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DVD Audio or SACD ?, Support audio
Acid Orange Juic...
post Apr 5 2005, 06:49
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QUOTE (CSMR @ Apr 4 2005, 07:04 PM)
QUOTE (Acid Orange Juice @ Feb 26 2005, 09:23 PM)
It's a fact, not a supposition..
It's well known that the audio CD is completely overkill for the human ear. The normal audio CD have more resolution that the human ear is able to perceive.

I think each the SACD and DVD-A camps make claims that its format is insistinguishable in tests from live feed while the other isn't. At least I have heard both claims. I am not sure who has tested this with CD, or how else your result came to be "well known". Take a reference ADC to convert to 16/44 and reference DAC and compare to live analog or else take 24/192 recordings and convert to 16/44 to compare.
*



I believe that you misread important posts of this thread.
You would have that to read the post #43, where, your doubt was answered clearly.

QUOTE (marcan)
You canít say the difference between a lossy at around 200 kb/s and a PCM 16/44 at 1411 kb/s. It means pcm 16/44 is overkill for the human ear. I doubt you will get much support to claim the contrary here at HA.
Outside the compatibility, the benefits of pcm being lossless, meaning you have the choice of the lossy encoder without transcoding artefact. You still have lossless compression at around 800 kb/s.
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CSMR
post Apr 6 2005, 06:53
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I don't see how that answers the question.
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KikeG
post Apr 7 2005, 12:02
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QUOTE (WmAx @ Apr 4 2005, 04:09 PM)
Could you link to the test files used in this ABX test to which you refer? I would, as a matter of seperate interest, be interested in taking a look and listen.
*


According to my experience, real-world music that reveals a difference when lowpassed at 16 KHz is not that frequent, thanks to spectral masking. But there is certainly some. One example is the first sample here, the one lowpassed at 16 KHz:

http://www.kikeg.arrakis.es/lowpass/

It's a sample extracted from a pop music cd, where there is a cymbal ringing just over 16 KHz. I can hear the lowpass at ordinary listening levels without any effort, using both monitor speakers and various kind of headphones (Sony MDR-7506, Sennheiser HD-580).

I've come accross at least another example of this type, but I have no samples available online. If you are interested, I'll post them when I have some time.

Edit: now it's two different samples that reveal a difference when lowpassed at 16 KHz.

This post has been edited by KikeG: Jun 20 2005, 09:10
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guruboolez
post Apr 7 2005, 13:55
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From my experience, an instrument like harpsichord reveals without excessive difficulties a 16 KHz lowpass.
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Gecko
post Apr 7 2005, 15:03
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I thought it was established scientific fact, that humans can hear pure sinusodial signals up to ca. 20kHz. In that regard, I find it a hard claim that in musical content anything above 16kHz is allways masked.
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cabbagerat
post Apr 7 2005, 15:57
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QUOTE (KikeG @ Apr 7 2005, 03:02 AM)
According to my experience, real-world music that reveals a difference when lowpassed at 16 KHz is not that frequent, thanks to spectral masking. But there is certainly some. One example is the first sample here, the one lowpassed at 16 KHz:
http://www.kikeg.arrakis.es/lowpass/
*

That's a pretty amazing sample, I had no trouble ABXing 10/10 of the lowpassed version versus the original. On the other hand, I failed to ABX the 16kHz lowpass of ff123's Mustang Sally samples. Interestingly, my girlfriend (same age as me, 21) failed completely on this sample - she is convinced their is no difference. I blame that on the fact that she has been playing in an orchestra for six years.


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WmAx
post Apr 7 2005, 17:31
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QUOTE (Gecko @ Apr 7 2005, 10:03 AM)
I thought it was established scientific fact, that humans can hear pure sinusodial signals up to ca. 20kHz. In that regard, I find it a hard claim that in musical content anything above 16kHz is allways masked.
*


Most of the time, it appears that data >16Khz is not important. However, in this sample provided by the poster, it has extraordinary HF content, which basicly resembles a sine wave for a signficant duration that is >16Khz frequency.

