Is there a consensus as to blu ray sound quality?

I have no doubt missed it's probably been discussed ad nauseum on these electronic pages, but I still there a consensus of the sound quality differential between regular players and the new blu ray?
Of course the video qualities and disc qualities are apparently much upgraded into the blu ray tech, but does this mean the sound is as consistently better? Has anyone played one of Winston Ma's incredible FIM remakes on a blu ray, if so tell us about what you're hearing.
Also, am wondering if any of the CD mfgrs are planning audiophile versions of blu ray??
As far as movies go, the new uncompressed audio tracks on Blu-ray will leave DD and DTS in the dust.

I have some audio only Blu-rays, but not enough in formats I own in other media to compare other than the 2L release of Developmenti (which came with SACD/CD hybrid as well) and the differences here were huge as well.
Developmenti? :-)

I gotta admit, though, that it never enters my mind to put an "audiophile" CD into one of the BluRay players. OTOH, since I feed the digital output of all the players into the same processor, I would not expect much of a difference.

I've been out of the digital loop, so you'll have to excuse my ignorance here.
Of course the blu will play regular cds, but are there to be separate blu ray 'cd's? Music only cd's that are only encoded for blu ray?
I know that most of us here have owned "Bridge Over Troubled Water", in how many formats, and therefore perhaps reluctant to purchase again. So far, vinyl, cassette, elcassette, 8 track, reel to reel, hq cd, the various remakes, remasters of Hi quality cd.
Now, having said that, as dramatically better as blu ray video is, if blu ray audio is up to that qualitative differential maybe, I'm buying Art and Paul one more time.
Yea the processing is the same, but the claim to fame is that the blu lazer reads more data, therefore the information going into the processor would be greater,no?

I now understand what you were asking, do any Blu-ray players make good CD player right? I don't use my blu-ray players for CD playback so I can't answer.
The question was (is) are they BETTER at audio playback, better resolution in the audio domain, as they read more data because of a shorter wavelength of light?
It only seems logical, and maybe someone on this site can set me straight, that if it's reading more information then it's sending that information to the processor, so we should have better resolution of detail, therefore more harmonic structure and low level detail, all of which could or should portend more realistic sound quality. And further, once again, are any mfgrs looking to do audiophile quality blu-ray disc players aimed at both markets? Lexicon, for example, masters of digital manipulation in the studios, putting out a blu-ray player to replace their dvd player? Countless others...does anyone know?
Yes - I have seen a few audio titles published in BD (BluRay)

The production was by Lindberg Lyd of Norway, with distribution from a german company 2L

Cost was US$35 or so for the title - they have a half dozen

Neil Young is apparently releasing his entire music archive on BluRay in the next month or two - already available for preorder on Amazon but not inexpensive

This site (and perhaps others) appears to be dedicated to BluRay recordings

So yes its happening slowly

Depending on the master I would expect them to blow a traditional redbook disc away
Only Blu Ray and HD-DVD (bye-bye) are encoded with lossless audio (Dolby True and DTS Master). IMHO, the sound of these lossless codecs is way better than that of SDVDs, redbook CDs and even SACD.

As Ckorody wrote, audio-only BDs are coming slowly. I think the music insustry is waiting to see if consumers will change from SDVD to BDs.

Naturally I'm no insider on the subject of high def video discs being used as audio ONLY discs... but does that really make much sense overall?

I'm thinking the BR disc format was set into place for it's advantages in storage space which yielded the province of greater video fidelity or resolution. I sort of think the better audio came along as a matter of fact given the greater available disc space.

I seem to feel the format was pointed. Directed towards an appeal to mass market video.

I'd also be curious to know at this point what the numbers reflect as to BR sales v. rentals. $30 - $35 a pop seems to me as inordinate IMO, but it might be justified given the recent hikes in overall retail pricing. That's really too bad.

As high a price I consider BR discs being, it would be still greater to have to pay that amount for solely audio reproduction, wouldn't it?

