more major players jumping on the sacd bandwagon

this looks less and less like another betamax exercise to me. how do you interpret the latest news? see:

economics are taking over. the big boys see that dvd-audio is not working. sony is helping with the up-front costs. many music buyers are burning 16/44 copies or using MP3. the whole copy-protection thing was mis-handled. these companies see sacd as a credible solution to these challenges. it's only a start and could go either way but we may be whitnessing a real shift in the forces surrounding hi-rez.

just my 2 cents.
Audiophile support alone will not keep the SACD format afloat, but Sony along with other important music producers (like this article points out), is making it more of a reality every day .

I support it's success, and hope for its continued acceptance. it's the first significant improvement in digital since the release of CD, twenty years ago.
Well I just went to HMV and browse the entire catalog of available SACD and only found two I would buy even if I owned no CDs currently. However I happen to own those two on CD already and one of the two on LP as well. The redbook versions are excellently engineered, so how much better are we talking about?? I listen mostly to classical and some jazz. 99 percent of the classical listings are historic recordings, mostly by Szell, Ormandy, Bernstein. Must have been chosen because their names sell. Can't be because they are the best performances. I guess it will be a long wait for me before I upgrade.
Ordinary folks which make up of 99.99% of music buying population will continue to buy their favorite CD. They don't care about the SACD or DVD-audio. They are very happy with the CD performance. The remaining 0.01% which make up the audiophile population are just sitting and watching. Out of those 0.01%, may be 0.0001% had gone out and bought a few SACD players and a few SACD. That all folk! In my audiophile club, none of the member make a move into SACD! For myself, I even go back to vinyl and love it very much. In my opinion not even the latest SACD can rival it! Whatever breakthrough in SACD or DVD-audio are making no differences since most of the best recording engineers are gone anyway.
I saw that article along with another that stated that some chip maker was coming out with very low-cost SACD chip sets - ie, Discmans with SACD capability. More publishers' support coupled with getting the price down to the "normal" CD price, in exchange (implicitly) for corralling the CDR phenomena - it might just take hold. -Kirk
As far as the Betamax comparison and the Stereophile article; most to all major films were available on Betamax. This did nothing to save it. So more record labels producing SACD may prove nothing. It really comes down to whether Sony will share the technology to all comers. Sony keeping Betamax technology mostly to themselves, was one reason it never took off.
I don't even understand the argument an more. SACD is in the mass market stores now. The machines are priced only a bit above a good quality cd player and yet allow for CD's, DVD video, CD-R and SACD, both is two channel or up to six channel. The DVD-A if it actually existed allows for DVD-A playback. Who would buy a DVD-A machine, even if you could?
The reason SACD is bringing more support is it offers more to the mass market consumer (actually everything they want). If you can buy a single machine that will play four formats and surround for less than a DVD-video and a cd player combined what's the issue?
SACD machines will become the standard for the mass market as people upgrade they old hardware, only because it gives them everything they want in one box. The argument is over, go find a sales man who can explain DVD-A. I noticed in the paper this week-end an add for Best Buy, they stated they now sell DVD players that play audio too! Now you can play back your cd's on your DVD player they report. Of course there years away from actually having DVD-A.
HELLO - News flash, you could already do that. I stated two years ago that DVD-A will fail because people will not understand. DVD is DVD to the masses. SACD is something else, weather they buy the more expensive disks is not now the issue, but when Sony releases the next red hot pop title only on SACD people will understand. Just wait, I'm guessing two to three years!

