Playing SACD on a Non-SACD Player


Is there any benefit at all to playing a SACD on a normal red book player? Is there added information on SACD that will benefit the overall sound?
Thanks,
Lee
lkissinger
No. In fact, your redbook player will not read an SACD single layer disk at all, and on a hybrid disk it will read only the redbook layer.
You can only play hybrid SACD's on a redbook player. There are two layers (redbook and SACD) on these types of discs. A redbook player can not read the SACD layer. If it is a SACD only disc, a redbook player will not read it at all.
Some people say that the redbook layer on dual-layer SACD's is inferior to standard redbook. The claim is that the industry does this to make listeners unhappy with redbook. I don't own a SACD and so haven't been able to verify this. But I steer clear of dual-layer software.
Jay
Drubin is absolutely right. A redbook-only player won't play single-layer SACDs, only hybrid discs (which contain a CD layer). Fortunately for you, most SACDs currently being manufactured are of the hybrid variety, so you can use those on a redbook player. But if you want to reap the benefits of SACD, you need an SACD player. If you're not looking for SOTA performance, there are many very affordable units out there that offer quite good value for the dollar.
Lee, I think I have noticed the SACDs done with the super bit mapping sounding better in my other systems. Not as noticeable as HDCD encoded discs on a standard player, but I notice something... Perhaps it is the noise floor,or lack of. Read the package for info about the recording going direct to dsd hard drive, stuff remastered from tape sounds the same as redbook. Good question!! Z.
One still gets the benefits from DSD when playing an SACD disc back in a redbook machine.
How do you figure that?
Rwwear,

Not true at all.

The DSD encoded on an SACD disc is like a foreign language
to your redbook machine. It doesn't understand it AT ALL!!

The redbook machine can't read a single layer SACD disc at
all. The redbook player can only read the redbook layer on
a hybrid disc, which is written in a language it understands.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
Thanks all for the input!!! I should have been more specific about the hybrid situation. I have heard much about the inferior nature of the redbook layer on hybrid discs and wanted to get unbiased opinions.
Thanks again everyone.
Lee
The main problem with standard PCM technology is that it requires both steep (brick wall) filters to block frequencies above 20kHz (specifically at 22.05kHz) which is difficult to build. It also requires the addition of re-quantization noise for its decimation (down-sampling) digital filters and interpolation (up-sampling) digital filters. These problems limit the actual fidelity of the reproduced audio.

DSD Downconversion

Using single stage FIR digital filtering and noise shaping, 1-bit DSD can be down-converted into standard 24, 20 or even 16-bit PCM audio for CD distribution while still retaining the maximum possible audio quality. The system's 2.8224 MHz sampling rate is specifically designed for high precision down-conversion to all current PCM sampling rates using simple integer multiplies and divides.

Article written and illustrated by:
Shahin Al Rashid
Technical Director
Canada Promedia Inc.
Copyright 2001.

The redbook machine can't read a single layer SACD disc at
all. The redbook player can only read the redbook layer on
a hybrid disc, which is written in a language it understands.

Yup. That's it exactly.

IMO, some of the criticism of the redbook layer of CD/SACD Hybrid discs is due to the lack of attention paid to the redbook mastering as opposed to any inherent technical inferiority in the redbook layer of a CD/SACD disc. CD/SACD disc manufacturers devote most, if not all of their resources to the mastering/re-mastering and production of the SACD recording, and very little of their resources are devoted to the optimization of the redbook recording. This is especially apparent CD/SACD re-issues...like Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon".
1-bit DSD can be down-converted into standard 24, 20 or even 16-bit PCM audio for CD distribution while still retaining the maximum possible audio quality. The system's 2.8224 MHz sampling rate is specifically designed for high precision down-conversion to all current PCM sampling rates using simple integer multiplies and divides.
1-bit DSD can be down-converted into standard 24, 20 or even 16-bit PCM audio for CD distribution while still retaining the maximum possible audio quality. The system's 2.8224 MHz sampling rate is specifically designed for high precision down-conversion to all current PCM sampling rates using simple integer multiplies and divides.

Rwwear, despite this statement, repeated from your earlier post, redbook-only players will not play SACD discs. If you can point us in the direction of a CD-only player that can play SACD discs, please do so. I think we would all like to know about it.

The answer to Lkissinger's original question:
Is there any benefit at all to playing a SACD on a normal red book player?
...is that there is no benefit, since normal redbook players can not read SACD discs.
Duh! I never said they could. What I am trying to get through to you is that DSD mastered discs are more easily mixed down to 16 bit thus gaining better sound quality than discs originally mastered using PCM. If one can believe a power cord can make a difference in sound quality(not you in particular)then they might think that better mastering should also.
Duh! I never said they could.
Rwwear, you did earlier write:

One still gets the benefits from DSD when playing an SACD disc back in a redbook machine.
...which seems to suggest one can play SACD discs in redbook machines. So, please pardon my confusion.

I understand your point now, though, and I was about to post a clarification in my earlier reply.

Thanks for stating your view more clearly.
Tvad,

Exactly, Rwwear's post was misleading in that it implied that
one could play an SACD disc in a redbook player.

A better phrasing would be that the redbook layer of a hybrid
SACD/redbook disc benefits from the fact that the recording
was originally mastered in DSD and downconverted to redbook.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
A better phrasing would be that the redbook layer of a hybrid
SACD/redbook disc benefits from the fact that the recording
was originally mastered in DSD and downconverted to redbook.

That I can believe, and the SACD/CD hybrid disk would, in fact, play on a redbook machine.

It may vary, of course, from hybrid to hybrid, but I have not found that the redbook layer of a hybrid disc inferior to a standard redbook (non-hybrid) version.Have others truely found the redbook layer of some hybrids inferior to comparable redbook recordings on non-hybrid discs?
Good Going Lee!! Just look at what you have started!! Rwwear explains the technical side of what I hear, and that is that certain hybrids ( I can't believe I have to spell that out) sound better than my redbook copy on my other systems. This downconverting (super bit mapping)is real. Older material remastered from tape sounds the same as my redbook copy. Rwwear, I'm watching you!! Z.
I agree my first response was not stated as well as it should have been.
Kumbaya, Rwwear, Kumbaya...

:)