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Author Topic: DVD-A versus CD mastering  (Read 2449 times)

Kendrix

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DVD-A versus CD mastering
« on: May 11, 2004, 08:52:00 am »

Can someone tell me why this is?

I recently bought a DVD player that does DVD-Audio.
I also recently bought a DAC1 converter.

One of the first DVD-A discs I bought is S. Dans latest.
I also own it on CD.  I was interested to compare the sound of the two so i fed the digital out of my CD player into the optical input of the DAC-1.  I also fed the DVD-A stereo mix to the coaxial inputs on the DAC-1.  Then i switched the inputs on the Dac-1 to toggle between the two sources.  The DVD was outputting 192/24bit.  The signals then went thru an adacom power amp driving Bose 901'S (this is in my family room  not my studio)

I expected to hear more depth- perhaps better imaging and, perhaps, some subtle differences in tone/timbre with the DVD-A.
I note that both the CD and the DVD-A were mastered by the same person at Sony Studios.

What I got was a drastic difference between the two.
The DVD seemed as if it was mastered completely differently.  The lows were deeper/more extended and the highs on the DVD were much smoother - not as strident.
The EQ curves seemed to not even be close to one another.

Why would this be?  Perhaps the DVD stereo mix is some derivative of the surrond mix rather than being a clone of the CD stereo mix?  Even if so, why would the same mastering engineer cause them to end up in such different states?

In any case, the DVD version was much more balanced and listenable IMHO.  
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Ken Favata

Chuck

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 09:12:08 am »

Hi Kendrix,,

I wonder what DVD-A player you are using, as I know of no DVD-A player that outputs 24/192 via the digital output.

I think you maybe compared CD vs. a 16/48kHz downmix, that was fed to the dig-out of your DVD-A player ?!?

If I am wrong, please tell me your DVD-A model.

I have a Pioneer DV-563 and had to add circuitry to get a full-featured output.

Charles Smile

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ALTMANN MICRO MACHINES - GERMANY

Kendrix

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2004, 09:45:51 am »

My DVD player is also a pioneer. ( im in the office and dont have the model # handy)
The DVD menu indicated it was outputting 192/24.
Perhaps you are right and the data exiting the DVD hardware is some other resolution.  
However, if such downsampling is occurring I assume it should not be the cause of the sonic difference i observed- correct?
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Ken Favata

seriousfun

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2004, 03:50:30 pm »

Perhaps you should try comparing the two-channel analog outputs from each player. Still not exactly apples to apples, but informative.

Was bass management turned off on both units (assuming it works equally on both, which is a can of worms)?
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doug osborne | my day job

MASSIVE Mastering

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2004, 08:01:27 pm »

Maybe on the CD the guy was told to make it loud.  On the DVD-A, they probably told him that they don't care - Just do what you're gonna do -

So, he made it sound good.
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John Scrip
Massive Mastering - Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.), IL - USA

Kendrix

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2004, 09:23:41 am »

The plot thickens.

I also now own both DVD-A and CD versions of Tommy.
These two sources were very similar in tone/timbre ( although the DVD showed much better inner detail/imaging and dynamics- as expected).

So, the large disparity between the DVD and CD on the S. Dan disc was definately the result of the mastering.
It was not caused by some quirk/shortcoming of the equipment.
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Ken Favata

bblackwood

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2004, 12:53:19 pm »

FWIW, unless you can find a way to extract and precisely level match these two sources, comparison is in vain...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Kendrix

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Re: DVD-A versus CD mastering
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2004, 02:14:18 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 14 May 2004 17:53

FWIW, unless you can find a way to extract and precisely level match these two sources, comparison is in vain...


Well I did adjust the gain ( by ear) as I toggled between the two sources.
This was not obviously not highly precise.
However, the difference in tone of the two S. Dan discs appeared very significant compared to any slight differential in levels that may have existed.
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Ken Favata
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