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CD vs DVD-A vs SACD - Followup Up Analysis (by Christine T..

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Anonymous
May 16, 2004 6:51:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
interesting.

http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html


Harry Lavo
"It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
Anonymous
May 17, 2004 5:41:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
> interesting.
>
> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>
>
> Harry Lavo
> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington

Interesting is right. I like and appreciate all the work she has put
into the comparison with her in-depth analysis, but I think there are
some flaws in her thinking:

1. She seems to imply that CoolEdit's lack of support for the ability
to record 24 bit is CoolEdit's fault. The fault lies with WDM. Case in
point: I bought an Echo Mia (not the MiaMIDI). My main attraction to
the card , as well as its ability to record 96/24, was the audio
drivers. EchoAudio offered Purewave drivers which go a long way
towards bypassing the WDM architecture. In fact, Purewave addresses
the fact that some applications won't report the ability to record 24
bit even if the card is 24 bit. Purewave bypasses the Kernel mixer as
well. So when I record with CoolEdit 2K at 24 bits using the Purewave
drivers for my Echo MIA card, I'm getting 24 bits. Also, there's my
previous experience with WDM and a Santa Cruz card. The WDM driver
reports the Santa Cruz to CoolEdit as a 96/16 capable recording
device. I could actually record using the Santa Cruz at 96/16. The
Santa Cruz is a 48/16 card. Given those experiences I now always have
a tendency to cast a suspicious eye towards WDM. Chances are that her
24 bit issues were with WDM. Even her test was done using the ASIO
drivers, bypassing WDM.

2. I wonder about her choice of soundcard. Since she is quite serious
about audio judging from her extensive analysis, I find it odd that
her tests were based using a Prodigy 7.1. Even if it has 192/24
recording capability, I tend to not look so highly upon just how
serious a manufacterer of a soundcard is about audio when they include
Dolby surround, SRS, Trusurround, gaming functions, etc. Can we say
SoundBlaster? I did a few googles looking for RightMark tests on the
Prodigy 7.1 and compared them to the MIA. They seem to confirm my
suspicions. Apparently the MIA, at 24/96, outperforms the Prodigy 7.1
at 24/192 in basic S/N ratio and dynamic range. Of course the
"lesser" Mia even costs more than the Prodigy. I also found the the
MiaMIDI may have suffered due to its addition of MIDI capability when
compared to the original Mia. Since the original Mia is no longer
available, how about a LYNXTWO, then?

CD
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 2:46:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Codifus" <codifus@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:uLUpc.63852$xw3.3721414@attbi_s04...
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
very
> > interesting.
> >
> > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >
> >
> > Harry Lavo
> > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>
> Interesting is right. I like and appreciate all the work she has put
> into the comparison with her in-depth analysis, but I think there are
> some flaws in her thinking:

I didn't understand the point about dynamic range. Does anyone claim that
SACD has a greater inherent dynamic range than DVDA? Surely this is more a
characteristic of the mastering - ie. it could just as easily be the other
way around?

Tim
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Anonymous
May 18, 2004 2:55:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com...
> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
very
> interesting.
>
> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>
>
> Harry Lavo
> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington

I've read the whole thing. (I'm getting too old for this stuff.)
The diferences between the different recordings seems to be
insignificant in every respect except the chopping of the the low
level signals in the SACD. I'm going to guess that the SACD was
actually made from one of the other recordings, and it had been
processed in some fashion beforehand. IOW, my guess is that all the
differences between the recordings are artifacts of the recording
process, and have nothing to do with the basic capabilities of same.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 5:21:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
> interesting.
>
> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>
>
> Harry Lavo
> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
In my previous post I had some mixed feelings about this analysis. Now
I'm just plain upset. Has anyone noticed the audio hardware being used
in this comparison? I did. The CD and SACD are being played through a
$3000 High end Sony ES piece, whereas the DVD-A is being played
through a Panasonic RP82 DVD Videeo/Audio player. Retail price:$229.
Not only is the Panasonic unit nearly a 10th of the price of the Sony,
but it's a combo unit: it does DVD audio and DVD video. Come on, now.
Let's level the playing field a bit. At the very least play the DVD
audio through a DVD-A only player.

