SACD - Another year and ...

OK... another year has passed and still there are very few SACD titles available. What are your thoughts regarding the possibility that this format will survive? It is great, but will it reach out of the audiophile community?
I have a SCD 777 es for almost a year and don`t use it since my reguar CD play back is so good with a Krell DAC. Am tired of waiting for good new classical stuff. Seems like Sony bombed again. I really like their stuff --Sad.
I am hedging my bets. I plan to scoop up a Sony 777 on the used market next year. I have not heard SACD (nor DVD-A, for that matter) but I am definitely interested in the format. Hoping they get some classic rock stuff on SACD before I dive in.
I think there are about 160 SACD titles available which I would refer to as "very few" as well, especially since a lot of them have already had audiophile treatment in other formats. Sony seems somewhat impressed by the number 160, which scares me a bit. I'm not too disconcerted by the events of the last year, as everyone still seems very interested in it, but 2001 has to see some significant strides I would think - much cheaper players are coming to market, including the SCD-777ES which once went for $3500 now being available for $1600. Somebody is going to have to break down and create a real catalog of software including (gasp!) some rock and pop music, which doesn't just mean Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow yet again. I was encouraged by the release of Joe Satriani's latest on SACD, although that wasn't a hybrid disc, which is supposed to be the big selling point of the format. It's also disconcerting that SACD and DVD-A are still sparring so much.
SACD looked & sounded nice at the shows, but afraid to say there's not much available; may never be. Stereophile wasn't too keen about the DSD; justifiably so. I "settled" for HDCD instead. More software to offer, & enhances standard 16 bit playback to boot. Discs are the same prices as 16 bit RedBook too. InfoLink:
I have been impressed with the sound of the Sony SACD players. Have yet to hear the Marantz, but $7500 is more than I'm willing to spend on a player anyway. New and cheaper Sony is supposedly just around the corner. And I have also read about a new Philips $2000 unit. The thing that would drive me absolutely nuts with the Sony players I checked out was the ungodly long time it took to initialize a disc. Strangely enough, I don't hear much negative feedback about this. I'm sure that is going to irk many people out there. I hope the upcoming players don't follow suit in this regard. I have now been waiting for three years to move on a new player. Thinking in vain that the format war would have shaken itself out by now. As hindsight is 20/20, I can say I was(and am) the fool for not picking something up by now. I kind of think that CD will survive much longer than anticipated. Perhaps even remaining the dominant format for some time(5 years???). SACD being a niche, along the lines of DAT, DCC, and MD. DVD will continue on up, but it's use might continue to be primarily non-audiophile based. Who knows? I think I might just jump into a great new 24 bit/96KHz CD player. After all, I certainly am NOT getting rid of my thousand or so CDs(too much of my heart invested there).
I have owned DVD since '97 and here were not a lot of titles for that format in the beginning either. I believe SACD will come of age as it is vastly better than CD regardless of what some people submit concerning HDCD and the such. I have owned the top Sony for about a year and I am happy with the steady stream of titles that are becoming available. My new Accoustech mag had many new SACD titles including Sades latest "Lovers Rock". I sometimes wonder about what audiophiles really want..? We complain and complain about CD, get a better format, then want to kill it because X thousand titles don't show up overnight. I use my player for CD as well as SACD playback and there is NO WAY I am ever going to forego a SACD title to go back to Red Book. I am glad Sony didn't listen to the same nay sayers regarding the first playstation which only had a few games released with it as the PS2 now follows with very few titles. At least SACD is real and not vapor-ware as is DVD Audio. Also note that some of the larger cd websites are now offering SACD's ( thus the masses are being introduced to the medium. Happy Turkey Day :) Mike
In either case,...SACD or DVD audio, any of the new, or upcomming, players must address playback of current CDs better than the first generation units have. I have talked with people that have one of the first two Sony units..and have added Bel Canto DAC-1's or someother outboard unit to improve the sound quality of standard Disks. All of us will have many, many more standard CDs for a long the quality of the playback of these is as important as the playback of any advanced format.
The Dec 00 Stereophile has several articles that really muddly the water. Seems the technical discussions are saying two things. The watermarking of the DVD-audio format sucks and does leave audible artifacts. Second, the DVD-Audio is a better format then SACD...presumably without the watermarking. Figures.
Yeah, but, at least with respect to the DVD-Audio/SACD point, consider the source, who while knowledgable may have a good deal of resources tied to pcm-based technology. Ultimately, forget the theory and listen for yourself. Having heard both DAD discs from Classic and SACD in my system, I think that they are both substantial inprovements over CD, and come closer to analog without its drawbacks than I thought could happen. I don't have a marked preference of one format over the other at this point as far as sonics go, but SACD is here now and DVD-Audio is trying to put an audible watermark on its yet-unreleased discs. I agree with Mikeam that we ought to be rejoicing that a better format is at hand for digital and start taking advantage of it as the prices come down, because if we don't, who else is it aimed at? Happy Thanksgiving!
SACD is already dead! yea, yea I know...nobody in the high end community wants to admit that a better format might not make it...but just like Elcasette, DAT and DCC this format will not survive. Sorry guys, I hope I am wrong, but unfortuntely I am a representative in the high end chipset manufacturing industry. We are anticipating a REDUCTION in support devices for SACD no later than 2003 i.e., the format is not going to survive. Again, I hope I am wrong.
