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Twilight of the Compact Disc

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 589
Registered: Dec-03
To anyone who values sound quality, and who is thinking of buying a CD player.

Ensure that any new player you buy is capable of playing DVD-Audio.

DVD-Audio, also known as "DVD-A", is now the medium that provides for the most accurate reproduction of recorded music.

Every DVD-Audio player will also play Compact Disc ("CD") Audio, and DVD-Video ("DVD-V") discs.

In addition to the DVD-Audio format, every DVD-Audio disc also carries the audio tracks in DVD-Video formats, that is, DTS or Dolby Digital, and usually both.

Therefore you can already play any DVD-Audio disc, and get excellent sound, on any DVD player.

But a DVD-Audio disc played on a DVD-Audio player gives more than excellent sound, it gives fantastic sound.

DVD-Audio renders CD obsolete for sound quality.

DVD-Audio is a 5.1 surround-sound format. But it also gives benefits in hi-fi stereo. Most DVD-Audio discs also carry a stereo version of the programme material, at higher resolution than is possible on CD. DVD-A players also allow a stereo downmix of the 5.1.

DVD-Audio Introduction provides technical and further information from the viewpoint of DVD/CD production, (Deluxe Global Media Services Ltd.)

I am an audio and music enthusiast, with no competing interest, commercial or otherwise, nor any connection with any relevant commercial organisation.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 410
Registered: Dec-03
Speaking of which, last night I played my DVD-A disc of The Band's-"The Last Waltz" concert (originally filmed and recorded under the aegis of Martin Scorcese in analogue multitrack). The Band's guitarist and main songwriter, Robbie Robertson, performed the task of making the DVD-A disc, which also has cd stereo.

While I prefer watching and listening to the DVD-Video in surround, the DVD-A is excellent, with a few extra tracks the film omitted.

Great performances by The Band, and guest performers: Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, and others.

Sadly, this was their final performance (hence, the last waltz). The performance by The Band members (particularly on their own songs) is drop dead amazing. The harmonies, the lead vocals, the amazing brass choir playing on some cuts, is a joy to both hear and behold.

The only other performance on DVD that is on a par with this is the Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at NYC disc, performed a couple of years ago at Madison Square Garden. It is a rock n' roll revival meeting at its best. Again, with great recording and performances.

Both are must owns (particularly the DVD-V's) for anyone remotely interested or intrigued.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 152
Registered: Feb-04
Gregory

Just recently acquired "The Last Waltz" on DVD-V from a discount bin after being reminded about it by yourself and John A. I barely remembered it from years ago and really enjoyed the 5.1 experience. The sound was quite good considering and the performances were great.

If you like contempory blues, I must recommend John Mayall's 70th birthday concert in DVD-V. The performances by Mayall, Clapton, Taylor and the Bluesbreakers were really something - their lead guitarist was outstanding. And the DTS 5.1 surround was superb. 130 mins of really enjoyable entertainment.

If only there was some Van Morrison performances on DVD-V!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 631
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz and Gregory,

Thanks. I am going to look out for these recommendations. People have posted here that there isn't much material on DVD-Audio but try Google or equiv. I think I read somewhere there are now 700 titles.

I have bought a some DVD-A discs, just out of interest in the format, and have ended up learning and liking music I didn't previously know much about. It's a pleasure, and a bit like being back with buying my first LPs. Sometimes, you know, too much choice is effectively less choice. Unless you can just walk into one record dealer and see everything there is available. There are very few shops like that.

Gregory,

You said The Last Waltz on DVD-A also has CD stereo. Sure? If so, it is the first "Hybrid" I have heard about. The format link in my last post (April 12) says these are planned, and will have CD on one side, DVD-A on the other. That has to be a good thing.

One disc I have has DVD-A on one side and DVD-V on the other. This is also very good. I get the impression that disc makers have not settled on a way of getting both formats easily available on one side of one disc. Just for sound quality you would not choose DVD-V, but you might want it for the video footage.

I wonder why we never saw double-sided CDs?

Or single-sided LPs, for that matter?

Basic questions. I am enjoying the jolt of DVD-A!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 781
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz and Gregory,

I am trying to find all who recommended "The Last Walz": Thank you! What a fantastic concert. What a fantastic band. What fantastic guests. What a tribute to all-round talented musicians.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Vulture99

Post Number: 19
Registered: Feb-04
I listened to a DVD-A disc for the first time recently, using my NAD T533 and T763, and PSB 5T speakers. All I can say is HOLY $^&@#!! Wow, what an incredible step up from CDs. I had no idea. The disc is a DVD-A sampler that came in a DVD player I bought a while back - I came across the disc when redoing my A/V system. It has various rock, classical, and jazz tracks. I was (am) completely blown away by the clarity, presence, and range of the music.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1036
Registered: Dec-03
Mike,

What a pleasure to read your post. I agree completely.

I wrote a review here of my new NAD T533. I am quite sure good people think I've become unhinged.

Also take a look, if you can, under the new category here "Home Audio: DVD-Audio and SACD".

Two questions for you, if you will.

1. What exactly is the sampler disc?

2. Why is this revolution in audio not more widely known and understood.....?!

I have had about a month to calm down a bit, but am still with you in your excitement. It goes on being like that. Completely fantastic sound, isn't it? I do not think I shall ever buy another CD, unless there are special reasons.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kendrid

Post Number: 30
Registered: Apr-04
"Why is this revolution in audio not more widely known and understood"

There is almost no marketing for SACD/DVD-A, and John Q Public does not care about sound quality. Want proof? Look at the number of people *paying* to download compressed music from iTunes.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1053
Registered: Dec-03
Kevin,

Yes, but many people are also interested in getting the best sound. Look at this forum!

iTunes and MP3 are convenience formats, and many people place higher priority on that than we might. But there is no competition between those two, that I see.

In the middle is CD, with less convenience than iTunes, and worse sound than DVD-Audio. That was the thought behind the title of this thread.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Vulture99

Post Number: 20
Registered: Feb-04
I think people have been conditioned that CD == music, and DVD != music. I'm guessing that most folks don't know or understand that DVD's aren't just for video - even many of those folks who are interested in getting the best sound. The masses probably don't care so much, like Kevin said.

I agree about not buying CDs in the future! Problem is, I listen to a lot of obscure music that probably won't make it to DVD-A anytime soon.

I'll try to remember to take a look at that sampler disc tonight and report back.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1058
Registered: Dec-03
I think you absolutely right, Mike. Most people think "DVD" stands for "Digital Video Disc". It even says "Digital Video Disc Player" on the back panel of the NAD T533. And the manual is not much help. As I said in my review, if I had something like that on offer, I'd be shouting it from the rooftops.

The DVD-A disc catalogues are mixed, right now, and fairly sparse. That is how it was in the first few years of CD - the people with special interests were early adopters, and the mass market was years behind; it is very conservative. As regards DVD-A vs CD, I am quite sure all this is going to change, and soon. Perhaps SACD will grow but have limited success, like the audio cassette. It was amazing the technology that was put into trying to get good sound out of analogue audio cassettes, which were not designed for sound quality in the first place. Dolby got successful by marketing a tweak for that, Dolby A, B, and C noise reduction, which helped it a bit. But it was still a flawed format, from the start.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Vulture99

Post Number: 21
Registered: Feb-04
The first CD I purchased in the 80s was Dark Side of the Moon. I bet I wasn't the only one :-)

I agree with you regarding your SACD/cassette analogy. I actually still have a NAD tape deck that I keep around because I have several hundred tapes - mainly bootlegs from my tape trading days in the early 90s.

The DVD-A disc I mentioned came packaged with a JVC DVD player a couple of years ago. I totally forgot I had it until coming across it recently. It was a promotional disc (not for sale), entitled The DVD-Audio Experience. I Googled for it and found a press release, of all things: http://www.jvc.com/company/press.jsp?pressType=1&item=197 This lists most of the artists on the disc. The two tracks that impressed me the most were Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (Mvt. 4) and Lucky Man by ELP.

I've never been a great fan of classical music, but the classical tracks from this disc have me thinking I might get a few classical titles on DVD-A!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1061
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Mike.

When Cd was still fairly new, I bought a Marantz player, and two CDs came with that. Dire Straights and a version of the Dvorak New World Symphony. I suppose they want to show what a new medium will do.

Not so long after, I bought a Sony Walkman Pro as a tape deck. It's OK for recording live, with a microphone. It doesn't do music well, only speech. I've taken it back a couple of times because of flutter, but the Sony Center insists it is me, because it is up to spec. Mostly, however, I find the result of recording Cds etc. is an awful lot of wasted time and a tape which, on a good day, might come close to the CD. I never got into DAT etc. Now, if I want something off the radio etc., I use the VCR. It sounds much better. So it should, look at the width of the tape, and it's one-sided, too.

In my opinion, orchestral music is too complex to be accessible if the sound quality is not good. You just can't hear all the different parts. DVD-A really takes that on one stage, and especially in 5.1 multichannel. As I have said too many times on other threads, Naxos has a small but growing catalogue of classical DVD-As. They are good quality and amazingly cheap. If you liked the Dvorak, a good choice as a DVD-A orchestral showcase might be the Naxos Holst's The Planets. Played REALLY loud! Great piece of music, too.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kendrid

Post Number: 31
Registered: Apr-04
I've participated in threads like this at home theater forum . com and it never ends. Still, I don't think DVD-A or SACD will ever be mainstream.

I realize that is a 'tough' position to take, but people *really* don't care that much about sound quality. This forum is nothing (no offense) compared to avs or HTF, but still compared to the number of shoppers at Best Buy or CC we are drastically outnumbered.

I have a lot of techie friends who *should* be into these high-end formats, but they all literally laughed when I explained them to them. "MP3 is good enough" is what 95% of them said.

I personally don't like surround music, mainly because most mixes are very fake and to get the same speakers all around my system would be very costly. Still, with 2.1 DVD-A or SACD I doubt most people would hear a difference, and even if they could they would not care.

