Where is my DVD Audio?

In the old days as i started to listening to audio per se, i did so using the LP with my turntable like some other oldies here.
Gee, that were the days. Full sound and of course, if you did not care, also skips and crackling sounds.
But overall it was a nice experience. Especially if you consider that if you really were into music, you were listening to the whole record and not just ‘a’ song. And also getting artwork and a readable booklet. I loved 'The Who’s Quadrophenia with the nice booklet inside. It was awesome in a way. The same recording on the cd was a lesser exciting experience. No booklet, but a paper folded with text. Wow, thats just great, isn’t it.
Since the 1980’s everything changed dramatically.
You found that you needed to get a CD-Player in order to play these new shiny disks and everything shrank so dramatically. Were you had before nice artwork and a readable text you had now a micro type font where you needed eagle eyes or a good eye wear.
Artwork was passe for the most part.
Sound was perhaps good, but during the transition i always felt like that something was missing. The bass was just to flat and everything seemed to sound like that someone squeezed everything through a narrow whole.
Then there were words of DVD Audio which greatly enhanced the audio experience with wider bandwidth and more precise studio recording the way it was originally. Full sound and hear every waveform.
But were is it now?
There are hardly any offering anywhere today.
CD was a cut down experience for what you had and still pay more as for LP’s. Now everything is in digital form available on your favorite storefront. But mostly you get worst compressions like mp3 and the worst is, that you pay a premium for the same recording just crippled a little more so that it fits on your mp3 player.
There is, however, a storefront i have seen that offers a better quality.
https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php (i found 1 ‘one’ Rush album…wow)
There is just not much available really. And thats the sad part.
I assume consumers caved in and accepted the crippled audio experience or just believe that cd are superior anyway.

The idea in the past was surely, that bandwidth is expensive and time is money. For that reason you were able to get a song in a reflectively small package and have the song in which turn you got a lesser quality of sound.
But today people surf with 10x the speed than they did 10 years ago. You could today download with no problem a audio dvd.

Amazon has been so far my dealer for songs, but even there you don’t get a very good quality of sound.
Plus, its only mp3 and thats it. No flag, no Ogg or any other lossless compression. Kinda sad considering that there is no DRM anymore in any of these songs.

If you have a CD you can of course rip the CD in you favorite format (perhaps Ogg) but it is still the lousy cd quality you bought and not a better quality.

I admit that there are people they are not into quality sound and a fantastic audiophile experience.

Since this is the soapbox area, you can think of me a little bit lala. But i really thing we, as consumers, get cheated.
I am tired of buying crippled cd’s.

So, I am not sure good sound is really lost. I must say that buying a “real” audio CD may be the best you can do with most music these days. However, if you are like me and use your computer to play music, don’t forget the old sound card. I still stick with Creative Labs even as built-in sound gets better, but alas, built-in sound still does not stand up to Creative sound cards in my opinion. By the way, don’t forget about the old LP’s. Many stores carry albums and good record players, just for something different. Most of my music is in the form of MP3’s, ripped from CD’s and from my old LP’s, all saved to a hard drive. Even as we speak, I am listening to the Original Blood Sweat and Tears Album, ripped from my original album I purchased many moons ago. It still sounds sweet to me on my 7.1 system running in multi-stereo mode (as it says on the display). One could lament that music is not as good as it used to be, but when compared to my first stereo system, this present music sounds much better to me.

Thank You,

I’ll do agree with some points. The sound-card is indeed a weak link in regards of the computer. The better the components, the better the sound which also is true of your stereo equipment.
My point is that you do not get the best possible sound quality. Rather you get the worst possible quality for a hefty price. To get an album onto a cd it needs to be compressed and there is only 74 mins. max possible. So there are sacrifices made.
Some years ago DVD Audio supposed to bring the breakthrough for better sound, but it did not win mainly because you had to re buy again what you already had and most people went for mp3 from the internet to fulfill their audio needs.
It is kinda sad in way.
Today, i would not necessarily buy a cd anymore. An album can be just downloaded for the same price and there is not much more that Cd gives me.
Recordings made in Japan are of high value. But can’t confirm that since i never had the money to buy a recording that was made in Japan.

