Loss of Dynamic range in modern CD masterings...

I'm sure most people here are aware of the trend in CD mastering over the last 10 years-- the so called loudness wars. My question is: What are the alternatives for someone thats looking for good ol dynamic range and music thats not ruined?

Do SACDs suffer this problem? DVD Audio? What about new vinyl pressings (do they still make new vinyl? if so, where can you buy it?)

The situation is so bad that it's changed my listening habits and musical tastes. I find myself preferring older music thats not been molested by this terrible trend.

I have much the same experience as you.

Examples: Play Blondie's "Rapture" and then try Green Day "Amercian Idiot"....or try George Benson "On Broadway Live from Weekend in LA and then Ricky Martin "Livin La vida Loca"...the difference in mastering quality is hardly subtle. The real loudness that is tolerable is way way higher on the old stuff than the newer very harsh sounding distorted crap (sounds loud and insulting to the ears at very low volumes).

Solution: look up respected Sound Engineers on Artists direct to see what projects they were involved with, people like

1) "Doug Sax" (Doug will only ever mildy compress stuff - he is the guy who did Sheffield Labs in the heyday of Vinyl)
2) Chuck Ainlay
3) Elliot Scheiner
4) Tal Herzberg
5) Bob Ludwig
6) Ed Cherney
7) Frank Filipetti
8) George Massenburg
9) Michael Bishop (mostly classical - some jazz)
10) Jack Renner (mostly classical - some jazz)

If you find this works for you then, as a follow up step, I would also suggest you read up on what gear they use to listen to the music they mix/master...particularly speakers. Naturally these users make solid gear choices with a preference for accuracy, transparency and reliability (they avoid sound that is dripping in sticky sugar coated coloration). Not everyone's preference, of course, as many are trying to create a certain specific sound with their systems, however, my experience is that too much sugar coating means that only a small portion of any music collection works well in a particular setup and this severely limits choice of enjoyable music selections.