AS to Neil young's forthcoming releases... I pray if these are any of his golden era productions they got cleaned up really well. Neil young, among others recordings' sound like they were done in a Bathroom or phone booth somewhere. they are mostly pretty noisey, eg., After the Gold Rush, Zuma, Decades, Journey Through the Past, and some other earlier works with 'Crazy Horse'. Many of his efforts weren't produced with high end audio in mind what so ever and they just don't sound too good when played on better gear.

yeah... for $35 I should hope so.

BTW... are these supposed BR audio discs done in stereo only, or are they done in multi ch? or is there some choice as in hybrid discs?

Also, are you Blue Ray owners using just the HDMI OR are you using the analog paths?
The Blu-Ray HD lossless formats are excellent but there are seriously few audio HD music releases. In any case, they do not blow away SACD as demonstrated by the 2L Divertimenti set which includes both. (One can argue what is better/preferable but there is no huge difference.)

As for the music on BluRay, it is generally multichannel and, no, there are no hybrid discs, afaik. Hybrid with what?

I have been writing about this, on and off, in my column:

Arthur Salvatore from the audio critique talks about the possible improvements using blue ray technology if Incorporated in the ELP LP laser reader.

There is a new, highly relevant technology that the current version of the ELP does not employ: the Blue Light Laser, which is much smaller than what they currently utilize. This new laser, if and when it is optimized, should noticeably improve the performance of this design. It should be able to read and reproduce what the current laser may be missing; the sharp angles of the dirt and, ultimately, the individuality of the music previously hidden within the grooves.

Now if it can improve the sound of this unit why could it not do the same for cd and sacd sound?
Maybe this whole concept of blu-ray has taken the debate into liscencing, and hardware dead ends. My questions are of a more fundamental nature.
1) Would employing a Blue Laser as opposed to a red one, which is to say, a laser which offers a shorter wave length of light, therefore can track the pits and such in a cd/dvd storage unit, more adroitly--is this laser an option for reading current red book cds? I KNOW it will read them--the overarching question is...does it when used, compared to a typical cd player SOUND better?
Is there hope that the typical audiophile out there can buy a $399 blue ray, and end up with sound quality which is better than even the very expensive (red laser) cd players which are audiophile grade?

Again, and I know this is getting tedious...years ago, everyone in the industry talked about the 'blue laser' and how the shorter wavelength would allow it to give a better read, with the assumed accomanying, more information for the processor to work with. Now that we have the blu-ray, is it a viable step up from a typical player sonically?
Surely someone has tried this comparison.
Also, any manufacturers talking about an audiophile version of blu ray...not for the extras on discs and such, but just improved sound?
In my opinion, no, because of the blu-ray format itself. The extra processing of the blue laser goes into reading more data (storage) in the same surface area. Also, the blu format specifications don't support anything greater than upsampled redbook cd quality audio. The only advantage to blu-ray audio would have to be, once in again in my opinion, multi-channel audio, perhaps as a replacement for DVD-A and arguably, SACD. Maybe the expensive red laser cd players excel, not in the laser itself, but the DAC and wiring?
"Is there hope that the typical audiophile out there can buy a $399 blue ray, and end up with sound quality which is better than even the very expensive (red laser) cd players which are audiophile grade?"

I'm confused. Are you asking about using it as a transport or player? If player, then there is a lot of other thing affecting sound. If you want to use it as a transport to play redbook CDs then you'll get perhaps a little better tracking but you can get it as well with DVD player.
Thanks Kijanki,
But I am aware of the breadth of variables which effect sound reproduction.

"If you want to use it as a transport to play redbook DCs then you'll perhaps get a little better tracking, but you can get it as well with a DVD player."

The shorter wave length of the blu-violet light spectrum laser, versus the red end of the light spectrum (endemic to the typical CD and DVD players, until the advent of blu-ray) have a stated wavelength of approximately, and it varies, 400nm compared to 650nm.
This shorter wave length would seem, at least to my little brain, to not only, not only allow for more compression of information onto the disc, but to also allow for a 'better read' of the existing information on a typical red book cd. If the laser successfully reads more data, wouldn't this, or shouldn'this translate into greater information taken into the processor, allowing for greater resolution of detail, low level resolution, with all of the mentioned benefits therein?
Analogous to a moving coil cartridge, whose claim to fame was that it could navigate more quickly within the grooves of the record, (with less mass to the tip of the stylus) picking up more information from the source, a vinyl piece in those days. Wouldn't a 'quicker, more adroit read' make for more low level resolution, more detail, improved harmonic structure, better soundstage, spatial information, and such...what is it that I am not understanding, or unable to convey to those answering the question here?
While it is true that 'better cd players and dvd players' offer better, 'tracking as Kijanki called it'; all things being equal wouldn't a more powerful telescope (think quicker better reading laser) read more data?