You have to step away from the forums and look at the rest of society. Listening to music on a decent system has gone the way of the dinosaur. It is sad, but very true.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1063
Registered: Dec-03
Kevin,

I think you are mostly correct, but do not see it as a problem. High priority for sound quality has always been a minority view. And why not? People choose what they want. Personally, I do look at the rest of society. But let's stick with audio, it is the special topic of interest, here.

Around 1960 or so, people must have written much as you do, but about about stereophonic sound reproduction. Most people could not see the point, and almost all records were in mono, anyway. Stereo eventually took over completely. Even by the end of the reign of the LP/single (around 1985), when all records were stereo, many people were still playing them on all-in-one units with one speaker.

People also got pleasure from listening to music on tape cassette players and, later, CD players of all sorts. It will continue. But, eventually, one medium pretty well disappears, because its disadvantages are clear to everybody, and there is no extra cost in getting a better one.

I don't know where things will be in, say 2025. Almost certainly our children/grandchildren will look at people's large and treasured CD collections, wonder why anyone bothered with CDs, and feel pleased to be born at a better time. What THEY will take for granted, I do not know....

For now, DVD-Audio is a big, easily discernible improvement in sound quality over CD. And, for anyone with home theatre/cinema surround-sound, where there is a huge market take-up going on right now, the extra cost of getting DVD-Audio is very small. The CD has been most people's way of getting the music they like for about 15 years. Before that, the LP/single record had about 25-30 years. The LP gave better sound than the shellac 78s that went before. The CD didn't give better sound than the LP, not in itself. 15-20 years is not bad for a medium that was a retrograde step for all except convenience. But it is now beaten, hands-down, from both directions.

The CD is on its way out. It is easy to see.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 265
Registered: Feb-04
"The CD is on its way out. It is easy to see."

John A - As with most of your interesting contributions you may be quite right with that statement, but we also say that we, as people start dying from the moment we are born. So I think that if a day is the life of the cd, then maybe it is closer to noon than it is the twilight.

And really, the CD was only a retrograde step for some. For those people who never had quality HiFi and turntables, the cd is certainly a marked improvement over LP's. Many of us in our youth played LP's on our parent's combo players (which, for many, were more of a furniture item than a music device) or portable players that looked like beauty cases (and in my case a horrible Sanyo Quadraphic outfit). Granted that some had the passion for quality sound and will agree that LP's do deliver better sound than the CD. But, the transition to yet another singular format now is much more complicated given the fact that CD players are much more common than record players ever were: in cars, boats, discmans, cheap portables, compact home systems, and component systems ranging from low cost to the ridiculous. Many people have these multiple sources to play CD's, so one format that can simply be played on any DVD player (let alone the universal ones) would not yet be practical - at least for another generation or so.

IMHO I think CD's will be around with all the other formats until there is a real revolution in the way we listen to music - may it will be in the form of a pill - but it would be a bitter one to swallow just like we all had to swallow the promises of the CD.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1090
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

I agree with all you write. Thanks, and welcome back!

CD got a big boost when you could buffer enough signal and provide effective shock protection during playback; that was what saw off the audio cassette, for "Walkmen" and in cars, I think. And now you can easily burn CDs, too: no consumer could do that when they were first introduced, it was very hi-tech. We should also remember that the format (12 cm silver disc) was, and is popular, and that led to the DVD.

I don't think a pill will do it. I suspect internet streaming will win in the end, possibly by satellite. I think the industry thinks so, too, and most of the new thinking is going into ways to be able to sell content independently of the medium that carries it. My personal view is that this is a "hidden agenda" of SACD: the "quality" factor is just a more acceptable sales pitch.

You can get acceptable radio on the internet, today, at 56 kbps - that's roughly 3 MB every minute When you play a CD, you are effectively "downloading" about 15 MB every minute. With DVD-A, it goes up another big step, to around 100 MB per minute. When ordinary people can take that sort of bandwidth for granted, and it is at their personal disposal, then the world will be quite a different place. Personally, I would nominate Tim Berners-Lee and friends for a Nobel prize. The internet is the real revolution.

My whole point is that DVD-A, not CD, provides the first digital format that delivers the resolution required for high-quality sound reproduction. If that is what you want. I agree, most people don't much care, but I don't see why they should, really. I am not on any sort of crusade.

We live in interesting times.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 267
Registered: Feb-04
"I am not on any sort of crusade"

John A - Thanks, but come on old chap! You are on a crusade - the DVD-A crusade - and I applaud you for it. Also I most certainly do get your point, I was only making it a little more subjective. I'm chapping at the bit to get a player (it will be a while longer now after the holiday) and quite frankly I don't care if DVD-A (and the evil SACD) remain in a niche market providing there will be an abundance of choice. If, as you say (and I do believe you) these formats can deliver an appreciatable difference from my best CD recordings then I'll be in audio heaven.

And I also want to thank you, seriously, for all the information you've posted about the DVD-A format. It will be of enormous benefit in my selection process as you've clearly pointed out there many variations in the format worth considering.

Yes, the internet is the real revolution (I wasn't serious about a pill) and future audio download options may be mind boggling, and that may well be the future of our supply source but imo I see that as just another negative the internet will be creating for the future. Okay, surf for the information, but let's get some exercise, go out and browse, and buy it from an employee. Who knows? You may get a smile and be told to have a nice day - and help keep someone in a job!

We certainly do live in interesting times.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1098
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Thanks. You are most kind, and make me feel quite at home here.

I am not at all on a crusade; in the sense that I really don't mind what people do with their own time and money: I have no wish to tell people what to do. When I read/hear what I think is nonsense, I try, politely, to enquire why the writer/speaker holds that view. One of us must be wrong: it could be me. When it seems fairly clear that nonsense is being defended, knowingly, for some hidden objective, I confess I can look maybe like a man with a mission. But, in the end, people believe what they want to, too. And that is a good thing, and should also be defended.

I knew you were not serious about "the pill", of course - you set yourself up for a nice metaphor. Accidentally, we touch on the other thing (apart from the internet and satellite telecommunications) that has changed everything, irreversibly, it seems, within our lifetimes, namely oral contraception. Let's not get into that, not here!

Home audio is of limited interest. So it should be, in the broad scheme of things. I keep thinking that music has something to offer, though.

What I continually puzzle about is how I can learn so much, here, from people literally on the other side of the World, whom I shall probably never meet. In a perfect world we would all probably live and work among like-minded people. Making written contact with such people on an internet forum is entirely new to me. There are worse ways of spending one's time.

I learned about DVD-Audio here, on this forum. I just pass on what I find, adding my own experience, just because it seems there are people who might be interested, as I was. The first post on this thread is one of my attempts to draw this little revolution to anybody and everybody who might be passing, and be interested: worrying about brands of CD player, today, makes no sense, to me. Barriers to understanding are sometimes quite simple, and lie in the way that people understand each other, or fail to. On the issue of DVD-Audio, it is clear that the penny has not yet dropped for a lot of otherwise clever and sensible people. "The industry" can hardly be surprised! It seems to me it mostly takes us for mugs, but that is my crusader tendency, again. I shall watch out for it.

Soap box? Yes, I plead guilty. Crusade? No, not really.

There is supposed to be an ancient curse "May you live in interesting times".

Seems it's fallen on us all, today.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 270
Registered: Feb-04
John A

Well okay, let's call it a soapbox and I'll get on it also when I get to hear what you are hearing now. As I said previously, it may be up to us and others here and on other forums to spread the word. But, you're right, people will either get it or they won't.

Oh and congratulations Gold Member - jeez I could have some fun with that John, but being the gentleman that I am . . .
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1103
Registered: Dec-03
Thank, My Rantz. Yes, I, too, thought of Austin Powers....

All the best.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jun-04
John A.,

I read with amusement the Ode to John A. and the repartee that followed.

I have only one DVD-A at the moment. It's a reissue of "Chicago II", you know, the one with "Colour My World" and "25 or 6 to 4." I bought it more out of curiosity than a need to replace my remastered CD. Even on my current home-theater-in-a-box, this DVD-A version opened my ears to details that I didn't realize were there. I can only imagine how it would sound like when I finally get my new HT system with the PSB Image lineup. I also had the opportunity to listen to the SACD of Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" at a store. Very impressive, but...

Back to this thread, is the Compact Disc in its twilight years? I beg to differ. IMHO, there are recordings that when remastered for the DVD-A or SACD format could expose the original recording's sonic limitations. The Dave Brubeck SACD "Time Out" is a perfect example. I thought the SACD sounded too wide and it spread out the playing rather thinly. Is it a remastering fault? Maybe. But recordings made in mono or during the infancy of stereo could end up sounding this way. I think collectors will shy away from the all-revealing DVD-A format for old recordings. Remember how some vinyl purists shunned the then nascent CD format, calling it a "cold medium?"

Whether DVD-A or SACD wins in this new format wars is inconsequential to me, personally. My belief is that the music comes first, the medium second. What I do lament these days is the increasing dearth of good music material. As a 40-something amateur jazz pianist wannabe, classic rock fan, and budget-constrained audiophile, I can only wish that there were more musically satisfying choices that are on DVD-A or even SACD, for that matter. For now, I'm content with remastered, 20-bit (whatever that means) CD reissues of the greatest albums of the last 40 years.

Maybe I'm getting old and I've crossed the line between the Then and Now, and thus, I'm suffering from this "generation gap." I hate to admit it, but I find it increasingly difficult to appreciate today's alternative rock choices. I tend to compare them with the Led Zep, Deep Purple and Beatles albums that I have. Thankfully, there are great new jazz albums that come out every so often. But I digress...

I respect your views on DVD-Audio and the enthusiasm you've shown in this particular forum. Keep posting. I'm listening.

Cheers! Enjoy your summer.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1477
Registered: Dec-03
Ojophile,

Thank you. A pleasure to read your post.

"My belief is that the music comes first, the medium second."

I agree totally. The first and highest priority of the medium is to get out of the way; to be transparent.

"Maybe I'm getting old and I've crossed the line between the Then and Now, and thus, I'm suffering from this "generation gap'."

