thats a hard one to give an answer to.my analog set up cost over 2 times what my digital cost so it might not be a fair comparision.depends a lot on the recording, pressing,condition of album,i think a good album is more enjoyable to listen to than a good sacd,but both sound better than redbook cd on my system,xrcd sound pretty darn good too.
my answer would be nearly identical to Raytheprinter's: my TT (Lingo-ed LP12 w/Benz HO2), playing a well-made lp sounds better (warmer, more present, more visceral) than the better-sounding SACDs I have played on my Sony SCD-777, but both sound better than redbook. It should be said that there are some great-sounding redbook CDs being made nowadays (e.g.Rokia Traore's "Bowmboi" on Nonesuch)
The magic words are: well-made LP. (Well, also patience, for finding that well-made LP.)
I've have to echo the above responses. I have a Esoteric DV50 and a SME 20/2, SME IV.Vi arm, Lyra Helikon cart.
So my analog is much more expensive than my digital front end. However, vinyl is just plesant to listen to. Digital is really good...but not quite as involving.
Vinyl is a pain, digital is easy...but if you want the best, vinyl still rules.
As far as recording quality, I think both formats suffer from good and bad recordings. You never really know what you get until you listen.
My experience has been the same as yours. Since I already had alot of well-cared-for LPs, I had to invest some $ in playback. For reference, I have a MMF-7/Eroica, Project phono amp (soon to be upgraded) playback. My quality LPs sound so much better than my standard CDs played on my Classe CD player, with Aragon Stage One pre-amp analog bypass. I invested only $1000 in vinyl playback. I have yet to find that SACD is significantly better, but I do not have an ultra expensive SACD player. I am waiting for the quality of the SACDs to go up and the price to go down! Good luck.
My TT/arm and cartridge cost virtual the same as my Sony SCD 777es. The difference is less than $50, so theoretically the sound should be similar (yeah I know, there is seldom any 'real world' correlation).
The sound of the LP set up is much better than SACD, SACD is much better than redbook. I have around 25-30 SACD's and probably 1400 LPs so I have heard a lot of direct comparisons. DSOTM is one that I have on regular LP, MFSL LP, 30th anniversary LP, and SACD. I have had lots of fun playing each of them for people and letting non-audiophile music lover compare the formats.
The results are always: (Starting with the least impressive and going to the best)
4) MFSL LP
5) 30th anniversary LP
I have never done this comparison where there was any variation in the results. Most of these people began with the idea that LPs were a washed-up old medium, that CDs are the pinnacle of human achievement, and most did not know that SACD existed.
It is easier to get better sound from a less expensive TT than it is to get good sound from an expensive CDP.
There is another aspect of vinyl that is seldom mentioned in threads like these, although all the digital formats are more care free, portable, can be played while in the car/jogging/etc........vinyl is just plain more fun. The size is more fun to hold, the album covers are more fun, the linear notes are more likely to be read, and even cleaning them becomes fun.
LP beats SACD. This is not surprising. It's a shame too, since I grew up with digital. I would have preferred not having to adopt vinyl. For for the ultimate in sound quality (for most of us) vinyl is still king. I adopted SACD prior to vinyl and ended up abandoning the former is favor of the latter. It also did not help that the selection of titles (older classical and heavy metal) were better on vinyl than on SACD. I look forward to perhaps adopting SACD at a latter date when players have improved and when more classical titles are available.
Well, I was recently one of the folks to hear DSOTM on SACD vs. 30th anniv. virgin 180g LP at Nrchy's place. That LP is one of my favorites and gets spun regularly in my own system at at pretty much any analog audition I attend. I know Side 1 like the back of my hand.
My feelings were right on par with what Nrchy reported. I thought the SACD was a definite improvement over Redbook but didn't touch the latest LP pressing. I have also heard someone else's SACD rig using one of the Sony players, a Krell preamp, my own Conrad power amp, Soliloquy 6.3s and Purist Audio cable all around. My feelings were once again that SACD is a promising digital format but what I've heard so far, simply is not at the level of what good software on a halfway decent vinyl rig can do.
In terms of availability...yes it's hard to find a really good, non-warped new vinyl but it's much harder to find alot of the music I like on SACD (remember, I'm a young fellow and a bunch of remastered oldies and dry adult standard singers just aren't going to do it for me) whereas I can find a pretty healthy amount of my favorites, new or old, on vinyl. Also I am concerned with the reliablity of SACD players. It's a very new technology and I have heard some complaints in that arena.
SACD is too new, too questionable, too lacking in availability, and not sonically thrilling enough for me to want to sink serious cash into at this time.
My disclaimer: I have not heard the ultra-megabuck SACD players, and I have not heard SACD in my own system in my own room...so, as always, take this FWIW!
DSOTM (or The White Album~ light) is a dynamite SACD, even through 2-ch. Although the new 180gm LP reissue is a hair better as far as the realism of the instruments, the SACD is not that far behind. On some tracks, I preferred the SACDs ambiance, where I could have sworn I was listening in surround even though there are only two speakers in my room (no, the Supreme Court need not get involved here...unless Prozac gets outlawed).
I own a modded Philips 963SA, very, very cheap in comparison with my TNT 5 / JMW 12.5 / ZYX Airy 1000. This SACD surprised me, I must admit. The classical music SACDs I had purchased up till now (about 10) had left me unconvinced about the new format.
Well, Ill hang around a bit longer, I guess.
I have a question and would appreciate some direction. If I only bought LPs, recorded them onto excellent quality CD-Rs, would they sound as good, better or worse than a Redbook CD? What is the typical sampling rate of a computer sound card and writer? Could it exceed the 44.1 of Redbook? On a recent 6 Moons article they glowed about the EAC software and it really is great from CD to CD, but what about recording direct from LP pre-amp to computer to disc. Anybody had any luck? Thanks!
Tgrisham, I've "backed up" a few vinyls onto HHB 74min CDRs using a tube phono stage into Kurzweil converters and AudioQuest or Mogami cabling, either from the converters to an HHB CD830+ CDR/W transport or into LogicPro6 via optical in on my Mac G5 and burned in iTunes.
Either way, it sounds like a record on a CDR. That is, all the pops and clicks of the old vinyls I was playing, and all the limitations of a CDR :(
Tgrisham why settle for 16/44.1 redbook? Why not make 2CH 24/96 DADs onto writable DVDs on your computer? That should blow away any redbook CD. Just need a DVD transport (modifed or stock) and a DAC that will access 24/96. Or maybe a modified universal player instead?