Btw. i am having my eye on a HT Omega soundcard for a while. Pretty nice, but not sure if it works with Linux. Its not in the database either. :frowning: Right now i am listening mostly in the car.

Btw. i am having my eye on a HT Omega soundcard for a while. Pretty nice, but not sure if it works with Linux. Its not in the database either.
Well, I see some people that have HT Omega sound cards working in Linux, but they seem to be based on the CMI8788 while the Striker is based on the CMI8770 and I am not sure what the difference might be. You can see more about the sound card here:

HT Omega - Striker7.1

So the card looks good to me, but I not sure it would be better than a Creative Card, most of which are supported by Linux. My main Linux machine still uses an original SB Audigy with an I/O add-on that supports Optical and Coax and I get full Dolby Digital 5.1 ES support through it to my Sony Receiver in openSUSE 11.3. I just had an old Audigy II sound card pass on to the next Life and I replaced it with a X-Fi Titanuim PCIe card with openSUSE 11.4 and it is working just fine though I have not tried DD 5.1 on it yet. If you do buy this card you must share your experience with us. If you need help getting Dolby Digital Passthrough Working, just ask. Be prepared to load openSUSE 11.3 if need be.

Thank You,

Well, if i buy it, i will. It seems a little pricy to me but i like that makeup of it. Never was a fan of Creative since they destroyed my favorite soundcard which was Ultrasound (and it was better too than Creative).
But i need to research a little more before i’ll do.

I know the vinyl lovers out there think this is rubbish, heresy, etc. To each his/her own.

Audio CDs are, in fact, capable of vastly better sound than vinyl IF recording and mastering (or remastering) are done correctly. The full 100dB dynamic range of human hearing (threshold of hearing is 20dB SPL, threshold of pain is 120dB SPL) just fits inside a 16 bit system. Any close-miked, highly mixed, equalized, compressed and peak-limited recording is bound to sound unnatural compared to live, unamplified performance. The limitations of vinyl will actually mask some of these imperfections. Unfortunately for those of us with other musical preferences, the vast majority of properly made recordings are of classical music.

A double-blind comparison of standard “red book” 16-bit/44.1kHz CD recordings, HDCDs and DVD-audio conducted in 2007 and published in The Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (JAES)proves that there is no audible difference between these formats. A summary of the test, plus lots of other useful audio information, is available at http://theaudiocritic.com/plog/ This particular entry is almost at the bottom of the page, dated 17 October 2007. Also worth reading are back issues of this magazine, available as PDFs elsewhere on this site.

Retired HP RF test equipment engineer Sigfried Linkwitz has a wealth of information about the entire microphone-to-loudspeaker chain on his web site Linkwitz Lab - Loudspeaker Design While he is trying to sell speakers on the home page, you can easily drill down to some good science on audio, acoustics and psychoacoustics.

wesenbergj I have both an older LP Record Player and of course, lots of CD/DVD players. I feel that the start of a good recording surely begins at the studio and continues with good equipment at your home. I have what I feel are some very good LP disks, but lots of good Audio CD’s as well. Due primarily due to ease of use, electronic recordings saved on a hard disk seem to be used the most and perhaps this is where the greatest loss in audio quality can occur. I don’t begrudge any purest with their super LP player or CD player really and just say each to their own and good and happy sounds to you,

Thank You,

I so totally agree with wesenbergj; actually the CD is capable of reproducing a much wider frequency range than vinyl records. Vinyl lovers often claim that their preferred media sounds “more warm” and “less clinical” than a CD, but this is a sign of a soundwise limitation. One has to note that “good sound” is not a matter of taste. Good sound does not mean a punchy bass or crisp highs or strong middle frequencies, it means a neutral sound with a wide frequency range - a reproduction as close as possible to how a track was recorded in the studio.

Certain equipment or media will sound more gentle to the ear than others. Many MP3-players and, even more, headphones and loudspeakers are heavily “sounded”, meaning they provide a certain sound character per default. Now, the disadvantage of such sounded devices is that the listener can a) hardly enjoy the original sound as it was recorded and b) will not be able to control the sound in the same way as with neutral devices. Personal taste is valid and important, but to realise ones taste, the original setup must be neutral, in order to be able to control it with for example a good equalizer (I prefer fully parametric equalizers).