One of the threads I like is Teaching and old dog new tricks.... When you get to a certain age, you no longer care what people think. The real subversives are on that thread, imho.

You keep posting, too, please, Ojophile. Whence the name....?

All the best.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jun-04
John A.,

Hello again. Just woke up from a nice afternoon nap, an indulgence on Father's Day.

"Ojophile" is formed from my own initials OJO + "phile" to make it sound like "audiophile." But since the day I was born, I've always been known as 'Don'. I'd be honored if you called me by that name, too.

Am I in good company here? I just read "Teaching an old dog..." and saw Pink Floyd and Schubert. In "Ode to John A," there's mention of Dylan a.k.a. Zimmerman, Edgar Winter, and 'In-a-gadda-da-vida'? Quadrophonic? Yes, I remember those artists, titles, and fads! These days, I try to be cool by knowing at least the names of the bands that my 11-year old son listens to: Limp Bizkit, Sum 41, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, etc.

When you get to a certain age, you no longer care what people think.

Amen.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jun-04
To anyone who might want to know more about DVD's and DVD-A's, here's a no-frills, comprehensive text-only website:

http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1479
Registered: Dec-03
Don,

Thanks. I only recognise the old bands/artists. Our boys like Red Hot Chillie Peppers and other things I cannot actually remember.

Excellent link. Thanks. DVD-Audio is there under What about DVD-Audio or Music DVD?. I think that link could usefully be posted somewhere at a high level on this board
 

2muchmujik
Unregistered guest
It is definitley true that DVD-A is one hell of a music medium. The depth, soundstage and sheer richeness of the sound produced by DVD-A could knock-out the best CD recording available. I infact compared Eagle's Hotel California DVD-A and CD..and DVD-A was really something. Then I swicthed to DTS version provided on the DVD-A; somehow I found the DTS version much better sounding than DVD-A. Don't know whether any of you guys have reached the same conclusion i.e. comparison between MLP and DTS versions? Incidently DTS is also quitely eshtablishing itself in the multi-channel music race.

Whenever I go to a music store you find the DVD-A's stacked up in a small section. This scenario puts me off whenever I think of buying a DVD-A player. I enjoy listening to rock. The catalogue of the artist/bands available does not include any of the stuff that I listen to e.g. Alice in chains, Faith no more and more recently Tomahawk, Queens of the stone age etc. Till then, for me CDs are here to stay.
 

New member
Username: Rockroll_ninja

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-04
Uh huh. I feel fairly confident that thanks to anti-piracy concerns and industry inability to make up its mind on the next mainstream format (HDCD anyone?), CD will be around for another decade easy.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1642
Registered: Dec-03
G Lundy,

"CD will be around for another decade easy".

Of course. Just like LP is still with us, two decades after everyone switched. I know people with whole libraries of Open-reel tapes, too.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 22
Registered: Jun-04
"Make it and they will steal it," to paraphrase an old builder's slogan.

It didn't take long before the technology to copy audio and data CD's came out. The same is true with DVD duplication. Now, they are boasting of a real "dual-layer" duplication software.

DVD-A and SACD will continue to duke it out, much to the chagrin of prognosticators and much to the delight of audiophiles seeking a better alternative to the current CD format. In the end, we will all see a better format than the CD. And someone with the right technical skills and know-how will come out of the wings and proffer a duplication software. Much to the chagrin, this time, of the recording industry. A losing battle, isn't it?

CD will stay for another decade, sure, because there are old recordings, "classics" if you will, that do not need new technology to be enjoyed. They only need ears that know how to appreciate good recorded music.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1649
Registered: Dec-03
Don (aka Ojophile),

In my opinion you are correct. Copyright is unworkable. I think the recorded music industry is refusing to face the fact that it has to move on, and, to survive, needs to find and supply a product that people will wish to buy.

As a long-time collector of LPs and CDs, with discs bought, usually after some thought, and then kept, for decades, I think the industry undervalues the package it sells. You could never photocopy LP sleeves, with their gorgeous artwork. I have had people borrow my CD's and the booklet comes back with the spine broken, flattened in a photocopier, but it is not a sensible use of anyone's time to cut and trim the copy to make a neat booklet in a jewel case. The pirated DVDs I have come across are awful; no-one who likes movies would waste their time watching one, even for free. So I think "the industry" should use its economies of scale and manufacturing to mass-produce a quality product, and then let the market decide. The problem is, they are risk-averse; they want guaranteed sales. Why they think they are entitled to these is beyond me.

DVD-A is potentially such a quality product, and a good example of failure of nerve by the industry. The cases are bigger and more attractive than CD's; the booklets are bigger, and people who want to burn DVD-As in low-res formats only wish to do it to play on iPod or in their car - copying is not a threat to primary sales.

And, after all that, the musicians, with rare exceptions of super-popular groups, make very little from recording. For them, it is promotional material. The more people have of it, the better for them, because the more likely people are are to go to concerts. I do not know a real musician with serious intent in any genre who regards any one listening to his or her music as "theft". It is the middle-men who want to own both the producer and the consumer.

Good riddance, if that's their attitude, in my opinion.
 

New member
Username: Destro713

Chicago, IL U.S.A.

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jul-04
"I do not think I shall ever buy another CD, unless there are special reasons."

What if there's an album that you want that doesn't happen to be one of the 700 DVD-A discs in circulation? Is that a "special reason?"

I find it rather disturbing that anyone would base their music listening decisions on delivery medium first, content second. I mean, c'mon... what would you rather read, a fantastic novel, or a trite novel that's printed on really fancy stock?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1687
Registered: Dec-03
Destro,

Thanks. Yes, that is a "special reason". Since I wrote that, I bought a 5-CD box of the complete Shostakovich String Quartets. It will be a long time before they come out in DVD-A, I think, and I want to get to know them, now.

Your book analogy is not good, imho. If you have novels printed clearly so you can concentrate in the content, others where you have to try to figure out what the author intended behind the fuzzy printing, it is not irrational to choose the former, just for that reason. There is a fantastic quantity of good music around these days. Starting with a recording format you like is starting, at least.

BTW I only discovered Shostakovich, very recently, because there was something of his I got on DVD-A, just because it was a DVD-A. I would never have made that step, otherwise. There is so much "choice" with CD, that there is no choice - they are all incompetition with each other, so they mostly make versions of the same thing. It is a bit like US TV channels, in my experience....

Also, there are great things not yet in the DVD-A catalogue. That is something to look forward to, don't you think....?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 23
Registered: Jun-04
It simply shows that John A. can have his cake and eat it, too.

When the CD became the de facto medium, I said to myself I would never buy another LP. I haven't done so in over 15 years. But it took that long to make me realize that many LP's will never make their transition to CD because (a) reissue producers don't see them as economically viable and feasible; (b) the surviving artists or their estate can not afford to produce the reissue; (c) the artists were one-hit wonders; (d) the old labels are long gone; and ergo, (e) so are the old master tapes.

Another reason I haven't bought another LP is that I no longer own a turntable. But someday, I will buy one again for the reasons I stated above. I have vinyl albums that will never be in the millions of CD's that are in circulation.

I'm sure John A. agrees with the rest of us that the music comes first, the medium second (I'm repeating myself here).
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1691
Registered: Dec-03
Ojophile,

I am in total agreement.

My wife bought me "Blonde on Blonde" (Bob Dylan) a few years ago. A nice thought. She did not know it was an SACD (neither did the record dealer) and therefore we could not play it. About a month ago I bought that album on new vinyl LP (http://www.simplyvinyl.com/), my first LP purchase for about eighteen years, I think. Excellent. Fantastic quality pressing; better than they used to be. Original sleeve, too; every detail. I wish they would do "classical". Everyone agrees there is no market for new classical LPs, I don't know why. The old ones, in good condition, cost a fortune.

BTW there is one classical label called "Nimbus Records" which went in to receivership a year or two ago. Some of its employees bought it, complete with all its master tapes. Many were recorded in four-channel, for "ambisonics", which never happened. They plan to begin releasing them in a surround/hi res format. (I don't know which - I have told them my opinion!). Nimbus was first in, in UK, as an independent CD mastering company; they switched early. Their LPs were superb.

BTW there are some excellent new turntables around. The UK magazine HiFi News is very good for reviews etc. A lot of people, somewhere, are still listening to music on LP.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kyle___berg

Post Number: 23
Registered: Jun-04
DVD-A...yum........
 

New member
Username: Destro713

Chicago, IL U.S.A.

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jul-04
I guess the fundamental difference between me and John A. is that he listens to classical and I do not. Classical is much more details-oriented than virtually every other type of music, which makes its enjoyment much more dependent on fidelity. I have never, and probably will never, bought a piece of music because it sounds good on a technical level. I'd rather buy a standard, 16-bit CD of an album that I've been looking for than just pick up a DVD-A disc on a whim by an artist I'm not familiar with.

Also, I do have some issues with the fact that SACD's and DVD-A discs can basically only be played on home systems. There's so much more mileage to be squeezed out of a standard CD simply because they can be listened to virtually anywhere.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1710
Registered: Dec-03
Destro,

Thanks. I listen to all sorts of music. I am not sure classical is necessarily so much more details orientated, but it is usually acoustic. The other thing about classical is you are not stuck with one particular group or performer, so you can choose on the basis of format, if you like.

I take your point about the versatiltiy of CD, also you can easily make an .mp3 or .aac version of a standard CD ( I have a son with 100s of CD tracks on an iPod). I think this will happen with DVD-A, too, but Sony-Philips have absolutely no intention of allowing consumers to edit and copy SACD files, have said so, and in fact I think this is the main point of SACD, but that's another subject.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 444
Registered: Feb-04
John A

The latest SACD's are hybrid ie: have the cd layers making what you believe is the main point of SACD a little far from reality and also making it an extremely versatile format as well.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1712
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Good point. Perhaps I am a bit behind with the latest developments. The first SACDs were stereo only, and "those guys" said they could not make hybrids - but it was a bid to get people to upgrade their collections, I think. Still the SACD format is far from versatile; it is the CD layer of those discs that you can copy, play in a car, etc.
 

