The plight of SACD....

Venturing into a local Audio Supermarket chain the other day...I found the latest advancement in digital audio relegated to a cheesy Kiosk in the very back of the store...complete with a Bose cube set-up...and the new Stones hybrid of "Got Live If you want it" (a dismal live recording regardless of format) blaring to a very disinterested wonder average Joe aint buyin'...

Even with Sony "dumbing down" SACD/dvd players to the sub $500 level...without the software catalog to support it...and with the majority of the public A)satisfied with current redbook sound and B)not possessing even moderate midfi audio sytems to hear the sonic appears SACD is going to be the next DAT commerical failure...ditto for DVD-Audio...these new products are not "market driven"...they are being forced on consumers...

The majority are not audiophiles let alone audio enthusiasts...accurate or improved sonics do not play an important role in their lives...redbook became dominant because its main competitor at the time was not the LP but the pre-recorded cassette...a dreadful format made worse by Dolby B...the Compact Disc won out but any digital format at the time would offered convenience,portability,and eventually...compatability...

As someone who has invested a small amount in a SACD player and software...and was one of the first on my block to have a CD player...I have waited almost 20yrs for a digital
format that gives a hi-end analog system a run for its money...that day is both here and gone...I predict that SACD will remain a fringe format...similiar to that
it will live on in professional applications...and have a small loyal following that truly appreciates its greatness...heres to hoping Im wrong...
Sadly I may have to agree with you. I ducked into the Sam Goody store at the nearest mall yesterday and asked the 16 year old nerd if they were stocking super audio cd's. His reply was "what?'. I repeated myself "are you stocking super audio cd's?" His answer was " is that the name of the band?"

It is a shame. Anybody that grew up on rock/pop should have the experience of listening to CCR's version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and Bruce Cockburn's Anything Anytime Anywhere Singles 1979-2002 in its entirety on SACD through a high end stereo system. It will make you realize all over again why you fell in love with music.
Have fun with 16/44.1.

I'm sticking with vinyl. If they can't get digital to sound better than vinyl after 22 years, and they can't get a higher resolution format to do it either, then they ain't gonna do it. Especially if the public isn't buying. The digital future is MP3 or something like it. You already got the best you're gonna get. The joke was played 22 years ago. Alot fell for it, and some didn't. I didn't think the joke was funny in 1981, and I don't think it's funny now.

If the major music companies can't get SACD or DVD-A to go over, then they will assume that there is no demand for a hi-rez format. They will just make some kind of suitable copy protection for whatever format they decide upon, which will likely be a compressed format for portable entertainment purposes(like MP3).

The fact is, you wanted your "Perfect sound forever", and you got it(?). You scorned the vinyl world, and embraced the digital devil. Now you have to live with it.

There is still a "sub-culture" in high end, known as "analog". These are the people getting the most from their source material. They are still being called "anachronists", "vinyl fetishists", "nostalgists", and "Luddites". I know, because I have to take that regularly.

At this time, there is, without a doubt, somewhat of a vinyl re-surgence. If enough went this route, there could be enough demand to keep a steady flow of new vinyl, and analog gear for the high end.

I think that this is what we should do. It will give us better sound, and eliminate the "angst" over new digital formats and copy protection crap.

Just how many times oversampling will it take to convince you that it just isn't going to happen? Oversampling, upsampling, downsampling, interpolation, no upsampling, jitter reducers, digital lenses, 1-bit, 20 bit, 24 bit, DSD, tube dacs, green pens, Buddhist chants. It just is not going to happen, folks. Time to wake up from the bad dream.

Get into analog, and there is your hi-rez format, just where it has always been.

I know this is hard medicine, but what do you think us vinyl guys have been having to swallow for over 20 years? We've watched all the music dry up, and go to digital formats. We've seen cost increases and less selection of our analog gear. We've borne the brunt of scorn from our fellow audiophiles. It hasn't been easy for us, but we've kept the vinyl flame alive for all of you, so that when this point came, there would be somewhere to go. If we hadn't done that, there would be no analog refuge from this digital crap-storm.

Join the analog resurgence, and make that the "new" hi-rez format that the manufacturers will support.