CD
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 5:21:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/17/04 6:46 PM, in article rhbqc.107048$Ik.8767238@attbi_s53, "Tim
Anderson" <timjand@hotmail.com> wrote:

> I didn't understand the point about dynamic range. Does anyone claim that
> SACD has a greater inherent dynamic range than DVDA? Surely this is more a
> characteristic of the mastering - ie. it could just as easily be the other
> way around?

Given that the quantization noise is 6dB per bit - if you have 16 bits you
get 96dB maximum range - more bits, more *potential* range.

IN real life - the mastering will make all the difference in the world!
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 5:23:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Tim Anderson" <timjand@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:rhbqc.107048$Ik.8767238@attbi_s53...
> "Codifus" <codifus@optonline.net> wrote in message
> news:uLUpc.63852$xw3.3721414@attbi_s04...
> > "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> > > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> very
> > > interesting.
> > >
> > > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> > >
> > >
> > > Harry Lavo
> > > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
> >
> > Interesting is right. I like and appreciate all the work she has put
> > into the comparison with her in-depth analysis, but I think there are
> > some flaws in her thinking:
>
> I didn't understand the point about dynamic range. Does anyone claim that
> SACD has a greater inherent dynamic range than DVDA? Surely this is more a
> characteristic of the mastering - ie. it could just as easily be the other
> way around?
>
> Tim
>

The observational perception of many is that SACD seems less
compressed...that it is easier to hear and perceive the low level
microdynamics as even quieter and softer than usual, and then be surprised
by a sudden fortissimo that sounds more real/less strained than it usually
does on CD.
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 5:24:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"normanstrong" <normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:c8bft90f9v@news3.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com...
> > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> very
> > interesting.
> >
> > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >
> >
> > Harry Lavo
> > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>
> I've read the whole thing. (I'm getting too old for this stuff.)
> The diferences between the different recordings seems to be
> insignificant in every respect except the chopping of the the low
> level signals in the SACD. I'm going to guess that the SACD was
> actually made from one of the other recordings, and it had been
> processed in some fashion beforehand. IOW, my guess is that all the
> differences between the recordings are artifacts of the recording
> process, and have nothing to do with the basic capabilities of same.

You can guess, but she claims to have researched the issue thoroughly in
making the selection of source material, and all three are claimed to come
from the same master tape directly into their respective processing.
May 18, 2004 6:20:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

normanstrong wrote:
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com...
>> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> very
>> interesting.
>>
>> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>>
>>
>> Harry Lavo
>> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>
> I've read the whole thing. (I'm getting too old for this stuff.)
> The diferences between the different recordings seems to be
> insignificant in every respect except the chopping of the the low
> level signals in the SACD. I'm going to guess that the SACD was
> actually made from one of the other recordings, and it had been
> processed in some fashion beforehand. IOW, my guess is that all the
> differences between the recordings are artifacts of the recording
> process, and have nothing to do with the basic capabilities of same.
>
> Norm Strong

I read through the whole thing, too, and it was a waste of time :) . It
appears that Ms. Tham started with a theory that SACD has more dynamic
range, or is somehow different, and she subsequently massaged the
results in every possible way to fit that theory. The tests were poorly
run, the definitions of dynamic range were changed basically to whatever
fits her agenda, and still the results were totally inconclusive and
could easily be due more to experimental error than anything. This has
got to be one of the worst "analyses" I have seen.
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 7:29:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"chung" <chunglau@covad.net> wrote in message
news:Speqc.27140$6f5.2630863@attbi_s54...
> normanstrong wrote:
> > "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> > news:c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com...
> >> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> > very
> >> interesting.
> >>
> >> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >>
> >>
> >> Harry Lavo
> >> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
> >
> > I've read the whole thing. (I'm getting too old for this stuff.)
> > The diferences between the different recordings seems to be
> > insignificant in every respect except the chopping of the the low
> > level signals in the SACD. I'm going to guess that the SACD was
> > actually made from one of the other recordings, and it had been
> > processed in some fashion beforehand. IOW, my guess is that all the
> > differences between the recordings are artifacts of the recording
> > process, and have nothing to do with the basic capabilities of same.
> >
> > Norm Strong
>
> I read through the whole thing, too, and it was a waste of time :) . It
> appears that Ms. Tham started with a theory that SACD has more dynamic
> range, or is somehow different, and she subsequently massaged the
> results in every possible way to fit that theory. The tests were poorly
> run, the definitions of dynamic range were changed basically to whatever
> fits her agenda, and still the results were totally inconclusive and
> could easily be due more to experimental error than anything. This has
> got to be one of the worst "analyses" I have seen.
>

