SACD and multi-channel questions

T

Trebdp83

Audioholic
The Sony UBP-X800 plays multi channel SACDs. Before playback of a hybrid disc, one must go to the Setup menu and select Music Settings. Then, one selects the CD or SACD layer to be played back. If the SACD layer is selected, one moves down to the Super Audio CD Playback Channel selections to pick between DSD 2ch or DSD Multi. These selections cannot be changed on the fly. If the CD layer has been played and the listener wants to compare the DSD 2ch or DSD Multi versions, they must go into the Setup menu and make the changes. They must also reinsert the disc for the change to occur or the CD layer will continue to play. Track names are available in the SACD layer but not in the CD layer. SACDs were confusing for the average music buyer because they may have thought that Super Audio CD simply meant that the CD had great sound. “Perhaps these are better than my Telarc CDs.” You simply have to check the specs. “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman” on SACD contains DSD Mono and Stereo as well as a CD layer that also has Mono and Stereo options. James Taylor’s “JT“ SACD contains Stereo and Multi Channel DSD but no CD layer so no playback in a CD player. Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” SACD is Stereo only with no CD layer for a CD player. Barbra Streisand’s “The Movie Album” is a complete hybrid SACD with a CD layer and DSD Stereo and Multi Channel in the SACD layer. It also had a sticker on the cover to show all of that information. See, it was all a mess.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Two-channel stereo is multichannel. To my knowledge, no monophonic SACD was ever produced for obvious reasons. No, there has never been a special logo to distinguish 2 channel from multi-channel tracks. The first SACDs which were released were in the 5 channel surround format, and the hybrid format came a bit later to enable them to be played on any CD or DVD player, using a second layer with 2 channel stereo 16 bit/44.1 kHz tracks.
Not what I meant by multi-channel, or what is meant by multi-channel within SACDs but I see your point vs mono :). Yes, 2.0 stereo is a type of multi-channel I suppose, tho not what is called multichannel in SACDs, which is capable of up to 5.1 channels (if used as such). The logo to distinguish from 2.0 stereo discs:
multich.gif
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The Sony UBP-X800 plays multi channel SACDs. Before playback of a hybrid disc, one must go to the Setup menu and select Music Settings. Then, one selects the CD or SACD layer to be played back. If the SACD layer is selected, one moves down to the Super Audio CD Playback Channel selections to pick between DSD 2ch or DSD Multi. These selections cannot be changed on the fly. If the CD layer has been played and the listener wants to compare the DSD 2ch or DSD Multi versions, they must go into the Setup menu and make the changes. They must also reinsert the disc for the change to occur or the CD layer will continue to play. Track names are available in the SACD layer but not in the CD layer. SACDs were confusing for the average music buyer because they may have thought that Super Audio CD simply meant that the CD had great sound. “Perhaps these are better than my Telarc CDs.” You simply have to check the specs. “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman” on SACD contains DSD Mono and Stereo as well as a CD layer that also has Mono and Stereo options. James Taylor’s “JT“ SACD contains Stereo and Multi Channel DSD but no CD layer so no playback in a CD player. Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” SACD is Stereo only with no CD layer for a CD player. Barbra Streisand’s “The Movie Album” is a complete hybrid SACD with a CD layer and DSD Stereo and Multi Channel in the SACD layer. It also had a sticker on the cover to show all of that information. See, it was all a mess.
I do like the feature in my Oppo that does it automatically with a priority you set....
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Lots of good stuff here per norm, but your most egregious sin I disagree with.

SACD is a source...whether it's a lot better, slightly better or not any better than a redbook CD...it's still a source ...one of the most important components in audio playback along with the room and the speakers.

There are bigger sins imo...ultra expensive power cords and cabling come to mind.
Funny wire only hurts the user. Multichannel audio should have been PCM based from the beginning. That Direct Stream Digital construct was complex, and impossible to work with. To play it back over HDMI requires players to have a separate decoder just for DSD. The only other way to send the multi channel audio over HDMI is if the player can convert DSD to PCM! If that is not a cluster you know what, then I don't know what is. This whole system completely stunted the growth of multichannel audio from the beginning and it has never really recovered.

