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pete321's picture
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RE: SACD

The_Lhc wrote:
Now, you might well argue, well in that case I want the better mastering, in which case that's currently the only reason to need hi-res format support.

I agree, but you won't get better mastering for the mass market, they don't care. We do and therefore a niche audiophile market exists for CD and hi-res formats. But within those formats there are different ideas of what represents good mastering. SHM-CD's for example I think are generally better than the original CD, but can be a bit brash. SHM-SACD's on the other hand, I've found to be generally very good. I have an XRCD release of Private Dancer by Tina Turner, if all CD's sounded like that, then great. With Mobile Fidelity, my taste is the opposite to SHM releases, I usually prefer their CD titles to the SACD releases? However, in general, I maintain for my ears the character that SACD releases put on music with their DSD mastering is superior to any other I've heard.

My old Yamaha Z7 could decode the DSD signal from my player via HDMI and sounded good, however you're limited by the stereo abilities (I don't like surround music) of an AV amp. I recently had a change of direction with movies and music, the Z7 has gone now. SACD's decoded by my modded Marantz and played via my Naim Nait XS sound far better than through the Z7.

Next on my list though is definately the Mytek Stereo 192 DSD-DAC so I can play the DSD files on my PC without any PCM conversion.

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RE: SACD

The_Lhc wrote:

manicm wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

manicm wrote:
2. I still maintain even for SACD disc playback, if you want the best out of the format, most universal Blu-ray players i.e. even your CAs and Oppos won't cut it because their internal DACs convert the DSD to PCM. They output DSD through their HDMI and then you'll need a DSD compatible AV receiver

So what's the problem with that?

Generally speaking it's the cheaper DSD decoders that convert to PCM instead of those that maintain the DSD stream, and apparently the cheaper ones don't sound as good.

Yeah but if they're sending DSD out through the HDMI and you're plugging that into an AV receiver that can decode the DSD what's the problem with that?

That's precisely what I said.

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RE: SACD

manicm wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

manicm wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

manicm wrote:
2. I still maintain even for SACD disc playback, if you want the best out of the format, most universal Blu-ray players i.e. even your CAs and Oppos won't cut it because their internal DACs convert the DSD to PCM. They output DSD through their HDMI and then you'll need a DSD compatible AV receiver

So what's the problem with that?

Generally speaking it's the cheaper DSD decoders that convert to PCM instead of those that maintain the DSD stream, and apparently the cheaper ones don't sound as good.

Yeah but if they're sending DSD out through the HDMI and you're plugging that into an AV receiver that can decode the DSD what's the problem with that?

That's precisely what I said.

I know but you seemed to be arguing against using a blu-ray/universal player for SACD because of DSD/PCM conversion but in this case there wouldn't be any issue though?

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RE: SACD

pete321 wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:
Now, you might well argue, well in that case I want the better mastering, in which case that's currently the only reason to need hi-res format support.

I agree, but you won't get better mastering for the mass market, they don't care. We do and therefore a niche audiophile market exists for CD and hi-res formats.

You do realise of course, that most, if not all mastering is at 24 bit or higher nowadays? The recording is then compressed to fit onto a CD, so the master and the CD will sound the same. The only time a high res file will sound 'different' is when a different master has been used than that to make the CD or the master has been remixed to sound different. These masters will retain every bit of their sound quality even when lossy compression is used, right down to the point where audible compression artifacts appear.

Buy high res for the right reasons and those can only be if the high res masters are exclusively released on those formats, but of course they are not, they are used to create CDs and mp3s also.

Differences exist because they have been engineered to exist and are not 'better' per se, although people convince themselves otherwise, because of the marketing spin, after all, they're more expensive so must be better, right?

The facts are out there for all to see, but it is for each individual to decide wether or not to use this information when making a purchase. Don't forget to factor in the increased storage cost too.

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RE: SACD

Overdose wrote:

pete321 wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:
Now, you might well argue, well in that case I want the better mastering, in which case that's currently the only reason to need hi-res format support.

I agree, but you won't get better mastering for the mass market, they don't care. We do and therefore a niche audiophile market exists for CD and hi-res formats.

You do realise of course, that most, if not all mastering is at 24 bit or higher nowadays? The recording is then compressed to fit onto a CD, so the master and the CD will sound the same. The only time a high res file will sound 'different' is when a different master has been used than that to make the CD or the master has been remixed to sound different. These masters will retain every bit of their sound quality even when lossy compression is used, right down to the point where audible compression artifacts appear.

Buy high res for the right reasons and those can only be if the high res masters are exclusively released on those formats, but of course they are not, they are used to create CDs and mp3s also.

