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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hello:

 

I am a newbie here... 


 

I never listen to 2-channel stereo music (guess I am not a "purist") - as I like the enveloping sound of 5.1/7.1 surround sound...

 

I have been told that SACDs and DVD-Audio discs are MUCH better than just listening to "regular" CDs through a multi-channel 5.1/7.1 surround sound system.

 

But where do I start?

 

I realize I need to get a universal blu-ray player that plays SACDs and DVD-Audio discs...

 

But, do they still make SACDs and DVD-Audio discs?

 

Are there any new, or "better", audio formats?  Blu-ray...?

 

Thanks ahead of time for all of your help - it is GREATLY appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

After some reading...

 

It appears that blu-ray audio is better than SACD and DVD-Audio...

 

And all you need is a regular blu-ray player...

 

Correct?

 

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start/0_50#post_24413146


After some reading...


It appears that blu-ray audio is better than SACD and DVD-Audio...
Actually, they can all offer the capability of sounding as good as each other. There is no clear winner!
 

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There are still some sacd's and dvd-a's being produced, though a small amount. The ones produced during surround music's heyday are still available- some can still be bought new, some used; some are reasonably priced, some are very expensive.


Blu-ray audio has some titles and more are coming, though whether that format takes off remains to be seen. They have no sonic advantage over sacd/dvd-a. If you really want to get into surround, you need a universal player, as currently the majority of surround available is in sacd and dvd-a format.


Some resources:


quadraphonicquad.com is invaluable as a source for researching purchases. It deals w/ all surround formats, not just quad, and has threads that rate pretty much every surround album ever released, w/ both polls and narratives. It is also a great place to learn about equipment, set-up and anything related to surround sound. It is also the nicest community of any online forum I've ever seen- and as helpful as any- even AVS.


sa-cd.net is a database of every sacd ever released- 2-channel or MCH- and has good reviews.


Yes, MCH is a great way to experience music. It is a small but active community. Discreet 5.1- when done well- is much better than synthesized. Welcome to this wonderful world of immersion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWinVA  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24413835


sa-cd.net is a database of every sacd ever released- 2-channel or MCH- and has good reviews.


 
 

Those prices are crazy!

 

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24413146


After some reading...


It appears that blu-ray audio is better than SACD and DVD-Audio...


And all you need is a regular blu-ray player...


Correct?

Welcome to this part of the forum. Blu ray has the potential and some of the discs available are excellent, like the two Pink Floyd, or the Van Morrison Moondance disc but they are only available in box sets. The Floyd discs can be had as SACD's. Then there is the High Fidelity Pure Audio group of titles or HFPA for short. They are relatively new to the game and the results are mixed. Like See More said above none of the three formats is a clear winner over the others. And yes all you need is a blu ray player to play BR discs Which makes a universal player like one of the Oppo's hard to beat. Jim WinVa gave you some great places to research. Also check out the Steve Hoffman forums. Some good info there. Some good places to buy are Elusive Disc, Import CD's, Acoustic Sounds, and Music Direct. Also don't be so quick to dismiss true stereo, a lot of the newer SACD's are two channel and if done right they can be quite enveloping.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24414507


Those prices are crazy!


Indeed, some are.


But some are very good:


Dire Straits Brothers In Arms, Excellent MCH mix, $10.98

http://sa-cd.net/showtitle/3030


One of the most popular titles ever in recorded music, Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is another reference MCH mix, for $12.09:

http://sa-cd.net/showtitle/771


Another iconic album w/ a great MCH mix (preferable to the recently released BR mix), the Who's Tommy for $20.39:

http://sa-cd.net/showtitle/1488


These are just a few of the great values still available- and those are new. Others can be found used for good prices w/ a lil patience and research. The small niche surround community is very open to helping others build their collections. You don't have to spend crazy money to get a good collection going, but if you have your heart set on a specific title that is rare and OOP, be prepared for frustration and/or heavy hits to your wallet. But if you enjoy MCH music, there's plenty to be had- though not nearly as much as we'd like (so many albums have MCH mixes that have never been released- and so many more deserve a 5.1 mix or remix that don't happen).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by acebreathe  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24415263


I don't know your tastes but Barnes and Noble have a lot of classical music titles on SACD available for under 10 bucks.
 

Classical is good... 

 

If I knew which ones would "blow my socks off" quality-wise... 

