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Opening Shots: SACD vs. Vinyl - Page 3

post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly
jopi
The largest problem I have with these subjective opinions is that rarely are both the SACD player and the turntable system of equal quality. It seems that while expensive turntables, tone arms and phono stages are easily jusitifed in these type of comparrisisons, the common belief is that any old DVD player that says SACD on the front is as good as any other.

Given the original comparison (the Sony vs. the Technics), would you say these are of equal quality? I agree with your point, but I think a lot of vinyl adherents would say that a lower-level vinyl system will beat a more expensive CD system.

Also, what vintage is the "Kind of Blue" vinyl that was used in the original comparison? Some earlier reissues from Columbia (say, 1970s/early 1980s) were horrible. Same with the early CD versions. A fair fight would be if the recent 180 gram reissue from, I belive, Analog Sound were used. This version corrects for earlier tape speed issues.
post #32 of 65
I think the Stones SACD vs vinyl is not a good comparison because the remastering job on the new Stones releases is much better than what was available on vinyl, even than Mobile Fidelity LPs. Finally the bass isn't rolled off and the highs are cleaner than before, even on the CD layers. There is some talk of releasing the remastered stuff on LP, and that would make for a great comparison.

One area I think that vinyl (on a good setup) is superior to digital is in depth of the soundstage. This is something more noticable on speakers than headphones.

Eric's comparison starting off this thread may have been a good one if he had been using the Classic Records LP version, not a older Columbia reissue. I have a Technics SL1700, which is way above their entry TT, with a Grado cartridge and it doesn't come close to the Rega P3/Glider combo which I also have. But it wouldn't suprise me that the Sony DVP-NS500V will sound better than a vinyl setup costing the same amount of money, less than $200.
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by Leporello
Instead, we should compare various formats with original source (in this case: the master tape). Anybody done this?
I doubt very few of us have access to any master tapes, and that's why no-one considers it unfair to compare mediums, since that's all we have access to.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by KurtW
There is some talk of releasing the remastered stuff on LP, and that would make for a great comparison.
Kurt, the heavy vinyl remasters I have are the Bob Ludwig remasters which if I understand, are transferred to the SACD format. I have read nothing to indicate that Bob remixed this stuff twice. (I may be wrong.)

Quote:
One area I think that vinyl (on a good setup) is superior to digital is in depth of the soundstage. This is something more noticable on speakers than headphones.
I've got to agree with you. Imaging and soundstage are amazing with the vinyl + speakers ...greatly exceeding that of my Stax phones.

post #35 of 65
I'd actually intended to make two points, so let me be explicit:
1) Low end/entry level equipment is unsuitable for judging a format or standard. So, even if they cost the exact same amount, I feel that subjective opinions of $150 turntables and $150 SACD players are only useful if you're currently in the market for exactly that. If you want to know the capabilities of either format, this won't help you.

2) Most people comparing SACD to vinyl using high end equipment are still matching very expensive turntables to far less expensive SACD players. Rick's comparison is more fair than most and his vinyl system STILL cost over twice what his SACD player did.

As for depth of soundstage on SACD, I can only tell you that I did not find it lacking in the least in the Oris system with the XA777ES. Whether vinyl of the same material could have been better still I can't tell you, but it's difficult for me to imagine better depth of soundstage and despite me being a whiney nitpicky complainer, this wasn't on my list of complaints.
post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly
As for depth of soundstage on SACD, I can only tell you that I did not find it lacking in the least in the Oris system with the XA777ES. Whether vinyl of the same material could have been better still I can't tell you, but it's difficult for me to imagine better depth of soundstage and despite me being a whiney nitpicky complainer, this wasn't on my list of complaints.
LOL, Kelly. (I promise this is a good natured response)...I'm just gonna have to buy you a ticket out here to CA one of these days. All you have to bring is your modified 777ES. I'll supply the rest. Honestly, I have no preconceived notion about the results... I really don't think I know just how good SACD's can sound!