Larry R.
Unregistered guest
May a "newbie" chime in here a minute? I'm reading with pleasure and education your well-thought-out postings: quite a step up from another forum which I access. As a retired fine arts reporter, I know a lot about music, and NOT a lot about electronics. I DO know that a successor to the CD is desperately needed, but am not on any "soapbox" about which format. They both sound very good to me - mostly classical and opera for my wife and me (married 23 years!) But may I ask a technical question here? I have a new Onkyo 701 receiver, and am using Polk RTi6 speakers. AND a JVC XV-N55SL DVD/CD player - which appears to give really awful CD sound. Do any of you know about his animal - and what I might do? Looking forward. . . with pleasure.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1718
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

Having started this thread, let me say you are more than welcome, and thank you for the comments. However, I personally do not know much about those specific brands. The first question might be whether it is only with CD that you find the sound "really awful"; which component can be improved can be guessed from what, specifically, the system is NOT good at.
 

Unregistered guest
Ah, yes - well, I bought the Polk speakers after several listening tests in dealers' showrooms, and partly based on cost. Living on retirement income, doncha know! GRIN Anyway - The speakers have always had a rather flat, reserved mid-range, but I notice that on FM the sound is fuller than when I play CDs. I've changed out wires, I've gone the coax vs. optical connectors, I've done analog vs. digital. Sigh. One problem is that many of my CDs were pressed in the early 80s, when the technology was not having a good day. Hmmm. . . things have gotten better. But on my system they sound tinny, distorted at high levels of orchestral works, and very tiring to listen to. This is not good! I'm hoping that somebody on this forum may have some answers - but I fear that the JVC unit itself may just not be up to the task. After all, I paid only $70 for it Online. What can I expect? If it were not for three root canals/crowns right now, I'd be checking out more expensive units. But life has a way of throwing curves. . . BTW - I'm rather delighted in reading through these forums of yours, because it sounds as though you have some truly educated folk - always a delight for me! Oh, yes - your "Shosta" experience - I'll be interested in how you deal with the Great Russian! Some like it - most find it to "gnarly" for their living rooms. But then, not all music was written to be heard in elevators!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Larry - What? You don't think the slaughter of thousands of peasants is good elevator music. I always understood Lenin went to sleep to that very sound. He strangely found it relaxing.
Kind of Muzakska.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1721
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

My first even Shostakovich disc was only late last year, a DVD-A/DVD-V-but-audio-only hybrid of "the Jazz Suites" on Naxos. Just so good. Partly through Jan's recommendation, and partly hearing impressive reviews, I also now have the complete String Qts on "Brilliant Classics" CD set, the Rubio Quartet. Wonderful performance and recording, also absurdly inexpensive. Also now the "Leningrad" Symphony on Naxos DVD-A/DVD-V. So, there is no single "Shosta" experience; he wrote for many formats and in many styles. Some of "The Jazz Suites" would grace any elevator I have ever been in. I would stay in just for the ride and the music.

I always knew there must be something good there, from the subtitle DS was obliged to put on one of the symphonies, which is something like "A Soviet artist's reply to just criticism".... Several of his friends were sentenced to death, just for writing music someone didn't care for. Also, Shostakovich's son was forced to denounce, publicly, his father, at the age of ten. What on Earth was going on there? Why did Stalin care so much about what people composed, performed and listened to?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 849
Registered: Dec-03
Destro713: this post i would just like to throw my
2 cents at." nothing dissing anyone just my experience"

""I do not think I shall ever buy another CD, unless there are special reasons."

What if there's an album that you want that doesn't happen to be one of the 700 DVD-A discs in circulation? Is that a "special reason?"

I find it rather disturbing that anyone would base their music listening decisions on delivery medium first, content second. I mean, c'mon... what would you rather read, a fantastic novel, or a trite novel that's printed on really fancy stock?"

i have been building my music library "cd's" and system
for quite some time now. the better my system has
gotten the more i realy want well recorded media.

so i picked up a sacd/dvd-audio player to see what
it was all about. and once i heard it i was hooked.
the improvement over cd's is quite large in my oppinion.

so while i'm not going to say i will never buy another
cd again!

i certainly don't go looking at them anymore.

when i go to purchase new music i go straight to
the dvd-a/sacd section and usually looking for
something i don't allready have on cd.

and have never left the store without at 3 disks
that i realy want to hear.

and because of this 3 things have happened!
my music collection has gotten larger.
the new disks i buy sound better than cd's.
and iv'e found some music that i love that i would
have never tried before.

so for me ! yes the media/format definatly comes first.

it would have to be something truly remarkable for
me to go buy a cd.

to me it's much more rewarding to see what i can
find on high rez and take it home to play in all
it's full resolution has to offer. their are more
new titles coming out everyday that i want. since
i have a universal player i can't possably afford
to buy all i want that is out their on these formats
allready!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 172
Registered: Feb-04
John A.:
It was actually a journalist who dubbed Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 (1937) "A Soviet artist's practical creative reply to just criticism." But since DS didn't repudiate the statement it stands as the work's unofficial subtitle. Many years ago the fifth was my introduction to Shostakovich, and is a piece I never tire of. That it was wildly successful with both audiences and the "state" doesn't detract from its power, and it stands as one of the 20th Century masterworks. One need only hear his Symphony No. 4, with its homage to the music of the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, et.al.) to understand why he was criticised by musicians, laymen, and the state. So hated by rehearsal orchestras and state 'previewers' that it wasn't premiered until 1962. It is a very difficult listen, even now.

In a bookstore the other day I came across a new book Shostakovich And Stalin by Solomon Volkov (Knopf, 2004), who knew Shos. the last 20 years of his life. It appears to be very skillfully translated from the Russian. I didn't get it, but have a feeling I will soon.

Larry R:
For the past few months I have been using a JVC XV-N40 DVD player as my movie machine ($60 at a local big box, after factory rebate). I'm still amazed at the video quality going into my fixed-pixel HD ready TV via prog-scan component cables. But like you I've found its CD sound rather harsh and tiring. CDs sound better on my old 100-disc Pioneer changer....

J.V.:
Someday I would love to hear some Shostakovich in an elevator--but only in a very good one. You know, the kind with mahagony veneer and marble floors. Better acoustics.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
But, John S., Shostakovich was meant to be heard by those in rickety wooden clapboard out buildings as the Siberian wind rushed through every part of the life. And most importantly was meant to be heard by those who never returned from their late night roust or disappeared while walking to the theater to direct a performance that was not accepted as Socialist Realism.
John a. and I have had this discussion before. I am smiling at the idea that I have aroused an interest in the great Russian composer but I fear, John S., I have let in yet another Bolshevik.
Mahogany and marble my Borscht! Say it ain't so.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
But, John S., Shostakovich's music was meant to be heard (if only so very faintly) by those in rickety wooden clapboard out buildings as the Siberian wind ripped through every part of their life. It was meant to be heard by those who never returned from their late night roust or disappeared while walking to the theater to direct a performance that was not accepted as Socialist Realism. And most importantly, it was meant to be heard by everyone still able to remember all those who had gone before. I always envisioned there were artists, businessmen and "politicians" who hummed his music just to remind themselves of what they were up against.
John A. and I have had this discussion before. I am smiling at the idea that I have aroused an interest in the great Russian composer but I fear, John S., I have opened the door to yet another Bolshevik.
Mahogany and marble my Borscht! Say it ain't so.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 265
Registered: Feb-04
J.V.

You're such an idealist! Don't you think most people who listen to D.S. are bolsheviks, listening in their overstuffed leather chairs on audio systems costing thousands of dollars (probably tubed equipment, no less) or in their $80 seats at the symphony.

The proletariats are listening to, um, Eminem or Tim McGraw.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 266
Registered: Feb-04
I meant most D.S. listeners are bourgeoisie in my last post, not bolsheviks.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jul-04
Whoeee, guys - may I interrupt just a sec to add a line or three, please? First, to John S. -thanks for the book posting - I'm sure to get it either at the library or Border's. Think it could add a lot to my understanding!
As to which comes first, the media or the music, well, I think that I fall right in the middle - I actually gave away nearly a thousand CDs five years ago, when my wife and I departed our landlocked life for a storm-ended odyssey that nearly cost our lives - and certainly much of our money. But that's another story.
I hint that Two Cents may be right - in the present - that DS's music is heard in "higher places," and not in our always-present peasant shacks. Change happens. . .
More anon, as lunch calls.
 

New member
Username: Destro713

Chicago, IL U.S.A.

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jul-04
"i go straight to
the dvd-a/sacd section and usually looking for
something i don't allready have on cd.

and have never left the store without at 3 disks
that i realy want to hear."


See, I don't have this luxury because 99% of the music I shop for has not been, and probably will never be, released on DVD-A.

It always seems to me that the vast majority of avaliable DVD-A titles are either classical, 70's album rock or adult contempo. I despise the latter two, and I haven't yet gotten into classical, so limiting my shopping to only DVD-A titles would pretty much mean I never find another album I like again.

One thing that surprised me, though, was the release of the new Mission Of Burma album on hybrid SACD. I think it's awesome that they bothered to release something like that on a next-gen format, even though 99.9999% of all Burma fans are probably not audiophiles in any way. And it's a great album too... it easily holds up to their classic early 80's output.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 850
Registered: Dec-03
destro713 what kinda music are you into?

i'm 35 years old and listen to mainly rock.
but dabble into just about anything except country.

favorite band is ac/dc but steely dan may be a close
second.

my favorite high rez disk so far is: becks - sea change.
extremely well recorded disk and the music is awsome.

i have been quite surprised at what i have found
that i like.

chears!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 269
Registered: Feb-04
Destro713--There are at least two Mission of Burma fans who are audiophiles here. My guess is that MoB fans are older now and can afford (and do have) good audio gear, which they wanted as young, cash-challenged MoB fans. But I agree with your general point about the lack of new music titles on DVD-A or SACD. I have had to break down and buy some redbook CDs recently.