For some strange reason PCM based multi channel audio has only really gained traction in the video world, but as a stand alone audio format there is little out there and there should be. This all happened because audiophools are prize idiots, which is why they easily conned into paying enormous sums for funny wire.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic
I’ve forgotten how my Oppo BDP-83 handled them. I need to hook it back up sometime. Speaking of multichannel PCM, don’t those tracks sound great on blu-ray? Good stuff.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Not what I meant by multi-channel, or what is meant by multi-channel within SACDs but I see your point vs mono :). Yes, 2.0 stereo is a type of multi-channel I suppose, tho not what is called multichannel in SACDs, which is capable of up to 5.1 channels (if used as such). The logo to distinguish from 2.0 stereo discs:
View attachment 37704
AFAIK, There has never been a distinction between strict 2 channel stereo and 5 channel surround for the SACD releases.

As a matter of fact, before my eyes I have a RCA 2 channel stereo SACD which bears the typical SACD logo. It's an excellent transfer of Offenbach's Gaité parisienne which was originally recorded in June 1954, with the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler:

Offenbach2.jpg
 
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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
It seems that I'm the one confused here.

I am not considering 2 channel stereo as multi-channel. I am applying multi-channel capability to 5.1 and the quadraphonic.

It seems that some of the revered SACD's are of the 5.1 variety. This is what I would like to experience.
Then unless you can get some older gear you need a disc player that will output DSD or convert it to PCM, to send it over HDMI. You then need a multichannel receiver or pre/pro. In that latter case you will need the requisite number of amplifiers and speakers. If you want to hear SACD decoded from DSD then you need a receiver or pre/pro with a DSD decoder. I don't think there are players any more that have multi channel analog outs any more, but there may be. I can't name you one. Then of course you would need a receiver with analog multi channel audio ins. Unfortunately this is complicated and potentially expensive. It is small wonder people get confused, and this speaks to my point that DSD should NEVER have seen the light of day, and it is a terrible pity it did. There was never any need for it, as PCM that was well developed could, and would have, done it far better.

If you want a player that will send DSD over HDMI and plays back SACD perfectly then the Sony UDP-X800M2 is the player to get. It plays everything out there. It plays 4K BD as well as the $1000 Panasonic player which can't play SACD. I think it is better then the former Oppo players also.

I have the above Sony player and Panasonic DP-UB9000. I think that the video performance of both are identical. The Panasonic player can not best it in any distinguishable way. And that is playing both through the top of the line OLED 77" TV, considered the best screen available at this time.

I think that is as much as I can tell you about it all.

On one last point the audio only BD discs I have are every bit as good as SACD, and actually better, as you are not limited to 5.1 channels.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
AFAIK, There has never been a distinction between strick 2 channel stereo and 5 channel surround for the SACD releases.

As a matter of fact, before my eyes I have a RCA 2 channel stereo SACD which bears the typical SACD logo. It's an excellent transfer of Offenbach's Gaité parisienne which was originally recorded in June 1954, with the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler:

View attachment 37705
Well it wouldn't have the multi-channel logo for the 2ch variety, would it? I don't see multi-channel on it either :) I found that you had to look for that multi-channel specific logo when shopping for non-2.0 discs.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I’ve forgotten how my Oppo BDP-83 handled them. I need to hook it back up sometime. Speaking of multichannel PCM, don’t those tracks sound great on blu-ray? Good stuff.
Mine's the 203 but don't know if that's always been a feature for Oppo players....but when I first got it I was more used to how I had to setup in my Sony players....
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
On one last point the audio only BD discs I have are every bit as good as SACD, and actually better, as you are not limited to 5.1 channels.
I wouldn't have gone out of my way for a specific SACD player originally, but was interested in what I could get in the way of multich discs via SACD since I already had a player/avr capable of playback of dsd. I started out with just bluray discs but saw there were some offerings not available that way....
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Well it wouldn't have the multi-channel logo for the 2ch variety, would it? I don't see multi-channel on it either :) I found that you had to look for that multi-channel specific logo when shopping for non-2.0 discs.
All SACDs always have had that typical SACD logo, even the 2 channel stereo disc mentioned above. If the cover or disc label doesn't have that logo, then it's not a SACD.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I think what TLS was referring to was just perhaps speaker positioning to replicate the old quad setups (and assume that's why he deliberately setup his player's multich analog output to use rear surrounds vs surrounds), altho I don't think rear surrounds are typically better positioned for such now that I think about it...both type of speaker and surrounds in my system would be better than the rear surrounds....
In my collection, I have I think one 2 channel SACD. I have quite a few 5.1, SACDs, some 3 channal SACDs and some four channel SACDs. As I said before, I'm lucky as all my speakers are high quality. My surrounds used to be my location broadcast monitors and my rear backs are my former reference studio monitors from my Grand Forks days. I did rebuild and design the bass lines in the move to Benedict to take advantage of George Auspurger's model from his AES paper in 2000.

