• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

The Pineapple Thief – It Leads To This – Comparison Blu-ray stereo , 5.1, Dolby Atmos, Tidal MAX, CD. Is the blu-ray the new “audiophile” media?

Jean.Francois

Member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Messages
88
Likes
338
Hello,
After albums such as "Abducting the Unicorn" and "Magnolia", The Pineapple Thief are back with their 15th album, "It Leads to This", featuring 8 songs.

It Leads To This - small.jpg

For this review, 5 versions are tested: Blu-ray with Stereo , 5.1 , Dolby Atmos , Tidal Max Flac and CD.

The 4 waveforms below show the difference in dynamic range between the CD (DR10), Tidal(DR8) and blu-ray (DR14) versions.
Blu-ray offers the best dynamic range for the stereo version, which is similar to the Dolby Atmos version.
waveform - It Leads To This - Comparison -- small .jpg


The blu-ray edition comes as a pleasant surprise, offering the most dynamic stereo version of all, unlike the other editions!

Why use blu-ray as a quality medium?
On blu-ray, to change sound tracks without having a variation in level between tracks, the tracks are aligned at the same sound level. Dolby Atmos is the reference, with its maximum integrated level of -18 LUFS.
For the stereo track, they didn't just take the dynamically compressed version and lower the level, they made a master without a dynamic limiter. That's why the blu-ray has the most dynamic stereo track! This is an approach to be followed for all albums.

After a very dynamic stereo blu-ray version, we find a Dolby Atmos version designed to immerse us in the album's sound space. In 9.1.4 listening, we can even hear the vocals on the widescreen speakers, rather than the front ones. The music and the backing vocals surround us with perfect homogeneity. A new reference in Dolby Atmos, which with Dolby TrueHD encoding (lossless format) retains all the precision of music and spatialization.
This Dolby Atmos version offers one of the highest spatializations ever encountered (average value of 9.5).
It Leads To This (Atmos) - Spatialization 9.5 (9.1-9.6) -- small.jpg



Physical media haven't said their last word: if you want to enjoy your music at maximum quality, you should choose CD or, even better, blu-ray, which is the "audiophile" medium, with no dynamic range limitations, and which contains the best stereo, 5.1 and Dolby Atmos versions.

Find extracts from the different versions for comparison here, as well as all the measurements (DR, waveforn, spectrum).

Enjoy listening
Jean-François
 

Tell

Active Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2024
Messages
149
Likes
195
A CD (and even Spotifys lossy OGG Vorbis) can deliver the exact same dynamics a Dolby Atmos bluray. So in that sense I wouldn't say that bluray is any kind of reference when it comes to sound quality no.
But yeah if we do take those extra channels into account it could be interesting for some type of music, electronic psychedelic music could probably be quite fun! But I'm quite happy with my stereo setup as it is, I just need some more dynamics, so lets hope that Atmos can inspire artists to release their music with the same dynamics in regular stereo as well :)
 

Verig

Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2023
Messages
159
Likes
105
I really don't want physical media anymore. The question is why wouldn't they just release 1) not crushed stereo stream 2) Atmos stream / download.
I'd love some proper Atmos music.
 

nerdstrike

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
269
Likes
324
Location
Cambs, UK
Well isn't that interesting. Lousy way to grab a track though. Like finding something in her middle of a tape.
 

keenly

Active Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
126
Likes
40
I really don't want physical media anymore. The question is why wouldn't they just release 1) not crushed stereo stream 2) Atmos stream / download.
I'd love some proper Atmos music.
Blu rays are great!
 

Godataloss

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
475
Likes
520
Location
Northern Ohio
I must say that after installing an Atmos theater, I am only occasionally impressed beyond my previous 5.2 system. The dearth of content may be most to blame I suppose. I find myself most often run things in DTS and set levels manually by ear for each program because material is so wildly different. My feeling is the industry is pulling back from releasing 4k Blu-rays which is a shame because I think the availability of superior media is what has always driven advances as well as adoption in home theater. Streaming availability of higher quality video and especially audio material has also seemed to have taken a step back recently. I suspect the major streaming services are conserving bandwidth costs now that there increased competition.
 

Anton D

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
978
Likes
1,142
Thank you for taking the time to do this.

Really appreciate it.

I still like to play physical media.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EJ3

digitalfrost

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
1,556
Likes
3,220
Location
Palatinate, Germany
This should be a crime. How are people who buy the 24bit download not getting the same quality as someone who buys the Bluray...
 

AdrianusG

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2023
Messages
397
Likes
298
This should be a crime. How are people who buy the 24bit download not getting the same quality as someone who buys the Bluray...
Because apparently they can get away with it, so they get away with it, why would they even bother to be honest and change their behaviour?
 
Last edited:

ZolaIII

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
4,232
Likes
2,494
DR doesn't have much in common with used media or digital format. There are very old vinyl recordings with DR of 13 or even more and lot's of over compressed CD's with DR of 5 or even less. Neither excessive DR or heavy compressed material with very low DR is good. From 9 to let's say 13~14 is fine. Examples; piles of ruined materials from loudness wars period (90's till now), not properly adopted large cinema THX materials with DR of 24 DB or about when you can't hear vocal part and effects are annoying loud to much.
 
Top Bottom