Just my 2 cents.
TWL, with all due respect, not everyone thinks LP is the greatest, I do not diminish it's sonic performace, but I do not miss using LP's in the least nor have a desire to start using it. All source format's have their drawbacks.
Hi Phase,

Thanks for your post on my thread,"Want to get excited about SACD again"..a week or so ago.

God, I wish someone with power at Sony was reading several of the recent threads about SACD. Many good thoughts have been written and obvious interest/support of the format.
Brianmgrarcom, I agree. Not all think that LPs are for them. But the people who are happy with their digital aren't looking for new hi-rez formats. In fact, it seems that there is great opposition to the high-rez stuff on these pages, and one can only conclude that there is no desire for anything better than CD, for many people on this website. There have been numerous discussions, that I'm sure you've read, that show major opposition to hi-rez, ranging from claims that is not better than CD, to fears that their expensive gear and music collections may be obsoleted. Ones who are looking for better sound have some other alternatives, besides the next digi-disc of the month.

I never meant to say that analog is for everyone. Only for people that are looking for more out of their high end systems. Those that are satisfied with CD, can stay right where they are.
Twl, where do you buy new releases on LPs? I just got my TT up and running (you were part of that thread too), and would like to find some newly released music.

Also, I've heard SACD, and it really was better (Philips SACD1000 vs. Wadia 860x). I was pleasantly surprised; much improved depth of soundstage, and dynamics.

LPs also sound good, but I'm sure will be much better once I invest in a better cartridge and phono stage.

What I've come to realize, is that for CDs to sound great, you have to spend a TON of money on a high end player. For LPs and SACDs to sounds great, you don't have to spend as much. So, I'm sticking wtih my newly aquired $400 SACD player, and my $500 TT, and selling the $8000 cd player and paying off that credit card that never should have been charged in the first place!
DTM, try Music Direct on the web. They have tons of albums new. And many new releases, as well as older titles that have been reissued.
I would have to agree with someone who is contemplating returning to vinyl...I am kicking myself for selling all my pristine wax and TT years ago...I was young and dumb...and bought into the "perfect sound forever" campaign...a computer chip that transfers analog into a numerical sequence and them back again to form a "digital reproduction" of music is both complicated and not needed...I am beginning to be more cautious of technology these days...the latest advancement does not equate to an improvement...and even if it is the case with SACD...there is no guarantee it will succeed...If SACD doesnt even make a dent...I will return to the fussy,sometimes equally frustrating analog world...but like everything else in life...there is no free have to "work" in order to reap benefits...
Sony is a mass market company and as such I doubt they want to support a niche market. The mass market probably won't adopt SACD because getting the most from each recording is not what they want and the high end market seems ambivalent about SACD. It will most likely not be a big money maker for Sony. They might license the technology out to niche producers, however, and give it up themselves. If you look back, the progressive steps that were taken were all very different. Reel to reel, LPs, cassettes, compact disc, even MP3s now, all of these are physically different, therefore a perceived advantage and afr easier to market. SACDs are just not that different and therefore less compelling (to the masses anyway). but even within the other formats there are variations, different tape materials, different types of LP pressings, that did not require a new type of machine to play them. A turntable plays any kind of LP. I think some people get turned off because SACD requires a wholly new machine, yet it's the same old format (the compact disc). The paradigm shift isn't perceived. And who wants two CDs of each album: one SACD for the home and one non-SACD for the car?
Once SACD players are the same price as redbook players (which they almost are already) and the volume of SACDs becomes substantial, then it will basically be dumb to buy a redbook player. Once people have SACD players, they'll buy SACDs (instead of redbook cds) whenever the music they want is offered. I hardly see how SACD could fail.

DAT was different. DAT players didn't play CDs and people couldn't play DATs on cd players. There are no such reasons for consumers to opt for redbook players over SACD players. Most new SACDs are hybrid cds (so people don't need to buy dupes for different players).

Also, the multichannel has got to be seriously seductive to those with ht systems.
TWL, I pretty much agree with your comments; I took exception to your first post as it seems every time this subject comes up, inevitably there is a post paying all hail homage to the LP.

As for your classifications, as I said, I mostly agree. I would consider myself as someone who wants the most out of my high end, but I certainly do not want to deal with LP’s and/or a TT to do it, others enjoy doing so, this I understand. SACD disqualifies itself, for me, do to lack of hardware and software. This leaves me with CD, so I have a nice CD player for the format that works for me.

