SACD vs DVD audio vs 24/96..??

Now that there is SACD player #3 (Marantz SA CD-1 for a mere $7500) with a whopping 24 titles to choose from in SA-CD format, and 24/96 & DVD just coming in to age. What format will survive? Will they RIP like the Sony Beta video, or DAT formats and the MD formats? Will the audiophile of today have the saying "Long live the 44khz 16 bit format", as we said 15 years ago "Long live analog"?
There are actually many more than 25 SACD titles, at least 50! *grin* I am the owner of an SCD-1 from Sony, I was sold when I heard it. In one word... Awesome! My prediction is that Sony will release a player sometime next year that plays CD, SACD, DVD and DVD-A. The price of the current players will fall. The DVD-A software will be plentiful and inexpensive, and eventually SACD will die; probably in the next 3 to 5 years. The major factor will be the availability of software for DVD-A vs. SACD, the next will be the lower price of DVD-A vs. SACD software, finally, the price and availability of hardware will be the death of SACD. It will hang on for certain purposes and certain people, just like Beta has done, but it is the loosing format in the end. That is my opinion. Knowing all that, I still bought the player and I am buying SACD software... Because IT SOUNDS SO GOOD!! It's wonderful to waste money on stuff like this, isn't it?? (In case you're wondering... I also have a couple of MD recorders and players, same story! But for now, I have decent music while traveling!)
I tend to agree.I belive in the neext year or so they will have players that will do the 3 major formats.
Sony has released an sacd player in Europe that will street here at less than 800 this fall. As those prices fall, I'd expect more sales and more recordings to be available, and could be a decent installed base when/if the dvd-a crowd gets their copy-protection act together.
I don't know which format will come out on top, maybe neither one will make it. All I can say is that we audiophiles have been waiting for 15 years to have a truly high resolution format and now that it's here I'm going for it. I just ordered the SCD-777ES from J&R Music World. They are selling this machine for $1799. That's like half price! Considering how the thing is built and how it reportedly sounds with conventional CD's I think it is a real bargain.Yes, I'm sure that Sony will soon bring out a machine for $1000 or less but you can be sure that it won't be built like this baby. I agree with the reviewers that SACD is the way to go for purist audiophiles. I will probably get a do all player for my Home Theater system when they come out but I'm sticking to a purist 2 channel aproach for my serious listening. There is some confusion as to compatibility of 6 channel SACD discs. Acording to SONY, there will be a 2 channel mix on all discs, therefore your 2 channel player will not become obsolete (unless the format does). I'll post again after the machine arrives and I have evaluated it.
None will survive... these formats are only for audiophiles, and no one else can afford it. All the record companies wont produce discs for them if no one has players. Everything will go mp3, but thats about it. Why not just get the ebst CD players and not worry about SCD or DVDA etc.. they arent going to get the support. I guess depending on your music tastes it will though, but its what id buy. 10,000,000 CD tracks.. 50 SCD.. go figure
DAT machines are still in use, years after they supposedly "died". It's the recording industry's standard format. Sadly, I agree that SACD is probably doomed, sooner or later. I heard the SCD-1, and loved it. I'm also suspicious of DVD-A's chances of making it. The way I see it, it boils down to what the record companies are willing to support. The gains that DVD produced over VHS were easy to see. It didnt take long for everyone to get behind it. The gains that SACD offers over CD is noticeable only to a few.(US) Most recording companies, I imagine, would be unlikely to produce this format.(similar in that respect to pre-recorded minidisc or dat. Hopefully, the new buzz over upsampling will lead to something that will be on par, at least with DVD-A, if not SACD. I fear that in another 5 years, we'll be having this same conversation.
I would be very happy if SACD survived only as a nitch market. Heck, High End audio is a nitch market. The anaylagy to DAT is apropriate. It was never meant to be mass market. I don't expect there to be a SACD or DVDA player in every home unless it's thrown in for free with every $299 DVD player. I'm sure it could happen. You don't have to ask what they would sound like....
I can already see SACD's DVDA discs adding to the same nitch as we have seen for Audiophile labels. People are bitching that the discs are expensive. Yes, they do cost more than CD's, but they are about the same price as Mo-Fi, XRCD's etc that we audiophiles have been happily shelling out for for years. Heck, I have stacks of Direct to disc LP's. And they still sound great! So now we have the oportunity to buy a virtual copy of the master tape instead of overpriced gold plated sixteen bit crap that often sounds only marginaly better than the standard issue. It seems we should all be rejoicing. How many copies of Kind of Blue do you own? I have 4 or 5. I expect the SACD copy to be the final word. Case closed. This is why I hope that the Specialty labels jump on SACD. I think that if enough people have one of the players then the audiophile comunity will demand that all of their issues be in one of the high bit rate formats. It is really tragic that Mo Fi went under. With their connections to the various labels they could have perhaps eventually released their entire catalog on SACD. Perhaps DCC or some other company will pick up the ball. I doubt JVC since they are heavily invested in DVD. If there is the demand someone will fill it unless legal restrictions or cost prohibits it. Telarc, Audioquest, Chesky and others are starting to put out SACD's. NOTE: I'm not interested in replacing my entire CD collection. Frankly, most of it is not well enough recorded to be worth it. But there are great recordings that demand and deserve the highest quality.
