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Brothers In Arms SACD

 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1878
Registered: Aug-04
For those interested:

In my post office box this morning at 7 a.m. was one of the first 25th Anniversary special editions of Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" recorded on Hybrid Multi Channel SACD. This much publicised recording is the hi-res remix of the biggest selling album of all time in the UK if the sleeve blurb is to be believed. The remix was done by Chuck Ainlay (Sailing to Philladephia and Shrangrila) and overseen by Mark Knopfler. The masters were diligently transferred to DSD for what I hope will be a memorable listening experience - a bit too early for the neighbours to play right now. A rating will be noted on the thread: "Rate your hi-res disc here" later.

Lately I have been ordering my hi-res muisc from Acoustic Sounds whom I've found very competitive and provide a very good service, however it pays to look around sometimes as I saved $16.00 AUD by purchasing this title from Amazon.uk (same price as normal cd).

Also, there is news of another hi-res edition of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler's greatest hits coming in Nov '05.

I look forward to being surrounded by the haunting strains of Knopfler's Gibson later this a.m. Cheers.

 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 378
Registered: Jun-04
Congrats Rantz, I too got hold of a copy tonight on a shopping round with Mrs. Layne. Heading for "Rate your hi-rez..." now :-)

Cheers
AL
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1886
Registered: Aug-04
Arnold,

Congrats backatcha LOL! It seems they are getting better and better at mixing these hi-res surround recordings. I'm having quite a good run lately.

Regards

M.R.
 

Usman_Denver
Unregistered guest
Try Eagles' Hotel California DVD-A if u get a chance. The surround encoding on that is unbelieveable! My wife cried upon hearing Hotel California (the song) in surround.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 382
Registered: Jun-04
I agree regarding HC, it's amazing how well it sounds. BiA is less complex music, and IMO its DSD based on 48KHz doesn't reach at all the sound quality on HC. Nevertheless, BiA is a darn beautiful album, no?

Cheers
AL
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1897
Registered: Aug-04
I haven't heard the DVD-A of H.C. but I read a review that stated only the title track delivers a very good surround mix while the others are only mediocre - is that true?

I don't know if my ears are going or what, but I think the B.I.A. SACD surround is stunning - maybe not the very best but very close to the best I have of both formats in my collection.



 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 385
Registered: Jun-04
I'd say HC title track is a quite complex song, musically, and DVD-A author has succeeded in bringing the very best out of it. The rest of the HC tracks are less advanced audio to work with from the beginning. Resulting surround is nice, but not remarkable IMO.

Cheers
AL
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1910
Registered: Aug-04
Thanks Arnold - I've been tossing whether or not to get this one. I played it to death in my 'younger' days.

M.R.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Chitown

Post Number: 67
Registered: Apr-05
I believe the brother in Arms CD was the firs CD recorded (or at least released) entirely in digital. Am I correct in that? I just seem to recall seeing that when I bought the album years ago.
 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
" believe the brother in Arms CD was the firs CD recorded (or at least released) entirely in digital."

Yes it is true. That's why I don't understand all the hype. I suspect the SACD will only reveal the limitations of early digital sound. It wouldn't surprise me if they just took the CD master and used it for the SACD master.

The record companies are only trying to sell an encrypted format. Botcott it! Don't buy it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1954
Registered: Aug-04
L - that's a load of crap. Listen to the original and listen to the new sacd. It was remastered into pure DSD and the results show. You don't have to buy it - but we did and it was well worth it!
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 394
Registered: Jun-04
So then it seems BiA was remixed from digital source after all? I think I've spotted some flaws, f.e. voice on some tracks, in line with this. Still, the overall impression of the surround mix is so, so good. Dire Straits albums have always before sounded a little "blurry" to me. Now the 5.1 channels really open up the soundstage. I personally prefer BiA SACD 5.1 before vinyl, honestly.

Cheers
AL
 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
Hey, I don't trust the record industry. They did it with Nora Jones' album. Nothing but a CD master was used to make the SCAD. That's a fact!And there was no reason whatsoever to do that since the album was supposedly recorded at Sears Sound Manhattan on all analog equipment. And they've done it with other albums too. So who wouldn't be suspicious of the record companies motives.

Don't you remember back in the 80s when they were using reverse EQ'd vinyl masters for CD remastering. What was the reason? Obviously to save time and money at the expense of quality, because they don't care.

How many times have they sold us remastered albums? The record companies are greedy scumbags.

