Anyone still involved with SACD ?? (1 Viewer)

bhelms

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Howdy, all! I didn't know where to post this one. A search of SACD points to myriad posts on HD DVD and BD, but apparently nothing specifically about SACD.

This technology passed me by during my recent 10+ years with no real audio system. Now that I installed the new HT and the receiver has the 5.1 analog inputs for SACD I was thinking of getting a cheapo player to see what it's all about. The Sony SCD-CE595 for about $130 seemed worthy and I might find something in a local big-box store. There are plenty of titles still out there that interest me, notably Dark Side that will probably be my first acqusition, followed by some Moody Blues and perhaps Arrowsmith, etc.

Any thoughts? Is this technology headed absolutely nowhere at this point? What higher-grade players might still be out there that will send the DSD over HDMI?

TIA and BRgds...
 

diogen

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Howdy, all! I didn't know where to post this one. A search of SACD points to myriad posts on HD DVD and BD, but apparently nothing specifically about SACD.
What is SACD?:D
Is this technology headed absolutely nowhere at this point?
Yes. Not only headed, it has arrived where it headed...
What higher-grade players might still be out there that will send the DSD over HDMI?
There is a good chance that the immortal classics will be out on BD. Might take a few years.

In the mean time, have a look at DTS WAV CD if you want multichannel audio.
It is probably as "widespread" as SACD, but can be found on the internet, comes in CD WAV format
and can often be played by $50 old CD players with a digital (coax or optical) out... Or a PC.

I've seen Pink Floyd, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, The Who...

Diogen.
 

navychop

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It's already passed nowhere and is on it's way to oblivion. I bought a few DVD-Audio discs. Also on greased tracks to audio history footnotes.

The PS3 will play SACD. I've been tempted to buy one to check it out. Our taste in music coincides. If you try any, let me know if they're worth getting, over the DVD versions.
 

JonUrban

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SACD and DVD-Audio came and went, but they were a bit too late. They got killed by the MP3 "revolution" and also killed by the music publishers who demanded royalties for each version on a disc. For example, a Hybrid SACD would have a CD stereo layer, an SACD stereo layer, and a 5.1 surround layer. The publishers wanted 3x the royalties...."bye bye" SACD and DVD-Audio.

Not to mention that they needed 6 analog cables and special players and receivers to play them in surround, and retail started out with a bang then went out with a wimper.

Internal workings in the Sony corporation also helped to kill SACD in that for th 500th issue of Rolling Stone an SACD was included that had some great tracks on it. At the same time UMG was about to release classic Elton John and Eric Clapton titles in SACD. Dark Side of the Moon had just come out and SACD was getting press and was poised to break into the mainstream. However, in a boardroom somewhere, Sony Music decided to stop producing large numbers of new title pop/rock SACDs. This could not have happened at a worse time. They cancelled announced projects like more Dylan discs, and only a very few non-classical titles trickeled out in 2004/2005. They do release a classical SACD from time to time, but once Sony itself bailed, and stoppedbsidizing labels like UMG, the end was near.

The second batch of Eltons (Don't Shoot Me, Caribou, Made in England, Rock of the Westies, Blue Movies) were mixed and ready to roll, only to be stopped by UMG before production.

It was a sad thing to happen for a surround sound fan. WB/Rhino followed suit and stopped releasing surround DVD-Audios, and that was that.

The oddest thing is that there are more cars today that can play DVD-Audio discs then ever before, but there are no discs to buy to play in them.

Sucks................
 

bhelms

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Tks guys for the insight! I stopped by both CC and BB last evening. CC was advertising that Sony changer I mentioned in my OP for $130 but apparently that's only via the website. Same price through Amazon. I didn't see any SACD titles in the store but I didn't look closely. BB actually had 2 of the players in stock for $160. I won't pay that price. I asked about titles thinking that they would be in a separate section somewhere. They are actually mixed in with the regular CDs and I found Dark Side immediately. It's the same price as the regular CD - $15 !!

I'll look closely at what titles are available through Amazon and make a decision accordingly. The investment won't be large and if I like what I hear I might pursure this a little more, like I have HD DVD. Just because it's obsolete doesn't make it sound any worse!

(I don't have HS internet at home and not sure if I ever will, so downloadable options are still not an option for me.)
 

navychop

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Now that music is being released on Blu-ray, maybe our "surround sound" fix is on the way.
 

bhelms

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Yeah, perhaps. I still need to figure when I'm going to pull the trigger on BD. In the interim I have postponed my SACD acquisition. If I stumble into one for cheaper (as in the proverbial "offer I can't refuse") then I'll reconsider, but it's not the unit price that's really the issue. (I was also interested in having a CD changer for when I'm out in the pool...) I'm now rethinking the whole thing about replacing parts of my collection just to get the SS capability, and that would apply to the BD option as well...
 
