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To SACD or not to SACD, that is the question.

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 

I searched the forum's archives and didn't find any up to date information regarding the current state of SACD playback equipment vs current CD playback equipment.  I also couldn't find any online information (Google) regarding the availability of quality SACD players for a computer such as is the case of available combo-Bluetooth players which play all formats; Bluetooth, DVD and CD, all in rw formats.

 

I figure the next step-up in sound quality improvement after receiving the ordered set of headphone cables for the HD-650, would be the addition of a SACD player; preferably one that fits into the computer's desktop box.  Doing so would allow one to rip in all formats (SACD, DVD and CD) for the highest possible recording quality, reasonably possible.

 

I'm not wanting a SACD desktop box, although I could easily slip one under the monitor if indeed it was shown to be necessary as I'd like the SACD box installed in the MoBo box, which sits on the floor.

 

Suggestions?

 

???

 

post #2 of 133

it's not happening. I've yet to see a SACD Computer drive, and the format is in steep decline. My advice (Coming from someone with in excess of 100 SACD's) is that if you don't own any SACD's at this point don't bother with the format. It's terminal and won't recover.

 

High Resolution files for playback on Computers appears to be growing ever so slightly. HD Tracks, Linn, Reference Recordings HrX and others gives hope for us looking for sound quality to improve, but SACD with Sony's Draconian DRM policies is a non-starter.

post #3 of 133
Thread Starter 

It's terminal and won't recover.

 

Boo, Hoo, Hoo!

 

Thanks!

 

Sniff, Sniff.

post #4 of 133

I agree; there will probably never be such a device. Apart from the relative failure of the format to take off, the big issue is copy protection: most stand alone players will not allow digital output for SACDs except through some firewire type connection (Denon link, i-Link, etc) or HDMI. I think the feeling was that if we got them in our desktop computers, we would start copying like crazy.

 

The good news is that the format is basically being replaced by Hi-Res digital downloads. Companies like HD Tracks, Linn, Chesky, 2L Records, iTrax, etc, offer a pretty good selection of all types of music at higher resolutions than the basic 16bit/44.1kHz CD standard. Many of them even offer a few free sample files to check out.

post #5 of 133

Double blind tests have shown that the human ear cannot tell apart a CD and 2-channel SACD recording when everything else is equalized.  The only benefit of SACD is for the multi-channel recordings, which actually revived a lot of interest in the old quadrophonic recordings. 

post #6 of 133
Believe it or not, there were computers with SACD drives. Sony put out some Vaio desktops a few years back with an internal drive that could read and play SACD, but it was locked down with the usual Sony DRM. Also, I think the same machines allowed you to create DSD tracks, but as there are no SACD-burners or blank SACDs, you'd have to drop the DSD tracks onto a DVD.

Also, there's no way to rip the SACD layer easily. They're all encrypted and there are only a handful of DACs/receivers capable of decrypting the format. So far, I don't think the encryption has been broken.

The format isn't quite dead - it seems to occupy a small niche that's profitable enough to keep going. There are several hundred releases every year, though you better like classical and jazz. If a disc you want goes into production, you usually have to snap it up right away. When SACDs go out of production, prices shoot up. I think the format will survive, as it seems to have taken over the position that reel-to-reel had.

Shame how it all turned out, really. Sony destroyed another good format. If they had played their cards right, they could have converted the entire music business over to hybrid SACD that would have worked fine for ordinary consumers and had a SACD layer for multichannel HT people and audiophiles.
Edited by Uncle Erik - 7/18/10 at 2:29pm
post #7 of 133

SACD has been dying for over 10 years now. I've had 10 years of enjoying it. I'm glad I didn't miss out. In my case, I bought my source because of how good it sounded on Redbook - it just happened to play several formats, including SACD.

 

But Erik is right, you better like classical and jazz. I have had no regrets with SACD. It will continue to die for years to come, so no worries about it not being around. 

 


Edited by robm321 - 7/18/10 at 9:17pm
post #8 of 133
Ya sure proven in DBT, move it over to Sound Science where such talk belongs.



I've compared the output of DSD A/D converters to the output of PCM A/D converters both being fed from the session tapes of original RCA Living Stereo recordings on an exceptional Studio Rig (Read not the typical studio crap) and you'd have to be deaf to not hear the difference. You can quote some fictitious DBT, but just cause someone somewhere claims so, doesn't make it so.
Edited by Yikes - 7/18/10 at 3:34pm
post #9 of 133

I never said, "Proven."  I said, "Shown."  In natural science, based on the scientific method and deductive logic, it is impossible to prove.  You can only prove what something is not.