You are quite wrong. Ms. Tham is if anything these days a DVD-A advocate.
And she didn't start with a theory about anything...she started with the
idea of doing the most accurate comparison she could using the equipment and
knowledge she had. And I think she succeeded to some degree, particularly
in doing her follow up work to further level the playing field.
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 8:07:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo writes:
> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
> interesting.
>
> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html

Thanks for the link.

The author says of SACD "Notice that there are no samples between
-78dB and -62dB!!! ... This is surprising indeed. I have no
explanation for this." Well, I do -- that looks like a noise gate.
This would contribute to the "silent background" of SACD, right? :-)

The histograms also suggest that different dynamics processing has
been done on the different formats -- the DVD-A recording looks like
it has been compressed slightly more than the CD, not less as the
author suggests. To be certain, a standard deviation would be far
more useful than than the simple peak/average ratio we're presented
with.

'Note that the shape of the [DVD-A] histogram is "narrower" in width
around -35dB to -5dB. This indicates that the DVD-A recording is of a
higher resolution than CD.' Err, no it doesn't.

It would be nice to rip the CD to make sure the clipping really is in
the recording and not an artefact of the test setup.

Andrew.
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 8:07:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 18 May 2004 01:23:46 GMT, "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:

>The observational perception of many is that SACD seems less
>compressed...that it is easier to hear and perceive the low level
>microdynamics as even quieter and softer than usual, and then be surprised
>by a sudden fortissimo that sounds more real/less strained than it usually
>does on CD.

Unfortunately, that makes no sense when you look at the actual
capabilities of all three media - *all* of which *far* exceed the
dynamic range of *any* known music master tape.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 2:59:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Codifus" <codifus@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:c8boej0s6u@news3.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
very
> > interesting.
> >
> > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >
> >
> > Harry Lavo
> > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
> In my previous post I had some mixed feelings about this analysis. Now
> I'm just plain upset. Has anyone noticed the audio hardware being used
> in this comparison? I did. The CD and SACD are being played through a
> $3000 High end Sony ES piece, whereas the DVD-A is being played
> through a Panasonic RP82 DVD Videeo/Audio player. Retail price:$229.
> Not only is the Panasonic unit nearly a 10th of the price of the Sony,
> but it's a combo unit: it does DVD audio and DVD video. Come on, now.
> Let's level the playing field a bit. At the very least play the DVD
> audio through a DVD-A only player.

There is no such thing as a DVD-A only player. And the Panasonic line is
considered by many, including myself, to be one of the best performing DVD-A
players in existence.
A $3500 Arcam might or might not show any difference...I doubt it.
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 3:05:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Codifus <codifus@optonline.net> wrote:
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
> > interesting.
> >
> > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >
> >
> > Harry Lavo
> > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
> In my previous post I had some mixed feelings about this analysis. Now
> I'm just plain upset. Has anyone noticed the audio hardware being used
> in this comparison? I did. The CD and SACD are being played through a
> $3000 High end Sony ES piece, whereas the DVD-A is being played
> through a Panasonic RP82 DVD Videeo/Audio player. Retail price:$229.
> Not only is the Panasonic unit nearly a 10th of the price of the Sony,
> but it's a combo unit: it does DVD audio and DVD video. Come on, now.
> Let's level the playing field a bit. At the very least play the DVD
> audio through a DVD-A only player.

Why? Even with this vast price disparity, the differences between
the recordings were minimal, within the audible range...and in some
regards the DVD-A measured *better*.