I do not subscribe to the theory that it is my, the consumers, fault if SACD fails.
Hey 2ms,

I have an HT/music system and I find no such seduction in the idea of having to buy, or in most cases re-buy, a whole new collection of music. I'm having a good time discovering re-mastered CDs, MOFIs and the like to help enhance the enjoyment I get out of my CD based music system........John
I'm sorry Brian. Sometimes I get a little carried away on this subject. No offense intended.
The only way SACD will become the common format is if the manufacturers start making ALL players and ALL discs CD/SACD hybrids AND continue to charge the same amount of money for both. The benefits of SACD would probably be somewhat drastic to most audiophiles, but we all have to admit that they're still relatively subtle improvements overall. I highly doubt that the average person with a $200 Sony SACD player, a $200 Sony 6 channel HT receiver, and a $200 pair of Bose speakers will hear any noticeable difference between CDs and SACDs. They have no incentive to spend more for SACD discs or players. The improved technology doesn't benefit them in the least. I assume that's why SACD and DVD-A both decided to focus on multi-channel music. They needed to provide the consumers with a tangible difference. I suppose we'll find out whether or not they care in the next year or two.
TWL, don't worry about it, I should of just pointed my views instead coming off the way I did. Thanks
Like it or not, a lot of music (especially the jazz I listen to) simply isn't available on vinyl, so the quality issue is moot. It's the silver disk or nothing.

Actually the silver disc can sound pretty good (both redbook and SACD).

I hadn't listened to my turntable (an Oracle Paris, Audioquest arm, and a Shure Ultra 500 cartridge) in over a year. Recently I leveled it, cleaned it up, and tried listening to some vinyl again.

I had mixed reactions. Yes it sounded pretty good. However I could hardly call it perfect. The biggest problem I noted was the wow caused by slightly off center records. There was a time when I could ignore it, but now it really bugs me. There is also a noticable change in quality on the inner third of longer LP's.

So how do the rest of you vinyl listeners deal with this? Do you just rationalize it, or am I missing something?

I guess I could upgrade the turntable, but I don't think that that addresses the basic issues I mentioned.
Quick, before it's too late! Somebody download this thread and e-mail it to the President of Sony.
It's sad but true that most people are not interested or even aware of true hifi sound. That being the case I cannot see SACD ever shedding its niche status, and no amount of letters to Sony will change this, because Sony is a corporation and corporations exist to make money. I think the best case scenario is that Sony/Philips continues to make SACD capable chipsets and transport mechs and that niche high-end companies will make players for us.

I have to applaud Sony and Philips for even trying this, but I have seen the future, and it is MP3 :-(
It's pretty ironic that someone with the moniker "Phasecorrect" is considering returning to vinyl!
I do feel bad for the "early birds" who spent a ton of money on a false promise that this medium was really the answer to their prayers...then again...if you make compulsive usually get any rate...I wouldn't advise spending alot of cash on a SACD...
Twl, the more i read about the compromises and complexities inherent in the digital format, the more i am inclined to believe you about vinyl...
however, i also agree w/ ghostrider and others about if music's the thing, the largest catalog wins.
Most recently news articles have pronounced the death of CD players. Just no market since the mass market can buy a DVD player that also plays CD's and MP3's! Even some cheap Sony's can do SACD. Pioneer,that high-end brand, is making a univeral player. That's the future.
Like many here, I've been in this hobby for close to 30 years. I have owned many fine turntables over the years including Linn, Sota, VPI and am now quite satisfied with a Well Tempered Reference. I pretty much agree with TWL, and at this level vinyl sure has my vote. Much of the music I own on LP has never been released on CD and likely never will. And has anyone here ever heard a decent Beatles CD? I held out for close to ten years after the introduction of CD before buying my first CD player. Until Meridian came out with the their first modified player it all sounded so bad to these ears. But there came a point when there really wasn't any choice if you wanted new music that was only available in a digital format. Thanks to high end audio we now have some really excellent players, DACs and transports. And the quality of digital recordings certainly has improved a great deal since those early ear bleeding days. One thing that has not changed though is the quality of some recordings are much better than others. I have plenty of LPs that I love but have to leave the room to listen to. Same with CDs. In the end it is the music that really matters and that's the only reason I'm in this silly hobby. I find it very interesting that today there are far more high end tables and cartridges than there ever were in the pre CD days. And although it's a bit expensive, there are a lot of new remastered LPs coming out all the time.

