SACD : why ?

I have a local dealer here in Paris, France who has become a very good friend. SACD technology is just starting to hit our shores, and after hearing several CDPlayers, inc. the Accuphase 100 transport, we just didn't get it. The differences are just so tiny and are entirely software dependend (a bad SACD sounds worse that a great mastered CD) that we can't see it becoming a new standard. Nor spending thousands of dollars for so little.

We did a blind test for 15 of his customers. We told them we would play them a normal CD version first, and then the same music but with the SACD version. 15 out of 15 said they thought the second sounded much better and that SACD was an amazing technology. They were surprised, shocked and embarrassed when they found out we had switched the order of play and they actually preferred the 'standard' CD.

Here is my prediction : SACD is dead, long live DVD-A. Not because DVD-A is better, it *technologically* speaking isnt, but it makes much more market sense.
I have been saying for quite a while that if any new format survives it will probably be DVD-A. First because is is just the natural progression of 16/44 redbook to 24/192. Secondly: Joe and Jane consumer are buying DVD players which will also play their CDs. Someday soon, an extry level DVD player will have 24/192 technology as the price of chips comes down, just like all similar technology.
Badwisdom, in my opinion the "test" arrangement you mentioned, proves - as you rightly point out - nothing but the gullibilty of those unfortunate participants, but it is useless as a tool to differentiate between the two formats in question. As for the arrangement being fair or not, it would have been perfectly allright, if the test was arranged in order to collect data about the question of autosuggestion amongst audiophiles, but according to test construction standards, it would be considered unethical as well as unprofessional to lead subjects astray by misinformation in the way that was done in Paris.
As an aside: I wonder, how many of his panel the dealer is going to lose as customers. I would contend, losing face like that is not a particular pleasant experience.
Regards, Detlof
Well I just purchased a Sony SACD. Now I must confess, I'm not an audiophile like most of you, but I indeed hear a difference! I have also had several of my in-laws to listen and they agree also.I hear things in the recordings I have never heard before. SOOO, I would recommend a good ear wax remover for the 15 people who said the regular cd was better.
Roachone, are you playing SACD discs in your SACD player to support your comments about SACD sounding better? Have you tried regular CD's in your SACD player and how do they sound?
badwisdom, you seem to be the victim of bad wisdom. hehe, sorry,i couldn't resist.

if you listen to a piano or horn recorded in dsd on sacd and compare it to 16/44 of the same recording there an overwhelming difference. the additional resolution of sacd reveals a depth and completness of each note. the 16/44 recording has a roughness that pops out in direct a/b comparison with sacd. presence and bass foundation is on another level with sacd. the 16/44 seems flat, the sacd seems alive.

i agree that not every recording equally reveals these differences. but most dsd mastered recordings do. i could easily find 16/44 recordings that would be similar in sacd.

for these comparisons i used my linn cd-12 and my marantz sa-1, with nordost valhalla balanced interconnects, levinson #32 preamp, #33 amps, and watt/puppy 6 speakers.

the sacd format, properly implimented, is a definite improvement over the best 16/44 avalible today. but not all environments and recordings might reveal that fact.