I would have thought that some manufacturers of fine cd players would have jumped on the blue laser for their audiophile cd players, early on. Since they appear not to have done so, does anyone know why. Is the liscencing for the new laser cost prohibitive, or are there other issues which haven't been brought to light?

Also, would the additional 1's and 0's read' does the additional amount of information require a different sampling, or higher quality, read faster D/A converters?

Hopefully someone who is in manufacturing can help educate me on this question as to whether or not the blue laser, as it is superior would be be a bette device for simply retrieving more data from a redbook.

All other things being equal, which is always a big assumption, I see no reason why a blue laser would read a redbook CD any better than a red laser. The fact that it has a shorter wavelength and can read "more" data in a given area doesn't automatically lead to the conclusion that it reads "better". I think that differences in the DA conversion would be more critical than differences in the laser's colour frequency. To use an analogy, (which may or may not be appropriate but I'll try it anyway), do your eyes see blue objects more clearly than red objects on the basis that the blue receptors in your eye pigments are more resolving?

I would think that it is discs with more data that makes blu-ray appealing as an audio format. I would guess that this would become more common in parallel with blu-ray's development and adoption as a video format.

I think in this example, we should make the general assumption that 'more' IS better. Let's look at it this way. Less would almost universally have to be thought of as 'worse'. If the goal is to gather as many of the 1's an 0's as is possible, and the stated value of the shorter wavelength blue laser is that it can, hence it can read information more closely crammed together in the new blu-ray format, then it would also mean to me, if I can take a logical step here, that it reads more of the existing, again.

The only reason that blue lasers weren't used from the beginning, was (I was told by several inside folks, designers) was that none were available. No one ever doubted the advantage of the blue laser, they just didn't exist.

Certainly discs with mega information on them, makes blu-rays very desirable, I am just still wondering about it's other intrisic values as an audio tool.
Lrsky - Redbook is fixed at 16 bit and the only thing that better transport provides is lower jitter. Better laser resolution does nothing if overall quality doesn't follow. Many factors affect player's performance and SACD players, for example, are not the best redbook CD players. They have separate laser assemblies for each format but designer probably concentrated on SACD part more. Same might be true with Blue Ray. If you plan to use it as a transport than it might be better to get cheap DVD player and jitter suppressing DAC like Benchmark DAC1 or Bel Canto DAC3.

Such DACs have resolution of 24bits but redbook is defined as 16-bit (as well as HDCD and SACD).
Regarding your assumption that more is better: this further assumes that the blue laser is accurately pulling more 1's and 0's off the CD than the red laser. So it doesn't have to use error correction or interpolate missing data. So it's more accurate and this is reflected in sound quality. This seems to be the essence of what you're asking.

Well, "I don't know" is the only answer I can give. I'm following the thread to see what others say who are more knowledgeable than me on the technical issues.
Thanks Mark, and Kijank, (and everyone)
Let me give one more lame brained, and half assed analogy.
If we're scanning a photo and we have a scanning potential of 'X', then technology changes and we have a scanning potential of 'y' which represents a magnitude of information gathering which is (arbitrarily) 25% greater; the question is, would the picture in the second example look clearer, and more accurate? More data, is more data. The gathering mechanism is the key--of course read error, a nasty thing effects it, but in a linear way--jitter, etc, let's call both of those factors a wash. Let's say that our D/A's are up to the task (at least the same for both, and adequate to the additional information presented by the better read), would this not give us a more realistic presentation of all that is music?
The distance, (if single miked) that exists between the drummer and the bass player, over to the piano, or in an orchestra, the extraordinary amount of complex harmonic structure that exists when multiple violins pay in harmony.