P.S. Oh yea, lets quite the lame argument that there is nothing on SACD that people would buy. I'm assuming those people have never heard Jazz from the late ‘50's and early ‘60's. It seems to me they (the labels) are starting with the "must have" classic recordings from each venue pop, jazz, classic, etc. As the future recordings are recorded in DSD, the "stuff" you want will also be on SACD, but to say nothing I want is avalible is simply stating your not interested in the classic recordings. That's fine, I happen to find it very enjoyable listening to a recording from 1959 that is of higher quality than 90% of the crap recorded today. There is some amazing music from our past that has new life thanks to SACD. IMO!
We talk a lot about how you can play regular CDs on a SACD machine and they sound very good. How about the other way around. If SACD cannot be played on non SACD machines, then the whole world including Joe consumer will need a new CD player. Will they buy one regardless of the number of record companies making the SACD discs? Eventually as old CD players wear out, everyone will have SACD capability, but will it happen in time?
Sony keeps coming with hardware that most people can afford but that is not the only answer - we need more software of music we do not already have the LP, cassette, cd and gold cd of - it will unfortunately be only a high end adventure for those jazz, classical, and blues entusiast - us rockers may not be able to hang in there. I have a player but get tired of listening to the 30 discs I have. Sony needs to give away software with the players - like 10 or so for this to advance.
Sugarbrie, there actually are a good number of new classical SACD releases now coming out from Telarc, Delos, Hyperion, Lyrinx, Bis and Sony Classical, among others, most of which are DSD recordings or 20/24 bit recordings converted to DSD and all of which sound better, to me, than their CD counterparts. The major problem, I think, based on the threads I've seen here and elsewhere, has been no or few new pop recordings being issued in the format, which will be where the money can be made by the record companies. Not sure if this is because there are not that many DSD recording machines or a lack of DSD editing equipment at this time, but that seems to me to be the biggest stumbling block Sony will have to overcome. Sony may be succeeding in getting the public to buy SACD players, but the public also likes to buy pop recordings; hopefully Sony and the new companies joining the SACD bandwagon will address this, as I really like the format and am disappointed in the way DVD-A is being handled.
I am always looking for better sound, but it has to make economic sense for me. I hope it succeeds.
Well in the timeless SACD vs. The World battle there are those who support it, and those who deplore it. It does not matter what you tell these folks they will not budge, they like it or they don't, not much middle ground in the SACD battle very little gray area its either black or white. I am relatively young(not that you guys are old) and am into anything that will improve sound quality, I already have a SACD player and love it, I am a little too young for vinyl and I have a lot of CDs but often felt they It seems to me that with SACD that is yet another level of resolution reveled and I don't think any audiophile can say they don't like better sound, and with the ease of use as a CD, it can't be beat. Yes if you are affraid of making the comitment then by all means wait, the gray area is a great place to be right now, but I would not rush out and buy a new state-of-the-art CD player. Anyone who will not admit to SACD's superior qualities over CD is simply not an audiophile.
In case anyone is not aware the Betamax reference refers to Sony introducing superior technology to JVC (VHS) and then being too greedy to share (license) it to competitors. ...So greedy it cost them the mass market. ...Yes! Beta was and still is used for high quality video production, but it has always been (to use an audiophile familiar term) "down sampled" to lower res. media. ...Apple did the same thing with their MAC & OS... Wouldn't license it and lost out on years of mass market $ -why most businesses (save graphic design) use PC's.

It really doesn't matter whether Sony convinces ALL of the recording companies to buy-in or not. ...It takes the public to perceive a need. ...And right now they've got CD players - old crappy sounding one's with harsh DAC's, and they are blissful in their ignorance.

Now if you talk DVD... people ARE buying these... Replacing their old VHS's as they wear out. ...But most (all?) of these players won't/can't record, and the media isn't reusable. ...So it's got to be harder to sell than a VCR was.

What else are people doing? ...Listening to Mp3 and similar low-res formats… again blissful in ignorance. ...Some folks are even buying players for this software - despite exorbitant costs/lack of options. …Motivated by portability and what is logically the REAL evolution of the digital format. YES! MP3 sounds like crap... but the audio/production industry doesn't control software developers. ...And computer companies have access to the same parts that the audio industry uses. Texas instruments IS Burr-brown after all. ...How long will it be before this type of format comes calling on the heels of all of the disc related technologies?

As for DVD... While there's no music available for DVD-A at least the equipment manufacturers are selling DVD players. ...If they WERE making DVD/-A/CD players they would sell - regardless of DVD-A software availability. ...Maybe THIS would bring about a need for software...? …But will the recording industry jump into a media that has already been compromised by pirating? …THIS friends will be the hard-sell for DVD-A… Not sound quality! …Do you really think they care about sound quality like any of us do? …Certainly, the shareholders of these stocks -as a whole- do not. …Not while in a slumping technology market. ...Profitability is rarely, if ever found by pursuing the few.

I would pose the argument that the ONLY reason SACD is being embraced is because of its security & the (current) difficulty of duplicating it. THIS may be its saving grace - if any. ...But this still doesn't change things. ...Where's that ever-important NEED?

Unless Sony/Phillips/competitors can "play nice" together both formats may die. …And we'll have to hope that MP3 or similar improves. YIKES!

...So I'd say buy em now (SACD's) like you'd buy any collectable music. If you can afford a player that plays SACD then ENJOY whatever titles you can find. ...But don't hope for this format to catch on. …Not unless they start making all-in-one machines DVD/-A/CD/SACD. ...Then we might be getting somewhere. ...But then they’d stop selling CD players… :-)
Since SACD is supposed to be a superior technology, will a good SACD disc played on one of the newer entry (cheap) $300 - $400 players from Sony sound better than a comparable regular CD played on a high-end upsampling CD player?
thank you for all the responses thus far. here's another query based upon them: is it REALLY necessary to have all-in-one machines that play dvd-a, particularly if sacd machines are "backward compatible" to redbook cd's? put another way: why does it matter that lots of folks are replacing their vhs players with dvd players if they are not apparently replacing them for their redbook cd players. too? -kelly
Sample MP3 at higher than 128kbps and the sound is not bad. I consider myself to be an audiophile but I also keep an open mind to good technology. Are you saying MP3 is crap because this is what you've read or have you seriously played with MP3 and experimented beyond the typical default settings with various encoders?
Kelly, your point is too logical. The fact is that SACD machines I've heard playing standard "redbook" cd's sound better than there standard counterpart at the same cost. Add to that that you can play CD-R, DVD video and it seems to me you have a good reason to buy one. The added bonus is SACD, but even if you never played a single SACD disk on it, the flexability of multiple format and added sound quality is worth the upgrade. I feel that those who are resisting the SACD format are falling into two groups. One that comprises those who resist any change and the larger being those who don't understand the benifits even when SACD is taken out of the equation. For those who continue to use the software as the reason to resist, please try to remember the beginings of cassette tapes and cd's. Yes the same tales of failure were spoken then. Five years from now we'll pull up this and other threads and simply shake our heads in dis-belief. This is and will happen, Sony will not lose the billions in cd royalty without a major fight.
Hi abecollins,

I am not against technology. In fact I very much like it.