As far as Brothers In Arms goes, it was recorded using 16 bit PCM digital sound in 1985. So CD quality is the best it's ever gonna sound. The SACD is pure marketing hype. It may sound better than the original CD mastering, but you can save your money and get it on CD.

And another thing. Sony is dead against allowing SACD playback on computers. I don't understand what the big deal is. People who are going to rip the stuff will find a way from another source. They don't care about the quality any more than the record companies do. Kind of ironic isn't it.




 

New member
Username: Luzzo

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
I can't believe what i'm reading. BIA on SACD walks all over the regular CD remaster. The multitracks were transferred by MK himself at British Grove Studios onto PC for mixing. It's incredible. I can't believe how good it is. So crisp and accurate. The mix is just superb. So balanced and appropriate. I know that album like the back of my hand and it totally surprised me to hear it all over the room. There's new parts that were buried in the stereo mix. Some totally new bits of guitar and drums too, albeit subtle but definately new. If you won't even listen to it, i can't understand why you bother posting against it. I rate as highly as Dark Side Of The Moon.
 

Unregistered guest
BIA is being discussed from all angles; this has already been posted:

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/hirez/messages/205802.html
&
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=51310
 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
"To those that think mixing from a 44.1 16-bit source will not yield any advantages over the original, consider this: D/A technology and quality has come a L-O-N-G way since "BIA" was originally produced. Far more resolution is possible now from the source than what the original D/As were capable of back then. Additionally, the new surround mix was performed in the analog domain - not through a 44.1 digital mixer! Chuck would have made full use of every great analog and/or digital tool at his disposal during the surround mix."

Yeah, but what about the original A/D conversion? They are stuck with same 16 bit 44.1 data. This hasn't changed in 20 years. SACD in itself isn't gonna give it more resolution than CD can. It's only logical.


 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 396
Registered: Jun-04
IMHO they have managed to improve the sound a lot. Bear in mind that it's not only a question of tricks during D/A conversion. Also, it is about distributing individual recorded tracks over 5.1 channels. A big step away from bumping them all into 2.0.

Cheers
AL
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1967
Registered: Aug-04
Have a good read 'L'

http://www.superaudio-cd.com/technology_explained/



 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-05
My Rantz,

From the very beginning of the digital recording era, I've probably read thousands of pages about digital recording and the theory behind it. Perhaps it is you who need to read more.

What you can't seem to understand is that the original recording of BIA was done in 1985. And that it was digital. This means the binary data was recorded at 44.1 KHZ with a 16 bit word length, using the best currently available A/D converters. A/D & D/A conversion have been improved over the years. However, the BIA recordings can't be changed. They can't somehow change the resolution. They have what they have. Had they recorded using analog equipment then they could most likely could improve the sound quality, but they didn't.

The sampling rate of CD happens to be the same as the sampling rate of the original recordings. Therefore, it's only logical to conclude that the resolution won't be improved by SACD.

I hope you can follow this simple explanation.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1968
Registered: Aug-04
L

It seems to me you are one of these people who use specs to tell you whether something sounds right. Like people who buy speakers based on the specs - it's the sound L - the sound.

I say listen and you will hear. I have the original BIA and the SACD version just kills it for resolution and clarity - it's brilliant. You can keep going on and on about the original 41.1KHZ/16bit Digital recording until you are blue in the face.

As B&W says, "Listen and you will see!"

That's the simplest explanation L!
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 398
Registered: Jun-04
We had dinner guests this weekend, and I was asked to "play that super duper compact you bought". Our friends were astonished by the soundstage. It was a joy to see how they enjoyed their first hi-rez experience.

L, I'm afraid you are missing the point here. This is not about DSD conversion back and forth of a sine wave once recorded in 44.1/16 PCM. This is about music, a complexity of voices and instruments. I am pretty sure the mix was based on the individual tracks. Which were originally squeezed into two 44.1/16 tracks, now they are distributed over 5 + 1 DSD tracks. You must admit that there is a certain difference between these two methods, no?

Cheers
AL
 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-05
No I don't think I am missing the point. While it may be impressive in a surround mix, I wouldn't call Brothers In Arms a hi-rez experience, because it's not. I would equate this to upsampling a DVD movie for hi-def viewing.

I would rather hear DSOTM, Elvis or Count Basie remastered for a high resolution format, because CD technology basically sucked in the 80's. It's probably a shame that Brothers In Arms was recorded digitally because the resolution will always be limited.