 

Here is a citation:

Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback". E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran. JAES 55(9) September 2007.

 

Published study showing human ears cannot tell the two sources apart.

 

Quote from the paper:

 

Claims both published and anecdotal are regularly made for audibly superior sound quality for two-channel audio encoded with longer word lengths and/or at higher sampling rates than the 16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard. The authors report on a series of double-blind tests comparing the analog output of high-resolution players playing high-resolution recordings with the same signal passed through a 16-bit/44.1-kHz "bottleneck." The tests were conducted for over a year using different systems and a variety of subjects. The systems included expensive professional monitors and one high-end system with electrostatic loudspeakers and expensive components and cables. The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems. The noise of the CD-quality loop was audible only at very elevated levels.

 

No need to be rude to try to impose your opinion onto others.  Take your own advice.  Just because you believe it is so doesn't make it so.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

Ya sure proven in DBT, move it over to Sound Science where such talk belongs.



I've compared the output of DSD A/D converters to the output of PCM A/D converters both being fed from the session tapes of original RCA Living Stereo recordings on an exceptional Studio Rig (Read not the typical studio crap) and you'd have to be deaf to not hear the difference. You can quote some fictitious DBT, but just cause someone somewhere claims so, doesn't make it so.
post #10 of 133


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beeman458 View Post

I searched the forum's archives and didn't find any up to date information regarding the current state of SACD playback equipment vs current CD playback equipment.  I also couldn't find any online information (Google) regarding the availability of quality SACD players for a computer such as is the case of available combo-Bluetooth players which play all formats; Bluetooth, DVD and CD, all in rw formats.

 

I figure the next step-up in sound quality improvement after receiving the ordered set of headphone cables for the HD-650, would be the addition of a SACD player; preferably one that fits into the computer's desktop box.  Doing so would allow one to rip in all formats (SACD, DVD and CD) for the highest possible recording quality, reasonably possible.

 

I'm not wanting a SACD desktop box, although I could easily slip one under the monitor if indeed it was shown to be necessary as I'd like the SACD box installed in the MoBo box, which sits on the floor.

 

Suggestions?

 

???

 

You cannot use a sacd player with PC playback An sacd disc will not load on itunes. It was designed to protect copy right infridgement. The sacd cannot be copied. If you use a sacd player separate there are good sacd if you are into classical and jazz. There is over 7000 disc available. To be honest I do have 3 players and redbook IMO if mastered properly is as good. There are players still be produced by companies as Sony,Oppo and Marantz to name a few. I you intend to use a PC you need to use a DAC,
 

post #11 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

Ya sure proven in DBT, move it over to Sound Science where such talk belongs.



I've compared the output of DSD A/D converters to the output of PCM A/D converters both being fed from the session tapes of original RCA Living Stereo recordings on an exceptional Studio Rig (Read not the typical studio crap) and you'd have to be deaf to not hear the difference. You can quote some fictitious DBT, but just cause someone somewhere claims so, doesn't make it so.


You must consider the fact that the DSD layer is a different mastering than the PCM layer...so of course it will sound different. I have read of tests that use the DSD hi-res layer converted to 16/44.1 PCM with a switchbox and nobody could tell the difference. Regarless, I own a few hundred SACD's and I love them. I find that the true value in most SACD's is the fact that the DSD muti-channel and the DSD Stereo layers are almost always better mastered than the PCM layer. Most SACD's will just pack along the regular CD along with the DSD layers and release it as a hybrid. Still, I'm a fan of SACD's. Too bad many go OOP too quickly.

 

I'll also echo the comment that there is no need to be rude to try to impose your opinion onto others. 


Edited by LFF - 7/18/10 at 5:26pm
post #12 of 133
Regardless of the test results, I think there's something to be said for striving to obtain the best possible recordings. Maybe most won't notice, but I will pay a few extra dollars to get the best possible recording. I don't think the format will die. It is, apparently, profitable enough to survive as a niche. Not being able to get the latest Justin Bieber disc on SACD is something I can live with.
post #13 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Not being able to get the latest Justin Bieber disc on SACD is something I can live with.


LOL!

post #14 of 133
Thread Starter 

Wow!

 

Thanks guys.

 

I had no idea that SACD was such a bad idea.

 

post #15 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by beeman458 View Post

 

I had no idea that SACD was such a bad idea.

 

 

I don't think SACD is bad.  It's benefit is the multi-channel format.  However, it's just of no benefit in a 2-channel setup.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Regardless of the test results, I think there's something to be said for striving to obtain the best possible recordings.

 

I completely agree.  I'm 100% for advancing technology and trying to get better sound.

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