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SACD: Is it worth it? - Page 4

post #46 of 153
Part of the problem for SACD is that the mastering/mixing equipment for DSD was non existent, and many recordings were recorded in DSD, then mixed in PCM, then reconverted back to DSD.
post #47 of 153
Massive post coming up. I'm sorry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max F
Wow Welly, that surely is an interesting post.

I won't argue with it cause i'm just too lazy too, but i will say this - You CAN beat the sound of a cheap SACD player with a CD player but you are going to have to spend some big time bucks to do it. SACD is great for someone with a limited budget to hear what hifi is all about.
Ofcourse you can! Cheap SACD/universal players are a complete waste of money...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
At this point, no, it is not worth buying a source component that also plays Super Audio CDs. The biggest problem is that most of the major music labels including SONY have dumped SA-CD so very few new music is being recorded and sold now.
Sony aren't god. Their Blu-Ray thing might not even last that long (my personal speculation).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
The other big problem is that existing SA-CD titles are very limited in selection compared to Red Book CDs, vinyl, and especially legal (and illegal) music downloading services such as Apple iTunes, Napster, etc.
Very true, but there are still a lot of them around! A lot of them are very good recordings as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
Most of the SA-CD and DVD-Audio discs are simply remasters of classic albums; do you want to rebuy existing music titles knowing that the future of DVD-Audio and SA-CD is numbered?
While I may not completely agree with you that the future of SACD is numbered, I completely agree with you that most SACD disks are remasters of classical albums (CD or vinyl). Take Living Stereo as an example of vinyl -> SACD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
I am now a conservative purist (in the sense of high end audio) and I think that the CD sounds best. It has the largest catalog of music, it is very affordable and downright cheap, there is no copy protection (that can't be defeated), and it has the best sound quality (though far from perfect sound forever). Harry Pearson at The Absolute Sound wrote that it generally takes one generation for any new audio format to be fully exploited and to mature. The CD is at that point now. CDs do dynamic range and transient speed changes with greater realism than SA-CD, but lose out to DVD-Audio. Resolution is its biggest fault compared to both, but with an upsampling CD player it is pretty much on even grounds. Immediacy is just right without being too forward like both hi-rez formats that strive to put you at the edge of your seat. The CD format is here to stay for at least the next five years; I can't be sure that either SA-CD or DVD-Audio will. That alone should be enough to make your decision.
I feel that as long as there is a demand for CD, SACDs will remain. I understand what you're getting at. Not until two years ago did I realise how much data a CD actually contains. All you need is a good CD player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
Welly, I wonder what SACD players you have listened to, b/c from my experience, the best SACD players do Redbook just as well as any CD player and the best SACDs sound better than CDs. I think CDs sound great, but I'm wondering if you just haven't spent time with a great SACD player. Of course, I am not questioning your conclusions, b/c that may very well be how it sounds to you. In the end, I actually think it has more to do with the attention given to mastering than the higher resolution of SACD.
I agree with you. Take the P-01/D-01, or even, your P-03/D-03! Super SACD performance with super CD performance! (Oh, I forgot, DVD too!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel
CONS:
  • With the exception of some classical and jazz labels, SACD has been pretty much abandoned by both the industry and Sony.
  • Title availability is limited if you're into anything other than jazz or classical. Comparitively speaking there are VERY few upcoming SACD releases in other genres.
I happen to fall in the category of listeners where the SACD is the perfect choice for me. I mostly listen to classical and jazz and the SACD is just a blessing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel
  • The Redbook layer on some hybrid SACD discs leaves a lot to be desired.
Really? I haven't actually noticed that. Could you possibly give the names of a few that have sub-par redbook layers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel
  • It can cost you. Doesn't make much sense to buy a cheap SACD player, since the whole idea is improving your audio experience.
Definitely. I couldn't agree more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundboy
My SACD player is not any kind of audiophile-approved machine with a snobby name brand, but it certainly does its job....and does it very well. SACD is definitely worth it if there's music you like on the format. I went with SACD due to the low entry price and the relatively abundance of available software. Now I buy more SACDs than CDs.
The only problem being, there aren't enough SACD recordings around! Also, like Welly said, most SACDs are remastered CDs or vinyls!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake
And that is why I have purchased so precious few SACD's. The fact is that a MAJOR portion of the SACD catalog is re-releases of "standards"...sometimes 20 to 30 year old recordings?

Now I know that we believe, since we are all here as fellow audiophiles, that quality recordings are available...if SACD is "hi-res" WHY ARE YOU GIVING US REMIXES OF 30 YEAR OLD RECORDINGS THAT COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN RECORDED ON THE MASTERS WITH THE MULTI-CHANNEL "HI-RES" SYSTEM IN MIND????

And yes, I prefer to YELL at the !#$% morons!
I know.
post #48 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake
And that is why I have purchased so precious few SACD's. The fact is that a MAJOR portion of the SACD catalog is re-releases of "standards"...sometimes 20 to 30 year old recordings?
I searched out a 24 bit recorded and mixed SACD... Parvo Jaarvi conducting Stravinsky on Pentatone. The sound quality is amazing... great realistic soundstage, clear separation of instruments, totally natural frequency response... and EXACTLY the same on the redbook layer. Pentatone doesn't sell standard CDs- only CD/SACD hybrids. I imagine that a good portion of their sales would be to people who never listen to the SACD layer at all. That means that they aren't motivated to hobble the CD layer to prove the superiority of the SACD layer.

