Is SACD a dead format?

From what I can glean, it seems that Sony is giving up on SACD? I can find no SACD's at my local store, and have to order them online. What a shame, are we all doomed to listening to mp3s in the future?
Sad if true. DVD-A seems to suck in stereo.
Sure looks like it. Have you seen how cheap Sony is selling some own SACDs on their site? Sad, becuase this playback format, and the associated recording and storage mechanisms held a lot of promise. Oh well. Blu-Ray anyone? I suspect that as massive (by today's standards) storage capacities become more prevalent, and lossless compression techniques continue to evolve, we will not be doomed to MP3.
What local store are you talking about? They still have a decent section at Best Buy - and I would assume Tower Records.

I wonder if with Blue Ray coming up Sony has new plans for hirez music?

If it dies, Sony only has itself to blame with its' moronic licensing practices. Sony should have made a point of licensing SACD to every upper end DVD or CD player manufacturer at a healthy per unit price, thus making SACD the audiophile standard at the least.

Instead the charge a lump sum of over $60K just to use the technology - effectively leaving many hi end boutique makers out of the running for SACD units.

Sony seems to be masters of inventing standards, and then doing everything possible to make sure they're not widely adopted. They should send Sony execs to school at Microsoft - who makes mediocre standards, but knows better than anybody how to make them universal through intelligent licensing.
I recall reading an article that suggested that both DVD-A and SACD essentially were dead. While both formats have deep pockets backing them, there does not appear to be enough buyers to make either format commercially viable. As the article pointed out, it is tough to ask someone to spend $20 for a SACD when the same disc is available at half the cost in a more readily accessible format. Given the troubles of the music industry, it would seem prudent for the major labels to try to increase sales volume. Sadly, in today's environment, that translates into MP3 downloads and ring tones (WTF)!
Deader than disco
never was alive it never even achieved a 1% sales penetration
I've seen more SACD's at my local Best Buy's within the last several weeks than i have ever seen in the past. Some of them are even current releases from popular artists, not just re-issues of past recordings from has-been's. I typically check the SACD bin's every week or so, so i found this to be good news for folks that enjoy and buy SACD's. Having said that, it probably is a dead format, but that doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of higher quality recordings while you can get them. Sean
I for one am glad if this is true. I believe it's possible to extract enough music info from a well-recorded redbook cd so that most any sonic difference is negligible at best.

never came to life for me....quality redbook CDs sound excellent in a quality CD transport and DAC anyway...never felt the need
It's hard to disagree with what has been written.

It also no longer seems to earn the same level of debate that it once did.
I suspect it may still survive as a niche Audiophile corner of the market.

The reality I often stated for myself seems to be true;SACD simply does not exhibit the sonic differences to attract potential converts to the format.
It failed to convince me for a variety of reasons and I don't think Sony helped themselves their marketing strategy seemed seriously flawed and quite a few discs just didn't deliver.
Of course others have found different but their impassioned stances on the format seemed to have faded to silence.
It may be dead in light of the lack of new titles being released. But if you have built up a decent library, sacd surely can live in your home.
Ya, SACD sucks! Everyone send me your crappy SACD discs. I'd be willing to take them off your hands for ten cents on the dollar; you pay shipping costs... ;-)
I read an article the other day that Sony had pretty much abandoned the ship. It just never took off and I couldn't see it ever being more than a niche product for audiophiles (which account for how much of the market and what do the rest care?)
At any rate, I do hear a difference with SACD, especially in the highs and with more palpable voices. Cymbals actually take on a real shimmer. Of course, there are some crappy ones too.
I buy on line. Maybe my local Best Buy will follow Sean's but right now---not much(nor with DVD-A.) I would think it depends on the area. Unfortunately, this area is not known for audiophiles. I would say you could count all of the true blue ones on 2 hands! This is more of a boom - boom in the car and boom box region. Best Buy sells their systems by the truck load and most think they have reached the pinnacle of sound (including my brother, who, after listening to my system, says it is crazy to invest that much money even if the sound is much better. His Sony system is GOOD enough and he only paid $400 for the complete thing!) Of course, I informed him that it's crazy to drive a Lexus when a Camry will suffice!
I do believe SACD has/had some real possibilities. To bad we'll probably never see it.
I think that someone will manufacture SACDs instead of Sony just 4 U audiophools:-)
Musical Fidelity came out with a very expensive SACD player, only recently, does it mean they have no clue what is going on in the market? I wonder!
That's the tragedy really-technically it should have delivered with time to develop the format.However the whole approach seemed so flawed it just makes you wonder why it wasn't launched or supported in the right manner as it must have taken time,money and effort to develop.
The catalogs of the audiophile centric record/disc sellers I get seem to point in the direction that SACD is gaining some traction with the smaller audiophile labels. A good thing, I think, as a grassroots movement that turns out music that is looked to by audiophiles will keep at least a trickle of things coming for us.