--

-S.

"They've got God on their side. All we've got is science and reason."
-- Dawn Hulsey, Talent Director
May 19, 2004 3:05:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:
> "chung" <chunglau@covad.net> wrote in message
> news:Speqc.27140$6f5.2630863@attbi_s54...
>> normanstrong wrote:
>> > "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
>> > news:c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com...
>> >> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
>> > very
>> >> interesting.
>> >>
>> >> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Harry Lavo
>> >> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>> >
>> > I've read the whole thing. (I'm getting too old for this stuff.)
>> > The diferences between the different recordings seems to be
>> > insignificant in every respect except the chopping of the the low
>> > level signals in the SACD. I'm going to guess that the SACD was
>> > actually made from one of the other recordings, and it had been
>> > processed in some fashion beforehand. IOW, my guess is that all the
>> > differences between the recordings are artifacts of the recording
>> > process, and have nothing to do with the basic capabilities of same.
>> >
>> > Norm Strong
>>
>> I read through the whole thing, too, and it was a waste of time :) . It
>> appears that Ms. Tham started with a theory that SACD has more dynamic
>> range, or is somehow different, and she subsequently massaged the
>> results in every possible way to fit that theory. The tests were poorly
>> run, the definitions of dynamic range were changed basically to whatever
>> fits her agenda, and still the results were totally inconclusive and
>> could easily be due more to experimental error than anything. This has
>> got to be one of the worst "analyses" I have seen.
>>
>
> You are quite wrong. Ms. Tham is if anything these days a DVD-A advocate.
> And she didn't start with a theory about anything...she started with the
> idea of doing the most accurate comparison she could using the equipment and
> knowledge she had. And I think she succeeded to some degree, particularly
> in doing her follow up work to further level the playing field.
>

Here is what she wrote in conclusion:

"Well, I was hoping merely to confirm that the DSD recording has higher
dynamics than the PCM recordings on CD and DVD-A, and I did manage to
confirm my previous observation."

Looking at her data, I could not see any reason to reach the same
conclusion she did.
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 3:11:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
> interesting.
>
> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>
>
> Harry Lavo
> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington

Well ... have you actually listended to these records?

I have Denon DVD-2900 and both records available for testing
and the listening results of a number of people have been:

1.
DVD-A certainly seems to be louder but the difference is very small
(not the 3-4dB as measured by Christine)

2.
DVD-A's sound is very relaxed compared to SACD and especially
Diana's voice is free from the somewhat compressed chracter
of both SACD and CD.

3.
It is not possible to tell CD from SACD reliably. There does not
seem to be any difference.

I wonder why people think SACD is better that DVD-A? The difference
is very small ... if any ... but my experience with DVD-A's is
better than with SACD's.

I just don't belive that both CD and DVD-A could clip. This would be
audible for sure. There must be something wrong with Christine's
measurement set-up. The same analysis is valid when she did not
detect any SACD samples in lower decibel levels, which must also
be an error in the measurements.

Otti
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 5:09:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Steven Sullivan wrote:
> Codifus <codifus@optonline.net> wrote:
>
>>"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
>>
>>>Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
>>>interesting.
>>>
>>>http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>>>
>>>
>>>Harry Lavo
>>>"It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>>
>>In my previous post I had some mixed feelings about this analysis. Now
>>I'm just plain upset. Has anyone noticed the audio hardware being used
>>in this comparison? I did. The CD and SACD are being played through a
>>$3000 High end Sony ES piece, whereas the DVD-A is being played
>>through a Panasonic RP82 DVD Videeo/Audio player. Retail price:$229.
>>Not only is the Panasonic unit nearly a 10th of the price of the Sony,
>>but it's a combo unit: it does DVD audio and DVD video. Come on, now.
>>Let's level the playing field a bit. At the very least play the DVD
>>audio through a DVD-A only player.
>
>
> Why? Even with this vast price disparity, the differences between
> the recordings were minimal, within the audible range...and in some
> regards the DVD-A measured *better*.
>
>
I've always felt that players on the high end distinguish themselves
more from the subtle differences. The differences between DVDA and SACD
pointed out in this analysis could be attributed to the better
electronics used inside the Sony piece. Probably not, but it's possible.
Besides, it simply would not be fair to use the best or nearly the best
that SACD has to offer against the very good that DVDA has to offer.
Since this Panasonic unit performs very well for such a low price,
imagine what Panasonic could do if they made a player costing thousands.
Or, use an inexpensive SACD player.