One of the really nice things that has come out of all of the digital format wars is it has made it possible for those of us on a budget to own very high end DACs, players and transports. So many people have sold off their DACs and players because they are afraid of missing out on the latest technology or are afraid to be left holding a rapidly depreciating asset. I own a Audio Logic DAC I picked up on Audiogon for only a $1000 that comes close enough to the sound of my turntable with a CEC TL2 belt drive transport to keep me very happy. As good as it may be, I too do not expect SACD to last for all the aforementioned reasons. But there are plenty of redbook CDs, and with musical DACs like my Audio Logic going for pennies on the dollar I don't care. I feel like I have the best of both worlds and that makes me happy. of Pioneer's Universal players have been mixed at to leave sacd sound to Sony...they invented it...and are simply "licensing" it to promote the format...and the redbook sound on Pioneer's 45/47 elite series is supposedly pretty khaki...I will wait till more universal players are available...and at better prices....
My 2 cents:
1) CDs sound fine if done right, that means a player in the 2k+ range.
2) Vinyl sounds better only when the pops, clicks and scratches are absent, which is about 50% of the time, and you can't play them in your car!
3) Corporate greed will kill sacd. Why would the public invest in sacd when the industry gives conflicting information and choices (dvd-a). Except for a few well heeled risk takers, the gp won't gamble their money on another format war... If sacd and dvd-a are equal, why not wait it out to see which one prevails?
"If they can't get digital to sound better than vinyl after 22 years, and they can't get a higher resolution format to do it either, then they ain't gonna do "
Obviously you've been spending too much time scrubbing all the dirt off your 12'' party platters to take the time to keep up with the state of Digitial.I'm not just talking Sacd /DVD-A but Redbook is now truly a musicial medium.And for the same high price you paid for your High End Turntable", cartridge,tonearms,cleaners,special album sleeves,and the myriad other products you need to keep your platters sounding click and pop free, you could have achieved a satisfying ,musicial sound on digitial.
"You scorned the digitial world, and embraced the analog devil. Now you have to live with it."
That's right stay in the past,they may be making more TT's and still produce LP's but your market demographic is in reality so small that it hardly registers on the map.Vinyl is just dying a slower death that anticipated.
"Perfect SoundF orever" get over it was a marketing statement that implied that you didn't need to worry about the skips,ticks,pops,warps that was part and parcel of the ancient medium of vinyl.
So keep vinyl alive by spending your $ on the vinylsaur!
Time to wake up and enter reality.
Sorry but I too get worked up over the mantra of "analog is better"Al Queda is the devil not digitial...
"Leave SACD sound to Sony", yikes. Should we of left CD sound to Sony, they invented it?
Hi-end Sony are very capable products...if you dont think SOny has the resources to produce the best digital are kidding yourself...dont confuse their hi-end line with the junk at Audio Supermarkets...
Joe, you gave me a good belly-laugh! As if I had never heard a "state of the Digital art" system!

I agree with some posts above that some music is simply not available on analog, and that is a good reason for having a CD player. I tried to use them quite a few times, in fact. Always hopeful that it would sound better. Finally, I decided that it was good for the car, so I kept some of my CDs for that purpose. For the home, I felt it was a waste of my valuable tube life, to play something that could not make good use of my high resolution audio system.

I assure you that ignorance of audio products is not the cause of my love affair with vinyl. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am well aware of what digital can do, and that is why I am sticking with vinyl.

