SACD - Experiences? Beginners Guide?
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digitaldave

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Is there a good 'beginners guide to SACD' web site?

I know nothing about the format. But I suspect my DVD player needs replacing so I was thinking about getting a DVD/SACD player as they can be had quite cheap, and I could sample the SACD format.

Also, for those that have SACD players, what are your experiences? Is it worth it over regular CD for example?

Thanks
.
 
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clarke68

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I recently did exactly what you're describing...replaced an aging DVD player with an inexpensive DVD/SACD unit (Sony DVP-NC-875). I only own a few SACDs but so far, I'm impressed.

The first SACD I bought was Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, because I know the album like the back of my hand and I (obviously) own a copy on CD for easy A/B comparison. The SACD version blew the CD out of the water...I mean absolutely no contest. However, one thing I realized is how poorly the CD I own was mastered (it's from the '80s, the first release of Kind of Blue on CD). On well mastered CDs I expect the difference wouldn't be so obvious.

I find I like multi-channel. I certainly appreciate the sound of a killer 2-channel system, but I don't own one. My budget is tight, and my "listening room" (read: bedroom converted to a family room converted to a kid's playroom) isn't flexible enough to screw around with speaker placement at all. Multi-channel provides vast improvements in soundstage over a poorly set up 2-channel system.
 
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Oliver :)

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My experience with SACD is that it is really worth it for me.
But.
First thing you should do is go to http://www.sa-cd.net/ and have a look at the available content. It might not match your preference. I was getting into retro Rock and Jazz anyway, but there is very little mainstream. If you like Classical music, SACD is your thing to have.
I also recommend this thread:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...1&page=1&pp=20
I've heard from people with low-price hardware that they sometimes cannot fully appreciate the difference over CDDA, some even say they can't hear the difference on an expensive system. So if possible try out the player of your choice in your rig.
 
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soundboy

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I agree with Oliver, make sure the titles on SACD are what you're interested in first before buying a player. If you decide SACD is what you want, then players with good sound quality can be had for as low as $100.00 (like those from Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Pioneer, etc.).

I must emphasize that SACD is merely a format and it doesn't guarantee that the sound quality from a SACD will be necessarily better than a CD. On a well-mastered SACD, such as Steely Dan's "Gaucho", the improvements in sound quality is amazing.
 
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digitaldave

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Thanks for the replies
.

I have read that many jazz and classical SACDs sound very god, which is convenient, as those are very under-represented areas in my collection. I actually already have one SACD, a hybrid version of Miles Davis' 'Kind Of Blue' that I got mail order thinking it was just a regular CD.

To be honest, the main reason I was thinking about trying SACD is that as I said before, my DVD player may need replacing and there are several entry level players that also feature SACD, such as the Pioneer DV-575 (or it's replacement the DV-585) and Sony DVP-LS785V, so this would be a cheap and easy route to try the format.
 
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soundboy

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For not a lot more money than a regular DVD player, one of those DVD/SACD player can provide worthy entry to SACD. I am not familiar with the models you've mentioned (hybrid "Kind of Blue"? -- you must not be from the States
), but I think inexpensive DVD/SACD or universal players provide great "bang-for-the-buck" performance.
 
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I stumbled upon the SACD market yesterday because I am looking for a quality source. The selection of classical is so large compared to other genres it is alarming, so you should be comfortable if that is one of your main interests.

Also: Looks like that site posted above has under 3500 sacds, 1300 of which are classical
 
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clarke68

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Quote:

Originally Posted by digitaldave
Sony DVP-LS785V


What is up with this? The Sony units available in the U.K. look way cooler than the ones in the 'States...no fair!!!
 
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soundboy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by clarke68
What is up with this? The Sony units available in the U.K. look way cooler than the ones in the 'States...no fair!!!


I agree. I just got a Sony DVP-NS755V that looks nowhere as cool.
 
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digitaldave

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Thanks for all the replies everyone
. I think I'll take the SACD plunge when/if I replace my DVD player, as it's not going to add much (if anything) to the cost of the player given the range I'm looking at.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clarke68
The Sony units available in the U.K. look way cooler than the ones in the 'States...no fair!!!


Ha! At last, the UK comes out top in something
.
 
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NightWoundsTime

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I have a/b'd the exact same Kind of Blue master on cd/sacd and the differences were also appparent. I recently gave up SACD to upgrade some other equipment and because most of my listening is at the computer, but if you use a standalone it's a great choice.
 
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I just received a Sony SA-C20000ES today. I just bought it because I wanted a decent redbook CD source for the M3 I'm building and I have about 10 hybrid cd/sacd's already. It didn't cost a whole lot more ($249) than a decent entry level CD player. I'll report on the sound comparison between the new Sony and the old NAD502 after listening for a while.
 
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mikeg

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I hope that this is not off-topic, but here's a bit of info regarding SACD recordings, and also DVD-Audio recordings. A major reason that companies are marketing these high-res. recordings is in order to reissue their old collections, and thereby make lots of new money. An additional purpose is to sell recordings in a format that can't be copied. Now, that's OK by me, as long as the sound quality is better than that of modern CD (i.e., Redbook) recordings. But, the problem is that these old recordings, that are reissued as SACD's and DVD-Audio, are often handicapped by the original recording process that was used long ago when they were first recorded. By this I mean that the sound quality of these reissued 1950's and 1960's recordings is often really poor. My interest is mostly in recently recorded classical SACDs and DVD-Audio media, and these are not too pletiful.
 
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clarke68

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeg
...the problem is that these old recordings, that are reissued as SACD's and DVD-Audio, are often handicapped by the original recording process that was used long ago when they were first recorded...


That's often not as much of a handicap as you'd think. BMG released 10 of the old RCA Living Stereo series last year, most of that was recorded in the '50s using a three-channel recording process. The original mastering engineers used the three channels to construct more life-like stereo releases, but now with SACD you can hear all three channels for the first time. I'm not familiar with the sound of the original "Shaded Dogs" but some people are saying the SACD compares favorably.

Or take Kind of Blue for example...you can hear more of what's on the original master tape than any release thus far (with the possible exception of vinyl), there's more subtlety and nuance in Mr. PC's bass than I ever dreamed was on a 1959 recording. A lot of tape hiss too, which had been removed using some ham-fisted noise reduction "technique" on the first CD release, along with a lot of the air around the cymbals and the harmonic overtones in the piano and horns.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeg
My interest is mostly in recently recorded classical SACDs and DVD-Audio media, and these are not too pletiful.


Indeed, SACD releases are not too plentiful in general. That's the beauty of a universal player...it still works for DVDs and redbook. If all you find are 5-10 SACDs that you really enjoy, you haven't really lost out.
 
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