CD vs. SACD vs. DVD-Audio vs Vinyl vs...

Which format do you like the most, or find to be the closest to the original master tapes? Or, if you attend live concerts (or play and instrument), which format do you prefer and why?
Hi Carl, I'm lucky enough to have a few friends with second homes and get invited frequently to Upstate NY, The Berkshires near Tanglewood and Fla. I go to London about once every 5 years to see family. I must admit for many, many years I couldn't be dragged off the island of Manhattan, but my fiance` is slowly curing my wicked ways. At 18 I signed with Mercury records to do a few Rock and Roll albums. My first demo was done at Bell Sound studios before it was closed. That is where Buddy Holly did his recording here. I was managed by some of the same people that managed Jimi Hendrix and my second studio experience was in Electric Lady studios in Studio B using Jimis' actual amplifiers (talk about if these walls could talk). I did my first album at Plaza Sound. It is on the top floor of Radio City Music Hall. The Rocketts dressing room was down the corridor.WOW! I drifted into jingle writing and producing for 10 years after that.The spots I worked on won a Cleo and other awards. I had to become adept at different styles of music and my tastes were growing. I once had to conduct multiple tracks of a string section made up of the finest players from the major NY orchestras. I struggled to keep up with them but everything went well. I discontinued producing and began teaching music privately due to poor health. I have been operating at a slower pace for a while now but hope to get up to normal speed again soon. The equipment you mentioned was exactly the type of equipment I used in many sessions. I used to like the older Harrison soundboards a lot. Usually I let the engineers set up a few different mikes for a session and picked the one that sounded best in that particular room. Sometimes I combined mikes. I had my own small recording studio for the lower budget commercials. I chose the Neumann mikes most of the time. I enjoyed growing in experience as a producer but I couldn't continue to sing about potato chips forever, even if the money was good. I have heard and appreciate some audiophile type recordings but I was of the mind that if a $90 mike got it better than a $4000 mike in the given situation I chose interesting sound first. BTW I was at Sound by Singer recently and the head of DCS was there with the president of Straight Wire. He told me that it many ways the design of the Sony SACD players was based on the Elgar Ring technology. He said that the cost to develope the Elgar would have been too high for any other company but that the Elgar was based on the work of the scientists who developed the British intelligence national security system. They started developing the DCS system as an offshoot of their intelligence work. Talk about a NY minute! I hope this bit of background info helps to introduce me to all of the regular participants here. I am happy to be in the same "room" with so many experienced and fun people. Here's hoping to find you all happy and well. Bye for now.
VINYL VINYL VINYL I used to enjoy CD fidelity but after hearing vinyl on a good set up its no looking back.I now have a rega 25/Grado platinum.3oo albums 0 cds DIGITAL SUCKS!!
Pretty much agree with Davebauer, except I won't go so for as to digital has its place. When I want to completely lose myself in the music, vinyl. If its just background, or "I'm tired and just back from work", digital does me just fine.
It is evident that neither of the other two have heard SACD. I would have agreed with them a few months ago. Vinyl does sound better than cd if you can put up with the pops and clicks. But SACD sounds just like vinyl!!!!!!! You can have your cake and eat it too. Imaagine that glorious vinyl sound but crystal clear and not pops and clicks. Sound too good to be true? Listen for yourself!
I bought a sacd player about 2 weeks ago and I am in the process of selling my turntable and all related items to offset the cost.If I had a large treasured record collection with many irreplaceable gems not found on cd then I would not be able to sell.Even if sacd does it better than both analog and regular cd ,there are only about 50 sacd discs currently available, as opposed to thousands of records and cd s .The sacd players are also exceptional at playing regular cd s.
Well, I'm no expert, but I say my Resolution Audio CD-50 will play CD's better than any SACD player in the here and now. I DARE ANYBODY TO COMPARE THEM SIDE BY SIDE, playing a CD. (Of course, you'll need that extra linestage for the SACD player. Good luck getting one that's as good as not having one at all, heh heh.) "WHY", YOU ASK? Because the SACD process isn't compatible with CD, and so IT DOES NOT A DAMN THING FOR IT. It'll be A DECADE before everything is available in the next digital format that actually "takes hold". AND THAT MAY, OR MAY NOT, BE SACD. All these early adopters that proclaim it's so "great" really annoy me! LISTEN TO VINYL FOR A FEW MORE YEARS, and stop worrying about being "left behind". UPSAMPLING IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HELP CD's, so you need to look into those, if you want CD sound that Scull in Stereophile thinks "sounds better than SACD"!!!!!! THE ONLY GUYS WHO'LL BE LEFT BEHIND ARE THE EARLY ADOPTERS OF A NEW FORMAT, HOWEVER "GREAT" IT MAY BE RIGHT NOW... Think about it, and maybe save for a dCS setup. Or, if you've got A LOT of disposable income, go buy another SUV before gas goes back over 2 dollars a gallon...heh heh. They're about as useful/practical as SACD. I'd rather have a Porsche 911 Turbo anyhoo...