Whatever happened to Sony and some others I have heard converting their CD stamping facilities to hybrid CD/SACD processing?

On the sad note, I noticed in Stereophile that Sony Music went to a conference with the intention of throwing their support behind DVD-A. Someone at Sony intervened at the last moment, and the music divsion backed off. If I were the head of Sony, my head honcho at Sony Music would be called into the office and read the riot act (including the proviso that a bloodletting would result the next time I heard even an inkling of such a thing).
I think SACD might remain a niche supported by the small labels that put out good jazz and classical music recordings. As a popular format it will not likely last.

After owning the Exemplar 2900 I questioned whether SACD was necessary given how good redbook CD sound was on the Exemplar 2900.
The bottom line is the vast majority of people don't really care enough about sound quality to embrace something like SACD. Think about it. Where do most people listen to music? In their cars! SACD is superior to conventional CD, but I suspect less than 5% of the population has equipment good enough to appreciate the difference.

Sony should also be blamed for the way they marketed SACD. In the early days of the format most of what they did was reissue titles that already existed on CD, in many cases LP as well. SACD has the capacity where Sony could have combined two titles one on disc, for a one disc price. Instead they release Walter's Brahms Symphony #4 all by itself and charged $20 for it. Why didn't they put the third symphony on the disc as well? Why didn't they offer bargin pricing to get the format going? They sure weren't having to pay big licensing fees! The Mercury classical CD issues got it right. They added more music, in most cases, and didn't limit themselves to the exact same form as the original records. Why should they, CD has about thirty minutes more capacity. Mercury used it to their advantage and charged a low price. Sony could have filled up the entire disc with music and charge $12.99. Instead they chose to gouge the early converters.
An alleged dead format as in vinyl, last year sold more than SACD and DVD-A combined. We as Audiophiles kill our own formats. When CD first came out they sounded like crap and most of the Audiophiles were dumping turntables for pennies on the dollar. Twenty years later, some of them are re-purchasing analogue front ends. With todays technology state of the art will last months not years. Wait the Sonys of this world out, and don't jump on their ever changing format flavor of the month bandwagon and maybe some loyalty to the Audiophile community will be generated. Those of you that have invested in SACD or DVD-A, very shortly you will be able to purchase top of the line used SACD hardware for pennies.
Sony has several divisions. the Music division seems to be giving up on SACD to some degree. The hardware division seems to be still embracing it. It will survive, even if only as a niche product from smaller labels (Which is fine, that's where the best music often is anyway). There's over 2500 different SACD's available so no real shortage of music per se. It clearly is a superior format over Redbook. Anyone who can't hear a difference just doesn't have a system that is resovling enough. ;-)
Not to create a big spark B-U-T:
If you don't hear the high-rez difference with the SACD of Orff or Beck "Sea Change" then you really should sell-off your system or atleast get speakers that go up to 35KHz. I only test to 16KHz but there still is a HUGE difference.

I know this doesn't change SACD's death but atleast get a good listen before it goes. (p.s. I only have a 963SA too).
Sony is a lousy company. They are only interested in selling throw-away electronics for the massess. Anyone who is surprised that they dissatisfy the true enthusiast should only look to the last several decades of their marketing. They are like that fabled crow who sees his reflection in the stream and ends up dropping everything in his beak because he wanted what the other bird had.