I have listened to, although not extensively Mp3 recordings of “good” quality. I was able to listen:

a) Through my own DAC and
b) In a recording studio environment through professional equipment.

In both cases all said recordings had a noise floor that I personally found unacceptable. I also felt that the sound was edgy and in less dynamic. This was in direct comparison to CD’s of the same recording(s) through my CDP/DAC and through the system in the recording studio. I am certain that higher bit rates could improve this, but the rest of the recording/playback chain must be of similar (better) quality to take advantage. - You ARE right! …And it’s all probably just a matter of time.

I am lucky to have a friend with a recording studio. Occasionally my friend indulges me in component and cable tests. He has also allowed me to listen to recordings his studio has made via digital tape - at substantially higher bit rates than the end recordings we (the general public) normally get to listen to. At this level the difference in sound is quite appreciably improved over CD or SACD.

My friend’s studio works with various recording artists and does quite a bit of postproduction work on movie soundtracks. In addition to “average” music recordings the studio authors DVD’s, Dolby 7.1, THX & HDCD encoded recordings. The studio also produces Mp3 recordings.

From what I have heard (and what I understand) the quality of the various disc formats currently offered is below the capabilities of current readily available technology. …Certainly I would say that our systems could sound much better if recordings of higher bit/sampling rate (and players) were commercially available. Were this technology available via a medium such as Mp3 (which is both highly portable and relatively difficult to damage - unlike easily scratched CD’s/DVD’s) I would sign up tomorrow. …Only problem is that THIS is not available.

It is my opinion that the companies that CAN bring this quality of audio to us are more concerned with developing “theft-proof” encryption rather than improving the sound of our music. …Moreover… that a format offering truly better resolution will not be offered until a sure-fire method for protecting this better quality is in place. …The obvious concern being that IF higher quality were available it could not be protected from would be “Pirates” who would duplicate and exchange this intellectual property.

If this is so we are in for a LONG wait!

Lastly, I have heard folks argue that SACD sounds better than 24/96. …I can attest that 24/96 can sound great - as good as, if not better than SACD IMO. …But… as with all recordings it’s where it all starts that’s important. …No silk purses from sow ears!
Of course it's not necessary to have all-in-one machines, although it would be convenient and more marketable.

The point regarding VCR vs. DVD is that people perceive a need for this "new" product. By the by SACD is still relatively unknown, as is the improvment in sound.

I guess for me there's no question that the sound of SACD players/software is better. ...But the questions that trouble me are WHY and HOW? ...As others have stated it may have more to do with the hardware than the software. If not... why then would the sound of redbook CD's played on these players also improve?

Lastly… WHY should anyone here believe that SACD will be any more popular/successful than XRCD, HDCD, Mobile Fidelity or the likes of any of the current high end recording companies?

For years MoFi and others have offered better sound - at a price. ...And in general these companies JUST survive; or as MoFi did they go under. Yes… Sony is BIG and won't go under, but why would you expect the buying public to understand, appreciate, want and pay for the differences that Sony/SACD offers? The Gen-pop haven’t evolved THAT much. …Suddenly become more digital-conscious…? Maybe this time round they'll wake up and appreciate it? NOT! Obviously I’m cynical. …It just seems like an awful lot to expect.

SACD might be successful but unlike VHS vs. Beta - Sony's gotta play ball

as an aside, I own recordings made in the various formats I have listed and appreciate them all to verying degrees.
if software[Pink Floyd,Dire Straits,Eagles etc.] was available in SACD I would not hesitate to buy this technology. the software is the problem.
You mean they don't even have Pink Floyd!? Tell me it ain't so. ;-)
As I stated 6 months ago, I worked for a major IC chipset manufacturer, and they anticipate REDUCED demand for SACD support chips by 2003.

Now, I received some very ugly responses to the above statement six months ago. Well for those of you who decide to attack me again; "GO POUND SAND, THESE ARE FACTS JACK , NOT MY OPINIONS! I'm just trying give you guys some inside information. Stop trying to shoot the messenger!"

Does this mean that SACD won't be here? NO. It does mean that the supporting manufacturing industry is NOT as confident of SACDs success, as many of the "SACD is definately going to make it" supporters on this site.

At this point in time the SACD format has not been established as a viable playback format that will exist years from now. (Again, I am not stating my opinion, I am just forwarding the opinion of the manufacturing community. Please do not attack me for giving you this information)