What is SACD, HDCD, and DVD audio


New member
Username: Jliverpool

Post Number: 8
Registered: Oct-04
Please tell me the difference between these formats. I assume there is big differences between what you need to play these formats, cost, and quality. Are their even enough CDs with these enhancments to justify changing equipment (I don't even know what equipment I would need)

I am purchasing an H/K AVR330. My Cd player is a JVC from the early 90s.

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne


Post Number: 183
Registered: Jun-04
It's about different techniques for digitalizing the analogue sound.

An ordinary CD uses a binary number (2^16) 44100 times per second. Commonly called 44.1KHz/16 bits PCM. Fairly accurate, but not perfect.

HDCD improves CD a little by using small parts of the bitstream to codify extra information. Sort of simulating a higher order bitstream.

DVD Audio is also PCM, but at least 96KHz/24 bits per channel. Much more accurate, of course.

SACD is a different technology, 2.8 MHz/1 bit. It has some drawbacks, but in the most important frequency ranges it is extremely accurate.

Whilst CD/HDCD is limitted to stereo, SACD/DVD-A can be multichannel.

Thousands of SACD/DVD-A albums have been released, and new come out every month. Amazon UK is a good place to check prices and types of music available.

By now, manufacturers are into multiformat players (SACD + DVD-A). Prices starts at maybe 100-150 pounds, but since HK is known for musical quality, you'd might spend some more. You also need good cables for the 5.1 analogue interconnect.


Ruben Romero
Unregistered guest
I saw at CDCONNECTION a Kink's cd coded as SACD-H. What it means, and what kind of player could read that.
Thanks a lot.

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne


Post Number: 425
Registered: Jun-04
Ruben, it probably stands for "SACD Hybrid". That is, the disc has two layers: one for SACD and another for ordinary CD players.

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