Converting that musical information into a visual medium for the sake of example may be the best way for me to imagine the difference.
Lrsky - You assume that picture that you scan has unlimited resolution. That is not the case here - CD has fixed resolution of 16 bits. Time spacing between bits is fixed and has nothing to do with spacing between players. If the player plays CD without errors and jitter than there is nothing else that can be improved. Jitter itself has nothing to do with harmonic structure or distance but is simply a noise. If you play any singular frequency with jitter you'll get sidebands at very very low level - still audible since not harmonically related to root frequency. Jitter applied to music converts to noise.

In addition Blue Ray players might use separate traditional laser (like SACD do) since their blue laser is optimized for certain depth and other factors.
We're reading every last bit of information that exists on a cd at this moment? I know you say 'fixed at 16 bits'. Realizing that the picture analogy is inaccurate, but just for example, I use that to make the larger point of potentially more data which was not extracted. You're saying emperically that there is no more information to be had from a disc, that that which can be read by a regular, red laser? So the only improvments not in the read domain?
That's what I think. If error correction works and there is no jitter I don't see what else can be improved in reading process.

Higher resolution can be obtained in digital filtering (think averaging)but it stops short of 20-bits because of DACs. In case of traditional DACs better resolution is not possible because of components' tolerance while in case of delta-sigma DACs better resolution is limited by timing accuracy. There are some DACs from TI that are combination of both but without any apparent benefits. DCS introduced long time ago RING DACs that bypass resistors tolerance resolution limit by shuffling constantly many (I think 5)different resitors (of the same value) to get accurate average value of given division.

SACD is a recorded byproduct od delta Sigma modulation before filtering (PWM at 2.8MHz) if I understand it correctly. It supposed be equivalent to 20bit performance at 96kHz. Notice that traditional DAC ICs got eliminated and substituted by one bit DAC (switch) and filtering.
Thanks, Kijanki,
So, in talking to some of the digital 'masters',(people not tapes), their confusion is real in deciding for many years, how to try to improve digital, as it has or had nothing to do with read potential. Some companies in years gone by, using three lasers had to do with external factors such as mechanical issues maybe, say vibrationally induced error read? Was it just hype in your opinion?
When you say "That's what I think", does this mean that the 'jury' is still out?
Reflections on the disc internally, causing, I suspect read error, and interpolation all degrade the sound, but we're working with all known data; so converting to analog is the issue of most 'chance' and degradation?
Years ago I was speaking to Mike (God, what's his name) one of the first at Theta, if not it's founder. He was in his lab when I called, and he was shaking his head trying, in his words, 'to understand why a 22bit dac sounded less like music than a 18bit dac'.

I never at any time in the twenty odd years of reading about digital, thought that we were extracting, correctly, all the data, in time domain, without error. And to that point, have forever wanted to eliminate the mechanical aspects of a cd player, thinking that we were only 'slightly' ahead of a turntable (not from an audio standpoint, but technical standpoint), in that we still had a read mechanism, and a spinning device, which could be (and is) acted on by external, and frankly it's own internal energies. So, to me the question became one of proper time domain sequencing of data through clocking, rather than reading from a spinning device.
This digital mess is as bad as the 'weather' or stock market. It seems that we all know 'something' but none of us really has an answer to how to make a digital disc sound like a SOTA table with a Zeta Arm, and a Koetsu Rosewood cartridge of 24 years ago, or today, for that matter. Viva, la ticks and pops, no Kijanki? HA!

Lrsky - Better laser might provide better results with less than perfect disks if its optimized for that (blue ray might not be). Shortcomings of digital comes not only from resolution but mostly from unfortunate sampling rate of 44.1kHz. Just imagine one period of 10kHz sinewave estimated with only 4 points. With ratio of 2:1 (44.1kHz/20kHz) it is impossible to filter out in digital filter frequency components above 22.05kHz (and keep 20kHz bandwidth) that can "fold" over from zero (Nyquist/Shannon) 22.1kHz becoming 50Hz. Using brickwall digital filters gives more attenuation but creates uneven group delays (improper summing of harmonics) and ripples in the passband. Sampling frequency has to be higher and that's why we have different oversampling schemes where artificial samples are created just to increase rate.