I do notice, however, what is constantly brought up in these anti-vinyl arguments. It is having to clean the records, having to get up off the chair to change the record, having to take care of your adjustments and your equipment, and potential clicks and pops. I find this very interesting. It is also frequently sprinkled with phrases like "get into reality" or "living in the past", like Joe, here, has so aptly demonstrated. I don't ever hear things about CD is more musical than vinyl, or sounds better. Only stuff about black background and convenience. This is very telling abuot the mindset of many of today's audiophiles. Sound is secondary, convenience is paramount. I can easily get a black background by shutting off my system, but that doesn't provide me with any musical content, does it? Now, where is the line drawn, where it is ok to start reducing musical capability to retain black background? There's your dilemma. What you all are telling me is that you are willing to accept a lesser audio quality, in order to get noise-free convenience with remote control. That may be fine for you, but it is not fine for me. This is where we seem to differ. I will accept less convenience, and more possibility of some noises, to get more musical content out of my system. Getting the most out of an audio system used to be what defined an audiophile, from a mass market person. Apparently that is not the case today. Today, it is the best reasonable sound without too much difficulty. Oh, I know that you will say that you are getting the maximum sound quality possible. I say, Not True. I say that you are getting the maximum sound quality that you will accept, given the convenience levels offered. I know that this is not a popular point of view. It forces many to look at their choices as not audiophile. It is not pleasant, but it is a fact. Now, I don't claim that there is anything wrong with making a choice like that, because convenience and black background are very nice. But, I do claim that there is something wrong with defending that choice, by saying that it is the sonic equal of something that it clearly is not the equal to. Just own up to what you are really choosing, which is convenience at the expense of some sound quality. I own up to the fact that I am choosing highest sound quality at the expense of some inconvenience and some record noises. Attempting to demean me with derogatory statements does not advance the argument. The black-and-white truth is plain. I accept less convenience, and some noise, and you accept less sound quality. If you want to change this, the avenue is plainly available to both of us.

So, by all means enjoy the digital scene, and have a good time with your music. I will be back in my Troglodyte cave, with my vinyl and my tubes, and my single driver speakers.

And, if it needs to be stated, this is all my humble opinion, and is not intended to offend or rebuke any of my fellow audiophiles. I profusely apologize for any offense that may be taken. Everyone is entitled to their own choices for their own reasons. And I have not called anyone any derogatory names, or implied they didn't know anything, as has just been done to me. It's okay to do it to a vinyl head, but not okay the other way, right? Don't worry, I've been called names by CD people for 20 years now, and it is still happening right up to this very moment. I'm used to it. Seems the CD people are pretty thin-skinned about any criticism though.

I am simply calling it as I see it.
Hi everyone,

I've stayed out of this foray because it inevitably ends up a "us" versus "them" thread. I have a slightly different take on all of this because I have lived through the emergence of all these different formats. When digital first made the scene I was very threatened by the prospect of my software not being supported with replacement hardware. You know, all the bits and pieces needed to keep my analog engine running. I then was threatened by record outlets not carrying my type of software. That certainly came true. As stated earlier, digital made my ears bleed also. The entire decade of the 80's CD releases can be written off as unlistenable. The whole time I'm struggling to overcome the lack of new vinyl software and suffering the slings and arrows the proponents of the digital domain tossed at me. Comments like, "come out of the cave", "you're missing the dynamic range", "vinyl is dead, give it up", "the black background", on and on. I didn't sell my analog gear and library. Not because I had a chrystal ball or because I was smarter than the CD crowd, but because I was stubborn and didn't want to part with, perhaps, 2000 albums. When CD's became listenable I bought a player but whenever the music I desired was available on vinyl, that is what I bought because I am hooked on several aspects of vinyl. I usually prefer the sound of analog. I like a sizeable object to hold and find reading the liner notes to be a joy rather than the challenge of what one pulls out of a jewel case. I enjoy placing my new LP's in a plastic jacket cover, cleaning the vinyl and replacing the paper sleeves with rice paper sleeves. So what? I like hand waxing my car too. I think everyone here is missing some key points that need to be talked about. The big issue is COPYRIGHT PROTECTION. Have I got your attention? Vinyl will continue to be a niche market because there is no protection with that format. The spinning silver disc's will disappear because hackers will always be able to defeat the code. Only when manufacturers combine a cheap, licensed piece of material that is encoded with the data and impossible to duplicate will the dust ever settle in these wars. READ: A MUSIC CHIP. Unfortunatly, I believe that quality will be a side issue for a long time. We all struggle to make the most of what we have and I'm confident that incremental steps will be made to achieve satisfaction with most types of software. When the chip comes, the Redbook crowd will be suffering the same slings and arrows we vinyl guys endured and I promise you that you will cling to your source the same way we have. Just keep in mind that all of us combined are a niche market
Boy, when I clicked on my favorites this morning I thought I had clicked on the audio asylum site. Debate is good.
A friend has a Pioneer Elite universal DVD/SACD/DVDA/CD player. He took a look inside and saw "Sony" labels on many parts. Leave SACD to Sony, indeed...!
On the "us" vs "them" issue, there are very few SACD owners in the world. Heck people are using there cd burners to get more music in their collection. They ain't interested in "super-duper" recorded cd's. Now as far as the vinyl vs cd issue, i hear very little difference in 2 comparision auditions. Yea, yea, "what TT did you hear", the difference was very very minimial in the 2. I prefered the cd sound. Now its true certain digital players tend to breakdown. Vinyl players need new needles. Trade off. SACD is a rich folk's new toy.
Hey Twl,