Larry R.--I've been catching up on my reading and just read your post about your JVC player. I think when you replace your JVC player with a decent universal player, you'll get better CD performance. I went from an $80 Toshiba DVD player to the Denon 2200. The CD performance is definitely better on the Denon, but not quite as good as on my dedicated CD player (which is part of separate stereo system). However, those early 80's CDs may never sound good. I still have a few classical CDs from that era and they sound bright, strident, and cold. More recent CDs sound better, but SACD and DVD-A sound the best, but you already know that.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jul-04
Ah, Two Cents - you hit upon a central problem here: the early-80s CDs. YES - they sound awful, compared with more recent "pressings." As I posted elsewhere, we gave to a local library in Colorado nearly 1,000 of those about five years ago - and I'm now in the quite pleasant process of replacing many of them, one by one (2x2?)
In fact, I'm at this minute listening to a wonderful/awful CD - DG415-488-2 - Rudolf Serkin and Claudio Abbado with London Symphony - Mozart concertos 15 and 22. OK - those of you who don't like classical can stop reading here! G R I N
Anyway - to make it palatable at all on my system, I turn UP the bass 4 db - and turn DOWN the treble 4 db - that makes it nearly good. Sigh.
This was apparently pressed in 1987, after the worst of the early-on attempts - and I don't know why it's as bad as it is. Whenever I find that there are re-releases of this, I'll get it!
Having met Mr. Serkin on two occasions as part of my reporting-job, this is a "personal" CD. A consider myself a fortunate man, having met so many musicians and writers of note (yeah, I know, a pun?) over thirty years of, uh, "corresponding."
I think I'll jog over to my doctor-friend's house this eve for some better listening - he's got Marantz, McIntosh and Martin Logan gear - and leaves his house in my care through the torrid summer months. Hey - free TV and hi-res sound!!!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
2c - Yes, idealism is my strong suit. I would have been whisked away long ago if not for my ability to turn to smoke and waft through the holes. And I believe my party is going to win in November.

But what a slam to my Stickley rocker and McIntosh tubes. I shall retire to lick my wounds.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 270
Registered: Feb-04
JV--Didn't mean to slam your Stickley furniture and McIntosh gear. I'd be a hypocrite otherwise, listening to D.S. on my Italian-made Audio Analogue amp, sitting in my Eames lounge chair, after not having had a hard day ploughing the field.

Larry R--My recent re-discovery of orchestral music, especially Mahler, has been the result of getting a universal player. SACD and DVD-A don't suffer from the congested sound of CD on large orchestral passages. It is a revelation. However, I return to my CDs on occasion for great performances not available on SACD/DVD-A, but now that I've tasted hi-res music, there's always a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Have fun at your doctor-friend's house.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 18
Registered: Jul-04
Two Cents: "Congested Sound!" That's it! That's EXACTLY the phrase I have been trying to use with my CD player. Sorta like stopped-up sinuses, musically speaking. Thanks. On my way out the door to the good doc's house - taking some of my less-than-great CDs with me, to assess their quality (or lack thereof) on his drool-covered system. GRIN More shortly - my wife says I can't stay out late, especially if I have to cross major intersections! Hmmm. . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 19
Registered: Jul-04
Two Cents: "Congested Sound!" That's it! That's EXACTLY the phrase I have been trying to use with my CD player. Sorta like stopped-up sinuses, musically speaking. Thanks. On my way out the door to the good doc's house - taking some of my less-than-great CDs with me, to assess their quality (or lack thereof) on his drool-covered system. GRIN More shortly - my wife says I can't stay out late, especially if I have to cross major intersections! Hmmm. . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 20
Registered: Jul-04
Sorry about the double post - for some reason, it takes forever to get my computer to latch onto the forums - then I hit refresh and mess everything up - again. Sorry. . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Destro713

Chicago, IL U.S.A.

Post Number: 11
Registered: Jul-04
destro713 what kinda music are you into?

I listen to a whole lot of stuff. My tastes are probably too haphazard and broad to describe by just listing genres, so here's a randomly selected list of 10 albums that I really like. They're not my top 10, but they would all probably somewhere in the top 50 if I made such a list.

The Pixies / Doolittle
Can / Ege Bamyasi
The Fall / This Nation's Saving Grace
GZA / Liquid Swords
Curtis Mayfield / Superfly
The Stooges / Fun House
Joy Division / Closer
Jay-Z / The Black Album
Kraftwerk / Computer World
Wire / 154
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 271
Registered: Feb-04
Destro--The Stooges in hi-res just doen't seem right. On the other hand, Joy Division in hi-res surround sound could be interesting.

You give a pretty eclectic list there. A couple of hi-res discs you might be interested in are Outkast's Stankonia (DVD-A) if you like funky rap. It has a good surround mix. Also, the first two Big Star albums are available on a single SACD, which I haven't heard yet.

Larry R.--Just wondering if you ever had the pleasure (or the pain) of meeting Glenn Gould?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 28
Registered: Jul-04
Two Cents:
Sorry, did not have a chance to meet with Glenn Gould - though, if anyone has the slightest interest, I have spent time with the likes of Serkin; Brendel; Perahia; Barenboim; Horowitz and Arrau, etc. etc. Thirty years in "the biz" and you run up against a lot of talent! Fortunately for me. . . LR
 

New member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 8
Registered: Sep-04
I'm coming into this thread very late, though I have just read it for the first time.

I don't think the CD will be on the way out that quickly. I expect high resolution to remain a exclusive market for quite awhile. I believe, some of the best music ever, is older music, or you could say this is my opinion. It has been stated in articles I've read that it is costly for the industry at this point, and they don't make much money from them. We know that is all they are concerned about primarily. The high-res market is driven by a minority of this industry. Taking older music from analog tapes and remixing it is the ultimate way to put it on a high-res format. But as you know, this takes much more time and money. Therefore this is how it stands at this point. There is not a big concern since its not a big money maker.

I would like these releases done right for the treasured music we love. The Rolling Stones are doing this in mass. These aren't being remixed, just remastered.

I do know that Mickey Hart is dedicated to remixing the older music and preserving. He is very excited with high-res surround. This is the ultimate way, if the old tapes are in good enough shape, and the rights to the can be had.

Lindsey Buckingham is another that is excited about high-res surround. Say You Will was released on CD and DVD-A at the same time. The first new recording that I know of that was done that way.

I know there are others that I don't know about. This is a little out of context, but I do know that Sony paid off Pink Floyd to get them to release Dark Side of the Moon on SACD instead of DVD-A. It was originally planned for DVD-A. Sony is trying to 'niche' the market for SACD over DVD-A.

There are other companies pushing high-res sound, but my concern is that is is done properly like the format deserves. After all, this is what musicians have been waiting for. I just hope the industry respects that.
 

New member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 9
Registered: Sep-04
One other note for those of you who hope its around for good. Some of these releases on DVD-Audio are being watched for how many are sold. Need I say more? :-) So tell your friends, spread the word and turn people onto high-res audio. Been thinking about buying this or that? Please go buy it.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2158
Registered: Dec-03
Keith, thanks!

" but I do know that Sony paid off Pink Floyd to get them to release Dark Side of the Moon on SACD instead of DVD-A"

That is serious. May I ask how you know?
 

New member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 10
Registered: Sep-04
That comment was probably not the correct word in its literal meaning.
Royalties may be a better word though the exact words that were used last year, when I was told, do not come clear to memory. I cannot provide you anything in writing without doing some extensive searching on the internet, like I did at that time. I was told by a reliable source that was the case. I did find information that reflected that. Sorry I cannot provide that for you now...it was so long ago and I did not save the info. Frankly it just pissed me off. I did have information long before its release on SACD that it was planned for DVD-A. I was just waiting for the release on DVD-A, and was shocked and upset when I found out it went on SACD. I'm very sorry I cannot provide you with more information.
 

Sany Corporation Legal Dept.
Unregistered guest
That was a close call!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 11
Registered: Sep-04
I can only imagine the graphics that could have come with this release on DVD-Audio. The biggest selling album of all time.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2161
Registered: Dec-03
Keith,

It's OK. Sorry, I was a bit rude. It is just that I am busy arguing on other threads that SACD is all about copy protection and price fixing, with better sound just a sort of bait on the hook. My friends think I am a bit paranoid about this. I worry that an electronics company now owns swathes of the recording catalogues; the music you rightly praise. They hold the keys to its distribution and reproduction and have a monopoly. But I've just discovered DVD-A is also now increasingly encrypted, having just bought a disc that won't play on a new player until I get a firmware upgrade to deal with the stronger copy protection.

SCLD,

Not close enough!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 12
Registered: Sep-04
John,
For a external home DVD player or computer DVD player? How unusual.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2163
Registered: Dec-03
Keith,

The former. I need to post this update on the thread NAD T533 DVD/CD player user's review, and DVD-Audio. I was waiting to see if it really is the solution. It will be a pain to have to send the unit back.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 13
Registered: Sep-04
John,
I'm sure this is a silly question, but have you tried to exchange the DVD, or try it on another player?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2164
Registered: Dec-03
Keith,

Those are good questions. I bought the DVD-A in another country so it would be difficult to change. But it is new, out of the cellophane wrapper, and I do not think it is the disc. I will take it to the hifi dealer, who has different DVD-A players, to see. Last time I did this, with another non-playing disc, the disc would play on a Denon A-11 but not on a showroom NAD T533. The staff were puzzled (actually I had to explain DVD-A to them - they suggested a better co-ax cable!) and they suggested "take the disc back". So I did. But the record shop had no replacement in stock, so I got my money back. Frustrating; I never found out if it was the disc. But, again, it was probably incompatibility between the disc and player, because of copy protection. This time I mean to find out for sure. I'll let you know.

Just when the recording industry finally has a new and better product, DVD-A, they fall back on their old protectionist ways. Which may turn out to be a barrier to acceptance of the format, and a shot in the foot. I am told analogue surround sound went this way in the 1970s; there were too many incompatible formats for consumers to know which way to go. This time there is the 5.1 DVD-V movie success story to help the transition, I suppose. But it would be good if more record shops and hifi dealers actually knew what DVD-A is.

