Thread: Do multi-channel SACD's have three layers, or only two?

Posts: 5

Post by LS35a April 4, 2012 (1 of 5)
Do multi-channel SACD's have three layers:

1) Multi-channel SACD
2) two-channel SACD
3) two-channel CD

Or just two:

1) Multi-channel SACD
2) two-channel CD

I have a two channel SACD player and wonder what will I get if I play a multi-channel SACD on it.

Will I get a two-channel SACD level? Or just the CD level?

Please do NOT bother to tell me 'yes, you will get a stereo output'. Yes, I know that. But is it an SACD level or a CD level? If multi-channel SACD's only play in CD level on a two-channel SACD player you might as well just buy cd's.

Thanks for any information on this. I've googled and searched and asked people and no one seems to know.

Post by Nagraboy April 4, 2012 (2 of 5)
Do you mean the very rare SACDs that have no 2ch SACD layer, but do have a CD and MCH SACD layer? If so, then I can't help you as I have none. All 136 of my SACDs have at least a 2ch SACD layer and usually a CD layer too.

If you mean the standard SACD disc produced nowadays by eg. Channel Classics or Pentatone which has a CD layer, plus 2ch SACD and MCH SACD then yes, there is a dedicated 2ch SACD track, not derived from an 'on the fly' downmixing of the MCH layer which plays in proper high definition DSD on any 2ch SACD player.

A 2ch SACD player will play the dedicated 2ch layer of an SACD, or the CD layer should you select it.

Look on the back of some of your SACDs jewel cases. You should see a black and white symbol stating 'stereo multichannel' and a CD audio symbol too. That's your answer.

Post by tailspn April 4, 2012 (3 of 5)
Hybrid SACDs have two layers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD

The layer deeper from the clear playing surface is a conventional density CD layer, and on top of it is the high density high resolution layer. The high density layer may contain only a 2 channel program if Stereo only, or a 2 channel program at the outer circumference, and a multi-channel program on the inner circumference of the same layer, if the SACD contains both.

A 2 channel player allows the user to select either the CD or high resolution 2 channel program. A multi-channel player allows the user to select the 2 channel CD, 2 channel Hi-Res, or 5.0/5.1 Hi-Res programs. A 2 channel player will not access the multi-channel area of the high resolution layer.

Post by zeus April 7, 2012 (4 of 5)
LS35a said:

I've googled and searched and asked people and no one seems to know.

/faq

Post by sioux November 17, 2013 (5 of 5)
LS35a said:

Do multi-channel SACD's have three layers:

1) Multi-channel SACD
2) two-channel SACD
3) two-channel CD

Or just two:

1) Multi-channel SACD
2) two-channel CD

I have a two channel SACD player and wonder what will I get if I play a multi-channel SACD on it.

Will I get a two-channel SACD level? Or just the CD level?

Please do NOT bother to tell me 'yes, you will get a stereo output'. Yes, I know that. But is it an SACD level or a CD level? If multi-channel SACD's only play in CD level on a two-channel SACD player you might as well just buy cd's.

Thanks for any information on this. I've googled and searched and asked people and no one seems to know.

Hello, I've also been intrigued by this question, as I have a few hybrid (multichannel) sacds that my stereo sacd player cannot play as sacd, just as cd. So I have found the answer here in SA-CD.net in the FAQs, see copied below.

"Do all SA-CDs contain a stereo mix?
Nearly all of them do. There are a few examples of hybrid SA-CDs that contain a multichannel mix but no stereo mix in the SA-CD layer, even though the CD layer does contain a stereo mix. Examples are the budget SA-CD series by Universal's Eloquence label."

new post