This is for Carl. I have not heard the Resolution Audio CD 50, but I have a SCD1 and I have had the Wadia 7 (in my home, not as the owner), Krell KPS 25s, ARC CDP1, Esoteric P2S and Meitner Super Bidat and I find the unit to be on par with those components for std CD playback. I seriously doubt it plays CD’s better than the Accuphase DP75V which also handles SACD so your statement, ("but I say my Resolution Audio CD-50 will play CD's better than any SACD player in the here and now.") is most likely invalid. Also I find that some preamps are better than no preamp, the Sim Audio P5 for instance is my current unit of choice. Your aggressive tone would lead any reasonable person to assume some level of envy on your part. It is not a contest, if you don't want a SACD player don't buy one. I wanted one thus I bought it. One last thing, if you need the best in CD then use an outboard processor with the SCD1. Now you have SACD and CD sound tailored to your taste for less than half the cost of the DCS rig and 1 less digital interconnect. PS> I also wanted a Porsche 911 with a supercharger so I bought that too, triple black convertible with money I had left over by not buying the DCS gear. One last thing, have you ever heard, seen, touched a real SCD1? I notice a lot of people with such strong opinions have never even auditioned the equipment they are denigrating. Best Regards, Mike
I too have noticed that many have just not heard the SACD and do not realize that they are making fools of themselves. Even my at one of the local hifi shops, one guy who has offered great assistance in the past, is wondering what all the fuss is about the new formats. I keep telling him to go and listen for himself. He just keeps saysing it can't be better than vinyl. I think he is afraid, as are many other, because he has fought digital for so long and now there is not denying that the technology has ripened. Vinyl lovers listen, that is the sound of the fat lady warming up in the next room. No she isn't ready to sing just yet. But when she does there will be not room for denial.
MIKE: I apologize for seeming overly aggressive. It is you who is wrong, however. For one thing, Porsche doesn't make "superchargers". (Get real!! You don't even know the difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger!) It's obvious that you're the one who thinks it's all a contest. I'M MERELY STATING FACTS. The SACD process does nothing at all for CD playback, SO GET OVER YOURSELF! And the new dCS combo only costs a couple thousand more than the SCD-1, so you're WRONG about that too. Also, my CD-50 driving the power amp directly has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE WHOLE PASSIVE PREAMP DEBATE (in case that's what you're getting at). You can't compare it to Wadia either, because their filter kills the top octave. AND VINYL LOVERS AREN'T IN DENIAL ABOUT ANYTHING. It is vinylphobes who have the fear issues. I'm plenty open minded, and I never said SACD's were no good. YES, INDEED I HAVE HEARD THE SCD-1. I think when a real highend company gets the rights to make a machine, we'll all look back on all the "Sonymania", and have a good chuckle!!! BTW, MIKE, YOU'RE FULL OF CRAP! You wouldn't know fine automobiles, or fine audio, IF IT BIT YOU ON THE KEESTER!! I suggest you crawl back in your hole...
Carl I said I wanted a Porsche with a supercharger so I bought one. I bought the car, and I sent it to Supercharging of Knoxville where Mike Parker (a really nice guy who by the way is a master mechanic and avid racer) broke down the engine, rebuilt it with a supercharger and intercooler to the tune of 450 bhp. I know the difference between an exhaust driven turbo and a belt driven blower. Last time I checked the DCS combo was about $19000.00 retail which is $14000.00 more than the SCD1's $5k retail. Perhaps you are right though, I may not know anything about highend audio or fine autos, in any case it is your right to state your opinion just as I stated mine. I will now try to find the hole you so colorfully refer too. Best regards, Mike PS>Porsche doesn't make superchargers either, they source them from other manufacturers for factory install on some models (currently the 996 only).
MIKE, I was referring to the (as yet released) factory 996 (911) Turbo. What model year is the 911 you had modified? I'm glad you know the difference. (Hope you don't just drive the speed limit!) I thought that tuners like Ruf in Germany were supposed to be the best, though I know there are tons more. BUT, I DON'T KNOW OF ANY RACING TEAM (driving Porsches) THAT USES SUPERCHARGING. THEY'RE ALL EXHAUST TURBO. If you're near me, we should get together and hear each other's systems. You could even let me drive your Porsche. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE WRONG dCS combo. I'm referring to the new models (NOT the ELGAR). Look it up. The combo is like $11,000. I can't afford it yet, and any preamp that would really make use of it would cost more than that.
I had a 1996 911 cab moded. Superchargers give you instant on power. Ok, the Purcell and the Delius, I understand. I am open to hearing each other systems, but I live in Chicago. Regards, Mike
MIKE: I'm in TN, near Chattanooga. I don't know when I'll get up your way. If you are ever down this way, we should get together. HOW FAST HAVE YOU HAD HER, TOP END (and I don't mean "treble", heh heh)??
Why don't you both just shut up?
MIKHAIL: Is your last name Gorbachev? What'll you do if we don't shut up, get another tatoo on your head (heh heh)?
Is the sacd better than an 8-track tape? Since I can't find either source at the record store I guess one is as bad as the other.