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bhelms

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UPDATES - Pulled the trigger on SACD !!

I forgot to update this tread! Lots has happened since it went dormant...

I did manage to get BB to meet CC's web price on the cheap Sony SACD changer back in May, and walked-out with one new in the box for $130 plus tax, and that Hybrid SACD copy of Dark Side. The connection was simple and quick. The only thing I don't like about that player (as per the reviews) is that you cannot control the main power from the remote. No big deal, tho'. Everything else you need on a routine basis is on that simple control. So far I have not done any set-ups in the SACD player preferring to do all in the receiver. The bass seemed thin so I switched-on the +10dB option for the multichannel inputs in the Sony receiver (provided primarily for the DVD-A medium). You can spend well over $5K on a SACD player, but I can't imagine how it could sound better than this one !!

What an amazing transition! The sound difference between regular CDs (which this player outputs through an optical connection into a different input on the receiver) is noticeable and appreciated! The "harshness" I have associated with regular CDs all these years is largely gone (depends on the mix) and the SS effects are really something to be experienced. The review I read on Dark Side said that the SS mix was unimaginative, and I can see how they arrived at that. But hearing voices coming from different places in the sound field, for example, just has to be experienced! This is completely different of course from playing a stereo source into a Pro-Logic "concert hall" (for example) field. I have owned this particular album since it was first released, in vinyl, cassette, and eventually CD. I am now hearing things in SACD that I have never heard even after listening to it doizens of times in 30+ years !! What a rush !!!

I have found that to truly enjoy the experience I can't just fire-up a title in the SS system and go about my other activities around the house as I often do with other music media. I have to plunk myself down in the "sweet spot" in the sound field, perhaps accompanied with an adult beverage suitable for my current mood, and really get enveloped in the moment. And recently I have been making time to do exactly that!

I quickly acquired other titles from my past: Seventh Sojourn, Madman Across the Water, Slowhand, and Allman Bros. Live at Fillmore, all with similar results. I couldn't find any of these in local stores so I switched to on-line sources, perhaps overspending somewhat. There are no apparent bargains from these sources, but I may eventually find some in the auctions or elsewhere. Like anything else of "quality", one has to expect to spend more. To me, this experience is worth it!

More importantly to me, however - there is no apparent dearth of 5.1 SACD titles that are of interest to me. Amazon is limited, but I found the below sources recently (one for sourcing and the other for reviews) and have already listed about 15 titles that are "next". I'm ready to plunk-down $130+ for a 5-disk Moody Blues 5.1 SACD collection that also includes some other material in regular CD and 2-ch SACD. That averages to $26 a title, twice or more the going price for new regular CD titles. But I don't have any of those in digital form yet (only on vinyl or R-R tape) so I'm not really duplicating anything. And they are all "hybrids" for portability.

I'm like a kid in a candy store these days with this "new discovery"! So if there are any others out there that are interested in SACD and want to compare notes, let's keep this thread alive! We could migrate to a "last and next" bought/listened to bend to it, and a discussion of "great finds" when they occur...!

Tks for "listening", and BRgds...

The Super Audio CD | SA-CD | SACD Reference
Import and Domestic Vinyl, SACD, DVD Audio, Audiophile Hardware - musicdirect - (800) 449-8333
 
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navychop

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Interesting coincidence. Last night, I broke down and ordered the Dark Side hybrid SACD from Amazon. Too cheap to pass up. I have more in the "pending" cart if this one works out as well as hoped. Moody Blues is next.

Years ago, I chose to go with DVD-A, and bought a few. Mixed results, but some were noticably better. Recently, I was in the market for a DVD recorder for my HT. I could not find one with the features I wanted, even after compromising. Almost bought one in a B&M until I remembered at the last moment to ask if it played DVD-A. It did not. No sale. Sales critters said they hadn't seen a player with that capability in some time. Well, I found some online, but lacking in other desired features. I need to retain the ability to play DVD-A in my HT, which means I must keep my JVC player there. I'd rather replace it with a recorder that could do it all.

Anyway, got off track. I figured I'd try the Dark Side SACD in my PS3. It arrives on the 18th. "Money" in 7.1 - I can hardly wait.
 

bhelms

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Cool! You'll love it! The mix is only 5.1 (I don't think any SACDs are in 7.1), but your receiver might do something neat with the SB channels. I have bought the speakers and cable to add SBs in my own system but haven't installed them yet so I can't provide any advance comment on that.

