SACDs far superior to regular (Redbook) CDs
post-824460
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 29

mikeg

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 4, 2002
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
11
Joined
May 4, 2002
Posts
3,171
Likes
11
I compared Redbook CD to SACD recordings of Mozart's Symphonies 38 and 40, using K1000, HD650, and RS-1 headphones. I was mainly interested in determining how much better SACD is than Redbook for reproducing complex orchestral classical music. Well, the difference is tremendous. In comparison to the sound of the SACDs, the sound of the Redbook recordings of these symphonies is like comparing very inexpensive small speaker systems to very expensive high quality ones. The difference in sound between these SACD and Redbook recordings is far greater than the relatively subtle differences between expensive sources, amps., and headphones that we normally discuss in our Head-Fi threads. As a consequence of these tests, I am now reconsidering my plans for my music collection. In the future, and whenever possible, I'll buy SACDs rather than Redbook CDs. I'll also try to replace the Redbook CDs that I already own.
 
     Share This Post       
post-824474
Post #2 of 29

Welly Wu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2003
Messages
5,165
Reaction score
12
Joined
May 16, 2003
Posts
5,165
Likes
12
You are a wise man, sir!

I have found that the Super Audio CD sound is far superior over Red Book CDs in terms the former format making the sound much more natural, relaxing, and less taxing on the mind. It makes very dramatic improvements in those subtle ways in terms of the sound: there is greater warmth, liquidity, far less digital harshness, and a much more convincingly natural realism to the music. It certainly has its own merits as a hi-rez format unto itself.

DVD-Audio is no slouch either. It sounds much more detailed, three dimensional, and holographic. The multimedia content should pass over with audiophiles but I contend that it gives the average Joe or Jane a sense that they are getting more for their entertainment dollars. The format is better poised for those who already own a High Definition based home theater system. Still, it needs to find an acceptable means by which to incorporate the omnipresent Red Book CD format onto the same disc. I am unsure how that will go.
 
     Share This Post       
post-824535
Post #3 of 29

tortie

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
2,812
Reaction score
14
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Posts
2,812
Likes
14
I on the other hand have a hard time telling my regular Norah Jones CD vs its SACD counterpart. Is this because of my source?
 
     Share This Post       
post-824541
Post #4 of 29

Welly Wu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2003
Messages
5,165
Reaction score
12
Joined
May 16, 2003
Posts
5,165
Likes
12
It could be a variety of things. Have you tried turning off the upsampler and upconvertor?
 
     Share This Post       
post-824556
Post #5 of 29

gsferrari

Member of the Trade: Veda Audio Contributor
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
7,362
Reaction score
14
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Posts
7,362
Likes
14
OT - When did you get a HD-600 mikeg ??
is it a new purchase you made to compare with your HD-650??
 
     Share This Post       
post-824599
Post #6 of 29

marios_mar

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
2,364
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Posts
2,364
Likes
10
Quote:

In the future, and whenever possible, I'll buy SACDs rather than Redbook CDs. I'll also try to replace the Redbook CDs that I already own.


Well, I recently bought my first SACD disc. The sound is more real, more alive, more detailed, fat and warm. Sounds better I guess. But maybe vinyl sounds a tad bit better? Still not sure. (I am always comparing with my own equipment which has analog and digital sources of the same value.)

Now regarding the quote above. If I could get similar sound performance that I get with a round 500 SACDP (in terms of full sound , realism etc) with a 3000 CPD I would rather NOT buy NOR replace the redbooks I own but I would be VERY VERY happy to buy CDs which get cheaper and cheaper and would save up to get this good CPD one day (maybe used for $1200!!).

So is this possible guys?
 
     Share This Post       
post-824806
Post #7 of 29

bootman

King o'Ping
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
3,308
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
3,308
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by marios_mar
Well, I recently bought my first SACD disc. The sound is more real, more alive, more detailed, fat and warm. Sounds better I guess. But maybe vinyl sounds a tad bit better? Still not sure. (I am always comparing with my own equipment which has analog and digital sources of the same value.)

Now regarding the quote above. If I could get similar sound performance that I get with a round 500 SACDP (in terms of full sound , realism etc) with a 3000 CPD I would rather NOT buy NOR replace the redbooks I own but I would be VERY VERY happy to buy CDs which get cheaper and cheaper and would save up to get this good CPD one day (maybe used for $1200!!).

So is this possible guys?



A lot of folks would say yes it is.
Just read some of the impressions of the latest Wadia players.
Converting your current library over to SACD would be easy if everything you own is on the Sony list.

Example: Every Sony SACD players' redbook performace (out of the box) sucks IMO.
(this is why mod companies are very busy)
It would not surprise me if Sony did this on purpose so that the differences between the formats
would appear that much greater and thus help Sony's efforts to get everyone to convert over to SACD.
(they would make much more money off the software than the hardware)

Machiavellian?
perhaps.
 
     Share This Post       
post-824821
Post #8 of 29

jpelg

Needs a regular fix of 'Fi
'06 Nat Meet Co-Coordinator
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Messages
8,675
Reaction score
26
Location
The Elm City
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Location
The Elm City
Posts
8,675
Likes
26
Quote:

It would not surprise me if Sony did this on purpose so that the differences between the formats would appear that much greater and thus help Sony's efforts to get everyone to convert over to SACD.