-Chris
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WmAx
post Apr 7 2005, 17:38
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QUOTE (KikeG @ Apr 7 2005, 07:02 AM)
According to my experience, real-world music that reveals a difference when lowpassed at 16 KHz is not that frequent, thanks to spectral masking. But there is certainly some. One example is the first sample here, the one lowpassed at 16 KHz:

http://www.kikeg.arrakis.es/lowpass/


Thank you. This sample seems to have an extraordinary type of HF content; essentially a relative long duration signal(synthetic cymbal?) of high amplitude that resembles a sine wave that is >16kHz in frequency. The perceptual test to which I referred to determine JNDs did not use this sort of signal. But your sample does show a superb example of the few times that the limit needs to be extended >16Khz. It is noted that the developers of redbook still decided that a bandwidth of about 22kHz was needed for a *safeguard* in the final standard. Maybe they feard this very type of sample would show up occasionally?

-Chris

This post has been edited by WmAx: Apr 7 2005, 17:42
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marcan
post Apr 7 2005, 18:05
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QUOTE (WmAx @ Apr 7 2005, 08:38 AM)
QUOTE (KikeG @ Apr 7 2005, 07:02 AM)
According to my experience, real-world music that reveals a difference when lowpassed at 16 KHz is not that frequent, thanks to spectral masking. But there is certainly some. One example is the first sample here, the one lowpassed at 16 KHz:

http://www.kikeg.arrakis.es/lowpass/


Thank you. This sample seems to have an extraordinary type of HF content; essentially a relative long duration signal(synthetic cymbal?) of high amplitude that resembles a sine wave that is >16kHz in frequency. The perceptual test to which I referred to determine JNDs did not use this sort of signal. But your sample does show a superb example of the few times that the limit needs to be extended >16Khz. It is noted that the developers of redbook still decided that a bandwidth of about 22kHz was needed for a *safeguard* in the final standard. Maybe they feard this very type of sample would show up occasionally?

-Chris
*


Even at 39 it's easily abxable laugh.gif
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sTisTi
post Apr 7 2005, 18:18
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QUOTE (WmAx @ Apr 7 2005, 08:31 AM)
Most of the time, it appears that data >16Khz is not important. However, in this sample provided by the poster, it has extraordinary HF content, which basicly resembles a sine wave for a signficant duration that is >16Khz frequency.
*

I just encoded this sample (which is also very easily ABXable for me when lowpassed at 16kHz) with Lame 3.90.3 --alt-preset standard -Y, and according to the spectral view, Lame preserves most of the HF energy in the critical places; I can't ABX this encode, which shows that the -Y switch is very intelligent in its decision how to spend the few bits it can for HF content.
Here are the bitrates:
APS: 208 (can't ABX)
APS -Y: 199 (can't ABX)
APS --lowpass 16: 196 (very easy to ABX)


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Kees de Visser
post May 24 2005, 01:13
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What I'm missing in this interesting discussion so far is the distinction between "production format" and "delivery format".
A production format is used to store audio (usually the output of one or more microphones) for future use in the production process. It is very likely that there will be subsequent processing and therefore overkill in audio quality is required (and legitimate imo).
A delivery format is used to provide the final (mastered) content to the consumer. Subsequent processing of the audio is not intended although it can't be completely excluded (radio broadcasting, consumer tools like EQ, dsp etc.). Therefore the quality requirements for a delivery format can be lower (no overkill).

Another item is the difficulty in separating the quality of a format and its implementation.
For DSD DAC's e.g. choice is rather limited at the moment and no matter how you compare models, there will be too many variables to draw objective conclusions.
If you want to listen to a DSD ADC, you'll need a DAC as well, thereby increasing the variables again. You're testing the implementation, not only the format.
Therefore I think that objective testing, which is relatively easy when you stay in the digital domain, becomes almost impossible when it comes to transducers. Good tests will be very time and budget consuming, probably exceeding the financial limits of this industry.

For me personally SACD is the best delivery format for surround audio at this moment. The hybrid format is great and several cd-plants can deliver the format (at least here in Europe).