RE: my post about "throwing in" DVDA and SACD capability on mass market machines. This seems to finally be happening to HDCD. I just bought a Toshiba DVD player which includes it. It seems to be a marketing strategy to paste as many logos as possible on the front of these machines. If it says Dolby, DTS, Spacializer, HDCD, SACD, DBX and a few others consumers assume that the product is flexible, sophisticated i.e. the latest and greatest. Most will never seek out HDCD or DTS software and they might not hear any improvement on a low end machine if they did. Could SACD and DVDA get that kind of a free ride? Once production is cranked up it probably wouldn't cost that much.
I really don't understand why any audiophile who can afford it doesn't buy one of the SACD players. It sounds great to me and my experience with it backs up all the things I have read about it. There are less than 100 titles available now but so what? How else could somethig this fine happen? You think a big corporation is going to flood the market with esoteric product that only a few fringe loonies like us are going to buy? I am surprised they have done what they have. Someone at Sony is interested in good sound and has somehow convinced the money people to give it a shot. And what do many of the audiophiles do? They complain the machines are too expensive! They complain the output stage isn't to tweak standards! They complain they can't immediately buy some Lawrence Welk favorites disc! They complain they don't want another "Kind of Blue" ! Well I bought another "Kind of Blue" and I'm kind of glad. It's about the sound, gentlemen. Sony has reduced the price of the ES 777 machine it is my understanding. Is that frustrating to me since I paid a higher price? Yea somewhat, I don't know what they are doing. I hope they aren't dumping and giving up. I certainly don't regret buying the machine however. I am happy to have supported this adventure. And there is really a lot of great music on the discs that are available. And there probably won't be a universal machine with this sound quality for less money anytime in the near future. It's amazing! This SACD is not a compromise. Support it!
One thing I've always wondered is why do the same titles show up in "audiophile" format after format? Kind of Blue is a great album, but how many copies do you want to buy at the expense of getting other titles in a new format? Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow is another example. I was glad to see Joe Satriani's latest released in SACD - another dozen like that and it'll be really compelling.
I agree with Allie completely. My first SACD was Kind of Blue. Because it's worth it.I would like to start another discussion about which SACD's sound great and which ones to avoid. I think it is really impressive that there are over 100 titles already available considering there are only 2 machines on the market to play them. I remember hearing the same complaining about software availability with DVD and now look what we have! I'm sure it would be beyond wishful thinking that the same order of magnitude could ever hapen with DVDA or SACD But still, check out the new Acoustic Sounds catalog. I started adding up my wish list and went wooah. Can't afford to buy too many turkeys. As for SONY dropping the price of the machine, I'm sure that they are not going to go through all the R&D just to dump the whole thing before it gets off the ground. Remember this is SONY not DIVX. They are one of the largest and most powerful electronics companies in the world. I'm sure they have a well planned strategy. These machines have been on the market a year and It's time to start moving them before they release newer lower price models. I'm sure that even at the list price they were losing money on every machine. They are simply more interested in getting them in the hands of more people to give the format a foothold in the market.
Actually if you count the 2 Sony units there are 4 players on the market. The SCD-1, 777-ES, Marantz and the Accuphase DP100 and DAC. I heard the Accuphase this weekend, it is quite an impressive unit, as it should be for the combination price of 26,500.00. I will stick with my SCD-1 and use the other $21k for a down payment on my next home. Regards, Mike
There is no reason why they both can't survive. We've seen it with SBM vs. HDCD vs. XRCD vs. MoFi gold CD's. Each have their strengths. My only problem is the mutually exclusive formats. They really should figure out a way to incorporate DSD (not SACD, but the underlying digital representation) into DVD-Audio, then have the player be able to play both. The cheaper ones will probably use PCM DAC's, and convert the DSD to the equivalent PCM, the higher end ones will have separate DAC's and figure out which one to use, and the highest end ones might even have separate outs.
I don't want any junk DVD-A capabilities with my SACD player. Only an idiot would want another inferior capability (it already plays CDs).
if you think audio dvd and sacd are going to be offered side-by-side on japanese players, you just don't understand the politics. ain't gonna happen.
Sony has a new DVD player to be released soon, the DVP-9000ES will have a 12 bit video DAC, progressive scan, AND.... SACD for under $1500. I wouldn't mind DVD-A capability (even if inferior to SACD), if only for the eventual availability of more titles in a high resolution format, but unless you are willing to spend $5000, you can't have it yet. I believe there is a Pioneer multi-format machine available in Japan and soon to be here. If the Sony player has video quality at least the equal of Pioneers' new DV-37 then I will be very, very happy to gain a SACD player for little more than a good DVD player costs. I have spoken with the head of DCS sales in America, and he said that the SACD format is based on the same ring technology as their Elgar. I am looking forward to having that level of quality at 10% of the price my friends have paid for their DCS gear. I am not saying their investment was not wise. The upsampling ability of the DCD Delios and Purcell are great, and I don't expect Sony to do anything more than an adequate job in the "redbook" CD section of thier DVD player, but I would sure like to hear my system with the best possible input. That would help to make the effort that I have made to achieve the best system within my means seem more sensible and even more rewarding.