HD DVD audio quality in 2 channel mode- how good is it? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Are the DACs in these players as good or better than older but good cd/DVDplayers and stand alone DACs? Is progress being made here or is mass production and appeal to the lowest common denominator inhibiting things?

And is there much of a difference between in audio quality the A2, A20 and XA2 for cd (redbook) play-back?

TIA
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 05:05 PM
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it should be above average, and I'd expect the XA2s to be better, though.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritter View Post

Are the DACs in these players as good or better than older but good cd/DVDplayers and stand alone DACs? Is progress being made here or is mass production and appeal to the lowest common denominator inhibiting things?

And is there much of a difference between in audio quality the A2, A20 and XA2 for cd (redbook) play-back?

TIA

Only the XA2 has analog outs and therefore DACs. I doubt they are higher-quality DACs as this a video device designed to operate in the digital domain. I would guess when the the bigger players in audio start coming out with players, you will see higher quality DACs. Personally I don't get the desire for DACs in the transport because that would push the price point to a market that generally likes to use an external processor coupled to an external amplifier; wanting the player only to provide transport, and if necessary digital decoding to PCM. Analog connections are provided as backwards compatibility for those lacking HDMI, which is the only way to get lossless audio digitally.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-08-2007, 08:47 PM
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I thought every HD-DVD had analog outs for at least stereo, and thus at least one DAC.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-09-2007, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by steven975 View Post

I thought every HD-DVD had analog outs for at least stereo, and thus at least one DAC.

My mistake. I forgot about those

However, as you said, other than the XA2, I would't expect quality DACs, and even then not anywhere near audiophile quality. Toshiba isn't an audiophile company. I think Toshiba has pushed the video and digital domain about as far as it can go right now with the XA2. Where you'll see improvements in the high-end is in the analog domain -- better transport, power supply, DACs, etc. Wait for higher-end models from the likes of Onkyo/Intega, Denon, Marantz, etc. But be prepared for a >$1000.00 player.

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-09-2007, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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How is stereo sound in the digital domain?

I thought I read a while back (1st gen) that a real audiophile /tweaker on the +$20k forum loved the sound from his Toshiba and thought it compared quite favorably. I'll have to do a search.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-09-2007, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-09-2007, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritter View Post

How is stereo sound in the digital domain?

I thought I read a while back (1st gen) that a real audiophile /tweaker on the +$20k forum loved the sound from his Toshiba and thought it compared quite favorably. I'll have to do a search.

All sound is initially in the digital domain (unless you have a turntable or tape player ). Eventually it is "decoded" to PCM (if it's not already in that format) and then D-A conversion.

My point was I don't think Toshiba is putting much thought into the analog side of things. These players are designed for HD-DVD video, SD-DVD upconverted video, and digital audio. Not analog audio. If someone thinks the stereo output is exceptional...great, but analog audio is one of the most subjective things there is. I'm just going by the specs of the components involved and I don't see anything jumping out at me that says these are great D-A units.

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-09-2007, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritter View Post

Are the DACs in these players as good or better than older but good cd/DVDplayers and stand alone DACs? Is progress being made here or is mass production and appeal to the lowest common denominator inhibiting things?

And is there much of a difference between in audio quality the A2, A20 and XA2 for cd (redbook) play-back?

TIA

I only have the A1, which I assume would have similar audio quality to the other models.

The sound quality is better than average, but not audiophile. The deficiencies tend to be subtractive rather than additive. By this I mean that it lacks some clarity, dynamic drive, and soundtage compared to a good DAC. However, it also does NOT add harshness or anything particularly bad to the sound that you can put your finger on.

For me, for music playback, it sounds a bit "boring". However, it is also greatly listenable on what is otherwise a high-end system in my house, which is more than I can say for many players.

For movies, I find the sound great!
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