Just my Ä 0,02
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coastalbumm
post Jun 8 2005, 23:58
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I am very interested in this forum, and you will have to excuse me for my lack of technical savvy on this topic. I am not quite up to speed on all of the lingo which is being used.

I look at this a little differently, and yet share some of the same views as some of you.

When I buy music, or movies. I objectively listen for all parts of it. I have been a musician for 2/3 of my life and grew up with an old school audiophile father. I can appreciate the different formats and for this reason I question the guys on here who soley resort to their math skills.

First off.
Who decides which sounds are, or aren't, important? It is my opinion that it is the complete sound which recreates the music, and omission of any of that data is therefore compromising the sound quality.

My father is 54, has over $150,000 invested in his setup and he still to this day goes for vinyl. I still remeber the first time I heard Dark Side of The Moon on vinyl.
The sound was far different from any other format I had heard it on, mainly because the records don't have the limitations of many of the other formats.
For this reason, I say that anyone who says you cannot "hear" the difference between the same recording on CD & SACD can kiss it. I believe hybrid discs are a great testament to this. I have a very modest setup in comparison to that of my father, but I am using sony es and nht 2.5i for fronts. Listen to the remastered Dark Side of The Moon on SACD/CD Hybrid, it was engineered by the ORIGINAL engineer and both recordings thus should be from the same source material. This to me provides an obvious win for SACD, as its' clarity and accuracy in representing the original audio is far greater than that of CD.

Off of that rant, I will say, I have not been able to obtain a recording in CD,SACD,and DVD-A. But to date SACD has best been able to make me feel as if it were live in my living room. Also, I find that a DTS DVD CD sounds just as good if not better that DVD-A (this of course depends on the source and engineer).
So, can anyone answer this. Why create the DVD-A format, when the DVD-V format does just as good.

For me, the choice is still SACD.
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listen
post Jun 9 2005, 02:33
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Good post, but can you ABX it? ABX is not about the maths, only the truth.

It has already been covered that the SACD/CD sides of DSOTM have different content.
QUOTE
It is my opinion that it is the complete sound which recreates the music, and omission of any of that data is therefore compromising the sound quality.

This is exactly why people use ABX tests
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Karlosak
post Jun 9 2005, 12:02
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The problem with this whole SACD/DVD-A/CD issue is, that we CAN't do any meaningful objective ABX test at our home "conditions". There are too many variables that could alter the outcome of such a test.

Let's say you have got two discs, one DVD-A the other SACD, with the same content, with the 'SAME' mastering, both originally recorded in analog and then transfered to the respective audio format with SOTA converters. Now you want to do an ABX test, but with which equipment? The processing of the digital signal and it's conversion into analog is so different in both cases that if the outcome of the test would be positive, then we can conclude nothing about the format, just about the used electronics.
A consumer can never approach the ideal state. With their use of some universal player and DVDA and SACD discs of the same material he or she can get some results, but it won't tell anything about the formats.

I won't discuss here which one of these formats is theoretically superior. Many heated words have already been spoken. As everybody knows, practice is very different from theory. A theoretically better method can yield poorer results in real-world use.

However one practical test could be conduced. Let's gather as many as possible DVD-A and SACD players of different price ranges and let's conduce an ABX test with identical source discs. This comparison could tell something about real possibilities of both formats in everyday employment.
The above test falsely entitled "practical" is quite difficult for normal consumer to achieve. So we are quite left in the dark... ermm.gif

Now to the even more sensitive issue - is there any ABXable difference between:
1) good-old 16/44.1 PCM and let's say 24/96 or even 24/192?
2) 16/44.1 PCM layer and DSD layer of the hybrid SACD disc?

I won't cover the first point, since I don't have much experience with such comparison and some tests have been already made (with negative results outweighting dry.gif ).

