High-end Universal...Why? ?

I don't understand why we're still talking about the "age of uncertainty" and the need for a universal player. After the death of DVD-A, those with high-end universals are going to look upon the vestigal circuitry in their machines with the same obsessive disdain as they would a reptilian tail sticking out of their own rear ends. You know who you are. : ) I humbly suggest using your $4 to $12K and buy an SACD player.

Sure, many people's favorite music isn't out on SACD, but that's a ubiquitous problem whenever formats change. There are many Lp's that never made it to CD. Why will SACD win over DVD-A? Let's take the surround camp: even if 50% bought DVD-A and 50% bought SACD, (it's actually 3 to 1 SACD over DVD-A), you also have 2-channel high-rez camp buying SACD also, swinging the vote even further in latter's favor.

A disclosure: I own an SACD player.
Sampling rate of 2,800,000 (SACD) versus 96,000 (DVDA)! C'mon, man DVDA is not dying, I'd argue that it was still-born in the first place.

If DVDA were a priest, music would be an altar-boy...

SACD is easily the best digital audio format available today but after 5 years or so probably 90%+ of the general music buying public doesn't know it exists or even care. It has been my experience that new releases are more readily available on vinyl than SACD. Unless Sony becomes a little more liberal with licensing and more aggressive with new hybrid releases I fear that SACD will remain a high-end niche like MFSL or DCC. Right now I can't see SACD ever becoming a mainstream format (which I find very frustrating). So I'll take my 4 to 12k and use it toward CD or vinyl playback.
Ignorance is bliss for you guys, I guess. So be it. But remember, the audiophile tail does NOT wag the industry dog. DVD-Audio *may* succeed despite the poor roll-out of the product. And SACD *may* succeed if "regular" folks see real value in a high-res recording. However, most people I know don't care a bit about it - they don't listen as closely as we do, and they *never* will.

Frankly, based upon what I've heard on the various formats, I'd place my money on DTS as the eventual winner - sound good enough for the masses, multi-channel impresses most everryone, *every* DVD player supports it, and you can have full-motion video as a bonus. I'm bettin' both DVD-Audio and SACD dry up and die within 3-5 years...

I am very fond of my tail and do not appreciate your mockery of those different than yourself. This is by far the most blatant tailism I have witnessed on AudiogoN and I think an apology is due to all of us for your lack of feeling, consideration, and understanding. If we were Christians or any of the fundamental sects you would be able to abuse us all you like as it is currently politically correct, but to single out those with tails is beyond the pale. Were you abused at sometime in your life by someone with a tail, a parent, a teacher, a priest? Why the hatred?

Anyway, you are preaching to the choir! It is people who never frequent places like AudiogoN and buy mainly from Circuit City, Best Buy, Pep Boys that you need to convert. Most people don't care one wit about the quality of musical reproduction. Most people don't listen to music they just have it on.

They are not going to buy a DVD-A or SACD player. CDs are already perfect sound forever, why should they care? No one who thinks CDs sound good is ever going to buy a format that actually has the potential to sound good. They are sheep.
Uppermidfi: Although he doesn't mince words saying it, Wainwright is probably not far off the mark. Also, try and chill out a bit. You need to be open to others point of view and how they say it. I'm not saying you have to agree with them, but read, absorb or not, and then move on. If what is written is a personal attack on you and only you, then, perhaps you have the right to rebutal and even an apology.
I agree with Bld63 that SACD will probably become a small niche in the market only few will care. Most people just don't care about the sound quality as much as they care about the picture quality of their home entertainment center. People will rather spend 3000.00 on a new plasma screen than on a cd player that can play sacd.

Since the technology is cheap enough nowaday, why can't Sony or Phillips make every of their new DVD players able to play SACD also and this will encourage people to experience the new format with little or no cost. Once they see the benefit of the new format, then maybe there is a small chance SACD will become part of the house hold topic.

