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see my test results !!!!!!! SACD vs. CD - Page 2

post #16 of 32
So 57% of the time, CD was preferred over SACD?
post #17 of 32
I'm no statistian but I did not see any information that disqualifies this experiment. It may not be the experiment you wanted done, but I think its still interesting.

The SCD-CE775 has been praised by many as one of the best budget CD/SACD players. I read it is basically a 222ES with a different case and power supply. Likewise the 990s are decent.

I think this experiment shows that the glaring differences between SACD and 16/41 PCM are possibly exagerated. On a system that is probably better 90% of consumers systems differences were minimal. Of course on an "an average Head-fi" system the results may have been different.

post #18 of 32
JaZZ: many of your questions can be answered by rereading the posts. Yes the teacher chose SACD every time. Also, the equipment should not NEED to be uber-highend. The point of SACD with an SACD player is that it SHOULD be better than redbook using the same equipment. In this experiment, although not statisitcally significant because of the low sample size, DOES indicate an interesting phenomenon. Also...why is SACD not meant for Joe Consumer? Just because Joe Consumer does not ideally want to spend large dollars on SACD or higher end equipment, that does not mean they have tin ears. Buddy at Best Buy may have Golden Ears but not give a sweet $h!t about the playback quality.

The key even before Jude posted his own findings ...is that some SACD discs (at least the ones used) are not substantially better, and here perhaps worse, than Redbook. Whether or not you like these results, what is very interesting is the absolute benefits of SACD. If SACD is needing crazy expensive equipment then really it is a dead format. Why would anyone WANT to have to spend $1000+ on a player to hear the benefits over Redbook which may sound better on the same player? As well, SACD limits playback on systems that are not SACD. Sure hybrids permit music playback but at the expense of the added "quality" of the SACD. Joe Consumer is not going to want to spend money on yet another digital optical disc player (when he/she already likely has at least one cd player/cd rom and at least one DVD player/ DVD rom).

In order for a new digital format to take off, it will need to be AUDIBLY better on even cheap players. If not then really what is the point? The companies can't expect to turn all consumers into audiophiles but they may be able to seduce them with sweet sounds at a low price while having DVD playback and redbook playback as well. Something akin to this will grab hold only if SACD is priced comparitive to Redbook.
post #19 of 32
So, did you use a headphone amplifier?
post #20 of 32
Originally posted by jude
I own both the Train Drops of Jupiter SACD and CD, and I have to admit I wouldn't be able to reliably tell the difference between the two.
I've had similiar experience.

The main reason I'm buying SACDs is, that I can be assured that the recording and mastering was done very carefully.
I've got too many poorly recorded redbook CDs lying around and I haven't been disappointed by SACDs (and their redbook hybrid copy) yet.
Now, I can go into a tower records and buy an SACD without taking a chance of getting crappy sound.
post #21 of 32

The point of SACD with an SACD player is that it SHOULD be better than redbook using the same equipment.
...even if the same equipment is used, there are different electronics for CD and SACD. It's possible to make the CD section sound better than the SACD section. Not that this must be the case here...

My critics on the equipment have a further reason: with mediocre electronics you sometimes get confusing results; so it's possible that fuzzy, smeared highs are perceived as more enjoyable than more accurate ones. Or MP3 sounds better than the uncompressed original wave file... The sonic difference from SACD is a subtle one! That must not mean that it's trivial for an audiophile.
If SACD is needing crazy expensive equipment then really it is a dead format.
I fear that's the case. The only SACD player I heard so far is the top Accuphase model; with it, I clearly preferred the SACD layer. I never heard lower-priced SACD players though, but from the reviews I've read they don't show a significant superiority of SACD compared to pure CD players of the same price class.

See it that way: for Joe Consumer the CD already is the perfect audio format. How can you launch a new format to replace a perfect format? No offense meant to Joe Average, BTW; our own excessive occupation with high fidelity isn't the benchmark for «normal» people. But within this forum a 20-persons test with 17 non-audiophiles is of minor interest, IMO. I don't want to know if Joe Average can hear the difference, but I'd like to know definitely if audiophiles rate it better than redbook, and how they rate it in comparison to DVD-A.

No, I it's not that I don't like the result; I just have made a different experience, and I don't count myself to Joe Average in terms of music reproduction. So what conclusion shall I draw from this test result? Well: Joe Consumer can hardly hear an advantage of SACD over CD. I think I knew that before...

post #22 of 32
Ah...well that is all cool then. I still think this has relevance in that if Joe Consumer does not hear the difference...then the format will not sell...and this will result in its discontinuation. I think if there is a dramatic difference...then I woudl be interested, but as you say, it is subtle. If so...I'm not going to go out and buy a new player, nor will I upgrade my current one to SACD.

