From: Manthorp 5 Mar 2017 22:27
To: ALL1 of 19
Graphitone's post HERE about ripping his audio collection to FLAC reminded me of something I meant to chuck into teh crucible ages ago.

I've downloaded quite a few albums in DTS format and played them back on stereo (not 5.1) systems.  I am

a) absolutely convinced that the sound is significantly better than uncompressed PCM.  I hear musical detail I've never noticed before in albums that I'm very familiar with.


b) I cannot justify that conviction at all, based on my (admittedly limited) understanding of the DTS format.  Am I just deluding myself?  I do so often.

From: graphitone 5 Mar 2017 23:55
To: Manthorp 2 of 19
Perhaps it's an age thing. You and Neil Young have reached those celebrated years when you're able to pick out nuances/subtleties in music that aren't there.
Quote: From the Gizmodo article
It's incredible to me the lengths that educated and intelligent people will go to say that they're somehow endowed with impossible hearing powers that necessitate a level of audio encoding that's demonstrably unnecessary.

From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 6 Mar 2017 00:13
To: graphitone 3 of 19
FLAC is gud enuf 4 me, especially since I'm ripping from cds which AFAIK is not great to start with.
From: Manthorp 6 Mar 2017 00:32
To: graphitone 4 of 19
Unlike the estimable Mr. Young, I am happy to acknowledge that my hearing is shot to shit owing to my youthful practice of pressing the speakers of my stereo to my ears (as a consequence of which I also have a shrill ring as my constant waking and sleeping companion).

But for all that, I still contend that DTS delivers more to the earballs than your average bear.

I implore Teh possie to dl a familiar album in that format and then publicly debunk me. I've endured worse and, indeed, derived a subtle erotic pleasure from it.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 6 Mar 2017 02:40
To: Manthorp 5 of 19
I know nothing about DTS, but I can provide you with visual detail you've never noticed before in a black picture and save it in any image format you like, but that wouldn't prove much.

I've found the simplest way to improve audio quality is via decent speakers/headphones, and don't worry too much beyond that.

EDITED: 6 Mar 2017 02:42 by BOUGHTONP
From: graphitone 6 Mar 2017 09:48
To: Manthorp 6 of 19
I've got a few DTS/5.1 albums, but have only ever listened to them through all 6 channels. :J

I've never tried it in stereo. That's something to have a go with tonight though. So, what happens to the audio track then? Would your amp try to cram all the channels into front left and right, or would it do some audio-magikery and downmix everything?
From: Manthorp 6 Mar 2017 10:23
To: graphitone 7 of 19
I think any magic is done in the software of my audio app (VLC usually).  Do you have the same album on both CD and DTS?  If so, try a track from both in immediate succession, both in stereo alone, and let me know whether you think there's any perceptible difference in quality.
From: william (WILLIAMA) 6 Mar 2017 11:56
To: Manthorp 8 of 19
Well, if DTS sounds better to you than PCM, then that's probably, um, how it sounds to you. There are far too many variables here to come to a conclusion. For instance, have you played back a decent range of examples of each type on a decent range of kit? If not then it might be something as simple as your music equipment is suited to DTS streams. Or the DTS music you choose to listen to. 

The first thing that occurred to me when you mentioned hearing musical detail in DTS that was 'missing' in PCM, is the inherent differences between the two. DTS was specifically developed as a multi channel encoding method. DTS music/tracks are intentionally mixed and balanced as separate streams for the separate channels and different considerations are involved from mixing and balancing PCM for, say, a CD. It wouldn't surprise me, for instance, if the gain was wound up on a particular channel for a DTS track, and that might well emphasise, say, a vocal passage or a piece of guitar work that is less evident on a basic PCM recording.

Listen to a multi channel movie soundtrack on a stereo or mono sound system and hear how emphasised some of the lows and highs are, and often how muddy and unclear the voices can be.
From: koswix 6 Mar 2017 12:02
To: Manthorp 9 of 19
All digital representation of an analogue source are compressed, i've no idea if there's a difference in the encoding between the two formats.

