SACD vs Analog
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Tuberoller

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I spent most of the day returning gear I borrowed and picking up and dropping off additional gear at local audio stores.At one of the stores I stayed to set-up a cartridge I loaned the shop.I had the displeasure of overhearing a young person standing behind me asking the question "why are you guys still f***in' with that vinyl ****"? The question was'nt posed to me but I felt compelled to answer(you know me).I replied, "it sounds better".His reply would formerly(about ten years ago) have forced me to kick his teeth out but I'm older and wiser now so his response of, "sure,to you old, deaf motherf*****s" elicited a chuckle instead.the owner of the shop came over to intervene and add his opinion to the mix.He said that he thinks SACD sounds better than vinyl in most cases.I quickly disagreed and the debate began.After swapping out a few tables and the only available SACD player(the Sony DVP-NS500V) no one was converted.He,the shop owner, said he still thinks SACD sounds better and Vinyl only resolves the most minute details and those can only be translated to music by the most high resolution systems.This from a man who sells many,many turntables to his customers.I think that while SACD does indeed offer the best digital resolution and detail,analog detail and resolution are more natural and sonically pleasing.I added that I think that analog,vinyl in particular,is cable of better treble extension.Our debate ended with his demanding of my definition of "better".Since we got nowhere and wasted much time doing so,I decided to bring this debate here.Please,please,don't offer opinions based on assumption.If you have heard both formats enough to offer a valid opinion, then I really want to know what you think.SACD or Analog(vinyl)?
You know where i stand.
 
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CRESCENDOPOWER

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I have actually seen people argue about this topic until they were blue, not red, in the face.
This is another topic that is nothing, but opinion as far as I am concerned. Neither format is superior, and both can sound fantastic. Each having their advantages, and disadvantages.
This is about the same as posting whether you prefer tubes, or solid-state for your amplifier.
In ending, I will admit that tubes amps, and vinyl sometimes hit me emotionally with the music. Where solid-state amps, and the compact disc make my feet tap to the music with their fast pace, and rhythm.
 
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TimSchirmer

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These SACD fans all need to hear a direct-to-disc recording on a clearaudio table. SACD does not even come close...
 
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bkelly

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Right up front let me say that I have only heard a demo unit of the Sony SACD player in a local showroom. I should also say that I think analog versus digital arguments are a waste of time since both formats have their advantages. I probably prefer anlog in the end but for me the cost of gettign an LP to sound right is cost pro-hibitive. I still have my analog system but I hardly use it anymore.

The thing that surprised me most in my quick listen to the demao unit was how unlike conventional CD playback the SACD really is. To me this is about as close to perfection as the average audiofile could ever hope to get. It really stopped me in my tracks because there is no doubt in my mind that there is a significant drop in quality from an analog master tape to the LP. But, to my ears on CD's that were originally recorded in analog the SACD sounds like the two inch master tape.

I'll have to go back and listen some more and I am waiting for a "universal" (SACD and DVD-A combined) before I consider purchaseing one but I thnk my opinion will be the same.
 
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post-162004
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kelly

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I have not (yet?) been able to AB a high end SACD player with a high end turntable. The driving thought I've had is that CD did not sound better than vinyl because of the obvious digital artifacts. To be honest, the digital artifacts have been minimized in some of the newer recordings/masterings and (to my ears) completely eliminated in the SACD versions of these recordings.

But still don't sound as good as vinyl to me. The Wadia 270/27ix I heard in a dealer room (done by a guy who actually knows how to set up a room) actually did sound, to me, better than vinyl--and this was with standard (redbook) SACDs.

What's different? I don't know. That's where the AB would come in useful. I think between my SACD player and the Wadia, the Wadia probably had better "pacing", so it seemed more natural. It definitely had smoother depth. With SACD, the depth is better than redbook, but still sounds "stepped"--like you can hear each level of volume of instruments in the soundstage individually. With the Wadia, and with vinyl sources--it simply sounds more continuous from front to back. I have no idea how the Wadia inteprets a redbook CD to produce this effect.

My SACD player is sent off to be modded. When it returns, I'll hopefully have more useful opinions. I think most people are too quick to judge SACD performance based on second generation $200 players. Hopefully there is more to be had from the format.
 
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joelk

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Hi Tuberoller,

I'm an old guy, over 60, and my hearing ain't what it used to be in the high frequencies. But there's more to hearing than just one's ears. So, I'm more sensitive to distortion in recordings and even more tuned to tonal purity. Go figure.

I agree with everything you've said about vinyl. Good vinyl is still, IMHO, the best. But that's good vinyl. The majority of records pressed over the last 50 years have been pure drek: noisy surfaces, warps, ticks, pops, over modulated. But when it's good, there's that magic.

I disagree with other posters who say that it has to be expensive. I was recently gifted with a 45 year old Empire 208 Troubador turntable fitted with the original Empire arm. I took the beastie to the great folks at Music Direct here in Chicago and asked them to fit it with a suitable cartridge. Merely $300 later and a new Shure V15, we had something that they said redifined their thinking about turntables. It's that good! There's tons of great used tables out there looking for homes with vinyl collections.

By the way, Roller, where's the Chicago area emporium for whom you're setting up turntables?
 
