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Discussion: Holst: The Planets, Mystic Trumpeter - David Lloyd-Jones

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Post by Castor February 5, 2004 (1 of 17)
I have had the CD of this recording for some time and was delighted to be able to buy it in SACD. When the disc arrived it was something of a shock to find that Track 8 of the original CD was missing (Colin Matthews Pluto). There was no explanation inside the booklet so I e-mailed Naxos who sent the following reply:

"Pluto was omitted so as not to compromise the number of multichannel
recordings. The running time of SACDs can be problematical as there is no
fixed maximum; the data is compressed during authoring and that compression
depends on the exact audio content.
We reckon on a ballpark figure of 69 minutes for a disc with a 5.1 surround
section (left, centre, right, surround left, surround right plus the .1
channel to drive the sub-woofer). For discs with longer running times, we
are obliged to go down to 5.0 (left, centre, right, surround left, surround
right). In the case of the Holst, however, we were able to accommodate 75.18
minutes (without Pluto) in 5.1. One can also go down to 4.1 and 4.0 but our
protocol is to aim for 5.1 or 5.0."

Has anyone else heard of this and does it mean that transfers to SACD of CDs with long playing times i.e. greater than 70min. will have tracks omitted ?

Post by zeus February 5, 2004 (2 of 17)
Castor said:

Has anyone else heard of this and does it mean that transfers to SACD of CDs with long playing times i.e. greater than 70min. will have tracks omitted ?

What you were told is true. The compression ratio (with DST) achieved depends on the signal and is roughly 2.5. You don't know until you actually author the disc for SACD. This has caused some surprises in the past and either means you have to drop tracks, drop channels or go to two discs. There's a lot more flexibility with dual-layer discs, but having to provide the CD-compatible layer with hybrids precludes this option. There's only so much you can fit into 4.7GB!

Post by mdt February 5, 2004 (3 of 17)
zeus said:

What you were told is true. The compression ratio (with DST) achieved depends on the signal and is roughly 2.5. You don't know until you actually author the disc for SACD. This has caused some surprises in the past and either means you have to drop tracks, drop channels or go to two discs. There's a lot more flexibility with dual-layer discs, but having to provide the CD-compatible layer with hybrids precludes this option. There's only so much you can fit into 4.7GB!

Well then drop the sub channel,with SA-CD all channels have the full DSD frequency range and five equal full-range speakers are the optimum anyway.

Post by zeus February 5, 2004 (4 of 17)
mdt said:

Well then drop the sub channel,with SA-CD all channels have the full DSD frequency range and five equal full-range speakers are the optimum anyway.

Without getting into the contentious issue of the worth of the .1 channel, I'd be surprised if much disc real estate is to be saved by dropping it. If used for low frequency information only, it probably compresses very well. Maybe somebody in the know would like to comment ...

Post by Johnno February 6, 2004 (5 of 17)
Not having that "Pluto" movement would rule out any consideration I might have had for purchasing that David Lloyd-Jones/Naxos performance on SACD

Pardom my ignorance, but I have to admit this is unknown territory for me. Does the same situation regarding time restriction not apply with DVD-A and its corresponding MLP?

Post by beardawgs February 6, 2004 (6 of 17)
Can somebody clarify this for me: The only recording on SACD I know about of Collin Matthew’s ‘Pluto’ is on Hyperion (only in stereo) with the rest of the planets. On the Naxos’ DVD-A we have for a while there are only The Planets as Holst wrote them, and The Mystic Trumpeter, op. 18 as a filling.

DVD-A total time is 68.37. The Planets only are 50 mins long, so what’s that timing listed here of 75.18 for? Also, soprano Claire Rutter sings only in The Mystic Trumpeter, track which is not listed on the Naxos disc page on here, and I couldn’t see it on the cover picture either of the SACD issue.

Are we talking here about the Naxos disc or the Hyperion disc?

Also, the original recording (from what I can see on the sleeve) was made in 24/44.1 (in MC) and I’m far from impressed with the sound quality. What’s the sound like on SACD?

Post by zeus February 6, 2004 (7 of 17)
beardawgs said:

DVD-A total time is 68.37. The Planets only are 50 mins long, so what’s that timing listed here of 75.18 for? Also, soprano Claire Rutter sings only in The Mystic Trumpeter, track which is not listed on the Naxos disc page on here, and I couldn’t see it on the cover picture either of the SACD issue.

I've updated the title details to add the Mystic Trumpeter track previously omitted. I've also corrected the timing to 68:33. My Naxos Hong Kong copy says "Playing Time: 75:18" on the back, but actually reads 68:33 when I stick it in the player. The timing was apparently a leftover from when Pluto was to be included.

Lastly, I've attached this thread to the title itself as a discussion so visitors in the future will find it.

Post by Dinko February 6, 2004 (8 of 17)
Johnno said:

Does the same situation regarding time restriction not apply with DVD-A and its corresponding MLP?

There's no reason that it shouldn't apply to DVDA. That's one reason that DVDA stereo can be at 24/192, while DVDA surround has to be 'condensed' to 24/96. There's no way to fit extra running time and extra data if everything were 24/192.

Post by David_fram February 6, 2004 (9 of 17)
The .1 channel on certain discs is used as a height channel (ie. Telarc 1812) so is it getting used like that in this case or is it just for bass. I've heard but never tested with the 1812 (only have 5 speakers) that connecting it to a pair (both playing the same information in a mono configuration) of small dipole speakers helps to improve the positioning of stuff inbetween the front and rear speakers and is particuallarly impressive on with the cannons. See Height Channel slightly above the position the page loads at for extra information (not all people who use the .1 channel as height have it setup in the same way however, I know at least one of the others manufacturers of discs needs normal not dipole speakers): http://www.telarc.com/surround/sacd.asp?mscssid=3P5Q4XB94P1T8KRPNAL3FRA50VJGB306#diagram2

Post by Johnno February 10, 2004 (10 of 17)
I'm intrigued by the comments about the "Pluto" movement being omitted from the DVD-A release as I remember reading the review of that disc in "Gramophone" and cannot recall any mention being made of that fact, so have always assumed that the extra Colin Matthews movement was still there -- and Naxos must surely have considered its inclusion as a fairly strong selling point for the disc.

I have the Mark Elder/Halle performance on SACD and note that the "Pluto" movement only lasts for approximately six and a half minutes. Assuming that the Lloyd Jones version is about the same length, I must assume that the DVD-A/SACD multichannel timeframe doubles that time to preclude it, since without it the disc has a total playing time of 68:33, or is that argument illogical?

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