No, let me tell you how I really feel. Why they think we need a new and improved Walkman or Clio every 3 months is beyond me. Their prices are outrageous, and you are buying into a host of incompatibilities and end-user parts problems.

Look to their music division when they had some of the best orchestras under their label, and you could see that they ruined that as well. In addition, their recordings from the golden-age of classical music are among the worst and the noisiest in the industry.

I bought a VAIO notebook from them about 2 years ago. I paid a little over $2000. The screen was crushed on a trip, so it is essentially unusable. A replacement screen is $800! A double-life battery is $500! A powercord is $150! If you lose their little proprietary connector so that it can plug into a projector, I couldn't even imagine what that would cost. I recently bought a dell notebook. Now I'm not going to say the quality or support of dell is better than sony, but at least it is 1/2 the price.

Maybe they will start developing compelling transports, DACS and cables for redbook
There were all kinds of them @ CES with several companies selling them.
I think some mistakes are being made in the above statements.

One has to accept that many people interested in Audio didn't find the sonic differences in SACD. Yes,maybe some of our systems aren't revealing enough,maybe some of the discs didn't do the format justice.
But this is not just the average Joe this is people INTERESTED in audio.
Failure to capture them has been more of a problem.

Anyone can make their own value judgement but my $800 SACD/DVD through my $3000 amp into my $3000 speakers left many a listener baffled as to what the advantage SACD gave over CD on the same Sony machine.
Play a normal Redbook on my $3000 CD player and it was no contest.

I said it at the time and got laughed at-you couldn't even find a SACD player in the same price range as my Ayre CX-7 to even try and adopt the format here in the UK's third biggest city and arguably 2nd biggest hi-fi city.

DVD's success was down to an instant improvement in replay and met mass acceptance-now if SACD could have made even a smidgen of that impact it might have survived too.

It didn't pass the basic test because Sony didn't make sure the early discs revealed it's superiority.

Nobody would turn their nose up at superior sound if it was realistic to enjoy it.
And for those of us more interested in the music than the reproduction then SACD never got out the starting blocks.
I think that Sony's embrace of DualDisc was the clear message for me that they are moving on. Too bad. I think SACD is a fantastic format and there are around 3000 titles available which would more than double my cd collection if I bought them all. So I'm just gonna keep scooping them up until they disappear.

Did anyone else ever wonder why a company the size of Sony never, to my knowledge, advertised SACD? The only thing resembling an ad for SACD was the explanation of the format that you get inside any SACD made by Sony/Philips. That's bright! They should have advertised to people who didn't know about the format, don't you think? Most people I know have never heard of SACD, unless I told them about it.

Does 200 gram 45 rpm vinyl appeal to the current mass market? No?! Well then, by this same measure, it must be a dead format as well.

Music is like wine, buy what YOU like, regardless of what the reviewers or market trends have to say.
Mmmm but isn't there a big problem with the availablity of music?

Surely the point is to hear ALL music in it's best reproduced state rather than being left with what niche labels can deliver?

Or maybe it doesn't.
I used to think this was premature, such as suggesting that vinyl was dead which now is flurishing, but the latest universal players make redbook so go that I no longer really care. However, I have been buying a fortune in new sacds which would suggest that it might not replace cds but still can fulfill my needs.
The catalogs of the audiophile centric record/disc sellers I get seem to point in the direction that SACD is gaining some traction with the smaller audiophile labels. A good thing, I think, as a grassroots movement that turns out music that is looked to by audiophiles will keep at least a trickle of things coming for us.

Whatever happened to Sony and some others I have heard converting their CD stamping facilities to hybrid CD/SACD processing?

On the sad note, I noticed in Stereophile that Sony Music went to a conference with the intention of throwing their support behind DVD-A. If I were the head of Sony, my head honcho at Sony Music would be called into the office and read the riot act (including the proviso that a bloodletting would result the next time I heard even an inkling of such a thing).
SACD was a stop gap profit scheme for Sony, they milked audiophiles and technophiles who bought unneccesary equipment and have incompatible software.