CD
May 19, 2004 5:34:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:
> "Codifus" <codifus@optonline.net> wrote in message
> news:c8boej0s6u@news3.newsguy.com...
>> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
>> > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> very
>> > interesting.
>> >
>> > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>> >
>> >
>> > Harry Lavo
>> > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>> In my previous post I had some mixed feelings about this analysis. Now
>> I'm just plain upset. Has anyone noticed the audio hardware being used
>> in this comparison? I did. The CD and SACD are being played through a
>> $3000 High end Sony ES piece, whereas the DVD-A is being played
>> through a Panasonic RP82 DVD Videeo/Audio player. Retail price:$229.
>> Not only is the Panasonic unit nearly a 10th of the price of the Sony,
>> but it's a combo unit: it does DVD audio and DVD video. Come on, now.
>> Let's level the playing field a bit. At the very least play the DVD
>> audio through a DVD-A only player.
>
> There is no such thing as a DVD-A only player. And the Panasonic line is
> considered by many, including myself, to be one of the best performing DVD-A
> players in existence.

IIRC, you said that newer, "remastering", upsampling Panasonic players
like the S55 were among the very best. The R82 used in Ms. Tham's test
is a much older, discontinued player. Or are you now saying that even
the older R82 was among the very best DVD-A players made?
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 1:37:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:
>
> "Tim Anderson" <timjand@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:rhbqc.107048$Ik.8767238@attbi_s53...
> > "Codifus" <codifus@optonline.net> wrote in message
> > news:uLUpc.63852$xw3.3721414@attbi_s04...
> > > "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> > news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> > > > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> > very
> > > > interesting.
> > > >
> > > > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Harry Lavo

> > > Interesting is right. I like and appreciate all the work she has put
> > > into the comparison with her in-depth analysis, but I think there are
> > > some flaws in her thinking:

> > I didn't understand the point about dynamic range. Does anyone claim that
> > SACD has a greater inherent dynamic range than DVDA? Surely this is more a
> > characteristic of the mastering - ie. it could just as easily be the other
> > way around?
> >
> > Tim

> The observational perception of many is that SACD seems less
> compressed...that it is easier to hear and perceive the low level
> microdynamics as even quieter and softer than usual, and then be surprised
> by a sudden fortissimo that sounds more real/less strained than it usually
> does on CD.

OK, going back to the web-site analysis itself. As best I
can tell, the biggest difference that would be audible
(Tham's conclusion, too, as many here acknowledge) involves
the "dynamics."

As I have noted elsewhere, I have problems with this
dynamics issue, because I see no reason why any of these
consumer-oriented digital systems operated within their
dynamic-range capabilities (and even the CD tops 90 dB)
would compress these signals. They easily have the ability
to deal with even the wildest live-music dynamics as played
back in typical home-listening rooms. Heck, the analog
masters used to create Ms. Tham's "reference" disc would
have dynamic capabilities inferior to any of the three
formats she compared. Any of them should have been equally
able to deal with the dynamics of the analog source.

My guess is that the machines that made the three different
discs were very slightly adjusted differently, and even the
masters may have been different. The recording engineers may
have also diddled with various controls. I am not talking
about a conspiracy here, because the differences may have
been totally unintentional. On top of this, she also may
have made measurement errors, and the various players she
used could have skewed the results. Heck, she possibly had
her player downmix the DVD-A presentation from 5.1 channels
to just two channels. This actually may have compromised any
number of attributes. Even if the disc had 2-channel tracks
in DVD-A form, the mixing at the production end could have
skewed things. Too many wild-card variables in this
comparison, even though Ms. Tham had good intentions.

