What the heck. I have both the Redbook CD and the SACD recordings of Lang Lang's performance of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto. I have played both through the same SACD player-preamp-amp-speaker setup numerous times. The SACD provides better detail and bass definition.
My SACD player allows me to choose the Redbook layer on a hybrid SACD, is that standard? It seems that most people are comparing two seperate CDs even if it's the same recording.
Yes, as far as I know virtually all SACD players will let you choose the Redbook or SACD layer on a hybrid.
Other formats? O assume you mean blu ray, which in my experience blows away SACD and Red Book. Still waiting for Miles Blue to come out, promised long ago.
Other formats being blu-ray, XRCD, etc. I know there are some obscure formats that I have no experience with.
With blu-ray are you comparing identical stereo recordings that are just presented in different formats? I only have one blu-ray concert (Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert) and it is excellent, but not the same as a stereo CD or SACD.
I assume, all things being equal, the sacd layer should sound better due the formats advantage.
XRCD, SHM cd, K2HD etc. HDCD are all redbook and not another format.
Most of the comparisons I spoke of were from different disc's , I haven't tried A/B testing both layers on an SACD , that will be tonight's project .
Results ,, ya but nothing conclusive On some disc's I felt there was no difference between the two layers on the same disc , other times the SACD layer was clearly better . On the weekend a couple of audio buddies and I used some different duel layer dics's in there machine's and systems, and again the results were inconclusive . Which leads us to believe that the end results are very system and disc dependent .
One thing that we all agreed on in all systems , was that Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon , was better on the red book layer .
Orig early released CD's, Orig Imports (Japan, W. Germany, etc) Remasters. Then there is: 24K GOLD, HDCD, XRCD, MFSL, SHM, BLU-SPEC, Japan Mini Disc, LPCD (to most replicate sound vinyl) ?? I doubt that one! Many choices for Redbook players. Assuming the original mix/recording were the same, does the performance of some/any of these "superior" formats warrant their extra pricing? Any thoughts?
LPCD-I have two copies of Harry Belefonte at Carnegie Hall.
An original red cd pressing and an LPCD. Both are outstanding but I hear and feel a little more with the LPCD which imo sounds superb. They are purple on the information side of cd. I own a few of them with no duds.
I cannot confirm the sound like an lp but all do sound good. Impressed.
Most of my XRCD`s (approx. 50 or so) are excellent.
BLU-SPEC-Bought a two disc sampler from cdjapan. It was not very good and actually hurt to list to some of the tracks. Not impressed. SHM cd seems the same to me.
24K gold-I have some outstanding ones (DCC, MOFI and some others). Some can be both very expensive and impressive.
Mastering makes the difference,not what the cd is made out of IMHO but of course YMMV.
Montejay, thank you for your experiences. I will investigate those further.
The quality will depend on a number of factors. First the quality of the performance, then the quality of the original recording, and finally whether it is a Redbook CD or a SACD. In many cases the hybrid SACD's use the CD layer from a previous release, and the SACD layer from a more recent conversion. Depending on the care with which the conversions were made from the original analog tapes makes a big difference. That is why the SACD of Kind of Blue is disappointing compared to the CD, while the Reiner/Chicago Symphony SACD of Scherazade is absolutely awesome. When the original masters were PCM at 44.1K for CD, the SACD version is unlikely to be able to improve on the CD. Just my thoughts based on listening to half dozen hybrid SACD's on my Sony 5400 through a CJ Premier 14, Levinson 331 and Thiel 3.6's connected via Kimber cables.
HQCD is another that I just became aware of. Kudos to Japanese technology!
"HQCD is another that I just became aware of. Kudos to Japanese technology!"
The HQCD titled Kent Poon Presents - Audiophile Jazz Prologue III has outstanding audio quality.
"That is why the SACD of Kind of Blue is disappointing compared to the CD."
The Columbia KoB SACD is sure a disappointment compared to the vinyl (any 33 RPM pressing).
Some might say "well, duh", but I have SACDs that are *much* closer to vinyl (and my vinyl setup is worth quite a bit more than my digital).
Listen to the new K2HD of KOB many times now. The best I've heard on any digital disc. The louder I play it the better it sounds.
However,I wouldn't say it's better than hearing it on a good vinyl setup.
I have a few discs by Jordi Savall that were originally released on rebook and then remixes a d rereleased on sacd. One of these is the Bach Brandenburg Concertos, and it is the one in which I have made the
Greatest number of comparisons.
I hear very slight differences between the original rebook release and the rebook layer of the dual disc. The sacd version has greater clarity, ambience and separation of instruments. Bach's many contrapuntal lines
Are easier to follow and yet sound more fully integrated with each other
I have Dianna Krall's "The Look Of Love" on SACD and
Advanced Resolution Surround Sound (96kHz/24-bit) multi-
Channel MLP. MLP Downmixed to 2 Channel the closest thing
that I have ever heard to Vinyl from a silver Disk! SACD
no comparison. Really gonna miss MLP Disks/Recordings when
Downloads replace the Silver Disks. Are MLP High Rez.
multi-channel Recordings even Downloadable? It is really
going to suck to have to give up the best sounding Silver
Disk Format to Downloading. Don't know about Blue-Ray
The Beethoven symphony cycle on LSO Live (Haitink, 2006) is an SACD hybrid set. Probably the highest quality classical recording I own. The 16/44.1 layer is very good, but the SACD layer has smoother high frequencies (violins, oboe) and better transient attack (tympani). It's not night/day but the difference is definitely there.
I have recently purchased Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra performing the complete Mahler canon on Blu Ray. The sound is might impressive but I think I prefer SACD and DVD-A and some High Rez downloads.
It isn't apples to apples however, since I don't have these recordings in any other format.
while this comment is tangential to the original topic, it should be considered.
while the sacd layer may emit better sound quality than the hybrid layer when played on an sacd player, i think having a dual format digital source is a disadvantage.
i have heard better sound from a cd-only source in many cases than listening to an sacd layer played on an sacd player.
thus , one may be able to find , say a dac and transport providing superior sound to an sacd player playing the dscd layer.
having a tube in the digital front end is often an advantage.
there are very few sacd players that have a tube gain stage or buffer stage.
thus, the hardware may be more important than the software in many instances.
naturally, a fine digital front end cannot compensate for poor recordings.