Plus consumers, of course. I agree with your comments!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 64
Registered: Sep-04
Sorry to pour cold water on this discussion, but I have yet to hear a high resolution format that I like. I've played with DVD-A in the form of the Arcam players and the cheap Pioneers and I've played with SACD with the original £4000 SCD-1. I heard nothing I liked. Sure, I heard extra resolution, space and scale, but from a musical point of view I felt the mixes did not work as well as I'd hoped, both in situations where I knew the original material (Pink Floyd DSOTM and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells) but also with new stuff. The really nice thing is that the CD track of the Pink Floyd is brilliant!

Buton the high res formats, to me I felt that I was hearing the pieces not the piece - it just fell apart. Also, the CD performance is nowhere near as good as an equivalently priced dedicated CD player. In my view an NAD C542 will run an Arcam DV79 close for CD performance even though it's one third the price. Of course it doesn't play DVDs...

I was talking to a disc supplier the other day at the London HiFi show and asked him about DVD-A and SACD. He said that not only are they doing very poor sales, but for a period of about 6 weeks in summer he didn't register one single SACD sale.

It's a real pity. I think one of these formats could have been the way forward for the world, but I think there's enough confusion on the DVD-A/SACD front that the general public doesn't want to know and is quite happy to live with CD until the new formats sort themselves out. After all, next month sees the release of 2 or 3 Blue Ray players in Japan. Blue Ray has the capacity to obliterate everything else. It has way higher resolution than either DVD-A or SACD. It's not compatible with any traditional system (DVD/CD) but given that DVD-A and SACD are virtually stillborn, I see just as much chance of Blue Ray happening as anything else.

Then again, I think that none of this matters to the great buying public who will happily continue buying/ripping CDs since they perceive it as good enough - and given that a top end CD player is now extremely good perhaps they have a point.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1561
Registered: Dec-03
obviously frank everyone is entitled to there oppinion.

and whether they like the any of the new formats is entirely
up to them.

but you'll find many "including myself" who feel both sacd and dvd-a
are a major upgrade over cd. and enjoy many titles,
including dark side of the moon.

I believe most sacd's and dvd-a's are better then cd's even
in 2 channel. "at least on my system and 2 friends systems"

evrytime I go to buy music I usually come home with 2 or 3 titles
that are sacd or dvd-a that i want. and i think theirs only one
that i felt wasn't recorded very well, some are better than others.

personally i'm very very glad the high rez exists.
I have 2 players and love what they do for my system!

just my 2 cents.




 

Anonymous
 
The end for CD can't be too far off. LINN have said that they are no longer making the CD12 and have no plans to replace it with an 'all round' player until things settle down.
Shame really 'cause 47labs have released the long awaited 'pitracer' another CD only format CD player.
Wonder if CD's will go the same way as LP's?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 15
Registered: Sep-04
Frank,

I've never heard of the Blue Ray players. Even if does encompass a greater resolution than other formats, I wouldn't think it would improve the sound anymore than DVD-A or SACD has now. The content on these discs is not compressed at all. That had always been the problem with albums and cds, the content had to be compressed. I'm not knocking Blue Ray at all though...anything new is always ususally exciting.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 16
Registered: Sep-04
John,

I assumed these were copy protected, but was never sure. Do they use the same copy protection scheme that DVD Videos have? Its disturbing that your having a problem with this, I can imagine. Its the first time I've ever heard of anyone having a problem with a DVD playing because of copy protection. I hope you are able to get it figured out.

Do you mind telling me what DVD-A it is?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2172
Registered: Dec-03
Keith,

Not at all. Berlin Philharmonic/Simon Rattle playing Mahler 5th Symphony and Adés "Aslya" on the EMI 7243 4 90325 9 0.. WE can probably add Frank Sinatra/Count Basie "Live at the Sands" on Warner.

Anon,

Wonder if CD's will go the same way as LP's?

The difference is that in twenty years' time people will not pull out their old CDs, play them, and discover that CD was better than the thing that replaced it, after all. Unless, of course, the "thing" is MP3....
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2173
Registered: Dec-03
Frank,

I am with you most of the way. Except Blu-Ray is a way to get more information on a disc. It is more likely to be used for extended playing time and hi-res video than sound quality.

I have a some DVD-As that give the best quality recorded sound I have ever heard, by far, on any medium. DVD-A has huge potential, if sound quality is what we want. The problem is the market, what people want, and the industry, what it wants!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 66
Registered: Sep-04
The thing is that all the discs I have heard have delivered in the most obvious ways such as resolution, but all of them without exception have such big timing problems that the music seems devoid of emotion, expression, involvement.

I appreciate what the hi-res formats do, but unless they can work their sums out better to give decent timing, these formats will remain stillborn in my view.

I think Blu-Ray will also be stillborn, which is a shame since it has far more potential than any other digital format currently.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 766
Registered: Aug-04
"but all of them without exception have such big timing problems that the music seems devoid of emotion, expression, involvement."

Without exception eh Mr Abela? If such is the case, the people like myself and many others who listen and enjoy them must be brainless zombies for not noticing these flaws. If you don't mind my saying so, IMHO I think you speak complete and utter tripe.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 51
Registered: Sep-04
Frank,

I'm not sure what you mean by timing. Did you adjust your speaker levels with a SPL meter?

How about your speaker distance settings in your receiver? Are they set correctly?

How many speakers do you have, and are they positioned correctly for high res?

After all of that is done, you still must find the "sweet spot" to sit.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2206
Registered: Dec-03
Three DVD-As to try for timing etc. You have not heard these, or you would not hold that view. They would make good showroom demo discs.

The Sixteen. Spem in Alium. Coro. (4.0) My nomination for the best recording, ever.
London Mozart Players. Vivaldi Four Seasons etc. Naxos. (5.0)
Orebro Chamber Orchestra. Mozart Flute Concerti. Naxos (4.1; says "5.1" on the box).

All three are also available in SACD - I have only heard the DVD-A.

Even if you do not care for the music, those discs give sound closer to the original than you could ever hope for, from stereo. There are others from different genres, but those discs aim to reproduce a live, acoustic performance. And they do it very well.

I agree that many engineers screw up, but not all.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 59
Registered: Jun-04
Frank Abela wrote: "I was talking to a disc supplier the other day at the London HiFi show and asked him about DVD-A and SACD. He said that not only are they doing very poor sales, but for a period of about 6 weeks in summer he didn't register one single SACD sale."

Of course, why would he expect his till to ring merrily? Both are new formats and still locked in a format tug-o-war.

(a) People are confused, (b) the choices of titles are limited, (c) there's little information dissemination about DVD-A's and SACD's to attract buyers, (d) players are not cheap, and (e) even if players were affordable, they could play only one but not both formats. You don't expect people to run to the music store and grab DVD-A's and SACD's by the sack, do you? Tell me, Frank, how many people are buying the new 8-megapixel digital cameras? Many are quite happy with their 3-megapixel units, so why rush out to buy another step-up?

The point is, today's consumers are smarter and more well-informed . The old marketing trick, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak", just doesn't work anymore.

Frank Abela wrote: "...but all of them without exception have such big timing problems that the music seems devoid of emotion, expression, involvement."

I think that's insulting to all the recording/remastering engineers who are doing their best to elevate the listening experience to higher levels.

What kind of music were you listening to, anyway? Can you explain to this forum what you meant by "big timing problems" and "music seems devoid of emotion..."?



 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2207
Registered: Dec-03
Just to record my agreement with Ojophile.

The cuprits in all this are not, generally, the engineers, but the marketing strategists and particularly the "digital rights" planners and lawyers.

The industry now has a product that will be successful if judged for what it is, and sold at reasonable prices. The problem is the way things are marketed. I suspect the format war arises from competing attempts to secure a monopoly, and thereby have prices controlled not by the market but by producers. We all lose out from this.
 

Robert F.
Unregistered guest
John A, THANK YOU for all your posts in this thread and the others on this site! I'm NOTHING of the audiophile that you and the others here are, but I'm in the process of upgrading my stereo / home theater system, and I needed to have at least SOME clue what to look for. Your threads have been incredibly educational.

To the point: I've spent nearly a WEEK now trying to figure out what kind of CD/DVD playback/recorder thingy to buy. You probably can't even imagine how overwhelming the choices have become for those of us who last upgraded back in the late 80's. Maybe my experience can give you some insight into what the "masses" are going through.

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

I needed a CD player with digital outputs, so I started looking for suitable single-disk CD players. I soon found that CD changers aren't much more expensive, so I was all set to buy one of those instead. Then I stumbled across a dual-tray CD RECORDER that wasn't much more expensive than a changer, and could shuffle play from both trays AS WELL AS burning CD copies. I tend to listen to my music only a couple albums at a time anyway, so I decided to buy the dual-tray CD recorder. Might be handy.

At that point, I got kind of greedy and started to wonder if I could find something similar to dupe DVDs too. Turns out there's a whole bunch of copy-protection hurdles that prevent such a device from being manufactured, but it took me a while to figure that out. In the meantime, I discovered the TiVo-ish DVD recorders w/ built-in tuners. Neat. Gotta' have one.

So I started to wonder -- if I'm buying a new DVD "thingy" anyway, maybe I should just use THAT to play my CDs. And that made me wonder: "How, exactly, do you get surround sound from a CD anyway???" This drove me to a bunch of new research into DVD players which ultimately led to my discovery of SACD, DVD-Audio, and this forum.

Meanwhile, I've been grappling with the myriad of associated cabling issues, which have taken me from "Get rid of the audio cables to go digital!" all the way back to "Forget the digital cables and get 6 audio cables!" Let me tell you, THAT was a mind-bender!

Moreover, I've discovered that nobody really uses equalizers anymore, though just about EVERY decent stereo system in the late 80's had one. My new home theater receiver, in fact, doesn't even have a loop to hook one into. I guess my EQ will just be relegated to tweaking the sound on my tape deck.

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

Now, I have to say that I have FAR more patience and tenacity when it comes to learning about technical stuff than most anybody I know, so I'm betting that the "masses" are going to jump ship on this whole process somewhere in the middle, and just buy something.

