Format Wars: Tommy SACD vs Tommy DVD-Audio

Marcus Surrealius bushchoked at
Mon May 3 13:33:35 CDT 2004 I've gone and done it. Gotten the DVD-Audio
Tommy so I could do a direct comparison between the
SACD and DVD-A versions. I know, I know...obsession.
Like my wife hasn't said that a million times..."How
many versions of Tommy do you have NOW?"
But I wish someone would have done this for me before
I made the decision on which format to buy (so I hope
someone here can use this info). Anyway...

First of all, they are the same mix (which only makes
sense). The 20 minute or so (didn't time it) interview
with Matt Kent questioning Pete Townshend about Tommy
then and now is nice, and quite enlightning. It's
along the lines of the Who's Next DVD, but a lot
shorter. And it's ONLY on the DVD-A version of Tommy

I listened to the DVD-A version on my stereo (I have
two systems, one for the TV and therefore w/5.1 and
one that's for music and intentionally ONLY stereo).
The SACD easily beats the DVD-A in the stereo mix. The
DVD-A doesn't even sound good, IMHO, in stereo. FAR
too bassy. The SACD version is the original mix, which
I find inferior to the 1996 remix but as good or
better than any other version I've heard.

And I suppose it's not surprising that when I moved
them over to the 5.1 system, the SACD also won. The
DVD-A version has more bass and while that sounds
appealing (especially given that most surround
speakers are smaller), it obscures some of the music.

So I give the sonic nod to the SACD version. Although
one thing I have discovered during this investigation
is that as far as I could determine DVD-A discs will
play on ANY DVD player that is connected digitally to
a 5.1 reciever. This is not what I was originally
told. SACD's must have a SACD player, although many
(like Tommy) are "hybrid" and will play (in stereo
only) in a regular CD player. As I've mentioned
before, I went ahead and got a player that handles all
the formats, just to be on the safe side. You may want
to consider that as well.

"See, one of the interesting things in the Oval
Office-I love to bring people into the Oval
Office-right around the corner from here-and say, this
is where I office, but I want you to know the office
is always bigger than the person."
   George "I'm the leader of the free world" Bush

Cheers         ML

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