Despite having been an early adopter of CD's (I still have my Magnavox 650 in storage), I have never listened to an SACD. (I have listened to DVD-A's and was very impressed, but we know what happened to that format.)
My CEC TL-1x/Dodson 218 combo does not play SACD, but I have an Oppo 980h which I understand does. If I were to buy one SACD to get a sense of how that format sounds, which would you recommend? I generally listen to folk rock, some jazz, some classical.
I suggest Jorma Kaukonen's "Blue Country Heart," with stellar back-up including Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas, and even Bela Fleck on a couple of tracks. I'm sure you will receive many other worthy suggestions. If you know Jorma and Hot Tuna, you will like this album a lot. It is a very well recorded SACD and the music is terrific. Whatever you choose, it would be best to stick to an SACD that was recorded using DSD instead of an older recording that has been remastered, even with DSD.
Ncarv - I bought that recording on CD a few years back. I didn't know it was available on SACD. It is a great recording, even on CD. As to the first disc? I recommend Chesky's World's Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings. Very simple, pristine sound with a lot of space and air. Definitely "audio demo" stuff, but I think the music is worthwhile, especially Kenny Rankin singing Round Midnight.
Whatever you pick wouldnt it make sense to listen to something you actually are familiar with? Anyone can love a pristine recording but to understand what SACD truely can do you have to know what you are hearing. Dark Side Of The Moon get your blood flowing?...that sounds great SACD.
Two great options with either Beck's "Sea Change" or The "Blue Country Heart" by Jorma. If you don't have the cd versions of these, get them as they are both great albums. If you have them already then you can do a direct comparison which will be useful. The problem you have as I see it is the Oppo. I have the same player and am not impressed with it's audio performance. I recently moved it into the living room where it does video duties only.
Thanks all. I do have both Dark Side of the Moon and Beck's Sea Change on CD and they might be the ones to try on SACD to hear a fair comparison. I recognize the Oppo may not be the best SACD player, but it will have to do for now.
yes, the Beck is awesome. I bought mine for a high price. That is the main thing that turns me off to SACDs, they are very ltd. (or apparently so) and the "ebay" effect drives up the price quickly on oop discs. I am looking for Kraftwerk's Minimum-Maxium SACD (I only have the DTS 5.1 DVD now) and people are selling it for upwards of $400 which I think is way too high for a disc that was selling for $50 just a short while ago.
Boston. Better than on LP. Amazing resolution. Captures the extended high frequencies without sounding raw or harsh. This shows the magic of SACD. (Oh, last but not least, just about some of the best album ever recorded, right up there with Abbey Road, IMHO of course. Please don't flame this post.)
I probably will go with Beck's Sea Change because I own the CD and know the sound very well. Will report back on findings. I almost hope I am not impressed because the last thing I need now is another audio obsession!
I didn't think DSOM was that much better. The George Harrison "Live in Japan" was a let down. I was also disappointed with 461 Ocean Blvd which really bummed me out because that is one of my favorite Eric Clapton albums. Wish I could find a good recording of it... both cd and sacd sound compressed.
To the positive side, a really, really good jazz sacd is 'Keystone 3" by Art Blakely and the Jazz messengers. And if you ever want to get laid by an older women try John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Don't think the xer's would go for this but a cougar in her late forties wouldn't have a chance.
Don't laugh, Cindy Lauper's She's so Unusual sounds great (and an unexpectedly gifted work, too). Also try the Stones' Hot Rocks; it is very fluid and linear but still relaxing. I'm starting to think SACD works better on popular than classical. I wish they would redo the Beatles on SACD... I'd pay anything for that.
For me, SACD has really lived up to its promise of far superior performance; it's a shame it never caught on and there are so few releases.