So before you start saying that the masses don't care about quality, realize that they DO -- they just don't generally have the patience to go through what I've been through. They appreciate quality sound, but they want it EASY.

So what do I think this means for the industry? I think that ANY medium that delivers superior sound with the same or better convenience will win out over CDs. DVD-Audio has a very good chance of being such a medium, because it already has the superior quality, so it's just an issue of matching the convenience of CDs, and that can't be too hard with the abundance of combo DVD/CD players.

Meanwhile, Sony's protectionism will destroy the only viable competitor -- SACD. There's a lot of precedent for that outcome that I'm frankly rather shocked that Sony didn't anticipate.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I've been saving my comments up as I read through a couple years' worth of posts. ;-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 50
Registered: Nov-04
being a poor college student, i have never personally heard DVD-A or SACD so i can not make a comparison to CDs but i do have an idea as to why they are not more wide spread. i think its from the general ignorance of the public. i am sure that most people dont even know how a cds works let alone how dvds work. or for that matter, most of the things we use that are technological. im sure most people dont know how a computer works, a tv works, wireless internet, cars, microwaves. so both formats being leading edge in the more or less obscure world of hifi doesn't give either a good chance for people caring about them. but from what i have read, i can not wait to get my hands on the new formats.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2640
Registered: Dec-03
Robert and Christopher,

Many thanks. I read with interest, and agree. It is a complete audio jungle out there, and most people have got more to do in their lives than try to hack through it.

I wrote the first post, here, because I wanted to be clear about the one thing I thought I could say, after going through all this.

"You probably can't even imagine how overwhelming the choices have become for those of us who last upgraded back in the late 80's".

Yes, I can, Robert. "Been there; done that"!

The only point I would underline is that it is crazy to throw away your stereo, if it is working and you are pleased with it. There is really nothing new in loudspeaker and amplifier design. Also even with 5.1 DVD-A, you are still likely to go on enjoying stereo, and why not?

I acquired DVD-A almost by accident, when I incorporated my old stereo into the 5.1 DVD system my family wanted because of their keen interest and enjoyment of movies/films. It was the best way to go, I am sure of it. The all-in one home theater/cinema systems you see really do not have the basic quality of design and construction compared with a moderate 1980s HiFi system. For example, I am sure many people are today discarding excellent speakers, replacing them with worse ones, made for surround sound, with five at the price of two.

The reason is the same as the one you give: it is not that that people do not care about sound quality; it is rather that than cannot work out how to incorporate separate units, it seems like high risk (it might not work), and it is easier just to go out and buy a complete system, out of one box, trusting the maker to get everything right.

As regards moving into the new HiFi era on a limited budget, one thing to consider is as follows. If your existing speakers are large and full-range, then the active sub-woofer really should be the last thing on your shopping list. All 5.1 processors and receivers can be set to "no sub" in which case the ".1", "Low Frequency Effect (LFE)" channel is not lost, it is just given to the main speakers. This can be preferable.

The other thing I would suggest is that a DVD-A/DVD-V player is quite likely to be an good CD player, too, performing as well as a CD-only player at the same price. At the same time, DVD-A and DVD-V discs can also be played in stereo mode. In fact, "Stereo PCM" (on many music DVD-Vs) is as good as two-channel DVD-A. So acquiring a DVD-A player now, instead of a CD-only player, is not an extravagant thing to do. The extra channels can also wait, until you can afford something you will be pleased with.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

As to the viability of the two formats and the likelyhood that only one will survive. My bet goes to Sony and SACD. Why? For several reasons (one being that is the format I have chosen), but, consider this. The AVERAGE consumer isn't that interested in researching a product to find the technical ins and outs of the how to's. The AVERAGE consumer wants their technology spoon fed to them. That's were Sony scores big points in this race.
Imagine the AVERAGE consumer walking up to a display of hi rez discs. Faced with a decision, it is quite possible the AVERAGE consumer will think in this manner. "Hmmm, SUPER audio CD? Hey, I really like CD, it sounds great. I'll bet SUPER audio CD is really ... SUPER!!! Now what's this other thing? DVD-A??? Oh, DVD AUDIO! Cripes, I've all ready got audio coming out of the DVD player; why would I need this? What a cheap way to sell something I don't need! Who are they trying to fool? Not this AVERAGE consumer, that's for sure!!!"


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2645
Registered: Dec-03
I think that is a very likely scenario, J.V.

It supposes the "Average consumer" has forgotten the CD slogan, of course. So it might depend on his or her age.

Another "average consumer" might walk into the display of discs and think:

"'Super Audio CD?'...How is this supposed to be better than CD? I thought CD was 'perfect'? Who are they trying to fool?"

"Oh, DVD AUDIO! Gadzookes*, some of those movies we watch sound pretty good, so an AUDIO DVD is an great idea; I really care about sound quality, and this is going to sound even better than the movies!"

So he picks up the box, and reads "Will play on any DVD-player". He is sceptical, but thinks "Well, lets give it a try". He takes it home, and it sounds really good, in the DVD player he has already.

And he already has an MP3 player or iPod, which he is pleased with, and which doesn't require him to carry around a lot of discs; or load them on public transport, or while driving a car. So he thinks to himself "Whilst at home, why not go for music in surround sound, too? That is REALLY cool!"

*"Gadzookes" is another deliberate anachronism. I think only Billy Bunter ever really said "Cripes". "F... me" is the modern equivalent, I believe.

Anyone reading this thread alone should also note that there are advocates of SACD, and even stronger advocates of keeping options open by getting a player that plays CD, DVD-A, DVD-V and SACD.

There is also a thread SACD or DVD-A - which way will the industry go

Another general point, which may be contentious, is that the average consumer is deeply conservative, and follows trends rather than leading them. This is where the marketing guys come in, controlling perceptions without having to deliver on promises, and this is where I would give SACD better than even odds, myself, if just one format has to prevail, and on the strength of what I see in shops and music reviews. But who knows? It is not obvious that SACD will not go the way of Digital Audio Cassette, Laserdisc, or any of a host of other formats that were hyped to death, and people just did not really see any use for. Same for DVD-A. Also, it is not obvious that the two formats cannot co-exist.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 722
Registered: Dec-03
It supposes the "Average consumer" has forgotton the CD slogan, of course.

John, I think the point is that the "average consumer" truly believes that CD is perfect sound forever. To them, CD is CD. So if Super Audio CD is even better, to them it is still CD.

My biggest fear is true stereo recording and reproduction is going to become extinct. For no good reason IMHO.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1204
Registered: Aug-04
"My biggest fear is true stereo recording and reproduction is going to become extinct. For no good reason IMHO."

Sleep easy Rick, I doubt that will hppen in our lifetime. There's just too much stereo junk out there belong to those 'average' audio consumers.

:-)

I tend to agree with Jan that if only one surround format survives, it will be SACD. However, in our local store the predominent format (in their small MC section) is DVD-A. The new duel-disc is coming albeit with much obfuscation and product suitability problems. If they get that sorted DVD-A just might have a chance of survival. I hope so - the world is big enough for both of these amazing sound formats.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2648
Registered: Dec-03
Rick,

Thanks.

I think the point is that the "average consumer" truly believes that CD is perfect....so if Super Audio CD is even better..."

I am not trying to trap you Rick, but no-one can believe both of those things! It would be too easy...

MR,

I agree, and thanks, also. Stereo will always be there, as far as any of us can see. After all, mono is still with us, fifty years after stereo. The point is, surely, you can always merge channels.

Rick may be right, provided a good stereo recording in the first place is better than downmixed 5.1, say. But I don't think that is likely. Do we hear any deterioration in a mono radio broadcast that results from it having been sent out in stereo?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 723
Registered: Dec-03
Rantz,

There's just too much stereo junk out there belonging to those average audio consumers.......

I think just the opposite my friend. Home Theater components now outsell Stereo components. The mid-fi stereo component market is getting smaller every day. It won't be long until truly high-end gear is the only available for stereo reproduction. Most homes today listen to music thru multi-channel receivers, even if they listen to stereo. Have you gone out and tried to find a new good stereo only 2 channel receiver lately? Good luck.
 

Robert F.
Unregistered guest
John, thanks for your advice.

I totally agree with your comments about not discarding perfectly good stereo equipment just because it doesn't do surround. My upgrade has been precipitated by a convergence of two factors: (1) my wife and I want to hear movies in surround, and (2) my wife wants a stereo upstairs in her office. So I can move my 80's components upstairs for her and upgrade the downstairs stuff to 5.1 surround. Great Christmas gifts for both of us!

Regarding Speakers: My main speakers are Polk RT800s, and I've been completely happy with them. I'm keeping those downstairs, and I'm shopping for the appropriate matched rears (Polk f/x500i) and a center (Polk CS245i) on eBay. They don't come up for sale often, but I'm patient. The RT800s have such excellent bass that I'm not really interested in a subwoofer yet, so it's reassuring to hear you confirm that hunch. :-)

Coming from the 80's audio scene, I've always had a dim view of all-in-one systems, even when shopping on a budget. And you're right -- most of the "surround" speaker sets in my price range are just lame, featuring tinny speakers w/ a sub to mask the shortcomings. ick.

Lastly, thanks for this comment: "So acquiring a DVD-A player now, instead of a CD-only player, is not an extravagant thing to do." That's exactly what I was worried about, so it's good to have some encouragement.

BTW, JV and JA -- I enjoyed your "average consumer" scenarios immensely! I could see either playing out, but I think it comes down to the availability of the PLAYERS, and that's where DVD-A will win out, EVEN IF THE CONSUMERS AREN'T ACTUALLY GETTING DVD-A QUALITY FROM THEIR DVD-V PLAYERS!!! The very fact that Joe Consumer can put the disk into something and PLAY it, while he CAN'T with SACD, makes all the difference, IMHO.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

But joe can put a SACD in his car stereo and it will play. DVD-A won't do that trick.

Just curious, John, you do know stereo FM broadcasts are sent out in mono.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2649
Registered: Dec-03
Robert, you are most welcome. And thank you for the reply.