For most listeners, “good sound” is defined only by how good a chosen device will match ones personal taste. Take for example the line of “beats”-headphones by Monster Cable: they are extremely popular (and extremely expensive), because they provide a full and punchy bass, but: even a piccolo flute will have a full and punchy bass. Not only will it wear out your ears pretty fast, the sound is almost impossible to control - for audiophiles this way is an absolute no-go. Good headphones (the high-fidelity models by for example AKG, Sennheiser or Beyerdymanic) try to reproduce sound as neutral as possible. And then you can control the sound via an equalizer just the way you would like it (if preferred, of course; some audiophiles prefer a “flat” EQ-setting). That is hardly possible when sound is limited or deformed in any way by default.

@ MP3s: there have also been double-blind tests with audiophiles who claim they could hear the difference from a CD / Vinyl record to an MP3. Those tests showed that no one was able to do so when the bitrate was 192 kbps and up (to be exact: 192 and up, variable bitrate, joint stereo, ‘lame’ as encoder). The human ear just can’t. That’s a fact. I personally try to make sure (more sure than necessary, actually, thanks to cheap HDDs today) that recoded material is as original as possible by ripping CDs with a 256 kbps-bitrate, I also note that when missing to set variable bitrating and joint stereo a reproduction is dynamically less lively and more flat. ‘lame’ is a must (and fortunately used by most encoding software) - claims that an MP3 can not properly reproduce the original sound root in a time where the original Fraunhofer-codec was still mostly used.

This is also very important:

So gropiuskalle, can you tell us about your primary sound setup where you listen to good music? To get the description started, I can describe how my sound system as configured to my computer…

I have what I would describe as a Frankenstein system, a collection of components never sold together to create a single sound setup. I am getting up in age it would seem and so high frequencies are diminished. So I have speakers that perhaps produce more highs than normal to make up for it. Finally, I do have a couple of bass speakers, which can produce a lot of bass which I must admit that I like. So, my sound setup consists of:

  1. Sound Card: Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty in openSUSE 11.4 (with Pulse Running)
  2. Output Connection is Optical to Receiver
  3. The Sound Blaster Line input comes from an old Dynaco Pre-Amp Connected to a Technics Turntable, Sony Cassette Player and Sony HD Radio Tuner
  4. Amplifier: Sony 7.1 100 watt per channel Receiver (with a display that indicates the exact signal type being received such as PCM or Dolby Digital)
  5. Four BOSE 201 speakers, 1 Sony Center Speaker, 2 Yamaha bookshelf Rear Speakers, 2 Kicker Sub Speakers (8 inch and 12 inch) and 120 watt Sub Amp

I normally use Amarok in openSUSE to play audio files and Kaffeine/KDE 3 to play movies. I use Asunder to rip audio CD’s and KsCD to play Audio CD’s directly. This final information, more than the sound system, might show your best work gropiuskalle as to your selection of audio programs you use to obtain fine audio.

Thank You,

Oof, where do I begin? I have several setups for several listening-“tasks”, plus I am rather poor, which limits the quality of my equipment heavily, of course.

I prefer classic setups, meaning: no surround systems, because when it comes to music, in most cases it is not recorded with a surround setup in mind, it’s rather produced for a regular 2.0 / 2.1 soundsystem.

At home I have a set of Teufel Concept C 100, which is certainly not the end of the line in terms of high fidelity, but then again, when I am listening to music at my computer, I usually do not concentrate too much on the playback anyway, so it doesn’t has to be superaccurate with every tenth of a fracture of a frequency. I merely use the onboard-audiocard of my Asus motherboard (must look that up even:) it’s a “SoundMax ADI 1986A”, which does not provide any professional features but yet sounds quite okay, not too sounded, no hissing or humming even when set at maximum volume. Good enough. I used to play my audio-files with xmms, but since it is not supported anymore, I switched to Clementine (and it took me a while to find a player that I liked), which has a pretty decent 10-Band equalizer and a control for the pre-gain (I suppose amarok has the same features).

