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 Post subject: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2022, 17:48 
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I bought the Mo-Fi SACD of Chicago II last year, and while casually browsing ebay a few weeks ago, I found the DVD-Audio version for a not ridiculous price and jumped on that.

So finally, I can actually make a head to head comparison of SACD vs DVD-Audio of the same album.

Of course this by no means casts a lasting judgment on the formats since both of these were engineered/mixed by different people on each format, but it's all we can do really.

I played each disc in my Oppo UDP-203 hooked up via 8 channel analog to my Pioneer VSX-92TXH receiver, but rather than listen to them through my speaker setup, I instead used my Sony MDR-7506 Headphones and listened to the Stereo tracks only.

So to my ears, I think the DVD-Audio version is superior. I heard more details in each instrument (like Terry Kath's fingers moving across the guitar strings in "25 Or 6 To 4") and each instrument and voice were more clearly heard over the SACD version. I still think the SACD sounds really amazing, but the DVD-Audio is just a bit better.

I know that audio quality is super subjective, even moreso than video quality, but has anyone else had the chance to compare the same album on both formats and concluded a better version of the two?
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2022, 05:47 
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elahrairrah wrote:
I know that audio quality is super subjective, even moreso than video quality, but has anyone else had the chance to compare the same album on both formats and concluded a better version of the two?


They seem to be 2 completely different remasters:

https://www.discogs.com/release/2329722-Chicago-Chicago on DVD-A from 2003.
https://www.discogs.com/release/7984823-Chicago-Chicago on MOFI SACD from 2015.

Can't check the DR analysis as DRDB is relaunching!

https://dr.loudness-war.info/
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2022, 08:02 
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If the same masters are used, based on the fact that all DACs except some mega expensive boutique ones convert all signals to DSD, it probably makes more sense to use SACDs.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2022, 21:45 
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admin wrote:
They seem to be 2 completely different remasters:

https://www.discogs.com/release/2329722-Chicago-Chicago on DVD-A from 2003.
https://www.discogs.com/release/7984823-Chicago-Chicago on MOFI SACD from 2015.

Can't check the DR analysis as DRDB is relaunching!

https://dr.loudness-war.info/
Quote:
Relaunch

This project will be relaunched soon. Stay tuned.

PS: Uploads will be enabled again.


Julien

It's odd that since the DVD-Audio is a much older master/mix (which I knew going into this since no new DVD-As have been made in years) but to me sounds better than the much newer SACD.

I have found one review of this album, specifically the Mo-Fi SACD version, where they mention not only the DVD-Audio release, but a blu-ray audio release. The reviewer says the SACD is a cleaner presentation partly thanks to advances in noise reduction, but I don't agree when he says there's more definition to the instruments. I hear more definition in the DVD-Audio version.

https://audiophilereview.com/audiophile ... -ii-again/


Last edited by elahrairrah on 15 Apr 2022, 04:42, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2022, 04:36 
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substance wrote:
If the same masters are used, based on the fact that all DACs except some mega expensive boutique ones convert all signals to DSD, it probably makes more sense to use SACDs.

According to the reviewer I linked to above, both the DVD-Audio and the SACD were taken from the original multi-track audio tapes, though engineered and remixed by different people.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2022, 10:43 
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If the master isn’t different then it’s not fair to compare formats. And the master is usually different if the formats are different.

Usually when a new format comes out the work is remaster if not remixed in order to justify the whole experience. If Blu-rays all used LD masters nobody would be happy, right?

BTW, when recoding an album it goes:

Original multitrack, then the mix down, then the mastering.

If something is remastered they are starting with two track (usually) mixdown and reapplying EQ and compression to create a new master. If they are remixing then they are going back to the multitrack and doing the mixdown again. This is considered invasive and always sounds a bit different but it’s sort of required if you are going from a 1970s tape to a multichannel SACD or something.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2022, 15:16 
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It's all we can do though.

Sure it's many years after the fact, but these WERE competing formats. It wasn't until much later that we can actually do a head to head comparison of the same album on each format to make a somewhat apples to apples comparison. I don't understand how anyone could have said one format was actually better by comparing performance from completely different pieces of music.

Does it mean anything in the long run to say which version is better? Not really since DVD-Audio has been dead and buried for more than 10 years now and SACD chugs along thankfully to this day. I just find it fun to discover which version of an album on once competing formats is the superior version for no other reason than that.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2022, 16:18 
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I’m pretty sure SACD was designed from day one to be impossible to compare to any other format.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2022, 19:11 
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I would never say that any format is "impossible" to be compared to another featuring the same music or movie. Unless you're being ridiculous and comparing say a betamax tape to a 4K blu-ray.

Hell, Sony releases SACD and blu-ray audio versions of some of the same music. Would they assume people wouldn't try compare them?
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2022, 21:24 
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You’re so adversarial…

I didn’t mean the quality was impossibly better than anything else forever, I mean they are the only ones using a system anything like it. Decades later there still aren’t any other popular 1-bit music formats. There is nothing it can be compared to internally, digitally, technically. The only way of comparing it to anything is to actually listen to it being played…and obviously there’s nothing wrong with that. It wasn’t a good sales tactic (history has proven) but it did make for a long lived format. Now with quad rate DSD it’s still, essentially, the best, and still going.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2022, 00:06 
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If I come off as adversarial, my apologies. Definitely not my intent.

And I agree SACD, by still being supported, is the best audio format out there.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2022, 15:36 
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I'll be totally adversarial and say PCM is better.

Just because Sony keeps licensing SACD and putting out product doesn't make it the best HD format. That would be like saying LD is the best simply because Pioneer chose to keep producing it after other superior formats emerged.

Why has Blu Ray Audio become so popular? It is a better format overall and does everything SACD does and more. Its DVD-A+.

I studied under one of the main proponents of DVD-A so I'm totally biased. This paper was all the rage back then:

https://timbreluces.com/assets/sacd.pdf

Maybe this is an old argument and maybe Quad DSD or whatever has surpassed this or made this info obsolete but I doubt it.

Food for thought: There is a thread here comparing the DACs found in LD players. At some point, due to costs, they went from multi-bit to single bit DACs. I understand they are not DSD but the principle is similar. Which ones are more sought after?

Meh.
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago II - SACD vs DVD-Audio
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2022, 17:09 
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sonicboom wrote:
I'll be totally adversarial and say PCM is better.

Just because Sony keeps licensing SACD and putting out product doesn't make it the best HD format. That would be like saying LD is the best simply because Pioneer chose to keep producing it after other superior formats emerged.

Why has Blu Ray Audio become so popular? It is a better format overall and does everything SACD does and more. Its DVD-A+.

I studied under one of the main proponents of DVD-A so I'm totally biased. This paper was all the rage back then:

https://timbreluces.com/assets/sacd.pdf

Maybe this is an old argument and maybe Quad DSD or whatever has surpassed this or made this info obsolete but I doubt it.

Food for thought: There is a thread here comparing the DACs found in LD players. At some point, due to costs, they went from multi-bit to single bit DACs. I understand they are not DSD but the principle is similar. Which ones are more sought after?

Meh.

DSD, at least DSD64 which is utilized in SACD, is definitely not the be-all, end-all for audio seeing as how they've upgraded DSD to DSD128, DSD256 and DSD512 now--using 5-bit and 8-bt Delta-Sigma encoding rather than 1-bit.

And it's been estimated that DSD64/SACD is only as good as 24-bit/88.1khz LPCM.
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