SACD has been so incredibly hyped by Sony that nothing could live up to expectations. I find that SACD and DVDA, when represented by well mastered discs, are equally good, and better than CD. I appreciate the multichannel capability also, and some of the video on DVDA is interesting.
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
If I had a nickel for every person (including "respected members" of blah blah blah) who found flaws in any format you can think of, I'd have enough nickels to market my own format.
Like redbook...not all sacd's are created equal. That said, a well recorded sacd played on a good sacd player is fantastic.
I'm not playing around with sacd's at this time as I only own a Pioneer 563A sacd player which to my ear is no better than a good redbook player...hardly worth the extra costs of the discs.
I did own a Sony XA-777es sacd player at one time though...playing well recorded sacds on that player was truly a thrill...problem was, there were not enough sacds on the market to keep me happy when I owned that player.
It won't cost much to find out if the experts are right but I suggest you do some research first so as not to pick up one of the many stinkers out there for your first test.
Every reviewer twit has to find something wrong with whatever he's reviewing in order for his "golden ears" to be validated. They also have their own agendas for various reasons.
Believe your own ears
Their is nothing wrong with the DSD way of mastering a cd. Some cd's are just recorded better than others. I love my Nickle Creek sacd's but then I have other SACD's that are not so good. The only flaw so to speak is that it does not allow you to play the disk using a digital output.
In my opinion, SACD was the best CD format ever. Unfortunately, Sony marketed it about as well as Pioneer marketed Laserdisc.
Get ready for a long, CD technology drought!
-Unless you consider compression schemes & the IPod to be advances...........
As another already posted, so much is dependent on the engineering of the recording. And I'd have a tendency to agree with Eldartford about the overhype.
That aside, I think there's potentially much more music in the redbook format than some to many are willing to admit.
I get more overall musical enjoyment out of my redbook cds than with the 15 or so SACDs I've owned. I would not buy another SACD unless it were the only format available for a given performance.
On another note, it is undisputed that the Mark Levinson Live Recordings at Red Rose Music Vol. one SACD is one of the better SACD recordings.
This SACD should give you a pretty good idea of the potential of SACD at least in 2-channel.
I don't think SACD is flawed. It is like any source, if you listen to a well recorded SACD, it sounds wonderful. If you listen to a poorly recorded disk, well, it sounds pretty rough.
In a good overall system, CD's can sound excellent. You'll never get that analogue sound out of them but they are more than good. SACD comes closer, much closer on good recordings.
I haven't heard a multi-channel disk that I cared for but its kinda fun to fool around with.
SACD would have worked based on its superior format but what did it offer regular folks who make up most of the market? Absolutely nothing. No big bucks there!
SACD IS a better format than CD. It is unfortunate that its possibilities will never be realized. Sony kind of gave up before it got started. I don't think anyone ever accused Sony of being a well run company. They come out with the periodic good component to tweek interest then go back to making the "How to make money" stuff.
I love SACD on my EMM labs equipment. A big improvement over CD. How does SACD compare to CD on your APL player? For me I don't want to listen to CDs on the EMM. SACDs are very close to "perfect" in many ways provided it is a great recording. Most of my friends fealt I was "done" in my stereo chase. But CD is still wanting & Vinyl is great & depending on the LP & who you speak to is very close in sound to SACD as far as the format is much closer to music than CD. This is just my experience.
Check out this article, it tells some of the story. http://www.iar-80.com/page17.html
There are a few other similar online reports, I will try to find them as well.
I agree that there are some very good SACD recordings, but that's not the question. It seems that DVD-A should be far superior, if done correctly.
"ooooo, sssss"? I always thought it was "boo, hsss".
Iseekheils, very interesting read. IAR had an older report that I saw several years ago but I can't remember if this is the same article by Moncrief or more of an updated follow up.
In either case, if there's any truth to Moncrief's words, then a lot of people have been and continue to be dup'ed.
And I am curious what others think this may say about Ed Meitner the person and his gear.
I myself have owned a Sony SCD-1 SACD/cd player for the last 3 years and love it. I think it plays both formats well, but redbook cds always seems a bit more lively or energetic than the SACD.
