Thread: SACD sound quality

Posts: 26
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Post by Haider April 22, 2012 (1 of 26)
Hi,

Got given a hybrid SACD/CD Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. I Remembered I had a Sony DVD/SACD player DVP-NS930. Whilst trying to figure out how to connect it to Devov AVR-2808 I came across this: -
http://sound.westhost.com/cd-sacd-dvda.htm

Wondering what you make of it?

I'll probably get 6 coax cables to connect the SACD player to the AVR.

Thanks
Haider

Post by Nagraboy April 22, 2012 (2 of 26)
He's got a funny way of slanting things, I must say!

So many errors and arbitrary judgements I haven't got time to go into right now...

One thing though, DVD-A with it's 24 bit samples. It is impossible to make a truly accurate 24 bit resolution DAC because you cannot produce resistors of the accuracy required and even if it could be done, ambient temperatures would screw up the values anyway. That's the 144 dB dynamic range down the pan then!

Seems the author has selected the parts of DSD he doesn't like and neglected to mention the unsolvable practicalities of 24 bit playback.

Yawn.

Post by Stanbury April 22, 2012 (3 of 26)
There are two SACD versions of Tubular Bells. One is mch and the other is 2-ch. Were you lucky enough to get the mch version?

Post by M_Dixon April 22, 2012 (4 of 26)
He addressed the 144 db issue. You missed that?

Post by hiredfox April 23, 2012 (5 of 26)
alan_dorkin said:


All this does not take away the superior impulse response DSD has, and as we can not hear those problem frequencies, and can not fully utilize over 100 dB dynamic range anyway in real life, the whole point is academic.


Pure DSD-SACD is not better than 24/96 PCM except in impulse response.

Indeed...

but

Boy! does DSD sound far better than any form of PCM on disc! This is one you can't argue with numbers... not yet, anyway.

Post by Haider April 23, 2012 (6 of 26)
Stanbury said:

There are two SACD versions of Tubular Bells. One is mch and the other is 2-ch. Were you lucky enough to get the mch version?

Hi,

It's the quadrophonic multi-channel mix:) Looking forward to listening to it.

Thanks
Haider

Post by Fitzcaraldo215 April 23, 2012 (7 of 26)
Haider said:

Hi,

Got given a hybrid SACD/CD Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. I Remembered I had a Sony DVD/SACD player DVP-NS930. Whilst trying to figure out how to connect it to Devov AVR-2808 I came across this: -
http://sound.westhost.com/cd-sacd-dvda.htm

Wondering what you make of it?

I'll probably get 6 coax cables to connect the SACD player to the AVR.

Thanks
Haider

Yes, the debate as to PCM vs. DSD continues unabated. Personally, I will gladly take either as long as it is hi Rez Mch, and, actually, Blu- ray even at 48k/24 sounds pretty good to me.

I think you mean you will get 6 analog interconnects. Coax implies a digital spdif connection. No AVR I know of will accept more than one of those at a time, and few if any players will output Mch over simultaneous multiple coax spdif, except possibly a Meridian, which will not play SACD. There are some player mods that will do that for input into a pricey Meridian or Lyngdorf controller or into separate stereo DACS.

Post by Haider April 23, 2012 (8 of 26)
The areas that got me were: -

Ing. Öhman: DSD (the coding technique used in SACD) is much better than CD in the low frequency range. The problems occur at higher frequencies. The noise level in the ultrasound register is more than 100 dB higher (-40dB under maximum output level, using narrow band analysis) when compared to DVD-A (-144dB under maximum output level, full spectrum noise).

Another way to describe the difference: The noise [power] from SACD is more than 20,000 million times higher than from DVD-A!

But maybe it is more relevant to know that this ultrasound noise from SACD is enough to warm up the tweeters voice coil with some detectable influence on reproduced sound. Besides, the ultrasonic may also affect the audible sound by down mixing in the air, at least at higher sound pressures.
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NL: I presumed that SACD uses DSD-technique for recording and mastering, but that turned out to be wrong:

Press release: "A big surprise at the AES was the confirmation by Sony that DSD technique, used in SACD, uses multi-bit PCM during recording and mastering processes and that only uses one-bit technique as it applies to consumer playback systems. Jim Johnston of AT&T Research speculated that DSD and DVD-A data streams might be able to co-exist if output from different points within the same microprocessor."
Apparently they use PCM for recording and mastering, even for SACD. Now the advantage of no conversion between formats suddenly disappears.

IÖ: Several documents show this is the case. Sony/ Philips has even officially recommended using PCM when editing the recorded material. I think it is a wise recommendation, because every manoeuvre in the PCM-domain is straightforward, easy to make and will not degrade the quality if performed with high enough resolution. Only the DSD-problems remain!
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IÖ: Yes, the first part, but one should be careful not to underestimate the hearing, as Sony does â or you end up with systems like SACD! Of course we can only hear single tones up to 20kHz but this does not implicate that we can allow any kind of noise pollution above this frequency. Multiple tones in the ultrasound can create clearly audible phenomenon at higher sound pressures.

It can be discussed if we can tolerate the ultrasound noise generated from SACD. The noise from SACD just above 100kHz is higher in level than most of the treble in the audible range, at least when listening to the majority of acoustical music. It can also be discussed if DSD uses a "high" sampling rate. But apart from that: Yes, without noise shaping it will not work at all and that would be a lot worse. Now it is only a little bit worse than CD in the highest treble.

But why introduce a new super high-resolution system, that is "a little bit worse" than CD? Of course there are advantages when compared to CD also, butbut the drawbacks of SACD/DSD are completely unnecessary. Shouldn't a new system be better than CD in all aspects?

The noise level in the range above 100kHz is â40dB under maximum signal level (and is thus even visible on an oscilloscope!). The noise is in fact much higher than any possible music signal in the same frequency range. This can be compared to DVD-A where the noise level is â144dB in the whole audible range and also in the ultrasound range.
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Anyways to cut a long story short I'm retrieving my old Van Den Hul interconnects from the loft/garage, am buying Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone, J.S. Bach: Cello Suites 1-6 Richard Tunnicliffe, Handel - Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks Federico Guglielmo and do some listening...


Thanks
Haider

Post by canonical April 23, 2012 (9 of 26)
Haider said:

am buying Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone, J.S. Bach: Cello Suites 1-6 Richard Tunnicliffe, Handel - Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks Federico Guglielmo and do some listening...

Why? Do you listen in stereo or MC?

> Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone

Is this a hi-rez recording??




> Richard Tunnicliffe, Linn

What is the recording resolution? Linn productions seem to have 20 or 22kHz cut-offs.


> Royal Fireworks Federico Guglielmo

Recording resolution?

If you are listening in multi-channel, by all means ... go for it. But if you are listening in stereo, these seem unlikely candidates.

Post by Kutyatest April 23, 2012 (10 of 26)
Here's a bit of advice from someone with just a smattering of technical knowledge, and no preference whatsoever of SACD or DVD-A.

Enjoy listening to the music, and try not to let the technicalities cloud your enjoyment.

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