The second point is practically feasible as a single or double-blind test. The necessary preconditions are:

- SACD player with DSD and PCM stages as much as similar (utilising the same DACs) with no conversion of the DSD bitstream to the PCM (bass management, etc.)
- Hybrid SACD disc derived from an original analog or DSD recording (analog prefered, to keep off any bias), with no usage of aditional effects in the PCM domain, overdubing, etc. with exactly the same material used for the PCM layer (this is absolute necessity - DSOTM and other discs with altered PCM layer is a joke for this test) and with the same loudness (very important). Classical recordings captured with few mikes and with few alterations on the engineer side are great candidates.
- Quick switching of the DSD/PCM layer in the SACD player. With the old players the layer switching could take for ages, but with the recent ones it's usually below 5 sec.

I've managed many single-blind listening tests consistent with the above scenario in my headphone setup (Modified Sony SCD-XA3000ES player, Dynahi headphone amplifier, HD650 headphones) with a help of a family member who switched randomly the layers.
Because of the TOS of this forum I cannot post any results of these tests, since there is no way how can I prove my claims in this virtual space (silly isn't it? - alternatively you can come by and see (listen) for yourself wink.gif ). I'll do a little infringement and only say that the tests were in the case of original analog or DSD recordings mostly positive, in the case of PCM sourced discs I often failed.
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dekkersj
post Jun 9 2005, 14:10
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Forget about the PCM layer on a SACD.

QUOTE
Listen to the remastered Dark Side of The Moon on SACD/CD Hybrid, it was engineered by the ORIGINAL engineer and both recordings thus should be from the same source material. This to me provides an obvious win for SACD, as its' clarity and accuracy in representing the original audio is far greater than that of CD.


This is an interesting example. If you record the analog signal that comes from the DSD layer to a cd, with eg a stand alone cd recorder, then you must conclude that this PCM version is far better (maybe indistinguisable from the SACD) than the PCM layer on the SACD!! If you ask me the PCM layer of the SACD is the 20th anniversary edition and not the 30th anniversary.

Regards,
Jacco


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tgoose
post Jun 9 2005, 14:44
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If there's any audible difference (equipment aside) between DVD-A and SACD, then surely DVD-A has to be the better one, simply because it has more data. It might not sound better, but I can't see how it could sound worse. By good I mean more accurate, of course.
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coastalbumm
post Jun 9 2005, 15:27
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QUOTE (tgoose @ Jun 9 2005, 09:44 AM)
If there's any audible difference (equipment aside) between DVD-A and SACD, then surely DVD-A has to be the better one, simply because it has more data. It might not sound better, but I can't see how it could sound worse. By good I mean more accurate, of course.
*


No offense intended, but I think you might want to reconsider your logic.

The accoustical accuracy of the media cannot be determined merely by the size of the data disc. Liken this to a computer program.

If two programmers write two completely different programs to perform the exact same function, the programs will not necessarily be the same. Much data can be erroneous. Your program will only be as good as the person who wrote it, and will only be efficient as the person who wrote it.

Who really cares about the capacity of the media in terms of data? Quite frankly, I'm not considering this when I listen to my music, nor do I care about the size of the files that comprise it. Give me media the size of laser-disc, I dont care. That will only effect production/distributions costs. I WANT GREAT SOUND, not an effecient compression.

Earlier in this forum, it is referenced from technical docs that DVD-A is the more effecient of the two, but lacks in certain aspects. See post #9.

This post has been edited by coastalbumm: Jun 9 2005, 15:29
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moozooh
post Jun 9 2005, 15:32
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SACD may sound better because of different mastering and 5.1 channel distribution, not because it has greater resolution. In fact, DSD is not better than 44.1 KHz PCM, just read this: http://sjeng.org/ftp/SACD.pdf
And that is the answer to everything. 8)


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Nika
post Jun 9 2005, 15:32
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QUOTE (coastalbumm @ Jun 8 2005, 04:58 PM)
Listen to the remastered Dark Side of The Moon on SACD/CD Hybrid, it was engineered by the ORIGINAL engineer and both recordings thus should be from the same source material. This to me provides an obvious win for SACD, as its' clarity and accuracy in representing the original audio is far greater than that of CD.