Some of the more significant and/or recent ways I've been able to obtain a more lively sound is through certain line conditioners, misc. electrical tweaks, cryo-treatments, and implementing engergy transfer vibriation control methodologies.
I rarely play SACDs anymore, but when I do, I simply do not notice the same improvements in the upper frequencies that I do with Redbook cds. Perhaps Moncrief's explanation explains why.
I think Moncrief is a real straight shooter and perhaps head and shoulders over most other reviews/columnists. But I don't think the SACD sound has been anywhere near as bad as he claims, but then again, I hear rumor that he has some extraordinary hearing abilities.
I'm sticking with redbook as I still think there's a lot more musical info yet to be extracted.
Thanks for the url pointer. It's good read.
I have read from a couple of sources that SACD's actually have less resolution, dynamic range, and a lower signal-to-noise ratio in the mid and upper treble frequencies than regular CD's!
Has anyone else read about this, or heard this?
Its execution not format. Quality of original recording engineering, whether the player directly decodes DSD or first converts to PCM (a lot do), whether the recording was really PCM just converted in DSD for SACD release or whether it was DSD direct, the list goes on.
The DSD encoding method is fundamentally different from staightforward PCM, so there is plenty of room for people to argue about whether SACDs are better or worse than CDs. The arguement about high frequency deficiencies of SACD are persuasive, but so is the argument that these high frequencies do not require the same fidelity as those below about 8000 Hz.
The DVDA encoding is like CDs, PCM, but with a higher sampling rate and greater bit resolution. Although the disc mastering can make either format sound good, or bad, it's a "no-brainer" that DVDA is a superior medium to CDs.
C'mon..this guy is an eccentric wierdo. Have you read his "reviews" of Arcam stuff in Widescreen Review lately? Long, boring, repetitive, fawning crap. He runs out of superlatives, so repeats them Ad Nauseam over pages and pages and pages...in his totally unbelievable "best I have ever heard" claims. He OWNS Arcam now - wonder what HIS price was after that first review? Then he reviews a lower piece in the line and trips all over his drool raving about that one!!
Total loss of objectivity and impartiality...
If you want the best sound get a TT. If you want variety get redbook. Or get both.
SACD has been out for 6+ years or so and it's still taking up about a 1 foot section at most record stores. Its future is here and it's dismal at best.
Also, Moncrief went out and got a McCormack UDP-1 multi-player, which gives one pause...if SACD is so bad and DVD-Audio is pretty well dead - why bother? (Plus we went on & on & on again about how bad SACD is, regurgitating what he had spent half a lifetime writing about in the first TWO SACD articles...I guess we're all deaf and stupid here on the 'Gon)
He pronounces the UDP-1 as the best player on the planet, after comparing it to a four year old Audio Aero Capitole Mark One, which has been improved-on hugely since with the Mk.II. What kind of critical review is that?
Verbal diarrhea - no credibility at all!
SACD is better than redbook. Period. If you have ears, you know this. I'll admit that redbook play can possibly equal SACD if you have gobs of money to spend, but on a reasonable budget, come on! SACD sounds like music and makes me want to not do all the other things I'm supposed to be doing and just listen to music. Like vinyl. CD actually turned me off of music until technology caught up and made it sound decent.
I am hopeful that SACD will survive as an audiophile format. I know it won't become mainstream, because we are in the minority, wanting the absolute best in sound quality.
I don't think anyone is trying to argue that Redbook is as good as SACD - SACD sounds better no doubt.
Vinyl sounds better than both - (if your wanting the best sound) and between Redbook and Vinyl, pretty much covers all recorded music, so why have an imbetween format that has limited software? Where does it fit? What's it's purpose? I'm not making a point with these questions, I'm actually looking for a good explaination.
Robm321, I think I kinda' argued above that redbook sounds better and perhaps a few others have also. And no it doesn't take 'gobs of money', as another claimed.
In my personal opinion, DVD-Audio discs that are very well recorded sound better than CD or SACD, but still not quite as good as an excellent vinyl set-up.
From my experience, a well recorded DVD-Audio disc has better focus and top-end air than either a CD or a SACD.
Just my 2 cents.