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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Music / Audiophiles > Blu-ray Music and High Quality Music


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Old 10-12-2008, 06:42 PM   #1
DiverSpear DiverSpear is offline
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Default Blu-ray audio vs. SACD

If it has been discussed already just post the link and I will research. I couldn't any any reference.

I would like to know which is better? I have 2 audio Blu's and have never heard a SACD. Would it be worth it to buy a SACD player or just stick with Blu? Between the wife and I, we like all types of music except rap/hip-hop.

Was thinking about this player. Sony
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
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I'm in no position to compare the sound quality of the two formats. From what I have heard of Blu Ray audio it is comparable. But SACD multichannel has been in existance for at least 8 years, as has DVD-Audio, and both are superb. The advantage of SACD is the quantity of music releases available, I think another thread in this forum states over 5,000 albums. SA-CD.net has a fairly complete list; reviews, links to buy, etc etc and is an invaluable resource. I would go over that, were I you, and then make a decision.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
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I think it depends on which perspective you look at this from. When it comes to specs, the bluray format is technically superior. Short explaination. The SACD format has a dynamic range of 120db from 20hz-20khz over 6 channels. That is 20bit performance. It has a frequency response of up to 100khz which implies a sample rate of 50khz, but most players limit the upper frequency response to 80-90khz. This would be based on the performance values of PCM audio.

The Bluray format is capable of full 24bit 192khz performance over 8 channels. From my perspective the life of SACD is essentially over. The bluray format has everything DVD-A and SACD has and more, so there is no need to look backwards for something that can be offered right now, and looking forwards. There are already more bluray players in the market than there are SACD players, so producers will go where the largest installed base of hardward is if it is feasible to them financially.

I would bank on the bluray format myself. That is just my lousy opinion.!
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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Trust us, your opinion is not lousy by any means.

But, do you think they will strictly release concert blu-rays or would they ever release studio recorded blu-rays? I like the concert ones, but I would love to see studio recorded ones.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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And until such time as BD Audio can offer the selection available on SACD, that format is still a very viable option.

However, I don't doubt the technical advantages that BD Audio has over SACD and DVD-A.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:52 PM   #6
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SACD has a very devoted small fanbase keeping it alive. There are several thousand worthwhile releases already and a few new SACDs keep coming out in Europe and Japan (for example some Black Sabbath and Emerson, Lake, & Palmer is coming to SACD). It is essential if one is a fan of audiophile level jazz and classical music. But I do agree that the future of multi-channel high resolution music is on Blu-ray. The labels want to sell their discs on a format that everyone can play and they hope that Blu-ray delivers.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiverSpear View Post
If it has been discussed already just post the link and I will research. I couldn't any any reference.

I would like to know which is better? I have 2 audio Blu's and have never heard a SACD. Would it be worth it to buy a SACD player or just stick with Blu? Between the wife and I, we like all types of music except rap/hip-hop.
Here is a spectral comparison between music content on cd, Dvd-audio, and SACD:
http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/index.html

http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part2.html

http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part3.html
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:24 PM   #8
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There is only one title in which to make an honest evaluation: that is the Divertimenti. I encourage those of you interested to buy it and judge for yourself. Or you can read the review.

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies...97&show=review

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Old 10-12-2008, 10:26 PM   #9
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Ok stupid question...My speakers has Frequency Response of 45Hz-20kHz, so would it be able to reproduce sound of 192khz sampling rate?
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:41 PM   #10
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheedoe View Post
Ok stupid question...My speakers has Frequency Response of 45Hz-20kHz, so would it be able to reproduce sound of 192khz sampling rate?
Not a stupid one by any means, but a very loaded one.

To answer this simply....yes! But to what degree is the question and that depends on the componants (and quality thereof, sometimes) in your system.

I suppose the only thing I could say is not to be deterred by the "specs" of any componant you have. If you like the music chances are you will get much enjoyment out of it, regardless of what your gear you have.

Specs are specs and they are a guide only.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:43 AM   #11
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so where do i find a list of BD audio titles already avalible. I loved the DVD-Audio but never bought a sacd. i am very interested in this as i do love multi-channel audio
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:54 AM   #12
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You can browse the music section of BDs that are out now on this website.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:03 AM   #13
bw1605 bw1605 is offline
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yea but arent they all live concerts?
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John72953 View Post
Not a stupid one by any means, but a very loaded one.

To answer this simply....yes! But to what degree is the question and that depends on the componants (and quality thereof, sometimes) in your system.

I suppose the only thing I could say is not to be deterred by the "specs" of any componant you have. If you like the music chances are you will get much enjoyment out of it, regardless of what your gear you have.

