Not all dvd-a's the same? even the same ones?


Unregistered guest
i'm relatively new to this format, but have recently purchased a denon 2200 & am excited about the anticipation of "better sound". i have a specific question about formats, though.

i was about to buy steely dan's gaucho, but there were two of them: one of them was dvd-a for $19.99, while the other was a dvd-a dts version for $29.99. is the dts version of a dvd-a that much better that it warrants the higher price?

any thoughts?

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet


Post Number: 540
Registered: Apr-04
I haven't heard the DTS version but it would not be worth that much of a price difference to me. Ironically, "Gaucho" is a disc in which I bought the SACD version and the DVD-A version for comparative purposes. If I'm recalling my prices correctly, I paid $14.99 for the SACD and $15.99 for the DVD-A. Both versions sounded great but my preference was for the SACD mix.

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 87
Registered: Aug-04
I've also noticed that some of the initial DVD-A offerings, like the Steely Dan title you mentioned, have the DTS 5.1 logo on them.

Is it possible that the DVD-A format somehow "evolved" from a DTS 5.1 audio format?

Unregistered guest
don't know where the dvd-a format originated, but i've read somewhere on this board that the difference between the two is that there is more information available on a dvd-a which results in better, or fuller, sound.

that's why i was initially asking if it's worth spending an extra $10.00 on the same disk with a dts designation.

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne


Post Number: 276
Registered: Jun-04
DTS is compressed -> some information is lost. For DVD-A, lossless MLP compression is used.

DTS is about squeezing many channels into a S/PDIF digital coaxial cable, whilst DVD-A aims at reproducing high-resolution audio at the same quality as it was recorded/mastered.


Unregistered guest
so, it doesn't necessarily follow that a dts dvd-a sounds better, even though it costs more (assuming that option is available)?

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 88
Registered: Aug-04

Stick to the DVD-A version.

Perhaps my wording of "initial" DVD-A titles was poorly chosen. I have noticed, while browsing through the racks of hi rez recordings at my local Best Buy, that there are a few titles that sport the DTS 5.1 logo. These discs all seemed to have been issued either before or around the time DVD-A first arrived. They must have sported a pretty high original price tag which is why the one you found is more expensive. I doubt whether any label is still making DTS 5.1 audio only discs.

Incidently, I've noticed where Best Buy has reduced the prices on almost all of their SACD's and most DVD-A's to $14.99-15.99. What scares me is that they may be doing this to sell out what they have because I don't believe they have restocked many hi rez titles in months...

Unregistered guest
our local best buy here in vancouver has a full section devoted to both dvd-a & sacd, but they don't seem to re-stock them as fast as people buy them, although in all fairness, it might be a little premature as they've only been open for less than a month.

i did end up buying the non-dts version of the steely dan gaucho dvd-a after reading AL's post. i can't imagine the dts version being any better, but unfortunately, have nothing to compare it to at this stage of my collection.

having put this dts vs dvd-a comparison to rest, i do have another question for you guys. does it necessarily follow that the higher the kHz/bit rate is recorded in, the better the quality of the dvd-a will sound, or does it depend upon the original source of the material being recorded?

also, has anyone checked out medeski, martin and wood's "uninvisiible" jazz dvd-a? it is recorded in dvd-a 5.1 surround; dts-es 6.1 discrete; and pcm 2.0 stereo, all recorded in 48K/24 bit, except for pcm which is 48K/16 bit. don't exactly understand all of the above, but the sound is phenomenal, which i guess is the most important part of all of this...

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1201
Registered: Aug-04
"does it necessarily follow that the higher the kHz/bit rate is recorded in, the better the quality of the dvd-a will sound, or does it depend upon the original source of the material being recorded?"

Answer #1 - usually - but dependent on the source material.

Answer #2 - usually - but dependent on the technicians capabilities.

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