By the way, when was the last time you see a SACD comercials on TV. I don't watch TV that much but honestly I swear I have not seen any thing on SACD on TV. The only ads I've seen are on hifi magazines but that is like preaching to the converted. (Wouldn't you rather see something else on TV others then Bush trying to trash Kerry war records :-) ?.)

It's kind of funny that most home electronic stores I visit, most salesman treat their SACD players, even the cheapest ones, as some sort of sacred devices that only a few can touch. This kind of remind me of the Apple vs. IBM fight back when computer was in its infancy. There is a joke that you don't ask a man what kind of computer he uses. If he uses Apple then he will proudly announce so.

Anyway, it seems like people in the SACD marketing departments are more audiophiles than marketers.
I believe there *are* many people who care about sound. To say otherwise is specious; otherwise why would anyone every buy a stereo system over $100? The general public will catch on. Like any company trying to recoup its R&D, Sony and Co is aiming at the Who, Rolling Stones, Tommy, and Classical crowd--middle-age men (presumably) with money. Price will come down. Naxos, a budget classical company has just started releasing SACDs at $12.

And Uppermidfi, a confession: I was born with a reptilian tail and besides being laughed at in middle school, I damaged record after record when, if I turned around too fast, it would knock the needle across my Soundesign turntable. I couldn't get the tail removed until Philips perfected laser technology in the '80's. I will always have an aversion to you people, and Lp's....
I was pretty well informed on audio technology in the mid 1980s, about when CDs came out . . .went through some impoverished times with my pair of Vandersteen 2ci, a Sony Walkman as a CD player and a receiver I bought at a garage sale, and just recently got back into the hobby.

My point is, even though I didn't read the audio press during the lean years, I was a person interested in audio in general, and should have noticed the introduction of a new format or technology, had it been publicized. I read newspapers and magazines, watch a lot of TV news and am generally well-informed.

I never knew that SACD OR DVD-Audio existed until I re-entered shopping for audio hardware last December and started buying the audio press again.

This does not make me optimistic that either of these formats will succeed. You are starting to see the occasional mention of SACD players at Circuit City-type stores now that there is one that sells for $150.

And remember that there are three competitors for the very small niche market for high resolution audio sources: DVD-A, SACD and vinyl. Right now, I would almost have to say that vinyl may win. . .
>> I believe there *are* many people who care about sound. To say otherwise is specious; otherwise why would anyone every buy a stereo system over $100? <<

Believe all you want, but the fact remains that SACD and DVD-Audio have almost 0 representation in the home of the average Joe. Yet that same Joe probably already has a DVD player capable of decoding DTS and Dolby Digital surround sound.

As for why anyone would have a > $100 sound system - c'mon, America is all about image - and nothing looks nicer (and impresses friends more) than a big home theater system kicking out the jams. Audiophiles are curious oddities to most folks, get used to it.

Game, set, match to DTS, I'm afraid...

Neither DVD-A OR SACD will gain any sort of marketshare until, Best Buy, Circuit City, Sam Goody, Tower, FYE et al start promoting the software. Instead the aforesaid, hide the DVD-As and SACDs in out of the way corners and have a lousy selection, that never changes. You all have to admit that also once bitten twice shy, remember when CDs first arrived, perfect sound forever. How many of us dumped our turntables and the CD sound was lousy for a decade at least. I am an advocate for whatever sounds best, but to spend 10k to 12k for hardware at this point in time is insane. Just remember all you old time audiophiles, Sony and Panasonic had the El Cassette, which sounded much better than the standard cassette. I bought an El Cassette and in two years time I was using it for a boat anchor. Beware of Sony bearing gifts.
Hey man, I don't care if DSD goes mainstream or not. The majority of mainstream music would benefit very little from the higher sampling rate. Most of the Rhino CD remasters sound great...

I think that where DSD will matter for decades to come is in remasters of the older jazz, blues, bluegrass, and classical 30 ips master analog reels of historically significant recordings.

I'll never be willing to spend the cash for a MINT original pressing of Ellington's "Blues in Orbit," but damn the DSD MoFi I bought for small coin sounds F'ing incredible...