There is no reason I can see why the per-channel subjective
performance of SACD and DVD-A should be different, or why
either should have a per-channel edge over the CD. Yep, they
do have more channels, and that is an edge in itself,
although that is unrelated to what is being discussed on the
web site. I really cannot see, given what she was analyzing,
how a per channel subjective edge would mean anything with
typical home playback on even excellent systems? Probably
not.

Indeed, my experience has been that Dolby Digital (at least
at 448 kbps) and DTS both can sound as good as DVD-A when
the mastering job is done right. I have had numerous chances
to do comparisons with duplicate releases, and this has been
my experience. As a matter of fact, since DD and DTS
processing at the listener end will involve bass management
and distance compensation, while SACD and DVD-A often do not
(or, more realistically, nearly always do not), the two
compressed forms probably will sound better than the super
formats. Add in the option of using a center-back feed with
DD and DTS (6.1, you guys) and it is likely that at least
rock music will sound more exciting than what is possible
with the super formats. A center-back feed means little with
classical, but in any case DD and DTS still have bass
management and distance compensation. That means a lot to
those who have standard sub/sat systems set up in typical
listening rooms.

In any case, most enthusiasts, and most enthusiast systems
located in typically good rooms, are not going to be able to
reliably pick out differences between these surround
technologies. I know this news sticks in the craw of the
golden-ear crowd, but I am afraid that all those ears are
really fools gold.

Yep, most audio buffs overrate their hearing and their audio
systems, too. They should learn to live with that reality
and stop sweating details.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 2:38:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"chung" <chunglau@covad.net> wrote in message
news:lQyqc.114087$Ik.9353802@attbi_s53...
> Harry Lavo wrote:
> > "Codifus" <codifus@optonline.net> wrote in message
> > news:c8boej0s6u@news3.newsguy.com...
> >> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> > news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> >> > Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also
> > very
> >> > interesting.
> >> >
> >> > http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > Harry Lavo
> >> > "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
> >> In my previous post I had some mixed feelings about this analysis. Now
> >> I'm just plain upset. Has anyone noticed the audio hardware being used
> >> in this comparison? I did. The CD and SACD are being played through a
> >> $3000 High end Sony ES piece, whereas the DVD-A is being played
> >> through a Panasonic RP82 DVD Videeo/Audio player. Retail price:$229.
> >> Not only is the Panasonic unit nearly a 10th of the price of the Sony,
> >> but it's a combo unit: it does DVD audio and DVD video. Come on, now.
> >> Let's level the playing field a bit. At the very least play the DVD
> >> audio through a DVD-A only player.
> >
> > There is no such thing as a DVD-A only player. And the Panasonic line
is
> > considered by many, including myself, to be one of the best performing
DVD-A
> > players in existence.
>
> IIRC, you said that newer, "remastering", upsampling Panasonic players
> like the S55 were among the very best. The R82 used in Ms. Tham's test
> is a much older, discontinued player. Or are you now saying that even
> the older R82 was among the very best DVD-A players made?
>

You raise a valid point that I overlooked about the Panasonic...the 82
series was a year earlier and may not have had the same amps. But it was
DVD-A compliant which meant 192/24 converters.
May 20, 2004 2:54:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

otti.matala@jippii.fi wrote:

> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
>> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
>> interesting.
>>
>> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
>>
>>
>> Harry Lavo
>> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
>
> Well ... have you actually listended to these records?
>
> I have Denon DVD-2900 and both records available for testing
> and the listening results of a number of people have been:
>
> 1.
> DVD-A certainly seems to be louder but the difference is very small
> (not the 3-4dB as measured by Christine)
>
> 2.
> DVD-A's sound is very relaxed compared to SACD and especially
> Diana's voice is free from the somewhat compressed chracter
> of both SACD and CD.
>
> 3.
> It is not possible to tell CD from SACD reliably. There does not
> seem to be any difference.
>
> I wonder why people think SACD is better that DVD-A? The difference
> is very small ... if any ... but my experience with DVD-A's is
> better than with SACD's.
>
> I just don't belive that both CD and DVD-A could clip.