I heard a direct comparison (by reservation) of the SACD at the CES in Vegas last month. I was sitting with a reviewer from a prominent high end audio magazine. The people at Sony played Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell and other music that I was familiar with. After the demo, the reviewer and I walked into the hallway and he said, is this what all the SACD talk is about? This is better than CD perhaps, but just as far away from vinyl as it ever was. I personally think that unless a person has heard the ultimate that LP has to offer, you cannot say what it does against SACD. I certainly hope that the demo at the CES, in spite of the money spent by Sony and others, does not fully represent what this format can do. I have stated in other postings that the sound at the CES is generally bad, however it is still possible to separate what is tolerable and what is not. In general, digital is not tolerable for me at all. I have really tried too, there was a period of seven months, at the end of my five year journey into digital, when I used all of my favors and influence to obtain every combination of digital player, converter, etc. that I could get my hands on. There was a monumental test between all of them to see what was the best (judged by a group of not less than four or more than nine people on most sessions). In the end, I gave up on digital altogether, and sold all (over 2000) CD's. I have no built in hatred of any format, and I sincerely wish that SACD would beat my turntable. Heck, I wish I could even listen to SACD against my turntable and not be thinking all the time about putting the LP back on. I will admit, that I have about $30,000 just in the source and front end (not counting the preamp or any of the rest of the system) and perhaps that has everything to do with my tests (although I had tens of thousands of dollars worth of digital against it too). The SACD is not expensive by that standard. I should say here, that I have heard a direct master DAT pulled from the mixing board from a recording session by Delos. It was jacked into a stereo system belonging to one of the members of my audio group. That was the only time I ever heard digital sound good. My friend who was playing me this master tape was the performing artist on the tape. He, in fact, was one of last years Grammy Award winners, and when not playing his own performances (that he has direct masters of) he listens to a turntable. He records in digital because that is what he's paid to do, and it is what is convenient and what sells to the general public. When all the commercial stuff is over, and its time to listen to music, the LP goes back on. He has one entire wall covered in vinyl. A note also, in a brief discussion I had with the People at Sony, they admit that they have a very limited library coming at this point. They even stated that their best hope of making the switch to SACD successful, will be from analog recordings (what LP is), or new music, yet to be recorded. He agreed that much of the existing digital was pretty miserable, and that it was not possible to make more of it than is was when it was recorded. So, one can wait and hope for the next generation of yet to be recorded artists and hope that the antique masters in the vault will make yet one more transfer or, you can take advantage right now and enjoy most of the greatest music ever recorded in a format that is still available, in literally hundreds of millions of copies, pressed over the last 50 years. Much of it pressed from the tapes when the tapes were barley weeks old! This makes the LP the only true archival format for this great music, as much of that tape is now falling apart or has already done so.
ALBERT PORTER: I agree with you on most points. BUT... your feelings represent an EXTREME viewpoint, I believe. I love vinyl, but let's be honest with our ears here (mine are quite good). The fact is, the technology (even interconnect cabling, and 3 to 2 downmixing "consoles"--besides the cutting amps, and cutters, and vinyl formulations) used to produce the vinyl in the old days WAS ARCHAIC. I feel that only the recent pressings from RTI (Classic Record's reissues, Analogue Productions, etc.) ACTUALLY REPRESENT THE BEST that vinyl is capable of (esp. the 12 inch 45's). I HAVE BERNIE GRUNDMAN'S SIGNATURE IN THAT SHINY BLACK SURFACE A COUPLE OF HUNDRED TIMES, SO I KNOW. I've compared them with mint originals, and there's no contest AT ALL, NOT EVEN CLOSE! Perhaps the largest "subgroup" of us audiophiles listen to BOTH CD, AND LP. Personally, as long as I don't listen to both in one night, I am comfortable with either. I don't quite have 2000 CD's, and what I do have I WON'T BE THROWING OUT...EITHER FOR VINYL, SACD, DVD-A, E-PROM CHIPS, or whatever actually does replace CD as the mainstream "hard copy" format. YOU JUST NEED TO TRY dCS upsampling. IT MAKES CD'S BETTER THAN SACD's so good I doubt even your pricey linestage could get the most out of it (much less the rest of your system). PERHAPS AN $80,000 LINESTAGE, and a 2 MILLION dollar amp/speaker combo COULD....
The subject was on the question of SACD and how it compared to older formats. It is important to consider that currently there are not enough software titles available for any serious music lover in SACD format. Even if there were 1000 titles, right now, how many would be the type of music that would suit you? Next, LP's as pressed today are extremely good, and yes, many even better than the original. But my point was, that there are thousands of master tapes that have NOT been properly cared for, and the album made when that tape was new, is the only remaining way to hear that music. I have thousands of albums, and I own many of the Mosiacs and most of Classic Records and Acoustics Sounds library, But, I guess it boils down to whether you want to have available the selection of any and all the music that existed in the last 30 to 50 years, or you wish to wait until enough of what remains in good condition on tape to be transferred to SACD. For me personally, I do not want to wait for that to happen, even if it worked out to be equal to LP. And, I do not believe it will be equal anytime in the near future. As far as the CD digital versus LP issue, you are entitled to your opinion, but among all the people in the audio business, it is pretty much common knowledge that the CD is not capable (not even possible) of making equal music to analog. Simply stated, the less quality you try to extract from a CD, generally the better off you are. There is a limit to what can be gotten from one, and once that threshold has been crossed, you hear a lot of stuff that is pretty nasty. Perhaps what all this comes to is that everyone posting here may well have equal hearing, and possibly even the discipline to test properly. However, if a system is pushed far enough, you get to the point where only LP will work. DCS upsampling, SACD and all the converters that I have tried do not equal LP. We can argue the point and there will be NO WINNER. I have my experience and you have your experience, and I doubt either one will change his mind. Next, we could argue about what is the best color, or tastiest food, or the prettiest girl. But unless you and I had the same experience on the subject, we would differ. You do not know my standard for listening, and I do not know yours. So be happy, and don't worry if I or anyone else does not agree about your choice in format. By the way, my extreme viewpoint comes from testing once or twice a week with a group of audiophiles. We have been meeting for 23 years. Before that, I was the factory rep. in 5 states for Infinity, Ampex, Yamaha, Sennheiser and M.B. (Germany). I was the technical rep. for JBL, and specified systems for recording studios and sound reinforcement. I also ran three high end audio stores, and previously or currently do advertising for 14 high end audio manufacturers. Many of which are hot topics on this web site. It is difficult, if not impossible, to not have an extreme viewpoint, it comes with the extreme exposure I have had with music. Last, you throw around figures about a 2 million dollar amp speaker combo, you seem to equate that money equals quality. While it is true that there is never "something for nothing," it is very easy to pay too much and not get what you paid for. There are things in my system that are $3.00 that won against things that cost $200.00 and there are things that cost $30,000.00, that I believe was the only choice. The price is not always the way to determine the end result. Its the music.
