Another sign SACD is dying

I went to Best Buy to purchase some SACDs and after searching for the special section containing sacds and xrcds without success, I asked the salesman where they were. He informed me that they were all removed since dual disc is now the rage. WOW!

Showing 13 responses by jadem6

And to your surprise, that is exactly my point too. Somehow you and I have not clicked on this thread, I guess we just see a different ending.

I again want to thank you for the civility of this discussion. This is without question the most fun I have had disagreeing on Audiogon in years. Tvad, you are in my admiration.
For over five years I have listened to claims of the death of SACD. During this same time I have continued to build my SACD library and modify my Sony SCD-1.

The impending death looks further away today than any time in the past five years. For those who continue to predict it's failure, most who have not even heard SACD's I am sorry. You have missed five wonderful years of music!

I personally do not care, as I've modified my SACD player, I continue to receive better performance from both SACD and redbook playback. So I can not see how I've done anything but gained in my system enjoyment.

Others can continue writing obituaries about various formats, I'm too busy listening to my system.
I find it ironic that I discovered this thread as the new 2006 catalogs from "Acoustic Sound" and "Music Direct" both have arrived in the past two weeks. Wonderful to see how much is direct DSD recorded by so many labels.

Yes the Vinyl selection looks strong too, but I am so excited putting my Christmas list together. Over the past five years I have patiently waited for SACD to grow, and ever so slowly it has.

SACD will never be "the" new format, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have their eyes on that. These two are going to take the sonic quality of music down another notch or two, which makes the small quantity high quality disks even that much more in demand by the Audiophiles. We are willing to pay $35 for a 180 gram vinyl pressing or $25 for boutique labels and SACD.

My guess is redbook cd will die before SACD and DVD-A. Once Apple and Microsoft finish there new ventures there will be no need for music from the store. It will all be internet downloads, except for us, the Audiophile market. This is where the labels who care about quality recording and production will stay and SACD will be one of their preferred formats. It does sound better, and it's a step forward, be it a smaller step than I was hoping for.

If vinyl, SACD, DVD-A die, we audiophiles will die too. Given the fact that any 24 hour period here at Audiogon has over 500 new listings, I don't see that happening. So if you do care about quality recordings, you best support the efforts "our" labels are making to get recorded music better.

If you don't care about sonic quality, then why not leave this site and go to the Microsoft chat rooms...
Interesting news Treyhoss. Thanks for the input.

I was simply ignoring Essentialaudio because his comments made no sense to me. I assume he thinks I'm listening to music, so ????????????? Yes I did comment on SACD, that is the reason for this thread, all the other he comments on?????????

If he means I'm not listening to MP3, cassettes, real to real, 8 track... then he is right.

No matter, his comments were so far off topic, they meant nothing to me. Maybe he's upset because I haven't bought a cassette deck from his "audio" store.
speaking strictly for myself, I have not lost my enthusiasm for the format, or the past two years increases in released titles. I did however grow very tired of trying to share my enthusiasm. There are some people who tried it and heard nothing, for those I question the resolving abilities of the system they heard it on. There are many who have never tried it and yet share their negative opinions. There are yet others who have found the format betters the redbook by a marked degree, not to mention the fact that we also can play redbook on our machines. Those without the ability to play SACD are missing the format, those of us who are enjoying SACD also enjoy redbook. So please explain what I'm missing...
Jaybo, your point was made and understood three posts ago. What I see being discussed is where the audio industry is going, not what one label is releasing. I doubt anyone would disagree with your view of what is being released, and we all stand perplexed by the decision making.

One point I would make regarding the jazz and classical releases ahead of rock/pop is the quality of recordings. Most of the back library of classical and jazz is recorded direct to tape without over dubbing. The rock era of the 70's was the turning point for the recording industry and for the most part the quality of recording has fallen from there. The multi track recordings I have heard on SACD are worse than in redbook. This is because the SACD format is allowing me to hear more, in this case hear the overdubs and splices.

Most of the new "mass market" music of today is so poorly recorded that I can hardly listen to it on my system. Releasing bad recordings on a hi-rez format would only make the experience worse.

As I see it, the music industry has quit recording for "us" thirty years ago, and as said in discussed above, if the delivery is through computer or satellite in the future the mass market music will be even worse.

It requires labels like Mapleshade, Chesky, Reference Recording, Lost Highway and the like to receive our continued support if we want high quality recordings in the future. If there was enough people demanding quality perhaps some of the better artists would write there next contract with a quality first label. Otherwise, we audiophile types are stuck in the '50's and 60's when the industry cared. Sadly that means jazz and classical or garage rock.
First off I must commend everyone on this thread for making an often very controversial topic enjoyable and useful.