I don't doubt that, either. But from a slightly different perspective, those low-cost Sony players are really DVD (video) & SACD players first. Redbook can be looked at as a side-bennie. Modding does do nice things to the redbook side too, as you mentioned.

For someone with a sizable investment in redbook software, and few parallels in the SACD domain, a primo redbook player may be the way to go. Keeping or purchasing cheap Sony (or Pioneer, Toshiba, or whatever) SACD player, as a second source (requiring some kind of switch device/preamp, & additional IC's), is a good way to maintain accessibility to that format too.I contemplated going that way for a bit, but convenience, space, money, and my minimalist nature, pointed me toward a one-box universal player solution.

As far as investing in the software, I will not buy a single-layer SACD disc, unless I already have the redbook, and it's a real fav. If there is a hybrid SACD version for nearly the same $$, I will go for that over just a redbook version. Thank goodness for Sony's recent decision to make hybrids from now on.
 
     Share This Post       
post-824857
Post #9 of 29

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,130
Reaction score
39
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
39
Quote:

It would not surprise me if Sony did this on purpose so that the differences between the formats


You guys are ridiculous!
 
     Share This Post       
post-824885
Post #10 of 29

bootman

King o'Ping
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
3,308
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
3,308
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by markl
You guys are ridiculous!



Of course we are.
All of us spend way too much time on a headphone forum.


and you have a modded Sony.


Mark, you would be a good one to ask this question.
If you could (assuming all of your titles were available on SACD),
would you switch to SACD?
 
     Share This Post       
post-824906
Post #11 of 29

kartik

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 14, 2003
Messages
1,642
Reaction score
10
Joined
Apr 14, 2003
Posts
1,642
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeg
I compared Redbook CD to SACD recordings of Mozart's Symphonies 38 and 40, using K1000, HD600, and RS-1 headphones. I was mainly interested in determining how much better SACD is than Redbook for reproducing complex orchestral classical music. Well, the difference is tremendous. In comparison to the sound of the SACDs, the sound of the Redbook recordings of these symphonies is like comparing very inexpensive small speaker systems to very expensive high quality ones. The difference in sound between these SACD and Redbook recordings is far greater than the relatively subtle differences between expensive sources, amps., and headphones that we normally discuss in our Head-Fi threads. As a consequence of these tests, I am now reconsidering my plans for my music collection. In the future, and whenever possible, I'll buy SACDs rather than Redbook CDs. I'll also try to replace the Redbook CDs that I already own.


You know, I felt the same way till recently. Unfortunately the software available on SACD is EXTREMELY limited. Until they get more media on the SACD format, a move to SACD makes no sense. Hence, my trudge back to vinyl where most of the music I like to listen to is available.
 
     Share This Post       
post-824913
Post #12 of 29

Edwood

1/2 hamster, 1/2 Turkish∙ Blueteething
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Messages
20,230
Reaction score
227
Location
Cage
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Location
Cage
Posts
20,230
Likes
227
SACD's are inferior to Redbook in one major way:

Inventory.



But that's to be expected. With two competing high res formats, and the RIAA with it's head up its ass.....


-Ed
 
     Share This Post       
post-824999
Post #13 of 29

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,130
Reaction score
39
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
39
Quote:

Mark, you would be a good one to ask this question.
If you could (assuming all of your titles were available on SACD),
would you switch to SACD?


Well, I have switched to SACD, my player is a SACD changer. I have around 60-70 SACDs. I have around 2500 CDs. I could never afford to replace all my CDs with SACDs. But as big releases, important albums to me become available in hi-rez, I am very inclined to buy that album yet again.

I will say this, that my experience has been that a well-mastered Redbook CD version still trumps a badly mastered SACD version of the same material. The extra resolution can be cancelled out by clumsy, careless, or plain crappy masterig, you are still at the mercy of the mastering engineer in SACD as you are with remastered CDs. However, a well-mastered SACD will definitely sound better than a well-mastered CD.
 
     Share This Post       
post-825084
Post #14 of 29

sacd lover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
32
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Posts
8,190
Likes
32
I will say this, that my experience has been that a well-mastered Redbook CD version still trumps a badly mastered SACD version of the same material. The extra resolution can be cancelled out by clumsy, careless, or plain crappy masterig, you are still at the mercy of the mastering engineer in SACD as you are with remastered CDs. However, a well-mastered SACD will definitely sound better than a well-mastered CD.[/QUOTE]




Absolutely. Great point markl.
 
     Share This Post       
post-825165
Post #15 of 29

meech

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2002
Messages
622
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 31, 2002
Posts
622
Likes
10
I'll say this. I have noticed a similar trait between most SACDs that I can't say I've noticed with redbook yet. In my experience, it seems like SACDs have a slightly wider, more expansive soundstage than redbook cds. I've been buying hybrid SACD/CDs so that I can due quick A/B comparisons. I don't think the SACDs offer that much more in detail it's just that the information seems a little more fleshed out. It takes a lot less effort to hear all those subtle notes that sometimes get lost on standard redbook.

just my opinion.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top