Thread: SACD Enthusiasts...Are There Enough Of Us?

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Post by sgb September 18, 2003 (21 of 44)
Good topic, Khorn.

First off, I hope that the SACDinfo forum doesn't deteriorate into the cliquish small talk that one of those other sites you refer to has. Frankly, I don't care whether Member A wants to know if you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream, any more than I'm interested in paying homage to a particular sound engineer no matter how good he is. I would hope that the purpose of a forum like this one sticks to its stated purpose, which is in the case of this one to acquire useful information about SACD hardware and software.

Secondly, I would hope that Sony decides to back away from its stance to keep SACD output in the analog only venue. While this is of no importance to me personally, I can see where the large bulk of the marketplace might find it a bit foolish to require both analog and digital outputs from his Sony universal player to his multi-channel receiver. If he can hear CDs and watch DVD movies through his single digital cable, why should he have to connect five analog inputs to his receiver in order to hear his SACDs? It doesn't seem to me as if the medium can ever achieve mainstream status as long as this additional and, frankly, unnecessary procedure is required.

I agree with you on the importance of approaching universal label acceptance of the medium, but as I have all too often discovered, many of these from the likes of Universal, Blue Note and Concord don't always provide us with the kinds of improvement in sound quality we anticipate. I admit to some reluctance to buy new releases from the majors in a Willy-Nilly fashion as a consequence. The recent Dylan remasters are the perfect example: there's simply too much disappointment being voiced over the sound quality of these to ignore. If the medium is going to survive, the majors need to take the steps to assure a quality product. If they do I'll have no problem with buying my all-time favorite recordings again, but this time they have to demonstrate to me that the sound shows definite improvement.

My 2¢.

Post by Khorn September 18, 2003 (22 of 44)
sgb said:
The recent Dylan remasters are the perfect example: there's simply too much disappointment being voiced over the sound quality of these to ignore

sgb,

I don't know what these people are hearing regarding the Dylan discs. I purchased three yesterday and didn't play any until this morning. Someone on another forum had complained yesterday that 'Blood On The Tracks' didn't track well on his machine. Knowing that he bought it at the same store I wanted to check mine out for that purpose.

I'll tell you one thing up front, I was amazed at the clarity and musical quality of this and the other Dylan that I played. I haven't heard that level of Dylan reproduction since the vinyl and IMHO this beats them. Now I don't have an extrordinary system or anything so I really can't understand the complaints unless there is something I'm not hearing but I sincerely doubt that.

BTW I had no tracking/drop-out problems with Blood On The Tracks or Desire, the two I played.

The Dylan SACDs are great and well worth getting.

Post by azure September 18, 2003 (23 of 44)
In Australia, the hybrid SACD discs like Pink Floyds DSoM and DVD-As are now the same price as the CD. The purely SACD stereo/multichannel discs are rare and must be imported so their cost is a lot more, in some cases up to $AUD 45.
I really feel that because most of the major record companies are releasing SACD titles; it won't be a "flash in the pan," In a way, they [the record companies] had to improve sound quality with the competition of lossy compressed internet formats.
As these new formats have a new market ie, the home theatre market, not just the audiophile market. i feel SACD should succeed!
Although, I feel there will always be a need for a stereo programme, for headphones, car, radio etc.

I like the comment by petermwilson:
"And STEREOPHILE magazine will change its name."
ha ha it probably will have to...
its a shame that the US magazine "Audio" is no longer published!

Post by Tom September 30, 2003 (24 of 44)
azure said:

In Australia, the hybrid SACD discs like Pink Floyds DSoM and DVD-As are now the same price as the CD. The purely SACD stereo/multichannel discs are rare and must be imported so their cost is a lot more, in some cases up to $AUD 45.
I really feel that because most of the major record companies are releasing SACD titles; it won't be a "flash in the pan," In a way, they [the record companies] had to improve sound quality with the competition of lossy compressed internet formats.
As these new formats have a new market ie, the home theatre market, not just the audiophile market. i feel SACD should succeed!
Although, I feel there will always be a need for a stereo programme, for headphones, car, radio etc.

I like the comment by petermwilson:
"And STEREOPHILE magazine will change its name."
ha ha it probably will have to...
its a shame that the US magazine "Audio" is no longer published!

I think that 4.0 or 4.1 multichannel in the car is a natural. Unfortunately, the better speakers often are the rears.

I wonder when SACD multichannel will reach the car.

Post by david elias October 2, 2003 (25 of 44)
Khorn said:

I enjoy reading and posting to this forum but, I am beginning to wonder about attracting new users and more discussion to this site. I believe there are about 177 members here at the present time, a great number of us frequent the other couple of discussion groups that include SACD in their topics.

I guess one question is: how many SACDs are sold and listened to in that format, not as a CD in a Hybrid like the "stealth" marketed Stones discs?

Another question is how to promote this site other than "preaching to the converted" so to speak as in the groups referred to above?

This site is a great asset to **US** (dedicated SACD users) but numbers are required to survive and grow and I'm just not sure where these numbers are going to come from.