Believe it or not, vinyl still beats the best digital for low level detail resolution. And a good two channel mix sounds awesome on good equipment. Even very three dimensional. I'm not even sure if surround mix can contain more spatial information or detail than a good two channel mix. Only it may give more control of the mix to the listener.

SACD is very impressive with the right source. I personally won't buy it based on principle. The format is too proprietary. Sony has said they have no intention of letting anyone make personal copies of their albums or played on a computer.


In my opinion, the industry is trying to get the public to adopt a supposed higher resolution format only to sell encrypted copies of CD masters or other flawed source material. You gotta admit they're pretty sneaky




 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1970
Registered: Aug-04
The cd layer of a hybrid sacd can be copied for use on other equipment - if you had read up on the subject like you say, you would know this. I for one think, sonically, BIA is much better than DSOTM and many others, but let's just you are right, L, and we'll leave it at that.

Cheers
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1971
Registered: Aug-04
That should read . . . but let's just say you are right . . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 400
Registered: Jun-04
Okey L, you have a point there: BiA is not completely hi-rez. And comparing to the LP, this DSD remaster wins some sets and lose some others. I prefer the new release before the vinyl one. The opposite considering DSotM, IMHO in the DSD release is very good but something is lost, let's just call it atmosphere.

So then, is SACD just a way to copy protect? Maybe for some Sony managers, but there ARE other record companies seeking to provide audiophile experiences. And frankly speaking, vinyl outbeats whichever digital format regarding copy control :-)

Back to the issue: tested BiA on another friend, same reaction. If there ever is an album to convince the mainstream listener, this is the one...

Cheers
AL
 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-05
AL,

I agree with you on most points. BIA probably would not be as good on vinyl. The "atmosphere" you like with vinyl was already lost in the recording process. Vinyl beats DSD on pretty much everything that wasn't recorded digitally.

I do think digital recordings have some advantages. They are convenient and make good repeatable references for demonstration. In recent years digital recording has been getting real good. However, I still don't think it's as good as the best analog. Many well known engineers who have been asked the question say they feel the same way.

I feel record companies don't really care about the quality of the material they release. I really believe they only want to push copy-protected formats on everyone.

I don't see why they think high resoultion formats are more vulnerable to pirating since most of the music is already on CD and available to copy. Furthermore most people who listen to pirated music don't care about the quality so why does it matter so much to them?

I'd be willing to pay for super high resolution digital music. But it will have to sound at least as good as vinyl. And there would have to be provision for making personal copies at full resolution. You can't do that with SACD or DVD -Audio.

Furthermore, digital storage is pretty cheap these days. Why don't they release audiophile versions with at least 352 KHZ / 24 sampling rate PCM (by the way, 352K/24 is already used for DXD recording and conversion). Or raise the sampling rate until the best engineers can't disinguish the difference from the live event. Then sell it over the internet to people who want to buy it.

I know if I paid good money for real high quality material, I wouldn't pass it around. No one who's not an audiophile would really care anyway. They're too busy trying to cram everything onto an MP3 player. They're not gonna waste 8 gigabytes of space for a dozen songs.


Anyway, that's my 2 cents.







 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 403
Registered: Jun-04
Blue ray specs allows 192 KHz/24 bits per channel surround sound. Let's hope we at least get that one day.

Meanwhile, what is needed by now is something that lures the crowd away from MP3 downloads and into quality audio. Brothers in Arms could do the trick, if ever promoted... The DSD surround mix really adds new dimensions to the music of Mr. Knopfler & co. I always found their LPs sounding a little "blurry". Now in 5.1 SACD I distinguish the different instruments and voices much better. Overall sound quality is IMO quite good, despite the low-rez source. And the anecdotes I told about my friends are true. I have never before seen a hi-rez disc appeal so much to non-initiated people's ears.

Cheers
AL
 

Anonymous
 
I had to jump in on this debate. I think both sides are right. BIA does sound better in 5.1, hands down.

"L" however, has made some very valid points about SACD. I do believe the SACD format is nothing more than an attempt by Philips and Sony to control the american market and the american consumer, another Sony "beta" experiment (with "beta" referring to Sony's failed attempt to control the VCR format).

