing and have come to the following conclusions: The SACD from the NC650V is actually quite good; Denon's AL24 processing really does work; and Sony's non-ES DACs really suck for CD playback.

    I ran a set of RCA cables from the NC650Vs analog outputs, thus using its internal DAC for CD playback. Just as with the megachangers, the bass was boomy, the highs tinny and overly sharp, and everything was "veiled" compared with what I'm used to now. Playback of the same CDs from the coaxial digital output on the NC650V to the receiver picked up a similar gain in sound quality to my Pioneer and Toshiba units. The AL24 (Burr-Brown) processing does just what Denon says it does--provides a more analog smoothness and accuracy to the digital source by interpolation. That's what I was hearing with "Time Out" in its CD version. It's not quite up to the level of SACD in that it can't extend the high frequencies the way SACD does and isn't as lively. I particularly notice how well SACD does with cymbals and piano, which sound almost exactly the way they do live when played SACD is the playback medium. They are a little duller with AL24 processing, but not too much. All in all, I find SACD to be more lively, and the AL24 processed CD sound closer to the sound of vinyl. Without processing, the sound from cymbals and other high frequencies on CD are sort of "jagged" sounding, like they get cut off and don't sustain the way they should.

    The versions of the Police albums are altogether better in the SACD releases in every way than the remastered CD versions I picked up a couple of years ago.
     

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