They both sound great to me, an incredible step up from stereo CD. DVD-A technically should sound better simply because there is more space on the disc but it's mostly how each individual album is recorded and mixed. I have the Pioneer DV-578A. It plays both DVD-As and SACDs exceptionally well. It also puts out great picture and sound from DVDs. You can read a review here: http://reviews.cnet.com/Pioneer_DV_578A_S/4505-6473_7-30917074-2.html?tag=tab You can find it at some vanns.com for about $130. hope this helps ---drew---
IMHO, SACD sounds really analogue whilst DVD-A shows finer details in the music. DVD-A 192/24 is more breathtaking for me, so far.
But this is merely swift experiences and subjective opinions of mine. Like most audiophans, I haven't yet played one album recorded in both formats through two dedicated state-of-the-art equipments. Hence I dare not (and should not anyway) impose my point of view on anyone. Anyway, here's a link to a SACD/DVD-A dynamic comparision by somebody much wiser than me:
Something strikes me: DV578A always downsamples SACD to 88.2/24 PCM, yet people say it sounds pretty good, some even distinguish certain "SACD qualities". Maybe it doesn't matter so much having 2 competing formats, maybe the key issue is that there is life beyond CD.
I guess the most important thing is that it's still 24 bit, perhaps the sampling rate doesn't have as great of an impact on sound quality as the sheer amount of information available. As for the formats, I agree with you. Though my experience only covers the 9-10 DVD-As and SACDs I have, I've come to prefer DVD-A. It just seems to sound more rich. This is not to say, however, that SACDs don't sound spectecular as well. The nice thing about SACDs is that you can still play many of them in your car. But I imagine that as in-car 5.1 systems become more and more common (which they already are) DVD-A and SACD support won't be far behind. Won't that be great!? Now I've gotten myself all worked up =\
I now have around 40 hi-res titles and as far as what I believe to be the best sounding format I think DVD-A and SACD are just about equal, though I tend to put SACD slightly in front when comparing the best of each in my collection. How to describe the difference is difficult - maybe it's the analogous type of sound, but it is something that becomes apparant to the senses after listening to a recording for a reasonable time. Of course this could change with the next DVD-A purchase. It's a close call.
The 24 bits gives dynamic range, losely speaking the difference between silence and full volume. Sample frequency on the other hand is often associated to audio frequency, and debates about if the limit is set by our ears or if we actually sense inaudible vibrations somehow. But IMO we should also remember phase, i.e. the timing when different tones and resonances reach our ears.
SACD is originally not 24 bits. It is a one-bit technology, whith a very high (> 2.8 MHz) sampling frequency.
my rantz, wow u have allot of disks.. can u make a list, of what you have?
Both formats can yield great sound. I have great and not so great discs in both formats. As with any disc format the sound beyond the performance is mostly dependant on the recording engineer and the mastering quality. Probably why great recording masterers get paid so much.