Tommy: SACD or DVD-A

Discussion in 'Music' started by Jack Keck, May 31, 2005.

  1. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    HI,

    I just ordered one of these Universal players (Samsung DVD-HD841). I am man old Who fan. I even saw the first American performance of Tommy at teh Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1969. However, I'm not interested in getting two new copies of this right off the bat.

    So which do you recommend?
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You might want the video stuff on the DVD-A. Other than that, I think the content and the mix is the same.

    Me? I don't want to have to turn on my TV to "listen" to Tommy, so I got the SACD. I like it a lot.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    41,450
    Likes Received:
    7,265
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    I don't have either an SACD or DVD-A player but I own a number of DVD-As which I enjoy on my DVD player.

    Tommy is one of them. It sounds awesome. A real flashback to my youth. One of those albums that got played a LOT...to the point where you know every nuance. This mix brings it all back...and even opens open some instruments that I never heard before. Great mix!
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've got the SACD... never compared the DVD-A, so I can't help you there. Hopefully, the DVD-A includes a full-resolution version of the original stereo mix, as you're definitely gonna want this.

    It's a fascinating release, and the multichannel mix is practically a different album. The ambience is dry as a bone (practically all reverb gone) and with many different elements brought to the fore. It's about as different from the original, in-your-face, drenched-in-wet-reverb mix as one could possibly get. I suspect you're gonna do a bit of a double-take when you first play the m/c mix, but I also think you're gonna like it a great deal, or at least find it a very interesting alternative to the original mix. But it's not the "Tommy" you know by any stretch. In fact, the m/c mix is such a different experience, it's like getting two albums for the price of one.

    So, my advice: get whichever release (SACD or DVD-A) that your system best supports, but only get the DVD-A if it has a full-resolution stereo mix! If it's not at least 24/96 (and preferably 24/192), then I suspect the SACD will be superior.
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,195
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman
    I have the SACD, which is great.

    I didn't even realize that there was a DVD-A -- what's the video content?
     
  6. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Hmmm... I was thinking about getting the DVD, but sounds like I should get the SACD instead -- didn't realize it was out on SACD. Don't have a DVD-A player myself.

    BTW, is it a hybrid SACD?

    _Man_
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil
    Yes it is a hybrid
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,850
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    33 minute interview with Pete, lyrics, photo gallery and PDF's of the original lyrics for viewing on your pc.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, but I have enough DVD-A's that I don't want to have to remember if that "trick" will work or not for each one.

    I think *some* recording companies (Sony on their DualDiscs) call 16/48 "advanced resolution stereo" !

    [​IMG]
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,850
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    Mis-understanding. I meant 96/24 was listed as the stereo resolution for Tommy only, not all in general. Oops
     
  11. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also..... for this release Pete Townsend did the entire multichannel mix in 24/96 PCM. The SA-CD multichannel mix was sourced from the PCM master. This was commonly published information at the time of release. You can find further details here or on the SH forum, and there may have been a write-up in ICE as well.

    That being said, the DVD-A multichannel mix at 24/96 should give you a better representation as to exactly what Pete was listening to in the studio. The SA-CD had to go an additional PCM-DSD conversion. I have heard both, and own the SA-CD simply because it was released first and was on sale at Best Buy. Both sounded good to me, so your choice should be made based on price or which one of your Hi-res players is of better quality. Audio memory is very short, so if anyone tells you one release in Hi-res sounds better than another take it with a very very very big grain of salt.

    In stereo, there was not any information released by the tracks on both the SA-CD and DVD-A were probably sourced from the original analog master (and at the worse in the case of SA-CD, 24/96 PCM from the original master).

    J
     
  12. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    According to SH Forums, the stereo analog tapes were converted to PCM for the DVD-A release, and also mastered directly to DSD for the SACD release.