Any medium can clip if the mastering engineering allows it. If, in fact,
there was clipping in the CD or DVD-A versions, as Ms. Tham appeared to
speculate, then it is simply done at the mastering stage. Meaning those
two were mastered differently than the SACD version.

>This would be
> audible for sure. There must be something wrong with Christine's
> measurement set-up. The same analysis is valid when she did not
> detect any SACD samples in lower decibel levels, which must also
> be an error in the measurements.


The really funny thing, to me at least, is that she concluded that SACD
has higher dynamic range. Based on the fact that there were no samples
in the low decibel range, the natural conclusion is simply that the SACD
has worst dynamic range (because it never got quiet). That was what I
meant when I said Ms. Tham seemed to massage the data to fit her assumption.

Now having said that, I believe Ms. Tham simply had an experimental
error, or a multitude of them. It's hard for me to believe that there
are no quiet samples from SACD, when there are those from CD and DVD-A.

>
> Otti
May 20, 2004 8:14:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:

> "
>> >
>> > There is no such thing as a DVD-A only player. And the Panasonic line
> is
>> > considered by many, including myself, to be one of the best performing
> DVD-A
>> > players in existence.
>>
>> IIRC, you said that newer, "remastering", upsampling Panasonic players
>> like the S55 were among the very best. The R82 used in Ms. Tham's test
>> is a much older, discontinued player. Or are you now saying that even
>> the older R82 was among the very best DVD-A players made?
>>
>
> You raise a valid point that I overlooked about the Panasonic...the 82
> series was a year earlier and may not have had the same amps. But it was
> DVD-A compliant which meant 192/24 converters.
>

So are you now saying that all DVD-A compliant players with 192/24 DAC's
will sound like those best performing players in existence?
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 10:44:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Howard Ferstler <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
> As a matter of fact, since DD and DTS
> processing at the listener end will involve bass management
> and distance compensation, while SACD and DVD-A often do not
> (or, more realistically, nearly always do not),

I think this is no longer true. The low-end Pioneer universal players
(the old DV-565A and the new DV-575, about 250 euros on online shops,
the equivalent model in the USA market seems to be the 563A) have bass
management and distance compensation. So, there is no good reason to
still buy models without those features. Of course, there is the
problem of the installed base...

> Add in the option of using a center-back feed with
> DD and DTS (6.1, you guys)

I suspect you can have that in DVD-Audio or SACD, but you will need
the DVD player and the receiver to have i.LINK (firewire), and
those players and receivers are still very expensive. I hope that
in one or two generations i.LINK gets to the middle-priced receivers
and players.

--
http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/

..pt is Portugal| `Whom the gods love die young'-Menander (342-292 BC)
Europe | Villeneuve 50-82, Toivonen 56-86, Senna 60-94
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 2:50:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

chung <chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
> otti.matala@jippii.fi wrote:

> > "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<c87v570so3@news3.newsguy.com>...
> >> Christine Tham has done a follow up analysis to her prior one. Also very
> >> interesting.
> >>
> >> http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html
> >>
> >>
> >> Harry Lavo
> >> "It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing" - Duke Ellington
> >
> > Well ... have you actually listended to these records?
> >
> > I have Denon DVD-2900 and both records available for testing
> > and the listening results of a number of people have been:
> >
> > 1.
> > DVD-A certainly seems to be louder but the difference is very small
> > (not the 3-4dB as measured by Christine)
> >
> > 2.
> > DVD-A's sound is very relaxed compared to SACD and especially
> > Diana's voice is free from the somewhat compressed chracter
> > of both SACD and CD.
> >
> > 3.
> > It is not possible to tell CD from SACD reliably. There does not
> > seem to be any difference.
> >
> > I wonder why people think SACD is better that DVD-A? The difference
> > is very small ... if any ... but my experience with DVD-A's is
> > better than with SACD's.
> >
> > I just don't belive that both CD and DVD-A could clip.


> Any medium can clip if the mastering engineering allows it. If, in fact,
> there was clipping in the CD or DVD-A versions, as Ms. Tham appeared to
> speculate, then it is simply done at the mastering stage. Meaning those
> two were mastered differently than the SACD version.