I'm not too confident in the way I perceive the marketing of SACD is taking shape 'specially in the mass market or critical mass area.

We just might have to be resigned to the possibility that SACD might remain in the realm of the "audiophile" similar to the MFSL, DCC and Classic Gold discs or the JVC XRCD line. I sure hope that isn't the case but, at the present time I tend to wonder.

Anybody have ideas about this?

As a musician, I may have a different perspective than most of you. I am an SACD enthusiast. My whole thing is to try to get more people to hear this, however they can. I believe that the superior quality of DSD recordings and masters translate directly to consumers today as hybrids. The Stones (ABKCO's) decision to "stealth" market SACD was a good one in my opinion. It is the way to reach new audiences without convincing them up front - they just have to hear it to decide. They don't have to buy any new equipment to try it.

As an example, I took a copy of the Let It Bleed SACD to a good friend's recording studio along with a number of other titles. He had all of these on standard CD. He is a proud skeptic and this test was no exception. So we played the two different media back to back on his CD player. As you probably know, there was absolutely no comparison - the 16-bit recording sounded like Mick Jagger was in a tin can. In contrast, the SACD with Keith Richards acoustic guitar has so much texture you can just about see it.

My friend was convinced about the superiority of these recordings instantly. Then I played the disc through my Sony SCD-CE775 player and he heard the added dimension in these stereo recordings. All it took was a single comparison!

I believed so much in this new format that I spent considerable $ recording an acoustic band in DSD and printing a hybrid multichannel SACD called "The Window". There are a few important facts for me here: One is that an independent musician like myself can now work directly with companies to get my work recorded and printed as an SACD. It is not limited exclusively to labels. This has changed only in the past year. You can get an SACD printed through Oasis CD Mfg. today. Second, studios (small or large) can outfit themselves with DSD recording gear at competitive prices. The popular models from companies like Genex and Pyramix support both PCM and DSD recording which is well-matched to the industry transition.

I have been convinced from the beginning that DSD quality would stand on its own and so far I think I have many examples supporting that. Today there are big stars like Dylan, Sting, The Stones (have you read Keith Richards comments?), Pink Floyd adopting SACD. Then you have me at the other end of the chain pushing it wherever I can. I represent a microscopic portion of the army of independent musicians out there who have even heard of SACD at this point. But as my studio friend completes a new recording/mix session for another artist, he told me he suggested it was mastered for SACD. That is encouraging!

Post by vonwegen October 5, 2003 (26 of 44)
david elias said:

have you read Keith Richards comments?

David,

Where were KR's comments on SACD printed? I'd like to see them!

Post by sgb October 5, 2003 (27 of 44)
Khorn said:

The Dylan SACDs are great and well worth getting.

Sorry for the delay in responding, Khorn.

I think our reactions to the Dylan SACDs have to be measured by our unique past experiences. Before I go into detail, allow me to preface the following by saying that I am not wedded to a particular format as the best, but that I have often been witness to the evidence needed to indict PCM digital. There are exceptions, of course the Australian PCM recording of Harry Nilsson's As Time Goes By handily demotes the original USA vinyl to second class stature but in general, original or very early pressings of LPs have ruled the roost in my experience. Of course, that has changed dramatically, thanks to the coming of SACD.

My Dylan LPs date from the sixties. Foolishly, I discarded many of my original mono pressings in favor of stereo pressings when I bought my first real audio system in 1965, but I can assure you that my copies of

The Freewheelin'
Bringing It All Back Home
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisted
Blonde On Blonde

were all purchased back when the recordings were current. Unfortunately 61 & BOB were played so much that they are a mere shadow of their original selves, but the transparency one can hear in Dylan's voice is still there amongst ticks and clicks, and the occasional skip. The other three, however are as close to mint as one could hope for records approaching 40 years of age, and it was these I used to make some spot comparisons.

I reduced my findings of these to one SACDinfo review of Another Side, and refer you to that review. While I don't personally believe that these SACD reissues are as good as they could be, I don't have a problem in agreeing with you that these are generally better than either of the two USA-produced PCM reissues. They just fall a little short of the original albums from a musicality standpoint.

Post by david elias October 6, 2003 (28 of 44)
vonwegen said:

David,

Where were KR's comments on SACD printed? I'd like to see them!

Sorry - I haven't been able to find them again. THey may have been online at the Rolling Stone interview from Sept. 2002, but I can't access those pages today. I'll keep trying and let you know if I find a link again. All in all he was very complimentary about the SACD quality. It was refreshing to read it from the musician who recorded it.

Post by LDG February 23, 2004 (29 of 44)
vonwegen said:

David,

Where were KR's comments on SACD printed? I'd like to see them!

It's rather easy: on ABCO's website:
http://www.abkco.com/rollingstones/rollingstones.html

Post by LDG February 23, 2004 (30 of 44)
vonwegen said:

David,

Where were KR's comments on SACD printed? I'd like to see them!

It's rather easy: on ABCO's website.
http://www.abkco.com/rollingstones/rollingstones.html
And I've seen aticles in magazines in which KR claims the same.

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