    I just want to point out again for those who've never heard this release, if you love "Tommy" from many years of listening enjoyment, then the original mix should be given a great amount of deference in your purchase as the multichannel remix (while interesting and often very compelling) is a totally different animal. Personally, it doesn't really connect for me, sounding somewhat sterile and homogenized and absolutely dry as a bone, totally lacking the in-your-face quality of the original and its groovy wet reverb. But I do listen to it on occasion (and usually switch back to the stereo track after a few songs). In short, IMO, in this case the multichannel remix is only a really cool "extra feature", worth listening to on occasion, but in no way will replace the original mix.
     
  13. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you "dig Tommy" and happen to be anywhere near Cleveland, you should stop by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They have a big two floor exhibit on all things Tommy (mostly the album, but also some on the movie, musical, actual pinball machines, etc). I really enjoyed seeing all of the newspaper clips, hand written lyric sheets, and other memorabilia.

    Chris
     
  14. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I seem to recall Steve Guttenberg (not the actor[​IMG] ) reviewed both releases in HTMag and found the DVD-A to be superior...but I can't remember the specific details on why and I can't find the review anywhere to offer a link to it so if anyone has it maybe they can type up the relevant details.
     
  15. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,597
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    CJ
    is this a permanent fixture there? tommy is just about my favorite album of all time, and i'd love to check this out.

    i had no idea there was a dvd-a out. i already have the sacd, i'll be picking up the dvd-a for sure. now all i need is a dvd-a or sacd player [​IMG]

    CJ
     
  16. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,871
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Meant more as a comment on the State of the Hi Rez (Marketing) Union than anything personal: Interesting that, only 15 posts in to a thread featuring guys who actually know what hi rez is, there are a couple of peeps who weren't aware that there's a DVD-A of Tommy.

    Attention any other 563A owners: the Tommy DVD-A is one of the titles that wouldn't play until after the firmware upgrade that got a lotta attention elsewhere on this Forum last year is performed.

    -p
     
  17. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ah...here's part of that review:

     
  18. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Hmmm... That's an interesting review there. Thanks, Kevin (even though I don't have DVD-A playback and won't be doing the MCH thing yet).

    The review sorta muddles things for me as he finds the SACD warmer, more analog-like and less spacious, less immediate, less airy, etc. compared to the DVD-A -- and he claims it's not subtle either.

    I wonder though what gear and setup he has for the comparative review? I also wonder what are his personal preferences/tastes for music as well as audio playback. I've never read his reviews before, so have no context to help understand his comments better.

    Is it probable that he's always prefered redbook CD over vinyl, for instance? Certainly, his comments about the SACD come across like vinyl would be inferior to hi-rez digital, if not redbook CD.

    _Man_
     
  19. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's not the impression I got from his interview with Townshend back in 2003, he agreed with Pete that redbook sounds harsh & brittle compared to quality analog.....draw your own conclusions.
     
  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is why some people prefer SACD in general over DVD-A: the impression that it has more of an analog feel.

    But ... unfortunately my impression from his review is that he doesn't like SACD in general. The reason why, is that I have also heard that the mix is the same, and scientifically, there actually is no reason then why the DVD-A should sound any better or worse than the SACD (especially since he said the differences were not subtle). Both are high res, and both are substantially better than CD. I'd really like him to test these two discs in a (uh oh) level matched, double blind A/B/X test. I'd bet top dollar he'd fail to hear any differences. [​IMG]

    Some people just don't like SACD. Some people don't like Sony either. ymmv...

    *Added*- I was just thinking, that when I have questions about which version of a recording to get, I go to Steve Hoffman's site. Here's a different perspective:

    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/sh...ighlight=tommy

    One interesting thing that came up was the 75 kHz cutoff used for the SACD. So because Felix knew that, he says the highs on the SACD sound rolled off. Yeah, OK. Except that later on in the thread, someone rightly says that for a 24/96 DVD-A, the highs are filtered off at a lower 48 kHz, so Felix's comment that the highs sound rolled off because of the 75 kHz filter for SACD makes no sense.

    One other person makes the excellent comment, that hey, if the DVD-A version sounds better on your rig, maybe your SACD playback is simply just not as good. That's as valid a reason I've heard as any for the apparent differences between the two...
     

Share This Page