Differences exist because they have been engineered to exist and are not 'better' per se, although people convince themselves otherwise, because of the marketing spin, after all, they're more expensive so must be better, right?

The facts are out there for all to see, but it is for each individual to decide wether or not to use this information when making a purchase. Don't forget to factor in the increased storage cost too.

 

I can see where your coming from but that isnt the case. When a 'hi-res' master is compressed to redbook noise is added in the process (quantization) you will here a very dull hiss type noise in the background or grayness, theres no standard for noise and it varies with the release. 

 

And picking up on the DSD/SACD thing, the downsample to PMC adds noise (as above) to playback which is what the format is trying to get away from.

 

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RE: SACD

shooter wrote:
When a 'hi-res' master is compressed to redbook noise is added in the process (quantization) you will here a very dull hiss type noise in the background or grayness

Clearly needs better ears than I am equipped with. I once argued the other way about this, but having converted several 24/96 and 24/192 audio files to 16/44.1 for CD use in the car, I find that I personally am unable to tell the difference between my downsampled files and the original hi-res files. Mixing...that's a different story; 24/96 and 24/192 gives you much more wiggle-room. But in the final master, no I really don't think I can tell the difference. 
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RE: SACD

shooter wrote:

I can see where your coming from but that isnt the case. When a 'hi-res' master is compressed to redbook noise is added in the process (quantization) you will here a very dull hiss type noise in the background or grayness, theres no standard for noise and it varies with the release. 

And picking up on the DSD/SACD thing, the downsample to PMC adds noise (as above) to playback which is what the format is trying to get away from.

Quantization is the type of error induced when converting from higher bitrates to lower ones. These errors are corrected by the 'noise' that you mentioned and this is called 'dither'. In many cases I would have thought that from 24 to 16bit, quantization errors would not perhaps even be audible, so no need for dither.

In the cases where dither is considered necessary, it is moved to the frequency ranges least detectable by our ears at lower levels and is in the upper frequencies. In real world terms it would not likely be audible.

 

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RE: SACD

Overdose wrote:

shooter wrote:

I can see where your coming from but that isnt the case. When a 'hi-res' master is compressed to redbook noise is added in the process (quantization) you will here a very dull hiss type noise in the background or grayness, theres no standard for noise and it varies with the release. 

And picking up on the DSD/SACD thing, the downsample to PMC adds noise (as above) to playback which is what the format is trying to get away from.

Quantization is the type of error induced when converting from higher bitrates to lower ones. These errors are corrected by the 'noise' that you mentioned and this is called 'dither'. In many cases I would have thought that from 24 to 16bit, quantization errors would not perhaps even be audible, so no need for dither.

In the cases where dither is considered necessary, it is moved to the frequency ranges least detectable by our ears at lower levels and is in the upper frequencies. In real world terms it would not likely be audible.

 

Noise is evident but I think the playback has alot to do with it. I don't have such an issue with it as I have done previously and I'm not quite sure what that's down to. It could be the ripping process, dac processing or speakers or a mix of all but the worst offenders which one of them is Clannad's Ultimate Collection is still prevalent. It could of been an 8 track recording from the 60s its that bad.

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RE: SACD

BigH wrote:

Fairly new to this forum, just a bit confused about cds and where things are going. SACD seems to be the latest thing but is it worth it on older recordings which only had 2 tracks anyway? Say 50s jazz. Also I don't want to fork out loads of money for SACDs when a few years down the line there will be something better, what do people think?

 

SACD's can be expensive but i your serious and you dont want to burn a hole in the pocket you could pick up a very nice Denon 2900 for £100 ish that would play SACD natively and you will get DVD audio thrown in with it. 

Nice entry to a new format for little outlay

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RE: SACD

shooter wrote:
It could be the ripping process, dac processing or speakers or a mix of all but the worst offenders which one of them is Clannad's Ultimate Collection is still prevalent. It could of been an 8 track recording from the 60s its that bad.
If it's that bad, then what you're hearing is far more than any noise caused by downsampling. More likely it's simply on the master, for whatever reason.
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RE: SACD

shooter wrote:

Noise is evident but I think the playback has alot to do with it. I don't have such an issue with it as I have done previously and I'm not quite sure what that's down to. It could be the ripping process, dac processing or speakers or a mix of all but the worst offenders which one of them is Clannad's Ultimate Collection is still prevalent. It could of been an 8 track recording from the 60s its that bad.

For sure, some poorly engineered recordings could display this, but there is no good reason for it, particularly with modern professional equipment, even home studio kit is very competent these days.

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