Must -have SACD's

While the new format holds quite a bit of promise a lot of the recordings currently available can sound 2-dimensional and sometimes shrill on the top end. This thread is for SACD's that are all around better recording wise than the best of redbook CD. My suggedtions are the Eric Bibb SACD on Opus 3, the Rebecca Pigeon SACD on Chesky, the Tony Bennett Unplugged on Sony, the Carmina Burana on Sony. These SACD's seem to be better than redbook CD's in pretty much every aspect and should be considered must-have's. Please list other SACD's in this category for current owners of this format so we can avoid wasted purchases of inferior quality recordings.
The Telarc Dukas disc, the Delos Mahler Second (the massive orchestral climaxes on this one are light years better than on the CD version). Both of these are hybrid discs. If you like choral music, the dmp Gaudeamus is very nice as well. A lot of the older Sony titles sound shrill on the top because that's the way, unfortunately, Columbia recorded them. I'm going to listen to the two Bruno Walter recordings on Sony (Beethoven 6 and Brahms 4) soon; I'd expect them to be good (the former is good on CD, the latter sounds good on the Classic reissue) because Columbia didn't really overmike their Bruno Walter series.
Appalachian Journey on Sony is the best I've heard.
Unmarked Road by Doud Macleod on Audioquest is also excellent.
Others for consideration: the two Stevie Ray Vaughan releases, "Couldn't Stand the Weather" and "Texas Flood." Absolutely phenomenal! My system has never sounded better. Also amazing is WaterLily Acoustic's "Nature's Realm" with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Right now I'm waiting for Mighty Sam McClain's "Soul Survivor" by Audioquest. The Redbook version of Soul Survivor is terrific I'm wondering how it will be topped by the SACD format.
I have heard most of the above mentioned- my current demo disc and pick of best sounding is Herbie Hancocks'Headhunters'. Not only a great piece of music, but impeccable sounding on SACD.
doesn't anyone else find it interesting that ALL the sacd's mentioned are available on other formats; i.e., none of these was recorded or originally mastered using sacd sampling? that, i believe, speaks volumes about this technology and the way it's being viewed/marketed by the the audio hardware oligarchy.
Actually, the Dukas and dmp discs and Appalachian Journey (excellent recommendation!) are DSD recordings, but cornfedboy's point is valid and well-taken. Part of it is that there just aren't that many DSD recorders available; Telarc has only had theirs for a little over a year. Interestingly, Telarc, if they ever get time at the plant, is supposed to be releasing some of its earlier digital recordings, like the Firebird and Carmina Burana. I'm told that the Soundstream recorder they used for those recordings was actually an early form of DSD recorder. But I'd never want to get an SACD made from a Sony pcm 16-bit machine; can't see how that could improve on a CDs resolution.
Jacintha: "Autumn Leaves" Groove Note Records should be added to this list. {this post was a very constructive and useful source for those of use who choose to use SACD. I am bringing it back from the archives for that reason and would ask the people intent on changing the focus of the thread, ie Cornfedboy's miss direction and Rcprince's required responce to start a new thread and allow use the respect we too deserve. Your points are good, but please allow the intent of sharing knowledge to remain.
I have the Willie Nelson remastered Stardust CD. I consider it one of my favorate and best recorded CDs. I do not have the SACD, but Stardust is on Sony sampler disk that came with my S9000ES. The SACD version of Stardust is more dynamic, defined, and tube-like than my CD version.
The Bruno Walter Beethoven 6 and Brahms 4 on Sony are quite good, even for old master tapes. There are two nice chamber music recordings, one on Hyperion with the Floristan(sp) Trio doing Debussy and (I think) Ravel piano trios, a Tony Faulkner recording, and the other on Lyrinx, Musique Francais, with piano and clarinet pieces by Frnch composers (I've always liked the Poulenc piece on this disc). Very natural sound on each, and I like the performances as well. Got them through Music Direct, I think, or else Acoustic Sounds.
In regard to the Stevie Ray Vaughn SACD's- I think "Texas Flood" sounds better than "Couldn't Stand the Weather". Recording sounds fuller and images are bigger. I also have the CD's and I notice the same thing. As a matter of fact I think the "Texas Flood" CD is great, and the SACD even a little better. "Couldn't Stand the Weather" sounds poor on CD and a good deal better on SACD. Still thin and flat compared to "Texas Flood". Is it the recording or is my system out of wack?
My nominee is Verdi Requim by Ormandy. You can't take performance out from recording. With SACD dynamic range this piece, particularly track #2, is breathtaking. Delos single SACD soud is awesome, indeed, but performance by Litton is inferior to his recording of Malher 5th a few years ago (also with Dallas Symphonic)
I recently purchased s9000es, and have heard recordings made with DSD are the best. Can anyone tell me which ones are recorded this way?
We used the Jacintha "Autumn Leaves" SACD at the recent CES2001 with GREAT success. Small jazz group, female voice and very good recording. Using the SCD-1, SET's, horns and silver ribbon cables, the sounds were fantastic with a nice compliment from Paul Seydor who attended the recording sessions. Another reco is the upcoming "Tubular Bells" - simply astonishing and the best SACD a wide margin!
For the Jazz fans out there, Tony Williams Trio "Young at Heart" (CK 69107) is, according to the liner notes, the first DSD (not labeled as SACD per se) release by Columbia/Sony. It was released just prior to his untimely demise. One of the truly great jazz drummers.
There is a Lyrinx recording of the Beethoven 1st and 3rd Piano Concertos available on SACD which has extremely natural sound, particularly the piano (as does the Sony Classical disc of Periah playing the Bach Goldberg Variations, also a good disc). The recording was made with tubed microphones, I think, and may have had the main array of mikes set back a little from the orchestra, because the sound of the strings on this recording has none of the brightness you associate with any modern recordings of orchestral strings--in fact, some may think it sounds dull on the top, or that their tweeters have cut out! Anyone else out there tried this one?
Jeff beck blow by blow is the best older recording i have heard so far. joe satriani is by far the best sounding sacd i have listened to,but it is no surfing with the alien.
Telarc has an SACD out of the Dave Brubeck 40th anniversary tour of the UK. It was recorded in DSD, and on my system it sounds like absolute magic. This is a dual mode (CD and SACD) disc. I have listened to it in both modes numerous times on my SCD-1, and I think I can actually hear the improvement in SACD reproduction over CD. To test, I did a few blind tests with my spouse, and I got it right 13 out of 15 tries.