Better sounding schemes like SACD are not very popular and probably created only to promote scheme with absolute copy protection (pit width modulation) - nobody cares about us audiophiles. We don't represent any buying power and the most of people are happy with MP3.

Digital sounds less than perfect but record mixing is even worse.
One could say that digital recreation is not analogous to the sound represented though other less manipulated efforts?
Lrsky - there is nothing wrong with digital (just look at HDTV)and the most of LPs pressed now are made from digital masters. My friend who works in recording studio says that they have in "junk room" multitrack tape recorders that costed an arm and a leg when they acquired them many years ago (Apex if I remember correctly) - now everything is digital. Digital master tapes on high end gear sound incredible (so I've heard). The problem is media format and quality of electronics. SACD should be much better, providing more resolution and easing D/A conversion, and it is (according to reviews) but amount of available records is still very low. Everybody is hoping, including you, that new media like Blue Ray will bring some solution. I don't know.

I would think that person has to be a little older to appreciate fine things and long time ago older people were driving the market. Everybody wanted to be older - just look at names like "Oldsmobile". You wouldn't name car company like that today. Oldsmobile closed factories and everything is oriented toward teenagers or recently even children and children don't buy SACDs.
Well, we divide there...there is something inherently wrong with music reproduction digital, probably because,as you point out, it is such an approximation of the original event.
I wasn't kidding when I said that about a SOTA table, a Zeta Arm and a Koetsu cart. I have yet to hear any digital which sounds as much like real music as that. This will no doubt spark all kinds of controversy, but TO MY EARS ONLY, I haven't hear that kind of fidelity on a CD player, or other device which plays discs.
Keep in mind that I've heard really good digital, and own an Exemplar (now somewhat dated) with a Denon Chassis, and active tube loads by John Tucker. I've also, in years gone by been infatuated with the Goldmund Digital during certain eras. There are too many to name--yet I still don't get the 'goosebump' factor with digital that I have with really good analog.
The early CD's were just awful. Back in the early days of, "Oh, it's perfect, it's digital, died quickly in all but the 'ticks and pops suck' camps. And I get that the noise floor is unacceptable to some if not many listeners. It's just that what's added by the turntable experience in this noise floor, is not nearly as bothersome TO ME, as what's missing, that being greater harmonic purity and presence.
It would be interesting to let a group of the youngers of us to compare a really good table, arm and cart, to a really good player of today's offerings. I haven't seen that done lately.
How do you compare these two, K?
Lrsky - I don't have enough experience to judge and I use digital for the practicality of it. It doesn't make much difference to me what sounds better if I cannot buy record at all.

If digital is inherently flawed, as you suggested, how about sound of LPs made from digital master tapes - are they all bad sounding? If not, then perhaps media and players are still not up to the task (but might be in future).

I don't defend digital and it is likely that I don't have good enough ears but I read some glowing editorial reviews of SACD players.

Nobody argues about quality of the first CDs. Not only that it often contained jitter acquired in poor A/D processing (impossible to remove) but also had poor equalization/mixing. Also remember that CD players were really bad then.
Your point about digital tape masters leads me back to the original query here...what is it about the 'read' of CD's, or vibrations, or reflections, or poor pressings, or whatever, that makes the 'mechanical act of a cd', less desirable, to me at least than digital tapes?
I completely understand the theology behind 16 bit limited, but somehow that isn't the whole issue with CD's.
Why are 'gifted and talented' producers like Winston Ma using gold and silver, I believe CD's? What difference would that make??? What difference SHOULD that make, and why.
Why, if we're reading all the data with a laser, would cleaning the disc, have such a profound effect on the sound? I know it does, I've done blindfold listening sessions with friends who are music lovers and they correctly identify a 'cleaned' disc versus a not cleaned disc.
Before we get too basic with the answers, think about the implication of 'we're reading all the data', when Digital Tapes sound, (to me) different, and sometimes completely, than the mechanical CD or DVD players.

"All disc's are created equal, some are just more equal than others." paraphrase from G. O. 1984
Sorry, I couldn't help myself
Lrsky - I suspect that better reflection from CD translates somehow to a little lower jitter which is irrelevant if you have jitter suppressing DAC. There might be some improvements with cleaning, balancing, painting edges with green ink etc but I don't want to play this game. I want better technology. I would be willing to compromise with SACD but I can see what happened with HDCD and DVD-Audio. Many Blue Ray don't support SACD and one of the latest editorials in Stereophile claim that format is dead.

