Hollywood Banner



Article by Norman R. Jones

Music lovers (especially audiophiles) have always lusted after the clean, dynamic sound of live music performances at home. Over the years audio equipment makers have endeavored to fulfill this widely held musical dream. Today, real High Fidelity sound reproduction systems with multiple channels abound.

Recording engineers have kept pace with the home hardware and the Compact Disc was a big leap forward for most, leaving behind the hisses, pops and dynamic range limitations of vinyl records.

Amazingly, Edison's durable analog format has a faithful following today! Some audiophiles were never convinced that digital sound from Compact Disc, could match a well mastered and pressed LP. 21st Century phonograph buffs are catered to by companies like Acoustic Sounds, selling new pressings of hi-tech, 180 gram, vinyl LP records from every music genre.

Now, even the most die hard "sound quality" hold out against the CD, may start to abandon their phono LPs for a new digital disc format.

New wideband recording techniques that capture every musical nuance, plus live performance dynamics, are just for openers. Master tapes of priceless classics can now yield sound quality only dreamed of back when originally recorded, due to new, low inductance tape heads and other new retrieval methods.

Exciting, newly recorded or remastered classic performances, via one of the new Advanced Resolution Digital Discs described below, may prompt You to take some time off for pure music enjoyment.

SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc), developed by Sony and Philips, is probably the most technically advanced; delivering sound quality indistinguishable from the master tape! SACD formatted discs utilize an extremely high rate of 2,822,400 samples per second and Direct Stream Digital that doesn't subject the original sound to the decimation and interpolation stages of Pulse Code Modulation, the "other system". SACD technology is capable of Stereo plus 6 separate channels of extended bandwidth audio (1Hz to 100Khz) topped off with the live performance snap of 120 dB dynamic range.

SACD Hybrid diagram

Hybrid SACD discs have the incredible sound quality of SACD, and also include a conventional audio CD track (44.1KHz 16 bit PCM), SACD Hybrid diagramthat is read by regular CD hardware. This conventional CD area also benefits from the Direct Stream Digital mastering, utilized in the initial recording phase for SACDs.

The amazing sound quality of SACD, regardless of music preference, justifies a player for even a modest sound system. SACD is an absolute must for music lovers and audiophiles with excellent or superior sound systems.

DVD Audio is an advanced PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) system with 192KHz, 24 bit resolution for Stereo at 108 dB, plus 6 more channels at 96KHz, 24bit resolution @ 96dB each. This technology has an audio bandwidth of 10Hz to 48Khz.

DVD Audio also has the ability to simultaneously carry limited visuals such as song lyrics or artists photos etc. along with the Advanced Resolution Stereo and Multi Channel sound mixes. Though technically a notch below SACD, You would be hard pressed to fault the superb sound quality of DVD Audio. Compared to a regular CD, DVD Audio can be just as impressive as SACD depending on source material and mastering. I gave up making comparisons and simply bought a machine that plays both.

DualDisc is just that; essentially a DVD Audio on one side of a disc, DualDisc Informationwhich may include any or all of the above features, and a conventional CD with identical audio material on the other side of the same disc. The CD side may also include "bonus tracks" similar to it's conventional CD only cousin. This format may not survive the stand alone DVD Audio and conventional CD going forward.


Most DVD Audio and DualDiscs carry an additional Dolby Digital 5.1 (Multi Channel, CD Audio Quality) sound track, and may also include full motion "bonus videos" of several selections. Playable on any DVD player and therefore broadly compatible, the Dolby 5.1 section does NOT provide the Advanced Resolution sound experience.

DVD players with DVD Audio capability will automatically default to the Advanced Resolution tracks and ignore the Dolby 5.1 music only tracks. They also provide a path to any video material.

Regular DVD Video players without DVD Audio circuits, default to the Dolby 5.1 selections of the music on DualDiscs and ignore the Advanced Resolution audio.

The optical or coaxial digital outputs of SACD and DVD Audio capable machines do not carry the Advanced Resolution Stereo or Multi Channel information. It is decoded by the player and fed to discrete analog jacks for the appropriate channels. Audio/Video receivers, Preamp/Controllers and other hardware have included direct (bypass) inputs for these players for a number of years.

SACD, DVD Audio and DualDisc make "master tape" performance of recorded material possible at home for the first time. It's certainly worth the modest investment in a new disc player. Pioneer, Yamaha, Toshiba, MSB, Denon, Oppo and others make players that seamlessly accommodate both new audio formats, movie DVDs with both Dolby and DTS surround, conventional audio and photo CDs too. How's that for versatile?!

Recording Session Photo

These new Advanced Resolution and Multi Track disc formats have also inspired musicians and recording engineers to create new specially mastered sound experiences with both classic albums from their vaults and new music recordings of all genres.

The new generation of High Definition (1080p) DVDs, from Blue Ray and HDDVD, deliver picture quality that is noticeably superior to present DVD Video. These new video discs also feature advanced "Dolby TrueHD" and/or "DTS-HD" audio and are just entering the marketplace. Click Here for More


 DVD Sound Quality Hierarchy

Here are our links for a great selection of Advanced Discs with discounts from Amazon.com. Your purchases at Amazon.com through our links are appreciated.

SACD  at Amazon
To SACD Store

DVD Audio at Amazon
TO Music (all genres) on DVD Audio

DualDisc at Amazon
TO Popular Music on DualDisc
TO Classical Music on DualDisc

DTS Movies and Music at Amazon
TO DTS Movies and Music DVDs

Blu Ray HD DVD
w/Discounts from Amazon.com!

w/Discounts from Amazon.com!


Good Source of Info!

Return To Movie Page

Send E mail Order or Inquiry


Back to our home page

Copyright (C) 1997-2008 Hollywood North Entertainment Services. All Rights Reserved.