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Volume Correction Factor for Super Audio Cd's

Rega

Is SACD player worth buying


  • Total voters
    14
  • Poll closed .

mayukh80

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Joined
Oct 20, 2008
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Location
New Delhi
I have started off late to procure super audio cd's to play in my Marantz SA 7001. I have got Cambridge Azur 540A for amplification and Wharfedale Diamond 9.2 speakers.

I have observed that for each and every cd being played at particular volume level... the sound output varies.... I am mostly into blues genre. Some artists whose albums are imported from EU have higher clarity at a volume level in comparison to the indian make one's. Couple of days back i bought some super audio cd's and i was a bit taken aback...when i found that the sound level at which i mostly listen ( ~25%) was not producing the punch i was expecting... i bought all these SACD's after trying out at the music store....

I had to crank up the volume to approx 50% with little satisfaction....

I seek your help... to understand the problem behind.... and whether i need to change cables or connection mode....

Thanks in advance.....
 

Shivam

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Have you tried with any album available in both the formats? I have not felt any large difference in volume levels between the two formats.
 

mayukh80

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Oct 20, 2008
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The SACD have two layers.. one super audio and another cd layer. On toggling between the two there are no major difference.

Once i replace the SACD with a cd... there is marked difference between the two. The latter has more punch and elaborate details. Though SACD are known to have higher bit rate to deliver a greater dynamic range.

I am still confused.
 

jls001

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Feb 9, 2010
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In general, so called audiophile pressings on CD, SACD or vinyl are mastered at a lower overall volume. Note the word 'overall'. This means you may need to crank up the listening volume by quite a margin compared to your regular listening volume. The idea behind low average volume is for allowing large dynamic swings, meaning a song is given headroom before it distorts.

In contrast, much of modern recordings are made to sound loud by raising the average level closer to peak, leaving hardly any room for dynamic swings. This is achieved by a process called normalisation - push down the levels of passages which are high (compress it dynamically) and raise the level of quieter passages. A very bad trend by most reckonings. You may like to read up on 'loudness war'. The primary driver for the quest to be loud is the is to blame on radio stations who try to be loudest on the dial, hoping to stand out in the crowded airwaves.

BTW, your test of switching between CD layer and SACD layer is inconclusive as they are the same recording. A more useful test would be to compare this title to a CD only pressing.

PS: to put some numbers to what I was saying above, my normal listening volume setting is -45 to -50 dB (set on pre-amp) for most CDs and LPs, but on some recordings like Ry Cooder and VM Bhatt's Grammy winning album A Meeting By the River, a comfortable listening is at least 10 dB higher at -35 dB or a bit higher. This a Water Lily SACD, btw, though my CDP supports only CD. Similar level is required to appreciate Zakir Hussain's Making Music, or Tabula Rasa by Bela Fleck, Vishwamohan Bhatt, Jie Bing Chen, etc. On the other extreme, any Kelly Clarkson album is comfortable even at -55 dB, a full 10 dB lower than my usual volume.
 
Last edited:

Rupam

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Jan 28, 2009
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Yes SACD do have more dynamic and detailing than ordinary CDs but to experience these details you must have necessary and capable gears which can complement the source.
I have DSOTM SACD which I have played on my friends SACD player which has been an eyeopener to me.
 

plasmoid

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
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Location
Bangalore
In general, so called audiophile pressings on CD, SACD or vinyl are mastered at a lower overall volume. Note the word 'overall'. This means you may need to crank up the listening volume by quite a margin compared to your regular listening volume. The idea behind low average volume is for allowing large dynamic swings, meaning a song is given headroom before it distorts.

In contrast, much of modern recordings are made to sound loud by raising the average level closer to peak, leaving hardly any room for dynamic swings. This is achieved by a process called normalisation - push down the levels of passages which are high (compress it dynamically) and raise the level of quieter passages. A very bad trend by most reckonings. You may like to read up on 'loudness war'. The primary driver for the quest to be loud is the is to blame on radio stations who try to be loudest on the dial, hoping to stand out in the crowded airwaves.

BTW, your test of switching between CD layer and SACD layer is inconclusive as they are the same recording. A more useful test would be to compare this title to a CD only pressing.

PS: to put some numbers to what I was saying above, my normal listening volume setting is -45 to -50 dB (set on pre-amp) for most CDs and LPs, but on some recordings like Ry Cooder and VM Bhatt's Grammy winning album A Meeting By the River, a comfortable listening is at least 10 dB higher at -35 dB or a bit higher. This a Water Lily SACD, btw, though my CDP supports only CD. Similar level is required to appreciate Zakir Hussain's Making Music, or Tabula Rasa by Bela Fleck, Vishwamohan Bhatt, Jie Bing Chen, etc. On the other extreme, any Kelly Clarkson album is comfortable even at -55 dB, a full 10 dB lower than my usual volume.
Nice to know someone with knowledge of the loudness wars.All cds these days tend sound harsh (which most people perceive as crisp) and flat with absolutely no dynamics.In addition to this, old recordings with great dynamics are being remastered into noisy unlistenable sonic junk.:mad:Am really glad I still have all my early cd masters:clapping:
 

2chFreak

New Member
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Jun 27, 2012
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London, UK
All cds these days tend sound harsh (which most people perceive as crisp) and flat with absolutely no dynamics.In addition to this, old recordings with great dynamics are being remastered into noisy unlistenable sonic junk.:mad:Am really glad I still have all my early cd masters:clapping:
Check out Reference Recordings (masterpiece of a work by HDCD co-inventer Prof. Keith O. Johnson).
 

mayukh80

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
154
Points
18
Location
New Delhi
Yes SACD do have more dynamic and detailing than ordinary CDs but to experience these details you must have necessary and capable gears which can complement the source.
I have DSOTM SACD which I have played on my friends SACD player which has been an eyeopener to me.
Can you throw some light on the gear your friend has installed?

Btw can anyone tell me whether Cambridge Azur 540 A is capable of supporting floor stander speakers ??
 

gryph0n

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Jun 20, 2010
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Location
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With a PC/Laptop, you could use ReplayGain to overcome this issue of different mastering volumes of CDs.

ReplayGain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I use the ReplayGain plug-in that's bundled with Foobar2k. In my experience, its pretty useful. It's not a fool-proof solution, I am can still make out differences in volumes of some CDs, but it's not as dramatic as without RG.

RG is a very attractive solution since it doesn't directly modify the audio data, but only stores the peak levels in the metadata. So players that support RG will act on the data, and the ones that don't should theoretically ignore it.
 

Mano

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
64
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Location
Chennai
Hi
Please do not worry about volume correction, each recorder or sound engineer would have done what he likes best 'hee hee". Enjoy the music. There are no hard and for rules for music.

cheers
 
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