Tvad, somehow I do think you and I are not communicating. It appears to be partly on each of our interpretations of what we are reading. This is always the danger of these threads; it’s easy to misunderstand and therefore not communicate.

On my side, I here you questioning the logic of the SACD releases to date. I agree, I do not understand it either (but I will add a thought on that later). Then I challenged you that they are releasing recordings based on quality of the recording, and you disagreed. You later discussed the marketing is not for the 35+ year old market. Now I’m confused. In my mind the SACD marketing is to those people who are looking for the best digital sound available. This most likely would be people who could afford high end audio equipment, thus the 35+ year old market. This might also be a market that is more likely to enjoy the well recorded classical and jazz of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. So in my mind this is an explanation for the choices they make.

Again I’m going to make the point that using SACD to release the poorly recorded mass market music of the ’70-present would be illogical in that this playback method would only highlight the flaws of the original recording (master tapes) The only way to improve these recordings is to filter and roll off the problem areas. This would be unacceptable to those looking for the best digital playback possible. So I am confused by your responses.

I then hear you discussing downloading via broad band satellite being some sort of answer. To who???

I made the point that the mass market, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are going to destroy the music industry. I should have been clearer with my thought. This will destroy the high quality, hi-rez audio market. Here’s my logic. The original DAC tapes made from either analog source or DSD digital format is the best digital copy available. (First generation) Every time this signal is sent through something, the chance of lessening the quality exists. How good is the clocking in the manufacturing? How is the signal sent to a satellite or uploaded to the internet. What clocking is used? Every generation of digital reproduction will alter the original. It will always be something less, in that it is not logical that we could add to this digital source. We can only degrade this, not improve it.

The mass market and I believe your idea of satellite will only degrade the original recording. If you are using today’s technology to play back this degraded signal you are using equipment developed for computers and now home video. I am not aware of a digital source that would match the quality of our high end audio gear. If it’s on the internet, it’s run through Billy’s or Stevey”s software. I do not believe this is a good thing. If you’re using satellite transponders, and expecting the receiver to match the equipment the high end audio user has, I do not believe it.

What you are discussing is the very downside I am discussing. I do not believe this method of music transfer is anything but a step backward, and inherently flawed. If filtering the jitter created by lesser clocking equipment is a solution acceptable to you, then fine. I would guess those who strive for the best possible stereo playback would not find this an acceptable solution. So here we are, I believe SACD is a better format to reproduce the audio signal for my stereo. You believe the mass market uploading to the internet or satellite is better. We are talking about apples and oranges and my expectation for audio reproduction must be quite different than yours.

Now I completely agree the internet and satellite is the method of the future. I see that as a negative, and you seem to see it as a positive. If that is true, I respectfully disagree, and fully support your ambition to find high quality mass market software. I hope your right, but today I do not believe you are. Instead, I am discussing a completely different animal. I am looking to support the non-mass market labels that believe in quality of recording first and quality of delivery first. These labels have endorsed SACD and I applaud them. These may also be the labels that keep the high end audio business alive, and I support them. Today they are releasing some of the best of a massive library of well recorded music. It is clearly marketed to the older, well healed audiophiles. Makes sense, that was the purpose of a new format, at least for the smaller quality labels.

Sony’s motivation was something completely different. They hoped to keep there monopoly on royalties they had enjoyed for 25 years with CD’s. SACD was there attempt, and I agree they failed big time. It does not however mean the formats future is dead, quite the contrary. From SACD came DSD recording techniques. This format is becoming the recording and storage of original materiel standard. The step from DSD to SACD disks is nothing. The technology is in DSD and I think that is here to stay. In fact this is one possible logic behind the releases to date. There is a large attempt by the audio industry to preserve the original master tapes on file. Many of the oldest ones are deteriorating as are old film (video). In the audio world DSD is the process being used to re-master the original master tapes. So the stuff being re-mastered today is much of the “great” performances stored in the vault and re-mastered before they are lost forever. SACD is a bi-product of that. Same can be said for film/video. DVD-V is the bi-product. In the video industry they are digitally reworking (adding pixels) to make a brighter more vivid presentation. This is a very dangerous practice, and for our cherished audio, I would like this practice to remain in video only. I want what was recorded, not what some computer geek believes it “should” have sounded like.