So this is a unique system which I happen to have in my AV room. In the Laplander circular drumming in the first movement of Aho's symphony No. 12 the huge drums hit just as loud from the front as the rear and are indistinguishable. That is on a BIS SACD. It is one of my prime demo discs. Especially since reviews of the disc branded it unplayable! It also has orchestra and other soloists both front and rear. But this is where it gets ridiculous as you have a pretty insane set up to listen to the disc.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
On their display and remote controls, SACD players distinguish between 2 channel stereo and multi-channel playback. We have the possibility by switching to compare between the two.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
On their display and remote controls, SACD players distinguish between 2 channel stereo and multi-channel playback. We have the possibility by switching to compare between the two.
Not on my players....sounds like a unit-specific feature. Why would you compare 2ch to multi-channel? What's the point? They're simply different mixes and presentations....
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic
All SACDs always have had that typical SACD logo, even the 2 channel stereo disc mentioned above. If the cover or disc label doesn't have that logo, then it's not a SACD.
Not all SACDs had the logo on the album cover. Some had a clear plastic slip cover with gold trim over the jewel case that had the logo and channel information on them. Carole King’s “Tapestry” is one example, though the logo is on the disc and back cover. Messy, messy, messy.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
All SACDs are multi-channel. Some have 5 channels surround , some have 4 channel surround, some have 3 front channel stereo. Some have only a 2 channel stereo layer but they are a minority. As I already mentioned in a previous post, all SACD players will play any SACD with all the recorded channels.
I have a few that are 2 ch only.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
In my collection, I have I think one 2 channel SACD. I have quite a few 5.1, SACDs, some 3 channal SACDs and some four channel SACDs. As I said before, I'm lucky as all my speakers are high quality. My surrounds used to be my location broadcast monitors and my rear backs are my former reference studio monitors from my Grand Forks days. I did rebuild and design the bass lines in the move to Benedict to take advantage of George Auspurger's model from his AES paper in 2000.

So this is a unique system which I happen to have in my AV room. In the Laplander circular drumming in the first movement of Aho's symphony No. 12 the huge drums hit just as loud from the front as the rear and are indistinguishable. That is on a BIS SACD. It is one of my prime demo discs. Especially since reviews of the disc branded it unplayable! It also has orchestra and other soloists both front and rear. But this is where it gets ridiculous as you have a pretty insane set up to listen to the disc.
Thought it was more system specific in your case, I think in many 7ch systems the rear surrounds tend to be the weakest speakers, I have found I much prefer multich music with more substantial/matched speakers all around.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Not all SACDs had the logo on the album cover. Some had a clear plastic slip cover with gold trim over the jewel case that had the logo and channel information on them. Carole King’s “Tapestry” is one example, though the logo is on the disc and back cover. Messy, messy, messy.
Yep sometimes the logos are hard to spot. Let alone gathering from a retailer's description sometimes just what version it is....
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic
Not on my players....sounds like a unit-specific feature. Why would you compare 2ch to multi-channel? What's the point? They're simply different mixes and presentations....
Sometimes you just feel like hearing more speakers. Sometimes 2D doesn’t cut it and somebody will grab the 3D version of a movie to watch instead. Same material, just a different way to experience it. Sometimes you slice up the apple and sometimes you just bite into it. Different strokes... Oh, and yes, 2 channel is more than 1 and is technically multi channel, but when discussing SACD, multi channel refers to more than 2 and usually refers to 5. But, then those 3 channel... Just a mess.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Not on my players....sounds like a unit-specific feature. Why would you compare 2ch to multi-channel? What's the point? They're simply different mixes and presentations....
So, with your players you don't have the option to listen to either the stereo or the multi-channel layer? On my OPPOs and on the Sony X800, I can switch between the two.
 

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