I never said price equated quality. I merely implied that it would take the very best equipment to get the most out of upsampling. My standards are no different than anybody's who enjoys quality audio. Listening with a group of people is hardly a controlled testing environment, since perceptions can be swayed by outside factors that have nothing at all to do with objective listening. And all sorts of false conclusions have been born out of double blind testing; it's a flawed way to make comparisons. THE HIGH END INDUSTRY EXPERTS ALL AGREE WITH THIS. I don't need a group of people controlling the way I conduct comparisons...If you like this type of thing, you are subscribing to the Consumer Reports "methodology".
And I said nothing about double blind testing. The reason for a group of people listening and testing together is so no one person controls the outcome of the test. The music is chosen based on what multiple people like, and subsequently this forces all of us to evaluate what the system can do in a variety of situations. Additionally, the equipment being tested is also available for use in the other members sound systems. The group owns (or owned) many types of equipment, from Atmasphere, Tube Research, Audio Research, B&W, McCormack, Soundlab, VIVA, Wolcott, Vandersteen, JM Labs, Aesthetix, Counterpoint, EASE Audio, Jadis, Basis, Graham, Versa Dynamics, Keuwetsu, Benz, Walker, and this is just a fraction. If you think that a single persons opinion is more value than a group of people, all testing together, then your logic is certainly different than ours. When a piece of equipment "works" on three, four or five systems, then that is a damn good sign that it is a winner. Or, if a piece of equipment fails on all the systems, it obviously has problems. Secondly, I disagree that I need the ultimate in equipment to get the most out of upsampling. The fact is that the CD format is limited in information (not to mention the brick wall filter, which causes phase problems) and you cannot get information (or restore phase) where it does not exist. The WHOLE reason for the SACD format was to rectify the problems with the old format, and give the industry a shot in the arm with new sales. CD format was established 20 years ago, and is ready for a face lift. How would you like to have a computer or any other digital based piece of equipment that is 20 years old, and try and make it the ultimate by plugging in a correcting device. Just as computers have upgraded each year (did I say YEAR?) The CD format has desperately needed upgrading for many years. The CD itself is the problem, not just the digital format. That is why I made the comment in the other posting about the master DAT tape sounding better. It is flawed, but not as flawed as the CD. Especially in the case I was describing, when it was a master and had not been resampled or downsampled from the original source. The CD cannot be corrected by any device, at least not corrected in the sense of making it into analog. The sampling rate is limited by the 20 year old format that now must be adhered to, to assure format compatibility. I would not disagree with you that upsampling is superior to not using it. BUT, it is still a poor contender for analog. The CD format was argued about, and like many things, pressed onto the public before it was perfected. However once the format was set, because it is digital, it cannot be changed, until a new format can be launched that is cross compatible. The LP was replaced for many reasons. First and foremost, it is more expensive to produce. The number is actually about 6 times. So, if you were Sony, Phillips, etc., and you also happened to own a lot of music (CBS) would you like to make a few hundred million dollars extra? And DONT THINK it is NOT about MONEY. The LP was a burden for the music industry because of all of the following reasons: More cost to make, heavier to ship, more likely to break in shipping, more returns due to "defects" (remember most people don't know how to set up a turntable, and therefore blame the LP), more space required to display, more storage area required for both the distributor and the re seller, inability to replace a defective (damaged) cover (all you need with CD is a new Jewel Box). And, the LP does not lend itself to be used as a portable source. All of these reasons contribute to the desire for the music people to push the CD. So, again, I state that CD is inferior in sound, not in popularity or profit margins. And, if you are getting better sound out of upsampling than you do from your LP, either your system is not pushed out to the limit, or your turntable needs upgrading. If you believe that your LP is better, and you simply like your CD player and the upsampling system you use, because you have a ton of music that is not on LP, and you want to listen to it, then I don't know what all this discussion has been about. Play it and enjoy it!
Everything you've said is common knowledge (we all know that the CD format was conceived of for higher profit margins--you're not blowing anybody's mind with that), and since you don't know what all the fuss is about, WHY IS IT THAT YOU TALK SO MUCH? I admit that one thing you can do better than me is type fast...So can anybody's secretary. Most audiophiles don't care if a component will work extremely well in more than one system context, THEY ONLY CARE IF IT CAN GET THE MOST PERFORMANCE OUT OF THEIR OWN UNIQUE SYSTEM CONTEXT. Perhaps if your group were doing market research for a manufacturer, THAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT. I don't object to doing what you do with the group. HOWEVER, IF YOU SPEND MORE TIME DOING THAT THAN LISTENING ON YOUR OWN, then you're more interested in the socializing, than in listening to music for the sake of doing it for your own pleasure. AND, DON'T PRESUME THAT RELINQUISHING CONTROL OF A TEST SITUATION INCREASES IT'S VALIDITY OR ACCURACY. The inevitable extra tension kills the accuracy, whether the votes are anonymous, or not. If you'll read my previous comments, you should get the impression that I still think LP's have a vastly superior POTENTIAL performance, BUT IT'S DAMNED SURE NOT ALWAYS REALIZED (maybe more than half the time, MAYBE NOT). Everybody knows that there are plenty of cases where the version of a recording on CD is either better than the typically average condition, vintage vinyl version on LP...Or else the vinyl pressing itself had flaws in the manufacturing process to begin with. YOUR ARGUMENT WAS TO CHUCK ALL CD's from your collection, because you "couldn't bear to hear CD". I SUBMIT THAT IT WAS YOUR DIGITAL GEAR THAT WASN'T UP TO SNUFF. And, you don't like brick wall filters? SO WHAT? Several manufacturers use slow roll off filters to good effect. Look into it. By throwing out all CD's, YOU'RE THROWING THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER, for Pete's sake!!! I never said the CD standard didn't need updating, but to not use CD at all is just plain silly and wrongminded. MICHAEL FREMER SPENDS PLENTY OF TIME LISTENING TO THAT ABHORENT CD MEDIUM, and not just out of need for his columns. I CONSIDER HIM TO HAVE SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE OF VINYL THAN ANYONE (especially you), so stop your extremist rhetoric...IT'S OBVIOUS THAT YOU'RE CLOSED MINDED, AND CAN'T SEE THE WHOLE PICTURE. And I came in under 10,000 words...I guess my verbal skills have more of a "brick wall filter", and yours have more of an infinitely non-exitsent filter...heh heh heh.
