so I'm getting a all in one disc player

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Jason1979, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Jason1979

    Jason1979 New Member

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    So I decided to just get a 4K UHD BLu ray player as my media player, it plays everything even SA-CD discs, an so I was browsing the SA-CD's available, and I came across one that I really would like to give a listen, Alice Cooper's Muscle of Love, only thing is it's a Quad release, I've never heard of a CD being a 4 speaker release I assume? How do you output to 4 speakers for a stereo system? Or does it just somehow play normally on a 2 speaker setup? Or if not how does this work? It's an Audio Fidelity release, and I've noticed there are other Quad releases, and I must admit I don't know much about this, Thought I'd see if others knew about this. Thanks for any help with this.
     
  2. benricci

    benricci Active Member

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    The SACD layer of the Alice Cooper disc has multi-channel sound. The Redbook CD layer of the disc is, of course, normal stereo. So you'll need to hook up your new player to a surround system to playback the 4.0 mix properly. Otherwise, enjoy the stereo mix.

    Many "hybrid" SACDs contain a multi-channel SACD layer, and a regular Redbook stereo layer, so you can play it back in a normal CD player. Only on a true SACD-capable machine will you be able to play back high resolution SACD multi-channel mixes or the high resolution SACD stereo mixes.
     
  3. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    From what I can see is the Audio Fidelity SACD of Muscle of Love contains both SACD Quad and SACD Stereo....in addition to the redbook layer since its a hybrid disc.
     
  4. Jason1979

    Jason1979 New Member

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    I have never heard a SA-CD play, is the quality noticeably better than a regular CD? I have ordered 2 of them, to go with my new SA-CD player I am getting. I am not sure I will end up buying a lot of SA-CD's, because there is not a huge amount of album I like on the format, but when I see an album on it I will probably buy it if the quality is good, and if they sound noticeably better. I buy vinyl albums sometimes, when it's a good reviewed one, so many vinyl albums these days are not properly mixed or mastered, not sure which, but they don't go back to a good source. I have even seen some not using original mixes, etc. I like vinyl, but I like CD too, I just try to buy the best version of the particular album I want, and if it's a CD, vinyl, or SA-CD that's what I'll get, I like to have the option to pick, that's why I got me a new Audio Technica turntable about 2 months ago, best purchase I've made in a long time.
     
  5. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    In my book this is a very subjective question; mostly because of the number of variables in both your system and in the production of the disc that come in to play. If it's a brand new transfer of the original master, then chances are it might have better sound than the regular CD....but that depends on what source the regular CD was made from and what mastering was done to the audio for CD.

    The other thing to take in to account is that SACD works on an entirely different principal than the rest of our digital audio; it stores it's audio as a series of single-bit pulses running at a higher rate, PCM basically stores it's audio as a bunch of integer values that represent amplitude (voltage). Both have advantages, both have disadvantages; but I will say a large majority of DACs made in years have worked internally using the delta-sigma/bitstream/oversampling technique. In my opinion, part of SACD was getting around the idea of converting from PCM to a delta-sigma modulated stream in hardware...which was known to have affected the sound quality depending on the noise-shaping and other conversion processes. It's probably one of the reason so many people hear differences in CD players; different methods of going from PCM to Delta-Sigma produce different sound.

    On the playback side...it all depends on the equipment and the quality of the DAC in the player.

    I've heard some SACD's that have blown me away; The Best of Bread and Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits stand out as two releases that totally blow CD counterparts out of the water. Most of the ones coming out now are from MoFi or Audio Fidelity...which I'm sure do a good job of maintaining a good DSD path. Some of the SHM-SACDs from Japan were made with PCM source; a lot of Sony stuff I've read was sourced from some 96khz/24bit masters.

    It's one of those things I tell people they have to experience and decide if it's worth it to them. The one thing I will say is if you buy an SACD and don't like it, reselling it usually isn't a problem.

