Originally Posted by mswlogo
See my thread on lossless from a while back.
Stop sweating it.
My audio system has a list price of around $40,000 US (that's just the 5 speakers, amps, and preamp) and I could care less about lossless now and just sold off my DVD-A player (6 channel PCM lossless aka MLP) that listed for $6000.00 because the DTS sounds just as good !!! I'm not trying to brag about my system, I'm more embarassed that I spent as much as I did than brag (I bought it all used/demo and most of it is still current). I'm just trying to make a point that lossless is way over rated. DTS especially at high bitrate is an AMAZING technology. And people want lossless just because it's there. I've fallen in to the same trap. Luckily the DVD-A player I bought as demo and recooped some value. The PS3 sounded just as good on DTS (over optical) as the $7000.00 DVD-A player did playing the same DVD-A on lossless (MLP). The lossless technoligy used on DVD-A IS EXACTLY the same stuff in Dolby TrueHD. Meridian (the system I have and inventor of it) sold the rights of DVD-A (MLP) to Dolby. By the way I don't have Meridian's top end system, that would cost about $220,000.00 List.
The only thing HDMI will get you is SACD on the PS3. But going through a DAC and then another ADC will kill that 5% improvement SACD has.
Also going through a DAC and ADC will be worse than any DTS compression artifacts. I have heard how much a D to A and A to D conversion can decrease the quality of audio. But I can't hear the decrease in audio quality from a good DTS bitstream.
And music is way more critical than movies. DTS and DD is what you still get in the MOVIE THEATER.
Your room, speakers and amps are 90% of the quality of audio you're listening to, focus on that instead.
Even Dolby ProLogic can sound positively amazing on a proper setup.
Great post! After spending the last few months purchasing virtually every HDMI equipped receiver under the sun just to be able to listen to LPCM via HDMI from both Blu-ray and HD DVD, I have come to the same conclusion as you have, namely that if you own high quality gear, DTS at 1.5 Mbps output sounds fantastic and is virtually indistinguishable from lossless.
Is this true for every receiver / pre pro? I would say probably not as LPCM via HDMI did sound quite a bit better on all the Yamaha, Denon, Marantz and Onkyo receivers I tried in comparison to running DTS via SPDIF but when I went BACK to better quality products from Arcam, Naim etc., the differences just are not there or are slight to say the least (5.1 analog input comparison as HDMI audio does not exist on these products). I DEFINITELY prefer the Arcam and Naim products in comparison to the Yamaha, Denon, Marantz etc. receivers for simple SD DVD and sat viewing as the sound is far more involving and multi-faceted and DPL II is a big step forward on the Arcam in comparison to the cheaper priced competition. As always, when it comes to music reproduction, its not even a contest.....
For reference purposes, I am currently running an Arcam AVR-350 partnered with a Naim Nait 5i, Neat Acoustic Motive speakers, Escient Fireball DVDM-100 with 2 Sony DVP-CX777ES changers, Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-Ray player, Sony PS3, Naca5 speaker cables and Chord Anthem interconnects. Not a "high-end" system by any stretch but one that meets my budget and to me, sounds fantastic for the money. If anything, the only regret I have right now is the Panasonic blu-ray player as I find that the dacs in the Panasonic are inferior to the Arcam, especially when listening to DTS tracks - I much prefer using the SPDIF as opposed to the 7.1 analog outputs of the Panny as the Arcam seems to decode with more detail and slam but this may simply be down to the Panasonic having inferior bass management flexibility in comparison to the Arcam or the additional D to A and A to D conversions that need to take place when using analog outputs. If I had to do it over again, I would simply have stuck with the PS3 as when used via optical to the Arcam, it sounds better than the Panasonic when using the 7.1 analog outputs.
The same holds true for HD DVD when comparing TruHD via 5.1 analog vs. DTS via SPDIF. I find both to be very dynamic and involving and virtually indistinguishable on the Arcam. If anything, the SPDIF is a better option for me as I can make minute adjustments on the fly to the sound that can not be done so easily on the Toshiba when using the 5.1 analog outputs.