Excellent views albertporter. I could not agree with you more. You seem to have a very good ear. Would you like to share what your equipment is.
"Snook2", if you will please give me your e-mail address, I will e-mail you so we can trade phone numbers, that way we can speak in person. I would be glad to pay for the call. Maybe you live near enough that you could join us in one of our music listening sessions. It is most often at my home. Sometime there are visitors that are very interesting. One is the Grammy winner that I spoke of, and one is the owner of the number one web site for audio, two own audio manufacturing companies, one is the importer for a line of audio product from Europe. All in all a super group of nice guys to listen with and learn from. By the way, I wish I knew who "Jazzman" was as well, I have read his postings for a good while now and he has a lot of things to say that not only agree with, but find very interesting.
"Snook2", if you will please give me your e-mail address, I will e-mail you so we can trade phone numbers, that way we can speak in person. I would be glad to pay for the call. Maybe you live near enough that you could join us in one of our music listening sessions. It is most often at my home. Sometime there are visitors that are very interesting. One is the Grammy winner that I spoke of, and one is the owner of the number one web site for audio, two own audio manufacturing companies, one is the importer for a line of audio product from Europe. All in all a super group of nice guys to listen with and learn from. By the way, I wish I knew who "Jazzman" was as well, I have read his postings for a good while now and he has a lot of things to say that not only agree with, but find very interesting.
although VINYL may still be the king, there are many fine digital products worth owning. I sell hi-end audio and only market the most musical products regardless of name brand. (2) products that come to mind are the new ELECTROCOMPANIET ECM-1 (50)lb. cd player. at only $3,995.00 you may not miss your turntable. this unit has a very analog sound. next, the finest expression in digital comes from a swiss company called ENSEMBLE. their latest DAC & TRANSPORT at just under $19,000.00 has outperformed everything, including SACD and the best upsampler dac's. that's the truth!!
Albert, Grammies are won by whoever uses the most dynamic compression and artificial processing; NOT THAT YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW THIS. How nice for you that you can rub shoulders with so many "big wigs". One day, I'll be in a similar position. I'll be happy to come visit you in the retirement home then...
i would be willing to bet that the people who are bad-mouthing the scd-1 player have not had the oportunity to listen to it for any length of time in their a new audio format it is light years ahead of regular cd playback. every one of the very best respected reviewers in the audio industry can't be is 100% unanimous that super audio is as close to the original master tape as can probably be obtained.a friend of mine that has the top of the line basis table and vandenhul frog set up was blown away by the sound. he didn't think he would ever say that digital was as good or possibly better then his analogue for those of you who don't think it's a very good cd player try using a good outboard dac with it and i dare you to find a cd player under $7500 that will touch it. it does,by the way, take about 3-400 hours to fully break-in gp buy it as a great cd player. you can find them for about $3500 if you look and get a great superaudio player free.
Hi Calloway. I am thinking to purchase one SCD-1, honestly I did not know much about sound and I just a starter into sound. I would like to ask your opinions. Thx Bruce
Carl, you are definitely one poster who needs a category of "argument" rather that "discussion" as a button to push at this site. I think you are more interested in making wise cracks than stating your position. Or, perhaps wise cracks IS your position. The grammy winner happens to conduct live music, and there is very little compression in that. Of course you know everything about everything, so I guess all of us in the old folks home should turn off our hearing aid and bow down to your superior intellect. I certainly wish now that I had left you to argue with poor old Mikeam about Porsches, rather than try to discuss the subject of music. My guess is that you got your anger and bad attitude from listening to jagged sound, perhaps a Krell amp. Did I get it right?
Calloway, I sincerely hope that you are right about SACD. I stated in one posting that the CES was not a proper place to listen as the results were often poor there. I will try SACD in my home (you are correct, that IS the proper place), as soon as there is sufficient software to consider the purchase. As I already said, I have no particular hatred for any format, just would like it to sound as much like real music as possible, and have a good quantity of software available. DVD has proven to take off very well, so maybe the time between introduction and practical and usable products has been shortened.