DVD-A is the future format, always was and always will be. CD is already had its day and if you ask any manufacturer how hard it is to get a CD transport these days you would know. Luckily DVD transports are compatible with CD's!

Sony is a four letter word for a reason, and yet another exploitation of the buying public buy Sony with a technology which was dead end from the day it was released.

Until you have a compatible standard digital output on any of these new technologies they technically don't exist, so DVD-A really does not exist yet. Its in mid birth.

Oh! and by the way, the improvement in the formats had nothing to do with expanding bits, but expanding channels.

Its likely the thought of a spinning disc and all its problems will be laughable concept ten years from now.
This seems like deja vu...!
Remember the era of the BETA vs. VHS war...?
Cinematic Systems if you were actually switched onto music rather than gear you'd realise how silly your CD has had it's day theory.

Do you actually buy any music?
Oh! and by the way, the improvement in the formats had nothing to do with expanding bits, but expanding channels.

Also, improved mastering. Arguably the greatest contribution SACD has made is to give record companies a reason/excuse to remaster their earlier, sonically poor efforts. And those same remastering jobs are now starting to show up on Redbook CDs. See, for example, the Dylan releases.

I've listened to highend SACD Players, High End DVD-Audio, and CD- all in my system. For Stereo listening, my Exemplar 2900 in CD mode is still preferred for most listening. Is SACD good? Yes. DVD-A? Sometimes good. Does DVD-A outperform CD? Not at my house.

For surround music- well, I believe surround is best left to movie soundtracks. I've NEVER heard music in surround that equalled- much less bettered- my stereo rig. That's why my Stereo is upstairs, and my Home Theater is downstairs.

Of course, Cinematic may disagree- but his moniker is Cinematic Systems, after all :)
Why am I always forced to explain the obvious!

What is a DVD? Its a CD that holds more. DO YOU OWN A COMPUTER?

CDrom or DVDrom?

And Danlib what kind of transport does your universal player have?

You guys are funny, try thinking a little about the world not your little world.

CD's will not need to coexist with DVD's much longer, as DVD transports will be the only available transport. So why stay at 16/44.1 with redbook's slightly flawed allocation of bits? Are you going to tell me now that 24/96 PCM 2 channel is going to be inferior to 16/44.1?

My name has nothing to do with my ability to discern sound and quality of systems. Nor does it reflect any limitation to my desire to have the best sound at my house.
Since my two channel system easily surpasses yours Danlib, you may want to think about why I listen too 2 channel CD's in surround

PS: Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.
If it isn't it should be.
What a total joke SACD is.
Sounds like CD's version of Dolby Noise Reduction.
Just a total joke and i owned 4 players with a range of 350.00 to 6000.00 and my Resolution Audio Opus 21 blows them all away'
Never died...was stillborn! Cinematic_systems, you might also have mentioned that you're a dealer, so your posts should be taken with a HUGE caveat...although you did give me a hearty laugh!
Cinematic, All several of us are suggesting is that newer units have made normal redbook much better and that we are sad to see sacd go, if indeed it goes. I suspect that universal players will be with us for many years even if sacd dwindles.

I don't think, "mine is bigger than yours" talk helps much, and I think you should get real and get accustomed to others not sharing your opinion. For example I have many dvdv on one side and dvdas on the other. Frequently I much prefer the dvdv side. And very frequently I prefer the cd version to the dvda version, probably because of the copy protection.

I cannot imagine any reason to have sound surround, and frankly cannot afford to have the quality in speakers, amps, and preamps in the additional channels even were I impressed with mc.

1. I know CD sounds great, my CD's sound awesome love them, bought about 70 CD's in the last three weeks.

2. When I say DVD-A what I mean is audio on a DVD, 2 channel, or multi-channel.

3. Danlib has an excellent system, F30 dollar for dollar one of the best full range speakers on the market. But my example was about considering the potential of surround if my two channel system surpasses his. If you can't imagine, then you must investigate.