post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly
I'd actually intended to make two points, so let me be explicit:
1) Low end/entry level equipment is unsuitable for judging a format or standard. So, even if they cost the exact same amount, I feel that subjective opinions of $150 turntables and $150 SACD players are only useful if you're currently in the market for exactly that. If you want to know the capabilities of either format, this won't help you.
I would hate to think that this is completely true because it would invalidate most of the comparisons that people make between equipment, formats, etc. because they make those judgements using just the equipment that you mention. If we leave comparisons such as the ones made here between "KOB" to only those with top-end turntable/SACD players, we give too much power and judgement to a select few who have such equipment and invalide the opinions of everyone else.

I believe that even if you use low end/entry equipment you can get a sense for the differences between, in this case, two different versions of "Kind of Blue." While I agree that the further up the chain you go the more those differences become apparant, I still think you can get a feel for those differences using non top-drawer equipment.
post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly

2) Most people comparing SACD to vinyl using high end equipment are still matching very expensive turntables to far less expensive SACD players. Rick's comparison is more fair than most and his vinyl system STILL cost over twice what his SACD player did.
My SACD Player cost me $1300. My turntable and cartridge cost me $950. (My best table cost $200, but that was used and over 20 years ago). None of my vinyl setups cost as much as my 9000ES. Vinyl is better than SACD. Yippee!! Now please tell me what that just proved, and why cost matters at all. FWIW my SACD player is probably about the same level on the digital chain as my turntables are on the vinyl chain, if the comparison is valid at all (IMO it's not...particularly if you take the time to obsolescence of a digital component into account).
post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch


My SACD Player cost me $1300. My turntable and cartridge cost me $950. (My best table cost $200, but that was used and over 20 years ago). None of my vinyl setups cost as much as my 9000ES. Vinyl is better than SACD. Yippee!! Now please tell me what that just proved, and why cost matters at all. FWIW my SACD player is probably about the same level on the digital chain as my turntables are on the vinyl chain, if the comparison is valid at all (IMO it's not...particularly if you take the time to obsolescence of a digital component into account).
Amen, Hirsch!

post #40 of 65
I don't know that this debate or argument can be resolved in terms of sonics or sound quality and it most certainly cannot be made from the point of cost versus performance.The best SACD performance I have personally heard was from a $33,000.00 digital front end.The best LP sound was on a $16,000 playback rig,including the phono stage.The best SACD sound in my system was from my Marantz SA-14 which cost $2,800.The best Vinyl playback I have ever had in my system(in it's current configuration)is the product of a $2,200 system.There are some instances where the SACD is clearly superior to vinyl and of course the opposite is often true.I know I have been pimping vinyl to anyone who will listen to me or my records but I will offer the qualification that if vinyl is not done right(as in Eric's case) then the benefits (perceived or real) are voided.The point of diminishing returns comes into play at a much lower dollar level in SACD systems but has been lowered in vinyl systems recently as well.In a few months when new SACD players and new tables are introduced, the limits will be lowered even further.I have said before and still firmly believe,that a good system includes a vinyl and digital front end as well as loudspeakers and headphones.Keep in mind that to this day, only 24% of the music recorded in the last 70 years has been released on digital and of course,that number is much, much lower on SACD.I own over 3,000 records that have never been released on digital and most likely never will be.
post #41 of 65
kelly,

Please note, that this isn't a format war. I think I can speak for all the vinyl fans here, that we'd gladly switch to a more convenient format if it's here. I also wouldn't have a problem with my existing vinyl rig since I still have enough records in my house to justify its expense. So this has nothing to do with being an old-schooler or a die-hard.

I agree with you that I really can't say that SACD is inferior to vinyl in general and I don't think I did. I was simply stating that my vinyl beats my SACD player.