To begin with, L correctly states that SACD is nothing more than copy protection. L is absolutely right. A good article about how SACDs must be converted into the PCM format to be mastered (which is the format used for CDs and DVD Audio) is at http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/sacd-dvd-a/ . Once mastered, the music could be left in the PCM format and burned on DVD Audio, but in the case of a SACD disc, it is reconverted to direct stream digital in order to be copy protected.

The number of dedicated DVD Audio players outnumbers SACD players by more than 3 to 1, and the number of DVD players capable of playing DVD Audio outnumbers SACD players by a factor of 50 to 1. There's a reason for this popularity. DVD Audio is capable of better sound, and DVD audio is a much more flexible format than SACD. One can include video, dolby pro logic, dts, and other encoding systems on DVD Audio. For a discussion by an audio engineer on these issues and his reasoning on why he prefers DVD Audio, see http://www.revolutionhometheater.com/howto/makingdvdaudio/ There's also a good discussion on the net by the sound engineer for The Eagles and his views on why the Eagles chose DVD Audio. There's another by Neil Young on why he chose DVD for the rerelease of Harvest. There are far more DVD Audio titles available than SACD titles.

But honestly, the fact that DVD Audio sounds as good or better than SACD and is more popular is not why I prefer DVD Audio. I prefer it because I like to make "best of" compilations from my discs. And I don't like being told that I cannot do that. SACD is all about contolling the consumer. Sony rarely makes hybrid SACD discs, because Sony does not want to let consumers copy the CD portion of a hybrid SACD disc--so Sony releases SACDs with no CD track. Other record labels almost always release hybrid SACDs. I do own many SACD discs, but I will not buy one that is not hybrid, and I will always choose DVD Audio, if I have a choice.

Copying DVD audio is as easy as copying CDs. Take a look at the following discussion and at Soundblaster's site: http://www.pcuser.com.au/pcuser/hs2.nsf/web/61F8F75A2520C275CA256E930012F470 http://www.soundblaster.com/dvd-audio/

I have a friend who is more incensed than L is about the whole issue. He won't let anyone copy his albums or CDs, but he makes copies of SACDs regularly. Copied SACDs actually sound excellent, even though the music must go through the SACD to analogue to DVD Audio conversion to make a copy. Pioneer includes instructions in the manual for the DV59AVI player on how to play an SACD and send its analogue output to a recorder. I think Pioneer must be very consumer friendly and, unlike Sony, Pioneer does not own several record labels.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1985
Registered: Aug-04
I have to disagree with anonymous and L about their "Sony Conspiracy" theory. Personally, I believe there is little or no difference between SACD and DVD-A when listening to the best recordings on both formats. Also, I might be wrong, but there are more SACD's being produced at present than DVD-A's. Some players allow the down conversion of SACD to MLP for delay settings as this cannot be done in the DSD realm which is why it is recommended to have all speakers equidistant from the listening position. The arguments, conspiracies, one's better than the other, all goes toward creating negativity to both hi-res genres of which as far as I'm concerned offer wonderful dynamics in music enjoyment - and that's what is all about - is it not?

This my brand is better than your brand game is for children. Positive support for hi-res in general might help widen the consumer base - which would be good for everyone.

My only gripe is with DualDisc - a format which one has to guess if there is mlp content and, having a psuedo cd side that won't play on many players. Having allowed this format to go ahead under those conditions, to me, far exceeds any anti-consumer crime that Sony may have committed.

 

New member
Username: Labjr

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-05
My Rantz,

This isn't a game. I think people here are being realistic.

It isn't just about enjoying the music for me. I am willing to pay a premium for supposed-hi-rez music. However, I want it to sound like I'm in the control room during the recording session.

A music collection is a huge investment for some people and I for one don't wish to keep buying the stuff over and over, because the marketing hype for X format isn't all it's cracked up to be. And I don't remember the marketing hype for SACD telling anything about copy-protection.

It's not like we shouldn't or don't have reason to be suspicious of Sony or any other corporation. Everything Sony makes is proprietary, including memory sticks, and the batteries for their digital cameras have a little chip in them so they can't be easily copied.

Also in light of recent activities of the RIAA suing 12 year old kids. Or a couple of years ago when the record companies got caught in that CD price-fixing scam.

I think most of you in this discussion are pretty well informed, which is good, because the industry has not exactly been forthcoming with their true intentions.

People need to educate themselves and boycott products which don't allow fair use of the material for which they pay dearly.