My studio-setup is a bit more advanced; I will not list all my equipment here, but soundwise the core are 1st: Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96 soundcard (not the USB-Version, that one doesn’t cooperate with Linux), I got very lucky and own two of them (for each PC in my studio). 2nd: a set of Genelec 1032A loudspeakers, those are actually designed for monitoring purposes, but I got them second hand and they do provide a very neutral sound - for recording and composing that is pretty essential. However, this is not a setup that aims to provide listening pleasure, I use it to work with.

Now for the pleasure department: for me a good pair of headphones has always delivered the maximum in listening pleasure; I have ruined myself several times for a pair of headphones, these days my favourites are the AKG K 601 for home-listening, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 for studio stuff and the AKG K 142 HD (I got lucky: my one is still “Made in Austria”, these days only the top two AKGs [701 & 601] are still made in Austria) for “en route” with my MP3-Player, because it is easy to drive and I really do not wish to wear a 300+€ headphone on the streets (these days you can get them for about 120€). My Player is a →rockboxed Sansa Clip+. The Clip+ is not very expensive, yet is is often recommended by audiophiles for it’s superflat frequency range. After being rockboxed, it features a fully parametric equalizer (and some more soundgadgets), which offer much more ways to control sound than your usual 5-band equalizer. The Clip+ and the K 142HD really make me look forward to leave home and listen to music in the subway, the park or whereever, I just love it.

Oh, almost forgot: I use SoundKonverter to rip and convert audiofiles. Highly recommended.

Well, your home setup is very modest (compared with the studio) but your studio setup does sound very fantastic to me! So do you work in the sound business in some way? Your equipment selection does show some expertise there. I admit I had to look up that sound card though, as it was not familiar to me. I have heard of the other brands of components, but not the sound card even as I seem to be (I thought) really into that. It does appear to be older but I even still have an original Creative Audigy Sound card myself that works just fine with Linux. I have not used a SoundMax ADI 1986A chipset before. I must say that I have not had real good luck with some built-in Realtek sound chip sets, most of which (but not all) really suck in Linux. I have a Diamond Max Sound card I think uses a similar chipset, but I would have to pull it out to refresh my memory. I just normally buy a Creative Sound card and replace the built-in audio. Oddly, on my HTPC (it uses a Realtek ALC889 codec) connected with optical out to my receiver works very well for me in Linux, but its the only built-in sound chipset I am using. Anyway thanks for the sound system descriptions.

I must say that I have never paid a lot for a music system and as I said before, I tend to peace together components I find on sale and some times they are good and some times they are not so good, but I dump them shortly after in that case. I most likely have described this system before (due to my short memory), but my bass speakers are made from two car bass speakers with Kicker drivers, the 8 inch is in a sealed tube enclosure while the 12 inch sits in a bass reflex speaker box I actually found on the side of the road which I pulled out all old speakers and plugged unneeded holes. The combination of upper and lower bass (set facing each other), all on a separate 120 watt RMS amp works surprising well for what appears to be a total rig job of sorts. The whole thing is surely put to shame by your studio setup, but I would still match it with you while playing a movie like the Matrix. lol!

Thank You,

I have seen some rig jobs like yours, and some of them actually sounded quite impressive. I am sure yours is one of it.

No business at all, I am basically a hobby musician. I mostly just do stuff for myself for the sake of having fun or acting things out. Sometimes I co-work with other musicians, but either way, it’s always non-commercial (and 90% private). Expertise arises sooner or later, I work with studio equipment since almost 15 years now. Producing / composing music with the options we have today is a very fulfilling thing, even if it does not pay. :smiley:

Thankfully, despite the small Linux-DAW-scene there are quite a few cool audio workstation applications for Linux out there.

One thing about the 6Fire is that it is one of the few Linux-supported soundcards that have this →ultimate front panel with more than a dozen of line ins / outs. Very useful in a studio with various keyboards, MIDI-stuff, guitars etc. - and while you may not have stumbled upon this specific model, you might have heard about the envy24-chipset; ALSA offers a special mixer for it, plus a CLI-tool named ‘envy24control’. And it works perfect with JACK. Cool card.

I prefer AKG K27i :stuck_out_tongue: but I aslo hate anything that artificially boosts bass or any other frequency by default and as You said unfortunately most of the mainstream headphones nowadays do that.

Just my two cents.

Best regards,