Careful. Just because it was mastered by the same engineer does not in any way mean it was mastered the same. It is virtually impossible to do so. First, the mastering tools available for the DSD environment are different from those available for PCM. Second, traditional PCM mastering involves normalizing and limiting in ways that are actually illegal in the SACD scarlet book - the disk would be rejected. The result is that mastering engineers on SACD are actually forced to use less compression and allow more dynamics. It is not to say that the PCM mastering engineer couldn't do the same, but they don't HAVE to, so they don't.

The result is that SACD disks often use more dynamic range, have less compression, and sound that way. But they don't have to...

Nika
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coastalbumm
post Jun 9 2005, 15:35
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QUOTE (Nika @ Jun 9 2005, 10:32 AM)
QUOTE (coastalbumm @ Jun 8 2005, 04:58 PM)
Listen to the remastered Dark Side of The Moon on SACD/CD Hybrid, it was engineered by the ORIGINAL engineer and both recordings thus should be from the same source material. This to me provides an obvious win for SACD, as its' clarity and accuracy in representing the original audio is far greater than that of CD.


Careful. Just because it was mastered by the same engineer does not in any way mean it was mastered the same. It is virtually impossible to do so. First, the mastering tools available for the DSD environment are different from those available for PCM. Second, traditional PCM mastering involves normalizing and limiting in ways that are actually illegal in the SACD scarlet book - the disk would be rejected. The result is that mastering engineers on SACD are actually forced to use less compression and allow more dynamics. It is not to say that the PCM mastering engineer couldn't do the same, but they don't HAVE to, so they don't.

The result is that SACD disks often use more dynamic range, have less compression, and sound that way. But they don't have to...

Nika
*





I understand this, that is why I referenced the Dark Side of The Moon Hybrid. Both layers are 30th anniversary remasters done by the original engineer.
Multi-Channel aside, compare the two 2 channel recordings.

The reason I referenced the CD was to address earlier posts by people who try to use the "scientific limitations of the human ear" to excuse the fact that they are unable to distinguish between CD and SACD.

This post has been edited by coastalbumm: Jun 9 2005, 15:40
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dekkersj
post Jun 9 2005, 15:42
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QUOTE
In fact, DSD is not better than 44.1 KHz PCM
blink.gif As far as I understood the dynamic range is about 30 dB larger for SACD, but it is not distortion-free. Due to the inability of proper dithering.

DVD-A has even more dynamic range and can be made distortion-free.

Regards,
Jacco


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coastalbumm
post Jun 9 2005, 15:48
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Jacco...

you seem very knowledgeable on DVD, so I'll ask you. What is the technical difference in DVD-V and DVD-A in terms or the capabilities?
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moozooh
post Jun 9 2005, 15:54
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From page #4:

QUOTE
Finally, consider 8-bit, four-times-oversampled PCM with
noise shaping. This is also a data rate one-half that of DSD and
double that of CD, with a sampling rate of 4 ◊ 44,100 =
176,400 Hz. It can achieve a noise floor 120 dB below full
scale up to 20 kHz, using 96 dB of noise shaping, and a total
noise power of –19 dBFS. Its frequency response would be
flat to 80 kHz. This example is perhaps the most instructive of
the lot. For a data rate one-half that of DSD, it achieves a
comparable signal bandwidth, with a similar noise power
density up to 20 kHz, but much lower power above this
frequency, and 28 dB lower total noise power. It is fully
TPDF-dithered, and so is completely artefact free. At one-half
the data rate it outperforms DSD on every count! DSD is a
profligate wastrel of capacity.


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dekkersj
post Jun 9 2005, 15:56
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Where it boils down to is the data rate, resulting in a limited amount of high resolution multi channel playback for DVD-V. Not all DVD-V players can handle even the stereo high resolution track. With DVD-A you can go up to 6 channels 24 bit 96 kHz lossless audio.

I truly believe that 16 bit 44k1 is good enough and it should be possible to put a 6 channel 16 bits 44k1 stream on a DVD-V, taking away the necessity of SACD and DVD-A.

Regards,
Jacco


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dekkersj
post Jun 9 2005, 16:01
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QUOTE
DSD is a
profligate wastrel of capacity.
True. But this statement does not relate cd with sacd in the sense that 44k1 PCM is better than DSD. It is more efficient.

Regards,
Jacco


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