SACD's to avoid due to poor remastering.

I have just purchased and played a copy of a SACD titled "The Ultimate Tony Bennett" CS63570 a Columbia release.. This would have to rank as one of the worst remastering"s I have ever heard. The sibilance is unbearable, the soundstage is congested and instrument tonality unbelievably poor. I dont think I have heard a CD that sounds worse let alone a SACD.
I thought compiling a list of such titles to avoid may be interesting.


FWIW I have a Playback Designs MPS-5 which to my ears is the most analog sounding digital player to date. This therefore reinforces my criticism of the remastering of the disc.
George Thorogood " Move It On Over " is no treat for the ears...
All SACDs that were made from the relevant 16/44 cd are obvisouly crap. Look for SACDs made from the original master tape. I dont want to dissapoint you but most of the SACDs I was buying were poorly made!!!

Happy Listening,

I have that SACD too, and I agree, it sucks. So does Norah Jones "Come Away with Me". The standard CD sounds better to me.
Most Sony SACDs from initial rollout. Old catalog.
Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Blvd was disappointing. It sounds compressed like every other recording I have of this session. Too bad- great album.
Although all 12 SACD's I've purchased are Classical, I've come to the conclusion that the original cd's I have are better sounding! I also noticed that the dynamic range was such that the quiet spots were so quiet I couldn't hear them, then the full volume would send me out of the room; so I was constantly using the remote control--translation, a pain in the butt! Therefore, I've given up on SACD.
Derek and the Dominos - Layla SACD sucks the big one. Recording quality is awful and just plain unenjoyable. Don't waste your money.
The worst sounding of the 120 or so SACDs I own is by far Roger Waters- In The Flesh. Too bad because the performance is very good and I love Roger but what a horrible recording/remastering.
The same problem with BluRay videos. Way to many are just the same resolution as the DVD. just as:.. when DVD came out, some of the movies were in the same resolution as the laserdic, even worse, a very few were just copies of VHS on DVD.
Then you get "Blade Runner, where they did the transfer from film to a 4x density? something like 2800x8000 and lower the pixle rate with an outstanding algorythym. So Blade Runner is the true standard of what can be done in Blue Ray.
Some companies just take everyone for suckers, "hey it's on BluRay, Or "hey its on SACD, so it must me better". Too bad these companies can't be sued for deceitful practices.
They worry so much about possible copyright infringment, and then turn around and screw thier artists, and the public, who think they are buying a high quality product, and are getting crap.
That's good news, I wasn't wanting to replace my entire DVD collection or 16/44 CD's.
Finally! A thread worth responding to. Send me back to 1970 right NOW. It's about the money, it's ALWAYS about the money! My suggestion is don't buy any of it and you won't be disappointed.
I have noticed that on Diana Krall's "The look of Love" the bass is mixed much lower on the stereo SACD layer than on the CD layer. Not sure if it is worth avoiding it as a result but I thought it was curious.

totally agree, there is a lot of bad recordings on formats that are capable of much more. For example there is so many bad trasfers on blu ray movies. It all starts with the type of lenses,type of film, camera, camera settings, lighting, transfer technology and finally the director style he wants for the film. Initially the movie can be extremely sharp but if he/she wants a lot of grain and high contrasty film (wicht is the actual trend) the movie will lose resolution. The same happens with music, it depends on the quality of the instruments, the recording studio and the sound engineer. One of the worst recording i have heard was Red Book "Counting Crows" their latest album (2008) wich is dull and awful.
What amazes me is the much higher quality off of
DVD Soundtracks than their CD matching counterpart.
What the hell are they using for the Mastering source
for these CD's? Why not just rent the DVD Movie and
rip a copy of its Soundtrack? It would still sound twice
as better than its CD counterpart, or not half as bad!
That would end the Market for horrible sounding CD
Soundtracks based on the worst Mastering ever. That
could put some of those horrible Master Copies out in
the Corn Field permanently, where they belong.
As mentioned above I found most of the original SACD's pretty unimpressive-Miles Davis discs in particular.
macdadtexas: I do not agree with your choice of Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" as a bad SACD. The redbook recording is excellent!...and the SACD takes it to another level!! I just played them and the SACD is more detailed and natural sounding to my ears.
Gandme...if I'm not mistaken that Norah Jones sacd is THE most controversial one ever because it was proven that it is literally a cd's content transferred onto a sacd. It's the same waveform on both discs.
Synthfreek: It was made using the same 44.1 kHz master tape. From what I've read the problems are in the multi channel layer not the 2 channel, I listen in only 2 channel. To me the SACD is superior to the redbook CD.
An example of an excellent sounding SACD (stereo layer) is Elton John's Captain Fantastic. If this disc sounds bad on your SACD player, it will be difficult for your to accurately assess the merits of any SACD you play. This SACD is availble at Amazon or for under $10.00 at YourMusic.

In addition to all the lousy quality back catalog released by Sony (much of it fawned over by early adopters), most of the early SACD players sounded pretty bad. These players and discs are not representative of what SACD can do.
Gandme, I think the Norah Jones SACD sucks, and I am not alone. I didn't know anything about the remastering/recording controversy. I just know on every disc player I have ever had the CD version sounded better. I no longer have a reference level disc player, but it's even more pronounced to me on my current disc player (Oppo BP83), especially if I put the CD output through my Bryston DAC.

I won't even get into comparing the SACD to the vinyl on that recording, which is no contest at all.

I have hundreds of SACD's and DVD-Audio discs like many on Audiogon, and it was a great format. The Elton John SACD's, all of them are truly sublime in both stereo and surround (I never really listen to that anymore), and I spent the last couple of years collecting them as the format died. But, for many reasons, including poorly executed pressings, such as the mentioned Norah Jones, it is going the way of the 8-track and Betamax.
I'm glad you are not alone...there a many SACD's recorded in the same manner using analog masters including Elton John's. I'm sure they are engineered differently (DSD mix etc.). You do not like the SACD format and have your best results with vinyl... fair enough. The Norah Jones SACD is still better to my ears on my system. I will continue listening to SACD's that "suck"...

I love SACD, it just didn't make it. I have hundreds of discs that as the technology continues to move forward I am sure I will be able to place easily onto my music server and play the files through my DAC (or one to come). So I'm invested for good, but as the question on this thread was poorly realized SACD transfers, I lended my voice. Below is an article on the crappy, rotten, awful, terrible, and wholly reprehensible Norah Jones disc that no audiophile, especially after reading the attached Stereophile article would ever admit to listening to, so don't even mention owning it.
Wow....I have read the artical. I just do not believe everything I read... you think it sucks, I think it is better than the very good redbook recording...let's call it good without the insults!
You do realize my last post we with my tongue placed firmly in my cheek?
Sorry...tongue in cheek was missed on my part.
Macdadtexas, while I am disappointed on how sacds have evolved, classical recordings continue to flourish. I also have an Oppo 83, but heavily modified by Exemplar. I must say that many, in fact most, sacds are outstanding on this unit. Last evening in particular, I listened to Patricia Barber's Companion both on sacd and cd. The sacd had much better realism in its soundstage and applause. I bought the Oppo because it gave me the greatest flexibility in my summer home, but I must admit that I am continually drawn away from my Mac Powerbook Pro, Amarra, Firewire, and Weiss Minerva music server to the sacds on the Oppo. I have given up on anyone ever finding a method to put sacds on a harddrive.