Specs are specs and they are a guide only.
Actually this is not all correct. If his speakers have a roll off above 20khz as the spec's suggest, he would not hear several octaves of audio(albeit probably noise and air). His speakers would have to have a response of 96khz to cover the frequency response of 192khz audio. (even though most would actually hear nothing over 15khz in real life). My left/right front speakers anechoic response is 25-40khz, and it would be an octave shy as well. I know of no speaker(with the exception of an add on supertweeter) than can reproduce the entire frequency response of either 176.4khz(CD upsample rate) or 192khz audio.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Terrence View Post
Actually this is not all correct. If his speakers have a roll off above 20khz as the spec's suggest, he would not hear several octaves of audio(albeit probably noise and air). His speakers would have to have a response of 96khz to cover the frequency response of 192khz audio. (even though most would actually hear nothing over 15khz in real life). My left/right front speakers anechoic response is 25-40khz, and it would be an octave shy as well. I know of no speaker(with the exception of an add on supertweeter) than can reproduce the entire frequency response of either 176.4khz(CD upsample rate) or 192khz audio.
Ummm.... I think you guys are comparing apples and oranges here. 192kHz sampling rate has nothing to do with the frequency response of the system. All the sampling rate is is a requirement related to the highest frequency you can reproduce digitally, which in this case would be 96kHz. The human ear cannot hear 96kHz anyway with it topping off usually at 15kHz and some people can hear up to about 20kHz. All the 192kHz sampling rate means is that it was recorded at high enough quality to replicate a 96kHz signal, which has nothing to do with the fact that your speakers can play sounds up to 20kHz. In other words, neither of those specs are hindering your listening experience.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:53 AM   #16
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Advantages of SACD:
  1. Between 5,000 to 6,000 titles are currently available.
  2. Far more more SACD players are currently available or are in people's homes. This includes all the first generation PS3.
  3. Hybrid SACD's can be played in car CD players, portable CD players, home CD players, boom boxes, etc. Something you cannot do with blu-ray.
  4. The quality of SACD and blu-ray audio are comparable. It is almost impossible to tell the difference between the two in a double blind test.
Don't get me wrong. I hope blu-ray audio and video succeed. However, we must be honest about the facts.

Current Manufacturers:
http://audiotools.com/sacd.html#makers
Discontinued Models:
http://audiotools.com/sacd.html#old
Some High-End Models:
Yamaha DVD-S2300
Yamaha DVD-S1700
Wadia 581
TEAC UX-1
TEAC X-01
TEAC Esoteric X-03
Sony SCD-CE775
Sony SCD-C333ES
Sony SCD-1
Sony DVP-NS500V
Sony SCD-C555ES
Sony SCD-XA777ES
Sony SCD-C222ES
Sony DVP-NC685V
Sony SCD-XA9000ES
Sony DVP-NS999ES
Sony DVP-NS900V
Simaudio MOON Orbiter
Shanling SCD-T200
Samsung HD841
Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi
Pioneer DV588A-S
Philips SACD1000
Philips DVD962SA
Philips DVD963SA
Onkyo DV-SP502
NAD M55
Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista
Marantz America SA-1
Marantz America SA-12S1
Marantz America SA-14
Marantz America DV8300
Marantz America DV8400
Marantz America DV9500
Marantz America SA-11S1
Marantz SA-7S1
Linn UniDisk 1.1
Krell SACD Standard
Integra DPS-8.3
Integra DPC 8.5
Integra RDV-1.1
Denon DVD-2900
Denon DVD-2200
Denon DVD-2910
Denon DVD-5900
Cayin Audio SCD-50T
Cambridge Audio Azur 540D
Ayre Acoustics DX-7
Ayre Acoustics C-5xe U2
Arcam FMJ DV27A
Arcam DV139
Acoustic Sounds Sutherland PH.D.
Accuphase DP - 100 Digital Transport
Accuphase DP-77
SCD-50T

This part is from Wikipedia:

"SACD audio is stored in a format called Direct Stream Digital (DSD), which differs from the conventional PCM used by the compact disc or conventional computer audio systems.

DSD is 1-bit, has a sampling rate of 2.8224 MHz, and makes use of noise shaping quantization techniques in order to push 1-bit quantization noise up to inaudible ultrasonic frequencies. This gives the format a greater dynamic range and wider frequency response than the CD. Promotional materials about SACD supplied by Philips and Sony suggest that the system is capable of delivering a dynamic range of 120 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and an extended frequency response up to 100 kHz, although most currently available players list an upper limit of 80–90 kHz.

The process of creating a DSD signal is conceptually similar to taking a 1-bit delta-sigma analog-to-digital (A/D) converter and removing the decimator which converts the 1-bit bitstream into multibit PCM. Instead, the 1-bit signal is recorded directly and in theory only requires a lowpass filter to reconstruct the original analog waveform. In reality it is a little more complex, and the analogy is incomplete in that 1-bit sigma-delta converters are these days rather unusual, one reason being that a 1-bit signal cannot be dithered properly: most modern sigma-delta converters are multibit.