Albert, I'm sorry I've hurt your feelings. I was simply defending myself, and my position. I'm happy that the grammy winner you speak of is a conductor, really. I enjoy music more than anything, even more than Porsches (mostly), and that's saying a whole helluva lot! No problems at all with my system, it is unbelievably great, AND YOU'D LOVE IT'S SOUND FOR SURE. That's a gurantee! I'm happy to have had this exchange with you, and am eager to discuss anything about audio with open minded people (we all still have plenty to learn). IF PEOPLE WANT TO GO BUY AN SCD-1, that's marvelous. But don't fool yourself into thinking you'll have that machine for many years, because you won't. I MEAN, HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD YOUR TURNTABLE, AND HOW LONG HAS IT SATISFIED YOU? There's no need to hurry and adopt what you feel to be the latest innovation in digital audio, BECAUSE DIGITAL IS HERE TO STAY FOR EVERMORE, TILL THE END OF TIME (or at least our time). MY GOAL IS TO GET ENOUGH AUDIO GUYS INTERESTED IN ANALOG THAT IT MIGHT BE KEPT ALIVE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!! Therefore, every nickel spent on an SCD-1 could have, and SHOULD HAVE, been spent on an analog rig. THAT'S ALL I'M SAYING. If you think SACD is the best format, JUST THINK HOW GREAT DIGITAL AUDIO WILL BE 3 YEARS, OR 5 YEARS, FROM NOW. Might as well buy more vinyl/turntables/etc. now. And enjoy CD's on CD players that GET THE MOST out of CD, and not DEPEND ON A PLAYER that uses a process that DOESN'T GET THE MOST OUT OF THEM...SEEMS LIKE THE ONLY LOGICAL SOLUTION TO ME...unless the ONLY recordings in your collection are those 50 SACD's, which isn't the case for anybody on this planet!! It's not as if there were only 50 titles per year released in the Cd format's beginnings. Why? Because that was a format that the industry got behind, so much so that it was rammed down our throats. The public at large has never heard of SACD, yet it's been available for a year...the public at large doesn't care about audio quality, and we all know that. And the industry is interested in keeping the highest profit margin possible. Whatever the next digital format will be, it won't be dicided until the public at large decides. BUYING AN SCD-1 (or even the ES model) WON'T SPEED THIS ALONG, EITHER.
Carl, I Could not agree with you more. And I am sincerely sorry if my postings back to you caused you any anguish, it became a game for both of us. The emotion that all of us audiophiles feel when we get the music better than the last time, makes us continue the fight. It is difficult to be unbiased, because all of us experience the same joy, but through different media (and pieces of equipment). I am sincerely happy that you enjoy CD. My teen age son loves them, and I care more for him than my own life. And as long as I am being totally honest, I saw a posting where you defended Krell, so it was a chance to mess with you. It might interest you to know that the Symphony Conductor and Grammy Winner uses Krell amps and Conrad Johnson ART preamp in his reference system (I am not joking). Best to you and your quest for excellence in music!
I'm happy there's no hard feelings, and I figured I'd be "preaching to the choir" regarding vinyl, with you in particular. My hope is that others can read how strong someone can like that format, and perhaps the two of us have that covered, for now (heh heh). AS FOR KRELL, THEY DON'T NEED ME TO DEFEND THEM, AND INDEED I DID FIGURE YOU WERE JUST "MESSING WITH ME". I don't think that particular CJ with a Krell power amp would be such a bad combo at all. I think that $80,000 preamp I referred to earlier would be better, say with the Reference or Audio Standard amps. NOT THAT I COULD AFFORD ANY OF THESE, though I'm sure YOU COULD, "Mr. Gates/Sultan of Brunei/Rockefeller/robber-baron-of-audiodom", heh heh heh...
All I can help with is CD vs. SACD I compared the CD end of a Sony 777 with a Meridian 508-24 and for laughs a Rotel RCD 7??. The Meridian was just slightly better than the Rotel ($3500 vs. $350). I then compared the Meridian and the Sony. The Sony was very annoying to listen to even after messing around with the filters. The Sony was impressive with SACD. I personally would not sacrifice my 3500+ CD collection just to listen to a few SACD's that are currently on the market. Maybe in a few years. I say save your money and buy a Rotel or a Rega until all of these format choices are clear. BTW - I still love vinyl.
...all digital gear including SACD are compared against the sound of analog. The closer the sound resembles the warmth, and the ambiance of the "records",the higher the quality of that CD player is. Another point...maybe he sounds, at the times "opinionated" "know-it-all" or even "Pushy..." he (Carl) brings "LIFE" to these otherwise, "DEAD" pages... KEEP ON GOING CARL...!!!
ElDragon: Thanks very much for the compliments!! Jtinn: YOU'VE REDEEMED YOURSELF WITH ME, since you like vinyl, and your observations are entirely CORRECT about the issue of SACD, and also of comparing an SACD player with a quality CD player. I apologize for attacking you in "Wilson vs. Sonus Faber"'s just so darned fun I can't help attacking somebody. I DO USUALLY APOLOGIZE IF THEY TAKE IT TOO PERSONALLY, certainly warrant that now, so I'M SORRY...for now...heh heh heh.
With the cost of your basic C.D costing almost 20 bucks each and 10 bucks used.And the cost of audiophile C.D. around 25 bucks and UP I will continue to pay anywhere from nothing or a quarter or 3 for a buck or a buck each to splurging for a 23.00 audiophile pressing.If I can beat the sound a $20 or $30 C.D has to offer for pennies or a little more then thanks but no thanks.Also I enjoy record collecting too much.Nothing like finding that treasure for next to nothing,heading home with anticipation,getting it squeeky clean and finally dropping the needle to the groove,sitting back and KNOWING there is no way in hell a C.D.sounds this good.A job well done,thats vinyl!!
David99. You have described my addiction exactly. I spend a lot of time at used book stores, Public Library Sales, Record Shows and especially on EBAY. The other day I noticed that there were over 90,000 (yes ninety thousand!) Just records! Posted on EBAY. Even if I only like 10 percent of what is posted, its enough to last me for a lifetime, even if I didn't have to work for a living.