The recording is very open and detailed, very pleasant.

I just received Mike Oldfield "Tubular bells", very fun. I think this music was composed by Mike 30 years to soon, clearly SACD on a Hi-fi system is what he had in mind.
I also picked up Monks' "straight no chaser" very clean, low tape noise, great drum and sax reproduction. The base is a bit light, maybe too far from the mike during recording and Monks' piano sounds a tad distant, and has a '40s sound quality, not tinny just not right. All in all a good disk and worth the money if you like Monk. I also got a couple DMP disks, I'll let you know after I try them out. J.D.
Good post, Niels. I must say, if the difference between the CD playback and the SACD playback is that subtle ("I think I can actually hear the improvement"), what's the point of SACD? With the high price of the software, it ought to hit you over the head with improvement. I find the differences a little more dramatic personally, but I think Niels's post is interesting.
Drubin: Thanks. I clearly hear the difference, as evident from my 13 out of 15 listening test success. I tried to distinguish between 'different' and 'better'.

Quantifying exactly what is better is what I was having some issues with, but I have that one worked out as well now. The bass is tighter, the piano sounds more real, the stereo image is better. Overall, the music is more engaging and has more presence. So, I will on record now as saying SACD does sound better, a lot better. The piano is probably the most obvious example. The drum solos are just 10 times better on SACD, the detail in the cymbals is very much more present.

(And in all honesty, I have plenty of SACD's that I do not care for, the recordings are just not that good that they utilize SACD to the fullest. The last thing I need is even higher quality tape hiss... :)

Can anyone point to a site that has a complete list of SACD recordings?
Good question. Sony and Philips should have such a site, as Pacific Microsonics has for HDCD for years. Acoustic Sounds, the audiophile software retailer in Kansas, has a pretty good list, but not exhaustive.
I checked out Music Direct online today and their list is also pretty good.

Again, Sony and Philips are damn fools to not be aggressively promoting the library of software. There should be a web site, even a weekly email push, with the titles of new and upcoming releases.

Mingus; Ah Um on SACD
This is an incredibly smoooooooooth example of SACD! The background is pitch black, space between horns, percussion, piano and Charles' bass is evident and easily placed with great depth and width on a huge sound stage, with superb detail throughout. This was the first time from vinyl or digital that I felt I could sense the reed vibrating on the woodwinds. I've owned Miles Davis "kind of blue" for a while now in SACD and as good as it sounded I've felt the drums a bit forward in the presentation. Not so with Mingus, everything is wonderfully naturel. This is far and away the best SACD I've heard from the Sony vaults, and will rival my favorites from Water Lilly and Mobil Fidelity's Duke Ellington "blues in orbit". If you like jazz from the late 50's and early 60's this will become a favorite. J.D.