But just looking at player prices is not fair either. How much money and how many resources are dedicated to developing digital sources? How many digital players are produced each year? Part of the reason vinyl is more expensive is the low quantities of production and not superior quality or materials.
Call me weird, but I did expect that my $200 player would be on par with my $2000+ system, but it fell way short.
If you ask me, the industry needs something that's vastly superior to vinyl hands-down no question. Playing catch-up is not an option.
post #42 of 65
RickG
My comments about depth of soundstage were based on dparrish's stock Sony XA777ES and Nick's Oris 150 system. I've not yet heard a modded player. I'd like to think with $5k invested in it that it would best your $2500 vinyl system, but I'm not convinced that it will across the board. Dan Wright is, of course, more confident. To say the least, we'll be sticking this thing in Nick's system when it's done and I'll hopefully have opportunity to AB it to dparrish's stock XA777ES (possibly in the Oris). If you'd like to provide the analog, I'll be glad to treat you to margaritas afterward.

jopi
I don't know if weird is the right word, I just think it's unrealistic to expect a $200 SACD player in its infancy to best your vinyl rig. CD was out for 20 years, has players costing $20k or more and still has trouble beating th best vinyl rigs. There is a popular myth that CD was introduced because it was a superior sound quality format but remember that the true reasons have more to do with portability, lack of wear characteristics, built-in copyprotection (at the time) and most importantly the ability to resell a back catalog. Fidelity was low on the industry's list of the priorities and if CD was to be compared to anything it was to worn out analog cassettes played in boomboxes and car stereos.

FCJ
My honest belief is that low end equipment so often creates so many of its own individual problems that you cannot properly judge the format's abilities. If, for example, a $200 SACD player for cost reasons cut down its opamps to opamps that are known to produce frequency distortions, why wouldn't you then think that all SACDs had this high frequency distortion? In my view, many people commonly believe that CD is in capable of frequency extremes due in large part to transport and power supply problems--and that's just CD, not to mention SACD. I understand your complaint about handing over opinion leadership to those with wealth. This is the problem with everything. How do I know a Lamborgini has better handling than a Prelude? I've driven a Prelude but only the wealthy can even rent Lamborginis. Life isn't fair. None the less, not all wealthy people have the agenda of misleading young audiophiles with no money and I do believe you can put some stock in the opinions of some of them. Watching them fight freely on internet forums is at least as valuable as presidential debates and probably much more so. You take what you can get.

Hirsch
It proved your ability to be sarcastic but of this I had no doubts. What it could do, if you felt inclined to share your experiences, is give us all a greater sense of what kind of qualities you feel vinyl excels at and which qualities, if any, you think SACD can do even better. Knowing your associated equipment would be beneficial, of course. As I said, this isn't the kind of debate one can "win" and knowing what qualities people subjectively feel belong to each format is the best we can hope to gather from such conversations. I believe that's worth it, though.
post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly

FCJ
None the less, not all wealthy people have the agenda of misleading young audiophiles with no money and I do believe you can put some stock in the opinions of some of them. Watching them fight freely on internet forums is at least as valuable as presidential debates and probably much more so. You take what you can get.
Oh, no, I never said nor thought that those who can afford high-quality equipment will mislead those who cannot. In fact, I value their opinion more highly (at least those on this forum) because they can probably hear things that the rest of us mere mortals cannot because our equipment cannot touch theirs.

Regarding your last point, I find the "fights" on this forum more fun than political debates because at least I know the people here believe in what they say--no matter how expensive or inexpensive the equipment they own.
post #44 of 65
sheesh, I can't believe nick is still using a digital source with the oris/bottlehead system


to nick: the oris deserves vinyl!!!
post #45 of 65
Well, The greatest source in the known Universe is a "turntable".

I am talking about the almighty, all-powerful :

Rockport Technologies System III Sirius turntable and tonearm

And you too can have it for $73,750



That Linn CD12 for $20,000 doesn't seem too bad of a deal anymore
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