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acidtripwow

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I have the Sony SCD-C333ES SACD player and about 15 SACD titles. I also have an old Denon DP-57L turntable fitted with an Audio Technica AT440ML MM cartridge. When I was a kid my parents bought a big console that was like 8 feet long that had a record player in it and an 8 track. Does anybody remember those? I used to listen to records on it and thought it sounded fantastic. This was when I didn't even care about sound but just started getting into music. In my opinion vinyl is till king. There is just something about vinyl that sounds more real to me. I was listening to Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" on LP last night and after all these years it still sounds great to me. Lately, I 've been buying more and more vinyl and haven't purchased an SACD title for like 2 months. This past week I purchased another 8 LPs. For those people that like SACD better I really don't know if the format is going to live much longer. Sure, Sony is selling players for dirt cheap now but there is so little software who really cares. I'll leave you with this link http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?258 for the king of turntables.
 
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Tuberoller

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I know this has been beaten to death everywhere else on every other forum.Our debates here are ususally much more civilized than the those that I read on other forums and these are the only ones that I actually post to.After getting a million stupid and downright scary emails from Audioreview and Audioasylum board users,I have to say this is one of the most civilized and the absolute best moderated board on the net.This is,in my opinion,one of the best places to pose this question.I know a lot of head-fi members are into vinyl or getting back into it and a great number of us have taken the SACD plunge.I have adopted SACD in a big way but I still enjoy and prefer vinyl.I will admit that SACD has me listening to music more often than I ever have.I would never allow someone to base an argument on the sonics of a $200.00 player.The guy making the pro SACD argument does have a big bucks(Accuphase I believe)SACD system and has heard the very best of vinyl as well.I was just disgusted with him for peddeling turntables while harboring his obvious preference for SACD.

I don't make make argument for vinyl from a position of loyalty or nostalgia,I know that it sounds better because I listen to vinyl and SACD every day.The best vinyl does indeed convey more emotion than the very best SACD played on the best players.I have Billie Holiday's "Lady in Satin" on both SACD and in a 45rpm vinyl box set.Even my cheapest table makes this recording sound far better(super wide soundstage,luscious midrange,spine tingling vocals) than my very best SACD player.The direct to disc analog recordings are the very best I have yet heard in any format.

As much as I want to beat this to death I will happily face a great fact,this is the very best time there has ever been to be an audiophile/music lover as far as equipment is concerned.The gear is better than ever at fantastic prices and the high resolution formats finally deliver on the promise of CD.Great systems with fantastic sound can be assembled for a small fraction of what it cost our fathers.whatever your opinion I encourage you to enjoy music at every opportunity.


edit:to the member the who asked how I can tout vinyl while at the same time telling everybody about a cheap SACD player.I love music and wish that we all did the same.I don't really care how you do so but,If you get the best sound possible even while listening casually,I think you will listen more often.
 
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markl

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There is much more to a format than just sound quality.

Can you fast-forward a vinyl disc? Can you skip tracks to your favorite song and let it rip with vinyl? Can you load up a 5LP changer with albums to enjoy hours of uninterrpted music? Can you take your LP and insert it into your car stereo for music on the go? Can you take your turntable on the airplane and hook your heaphones up? CD/DVD media is also much more durable than fragile scratch-prone vinyl that wears out the more you play it.

That said, I confess I was never much of a vinyl listener. My dad had a turntable, but when I started buying music mysel in the early 80's it was casstte tapes then CDs and now SACDs/DVD-As.

I have spent some time in the high-end shops listening to vinyl rigs (but not a lot). Vinyl does have some extra warmth, richness and fullness to the sound that is missing from CD (but I feel the new formats help bridge this gap).

If you were weened on vinyl, that sound can get burned into your brain as the "correct" way for music to sound. If you were brought up in the digital age, the vinyl sound might seem like an idiosyncratic "coloration" to you.

markl
 
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eric343

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...to buy a NS500V or not to buy...
 
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TimSchirmer

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Quote:

Originally posted by eric343
...to buy a NS500V or not to buy...


bah!!! Get a music hall!!!
 
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RVD

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Quote:

Originally posted by acidtripwow
When I was a kid my parents bought a big console that was like 8 feet long that had a record player in it and an 8 track. Does anybody remember those?


I just saw one of those at a friend's house recently. It was a long wooden case with a 8 track, record player, and radio.
 
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Hirsch

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I can't take SACD all that seriously when, after over a year and a half with the 9000ES, I've only managed to buy about 20 disks. IMO the new formats are a dead issue until softward starts showing up in massive amounts.
 
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MacDEF

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Tube:

If I were to compare the best CD and vinyl systems I've ever heard, I would give the edge to vinyl. I once listened to a vinyl setup at Ambrosia AV in Los Angeles, and it was the most incredible recorded sound I've ever heard, better than the best CD setup I've heard.

That said, for me CD and SACD are just more cost-efficient, space-efficient and convenient. I would love to have the room and the money to have a killer vinyl setup, but unfortunately I don't. So I'll just have to "settle" for SACD
 
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Beagle

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Quote:

Originally posted by Tuberoller
I think that while SACD does indeed offer the best digital resolution and detail,analog detail and resolution are more natural and sonically pleasing.I added that I think that analog,vinyl in particular,is cable of better treble extension


Agreed. SACD improves on CD while still retaining CD's advantages over LP, but it is still a "digitally reconstructed" format and still does lack the natural sound of good analog. And SACD still does not call out to you to listen to it the way LP's do.
 
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