 

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24415270


Classical is good... 


If I knew which ones would "blow my socks off" quality-wise... 

Have no idea what will blow your socks off but the RCA Living Stereo series are of very good to excellent quality and they're under 10 bucks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by acebreathe  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24415424


Have no idea what will blow your socks off but the RCA Living Stereo series are of very good to excellent quality and they're under 10 bucks.



+1


And they can usually be had for less than $10 if you look. Barnes & Noble usually has them on sale a few times a year.
 

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Don't forget all those DTS-CD titles!



In my experience - owning several and reading numerous reviews - most if not all of them use immersive and/or aggressive mixes. In other words, no boring (to me anyway) "ambient" mixes with only vague reverb emanating from the rear channels. It's not that I want to be entertained by gimmicky mixes but rather, I want to be surrounded by the music and for me ambient mixes don't do that. Btw the only aspect of DTS-CDs* I don't like is that with many CD & DVD players I've used, when you fast forward or review part of a track, a loud hissing results - quite unnerving at high volume levels.


FYI: while DTS-CDs use a lossy format, IMO they can still sound very good. Not surprising since the format on DTS-CDs operates at a 1200kbps data rate, which is roughly equal to a 400kbps(!) stereo MP3 file. In DVD form, they can go from @750kbps to 1500kbps.


Also, there are many great mixes available on conventional DVDs, using either DTS or Dolby Digital.


---> As already mentioned though, not every surround mix is done well, so it definitely pays to read up on the titles one is interested in before purchasing.




* DTS Inc. later changed the name of this format to "DTS Music Disc".
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start/0_50#post_24433925


FYI: while DTS-CDs use a lossy format, IMO they can still sound very good. Not surprising since the format on DTS-CDs operates at a 1200kbps data rate, which is roughly equal to a 400kbps(!) stereo MP3 file. In DVD form, they can go from @750kbps to 1500kbps.
I have quite a few DTS-CD's myself. For anyone who's interested, some useful technical information can be found, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.1_Music_Disc
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24433925


Don't forget all those DTS-CD titles!



In my experience - owning several and reading numerous reviews - most if not all of them use immersive and/or aggressive mixes. In other words, no boring (to me anyway) "ambient" mixes with only vague reverb emanating from the rear channels. It's not that I want to be entertained by gimmicky mixes but rather, I want to be surrounded by the music and for me ambient mixes don't do that. Btw the only aspect of DTS-CDs* I don't like is that with many CD & DVD players I've used, when you fast forward or review part of a track, a loud hissing results - quite unnerving at high volume levels.


FYI: while DTS-CDs use a lossy format, IMO they can still sound very good. Not surprising since the format on DTS-CDs operates at a 1200kbps data rate, which is roughly equal to a 400kbps(!) stereo MP3 file. In DVD form, they can go from @750kbps to 1500kbps.


Also, there are many great mixes available on conventional DVDs, using either DTS or Dolby Digital.


---> As already mentioned though, not every surround mix is done well, so it definitely pays to read up on the titles one is interested in before purchasing.




* DTS Inc. later changed the name of this format to "DTS Music Disc".
 

LOL, thanks!

 

But now I am even more confused...

 

 

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i have a PS3 slim model (not the latest generation super duper i think I'm going to break it by looking at it for too long slim model, but the first style change after the big fat originals) will this play DVD-A's? I know it won't play SACD's which I've accepted and moved on from. I also I have a PS2 slim that I use for just regular CD's hooked up with an optical cord because its faster than using the PS3 and doesn't involve having to turn on the TV, that won't play DVD-A's will it? Thanks a lot, I'm just getting into the surround music thing and all these audio only surround formats and codecs are new to me. Are they really much different than standard movie surround codecs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rottenkid  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24436238


Sony products do not play DVD-A.


I know some PS3's play SACD. Are you sure yours does not?
 

Some do, and some don't...?

 

That's rather odd...

 

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV  /t/1519971/new-to-multi-channel-music-where-to-start#post_24436292


Some do, and some don't...?


That's rather odd...


Tell me about it. I was psyched to get $100 off on the new slim series when I applied for a Sony CC, but then was dismayed by how this line was a down-grade! They took out numerous features, sacd and BC being the main ones. Of course, they don't advertise what they dropped. I was very disappointed to not have sacd capability, esp. since my Denon 2930 is really wonky when it comes to sacd playback.
 
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