Because of the nature of sigma-delta converters, one cannot make a direct comparison between DSD and PCM. An approximation is possible, though, and would place DSD in some aspects comparable to a PCM format that has a bit depth of 20 bits and a sampling frequency of 192 kHz. PCM sampled at 24 bits provides a (theoretical) additional 24 dB of dynamic range. Due to the effects of quantization noise, the usable bandwidth of the SACD format is approximately 100 kHz, which is similar to 192 kHz PCM.

Because it has been extremely difficult to carry out DSP operations (for example performing EQ, balance, panning and other changes in the digital domain) in a 1-bit environment, and because of the prevalence of studio equipment such as Pro Tools, which is solely PCM-based, the vast majority of SACDs — especially rock and contemporary music which relies on multitrack techniques — are in fact mixed in PCM (or mixed analog and recorded on PCM recorders) and then converted to DSD for SACD mastering.

To address some of these issues, a new studio format has been developed, usually referred to as "DSD-wide", which retains standard DSD's high sample rate but uses an 8-bit, rather than single-bit digital word length, but still relies heavily on the noise shaping principle. It becomes almost the same as PCM (it's sometimes disparagingly referred to as "PCM-narrow") but has the added benefit of making DSP operations in the studio a great deal more practical. The main difference is that "DSD-wide" still retains 2.8224 MHz (64Fs) sampling frequency while the highest frequency in which PCM is being edited is 352.8 kHz (8Fs). The "DSD-wide" signal is down-converted to regular DSD for SACD mastering. As a result of this technique and other developments there are now a few digital audio workstations (DAWs) which operate, or can operate, in the DSD domain, notably Pyramix and some SADiE systems.

Note that high-resolution PCM (DVD-Audio, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc) and DSD (SACD) may still differ in terms of fidelity at high-frequencies since DSD, owing to its high sampling frequency, does not show the ringing effects that PCM shows with certain types of signals when sharp reconstruction filters are employed[citation needed], but instead it shows constant high levels of noise at the same frequencies this ringing would show in 192 kHz PCM. On the other hand, DSD's dynamic range decreases quickly at frequencies over 20 kHz due to the use of strong noise shaping techniques which push the noise out of the audio band resulting in a rising noise floor just above 20 kHz. PCM's dynamic range, on the other hand, is the same at all frequencies. (Some high-end SACD players employ an optional low-pass filter set at 30 kHz for compatibility and safety reasons, suitable for situations where amplifiers or loudspeakers can't deliver an undistorted output if noise above 30 kHz is present in the signal.)
"
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Last edited by Big Daddy; 10-13-2008 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:24 AM   #17
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arent they just live concerts
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:46 AM   #18
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The only Blu-ray Audio only disc I'm aware of right now is Ghosts I-IV from Trent Reznor of nine inch nails.

Blu-ray is only spec'd to 24/192 5.1 - for eight channels you're using 24/96

24/192 7.1 is 36.864 Mbps, which is within Blu-ray's maximum a/v rate, but it's not within the specs and doesn't appear to have a movement at the moment to add it.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
The only Blu-ray Audio only disc I'm aware of right now is Ghosts I-IV from Trent Reznor of nine inch nails.
If you read this thread, you'd also be aware of another audio only Blu-ray: the Divertimenti, which I mentioned above. In addition to that there are several other audio only titles, including:
Grieg: Piano Concerto, Symphonic Dances, In Autumn
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Boris Godunov / Night on Bare Mountain
Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2&3
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3
Uncommon Bach
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Concertos for Double Orchestra
The Way to Paradise

Also, these are coming soon:
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6
Bach: Orchestral Suites No.1, 2 & 3 / Tripelkonzert
Neil Young : Archives Volume One (1963-1972)
although the NY may contain some video clips for all I know.

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Old 10-13-2008, 11:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onumb View Post
Ummm.... I think you guys are comparing apples and oranges here. 192kHz sampling rate has nothing to do with the frequency response of the system. All the sampling rate is is a requirement related to the highest frequency you can reproduce digitally, which in this case would be 96kHz. The human ear cannot hear 96kHz anyway with it topping off usually at 15kHz and some people can hear up to about 20kHz. All the 192kHz sampling rate means is that it was recorded at high enough quality to replicate a 96kHz signal, which has nothing to do with the fact that your speakers can play sounds up to 20kHz. In other words, neither of those specs are hindering your listening experience.
Thanks for explaining that. Also thanks to John and Sir Terrence for your input on this matter. The reason I was asking this is because I saw these sony speakers that claims to deliver high resolution audio upto 50kHz, much higher than that of my more expensive RBH speakers. It also goes to saying "You will experience music just as it was recorded".

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