Vinyl Versus DVD-A / SACD

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jordan_MacM, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Jordan_MacM

    Jordan_MacM Auditioning

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    Hello everybody, my name is Jordan, and I'm new to this forum. As you can tell from the title of this thread, my question deals with the sound quality of vinyl versus hi-def digital audio formats. I haven't been able to get an SACD / DVD-A player, so my only experience with digital sound has been from CDs (which, as I'm sure you can imagine hasn't been that enjoyable of an experience [​IMG] ) Meanwhile, on the analog side, I have experiemented with vinyl and type-IV audiocassettes, of which I prefer the former. Does SACD / DVD-A really duplicate the warmth and audio fidelity that analog sound has? Would it be worthwhile to get a hi-def audio format now, or are these formats slowly dying out?
     
  2. Dean L

    Dean L Stunt Coordinator

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    First thing, take into account what type of music you listen too.
    Look around and see what is available on both formats.
    I mostly listen to old school and newer underground punk and hard rock, so as much as I love the DVD-A/SACD concept, hardly any of it if any is available on either format (no Ramones, no Black Halos, no Dead Boys, no MC5's, no Dirt Bombs, no Oblivians, no THE BONES, etc for mwah available) which has kept me away from getting a DVD-A or SACD player. So if it is not on vinyl, I have to settle for the standard CD.
     
  3. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    DVD-A and SACD are not dying out. They are dead. As far as I know, these Hi-Res formats are being abandon. It is a shame because I own about 10 of each disc and the sound quality is amazing - better than anything I've heard. I also spin vinyl and that seems to be the enduring format of audiophiles. I guess there just aren't enough of us out here to keep these other great Hi-Res formats alive.[​IMG]

    I'm kinda hoping that prices on DVD-A and SACD discs drop to half or less once all the stores start dumping them, after manufacturing has completely halted (if it hasn't already).

    You don't need to be a prophet to see what's in store for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray...
     
  4. Jordan_MacM

    Jordan_MacM Auditioning

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    Thanks for your advice! It's a shame that record companies didn't advertise the two formats more, I only heard about them a year ago from a completely accidental google search. I think that if the music industry advertised the two formats better, as well as released more low-end, cheap systems for Joe Bag-O-Doughnuts, people would have more readily adopted the next gen of audio. I guess I'll stick with vinyl then, if that's the case. No use in buying a dead format.

    On a completely different note:
    I'm not sure how familiar you all are with the freeware sound program "Audacity", but I know it supports recording sound in PCM 96 khz sampling rate / 24-bit sampling format from any analog or digital source. Wouldn't it be theoretically possible to make your own stereo DVD-A from vinyl by recording the analog sound, then burning the digital files to a disk?
     
  5. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    I wouldn't blame it on the lack of advertising or cheap equipment. I was one of the first ones who ran out and bought the Pioneer DV-563A, when it first came out at $180, 3 or so years ago. Blame it instead on the desire of most people, these days, to listen to sub-par sound quality (MP3s) while on the go and their desire to download it for nothing or next to...

    I have Audacity, but I didn't know that. Theoretically, I guess you're right, but I wouldn't count on capturing the recording in true 96/24 reality.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    IMO both formats can sound very much like analog, if the recording engineer wants them to. Among other techniques, using tubed electronics and/or analog tape to record the initial tracks can really "warm up" the sound you hear via any digital format (record an LP or cassette to CD-R and you'll see what I mean). In the past five years or so there has been a resurgence in making recordings like this.

    As far as buying a hi-res player? Mmmm, if you're into jazz/classical and you only listen in stereo, go for it. Rock & pop? Forget it......which is too bad because IMO those two genres can sound awesome in surround, though improvements in stereo can be iffy since most rock/pop isn't always recorded that well.

    Dean: (unfortunately) I only know of one punk album on 5.1 dvd-audio: The Shape Of Punk To Come by Refused. I wonder what Sonic Youth or NOFX would be like from five speakers........

    FYI: the past couple of years a lot of bands *are* mixing their music into surround form, but rather than sacd or dvd-audio, they are releasing it on regular dvd with Dolby and/or DTS tracks.

    *************************************************

    For clues on how surround music is perceived by others, check out this article about the Talking Heads DualDiscs boxset (scroll down):

    http://www.austin360.com/music/conte..._12-08-05.html

    The author keeps sort of wondering why someone should buy this boxset rather than another previous one - I don't think he realizes all the work that went into the surround mixes i.e. IMO that's the main reason this set is being sold. >>> These discs are now being sold individually.

    Speaking of nasty DualDiscs, the same article mentions how the CD side wouldn't play in a $1,000+ Arcam player & certain other CD players. [​IMG] Technically speaking, because the plastic is thinner and the pits in the aluminum aren't spaced the same, that side isn't a CD. In fact for this reason Philips won't allow the use of the official Compact Disc logo on the disc or the packaging.

    FYI: on a positive note, the surround mixes on these discs have received extremly good reviews from just about everyone who has heard them - the phrase "demo material" pops up a lot.

    Save some $$ on your next 5.1 purchase: "DTS Announces Promotion For Surround Music Titles" They also dropped their prices on these discs on their own site (the price changes don't affect the special EMI/DTS Signature Series titles). Don't mean to look like a shill by doing this but since i'm always bitching about lack of promotion for these formats, I don't want to look like a hypocrite.
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Forgot to add this:

    Dark Side Of The Moon on dvd-audio in its original - & aggessively mixed [​IMG] - quad form: at quadraphonicquad.com (great site for all formats) and AVSForum.

