About HDCD


New to this. Is HDCD capable of sacd or dvd-a or is that something else?

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne


Post Number: 338
Registered: Jun-04
No. HDCD is the usual compact disc with up to 80 minutes of 2-channel, 44.1KHz/16 bits audio. A small part of the digital samples is used to "improve" the sound. I.e. by codifying information about dynamics etc. A non-HDCD capable CD player just reads it as a normal CD.

SACD and DVD-A is stored on DVD. This disc format allows for much larger samples, hence the name "high-resolution" audio. There is also space on a DVD for storing 6 audio channels (i.e 5.1).

A HDCD capable CD player cannot read DVD discs at all. But DVD-player reads CD. If featured with HDCD, it decodes this extra information as well. Regardless of being SACD/DVD-A compatible or not.


Bronze Member
Username: Tevo

Chicago, IL USA

Post Number: 26
Registered: Feb-05
No. HDCD is not the same as SACD or DVD-A.

SACD and DVD-A are the two latest formats that are duking it out for digital audio supremacy.

HDCD is an extension of the CD format, the difference being it is 20-bit instead of a standard CD's 16-bits. Put simplistically, HDCD is "wordier"- thus, providing for better sound (more detail, resolution, soundstaging).



Also, if you Google HDCD, SACD & DVD-A, you'll get a lot of information about the various formats.

Hope this helps.

Thanks. Great help. I need a new cd player. I was told the source is very important and i need a very good cd or dvd player. This guy wants to sell me one gor about 700 dollar. This why i am investigating I would like sacd butI already have a 5disc player that has that. What should I look for on a cd player that will let me know it is good or at least it shoul be according to specifications.

Thanks again.

Bronze Member
Username: Tevo

Chicago, IL USA

Post Number: 28
Registered: Feb-05

Go and listen to some units, preferably demo it at home in your system and at the very least, work with a dealer that has a reasonable return policy.

Virtually all current CD players measure well. If the spec sheet solely defined how they all sounded, there would be no need for high-end units.

Also, the purchase should be made in the context of your system. A $20K(USD) Linn CD12 would be overkill for a system centered around a $500 receiver.

Bronze Member
Username: Canuckinapickle


Post Number: 45
Registered: Jan-05
If you just want CDs, a Great HDCD player is the NAD 542. I think it's in your budget so go take a listen. I have the 541i (one model back) and it's wonderful. If you want SACD or DVD-A take advice from others as I'm only in the 'dreaming' stages with regards to those formats at the moment! ;)

Note: The NAD542 does NOT do SACD or DVD-A (as far as I know) but does decode HDCDs and regular CDs.

Bronze Member
Username: Blazer

Post Number: 34
Registered: Feb-04
If your CD player does not decode HDCD and your receiver does, do you have to connect via the digital to allow the receive to decode the HDCD or will the receiver decode HDCD if connected via analog?

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 419
Registered: Mar-04
If the receiver, and not the CD player, decodes HDCD, then yes use the digital connection. If the player does the docoding, then use the analog connections.


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