What am I missing on DVD-A in sound quality?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Raimand, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Steve Raimand

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Gang, I purchased a Sony 555ES last month and have been eagerly snatching up SACD disks. The format has rejuvenated my love of music.

    This weekend however I also grabbed Nightfly by Donald Fagen and Fragile by Yes, both DVD-A's as these were great CD's and I was intrigued at the newly remastered versions.

    My DVD player is not set up to read DVD-A's. I have been playing the DTS and DD layers and have been very impressed with the sound.

    My question then is what am I missing sound quality wise by not being able to play the actual advanced resolution layers?

    Have any of you compared the various formats on these particular disks?

    Bottom line though.....thank God for both SACD and DVD-A.

    I haven't watched a DVD in a while now since the 555ES purchase because listening to music is such a blast again.
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with Phil- some of those DTS tracks sound much better than I thought they would, particularly the Queen's A Night At the Opera. But DVD-A is definitely the way to go.
     
  4. Steve Raimand

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Phil and Mike.....

    Phil when you mention that the DTS is close, can you describe what you think is missing in this format versus the true DVD-A?

    I have just been so impressed with the SACD format that I want to understand the sonic nuances of the difference between DTS and DVD-A.

    I am looking at a new DVD megachanger with DVD-A capablity (Kenwood maybe?)

    Thanks for your help.
     
  5. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,
    I've used "Fragile" but not "Nightfly." In general I've been more impressed by the multichannel tracks on DVD-A but more impressed by the two channel tracks available on SACD. I'm not sure why, but guess it's just got something to do with the mixing done on the DVD-A discs I've got. From my listening, I'd say it's really not worth the expense to buy DVD-A discs and only use them for the DTS or DD tracks. So, this might cause you to want a DVD-A capable player. The latest edition of "The Perfect Vision" writes very favorably of the Panasonic XP-50 for both video and DVD-A audio quality on a budget. You might want to do a search on this site about the Kenwood megachangers--it might cause you to strike them from your list. I don't know if they've come out with something new recently though.
     
  6. Steve Raimand

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mark I know about the issues regarding the Kenwood from the threads......scary.

    The problem is that I have "committed" to a megachanger to handle all of the DVD's. (read WAF)

    So are you running a separate DVD-A and SACD player split into your analog inputs or are you using a universal player?

    I can't go back on my Sony. I do love that player.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve, I don't have the Nightfly or Fragile DVD-Audio discs, but I am DVD-Audio-capable. [​IMG] I concur with others here in that the DTS tracks on DVD-Audio discs are surprisingly good, but the DVD-Audio tracks are a clear step up. In my opinion, Dolby Digital doesn't hold a candle to DVD-Audio.

    One more thing. Don't forget that DVD-Audio offers high-resolution stereo. Not all DVD-Audio discs have discrete stereo tracks, but many do. Those stereo tracks are considerably than corresponding CDs.
     
  8. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,
    I haven't heard of anything coming out from Kenwood for quite a long time. Maybe it's worth waiting to see if they release a new generation Sovereign megachanger soon? I haven't seen any indication they are planning something new though. Kenwood's are the only megachangers I know of that do DVD-A. I don't blame you at all for not wanting to give up your SACD player. I guess what I'd ask myself in your position is whether DVD-A is worth it right now. You may experience none of the problems other users have complained about with the Kenwoods, and I think their warranty is two years(?). I got into DVD-A because I'd bought a Toshiba SD-9200 for video a couple of years ago and decided one weekend to take advantage of the built in capability for DVD-A as well, having enjoyed the quality of CD playback on the unit. The first DVD-A I bought was "Rumours" and I was delighted with the performance. Then, I bought a Sony five disc SACD player to enjoy the wider selection of jazz titles available on SACD and a couple of months ago bought a Panasonic CP-72 five disc DVD changer for it's superb video playback quality. It does DVD-A too, but I don't use it for that. I do use a couple of Radio Shack composite video switchers for the multichannel switching of the DVD-A and SACD from the Toshiba and Sony units. KeithH (above) has a similar setup to mine. I'm not sure which of the four (Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer, or Onkyo) universal contenders has the best DVD-A quality. That could be a good alternative over a megachanger.
     
  9. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Recently I listened to the DVDA of The Band's Music From Big Pink 4 ways while comparing the song "Chest Fever".
    The Advanced Resolution Stereo track, Multi A.R. track, DD 5.1 track and the DTS 5.1 track.

    The Advanced Resolution tracks blew away both the DD and the DTS tracks. They both sounded pretty horrible when compared to the DVD Audio tracks.

    This is the first real example I've seen where the DD/DTS tracks just don't match up at all to the Hi-Rez tracks.

    Don't buy Big Pink unless you have a DVDA player. It's that noticeable.
     
  10. Steve Raimand

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks everyone, just another excuse to fill the rack with more toys.......[​IMG]

    I thought the DTS sounded great on these two, but if the advanced resolution is that much better, than I'll just jump on board.

    Phil mentioned that he thought that the DTS and advanced resolution layers were close on Fragile. I would then assume that the differences would vary title to title.

    I am tortured by the "what am I missing" conundrum.

    Part of the fun of this nasty habit of ours.
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    6,001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think for older recordings, most listeners will find DTS more than acceptable if the title is well mastered and authored.

    That said, if the source is good there is always the potential for the high-res to make an improvement.

    If you take the plunge now plan on spending some cash on a high-end player with bass mgmt or an ICBM. I'm assuming you don't have full-range speakers all around.
     
  12. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 1999
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've only a few non DVD-A DTS discs vs about 25 DVD-A so I can't speak too much about a quality difference, if there is one. My DTS are probably good ones sonics wise (Gaucho/Police/7th Sojourn/Venus & Mars).

    Just moving on to more hi-rez titles by going DVD-A should be worth it though. There are some keepers out there beyond Nightfly & Fragile.
     

Share This Page