I'm a CD guy and I applaud your post and commend you on the eloquence with which you have handle this attack. I am not a big analog fan but, then again, the last time I listened to vinyl was on my Techniques TT through a Nikko receiver, circa 1981. I would love to experience a good analog rig and I may put one together in the future. For now, alas, I am too lazy and content with the sound and convenience of CDs. Now, that said, I would never throw stones at you for your choice........John
I've tried both SACD and DVD-A player/systems.

I feel DVD-A is closer to analog with a great sense of dynamic range.

I haven't tried or am I interested in the multichannel ability of either format.

My local Borders doesn't stock a sinle disk in either format. Unless there a major increase in available,both formats will fade into the sunset like surround sound SQ and CD4.

Hi Troglodyt let's analize your post...

Have fun with 16/44.1.(let's start my rant with some sarcasm)

"You already got the best you're gonna get. The joke was played 22 years ago. Alot fell for it, and some didn't. I didn't think the joke was funny in 1981, and I don't think it's funny now."(Preaching to the ignorant masses)

"The fact is, you wanted your "Perfect sound forever", and you got it(?). You scorned the vinyl world, and embraced the digital devil. Now you have to live with it."
YOU know the future and have a disdain for people who embrace technological change)

"Just how many times oversampling will it take to convince you that it just isn't going to happen? Oversampling, upsampling, downsampling, interpolation, no upsampling, jitter reducers, digital lenses, 1-bit, 20 bit, 24 bit, DSD, tube dacs, green pens, Buddhist chants. It just is not going to happen, folks. Time to wake up from the bad dream."
(Our Saviour Twl)

"I know this is hard medicine, but what do you think us vinyl guys have been having to swallow for over 20 years? We've watched all the music dry up, and go to digital formats. We've seen cost increases and less selection of our analog gear. We've borne the brunt of scorn from our fellow audiophiles. It hasn't been easy for us, but we've kept the vinyl flame alive for all of you, so that when this point came, there would be somewhere to go. If we hadn't done that, there would be no analog refuge from this digital crap-storm."
(Oh poor me ,I can claim poverty and intellectual superiority all at the same time )

You guys are too funny. You all sit hear arguing about a sixty year old technology like it's the latest coming and ignore the obvious regarding digital. Digital has come a long way and SACD will bring it even further, but that is not the issue at all.
Sony/Phillips receives a royalty for every cd made. This has accounted for some good profit for Sony and Phillips, but now at the end of twenty years the royalty is ending. SACD achieves two things that have nothing to do with mass market tastes or hi-res listening. First it copyrights the material so that it can not be pirated to mp3 or other copy systems. Secondly it allows them to sell the technology to other companies so they can receive a new flood of royalties for the next twenty years. This is mighty simple stuff guys, so for all your trashing of Sony for there stupidity of bringing out a new format, it's Sony who reads this stuff and laughs at your ignorance. It's the money! Sony/ Phillips gets some, the record labels get the bulk. DVD-A does not work to protect the information, SACD does. Great wonder every major label is now looking hard at SACD.
Lucky for all of us the new digital format sounds better than the old one. It seams that every day a new label jumps in with a promise to support SACD. Universal with it's 100-200 releases this year is a very good indicator of where SACD is heading. As far as price, the newest singly layer SACD only disks are $14.95 at Music Direct. Last time I checked that was $1.00 over the regular priced "redbook" at Best Buy. Now you can certainly continue to buy your used Iron Butterfly vinyl for $2.00 (which is more than it's worth) and believe you discovered the true meaning of audio, but remember, most of us have been there and done that, twice. Digital will remain the answer for most, just because we don't respond to every post hear doesn't mean we are not here, laughing at your pursuit for perfect sound. If you happen to be buying newly re-mastered 180 gram pressing at $30.00 - 45.00 a piece your selection is more limited than mine and mine is growing, your is...... a fad.
As for feeling sorry for me "the early bird" well don't. I've had three plus years of enjoyment listening to the best sound my system has ever produced. My prediction, five years from now you will not be able to buy a 16 bit cd, a "redbook" only cd player. It will be universal machines with all new material released in SACD only format.
Jadem6- You're correct in stating that Sony & Philips are in this for the money and copyright protection.
Unfortunately, they're not in it to give us better sound.