Albert,E-Bay Helped me find a recording on vinyl I was told repeatedly was not on vinyl.What a surprise when I saw it.It will cost me more than a quarter but I'll splurge this time.ha,ha.The way the bidding is going it still will cost me less than the C.D. Anybody can run to the store buy a C.D. player,Go to the closest music store,plop down 20 bucks and walk out with about any C.D they want.I feel to get the most out of anything one has to work at it. I have never heard S.A.C.D. but I could care less because out of the 50 recordings there are none would interest me.It will be years before there will be enough to even tempt me.So My money is invested in analog.I will continue to refine my playback system and collect my albums while you guys continue to debate which format sounds better.To me its a no brainer!! Thanks for all the help Albert.Your still COOL!!
I have been reading the above discussions about the vinyl vs. digital. It is quite entertaining, but I would like to say something here that is very simple and very basic. What is the digital signal basically? It is a mathematical description of the originally produced sound. This “description” is then be recorded onto a CD or dvd or whatever those marketing scientists produce for us (yes, marketing scientists, not physics). And it is still a description, for Gods sake!!! Further more, this description is as sensitive to the “reading” devices (just as the analogue is). The errors produced during reading are “corrected” by some “cleaver digital processors” who “compensate” the missing data and fix the error? Hello? Then, the remains of the mathematical description go into another processor who is supposed to recreate the originally produced sound? God, please help me see the light!!! Are we trying to clone the sound like we cloned Dolly? Well, I think it is just too complicated, too far away from something that we already have! I live in Bosnia and I have not been able to test equipment expensive more then a $10k. What you guys have been listening, it costs more then Bosnian GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but it seems that discussion is about the same basic things. All of us want just one thing: the absolutely natural sound reproduction. And we do not want any illusions, we want the entire symphonic orchestra in our rooms. Not any illusions and not any descriptions! Is that possible? Well, of course it is, just like it is possible to travel to Mars today and it was not imaginable 50 years ago, but the point is, where do we start from? We should start from the truth, from the basics, and not from illusions that are offered by the marketing experts! The best solutions are the simplest ones, but not too simple”, like our good old Einstein used to say. And vinyl perfectly fits into this. It is simple, but still has some problems that are complicated to solve! Hazim Sabanovic
Yes, analog has problems, so does every format. I like to compare digital to a "connect the dots" picture that children like to draw. After the dots are connected, you can make out the image of the object that the dots represented, but all those straight lines loose the grace and dignity of the object. Yes, it is recognizable, and yes the lines can even be drawn in with a protractor to a more graceful shape, BUT it still does not pass for a good drawing. The point I am making is that there are simply not enough dots in the puzzle to explain a great drawing, and at least in the current digital format, there are not enough samples (or dots) to mathematically present a correct musical presentation. This is not to say that digital cannot be fun or satisfying, but the errors are the type that make it difficult (for me) to set aside my disbelief, and be passionate about the music.
here we go..........imho and iit is h, vinyl is the current best consumer source if only due to the sheer number of titles avail. the satisfying, relaxed, wanting to hear more music, but tired of cleaning feeling one gets compared to 44.1 should convince the music lover ot seek out a good but affordable player, lets face it, most cant afford the sota/vpi/basis etc level of vinyl nirvana (vinyrvana?) that some of you can. my advice is to find as good of a used tt as you can afford, preferably with a tonearm that accepts a universal headshell. that will allow you to change the sound at will to enjoy cartridges in the round. yes the fixed type is more rigid but the flexibility is wonderful. tjere are good affordable arms with this feature such as the sumiko mmt to warrant callng them hi end. enough of that. cd is way more convenient, i have plenty of them, some music is only avail on cd just as it is on LP. the new steely dan frinstnc. i have double inventory on many items when i could get them cheeeep. LPs are usually cheeeep used, plenty of that here in the LA area. ther are some oportunists that consistetly sell for elevated prices. if they need to do that to stay in business then ok. $100 will get you a way better sound than a $100 tt at list prices. but as soon as you get to the 300 range, the reversal starts big time. a trip to the store for music reults in way more used LPs than CDs, and more work but mare satisfaction w/LP. SACD. man, i hope the consumers with expendable income can support this long enough to get the format to affordable stage in a reasonable time frame. i havent heardi a demo yet, but we do rightly trust certain ears.....hp,harley,ahc,valin,holt,brisson(not hirsch,mostly not pohllman) and thats where i feel justified in trusting that sacd will prove to be what weve been waiting for. the sheer sampling rate alone aproaches the analog standard of being always on. now we have nearly non existent noise, appropriate sampling, dynamic range seemingly limited by that of music, and absence of low frequency garbage(one of the bugaboos of LP). bring it on. i think the 24/96 is a great step, but i for one hope that it falls by the wayside. the sacd from sony will play redbook cd AND sacd, thank you sony. what a brillliant and brave first step to stay away from multi channel. hey, i like surround in the proper dose, ive been using a dynaco quadaptor since the 70s to great effect( now have the 5ch, fornt ctr gets turned off for music liosteneing), most visitors not realizing they were listening to 4 channels until the soundfield collapsed to the front upon returning to stereo(and thats with the rear ch adjusted to near audibilty, the way it should be, when there is really rear ch info, youll hear it there) when the multichannel development in sacd comes, im sure sony will make the software backwardly compatable. even at that the pro logics and quadaptpors out there can handle stereo and recover the ambience to an effective degree. i guess some people must have discreet, let them pay for it. give me vinyl, give me sacd, dont take away my cd but dont force me to get dvd for audio. the software ppppurveyors will quickly adjust to the demise of dvd based audio.