Oh well since we now know the future of SACD due to some statistics run by a representative of the chipset market, I guess we should all dump our players and tell Sony/Marantz/Kenwood/Accuphase/Sharp...etc to stop production of SACD equipped gear because it has been pronounced dead. Is it just me or does this sound reminiscent of the media attempting to devine the outcome of certain states during election night...? Best regards, Mike
I think SACD will make it. With the release of the new cheaper players, the dvd-9000es and the 333es I have to believe Sony will make a lot more titles available in the next year.
I am going to play hardball here...I know some of the guys that design and build the current high-end cd players disagree....but I think big IC's...suck. I am sorry...I don't usually use words like that in a post. But I am tired of high-end audio gear using does screw-up the sound...what does this have to do with SACD....a great deal... Much of the dissatisfaction with the cd or old has to do with power supplies... digital filters and esp. the audio amp section of players. These guys will try to tell you how a class A bias or someother BS makes these op-amps...really good...BS. If so, then the Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, VAC, Ayre...Pass and others of the world should get on the ball and put these world class op-amps in their pre-amps etc... I think I'll call the guy at Magnum-Dynalab and tell him to take the tubes out of the MD-108 and put in an op-amp or two.... My point is the same as my earlier response in this thread. ANY new format...SACD, DVD audio...etc.. needs to address the playback of standard cd's at the highest level possible for what's left of us high-end be satisfied.. and excited about their product. Why try to be state-of-the-art in the digital end of a player..and then use audio circuit parts that are at low-end..mid-fi levels. Sorry...but this is why most of you out there have trouble with the sound of digital...period.
That's why I had Mr. Ozment replace the Sony analog stage and power supply with the Audio Logic tubed analog stage and power supply on my SCD777ES. The Sony doesn't sound bad, but it doesn't take full advantage of the resolving power of the medium. But things are built to price points.....
Remember, Sony is behind this format. They own half of the record labels out there and can support it. Also Sony has started to slip this format into dvd players, s9000es, and I would think this will trickle down to lower priced players putting this format more into the mass market.
I've heard what, IMO, is the creme-de-la-creme of SACD players--the Accuphase 100-101 ttransport-DAC system, which plays SACD, Red Book and DVD-A. It's stunning and extremely pricey. I've also heard, at length, the Accuphase DP-75v 24/192 oversampling one-box player. It, too, is stunning-- not quite up to SACD, but miles better than any other player I've auditioned, including the best Wadia and Levinson offered, and a number of others as well, not including the Linn or the elgar/Delia system. I'll either 1) wait out an SACD/CD Accuphase player and the addition of more SACD software (true SACD, not 16-, 20- 0r 24-bit remastered once again for the format), or if the release of SACDs is less than I expect after, say, 2 years+, I'll buy the Accuphase 75v, if I can come up with the bucks. Like many here, I have misgivings about the future of either SACD, or DVD-A, in which I have no interest. BTW, if you take a look at the companies that originally went DVD-A--Chesky, etc.--you'll see a number of them are releasing, or scheduling for release--SACDs. What does this say any future for DVD audio, regardless of the hardware that may be available? In any event, good listening to all!
I totaly agree with Whatjd's hardball comments!. He has pointed why most digital gear sounds like crap. I am part of a small audiophile group who has discovered how to modify their digital gear. We replace those junky ic's, those inadequate power supplies and strip out those worthless sounding digital filters (replacing them with a simple, yet unbelievably effective analog filters), and clean up the digital noise floating around inside those DAC's or CD players. What do these modifications yield?...THE BEST SOUNDING DIGITAL FRONT ENDS THAT YOU CANNOT BUY! This is the absolute truth. My buddies and I constanly embarrass high end dealers with our "modified" basic MSB DAC's, that cost us less than $1000.00! Yes, you read that right...the best sounding digital can be had for less than $1000.00. (P.S.- We are not mid- fi guys either...most of us have $30k + in our systems, and most of us have been in this hobby for over 20 years)
Ehider I'd lke to know more about your group & the mod's you're doing. thanks, Tweaker.
It's not my group doing the mods, I am just an audiophile that has been fortunate enough to find an unbeleivably talented circuit designer who implements these mods. Over the years, he has saved me and my other buddies many thousands of dollars, and given me the musical satisfaction, that the high end companies promise, but rarely deliver. If you post your E-mail on the next thread, I will personally E-mail you with the details you are requesting.
Rcprince, I agree, anything Sony makes is built to a price point. You did the right thing, replacing those op amps for the analog output stage, anything would be better than those.
I'm VERY happy with the mod, but it does have a down side as well. SACD gets you closer to the master tape, and the new output stage turns the Sony into a high-resolution player. On well recorded stuff (DMP, Delos, Telarc, Audioquest, new Sony dsd releases), it can sound frighteningly good (I get the same sort of let-down, which is less these days than it used to be, switching from SACDs to normal CDs that I get switching from vinyl to CD), but on less than stellar reissues you'll hear everything bad about the master tape as well as the good, such as overly hot mixes. Ah, the price of a glimpse of (digital) heaven... I hope that more new releases based off DSD, or even well-recorded analog, 20 or 24-bit digital, masters come out, because they really show SACD's strengths.
Hi, I am thinking of doing the MSB thing (Link Dac 3. Do you suggest I am better getting the factory improvements done (half-Nelson, Power supply, Upsampling) or is there a better (and cheaper?) way? If you want to email me direct: Thanks!