However, if you have a 5.1 source and are listening to it on 2.0, something somewhere is mixing the sources. The mix produced by VLC (or whatever) to 2.0 is going to be different to what a produced in a studio decided on, so it will sound different to the same album produced for 2.0 playback.

A CD is generally produced to sound 'good' on a variety of playback devices - a posh stereo, a car CD player, a noisy shop etc. When mixing for 5.1, a lot of those devices can be ignored so the decisions on the mix are a bit more straightforward in that respect.
From: Manthorp 6 Mar 2017 16:37
To: ALL10 of 19
Thanks WmA & Kos for thoughts.  No, Wm, I've not been that forensic about it.  

When I started to wonder if it was a thing, I listened to a couple of CDs and DTSs side by side (Foxtrot by Genesis, God help me, and Revolver by the Beatles)  I was very familiar with both, so maybe it was just that a different mix drew my attention to different bits.  But I still preferred it in both cases.  Could just be the novelty.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 6 Mar 2017 19:27
To: Manthorp 11 of 19
Were said DTSs a jim contribution?
From: Manthorp 6 Mar 2017 21:11
I believe he had a hand in it, yes.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 6 Mar 2017 21:43
To: Manthorp 13 of 19
Ah, I was wondering if you could encode it yourself but I guess not (also you would need better sources than cd).
From: graphitone 7 Mar 2017 18:06
To: Manthorp 14 of 19
Yep, got a few albums both on CD and DTS, mostly the reissued REM albums from their Warner Bros years.

I was poorly last night and went to bed early, so didn't get a chance to try it. Providing tonight (and my stomach) doesn't throw anything up, I'll try comparing them.
From: graphitone 7 Mar 2017 22:56
To: Manthorp 15 of 19
Right, I've had a listen to 'Losing My Religion' a few times through various audio wossnames. I've not put the subwoofer on 'cos the kids are in bed, so that's something to try on the weekend. :)

From the CD, standard stereo, things sound ok.

Listened to the 5.1 DTS and (as you  might expect) everything's punchier, vocals stand out, individual instruments can be heard through surround channels.

DTS in stereo /does/ make a difference. The bass guitar is way more discernable, while still maintaining the quailty of vocals as before.

There's also a Dolby Digital stereo track, but I couldn't tell any difference between that and the original.

I'd like to try it with the sub on too, and with some more complex tracks. I've got Nick Cave's Dig, Lazarus, Dig in 5.1, which sounds awesome and I'll try that out when I've got some free time.

From: Manthorp 8 Mar 2017 01:05
To: graphitone 16 of 19
You vindicate me.  Let's get married.  Charlotte will understand.
From: graphitone 8 Mar 2017 10:05
To: Manthorp 17 of 19
Why not come and live with us. I can offer you a chair and a purple blanket and all the cereal you can eat. You like muesli, right?

Also, who's Charlotte?! I'm pretty sure my wife's called Clare, admittedly I never asked for proof of ID when we started found out...
EDITED: 8 Mar 2017 11:17 by GRAPHITONE
From: Manthorp 8 Mar 2017 10:47
To: graphitone 18 of 19
Charlotte is my own infinitely better half.

What is this muesli of which you speak?  I am conducting an extended experiment to demonstrate that alcohol alone is a sufficiently nutritious food to sustain a healthy life.

The purple blanket sounds nice though.
From: graphitone 8 Mar 2017 11:16
To: Manthorp 19 of 19
I figured that might be the case, but only after I posted that.

I wonder if anyone's tried soaking museli in gin, in the same way you can flavour it with raspberries/sloes etc. This could spawn a whole new product line, alco-puffs, shredded gin, merlot pops and baby sham bran.
EDITED: 9 Mar 2017 10:46 by GRAPHITONE