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Has anyone tested SACD vs. CD of same album, e.g. for dynamic range?, [moved from General Music Discussion]
post Mar 4 2013, 17:03
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Hi everyone,

Just registered because I have a pressing question, which I think only can be answered honestly here at hydrogenaudio. I hope you would be so kind as to help me find an answer.

I have been searching for answer on the question i raise in the topic description: has anyone tested the difference of dynamic range between the two versions of the same album?

I read the double-blind test results from THIS thread. But as far as I can see it concerns 44/16 vs 96/24 and not the difference between the same album but in different distributed formats.

From different places I often notice a comment that says high resolution versions often are mastered differently (and better) than the corresponding CD version. These comments are never substantiated with any kind of measure.

I could of course buy a downloadable album and compare it (yet I haven't). Searching for either SACD or 96 at http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/ does seem to indicate that SACDs (when it comes to dynamic range) does not necessarily translate to better dynamic range when mastering the album. Heuristically, neither does my own collection of CD-only albums to have worse DR-rating than the SACD albums (I listen only to classical music, which may or may not have a bias towards better DR).

Anyway, this is of course no proof of anything. So therefore my question whether any of you know of places that have actually compared different versions of the same album?

Best regards,

This post has been edited by Mikkel: Mar 4 2013, 17:03
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post Mar 8 2013, 23:25
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I think you'd have to take it on a case-by-case basis whether the high-res is different or not, but I'd always have my doubts about it until proven otherwise. Very often they're likely to be the exact same mastering. I have one example where the high-res was royally screwed up, though it wasn't an SACD so it didn't have a standard CD layer joined with it: the Queen A Night At The Opera DVD-audio has a nice surround sound mix that was done well, but I was listening to the original stereo mix and thought it sounded like it was clipping. When I ripped it, I found I was right. Severe clipping and lots of it. 24 bits. 96kHz. No limiter. Likely any CD edition of it on the market would sound better.

Bill Frisell's Richter 858 was released on SACD and converted for sale on HDTracks, and that actually does seem to me to sound better than the CD, but not because of dynamic range. It sounds clearer, like the mastering for the CD was kinda grainier in some way (to be clear, I'm not saying that it sounded worse as a result of simply being a CD). But the CD had two releases, one a standard CD and one later as a hybrid SACD, and I don't remember which one I had that I did the comparison to the HDTracks version with and I don't have the CD anymore to check. Maybe the CD layer on the SACD would sound the same, I don't know for sure. Maybe someone here has it and could give a sample so we could find out. I know I've seen someone here who is a Bill Frisell fan.

This post has been edited by _if: Mar 8 2013, 23:28
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Posts in this topic
- Mikkel   Has anyone tested SACD vs. CD of same album, e.g. for dynamic range?   Mar 4 2013, 17:03
- - knutinh   I believe there are ample anecdotal evidence of ...   Mar 5 2013, 12:49
- - AndyH-ha   Even if SACD has a greater potential dynamic range...   Mar 5 2013, 21:35
- - Dynamic   I haven't tested myself, but an old thread men...   Mar 6 2013, 03:48
- - saratoga   QUOTE (Mikkel @ Mar 4 2013, 11:03) Search...   Mar 6 2013, 07:10
|- - Mikkel   QUOTE (saratoga @ Mar 6 2013, 07:10) QUOT...   Mar 6 2013, 12:26
- - AliceWonder   I will have to look for it but I read a paper with...   Mar 6 2013, 11:33
- - Mikkel   @ AliceWonder: Thanks for your post. I think the ...   Mar 6 2013, 12:17
- - Kohlrabi   The point is that technologically Redbook CD is su...   Mar 6 2013, 14:47
|- - Mikkel   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Mar 6 2013, 14:47) The ...   Mar 6 2013, 17:07
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (Mikkel @ Mar 6 2013, 17:07) Exactl...   Mar 6 2013, 22:32
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (knutinh @ Mar 6 2013, 16:32) QUOTE...   Mar 6 2013, 22:38
- - greynol   In some cases heavily compressed audio mat actuall...   Mar 6 2013, 17:31
|- - Mikkel   QUOTE (greynol @ Mar 6 2013, 17:31) In so...   Mar 7 2013, 08:43
- - db1989   I hope not, seeing as he was replying to a post th...   Mar 6 2013, 22:45
|- - Mikkel   QUOTE (db1989 @ Mar 6 2013, 22:45) I hope...   Mar 7 2013, 08:39
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (Mikkel @ Mar 7 2013, 08:39) 2) I l...   Mar 7 2013, 14:03
|- - Mikkel   QUOTE (knutinh @ Mar 7 2013, 14:03) QUOTE...   Mar 7 2013, 14:31
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (knutinh @ Mar 7 2013, 08:03) QUOTE...   Mar 7 2013, 14:50
- - _if   I think you'd have to take it on a case-by-cas...   Mar 8 2013, 23:25

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