Thread: Why sell historic recordings in SACD?

Posts: 70
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Post by Luke June 23, 2010 (51 of 70)
I sort of lost my appetite for the RCA Living Stereo sacd reissues when the Monteux Franck Symphony turned out to be so wretchedly distorted from tape over load.
Yep, finally a reaction that I can agree on. This is really where my question came from, since I bought that same "SACD". I always felt deceived. If this is the purpose that RCA Living Stereo serves .........

Please guys, don't be too technical here, I'm just an ordinary bloke, with some interest in classical music, who happens to have discovered SACD, bought a (to my mind) quiet nice sound system and trys to enjoy.

OK, apparantly you can enjoy historical recordings on SACD, but I'm still going for those wonderful, technically outstanding new releases. In 5 channels please.

Post by pgmdir June 23, 2010 (52 of 70)
That's always the bottom line, Luke.

Especially with massed strings or massed voices, the difference in RBCD and SACD--even in 2 channel--- is readily apparent. But forget the bytes and bits. Just enjoy the music! It is almost impossible for me to enjoy any RBCD all that much immediately after listening to an SACD. The secret is to listen to RBCD's first.

Post by canonical June 23, 2010 (53 of 70)
I'd suggest that newcomer Luke:

Luke = AmonRa = Petrus

It is his thread ... . He just wants company.

Post by AmonRa June 23, 2010 (54 of 70)
Welcome to the nuthouse, Luke...

If you want factual information about SACD etc., better frequent professional sites. If you want uninformed opinions, ego fights, mudslinging, misunderstood hearsay technological explanations, religious fervour, welcome here. Ups, my time is up, whitecoats are coming...

Post by DSD June 23, 2010 (55 of 70)
Luke said:

Yep, finally a reaction that I can agree on. This is really where my question came from, since I bought that same "SACD". I always felt deceived. If this is the purpose that RCA Living Stereo serves .........

Luke it is too bad you missed my review from 2005 /showreviews/3188#3176 in which I detailed the overload distortion. Only about a fourth of the RCA Living Stereo SACDs have overload distortion, the Franck: Symphony, Stravinsky: Petrouchka - Monteux and Rhapsodies - Stokowski being the worst offenders. Many sound amazingly good, I recommended reading the reviews and looking for hints of sonic problems before purchasing any SACD.

Post by flyingdutchman June 23, 2010 (56 of 70)
canonical said:

I'd suggest that newcomer Luke:

Luke = AmonRa = Petrus

It is his thread ... . He just wants company.

My thoughts exactly. AmonRa has made it clear, again, who is really is. I wish Stephen would or could ban that idiot's ISP.

Post by Operabuff June 26, 2010 (57 of 70)
Well to get back to the First question, I am new to the sacd game, but not to music. But, I am simply blown away by some of the Living Stereo releases I have bought.
Just finished listening to the Leinsdorf Turandot, what a great remastering.
I used to have this on lp, later the first cd incarnation, which sounded dull and dry.
It really was no fun listening to, always thought, they probably just recorded it with very bad sonics.
Now the sacd, there is brilliance and space, the singers come alive and the orchestra is vivid.
This also has to do with the new remastering, which beats the formats I had before.
It is like listening to a different recording.
In other words it amazes me what one can get out of these old recordings. Just listening to the Reiner Spain sacd, really exciting and sounds as if it had been recorded yesterday.
Sure modern recordings might sound even better, but it is the joy of listening to old favorites and hearing them in such a wonderful representation.
Just like the blu-ray of Casablanca is astonishingly beautiful, it is black and white and mono, but looks spectacular.
Now having recordings that are older than me sound like this, is a great gift.

Shame that the sacd track has already been abandoned by the biggies, so no more living stereo.
But also modern recordings are mostly done by smaller labels, one of the big players amongst the alternative labels has now also left sacd, no mor new productions from Harmonia Mundi.
This is the info I got from a friend in the industry, who was told so by hm Frances boss.

I will try and get all the living stereos I can get my hands on and afford, before they vanish.

Post by seth June 26, 2010 (58 of 70)
Disbeliever said:

Quite frankly I may be wrong re clasical CD's today but it has occurred in the past and the problem definately occurs with many non-classical CD's which have the biggest sales.

Yes, a lot of people have documented how the dynamic range of pop-CDs and downloads have been increasingly compressed over the last decade, and downloads are specifically optimized for cheap earphones.

With classical, my feeling is that labels have actually become more willing to open up the dynamic range and cut down on the reverb. 1980s and early 1990s classical recordings and CDs tended to be highly compressed so to show off how loud and boomy people's speakers were. Especially with the reverb issues, recordings today are much drier than they were in the 1980s. Back then the goal was to make it sound like every recording was made in a church.

But let's not forget that these gimmicks were around back in the days of the LP, where the midrange would be boosted so the recordings would sound better on crappy speakers.

One of the reasons I'm in favor of reissuing "historic" recordings on SACD is that early CD reissues of them were terrible because all sorts of tweaking was done to make the recordings sound more modern (e.g. noise reduction, reverb, etc.). The SACD reissues are probably the best approximation of what the musicians heard during the recording sessions.

Post by Ernani71 September 6, 2010 (59 of 70)
DSD said:

Give a listen to this SACD from a PURE ANALOG recording made in 1996 by Reference Recordings Exotic Dances from the Opera - Eiji Oue

I went to and was greeted by exactly one customer review for this SACD. Here is the bulk of it:

"Although the SACD sound is decent, it does not contain the blockbuster sonics I had expected. That said, some tracks sound better than others. I have many Reference Recordings in my collection and almost all of them (recorded using the HDCD process) sound better than this one; try Oue's Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, or either of the recent Kansas City Symphony CDs under Michael Stern, to name three. Even if you have a dedicated SACD player, as I do, I can't recommend this disc is you already own the previously issued version . . . this one left me cold."

I'm not saying this reviewer knows what he's talking about, but his reaction is certainly quite different than yours. However, you agree on one thing; it's a quiet recording. The reviewer above wrote, "it does not contain the blockbuster sonics I had expected," whilst you write:

"This is a very quiet analogue recording from 1996 and unlike analogue recordings from the 1950's and 1960's there are no artifacts."

You also write, "These modern day analogue recordings in my opinion are sonically very close to DSD and better than any PCM I've heard." Does this mean that I should expect DSD in general to be quiet-sounding? I'm speaking as somebody who is actually awaiting his first SACD player and batch of SACDs. I have yet to hear one. Will an SACD be quiet in the same way that much live classical music is quiet? I remember I was disappointed with the first few live classical performances I went to because I felt they weren't loud enough. I know you can always turn up the volume on a recording, but do you mean quiet in a specific sense? What do you mean by it?

Post by Ernani71 September 6, 2010 (60 of 70)
flyingdutchman said:

There is one thing you have succeeded in doing--bringing together ALL the people here to show you how stupid you are.

People can be wrong without being stupid.

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