So sony can have a new product which holds a new patent and better protection for them. Also they get to sell the consumers(you and I) a whole new format of players and software incidentally available from sony- though not exclusively from sony(even they aren't that foolish). Answering your question of SACD vs XRCD I think it is really very player dependent, a XRCD sounds FAR superior on my capitole then any SACD I have heard on my 9000es. Some folks here swear by SACD but I prefer to stick with what I have that sounds already very good and TONS of available software. I think I have given Sony enough of my money, ironically Sony/phillips patent on CD's is running out soon and now all the sudden you see a rush to get new formats out from guess who phillips(dvda) and sony(sacd), its all about corporate greed and marketing- IMO.
First of all, XRCD is primarily a mastering process, and it's not clear that we can clone the geniuses at JVC who do it, so mass production and economies of scale may not be in the cards. Audiophiles are simply too small a market segment to make it worth taking that kind of care on every release.
That said, your comparison of XRCDs and SACDs suggests that what we need most is better mastering, not another format.
Sacd is simply the superior format more info is, after all, more info. However, SACD (by design) is simply better than redbook ever will/can be.Comparing redbook to SACD is like comparing standard vinyl to 180g master cut vinyl.
I've found xrcd FAR superior to SACD ... to my ears, SACD is very harsh and fatiguing. More info doesn't necessarily mean better sound quality. Agree with Bomarc that better mastering is the key. Many redbook remasters I've heard sound far better than SACD ... XRCD is simply the logical extension of a quality remastering process.
Funny, I have found just the opposite with SACD. Redbook is sterile, metalic, uninvolving, fatiguing and harsh when compared to SACD. I have listened to redbook through some rather highend pieces and SACD was still the superior format. But I guess you hear what you hear.
I too have had the same experience as Czbbcl. I think you cannot keep out of the equation that the xrcds (which I agree sound stunningly good, but I still prefer the vinyl so I haven't bought many) are made from master tapes of some of the greatest recordings ever made. Have you listened to an all-DSD recording such as Telarc's Mahler 5 or Sea Symphony, or the San Francisco Orchestra's Mahler 6, exteremely well-recorded discs (forget those old remastered Columbias, save for a few, those recordings can't compare to the Mohr/Layton efforts)? That's a better comparison of the two mediums. While you may not find the differences earthshaking, I think they will be noticeable if you listen to them through the same player's analog stage.
You can answer the question this month directly for about $70. The imported SACD of the RCA Gaite Parisienne is due out, and so is the XRCD. My own impression is that SACD through my Classe Omega slightly beats out upconverted CD (including XRCD) through my dCS Purcell and Elgar, while XRCD definitely beats out even gold Cd's of RCA Living stereo material. But until there is a direct comparison, it's all apples and oranges. And anyway, I bet the vinyl still wins.
thanks every body for their input. I did not have the chance to listen to the same recording on the same rig in XRCD and SACD format-anybody had that experience?-[ there are some available from FIM as exemple] but all my XRCDs seem to be superior to the SACD that I remember...also, I have the benefit of a superior sound that can be played on any of my 5 cdps[ car stereo, walkman and so on...]and can be copyied any time. The XRCDs can be make out of any recording- some of them are RCA 1950's and still sound great. if the cost of making one is, divided to a couple of hundred thousands-like a J.Lo album, the result will be a much better sound for a couple of cents per album....
czbbcl and Rcprince, what XRCDs and SACDs you compared?
I have had the opportunity to listen to a few FIM discs in both SACD and XRCD and the SACD sounds better on the same system. I stand by my assertion that the SACD medium has much greater potential, to say nothing of multichannel. ;-)
Dandreescu, in answer to your question, I've now heard the Pines/Fountains of Rome, Sheherezade, and Heifietz Mendelssohn Violin Concerto XRCDs on my system, and will probably get some more, as they are very good, giving up some ultimate ease and bloom to the Classic Records reissues on vinyl but not much more. Easily some of the best CDs I've ever heard, far better than the major labels' efforts. But following them up with the new Linn Poulenc Organ Concerto SACD, the SACD was much better in the retrieval of ambience and analog-like ease of presentation, and easily more than a match dynamically (keep in mind that my Sony has been modified and is far better than the stock version; stock ones are decent, but really can be improved in the analog stages). And the SFO Mahler 6 is better in similar ways. Mgottlieb's post is interesting; if only I liked that title better. And I agree with him, the vinyl is better, that's why I've been holding off on buying many xrcds.
On my system (Sony SCD555ES TAP9000 Adcom 7400 Dynaudio Contour1.8II with Nordost Solarwind cabling) I find the SACD XRCD to be a push. I'll take either one. Old Jazz chestnuts sound great on both. Rock and Roll SACDs don't seem to sound to much better than Redbook CD's for the most part.
Haven't heard the new Stones SACD's yet.
I agree that the mastering is the key for the XRCDs, along with care to reduce jitter throughout the process.
BTW Music Direct has an XRCD sale on a whole pile of titles, buy 5 or more for $20 each. I plan on stocking up, plus grabbing some Stone's SACDs. There goes my slush fund for October.
Jpharris, are you sure that the whole XRCD catalog is on sale? On their site, was mentioned just a 'back catalog sale'[??] and there are only few listed options...I tried to order from the big list and I got no deals...usualy I avoid music direct as their prices are quite steep. Elusive disc seems to have better deals and I got many Prestige "20 bits k2 jvc" -not called xrcd but with identical sound for 15 bucks. Anybody knows good XRCDs offers?
The sale was in their demo sale flier, and it seems you have to call in to get the deal or enter code DSO2 in their comments section. Their web site is not the most robust. Yes it was back catalog, but they had about 100 listed . I have a few of the prestige 20bit k2 discs, great sound and cheaper.
I have picked up some interesting little doodads from the demo flyer in the past. Express machining heavyweight and tonearm lift both at about 30% off and $15 off the wallytractor for my rega tonearm. Pricy but they seem to be good folks.
Sorry bout any confusion.
This is a comparison of two different recordings in two different media of the same piece of music. I just finished listening to XRCD and SACD versions of Dvorak's New World: Reiner/Chicago and Szell/Cleveland. Both recordings are 50's vintage, but the similarity ends there. The SACD is technically the superior medium in every respect: image, spatiality and projection of 3D, soundstage, smoothness of high strings and loud passages, inner clarity, high frequency detail, air around instruments, timbral accuracy. However, there is a warmth, a fullness in the XRCD recording which the RCA engineers captured that the Sony guys couldn't touch. The Sony sounds clinical, while the RCA is musical, even though the XRCD upper strings are slightly harsh. SACD presents what is on the recording better than XRCD, but the original RCA recording is clearly superior. Also, the Chicago Symphony makes a convincing argument that it was, at that time, the finest assembly of musicians on the planet, and maybe of all time. Everything about their performance, phrasing, intonation, ensemble, is breathtakingly beautiful and balanced. Not only that, but Reiner is by far a better conductor than Szell. He points the rhythms and leads the orchestra at perfect speeds in every phrase of every movement. I have had probably twenty recordings of this work, going back thirty years, and this is simply the best in every respect. The XRCD version is much better than the regular CD, worth every penny, but if they ever issue the Reiner recording on SACD, it will probably drive me over the edge.