One positive item of note -- the decoder has LOTS of enhancements from the basic 'theme' -- still being able to accurately decode DolbyA -- it also avoids creation of distortions resulting from dynamic range expansion. SO - the typical distortion artifacts from gain expansion are incredibly well suppressed. Pure/simple expander distortions are not able to be used for indicating a lack of 'hand in glove' expansion, but one has to listen very carefully for stereo image problems, gating kinds of behavior or very muted HF sound. These just didn't happen on either of those two albums. Usually, like on my Mobile Fidelity Supertramp (Crime of the Century, AFAIR), there are several bad artifacts when trying to decode material that isn't in the state of being encoded.
I would NOT suggest using the DA compatible decoder as a GP expander or single ended NR (esp because I have better technology in the pipeline), but it does sometimes almost/weakly work. Specifically the examples from those two artists had a 'veil' on the sound that kept on irritating me, and I suspect that I should have been more critical. There was something wrong with them, but they generally sounded so good that I kept them.
The Carpenter's and other pop examples (the S&G example, however imperfect, even shows some of the LF distortion cancellation from DA decoding) still have the appropriate pre-decoding artifacts, and I carefully double checked the results. In some cases, the examples might have been further compressed upon previous DA encoding, but the decoder is VERY GOOD at recovering the DA encoding in difficult cases. (It isn't using any of my adaptive techniques, so will definitely sound bad when it is presented material that is far from encoded, esp totally uncompressed.)
It is just that Nat & Dionne sounded so good!!! As I find where I have posted the examples, I have been removing them with a bit of embarassment. The odd thing is that there was also a definite point where the so-called 'decoding' worked best... Really kind of weirds me out, but gotta move forward, right?!!?
I don't have an infinite sized collection, and have only a few more recordings that I might try out -- hopefully I can find some more to replace the previous erroneous ones (and more carefully test next time!!!) Buuuttt... I so much liked the music!!!