The SACD copy of DS that I bought at BB was priced the same as the regular verion, ~$15 IIRC. Might have been a mistake. To this point that's the only SACD title I found of any genre in any local store. So the 'net will be my only likely source for more titles. I do have friends on the lookout however.

Seems like all the mainline Moody Blues titles are out on SACD, hence my interest there. Was always a fan and Seventh Sojourn did not dissapoint!

Waiting for your report...!
 

navychop

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Yeah, almost nothing comes 7.1. I'm counting on the Onkyo to "fill it in."

"Dark" $12.97 at the amazing dot com folks. Free shipping. Couldn't pass it up. They have a large selection, but I didn't see any other great deals like that in the first couple of pages. I wasn't going to invest in a "dead" format, but I just had to give it a try. Maybe it will become clearer soon if BD will go big into surround sound music, and that might have a better chance of long term success. But they might never re-release some of these gems.

What I really want is to find reviews pointing out great releases of Organ music in surround. Bach, etc. And other classical music.
 

rcbridge

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I also recently found a Sony SACD 5 CD changer for about $150, I previously owned an SACD player and the quality was very good overall.

I have a few dozen SACD and Hybrid disc the selections are few and far inbetween, but if you are into jazz or classical there are a lot of good ones to choose from.

In terms of sound quality MP3 can't hold a candle to SACD.
Unfortunatly SACD was handled very poorly and never made it to the mainstream, so another good idea bit the dust!!
 

bhelms

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...In terms of sound quality MP3 can't hold a candle to SACD.
Unfortunatly SACD was handled very poorly and never made it to the mainstream, so another good idea bit the dust!!
MP3 in all its various levels of compression/lossiness (word?) is digital music for the masses, but any audiophile (including this one with these ancient ears!) knows the difference! I was an early adopter in both MP3 and MD, and knew from the getgo that these media are great for portability but not for serious listening! The quality difference is right up there with enjoying a good beer or cigar (even tho' I don't smoke!). You have to sit back and take the time to realize - then truly enjoy - the distinction...!

Now I'm lamenting the demise of SACD as perhaps others have/are. This is a lot like learning about the death of someone that should have been close long after the funeral!

But as I have learned in the past year, just because something is declared "dead" in the market place - meaning that new material is unlikely - doesn't make it sound or look any worse, nor that it will become rapidly unavailable! I have invested heavily in HD DVD and will continue to do so, perhaps even after I finally move to BD. The current incredible bargains on HD DVDs is part of the reason. That may never happen with SACD, but that alone has not dissuaded me at this point. For me, a 60s - 90s rock afficiado, the lack of new releases in SACD is no problem at all! I can find years of listening pleasure in "classical" (as in classic rock) releases that, as is rapidly becoming apparent to me, are readily available! It also appears there are, at least presently, no shortage of very suitable players as well. This little baseline unit I have now could last for years. Failing that, there are alternatives. I might even bite on a PS3 for other reasons, and having the SACD capability as a back-up would be a bonus!

In my mind at least, SACD lives on. And now it's a very big part of my resurgence as an audiophile after about a 15-year hiatus...!
 

Stacy A

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Wow. It was great to read this thread. I, too, delved into surround music several years ago, and that was when I used to spend a lot of time over at the home theater spot.com. I landed on DVD-A. Don't know why, other than that was the format that John Kotches seemed to feel was superior (and I'm not flaming or trying to troll). I actually have a SACD - Alison Krauss and Union Station Live, but my PS3 is only connected to my Onkyo receiver with toslink, so I don't get the hi-rez sound. I wish neither of these formats would have died. I have several DVD-A titles and my favorites are Hotel California, and Steely Dan's "Two against nature", and "Gaucho". You're right about not going off to do other things while these tunes are on. You have to sit and listen - you can't help it.
 

rcbridge

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MP3 in all its various levels of compression/lossiness (word?) is digital music for the masses, but any audiophile (including this one with these ancient ears!) knows the difference! I was an early adopter in both MP3 and MD, and knew from the getgo that these media are great for portability but not for serious listening! The quality difference is right up there with enjoying a good beer or cigar (even tho' I don't smoke!). You have to sit back and take the time to realize - then truly enjoy - the distinction...!

Amen to that!!

As long as they still make the Hybrid disc, I will continue to purchase them.
In many cases the difference in the price is only $1 or 2.
 

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