At any rate, the music industry will take mass market to the computer and satellite industry. We will learn to accept rolled off, heavily filtered and compressed audio for our ipods and mp3 players. Out audio will come from space, collected my our dishes and decoded by less than perfect equipment. This is the mass market, and why I claimed that CD will die. There will be no need, and because of this prediction I agree with your comments. It’s the high-end/ Audiophile market I was addressing, and for them, those who believe in the best, SACD remains a format beyond CD.

Tvad, good points all. I have nothing left to discuss other than the topic of this thread. The only dispute I have is a clone is not a clone. Digital reproduction is completely reliant on clocking, and the fact that clocking is not a perfect science, every copy be nature is altered.

The very fact that vinyl is available to a fraction of the audiophile community, which is in turn a fraction of the music industry, tells me there will be a digital equivalent to vinyl. I propose this will be SACD, due in part to the fact that much of the master tape library is being re-mastered into the DSD format. It seems logical that the audiophiles will want that information made available as purely as possible, thus SACD.

I just have a hard time seeing Chesky, Mapleshade and the like settling for degradation of the original.
This explains my entire point. Small labels, XRCD and other high quality sources are not bulk produced. That's the who;e point.

Oh well, we clearly are on different wave lengths, but I commend you for not getting frustrated.
The flaw in your remarks Tvad is believing any industry moves that fast. The development of HDTV was appropriated by the legislature in the early '80's after not supporting the development of the semiconductor and losing countless dollars to Japan. Despite Federal funding, the universities were not able to produce an agreed upon format from which to develop until ten years later. Today there are more video formats battling it out than audio, and no clear path to HDTV in every home is seen by me.

Now you propose delivering audio through the same satellite network despite the inherent flaws they have encountered to date. Yes the technology is in place to do what you propose, but the logistics are another thing.

I also would like to draw your attention to Bill Gate's news conference a couple years back where he proposed ALL media will be run through the internet. He took the first step in that venture with the introduction of his beta program "Windows Media" which is now the standard operation system being sold to individuals. The same can be said for Steve Jobs with ipod. If you for one second believe these two men are on the wrong track, and your concept is the right track, then I must LOL. These two men will destroy music quality for all. Small labels will have no interest in fighting for satellite time and bandwidth when they already have a widely accepted system to deliver. SACD may die, but logic tell me SACD is the natural progression from DSD. The comment made that this is more work than vinyl is simply wrong. The recordings are more often than not being stored in DSD. Converting from DSD is no more work than vinyl, in fact it's less. DSD is SACD. As to getting approvals by the artists and working through royalties, that is no different from vinyl to disk, either way the legal arrangements agreed to by the artists must be followed.

So my belief is 180 degrees from yours, but for different reasons. Bill Gates owns the technology industry and controls the direction computers are going. The entertainment industry is too large for him to simply turn his back on. Now whether our data is send to our computer via fiber optics or satellite dishes makes little difference. The end location is a hard drive to store compressed files on. I challenge you to find me a computer that process audio at the EMM Meitner DAC quality. If it's out there, it is a long way from Best Buy, and the masses you discuss.

I have no reason to believe the computer (the future/ and present) file server for all our media will be developed to the degree our sound systems are. Hell some of us have power supplies on our DACs bigger than the computer boxes sitting under our desks.

So in summation I hardly see adding boxes to our electronics collections (boxes meaning satellite decoders. I assume the HDTV recorder will not do audio, and neither will do date) So I have more stuff to add to the VCR, DVD-V, processors, amps... No I think Gates has one box in mind. One computer with his operating system handling all information. My assumption is it will come through the internet, a land based system (for the most part) and the transfer of this date will eventually go through wire cables, fiber optic cables, satellite??? Steve Jobs appears to be focused on the portable information delivery system, and ????? has the satellite system. Best I can guess is those satellites will be quite busy once consumers demand a better phone system. Satellite phones are used all over the world, but not here, we have some goofy "cell" system that is so inherently flawed it is sickening. Sat phones, now that's the future.

John Mayer, that's great news!!! I don't know Switchfoot, please tell me it's not my age showing.
Eldartford, Judging from the system below (yours) you clearly frequent Curciut City for your audio advice. To each their own, to each their own. Now as a self discribed "sucker for spacial..." perhaps you would like some advice on...

Denon 2900 with Underwood mod
Rotel 1066 PrePro
Ashley electronic crossover
3 CarverPro ZR1600 power amps biamped for front speakers
3 Magneplanar MG1.6
3 multidriver custom subwoofer systems
Behringer DEQ2496 Equalizer

Now then, yes I may be a snob in your view.
I was just joking around, You are correct, the mass market is Circuit City, and you are well above that. Sorry if you took offence, just a little fun...