All multichannel SACD discs include a separate area of the disc which has a stereo mix of the program, but still in the DSD digital format. Some SACD discs only have a stereo program. Hybrid SACD discs have a separate "layer", which is read by a different color laser, and which has a stereo program in standard CD PCM format so that it can be played on any old CD player.
Eldartford, thanks for the heads up. How does the 2 channel SACD mix compare with a good redbook remaster of the same music, say something by Patricia Barber?
Matchstikman...I am the wrong guy to ask as I rarely listen to SACD in stereo. However, I think that most would agree that either format can be good or bad depending on how the mix and mastering was done. SACD obviously has potential to be better.
Eldartford, you have a point there. I have some CDs that make me feel that I have reached nirvana and I will need no more, but then I put on something else that makes me wonder what is going on.
Eldartford, would you say most SACD users listen in multi-channel or 2 channel? I am a 2 channel man with no plans of multi-channel at all. If I go to SACD, it would be strictly 2 channel. Would this be a waste of the media's strong ponts?
I don't know what "most" people do, but if they only use 2 channels it is my opinion that they have wasted money on SACD. It can be better stereo, but not a dramatic improvement for the typical disc.
To answer your specific question in a word...yes.
I find the SACD--I listen in 2-channel only--format to be a sonic improvement over redbook. I know you're deciding on the next source upgrade, so an audition could be in order. If you haven't left Sacramento yet, you're welcome to come by for a comparison.
Boa2, I am still in Sac, but I don't know for how much longer. I need to hook up with sometime next month and check out your gear.
Eldartford, Boa2, what kind of SACD players do you guys have?
There is no waste of money using SACD in 2 channel only, it is still more open, airy and smooth...you are more likely to be satisfied with more SACD discs in 2 channel than in multi...sometimes it all goes to hell in multi
Matchstikman...I have a Denon 2900 with Underwood 3-channel mod and clock, and a stock Pioneer DV45. The Pioneer is in the HT rig.
Chadnliz...And sometimes it all goes to hell in stereo. It all depends on the disc, but a good multi beats a good stereo, just as stereo beats mono.
Best of all (IMHO of course) is the 2+2+2 multichannel configuration promoted by MDG in the DVDA format, but regretably there is little material issued this way.
Definitely give me a call/write me directly. You're welcome to come by for a listen. If it works for you, wait until the 12th or later, as we'll have our 'new' speakers by then. If you need to come sooner, next Wednesday/Thursday would work.
We have an APL Hi Fi modded Denon 3910, which we will be picking up on Tuesday after having a few upgrades done.
Hope to see you soon,
I only listen in 2 channel as well. I recently bought a Sony XA777ES (modded) for a very reasonable price, and its performance was good enough to justify the purchase just for that. If SACD starts to go away (it's all speculation right now), then I will use my Sony as a transport (It is an excellent transport), get an outboard DAC, and have a state of the art (at least on my scale) digital setup for redbook.
So, it isn't necessarily too risky to get into SACD.
I agree with Robm....jump in the sacd water..its nice