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cmigliaccio
2006-01-30, 03:51 PM
I'm starting to see more shows posted with 24-bit FLAC files, so I'm developing an interest in setting up a nice rig for myself to take advantage of this stuff. There seem to be a lot of big audiophiles on this board, so I figured someone might know something about these new formats. I've tried to read up on them, but a lot of the articles I've found have gotten really technical, and my tech understanding is only decent.

The first thing - how big is the difference in sound? My ears aren't the best - I can tell some difference between mp3s and lossless files, but my ears don't recoil at mp3s of a decent bitrate (192 or so and up). If I have a decent surround sound system (which I understand is basically prerequisite), will the difference be noticeable?

I'm also a wee bit confused about players. Does DVD-A play at top output on all DVD players, or only ones compatible with DVD-A? My best understanding is that they play in standard DVD players, but not at top quality - correct?Where do 24-bit FLAC files fit in with that? And what about Dual Discs?

Also, as I'm considering equipment, is it worth finding something that plays SACDs as well?

Last one, I swear, and it's a pretty subjective question - to those who have upgraded, has the amount of DVD-A/SACDs released by the labels, plus the higher bit rate boots, been worth the cost?

Many thanks,
Chris

brimstone
2006-01-30, 04:18 PM
Personally i would not consider upgrading to DVD-A/SACD. I see it mostly as an attempt from the music industry to get us to spend money on new equipment and buying our favourite albums all over again. If they are actually able to give better sound I don't know but i've heard some people say that DVD-A/SACD releases sound better only because they are more carefully mastered than the regular CDs.

gsmyth79
2006-01-30, 05:21 PM
you may find more help about this subject at taperssection.com

GregY
2006-01-30, 06:38 PM
Does DVD-A play at top output on all DVD players, or only ones compatible with DVD-A? My best understanding is that they play in standard DVD players, but not at top quality - correct?

Most commercial DVDs will contain a Dolby Digital track that will play on all DVD players. The high res (either stereo or multichannel) layer(s) will only play on a player that can do DVD-A.

Where do 24-bit FLAC files fit in with that?

You can burn a DVD-Audio disc with 24-bit files or you can just burn an audio only regular DVD without converting. That is, you don't have to burn to DVD-A. Regular DVD supports up to (I think) 24-bit 192kHz.

what about Dual Discs?

Nothing more than a CD and a DVD (or DVD-A) glued together. Don't play in some players as they're a little thicker than normal CDs/DVDs. Many DualDiscs don't even have high res tracks - they're being marketed more for the video content than the high res audio.

You can get into SACD and DVD-A without spending alot if you already have a good 2-channel setup. The Pioneer 563A plays both DVD-A and SACD and is a great entry level player.

to those who have upgraded, has the amount of DVD-A/SACDs released by the labels, plus the higher bit rate boots, been worth the cost?

I really like SACD. I don't listen to alot of multichannel, basically just stereo, and I don't have a great setup. But I think SACD is worth it, especially if all it requires is a combo player purchase like the 563A.

AAR.oner
2006-01-31, 07:52 AM
quality, in regards to listening, is relative...for one, most people have to learn to become critical listeners...two, not only will you need a player capable of processing the files, but also speakers/headphones that can differentiate the subtle nuances of the 24/192...honestly, i would venture to say that the majority of people on this board would not be able to hear enough of a difference between the two to justify the amuont of money it would cost to upgrade their system to the level it would need to be at

but that said, you can always collect/archive shows of this quality now, so that when the cost of the harware drops ina few years, you'll be ready with some nice music...