As for all discs created equal - I hope you're not saying that he wrote it in 1984? (that would be spooky - he died 1950)
The original quote about equality with some being more equal than others is actually from the book "Animal Farm". The original was referring to pigs. I believe it was the character Napoleon (the pig) who said it in the book.
Markphd - I just expressed doubts about book (Animal Farm) being witten in 1984 since author died in 1950 (book was written in 1945). I might not remember it correctly but Napoleon did not say that - it was written on the barn.


sorry Kal, my fingers got ahead of my brain… and thanks for the input. The singular interest I would have in BR is the audio side of things.


I thought to interject this item or two as I've not seen it addressed.

if the intent here is to acquire better audible performance with formats that aren't the focus of Blue Ray players, eg., CD, SACD, DVD, etc, (given any are multi format players in the first playce) .... I'm wondering if the 'Focus' or prime intent of the player then wouldn’t over shadow any other of its format capacities?

it would seem to follow then that ANY possible gains by way of these secondary formats would then be merely, "oh, by the way..." gains.... IF at all… and dubious at best.

What I'm thinking is regardless the abilities of the wavelength of the laser reading the disc, the span of the conversion chips, damping, etc., if the initial aim is to envelope all the formats then unless the player were a no holds barred, price no object one box solution, some compromises have been surely made with regard to these ancilliary disc attributes.

If indeed greater abilities are inplace do to physical materials being used in the topology, yet aren't taken advantage of and set to task with 'as great a care' as the prime mover (BR) it seems doubtful one should expect much from these arbitrary, oh, by the way, possibilities.

... especially in mass fi and low end price points... $100 - $400.

of course one can try out a few and see if any audible day & night diffs are indeed endemic to BR players spinning 'other than' formats....

I'd not go into such a prospect of obtaining a Blue Ray unit with the hopes of also getting a better SACD, CD or DVD player in the bargain.... and certainly not for two or three hundred dollars.

I’d sure like to. That would be great! I’ll not hold my breath

I’m pretty sure the aim with these players is set to versatility and convenience over performance.

I once saw a post here, a long time back, which said the poster had plugged his CDP into the DVD digital input of his receiver to take advantage of the greater decoding range of the DVD DACs… I thought that was funny. Only if the Red Book signal was being upconverted or upsampled to the 24/96 region, would there be any reason for that move…. Otherwise it’s still like using the CD digital input.

I do hope whomever or those who do delve into this prospect by actually buying or auditioning some BR players with secondary disc playback, come back and let us know what is up with that.
Perhaps a couple of the best sounding albums like "Dark Side Of The Mood" can once again be re-mixed with BD format.

There would be a market for this one and a few others.

Of course, then we all would rant over DACs, amps, speakers, etc.

Still, if the original recording is suppose to be that good, why not?
Why not? Because, aside from realizing the multichannel aspects of these older recordings, we are asymptotically close to hearing all they have and, also, because no new medium will survive without new content.

Kal (bored with most reissues)
I hope so Kal, but the RIAA has been really stupid with their practices of the last decade. I know I would re-buy a lot of albums if they came in an uncompressed Blu-ray format!
Good for you, it will help.

Yeah, but will the RIAA actually ever produce them so I COULD buy them???

That is the real question!
Yes, duh Animal Farm by Orwell, not the book '1984'. Damn those dead brain cells!
I have not read the entire thread, but in response to the title, " Is there a consensus as to blu ray sound quality?", I have to ask if there's a consensus regarding any topic in the audiophile hobby?

