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Format Wars: SACD vs DVD-Audio
> Audiophile question: Why would you want the DVD-A
instead of the SACD? Both
have 5.1 surround, but you can't play the DVD-A on a
I can answer that one for you, since I have both
formats (as of a few weeks ago). The only reason would
be to get something to play! 5.1 mixes are addictive.
SACD's are, IMHO, the superior format. Aside from
several stereo-only SACD's (Stones & Dylan) I have
Tommy, Dark Side Of The Moon and Goodbye Yellow Brick
Road in 5.1, and they sound incredible. It's an
entirely new mix and often quite revealing. I am
looking forward to Quad. Tommy sounds great but I have
to say it's the least interesting of the three in a
On DVD-A I have Neil Young's Harvest, ELP's Brain
Salad Surgery, Yes' Fragile, Moody Blues' Days Of
Future Passed, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac Live At The
BBC (simulated 5.1, unfortunately, but expected as
it's a BBC show). Aside from the FM, Harvest is the
All of my SACDs (except My Generation) also play on a
regular CD player (most do, but some don't - look at
the label!). The sound quality is superior to their CD
counterparts. All the DVD-A's will play in any DVD
player, and they also sound better than the original
CD (although Brain Salad Surgery is a different and
IMHO inferior mix). And as an added bonus: if you have
the software to copy DVDs, you can copy DVD-A's too.
When it comes down to it, this is just another format
war. You can't get the titles on one format on the
other. The selection is quite limited as it is, even
given both. The large majority of what's been released
is Classic Rock, and it seems they are concentrating
on one title per band (there are exceptions, like Neil
Young). If you venture into this 5.1 arena, you'll
probably do what I do...play the wishing game. "I wish
they'd release WN, and Something Else by The
The good news is: you don't have to limit yourself or
decide between the two. The latest generation of DVD
players play both. And they're not too expensive; I
got a Pioneer DV-563A for only $142 and it does it.
Oh, and of course it's a DVD player too. So you might
want to consider getting something like this instead
of getting a regular old CD player.
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