You guys are getting a bit cranky lately. For most of us our interest in music began with the records our parents played or the songs we heard on the radio. These sources were usually barbaric by todays' standards. I had a cheap Emerson console and my best friend had a Macintosh amp and preamp. His high fidelity system was instrumental in training my ears to appreciate good quality audio. Strangely enough some recordings were much more effective at producing an emotional response to the music when played on my parents' console. So.. Higher fidelity does not always equal deeper enjoyment of music. The CD format has been besieged by complaints from audiophiles from the beginning. What a waste of time. I was fortunate to hear the first CD player before public demonstrations and was startled by its realism despite its first generation shortcomings. We have enjoyed this elegant format for 20 years now. Now that we are beginning to see the end of vinyls superiority the same types of people are doing the same thing. Nag, nag, nag, nag. The prospect of high resolution audio and video in a universal player is near and I for one can't wait. It is only a matter of time until science finds a way to clearly better the sound quality of vinyl at a far lower cost than a high end turntable rig with virtually indestructable software. I really wonder if all of the vinyl enthusiasts think they are enjoying the music more because of the analogue format when they are really enjoying the quality of thir systems and not the music. I can appreciate aesthetics as much as the next guy but this sounds like a classic car collector who enjoys looking at his collection but doesn't have quite as much fun driving around anymore. Digital will win in the end. Don't mourn the loss of the horse and buggy. Try (audio news) And a good time was had by all, Martin Butler Matin Butler
Martin is the cranky one that's doing the nagging here. Just because you've never heard vinyl on a decent rig doesn't give you the right to be a smart guy with me. We enjoy vinyl because it IS better. I enjoy CD as much or more than you do, that's not the point (my player is very likely better than yours). And it costs about the same to have a decent analog, OR digital rig. When you liken vinyl to the "horse'n'buggy", YOU'RE JUST SHOWING HOW SILLY YOU ARE. I liken vinyl to a car racing analogy: There was once a racing series far better than, say, Nascar. It was in the 1970's, and the cars were more powerful and much higher in technology than Nascar. (I'm using today's Nascar racing as an example because of it's popularity, and because of the irony of its inferior technology; leaving off the most high tech racing of all time, Formula One, which is far above the technology in even the Indy CART series). THIS 1970'S SPECTACLE WAS CALLED CAN AM, or Canadian American racing series. Perhaps those in the northern lattitudes (Michigan, Wisconsin) remember it. Even more than the Grand Touring Prototype racing at Le Mans, THIS CAN AM SERIES made Porsche a legend with the 917 race car. This machine produced 1500 horsepower, was the first road racing model to employ DRASTIC amounts of turbo charge boost, could go 240 mph, and won more races than any other CAN AM car. IN THIS ANALOGY, vinyl (on a decent, NOT stratospheric rig) is the 917, and CD is Jeff Gordon in his ugly, low tech Nascar. The 917 overtakes him at about 80 mph, when the Nascar racer is going all out.
Carl, lighten up. I think you've just won the worlds longest analogy award. You have no idea what I may have heard or not heard. If you and your 917 took a pit stop you might have noticed I was saying that at this time vinyl may be superior, but at the current speed of advancement in audio technology not for much longer. If you think that is silly remember the shock of those horse and buggy owners when they had to send old Sally to the glue factory and couldn't couldn't get jack for their old rig. Martin
Hey, we listen to all formats. I don't listen to recorded music in one situation or one format. Clearly, in the car it is FM or CD or tape and I enjoy those. I even had a 45 record player in, "Bahama Baby", my hot rod in the late fifties and sixties. That was the only way to get black music, especially blues and R&B. That was kool then. But that 45 player was not a fi-fi performer, and the vinyl didn't like bumps in the road producing scratches. Since then, Tapes, FM and CDs have become king in the auto audio environment. I do have several hundred-cassette copies of LPs that are very good. At home, I listen to three recorded format FM, CD and vinyl. It's funny that those cassettes don't get played. FM and CD are the only playback formats I use for background music, and I enjoy both as that. When I want to escape into a "music performance", vinyl is the only format that gets me involved with the performance. I have invested a lot of time, effort and more money in trying to get my digital system to produce that "involvement factor" with no luck. It never gets there for me. If you have done it, well, congratulations! I can only last a 30 minutes or so before I turn digital off, and go back to the analog. Its not because I don't think it is good. It's just that digital or FM doesn't draw me into the music, period. It has its place, but it leaves me cold. Vinyl (analog) warms my soul and I can escape into the music. I have written off Sony's SACD more wasted time, effort and money. $3K+ can buy A LOT of great performances in new/used records. SACD is too little way and way too late. Maybe there will be something better around the next digital corner and I'll keep my ears listening, mind objective, and checkbook ready. But, until I can hear it. Vinyl is the music seductress in my house. Good luck in chasing those latest and greatest digital audio technologies. That chase is form of musical involvement, but no longer mine. Gerrym5
Thanks Gerry, I was just about to ask if anyone of the vynil enthusiasts would be willing to reveal just how big their cd towers really are.
I own 3 C.D.s Stereophile test C.D.-3 AC DC Siff upper lip and Tool Aenama.I pretty much can find almost any L.P. I want if I look hard enough,including Modern Rock.You would be surprised! Im not hurting for music.
BM, it is you sir, who needs to lighten up. Sorry you didn't enjoy the analogy, but it was by no means a long one. Perhaps you read at a rate that might be slower than normal. Good luck with that, and go stick a firecracker in your auditory canal, dude.