4.I'm a dealer

5. Car Stereo's use DVD drives now soon all transports will be DVD compatible.

6. 24/96 established as the current bit/oversample rate.

7. Copy protection issues limiting DVD-A development and market proliferation, sad story of corporate greed.

8. DVD-A does not mean multichannel to me, it means 24/96 audio

9. Sup Pabelson, thank for the additional info

10. I need a girlfriend, cause I have too much time to post here.

Later guys.
Cinematic but what music are you actually buying?
Ooops are too busy selling gear.

Take the recent DVD-A REM releases-have you ACTUALLY LISTENED to the stereo 24/96 mixes?The one I heard was worse than the CD version in the same sleeve-wake up and listen please before posting.

As for reality-well in the record shops I frequent everybody is walking out with CD's not DVD-A's.And where does downloading/compressed formats feature in your half-arsed view?DVD-A players are crushing iPod sales no doubt.

Knife to a gun fight?
I get up too early in the morning for you sonny.

Take it from me DVD-A's future is no brighter (actually less so)than SACD.
Having posted before you got back in Cinematic your claim of 70 CD's bought in the last three weeks contradicts most of your argument.

Now why didn't you buy 70 DVD-A's?
Anything Redbook can do, DVDA can do better. Because it's the same darned PCM format but with more bits and faster sampling. This is not to say that every DVDA is recorded and mastered well enough for the improvement to be evident. SACD comparison is a lot more difficult because the format is so very different. Theoretically, it should also be better.
Cinematic, i gotta say i really enjoy yer posts. I think yer full of hot air, but it is always entertaining to see you put yer foot in yer mouth and try to find a way to smooth things over.
Keep posting!
Cinematic Systems said:

"Since my two channel system easily surpasses yours Danlib, you may want to think about why I listen too 2 channel CD's in surround

PS: Don't bring a knife to a gunfight."

First of all, it's not Danlib- it's Danlib1.

Second- it's listen to- not listen TOO.

Third- Personal digs about another's music system are really not necessary. I could not care less how big your penis is- oops I mean how much your system surpasses mine. I stated my opinion in the post. That's all.

Fourth- "Knife to a gunfight"? Dude- what grade are you in?
Not dead, but not mainstream. It is morphing into a niche market for audiophiles only--just like vinyl. With universal machines proliferating, those who are willing to pay will get SACDs. Sadly, few people are willing to pay for sound quality, so we are going to see a lot more MP3's and even less SACDs. I like vinyl, but I really do prefer a well recorded SACD. Unfortunately the blinkin record companies, looking for the fast buck, don't often make an effort to make a decent SACD. A good example is Norah Jones 1st album, the SACD is awful. I just wish people would be willing to pay for fidelity. SAd thing is a lot of "audiophiles" won't pay extra.
There are two factors that also trouble me about SACD [besides the limited number of titles, and idiots who release titles as a single layer, with no redbook CD layer].

1) What type of master tapes are used for the SACD titles? If the masters are 16 bit, and not analog or DSD bitstream, then dude, you've got nothing more than an upsampling CD player. I don't believe that SACD's list their master tape source, but I may be wrong.

2) Does the manufacturer use a mediocre DAC for their redbook section? I have heard that many SACD players have a vastly inferior CD section when compared to a high end reference redbook only CD player. And most SACD owners will play far more redbook CD's than SACD's.
Now everyone tells me that SACD is dead. I just recently purchased 41 SACDs to join my collection.
Oh no, wait a minute, I've been reading that for a couple of years now in here and in the Asylum.
You know what? For the little extra money that it costs over and above a standard CD, I have no issues putting that money into the software as that is where the music starts. At least in my system.
It's not dead...yet, just terminally ill, along with DVD-A. The early adopters who bought into sacd will keep it on life support for a while, but I wouldn't hold out any hope of it becomming a niche market for audiophiles. Eventually there will be one hi rez format that will establish itself.
Unfortunately, the hi rez war between the two competing formats resulted in MAD (mutually assured destruction). Maybe blu-ray is the "ray of hope" for all of us looking to make the move to hi rez digital.