For the Nth time: ALL SACDs have a stereo track!!!!!
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"Hybrid" refers to the fact that the disc has two layers, one reflects light at the wavelength of a CD player laser, and the other at the wavelength of a SACD player. Of course, the CD layer, which you can select, is 2-channel. On the SACD layer, there is both a stereo, and a multichannel recording, which the user selects.
DVD-A are multichannel, but can also be played in stereo. In this case the player does the mixdown as the disc is played instead of the recording engineer doing it when the disc is produced. I think this is a better approach because no data space on the disc is wasted by a duplicate recording, and details of the mixdown can be selected by the user so as to give a different sonic perspective: on stage with the performers, or out in the hall.
In this case the player does the mixdown as the disc is played instead of the recording engineer doing it when the disc is produced.
That possibility made up my mind to give DVD-Audio the big miss. Not all DVD-As work like this though - many have a dedicated stereo section. If that had been the standard, as it is with SACDs, I would have been less biased against the DVD-Audio format.
Eldartford, I don't have a multichannel system. I have a stereo system and want the hi-rez format I choose to honour my commitment. SACD does this. I want the mastering engineer to mix the stereo track, and I want them to do the best damn job they can, with the same commitment to quality as I have.
The concept of a fold-down offends my purist leanings.
Metralla...Thanks for explaining your reasoning. As I understand it (and info is scarce) the mixdown coefficients used by a DVD-A player in creating the stereo program are selected by the recording engineer and encoded on the disc. So the recording engineer is still in the loop. Of course, almost all recordings, CD, SACD, and DVD-A, are mixed down from a dozzen or more tracks, so one more mixdown can't be all that bad.
Audiobugged...Sure they can. They have just two channels, with the sound intended for the rear out-of-phase between channels. When a quad record is played back through the intended decoder, out-of-phase signal is attenuated for the front speakers, and in-phase signal is attenuated for the rears. If you play the record without a decoder, the out-of-phase signal will come from the front speakers, but because it is out-of-phase it will not image, but will have a difuse and directionless quality. This is not bad.