Meaning further , that any claims about the formats themselves, derived
from these data, would be unwarranted.



--

-S.

"They've got God on their side. All we've got is science and reason."
-- Dawn Hulsey, Talent Director
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 4:52:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Rui Pedro Mendes Salgueiro wrote:
>
> Howard Ferstler <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
> > As a matter of fact, since DD and DTS
> > processing at the listener end will involve bass management
> > and distance compensation, while SACD and DVD-A often do not
> > (or, more realistically, nearly always do not),
>
> I think this is no longer true. The low-end Pioneer universal players
> (the old DV-565A and the new DV-575, about 250 euros on online shops,
> the equivalent model in the USA market seems to be the 563A) have bass
> management and distance compensation. So, there is no good reason to
> still buy models without those features. Of course, there is the
> problem of the installed base...

I stand fast. I said "nearly always," and you countered by
mentioning two players. Most SACD and DVD-A players do not,
and even some that do are not all that good with the bass
management that they do have, particularly with SACD. And
even those that have bass management usually do not have
distance compensation.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 10:18:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

> >
> > I just don't belive that both CD and DVD-A could clip.
>
>
> Any medium can clip if the mastering engineering allows it. If, in fact,
> there was clipping in the CD or DVD-A versions, as Ms. Tham appeared to
> speculate, then it is simply done at the mastering stage. Meaning those
> two were mastered differently than the SACD version.

Yes, that's right but I ripped the CD part to my hard disk and checked
the data. No clipping could be detected so the engineering is OK.

Further, I believe that the records were made from exactly the same analog
master. The Burr Brown DAC in Denon 2900 may generate slightly different
output levels for CD, SACD and DVD-A and DVD-A seems to play loudest.

Otti
May 22, 2004 8:26:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

otti.matala@jippii.fi wrote:

>> >
>> > I just don't belive that both CD and DVD-A could clip.
>>
>>
>> Any medium can clip if the mastering engineering allows it. If, in fact,
>> there was clipping in the CD or DVD-A versions, as Ms. Tham appeared to
>> speculate, then it is simply done at the mastering stage. Meaning those
>> two were mastered differently than the SACD version.
>
> Yes, that's right but I ripped the CD part to my hard disk and checked
> the data. No clipping could be detected so the engineering is OK.

So there you go, there is no clipping. IMO, the waveforms shown by Ms.
Tham do not look like clipping. They rather look like the same signal
going through different filters.
>
> Further, I believe that the records were made from exactly the same analog
> master. The Burr Brown DAC in Denon 2900 may generate slightly different
> output levels for CD, SACD and DVD-A and DVD-A seems to play loudest.

I believe that using the same analog master does not necessarily mean
that the mastering is identical on all 3 versions. In particular, the
gains (or peak levels) can be different. I have also noticed that
different versions, like SACD and CD, of a recording play at
significantly different levels on the same or or different players.

>
> Otti
>
Anonymous
May 22, 2004 6:16:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Howard Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> skrev i melding
news:npcrc.88000$iF6.7546077@attbi_s02...
> Rui Pedro Mendes Salgueiro wrote:
> >
> > I think this is no longer true. The low-end Pioneer universal players
> > (the old DV-565A and the new DV-575, about 250 euros on online shops,
> > the equivalent model in the USA market seems to be the 563A) have bass
> > management and distance compensation. So, there is no good reason to
> > still buy models without those features. Of course, there is the
> > problem of the installed base...
>
> I stand fast. I said "nearly always," and you countered by
> mentioning two players. Most SACD and DVD-A players do not,
> and even some that do are not all that good with the bass
> management that they do have, particularly with SACD. And
> even those that have bass management usually do not have
> distance compensation.

The slopes and x-over points might change between DD/DTS, DVD-A and SACD
playback on the same player. And is genereally substandard to the bass
management found in home theater amplifiers, the x-over point is commonly
found in between 100 and 120 Hz which is too high. The slopes is usually -6
and -12 dB during SACD playback on all gear which uses the SACD decoder chip
from Sony.


Espen Braathen
!