Hi-Res, should I even bother?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Garrett Lundy, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    So my DVD player sh!t the bed [​IMG] So I need to buy a new one. I have been hearing about Hi-Res for years and have begun researching inexpensive universal players. But today, on a whim, i decide to browse the music section at Amazon.com to see what I should order with my new player......

    There are 3 DVD-A titles I want. [​IMG]

    There 1 SACD I want (and its stereo only) [​IMG]

    Then, assuming that Amazon didn't list all of its stock properly, I headed over to my favorite labels websites to see what they have:

    Chesky: 1 SACD, No DVDA

    Telarc: 1 DTS recording, no DVDA, and 5 SACDs (including 1 2-channel)

    DTS: 2 Queen DVDA's

    So now I have a few simple questions.....

    1. Are there more SACDsDVDAs available and where do i buy them?

    2. If this is an acurate repressentation of all available Hi-Res, tell me why I should bother spending the extra money on a universal player over a regular DVD player. I mean, after 6 years or so... this selection is f#*king sad dude.
     
  2. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    The selection is quite limited, I'm sorry to say. Despite that, I find it worth the effort. However, if you are not a fan of classical or jazz, chances are you will feel frustrated by the hi-res offerings out there.

    www.sa-cd.net lists every SACD (purportedly) available worldwide. More are added all the time, but classical is probably 65% of the overall release list, with jazz at around 20% and the rest mixed.

    Unfortunately, there is no correspondingly helpful DVD-A site. Music Direct and Acoustic Sounds have websites that carry a fairly broad DVD-A selection.

    I have a universal player, as I didn't want to be limited to one format, but if universals didn't exist, I'd favour an SACD player as there are far more titles that interest me in that format.

    One more thing. While I'd like everyone to get on the bandwagon (would possibly mean more titles for me to buy--selfish me), when my friends ask if it's worth it, I respond with a question. Do you make time to sit and listen to music critically? If so, then hi-res is worth the effort (and, owing to various idiotic reasons, it is an effort). However, if you almost never just sit and listen, then the higher quality in two channel will be wasted (as you'd only likely notice if you're paying attention) and MCH will be pointless, as you have to "sit and listen" to benefit from the MCH mix (as you do for a movie).
     
  3. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    One thing to consider is the quality of your stereo. Much of the improved fidelity of hi-res is lost on even "average" systems. In fact, it's possible your system will sound worse because you can't connect via a digital cable. Depending on your receiver/processor/speaker configuration and capabilities, bass management and time alignment may be compromised.

    I don't begrudge anyone who is happy with their hi-res, but I am staying away until a) a digital connection standard is agreed upon and b) there are more titles to choose from.
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I'm a classical lover. So to me it's obvious: Sack-Dee is wonderful, DVD-A has no catalog. But for those not like me, the world of high-rez audio may be very limited in scope.

    Finally - after several decades - I get a break being a classical music fan![​IMG]
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I like classic. But SACD assumes everybody loves the same 20 classical works!
     
  6. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I don't think that's quite fair.

    There are some 1,000+ classical titles our of 2,800+ and climbing on SACD. There is also a nice selection of jazz. if you like either of those genres then I think it's a no-brainer. There is a decent amount of classic rock and pop but
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    In my experience average systems benefit very nicely from a move up to Super Audio. There is a lot of extra midrange information in SACD.
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I really enjoy my 30 or so hi-res discs, mostly DVD-A's, a few SACD's and all m/c, and I'm thinking of upgrading my Pioneer 563 to a better universal player. Even so, this whole mess has been nothing but a big tease to me. Should have been many more titles available by now. But it looks like I'm going to go down with the ship. And Dual Disc looks like nothing more than a small life boat with a BIG hole in it. I'm glad I took the dive, but if I had to do it again? Anyway, as for what you should do? If there are no more than a few titles out now that you would buy, then I say pass. Otherwise, you might spend more money on titles you really don't want just because they are all thats available. But, then again, uni players aren't that much more than regular dvd players. Just control the spending on the software side.
     
  9. ElevSkyMovie

    ElevSkyMovie Supporting Actor

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    No.
     
  10. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    This is some text from another thread on the subject that I think applies here:

    I think what people here are forgetting is that Sony has promoted SACD as an audiophile format. They ran print ads in Stereophile and The Absolute Sound. They gave interviews to same and started to show up at Home Entertainment shows and they seeded the professional studios with workstations and helped subsidize audiophile labels with new releases and original recordings.

    So if you look at the marketing of the discs at such standard brick & mortar stores you will notice inventory fading.

    The real question is will this niche product stay with us for a while. I believe it will for these reasons:

    1. Most major recording studios have DSD equipment now so doing the recording in DSD is no problem. Also, Sonoma workstations now offer a full 24 tracks so editing is no problem, although audiophile labels rarely use that many tracks.

    2. While hit or miss on pop/rock titles, there is a proverbial motherload or jazz and classical releases which is important for the audiophile community. There are over 2,800 total titles available.

    3. New high end players are coming out all the time and universal players are getting cheaper. Companies like Sony, Marantz, Meitner and several dozen other mfrs have players and are bringing out new models. We saw the new Marantz models recently and sound quality is definitely improving.

    4. There is a large base of audiophile record labels supporting the format. Universal has stated on several occasions they will release 150 titles this year on Super Audio. Some labels like Channel Classics only record in DSD and only release hybrid discs.

    I would have like to have seen SACD replace CD so we would all get better sound quality and more value for our money, but with the music downloading genie out of the bottle, this is the best we can do.

    For those of us that like SACD, we should enjoy the music as this is probably the latest generation's version of DCC or MoFi-great sound targeted at a niche of music lovers.
     
  11. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Paul is right on the money here.
     
  12. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    In my experience it is barelly if at all perceptable. I agree however that if you wanna "enjoy" hi rez, you must find a way to sit down and listen.
     
  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Lewis what gear are you using? (both hardware and software)

    I've yet to meet a system that does not benefit in some way...
     
  14. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    Yourmusic.com has a fair number of SACD hybrids - and they're only $5.99/disc! (the "catch": it's a club, where you queue up your picks, and they ship one CD/month. You can also order a la carte and get them sooner, but they will still charge you the monthly $5.99 whether you have a CD in the queue to ship or not, until you cancel.)

    This is a low-cost way to sample more SACDs, if you're "on the fence" about their value or the resolution improvement that's available on your system.

    I've picked up a few, and I don't even have a SACD player yet - or the 6 analog inputs required in my current pre/pro, but at that price, why not get the redbook and hi-rez version at the same time?
     
  15. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    Although expensive, Acoustic Sounds has a large selection of high-rez audio to look through.
     
  16. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Acoustic Sounds is excellent. Don't miss the APO recordings in hirez. They are superb.
     
  17. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Yes we know, you're on record saying that a difference is easily audiable on a "boombox".
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    What boombox palys SACDs?
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Garrett,

    Some friends and I used a box that has RCA inputs which we connected to an SACD player with interconnect. It was surprising but you could still hear the benefits from hirez. Try it yourself.
     
  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Lewis,

    You seem to be speculating here and not giving us any concrete information. It's hard to see how to respond if I don't know the hardware and software you used. Just trying to help. [​IMG]
     

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