    I've heard some HD/SACD stuff and questioned if it was because they remixed or if it's because it's just quality engineering. Moody Blues Days of Future Past always bugged me because the CD releases used the 70's remix as opposed to the original 1967 mix. In retrospect...it's not a difficult choice because the original mix doesn't sound very good...either because the master tape was that lousy or it was just mixed poorly. I somehow managed to acquire a copy of what I believe is rumored to be the digitization of the original master...from the actual tape...and it's pretty bad. I always thought the LP was just cut badly; nope; the tape does sound bad.

    My opinion is if they don't change anything and they can, to a fairly accurate degree, match the original mix; then I see no real reason with this upgrade. Case in point: I'm probably in the minority of people who have zero issue with the 1989 remix of The Monkees Headquarters. I thought they did a spectacular job of copying the original mix and even the 1989 CD sounds better in my opinion than later remasters of the original master.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  6. KeninDC

    KeninDC Nanker Phelge Subscriber

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    Being able to play SACDs is a good thing. Usually, more attention is paid to the mastering so you can get better sound. SACD also does a really good job with the highs (such as cymbals), so they sound a bit more natural than your standard CD. In the case of the Rolling Stones, the out-of-print (OOP) 2002 ABKCO CD/SACD hybrids are essentially the best versions of the Stones early albums. For later, Rolling Stones Records albums like Sticky Fingers, the Japanese SACDs that use the UK master tapes sound fantastic. SACD gives you another option for hi-fi. Enjoy.
     
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  7. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    The key to *any* release, regardless of format; is the mastering of the release. People seem to almost forget that and focus more on the format. The format almost doesn't matter; they all have the potential to bring you excellent sound...it's just what the engineers do before making the master disc. It's my understanding that SACD does tend to undergo much less processing...mostly because you cannot take DSD and manipulate it like you can PCM. So, in theory; the DSD transfers could in fact be a direct digitization of the master tape. They could have done some analog mastering stuff between the tape and DSD deck. They could have converted the DSD to DXD (352.4khz PCM) and done normal digital manipulation on it and gone back to DSD.

    I've also held the opinion that modern remasters on SACD and HD are sounding better because they're brand new transfers on newer ADC equipment.

    I have one...and for reasons I won't get in to; I don't know if I have the ABKCO hybrid or not...or which ones they released. But my Sticky Fingers SACD sounds worlds better than my original CD from the 80s. I don't think the original CD underwent much processing...but the SACD is just worlds above it. I think it's just because it's the original master (as opposed to whatever they had lying around in 1980-whatever and used for a CD master) played on a quality deck in to a modern quality ADC. But the point is...they took actual care and engineered it with "purpose"..as opposed to treating it line a line-item that "gets done as quickly as possible".
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
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  8. Jason1979

    Jason1979 New Member

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    thanks for all the replies, I went ahead and ordered 2 mobile fidelity SA-CD's, they are hybrid so I can listen to them in regular CD, until I get my SA-CD player probably in September. I have some Edifier 120 watt speakers that I'll be plugging it directly into, and these speakers sound amazing compared to the Sony speakers I previously had, so I am excited to hear how they sound on this setup. I am hoping to get a 4K audio/video receiver this fall, and hook up a surround sound system speakers to it, I'm not sure how that'll work, I've never had surround sound only stereo. I hope it is not as complicated as it sounds, but I hope they sell some kind of kit that has all the speakers you need.
     
  9. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    What player are you getting?

    I just got a used Oppo BDP-95 and holy snakes, I'm impressed. I probably will never play a video on it but it's really impressive, even through my less-than-high-end dining room stereo (unrestored 1st gen Dynaco SS stuff, KLH Twenty Threes) I can't wait for used 105s to come down in price so I can get one for the "surround quad" system in the bedroom.
     
  10. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    Oooh! Oooh! What did you get?
     
  11. Jason1979

    Jason1979 New Member

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    I'm getting the Sony UBP-X800 it's a 4k UHD Blu Ray Player, but plays pretty much any disc there is, including SA-CD
     
  12. Jason1979

    Jason1979 New Member

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    Oh I got Leon Russell and the Shelter People, and Alice Cooper Muscle of Love
     
  13. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just so you're aware, if you're planning on hooking this to an old school stereo or quad receiver, you're going to need a DAC as the model you mention does not have analog audio outputs. If you're using an AVR however you're GTG. Also, I haven't researched, but Sonys typically don't play DVD-A if that is a concern to you.