See ya
Steve
post #49 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder
The only problem being, there aren't enough SACD recordings around! Also, like Welly said, most SACDs are remastered CDs or vinyls!
I think people should get the idea of having SACD achieving mass market acceptance out of their minds....it will never happen, especially at this point in time. With that said, and given its current status as a niche format, there are plenty of plenty of titles available. Whether or not the available SACD titles suit your musical taste, that's up to the individual.
post #50 of 153
The advantage of SACD and DVD-A over CD is very small.
The music you can buy on SACD or DVD-A is limited.
To get hi-end playback of SACD and DVD-A is a big hassle.
SACD and DVD-A is an interesting experiment that's not going very far.
post #51 of 153
milkpowder The Dark Side of the Moon is one example I mentioned where the CD layer is very sub par, even to the original. http://www.stereophile.com/news/11649/ this is a nice article about it called Dark Side of the Disc.

"SACD and DVD-A is an interesting experiment that's not going very far." That is the first time I have heard it called that, but I do agree.
post #52 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
I searched out a 24 bit recorded and mixed SACD... Parvo Jaarvi conducting Stravinsky on Pentatone. The sound quality is amazing... great realistic soundstage, clear separation of instruments, totally natural frequency response... and EXACTLY the same on the redbook layer. Pentatone doesn't sell standard CDs- only CD/SACD hybrids. I imagine that a good portion of their sales would be to people who never listen to the SACD layer at all. That means that they aren't motivated to hobble the CD layer to prove the superiority of the SACD layer.

See ya
Steve
Steve

I'm curious, what is your audio setup used in the above comparison?

Pete
post #53 of 153
I have the Dark Side of the Moon SACD, and I wouldn't describe the difference between the CD and SACD layers as huge. There's a little more compression on the CD layer.

See ya
Steve
post #54 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigiPete
Steve

I'm curious, what is your audio setup used in the above comparison?

Pete
You can find my full report in the archives. I tested it on my own home system and a tweaked out system that belongs to a sound engineer friend of mine. Neither of us could detect a difference. The SACD player we used was a high end Phillips.

See ya
Steve
post #55 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
You can find my full report in the archives. I tested it on my own home system and a tweaked out system that belongs to a sound engineer friend of mine. Neither of us could detect a difference. The SACD player we used was a high end Phillips.

See ya
Steve
Probably the source material is not to the full potential of SACD, a typical studio trick to get a disc out...now.
post #56 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
You can find my full report in the archives. I tested it on my own home system and a tweaked out system that belongs to a sound engineer friend of mine. Neither of us could detect a difference. The SACD player we used was a high end Phillips.

See ya
Steve
This indeed is a very interesting matter. Although the differences are detectable using sensitive equipment, the human ear may not be able to pick them out.

I think John Atkinson went too much into the specific technicalities and forgot about the actual audible differences.

Out of pure interest, which Philips player did you use? Was it comparable with, for example, a dCS P8i?
post #57 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder
Out of pure interest, which Philips player did you use? Was it comparable with, for example, a dCS P8i?
DVD963SA

Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder
This indeed is a very interesting matter. Although the differences are detectable using sensitive equipment, the human ear may not be able to pick them out.

I think John Atkinson went too much into the specific technicalities and forgot about the actual audible differences.
That's all too common. There are things in audio reproduction that matter... ie: room acoustics, equalization, headroom, etc. ...and things that make very little difference... high end cables, high bitrates, jitter, etc. Some folks focus on the numbers and forget to listen.

Audio components have gotten to the point where even inexpensive equipment can produce very decent sound. Manufacturers can't depend on their customers choosing their products based on listening tests alone... so they concoct all kinds of complicated theories that most people only half understand. The average person looks at the spec sheet and says, "Wow! If they wrote all this complicated stuff, they oughta know how to build a CD player!" The truth is, all you're paying for is hype.

Listen with your ears. Choose equipment that sounds good. If you do that, you'll find that the only place where money makes a big difference is in speakers.

See ya
Steve
post #58 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot

Listen with your ears. Choose equipment that sounds good. If you do that, you'll find that the only place where money makes a big difference is in speakers.

See ya
Steve
I'd strongly disagree there. There are many developments in room correction systems by companies like TACT and DEQx that have an enormous impact on the way a system sounds. That being said, I don't advocate spending time thinking about cables and do believe most sources sound very similar, if not the same... but I do like my sources shiny and heavy enough to do double duty as excercise equipment.
post #59 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigiPete
Probably the source material is not to the full potential of SACD, a typical studio trick to get a disc out...now.
We used Pentatone 5186 046 for the listening test. It's one of the best produced recordings I've ever heard, having been recorded, mixed and mastered all in Direct Stream Digital (DSD). It sounded incredible... but it sounded just as good on the CD layer as it did on the SACD layer. Do a line level balanced blind test yourself on a recording that has matching SACD and CD layers, and I bet you find the exact same thing.

See ya
Steve
post #60 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
I'd strongly disagree there. There are many developments in room correction systems by companies like TACT and DEQx that have an enormous impact on the way a system sounds.
A good pro grade equalizer will fix that too... I use a Rane ME60 myself, and it's the best $400 I ever spent. It takes some trial and error and study to use it properly, but the time is better spent on that than trying to puzzle out some of the convoluted scientific theory in stereo equipment sales pitch.

See ya
Steve
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