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Need help with SACD

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I am new to SACD; just got a player, and am using headphones for listening. I notice that there are multichannel SACDs and stereo SACDs. What is the difference between them? Does it make any difference which type I buy for listening with headphones? If someday I expand to a multichannel audio system, should I now buy only multichannel SACDs? Do stereo SACDs sound better or worse than multichannel SACDs? Finally, how do I distinguish between SACDs that can also be played on regular CD players, versus those that can only be played on SACD players?
post #2 of 2

Re: Need help with SACD

Next time, please separate out your questions, for easier editing.
Quote:
Originally posted by mikeg
I am new to SACD; just got a player, and am using headphones for listening.
Good, because you're posting on a music-listening-on-headphones site.
Quote:
I notice that there are multichannel SACDs and stereo SACDs. What is the difference between them?
Stereo SACD's have a stereo DSD track on them. Multi-channel SACD's have both a stereo, and a 5.1 channel multi-channel DSD track on them.
Quote:
Does it make any difference which type I buy for listening with headphones?
No. They both have a stereo track.

Stereo is better for headphones, but it is possible, depending on the hardware you have, to mix down the multi-channel mix to two channels. All of them have at least a stereo track, so I would recommend you use those.
Quote:
If someday I expand to a multichannel audio system, should I now buy only multichannel SACDs?
No, you should only buy the music you like.

There are very few that are both (Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow are two that come to mind), but for the most part, you won't be given the choice.
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Do stereo SACDs sound better or worse than multichannel SACDs?
Left as an exercise for the reader.
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Finally, how do I distinguish between SACDs that can also be played on regular CD players, versus those that can only be played on SACD players?
They will say very explicitly "hybrid". If you look on the back, there are several trademarks. If you find the "compact disc digital audio" trademark, then it is a hybrid disk.

I believe that's everything.
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