Sometimes, I think if there was an audiophile alone in a room, he'd (she'd) have a difficult time reaching a consensus.
Consenses: Aw, the hell with it: just plug alternating holes with KT88s and 6550. Makes for a good mix.
Consensus, too strong. Has anyone compared blu-ray to a regular player in terms of overall sound quality? Are there differences? Again, any word on a high end audio company making an audiophile version?
Based on Sony's history of developing and abandoning formats, I'd consider it fiscally risky to spend money on an expensive audiophile Blu-Ray player, unless one is OK with owning a player that becomes obsolete in five years.
True Tvad, but if we're to be realistic, everything digital is obsolete in, well, less than 5 years.
Though, of late, the improvements seem to be slowing and more incremental. Think of when, other than blu-ray, we had a so called revolutionary change.
Also, no one has commented on Winston Ma's silver and or gold coated CD's for his remasters. I know his 'regular' CD's are fantastic, as I have, I think, all of them up to about a year ago. How about those with gold or silver, anyone heard them?
02-13-09: Lrsky
True Tvad, but if we're to be realistic, everything digital is obsolete in, well, less than 5 years.

No it's not. Redbook CD has been around for more than two decades, and it's still a viable digital format in the commercial music market.

SACD and DVD-A, on the other hand, have either been abandoned or are marginalized into micro-niche markets. In fact, Sony has abandoned SACD on some of their current players.
Redbook may have been around, but because of improvements in digital reproduction, the sound we get from those discs has changed rather dramatically over the past 5 years.
Someone else who is more digitally savvy than me could address it more clearly, but I believe that the technology has increased exponentially over the past several years, (computer), not that CD reproduction has, even if it could be quantified in this mannner, but it has certainly gotten better.
My point wasn't that the sources were obsolete, but the playback devices seemingly make products of a certain age, obsolete; that is why I posed this post--is blu-ray the next step in terms of resolution, which according to some, so far answering the question, it is not.
As I understand the question, you are asking if people believe the sound quality of Blu-Ray is superior to other digital formats, and therefore if it will make other digital formats obsolete.


I was simply pointing to the fact that aural superiority of a format is no guarantee of the longevity of the format...even from the company that was at the vanguard.

I know my take on the discussion is tangential.
Rightoo Tvad.
Since the soft ware for our primary listening, (Winston Ma's are in short supply unfortunately)are redbook with limited other's in various states of supply I want to know, is there a new 'game' out there that allows us to extract 'more' from them? As pointed out quite well by Kijanki,(though he may have erred in his math on the one post) and he certainly trumps any pretense of my digital knowledge, we're limited by the amount of data on the CD's to 'x' bits of information.
I was under the illusion, (make that dillusion) that we might be able to extract more 'base data' by a better read mechanism, i.e. the blu-ray which is far more sophistocated in terms of pure functionality. Now, I am to understand that the benefits of the blu-ray are almost exclusively advantageous for only reading 'more data for programming not more data for listening'.
This is disappointing to me.
Years ago, in conversations with the long departed John Iverson (of Eagle not Stereophile) who designed the Eagle Amplifiers and other than Jim Thiel, may be the smartest engineer I have ever met; I was told that we were in for something much greater (keep in mind that this was in perhaps 1984 '85, not long after CD's came into the public domain, ((run on sentence)) ), when a 'better laser was developed. He then said that the 'blue laser' would be the next step.
I contended that eliminating a mechanical read altogether, as in time domain digital release, would be infinitely better. He agreed, but said that the issues of that would take years to sort out, after all, and he said, and I quote, "After all, we aren't the Krell", in a reference to D'Agistino's fav sci fi Forbidden Planet's race of advanced civilization on the planet Altair (2, 3, 4, whatever), who had developed miraculously superior 'toys'of the future.
He, though right in some ways, was perhaps wrong about this. I've waited almost a quarter of a century for this to find out that it's principal advantage is that we can hear Ron Howard and Tom Hanks discuss his make up, or have the latest incarnations of a simultaneous video game release included on our movies. DRAT!!
Somebody give us hope that this isn't all that blu-ray portends.
I own many CDs that sound incredibly good. Really. They are a pleasure to hear, and they bring many hours of musical enjoyment.

I remain convinced that the quality of any CD (or SACD, or DVD-A, or LP, or...) lies more in the excellence of the recording and mastering process than it does in the delivery medium.

In fact, so many of my CDs sound great that I often cannot understand the deep desire many audiophiles have for "better".

I just purchased a new CD that sounds terrific: Jerry Bergonzi's "Tenorist" with John Abercrombie.