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rmilewsk
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I'm confused about formats

Back in the early 90's when I started to listen to high quality music there was basically CD and LP sources. Now there are so many more formats. SACD, DVD audio etc. What are the differences between CD, SACD, and DVD Audio? Why are good SACD players so much more expensive than good CD players? How come some SACD players only play two channel music? What's the point and the benefit of buyin an SACD player that only outputs two channel music? Are there DVD audio players that only output two channel music?

What are CD's doing that have both CD and SACD tracks when I play them back on a CD or an SACD player? Are these recording recorded twice once for CD and once for SACD or are they just mastered twice? Is one usually better than the other one? How about CD's that have only one track where the CD says it will play on either SACD or CD players? Is the CD player just downmixing or is the SACD player just upmixing? Is one better than the other? How can I tell which one is better?

CECE
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Re: I'm confused about formats
rmilewsk
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Re: I'm confused about formats

Thanks for the links. The first one seems to only have sacd albums I can purchase but I can't be sure as it's all in German and I've forgotten most of the German I know.

The second link seems to be more of the same with a forum where users chat mostly about the recordings.

The third link doesn't work at all.

Does anyone have links or information that will help me answer my questions.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: I'm confused about formats


Quote:
Back in the early 90's when I started to listen to high quality music there was basically CD and LP sources. Now there are so many more formats. SACD, DVD audio etc. What are the differences between CD, SACD, and DVD Audio?


They have more channels and more resolution than CD.


Quote:
Why are good SACD players so much more expensive than good CD players?


Cost of more technology but that's decreasing.


Quote:
How come some SACD players only play two channel music?


Some people prefer that and eschew multichannel.


Quote:
What's the point and the benefit of buyin an SACD player that only outputs two channel music?


You aren't paying for the additional DACs and output stages and, also, you are making a statement.


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Are there DVD audio players that only output two channel music?


Not that I know of but most can be programmed to do so.


Quote:
What are CD's doing that have both CD and SACD tracks when I play them back on a CD or an SACD player?


You can usually choose which you want to listen to.


Quote:
Are these recording recorded twice once for CD and once for SACD or are they just mastered twice?


The latter.


Quote:
Is one usually better than the other one?


One what vs. the other what?


Quote:
How about CD's that have only one track where the CD says it will play on either SACD or CD players?


All CDs will play on all SACD players. It's of no significance.


Quote:
Is the CD player just downmixing or is the SACD player just upmixing?


Those terms are inadequate. One recording is usually involved and, ideally, it is separately mastered for optimal sound in each format.


Quote:
Is one better than the other?


IMHO, yes. More channels and more resolution.


Quote:
How can I tell which one is better?


Listen.

Kal

rmilewsk
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Re: I'm confused about formats

Thanks for all of the responses. That really helps.

If I am understanding you correctly. Well recorded multichannel SACD's played back on a good multichannel system should sound better than the same CD played back on a good SACD player playing two channels which should sound better than the same CD played on conventional CD player.

You mentioned that all CD's will play on SACD players. I'm assuming that unless it's mastered for SACD I will only hear two channel.

Will all SACD's play on a CD player? If not how can I tell which ones will play and which ones will not play?

Do discs that have a track mastered for CD and a track mastered for SACD ever have the CD track that is mastered and sounds better than the SACD track?

CECE
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Re: I'm confused about formats

See ? Below, PHILIPS has the answers, they invented it

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Re: I'm confused about formats
Kal Rubinson
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Re: I'm confused about formats


Quote:
If I am understanding you correctly. Well recorded multichannel SACD's played back on a good multichannel system should sound better than the same CD played back on a good SACD player playing two channels which should sound better than the same CD played on conventional CD player.

Gross generalization but probably.


Quote:
You mentioned that all CD's will play on SACD players. I'm assuming that unless it's mastered for SACD I will only hear two channel.

CDs are two channel by definition.


Quote:
Will all SACD's play on a CD player? If not how can I tell which ones will play and which ones will not play?

Most are 'hybrids' which will play on any CD player and they are usually so labelled.


Quote:
Do discs that have a track mastered for CD and a track mastered for SACD ever have the CD track that is mastered and sounds better than the SACD track?

Not in my experience.

Kal

rmilewsk
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Re: I'm confused about formats


Quote:
http://www.licensing.philips.com/information/sacd/

I noticed in this link that one of the formats that music can be mastered on a SACD is the following:

stereo Super Audio CD program

If the SACD already has a track that is mastered in SACD and only in stereo would there be any point to the SACD players that only output two channel for this track?

Is this used often on SACD's? Do the SACD players that output in two channels still have better sound by converting the regular 5 or 6 channel track to two channel? Or is the sound the same with the stereo Super Audio CD program?

Kal Rubinson
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Re: I'm confused about formats


Quote:
I noticed in this link that one of the formats that music can be mastered on a SACD is the following:
stereo Super Audio CD program
If the SACD already has a track that is mastered in SACD and only in stereo would there be any point to the SACD players that only output two channel for this track?

They would play it as would any SACD player.


Quote:
Is this used often on SACD's?

One more time: Almost all SACDs, the ones labeled HYBRID, have this.


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Do the SACD players that output in two channels still have better sound by converting the regular 5 or 6 channel track to two channel?

No. Such downmixing is not better, but worse.


Quote:
Or is the sound the same with the stereo Super Audio CD program?

I is worse because the machine cannot do an intelligent mix, as would an expert. In any case, I suspect they will not downmix but just give you the front L/R channels.

BTW, your questions are becoming redundant.

Kal

rmilewsk
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Re: I'm confused about formats

Once again thank you for all of your responses. I apologize if some of my questions are redundant. I am starting to learn about these new formats and my fingers type faster than my brain realizes what is being typed. As someone who is learning something for the first time I will make mistakes and I will make many more to come.

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