I don't make a habit of copying my movies and music for everyone to take for free, but sometimes I would like to share some new music with someone. If they enjoy it then they will out and buy more music from the artist. If they don't like it then it will end up in the trash. No harm done.

Wait until you start reading about all the digital rights management (DRM) that's going to be built into the new computer motherboards, hard drives, video cards, etc...

The day they sell you a $2000+ computer then tell me what I can and can not store on it, is the day I'll throw my computer in the dumpster. It's the unsuspecting consumer that will be dissapointed. Believe me, the day is coming sooner than you think!
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1989
Registered: Aug-04
L

I don't have the need or will to spend my time copying music so I'm not obsessed with the big bad music companies as it seems you and others are. Trouble is a lot of people abuse the ability to copy and that creates higher prices and even more complicated anti-copy processess. So I'm afraid your complaints are falling on deaf ears as far as I'm concerned. I'm mostly quite happy with the hi-res music I've been ordering and have suffered only a couple of poorer quality recordings. I've had my last say on this as this discussion will just keep going round and round.

Cheers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 405
Registered: Jun-04
Rantz, oh Rantz what have you done... poking in the ashes and now the flames of format war revives :-)

Hasta pronto, I hope
AL

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A couple of decades ago the analogue storage was outbeaten by digital formats. Some people wasn't happy with the sound quality offered back then. Others thought it was OK, and could even be degraded further if that would mean easy access to whatever music for free.

Hi-rez audio is targeting the first group, but restricted by the existence of the latter one. Both SACD and DVD-A were slightly crippled to prevent exact digital copy on consumer equipments, which should not be a surprise for anyone. Furthermore, hi-rez audio is a relatively new technology. Needless to say, it is still evolving towards its final implementations, just as high definition TV and passenger space flights are.

Knowing this, I find it difficult to understand why a discussion on the SACD release of Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits has to turn into a debate on company policies and civil rights.

Respectfully
AL
 

Unregistered guest
Here's a look at some sales numbers compiled by RIAA, current thru 2004:
http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/pdf/2004yearEndStats.pdf

DVD-A vs. SACD, rows 10 and 11. How they are compiled, sliced and diced, have no idea.

Draw your own conclusions; remember, liars figure and figures lie.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2008
Registered: Aug-04
Arnold,

Yesterday I saw a DVD-A copy of Hotel California in our local record shop and I relented and made the purchase. Yes, the title track is certainly well done and packs a whallop. Just another hi-res surround recording that makes it difficult to declare a winner out of the two formats.

Cheers
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 839
Registered: Feb-04
Yesterday I saw a DVD-A copy of Hotel California in our local record shop and I relented and made the purchase.

I'm surprised at how difference the following sound:

HC on regular CD.
HC on the HFO DVD in stereo.
HC on the HFO DVD in DTS.

The bass is no where near the same mix, and for me, the DTS version has some annoying pops on it.

Does the DVD-A version sound like any of the above?
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2010
Registered: Aug-04
Peter

The bass is standout on the DVD-A - especially on the title track, I'm not familiar with the DVD-V copies but it sure beats the old cd!

 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 414
Registered: Jun-04
Ah, so you finally got it Rantz, I'm happy for you.

I checked out the Dolby Digital tracks on the DVD-A release. IMO it's beyond comparision, hi-rez version is much better. In fact, infinitely much better.

Cheers
AL
 

Woody
Unregistered guest
People, people....Mark Knopfler could play through a cardboard box and it would still be good.
Did you get the emotional response from the music? Does the solo at the end of "Brothers In Arms" nearly bring you to tears? If not, listen to something else that satisfies your endless need for 'perfection' or wait for the next 'best' format to come and keep chasing rainbows. If you're buying it for the recording alone, you're wasting your time.
In the meantime, I'm enjoying hearing this music however I can (which just happens to be SACD surround, as of today, because i enjoy surround recordings of any format). I might not agree with some placement issues, but hell, that's just my interpretation. It's supposed to be fun sometimes, remember?
It doesn't mean i'm going to 'boycott' or deprive myself of this or any other magnificent music that gives me more pleasure than anything on this earth, whether it's 24-bit or wax cylinder. In a way, I'm just happy Knopfler and Co. came along in my lifetime.
Hi-rez, vinyl, 8 track...David Gates sang it best (on scratchy old vinyl)..."It don't matter to me"...
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 489
Registered: Mar-04
Woody has it right. In the end its about the music and what it does for (and to) you. Nice post Woody.
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