The ignorance of SACD & DVD-A marketing idiots....
Let's see....how to make a new format fail...well:..
1. Make it cost more....so less people will buy the discs....that way you won't be able to make up the R&D in volume.
2. Make sure that it is either hard or costly for a equipment manufacture to use the format in their gear.
3. And thank you DVD-A.....make the case a new/strange size so that the case will not fit into most Buyer's storage units/racks.
And please add any of your thoughts.... Am I unhappy with this all.....hell yes....both formats are better...and I have my favorite.... And thank you to the folks that developed these formats....but Sony and all you others...fire all of your marketing people...
My Sony Blu-Ray does play SACD, both 2- and multi-channel, though there's nothing in the specs that states that. In the manual, it tells you to go to "Music Settings" and choose it, which I did and played an SACD only disc, no problem.
As far as the formats, DVD-A was flawed by having to have a monitor to easily navigate the disc. Didn't make sense at all.
I had read that one of the reasons for the failure of SACD was the cost, mandated by Sony having to pay three times the royalties, one time each for the CD layer, the 2-channel SACD layer, and the multi-channel SACD layer. Whether that is true or not, I don't know.
Having put out multi-format and single SACD discs, many people were afraid to buy SACD, having been warned SACD would not work on their CD player and the confusion of choosing the right discs.
Sony should have just made all the discs with SACD and put the capability in their players so there would be no confusion. Once people started to play Sony discs in Sony players, they would have realized how much better Sony stuff sounded.
Having said that, I'm not sure it matters anymore, since Hi-Res downloads are the future (or at least the next few years . . . who knows?).
In the meantime . . . vinyl, baby! Infinite sampling!
How about this: Distribute your SACDs to Best Buy, et.al., but don't bother to provide and PROMOTE an advertising/marketing/sales kit for store "managers" and department employees. This way, when the hapless, but cash-flush Audiogoner shows up (who, stupidly enough, is not downloading his MP3's for free from Napster) appears and asks, "Where do I find the SACDs, please?", he is greeted all 'round by slack-jawed, blank stares reminiscent of Gomer Pyle seconds before he utters one of those classic quips like "That don't seem [sound] right..."
IF, by chance, repeating the question in various simplistic, but hopefully instructive ways finally spurs some dawning (but still nebulous) relative awareness or recognition in one of the hipper employees, hapless AGer may be informed, "Oh, THOSE... Well, I think we have SOME mixed in with the rest of the CDs." There will not, of course, be a store inventory list. Happy hunting!
In my opinion, it was a real shame that Sony dropped the ball on so many fronts when it came to SACD.
Sony Music, a different division than the hardware end of the business, should have stopped stamping CDs altogether. Instead, EVERY disc they put out should have been hybrid SACD providing the sonic benefit of the higher resolution format, with the back compatibility to play in any machine.
The hardware folks should have stopped producing CDs players across the board. At that point, ONLY build SACD players, be it home, car, or portable.
The final straw for me was when Sony Music showed up at a big annual industry event way back, and were ready to throw their support behind DVD-A. Were I CEO of Sony, anyone at Sony Music who had ANY involvement in this whatsoever and voiced even the most half-hearted support, from the lowest mailroom clerk to the top executive at that division would have been fired as quickly as they could be identified.
Don't forget Laserdisc. Pioneer came out with a video delivery system that absolutely stomped VHS & Beta. Then they sat on their hands and watched it die. Blockbuster started flooring a few titles for rental, after everyone including the early adopters gave up on the format. I'll postulate Sony Software marketing shares their philosophy with Sony Service. We're big, we know what we're doing. Take it or leave it.
So Sony should have tried to force everyone to switch to SACD whether they wanted to or not? That is so dumb I am supprised they didn't try it. After all it is what they did to LP. If you are waiting for a spark of intellegence from the music industry good luck; after 50 years I have given up hope.
I believe Sony did try to force everyone to switch to SACD. They had the option of offering hybrid SACDs instead of the SACD only versions. I can count very few hybrid SACDs I've ever seen from Sony. I think this was a big mistake, on their part. I dumped my Sony SACD player. All my SACDs sound better on my Oppo BDP-83, anyway.
I like this little mini rant thread. My wife bought an Acura and it has a DVD-A player in it. I went to try and buy her some and the price was thru the roof. $20-$30 and up for a stinkin' CD? No wonder the music industry is in a turmoil. Even standard CD's cost $12 and up. Movies are $25 and hundred of millions to make. What makes them so proud of their music CD's? I too have a SACD player & love the sound quality. I'am just not going to fork out the kind of money to sustain a SACD library. Whew, I feel better now. -John
The Sony Blu-Ray player I have that plays SACD is a S580. Cheap and surprisingly good.
