Oh, no! Here we go again... I do not mean to imply any offense, but PLEASE read the archives.
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What I've been seeing here is mostly opinions; but what I really want to know is if anyone has gotten any info, a real market info, as to which format is winning at this particular time and at approximately what margin, preferably in percentage or ratio. Opinions do help but I want a real objective market trend 'cause I'm more interested in knowing the chances of survival of these formats than their respective qualities.
Why pick sides? Go with both using low cost equipment until the dust settles. Even a low cost DVD-A gets you 24bit 96Khz, which in practice seems as good as the SACD DSD coding. (Actually in either case the sound quality depends mostly on how the disc was mastered). For one thing, at the present time you need access to both catalogs of media.
Fact: there are far more SACDs available than DVD-As. There appear to be a lot more classical and jazz SACDs than DVD-As (but I can't confirm this). Fact: there are hybrid SACDs; there are no hybrid DVD-As yet (to my knowledge). Fact: DVD-A is undergoing a major marketing restructuring, presumably to save it from death. Fact: more small labels support SACD than DVD-A. Consensus: SACD is more of an audiophile format than DVD-A; DVD-A is more of a HT/MC format for consumers than DVD-A.
But ponder this fact: in tha past 30 days I've (gone kinda crazy and) purchased about 40 CDs. Three of these were SACDs, all albums I really like and already had on CD. Three out of 40; there isn't much else out there that interests me that's available in SACD that I don't already have. I'm reducing my stake in SACD for the moment after realising most SACD players are mediocre redbook players and that a really good redbook player can sound virtually as good as SACD (something like the Resolution Audio Opus 21). I've got far too many CDs to accept mediocre redbook. To give credit, a few high-end SACD players can be remarkable in both formats. I'm also a strict two-channel guy so MC isn't important.
Based on the facts, and the experience, I chose SACD over DVD-A. In hindsight, I would probably have waited longer to jump into any high-rez format. Lots of redbook to enjoy on a good player.
IMO both will survive for a very long time, but neither will "thrive" . I went with a universal player, so I can enjoy Stevie Ray Vaughn on SACD and Steely Dan on DVDA. Hybrid SACD's give SACD's an edge, but most DVD player's will offer DVDA capability so who knows....But if you want me to pick a winner............It will be Redbook, the masses barely understand pro logic, let alone 5.1 or 7.1 channel inputs..........
Sorry that nobody answered your question; nor can I.
I am sure that at the moment SACD's are winning by a lot, but that could change. I hope not, because I have jumped on the SACD bandwagon.
To comment on Budrew's comment that most, but not all SACD players are mediocre:
I bought the Marantz SA-14 SACD player to replace my older Krell CD system. Properly tweeked, it is fantastic on CD's. Although it does fine with SACD's, it actually is probably a better CD player than SACD player. John Marks, of Stereophile and John Marks Records, uses it as his reference (if one can't spend $37,000 for a player).
Boy, I'm more confused as ever, but I've got a feeling that the SACD format is a winner among Audiogon'rs. Still, somewhere in back of my mind, I can't stop feeling how a higher capacity DVD can be beaten by a lower capacity SACD (at least that's what I've heard, but correct me if I'm wrong) in the future where the trend among the audiophiles has always been "the higher the resolution, the better." But well, for now I'll probably stick with one of those lower priced hardwares as suggested by some and see what will happen in the future between these two formats.
Never heard of hi def audio.....are you sure about that?
I have heard that eventually there could be dsd encoded 5.1 soundtracks, but until someone actually trys this, its just a pipedream.
As far as Sacd/dvd-a goes, i currently support Sacd, but neither of these formats will be around long, if they don't start producing more popular music and soon.
Going by the nex't generation of mp3 lovers who listen to boomboxes and table top all in one units that cost 179.00, I am not so sure even redbook is gauranteed to be around in 10 years.
Good advice on the Pioneer universal machine. Only costs around $400 and is a pretty good video player if the audio formats don't pan out. I can't see a format being driven by the audiophile market so the future of SACD & DVD-A (although both have alot of potential) is questionable. Buy hybrid SACD's and DVD-A's (all have DVD-V layers) now if you are worried about obsolesance. CD and DVD-V are popular formats that aren't going away anytime soon. Just another opinion FWIW.
In my earlier comment I said "low cost equipment" instead of "Pioneer DV-45A". (I, and others familiar with this unit, were starting to sound like a broken record).
Is there any other $400 player that does it all?
At the moment there do seem to be more SACDs than DVD-A, but the best discs I have obtained happen to be DVD-A. Both can be good or bad depending on mastering. You need both.
The stereo program on SACDs is an AREA of the disc, not a layer. The layer idea (Hybrid SACD only) relates to a media that can be read by regular CD players.
At present a DVD-A disc does not have a stereo program although
(1) the player can do a realtime mixdown
(2) I heard a rumor that the DVD-A spec was being revised to provide for a stereo program.
Sorry about that, I meant "high definition" in a general sense; a better term would have been "the more detailed, the better." What I was driving at was like comparing the level of detail between an MP3's and the ordinary CD's: we all know the level of detail is different simply because there are larger number of bits in the latter and so isn't it reasonable to say that since there are more capacity on the DVD, it can be made to have a higher level of detail (or bits) on it than on the CD for the same lenght of music? Or am I too naive (I'll have to admit I'm ignorant on technical matters)?
Emafaith: I think you're confusing "detail" and "resolution." The latter is the technical term, and is directly a function of the number of bits. The former is a much more subjective term, used by reviewers and audiophiles to describe how well a system allows a listener to pick out particular, subtle aspects of the music, e.g., individual instruments, etc. (Others may well have different--and quite possibly better--definitions of the term.)
You can have great detail without great resolution. LPs, for example, have much lower resolution than CDs, for example, but a many a vinylphile can tell you about the detail of his rig.
Thanks, that was clear enough, but I'm quite surprised, I mean really surprised to know that a lesser resolution format can give more detail than a higher one; It just seems to defy logic, although I'm certainly not arguing the point especially where it is accepted by many audiophiles. But my common sense tells me there are some deficiencies in CD format as it stands now if its higher resolution system can't extract more details than the lesser resolution LP's. I simply can't think of any other reason why it is so.
Emafaith: I never said that CD can't "extract more details" than LP. Because of differences in dynamic range (which is directly related to resolution), a CD can capture some details that an LP just can't.
Now, whether you can HEAR those details or not depends on the rest of your rig, particularly your speakers and your room set-up: That's where details get muddied.
Okay, I got the idea. So each of these formats have their own preferences or advantages as to the types of "detail" they are more capable of presenting with respect to the other. That makes sense. So this thing about ole LP's being better than CD's are not totally false. Thanks for the info, Bomarc.
Before I log-off from this topic, I'd just like to say that the $400 Pioneer universal machine as mentioned by Bld63 is not a bad idea, although I'll still have to contend with the problem of which format to choose for softwares. I've always thought about the Beta-VHS contention of the past, but on the second thought, Beta format has been outdated and the VHS may also be on the way out. Maybe we should just enjoy what we have now and worry about what to come later. Even the CD's, which was once touted to be the ultimate format, can be replaced by either or both the SACD and DVD-A. So I guess nothing is permanent in the field of technology.