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Steve, I conducted your Creedence (CCR) "Fortunate Son" CD vs. SACD test...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Kimo, Dec 29, 2008.

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  1. Kimo

    Kimo New Member Thread Starter

    and the loss of reverb on the drum hits on the CD layer was easy to hear.

    However, I also thought I heard a slightly different drum sound as well between the SACD and CD layers. Almost as if the tuning was not the quite the same. Perhaps, it is my imagination.

    In your Bill Evans test thread, you mentioned that DSD and CD changed the sound of the master somewhat, and had different affects. So, I am wondering...

    1. Is the different sound I am hearing strictly do to the loss of resolution on the cd transfer, or perhaps merely the result of the loss of the reverb trail alone?

    2. Or, is the different sound I am hearing do to the affect of DSD on the signal?

    3. Or, finally, is it possible that neither is particularly correct and that I am hearing the changes that you noted in your thread on both the cd and dsd versions?
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    My initial post (in some old thread) was that the DSD/SACD layer captured more ambiance in music than the regular CD layer (with all mastering the same). My example of this that I felt was easy to hear was the opening drum thwacks of FORTUNATE SON. Not the most amazing recording ever made but the reverb is quite wonderful and obviously an important part of the song (and the opening). The reverb reproduction of the snare actually has more top and clarity than the actual miked snare giving the drum sound a sort of unworldly thonk sound. (SH Forum member Russ Gary engineered it with his secret recipe).

    The SACD layer is where you can clearly hear the echo on the snare going hither and thither. The CD layer (made the same day with the same settings) at 16 just doesn't reproduce the same "body" of the music as the DSD layer. However, the CD layer (I feel) has more accurate tonality to the master tape. In the case of FORTUNATE SON the "fuddy" sound of the original is captured accurately in the CD layer BUT, the SACD layer captures MORE ACCURATELY the reverb trail so it's the clear winner (to me).

    Once a while back a member here (no longer a member I have been told) did the test and wrote elsewhere that he could easily hear the difference between the CD and the SACD layer of FORTUNATE SON (on the Analogue Productions SACD that I did with Kevin Gray) but that the test was bogus because we obviously added EXTRA REVERB using an echo chamber in mastering the SACD layer.:sigh: He contended that there was NO difference in the two processes because he could never detect any (except in my example). Therefore my example had to be "fixed". Some people are just wacked...

    In conclusion: The SACD layer has great ambiance retrieval and the CD layer has less great....

    But, the CD layer is dead on with tonality to the master tape and the DSD layer is "changed". Not in an unpleasant way but still noticeable if one has the master tape to compare it to.. But once you hear the echo/reverb reproduced on SACD it is very hard to lose it going back to regular digital.

    At the end of the day what does this mean? You tell me!

    Over and out.
  3. Kimo

    Kimo New Member Thread Starter

    High rez PCM then

    Or does it too, typically fail to capture resolution as well as DSD?
  4. foobar2000

    foobar2000 New Member

    Just to clarify Steve, was it the same A/D converter used for mastering both sessions?
  5. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    My understanding (I haven't heard it myself) is that they made a 16/44 dub of the SACD layer and got something that sounded much more like the SACD layer than the CD layer, indicating CD *was* able to capture that ambiance.
  6. AH On Vibes

    AH On Vibes New Member

    So. Cal.
    Lordy Cakes! WTH did all that mean?!?:laugh:

    Thanks for your input Steve!:)
  7. Kimo

    Kimo New Member Thread Starter

    DSD color?

    Well, wouldn't that be proof that DSD certainly alters the sound in a very audible fashion.

    I am not sure this qualifies as higher fidelity.
  8. Some audio high-enders call what Steve describes "euphonic coloration". It's a change in the tonal character of the recording that, while pleasant to listen to, isn't quite "true" to the tonality of the original source! It's nothing necessarily "right" or "wrong", just a deviation from total accuracy. I've noticed this phenomenon on a few other DSD remastering jobs, but I'll be doggoned if I can remember any specific examples! Nothing to be overly fretful about, though, at least to MY ears...:wave:
  9. Does the A2D converter you use encode directly to 16 bit / 44.1 KHz? Or does it internally capture at a higher word length and sampling rate, then dither the signal to a 16 bit / 44.1 KHz output? (Like Sony's SBM system)

    For the Bluenote SACDs you have been working on, do you master them twice for the different layers? Or do you use the Sony (Sonoma?) box to convert from DSD to PCM for the CD layer?

  10. According to what Steve said, they mastered it twice; once to DSD and once to 16/44.1. They mastered it both times using the same settings.
  11. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    My point was that (apparently) a 16/44 dub of the SACD layer sounded more like the SACD layer than the original 16/44 mastering. Hence the issue.
  12. Would it depend on the digital converter used?
  13. LeeS

    LeeS Martini Time

    Someone put this in a PM to Morinix. :laugh:

  14. That would be a strange analouge to digital transfer with an addition digital to digital conversion. Who would do that? What would the purpose be? How hard is the mathematical dithering process?

  15. Yes.
  16. I assume they did it as an experiment.

    If you have some DSD audio on your PC there is an open source DSD to PCM converter here:

    Here's a name brand version:

    Sony and other companies have hardware versions.
  17. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK

    It concerns me. I want it to sound like the source, not to change the sound. It especially concerns me because I read that Sony is using DSD as an archive format.

    Interesting though - from when I first heard SACD I felt it sounded good, but had its own subtle sound characteristic. One reason I prefer DVDA.

  18. Mike the Fish

    Mike the Fish SeƱor Member

  19. Jamie Tate

    Jamie Tate New Member

    I think it was just a test to see if 16/44.1 could capture the reverb tails found on the DSD layer that were lost on the redbook layer.
  20. Michael St. Clair

    Michael St. Clair Forum Resident

    Maybe the soundcard used to do the "laser drop" had a better ADC (at least in this particular respect) than the one Steve was using in the studio. I realize that is a radical thing to say.
  21. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Radical? Or extremely unlikely? :)

  22. Thank you Jaimie.
  23. Michael St. Clair

    Michael St. Clair Forum Resident

    The proof would be in the pudding. Can anybody produce these clips? :D
  24. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    Very interesting...
  25. Rock Klammer

    Rock Klammer Formerly pompatusoflove

    Clarkesville, Ga.
    I wouldn't worry a whole lot about it. If I'm not mistaken they sample at 5.6 MHz for the archives. Besides, a PCM a/d converter utilizes a 1 bit stage to capture the analog waveform before the decimation stage creates the multibit word that represents the analog voltage level. Creating a multibit word is essentially an extra step. SACD's intent is to store the one bit samples on a disk and eliminate the decimation process. Some people like it, some don't. I myself think it's a step in the right direction (I.E. simplictiy).
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