    A 96kHz/24bit 4.1 surround mix, plus Dolby & DTS tracks plus a cool slideshow. I've heard this disc and it's awesome.

    Here's a detailed article on how Alan Parsons mixed this quad recording.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    As can CD.
     
  9. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    I have this disc. It is incredible.
     
  10. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Yep.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    If only Capitol/EMI had released this dvd-audio title themselves.

    While it wouldn't have magically caused surround music to become an overnight sensation, it sure would have caused discussion even among non-audiophile music fans, especially for the fact it could be played on the millions of dvd-video-based 5.1 systems out there. And in the opinion of many, the quad mix on it is much more interesting to listen to than the sacd's.
     
  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    deleted by LJ (moved this to the music forum)
     
  13. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Hyperbole, at best. Neither DVD-A or SACD has been abandoned, there are new releases every week. They are and will continue to be niche formats, but they are no more dead than vinyl, which is also a niche format.

    One thing that is correct is you need to check availablity. Classical, old school jazz and blues are much more widely available of SACD or DVD-A than rock, punk or metal and I don't recall seeing any real old-school C&W on SACD or DVD-A.

    But there is enough classic and new rock available on hi-res formats that I decided to get a hi-res player (a Newcastle SD-860). Alan Parsons, Alice in Chains, Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Metallica, Queensryche, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Santana, Journey, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Depeche Mode, Allman Bros., Steely Dan, Marvin Gaye, Rolling Stones, Sting, Roxy Music, Deep Purple, Peter Gabrial, Ryan Adams, Mark Knofler, Sheryl Crow, Seal and Blue Man Group are just some of the artists and bands that have released at least one album in a hi-rez format.
     
  14. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I have a few dualdiscs Lance. I have two NIN dualdiscs and a Franz Ferdinad dualdisc. The NIN offers DVD-Audio whereas the Franz Ferdinad does not, which really dissapointed me. I should have payed closer attension to the case.

    Secondly; the playback abilities are limited as you said Lance. I can't play them in my Pioneer Elite PD-65 or my Toshiba SD-9000, the two best disk spinners I have. They do work fine in my old school Philips and Magnavox players, but those things play anything. And of course because they are old they don't sound the best, but they do a descent job considering they were made in 1987, 88. Old audio equipment is just funny to have and twice as funny to use.
     
  15. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Of course, if you want to sample at 96-24 you need to have a soundcard capable of that. I'd like to know if there's a plugin available to decode CD-4 discrete quad vinyl in the digital domain, which would be much cleaner than the analog decoders (all of which are 25+ years old by now).
     
  16. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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  17. DustinTaj

    DustinTaj Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, wholeheartedly. The formats aren't dead by a long shot. They have, unfortunately, become niche formats, but that's okay with me. It primarily boils down to what kind of music do you listen to?

    For me, I decided only last week, that there is enough existing software available for me to dive into the SACD / DVD-A world. So, I ordered a new DVD-A/SACD player (the Denon dvd-2930ci ). I know I may not see everything I want released in either format, but what's available now and the few things I'm sure to see released will make me very happy.

    I'm looking forward to the new high-res DVD-A Doors box set due out in November. There will continue to be things released that I will want, so to me it's definitely worth getting into. It's just a decision you have to make for yourself. Dualdisk may very well issue lots of high-res DVD-A on the DVD side, so it may even get better yet. In my opinion, it's no more dead than vinyl, which I enjoy as well.

    -DD
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    [​IMG]

    Detailed article about the Doors boxset which comes out 11.21.06:

    "Rhino Announces The Doors’ Perception DVD-Audio Box Set"

    Quickie version:

    * CD+dvd-audio set, in a digipak

    * 5.1 and stereo hi-res tracks that use the 96kHz/24bit format

    * DTS and Dolby tracks

    this next feature will be cool for some people, scary for others:

    * remixed - not remastered, remixed - "40th anniversary" stereo tracks, with NEW parts added along with stylistic differences. These will only be on the dvd though (the CD can't hold everything). The original 2.0 tracks will be included too.

    * the first album will finally be heard at the correct pitch.

    Read more about this here.
     
  19. DustinTaj

    DustinTaj Stunt Coordinator

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    Yep, Lance. That's the one. I'm quite excited about that release. Knowing that was coming made my decision to buy a DVD-A / SACD player all that much easier. I think it will be great.
     
  20. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I am carefully hoping that the dvd-audio format will be used for special releases like this & won't be totally abandoned by large labels like Warner......because labels like they own much (most?) of the best rock/pop music ever made. Independents also put out some great stuff too and some have issued their own titles.

    **************************************************
    This is kind of off-topic but just in case some members here don't visit the Music forum to read the thread for this album:

    While I do like hi-res sound, I like surround music just a bit more and wanted to plug this new DTS-only CD+dvd release on the DTS Entertainment label (if sacd had anything I liked I would do the same....which means I also don't plug the many dvd-a titles I don't like! [​IMG] ). I ordered this for myself & should have it by Tuesday.

    If you like electronic/chill-out music this might interest someone here:

    [​IMG]
    BT's This Binary Universe

    Homepage: thisbinaryuniverse.com Includes a trailer for the video content (live action + CG).

    Customer reviews: DigitalAudioWorks.com/This Binary Universe

    Review for the musically inclined This one uses so many specialized music terms I only understood about half of it.
     

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