I'm a bit confused though (what else is new?). I have the player connected to my processor with a digital coax cable only. The processor shows "PCM." This is with a non-hybrid, SACD only disc (Jorma Kaukonen, "Blue Country Heart").
I called Sony support to find out how it was possible for SACD to be transmitted through a digital cable. Obviously, I didn't get a coherent answer . . . not that I really expected one. I honestly don't know what the person was trying to say. I don't think they did, either.
If anyone can explain what the deal is here, I would appreciate it. How can SACD go through a digital cable?
Beta was clearly better, but Sony limited availability to only two other, (maybe 3) manufacturers - Sanyo and Toshiba.
JVC, on the other hand, sold licenses to pretty much every other manufacturers. The result? All the video rental stores became filled with VHS movies while Beta's wall and selection came to extermination.
Now matter how good the technology is, poor marketing will eventually sink the product line unless a manufacturer is willing to live with small sales and small niche markets.
DVD-A and SACD are just that, great technologies that never went mainstream,just like Beta, which was the better format at the time.
Ncarv, your player is converting DSD to PCM before sending it out the digital output. Only a very few, very expensive players (e.g., the top of the line Accuphase drive and DAC) output native DSD digitally - the rest covert to PCM before outputting digitally. Sony insisted on this to make copying difficult.
I think macdadtexas hit the nail on the head with "Convenience sells."
If you can't copy it and listen to it wherever you want, it's worthless in the mass-market IMO. Why did cassette beat out vinyl? Recordabity and convenience. People could make "mixed tapes" and play them at home, in the car, and on a Walkman. Even non-audiophiles knew vinyl sounded better.
Cassette stuck around for a while after CD became mainstream. When CD writers became pretty much standard issue in computers, cassette was gone almost overnight.
The disc based high-res titles can't be copied. Then again, I'm sure there's a way. Regardless of that, it can't be played anywhere but a dedicated home player. Why spend money for a new format that you can't take along with you? Why replace what you have with something that'll only see any benefit in one player at home?
Then there's the catalog of high-res music. Little if any mainstream stuff. One or two albums from the most popular bands wasn't enough to make a difference IMO. Especially when you couldn't take it with you.
Convenience sells. If it's convenient and sounds better, it'll do well. Then again, a full on home stereo is becoming a thing of the past. Computer speakers or a home theater in a box like an LG system is good enough for most people. They can't get through their heads that 2 quality channels, even connected to a TV system, sound far better than 7 garbage channels.
High-res will be an audiophile thing. Most people won't know it exists or any of the dead formats even existed. Ask a random co-worker if he/she ever heard of SACD or HDCD.
Until they get mainstream titles, the mainstream artists and producers stop clipping the hell out of the music, it becomes portable with an actual benefit (not compressed to death so it'll fit on an iPod), and hifi companies get off their rear ends and advertise so that people know Bose really isn't what Bose claims to be, high-res will be what it currently is.
Just my cynical views. It doesn't take much to make a product enticing to the masses. Practicality and marketing is all it'll really take IMO.
I really enjoyed reading this thread. I wonder how many of you listen to classical music, which I do exclusively. SACD is alive and well there, with thousands of available titles. Almost all discs have dual CD and SACD layers, so they are portable and can be copied.
Ncarv, Sony pretty much killed its own well-bred horse through multiple incompetencies. It's just like them to decide the carcass needs further flogging. But, as usual, who's still paying attention? ... A sliver of the audiophile population, which is a sliver of...
I agree with those who say "Convenience Sells." If the industry makes it convenient, a lot of people will buy it. If they make it convenient and good sounding at the same time, more folks like us will pay the premium for better quality sound.
To me, SACD and DVD-A never got off the ground as stand alone media formats and now it is too late. Computer audio is where the industry is going (convenient and good sounding). It will not be long before touch screen USB DAC's and satellite radio are the main source selections in automobiles. I will keep one CD/DVD-A player in my main system for my collection of CD's, and in the event I want to download hi-rez music to play on a physical disc (DVD-R). I suspect within a year, most of my listening will be through computer files and a USB DAC. It will not be long before we are downloading selections to a thumb drive and plugging that into our car players.
It's probably not easy to "reach for the clouds" while in your car, as he was referring to for use of the thumb drive.
Thumb drive inputs are pretty much standard on today's newest car head units, as are iPod inputs. I love using my iPod input on my Alpine deck. It's controlled by the deck like a CD changer used to, and uses the iPod's digital output. Convenience and a bit of a sonic upgrade (from the iPod's headphone output to a deck anyway).