    The specific reason that I have two Oppos is the ability to hook them up to old stereo gear. I have a BDP-103 (model that was just replaced late last year with the new 4K models) in the bedroom because I can use the rear HDMI input to pipe the sound from the cable box to an old Sansui quad receiver. The BDP-95 that I just got is an even older model but I was planning on primarily using it as an audio (CD/SACD/DVD-A/HDCD) player. The 83SE/95/105/205 are the "audiophile" models with an improved DAC and analog audio section. I know it's a waste to use a fine player like the 95 in an audio-only application, but on the flip side it sounds DAMN good. Unfortunately the BDP-205 is the top of the line 4K player, and the price on that is eye-watering. Even the 105 is still selling for more than I want to pay used these days, although maybe in a few years I'll be able to justify it. I don't see me making the leap to 4K any time soon as then I'd need a new display, a new AVR (not sure if my old AVR will pass through a 4K signal) a new player, a new streaming source, etc. etc. etc.

    Again, if I misunderstood your application and you'll be using an AVR with the sound coming in over HDMI, you will be fine with the Sony.
     
  14. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    Ooooh. I haven't heard either of those. Billion Dollar Babies on SACD was ok.

    Oh no! That player has no analog output. If your speakers are the ones I'm looking at...you're analog only.

    What's even worse is SACD will only work over HDMI...and I don't think all receivers fully support DSD playback over HDMI. Not having any in my audio chain...and not having much along the lines of home theater equipment; the AVR would need to support DSD over HDMI...and then the AVR would need to be able to decode the DSD sanely.
     
  15. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well, if you get a player with analog outs SACD to analog is OK. It's just digital that is broken - no SACD over coax or S/PDIF
     
  16. Jason1979

    Jason1979 New Member

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    I was unaware that SA-CD would not play over an Optical audio line, my speakers have optical audio in, or S/PDIF. I thought, I could connect directly into that and get SA-CD quality. Now I am seeing it may take more work to set up a proper system. I will do a bit more research. I was not going to be permanently set up running my disc player into my speakers, I was just doing that until I got a receiver. I am not an expert on receivers, but I figured the new 4K 7.2 channel receivers seem to be the thing to get and I thought they would work well with any older technologies besides 4K discs. I will check out other 4K receivers. I am like I say no expert on audio equipment, but sadly there are no longer audio stores around here where I live to go in and discuss these things with like in the 90's, but audiokarma is a great substitute for those days! You guys are great help, you really helped me with choosing a good turntable, and I knew nothing about anti skate or any of that, and now I feel like an expert on turntables lol. I will read up on the sony's some more, I might end up going for an OPPO, it was my second choice, and second choice only because of the price, if it were lower priced it'd be my #1 choice. But now that I'm thinking about it, it's probably worth the extra money to go for it and know I'm probably buying the best there is, I have a tendency like a lot of people probably to buy the lower cost item, even when I know it's probably not as good of quality, but lately I'm stopping that, I didn't do it with my turntable, and I probably shouldn't do it with this disc player I plan to get, because I am so happy with my turntable, and I remember how unhappy I was with my Stanton turntable, I don't want to end up unhappy with a cheaper disc player, and think if only I spent a bit more I could have had a superior machine.
     
  17. PianotunerNJ

    PianotunerNJ Active Member

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    i have a Sony BDP6500 ($90) that plays BluRay audio formats and SACD going HDMI into my Sony receiver which does DSD decoding and it sounds excellent. I also have an older Oppo DVD player with HDMI out that will play DVDA raw and can play SACD but it converts to PCM, still sounds great though, and that was under $100 on eBay.

    If you want to go analog, the Oppo line is good to look at. Of course, if 4K is important, then the Sony you were already considering is a great choice, I believe it plays DVDA too and it runs around $300, right? Easiest path is to combine that with a decent Sony receiver with HDMI and DSD decoding (not all Sony receivers do that).

    If you want to go analog to your speakers, and 4K is not an issue, then a used Oppo will do you. I don't think SACD goes optical out generally though, but I could be wrong.
     

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