SACD vs Regular CD's

I have a fairly good system, through which I have been listening to CD's with a Meridian G08 player which I have found to be fairly close to the analog sound. My question is, I am also thinking about getting a SACD player. I have NO experience with SACD's: are they worth the investment? is there really that much improvement? what are the pros and cons of SACD?

Any help would be appreciated, and I thank you, in advance, for any helpful comments.


Sacd's are worth it if you are going to do multi-channel. For 2 track only I do not feel they are worth the extra cost IMHO
They do sound a bit better. More dynamic range a bit deeper soundstage. The downside is few recordings have it. Sometimes its on the disc and not even marked? I have a few and they sound very good, but my favorite reference recordings are standard red book CDs.
I LOVE SACDs and buy little else. Beside the fact that I love multichannel sound for large-scale Classical music, SACDs, including those mastered in analog, are significantly higher in transparency...clarity...than CDs. AND...the more transparent your system becomes, the better SACDs sound. :-)

NONE of my reference recordings are CDs, altho they sound OK in my car.
The fact that even SONY releases Classical CDs that are NOT SACD is a very bad sign. It is strange that more new Classical recordings are not SACD. But if you are going to have a CD player, why not make it a SACD player. The Classical music community does not seem to place great importance on making new recordings SACD.
I agree with Steuspeed and Alan,really not much of a different in a well set up system for both formats.Good quality Red Book CD can sound quite excellent.I`ve found much overlap between the two in top level systems.
More is more. SACD has the “potential” , too frequently unrealized, to sound significantly better than CD. I enjoy well made CDs immensely, but the fact is that SACD, properly executed, will reveal more of what’s on the master tape if there is more to reveal.
I understand the theory that SACD 'should' sound better(and sometimes it does).The reality has not shown this to be the case consistently.Perhaps with classical music SACD is clearly superior.With the heavy jazz rotation I listen to,there`s no clear winner.
I really tried to make SACD work, but ultimately, I decided to stay with CDs. In my case, I found that multi-function players did not play CDs as well as a dedicated CD player at similar cost. I got as far as a 5K player before giving up. Perhaps the more expensive players do a better job with CD. Second, if you are only going 2-channel, you have to remember that many of the intitial recordings were recorded digitally at 16/44, so you can never get more bits out of it. In your case, the Meridian is a very good CD player and I don't think you're going to better it with a cheaper SACD player, despite the theoretical advantage of hi-rez. All this aside, I was still considering one of those new Oppo 105s, which play SACDs and give you Blu Ray as well. Seems like it would be fun to fool around with.
I would agree with some that you will not best a great CD player with a cheap SACD player. I would suggest the Ayre C5xeMP as a universal source. It does both formats incredibly well. The difference on a good system is definite.
To my ears, some SACDs sound much better than the CD of the same music, others not so much. The quality of the original recording and what happened to it on the way to the SACD or CD have a lot to do with how different the two sound, of course.

There is something I like about the sound of some SACDs though, an ease or flow to the music, even compared to high res files.
To all who have responded, many, many thanks. I do appreciate the responses.


One thing your Meridian has is trifield, which there are few recordings and players that can process it. You might search out recordings that have it. Just something I forgot to mention.
On recordings that were recorded in DSD then downsampled to 16/44 for CD, I found the SACD to be significantly better (for example Perahia's Goldberg variation on Sony, Paavo Jarvi's Beethoven cycle ). Some SACD release from older analogue tape (Living stereo series etc), really depends on the remaster. Some are really good, some are not that much different from CD. Also there are some rip off ie SACD that was upsampled from 16/44 which was a waste.
Personally I found Pentatone SACD to sound significantly better through SACD layer than CD layer as well.
Some of the cheaper, universal player also convert DSD to PCM before going through AD converter which does not help SACD much.
I would look through SACD catalogues first and see if there are enough music in SACD catalogues (preferably with original DSD recordings) that interest you. If yes, it would be worthwhile investigating this option.
Steuspeed wrote:
One thing your Meridian has is trifield, which there are few recordings and players that can process it. You might search out recordings that have it.

I, too, have a Meridian processor with Trifield but I know of no recordings made with it. In fact, I do not think one can "make" recordings with it. Could you be thinking, instead, of Ambisonics?
Agree with Suteetat. Music well recorded in DSD not converted to PCM can sound significantly better than redbook. I cannot but a redbook only cd player because I have too many great sounding SACDs and only a few SACDs that are ripoffs. In fact, I have not upgraded my cd/sacd player in a few years because I knew that someday, a DAC would come around that processes DSD from downloads. They are just now starting to be made.

you will want to look into the Sony 5400 ES player, as well as, Marantz SACD players. Happy Listening!
I have an Ayre C5xemp which plays both. All too often, there is very little difference if any at all. Save your money
SACD is a system what I never Liked. For my work I bought a lot wenn it was still not sure if it would be a succes. I had always the DVD-A recording as well. In all the cases the DVD-A was always better compared to SACD. By the blind auditions people took the DVD-A for preference. Most people always thought that the DVD-A would be the SACD. DVA-A was superior in focus and depth. Sound was more analogue compared to the sacd version. The biggest problem is that the focus of many sacd's is often not natural anymore. At a show of Philips they used the Nautilus 801 for demo. The used a recording I know well. The voice was much too big. Wenn they went to the redbook version the voice became the normal dimension again. So I said: I did not know if the person had such a big head. They did not know what to say. It was a fact that the voices were all too big. SACD I would not want it for free or even wenn they give me 100 euro every day.
The gap with CD narrows substantially as playback hardware gets better. For me the beauty of SACD is mainly in the (unfortunatey rare) multi channel releases, not so much the lead in SQ over CD on two channel.
I agree, in very well setup systems with high quality Red book players the gap is quite narrow and with considerable overlap depending on the individual recording.
I have both SACDs and DVD Audio discs. I have the NECESSARY speaker array to

enjoy these. For someone just now starting to consider SACDs know that SONY

dumped on us, abandoning the medium for Blueray which I won't touch.
I have a bunch of Blu Rays, SACDs and DVD-A. They can all sound anywhere ranging from crap to stellar, mainly a function of the recording / mix quality, not so much the format.
recording quality is still more imporant than format. Sony used a lot of bakcup copies for SACD ( because the mother tapes are not always there anymore). These SACD all sound thin and harsh.