You are planning to extend your system in the way that I did, starting about a two years ago, and would certainly do again. I am more like "average consumer" No.2. In fact, the only rapid "upgrade" I have ever done was to get an NAD T533 DVD player last April, to add "true" DVD-A. That was a result of hearing some DVD-A discs in DVD-V mode, DTS format, on a still-new NAD T532, and being very impressed with the sound even there. I was not disappointed with the result. Hence the first post on this thread. BTW the "old" T532 is still an excellent DVD-V and CD player, on my scale of things, and still in daily use, feeding the older stereo system. I do not regret getting either of those players. Apart from that, my only significant purchase was the 5.1 AV receiver.

Even the centre speaker is not strictly essential, by the way. The receiver/player can also be set to distribute the contents of the centre channel to the main speakers, just as with the LFE channel. I also stayed with my long-time favourite "affordable" speaker maker, which happens, in my case, to be KEF. If you like your Polk speakers, it seems natural and sensible to stick with that make. I would be most interested to know how you get on.

J.V.,

Thanks, too. I think Joe can only put SACD/CD hybrid discs in most car players. Is that right? This was another change of direction in SACD. Originally, the discs were two-channel only, and SACD only. Not enough people bought players. As I have said, and good people, such as My Rantz, disagree, I think the aim of the main players (who own both the medium and much of the recorded music catalogue) was originally to get people to replace their CD collections, to boost flagging sales of recorded music, while at the same time introducing a standard format that could not be copied.

I thought the L and R FM channels are carried on different frequencies, but I have not looked it up, and can't remember where I got that idea.

As regards DVD-A vs SACD for sound quality, I have never heard anyone claim SACD is better, except on a few particular discs, where the question arises whether the two formats carry the same mix.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

FM was carried on two separate frequencies in the very early days of stereo broadcasts. Many of the original set ups for stereo FM reception added another mono tuner which was tuned to a different frequency. Very much as the early stereo amps were a second mono amplifier that was added to the existing mono unit.
Not sure when the change was mde in Europe to a standardized format for stereo FM broadcasting. The change occurred in the late '50's in the US. Since that time the stereo signal is fed to a synthesized mixer (a multiplexer) that combines the two channels as a mono signal. The two signals ride along as one signal with two phase patterns, 180 degrees out of phase with one another. A 19kHz pilot signal is broadcast along with the mono signal and this signal is fed to the multiplexer. The multiplexer separates the signal back to its stereo format. Hence the term, FM multiplex. Since FM is bandwidth limited to 50 to 15kHz, the 19kHz pilot carrier shouldn't be a problem unless the FM multiplexer is poorly designed or has developed a problem. In that case you can hear the frequencies "beat" against the carrier. People with decent hearing, particularly younger women, can sometimes hear the carrier as it exists within their range of hearing.

http://antiqueradio.org/mcintosh01.htm

The need for a tuner that didn't require two channels became more important when FM radios found their way into cars as an accessory.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2651
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks for that, J.V. Really interesting. That's how out of date I am. In the analogue days, a quality FM stereo broadcast of a live performance was regarded by many as the reference point of HiFi. The BBC got angry letters when it started introducing compression, but to no avail. There is still somthing magical about hearing them turn off the fountain in the Albert Hall, and the hush of expectation, before a live prom concert. I wonder of we will ever see 4-channel FM. I am getting out my old stereo FM tuner for use back in UK and will look at it with new respect!
 

New member
Username: Robert_f

Tampa, FL USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-04
John, thanks for the tip on the center speaker. In fact, when I told the Polk support rep several weeks ago that I had limited space for a speaker on top of my TV, he told me much the same thing -- that the fronts could handle the center channel OK in a pinch.

On the other hand, I tend to use a bit of the TV speaker (gasp!) when I'm watching movies in stereo because it moves the sound up front where the action is. That seems to suggest that I'd appreciate a good center. Unfortunately, there are few matched centers that will actually fit in the available space, so I just have to keep waiting for one to show up on eBay.

Do you have any comments on DVD changers vs. single-disk DVD players? Back in "the day", changers were so error-prone that audiophiles avoided them like the plague. Have they matured? Thanks!

P.S. - JV sure knows his stuff!
P.P.S. - Heck, I registered here. Learning too much. :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2652
Registered: Dec-03
Robert,

When you have a center speaker, you can control its volume independently of the other speakers. For me, that is good news and bad news. For music, sometimes the engineers often give you blown-up soloists on the center channel, as if that is all you are interested in. Then, I like it turned down or even off. For movies, three channels at the front are supposed to give a wide sound stage that is consistent over a larger listening area, not just from the stereo "sweet spot". I am currently engaged in mortal combat with JV on another thread over the issue of whether a center channel helps at all, for a good stereo sound stage. Amongst other things, JV cites classic recordings such as on Mercury Living Presence, where the engineers used three microphones, with the intention of "audiophiles" having three-channel amps and three speakers to play the recording. It is a good point. Personally, I dislike having to fiddle with balance controls. I'd rather just listen, or listen and watch.

Yes, JV knows his stuff on audio, no question; has extensive knowledge and understanding. I have failed to convince him of the value of surround sound, for music. So far.... Also, he does bang on a bit, unlike posters such as myself, who like to keep it short and to the point, as you can see...

Sorry I know zilch about changers. I am a hair-shirt single disc man, myself. We have never watched a movie without at least two pauses even in one disc. The break to change discs in the middle of the Lord of The Rings extended editions (much better sound BTW; also content) is welcome, to us, excellent though the movies are. I could not envisage listening to anything for three and a half hours without a break. That's me, and us.

Good luck, and welcome, Robert. Do let us know what you decide to do.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 85
Registered: Sep-04

quote:

But joe can put a SACD in his car stereo and it will play. DVD-A won't do that trick.




True J. Vigne, but unless his car player is capable of playing the high resolution layer, there is no point in buying a SACD for your car player. You won't hear the difference due to road noise. Currently, I've not seen any SACD car units.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kingfish

Post Number: 86
Registered: Sep-04

quote:

John, thanks for the tip on the center speaker. In fact, when I told the Polk support rep several weeks ago that I had limited space for a speaker on top of my TV, he told me much the same thing -- that the fronts could handle the center channel OK in a pinch.




Robert, I found a center speaker stand that mounts on top of your TV at Best Buy. I mainly got it because my projection widescreen is not strong enough to support the heavy center I have. Basically it a flat piece that sits on your TV top and has supports on the rear of the piece that uses mounts with velcro on the back of your TV. Works very nicely and sturdy.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 630
Registered: Dec-03
It has been quite a while since I visited here due to moving my business to a new and larger site (and one that we no longer pay rent on:-).Anyway, back to the topic at hand:

I think that the average consumer thinks cd's are better than LP's for various reasons. The portability of cd's( they play in cars and on the go in walkman-type devices) and they have a much better noise floor than LP's. Sure, many early cd's were poorly engineered, but most studios have learned how to engineer and burn good copies. The average consumer rarely gets into the debate of whether an analogue LP recording is better or worse than a CD--they almost always think a cd is better (whether it is or isn't has become mostly a moot point, as cd's far outsell LP's and very few people buy new turntables other than LP audiophiles with large LP collections).

I have 2 universal players (the Denon 3910 and the PE 59AVi and buy both SACD's and DVD-A's. Since Sony has their own catalogue of music, it currently is true that SACD has an edge in available software .But I recently bought a new Acura RL (and my mom got a new Acura TL) and they both come equipped with DVD-A systems. They sound great and play CD's and even MP3's too (although I don't listen to MP3's in my car). It may well take a few years to see how many other automobile manufacturers equip their vehicles with DVD-A or SACD. As far as I know there are no manufacturers equipping their cars with SACD. Maybe Sony will soon have an aftermarket player for the auto industry, but unless it comes as original equipment with the car, I expect that market to be rather small.

Since a DVD-A will also play on a DVD player without DVD-A (although it won't have the DVD-A redbook specs), it is quite possible that the music industry (outside of Sony) may eventually just release the DVD-A format---as most people I know own DVD players and even first time buyers purchase DVD players rather than cd players, as the DVD player will play most formats (other than SACD). Time will tell if the new high-Rez and low noise floor formats will ever become de rigeur.

I hear that Lexus and Cadillac are offering DVD-A surround systems (as an option)in their 2005 cars. If past is prologue to the future, this technology will eventually drip down to the non-luxury segments. Unless Sony starts making deals with auto makers, they may well end up with the short end of the stick. Since most Americans I know love listening to music in their cars, the format that captures that market will undoubtedly win the home market. Of course, it is quite possible that neither format will get enough traction---but the people at Acura tell me that numerous people have bought these new cars, rather than other similarly priced models, because DVD-A comes with every car (it isn't even an option---you get it no matter what).

It will be interesting to see what transpires in the next few years.
 

New member
Username: Robert_f

Tampa, FL USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-04
Keith, thanks for the tip about the speaker stand for the center. My problem is actually one of vertical space rather than stability or weight, though: I have the TV in an entertainment center, and there's less than 7" of clearance atop the TV.

I thought about putting the center up on top of the whole EC, but then I think it may be up too high for a good effect. My wife might have a problem with the aesthetics of that too. ;-)

Gregory --

I agree w/ your argument about the importance of the auto manufacturers to launching a new audio technology. If DVD-A has a jump there, it will have a huge impact on the game.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2658
Registered: Dec-03
Robert,

Consider buying just one of the small "home theater"- type speakers usually sold in fives. A number of reputable manufacturers have these. They usually made from cast aluminium. I have a single KEF KHT "egg". You are right; too high off the ground sounds ridiculous.

Gregory,

As starter of this thread, let me say "welcome back", and thanks for the relevant point. As you may remember, but others may not, there was whole discussion of in-car DVD-A about a year ago, including your post "Saturday, December 27, 2003 - 07:06 pm" and replies to that, on SACD or DVD-A - which way will the industry go. It is still a live thread (last post, March). I wonder what has happened in the meantime
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