Vinyl looks like a more realistic option as I move more into Jazz, Classical and Electronic.
post #23 of 32

...the term «subtle» is primarily aimed at a Joe Consumer perspective. To my ears it was subtle and clear at the same time. But I'm no SACD expert. I've only heard one device for one hour so far. And given the possibility that the Accuphase's redbook layer reproduction is generally inferior or the hybrid disc layers are manipulated, I have no assured awareness of the SACD quality. Anyway, I believed to detect a characteristical better resolution and accuracy of overtones. An audiophile may not want to renounce this «subtlety», the more so as it possibly overcomes the «digital sound» era.

As to the test equipment: I don't think that a DT 990 on the headphone jack of a cheap SACD player is capable to make such differences clear, even to audiophile ears.

BTW: the «dramatic» dimension comes into play with the surround option – the SACD's marketing vehicle.
post #24 of 32
Originally posted by Zin_Ramu
I think this experiment shows that the glaring differences between SACD and 16/41 PCM are possibly exagerated.
What it probably shows is that not ALL SACDs are clearly better than CDs. SACD is inherently a much better format, but in order to take advantage of its superiority the music needs to be mastered well. If the record company didn't spend the time/money required to make a good SACD, that's not a fault of the format.

For example, listen to any of the Telarc SACDs. These are hybrid SACDs, and most of the newer ones use DSD masters to produce both the SACD and Redbook layers. The Redbook layers are generally MUCH better than most Redbook recordings, but even so the SACD layers sound significantly better.
post #25 of 32

sound quality

From someone who listens to sacds daily; there is a clear difference. However, the difference manifests itself as a rightness that is most evident in long term listening. The typical ear fatigue and aural discomfort some experience with cd is replaced with a non-fatiguing and satisfying presentation. Bottom line, I can listen to sacds much longer and I enjoy the music more when I do. The actual sound itself is not that different, but your response to an sacd is, in my experience. You are pulled into the music not driven away.
post #26 of 32
One of the biggest problems in audio A/B testing historically is the fact that people have a very strong tendency to choose the *loudest* component as superior. They notice the increase in volume level and that is *perceived* as being of higher audio quality. I wonder how volume levels compare on Redbook mastered material vs. SACD?

Unfortunately, on my SCD-333ES (and I assume all other players) it is necessary to first hit the "stop" button then re-start the disc at the beginning of the song before you can switch layers. This creates a significant time lag between when you last heard the SACD layer and the beginning of the Redbook layer. You also can't start up immediately where you left off in the song-- you have to start at the beginning. This is a very dis-jointed way to do "scientific" tests, IMO, or at least sub-optimum.

Unless you have a switcher where you can automatically change between layers instantaneously in the middle of the song, so people can instantly hear the difference, I think any tests are flawed.

If there is a long enough delay between listening to SACD and Redbook layers, no wonder it can be like flipping a coin-- you are relying an awful lot on your memory of what you just heard. In a lot of cases, I believe people are just guessing.

Also, you need to do tests where you don't actually switch between layers but tell the subjects you have to see how prone they are to suggestion that a difference *should* be perceived. You will have people identifying a difference when there is none. That statistic would help you determine a margin of error to determine how accurate your subjects are at discerning actual differences.

My .02.

post #27 of 32
Did you do a really blind test, or the listeners know what they were listen at???? It the test was not conducted completelly blind and the right way, again I was thinking about the well known PE......Is very hard to differenciate SACD from a CD, recorded the same way, I'm not talking about a remastered or remixes or so of course....
post #28 of 32
I doubt that anyone at Best Buy has golden ears. Most are kids my age that are bass-heads.
post #29 of 32
Before one enters into the audiophile world....they are most likely Best Buyers et. al. This is FINE and does not mean they are all bass heads. I started off buying Sony and Panasonic and JVC etc...ingnorance is not synonimous with lack of a good ear.
post #30 of 32
I agree with part of your post Zanth, but what happen is that most of the times the good ears, are hiden behind the ignorance, if you believe something is good, you keep on believing that unless someone shows you the right way, but at that age, most of times one believe that knows everything, to be selfish is one of the more common behavious of the youth, and never listen to the more experience or more informed people that's why 95% of the guys that work there are bass-heads, and thye believe that beeing a bass-head is the right way of listening music....
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