The SACD vs. DVD-A fight will not be decided by audiophile
demand for a better format. The driving force is HT.
Jadem6 ... I hope you're right, but the biggest difference between SACD and redbook CD is that the consumer DOES NOT WANT SACD. It has no benefits and several drawbacks. For the average consumer rebook CD was a giant step forward compared to LPs.
It is for this reason that I am skeptical of the success of SACD. Your argument against DVD-a is very interesting, though, and I think you're right on that one.

The copy-protection issue is interesting as I, for one, don't care if the source is copy protected, so long as it doesn't affect the sound quality. If I make a copy for the care I don't care if the copy has to go to the analogue domain and back to the digital domain with inherent losses, since a car is not an audiophile environment. Neither is the CD walkman. I'm a bit at a loss why so many of us jump up and down at copy protection, when to me it seems to be a bit of a non-issue.
Okay Joe, point taken. Fair is fair. But you missed my point. I am not trying to be the "Saviour". It doesn't matter to me if people stay with digital, because most will. I can use what I want, and am not directly affected by these digital format wars. I am making a point that other people don't have to be subjected to this format war nonsense, if they don't want to be.

This copy protection thing is going to happen. The music industry is determined to make it happen. They have publicly stated that they will make it happen. They have petitioned the government to make it happen. They also are the same people(Sony/Philips) that own most of the major music producing companies, and own the patents on the CD and SACD digital formats. They will make what is going to be sold in the stores, either directly or by licence agreement with other manufacturers. It will be copy protected.

Now some people would rather not go along with this, and they are not necessarily backward thinkers. Maybe they can avoid this whole obsolescence thing by using something that is already considered "obsolete" by everyone except the highest of the high end audiophiles. Whether you agree, or like it, or not, the top of the high-end is dominated by turntable systems. This is not because these people want to "revel in anachronism". It is because these people have realized that the technological progress has not led to sonic progress over previously available media. It is not my doing. But I certainly see it. And hear it. So I simply point out that a person could avoid all this format war stuff, and get better sound at the same time, by going analog.

Now you may not feel that analog is better sounding than digital, but I assure you that the top end of the audiophile segment does not agree with you on that point. The top layer is analog, and has always been analog. Unless digital advances further than it has, the top layer will remain analog. I remind you of the constantly recurring posts on this forum that refer to "how can I make my digital system sound more like analog?", or "what is the most analog sounding digital player?",or "can adding a tube dac smooth out my digital source?" or references like,"this mod made my CD player sound almost like analog",etc, etc. When was the last time you read a post asking "how can I make my turntable sound more digital?". Please.

I am not making this up. It is real. I can't help it that some people do not want to accept this. That is out of my hands. I am simply stating that there is another way that some may find more acceptable, for several reasons, now that this format thing is happening. For those that want to stay with the digital thing, fine. Nothing is stopping you. But it seems that there is a very touchy point that causes outcry, when people are urged to try a different route than the ones the majority are traveling. Perhaps it makes the majority nervous, that some may not think like them.

The fact is that analog exists, and it is a viable format for listening to music. I am regularly reminded of what a no-no it is to recommend something out of the mainstream. But the very best of anything is never found in the mainstream. If you want the best, you have to look outside the mainstream. This format war has presented an opportunity for people to look at other options for advancing the quality of their audio systems. I suggest analog. Is this a violation of the "digital law" and now I have the "digital police" after me?

Every time I have mentioned that digital cannot compete sonically with analog, I have had somebody try to shut me up. Well, it ain't gonna happen. I am as entitled to my opinion as any of the rest of you. And I can promote my ideas here and elsewhere anytime I want.

Did I try to make a big deal about it when some of those above, like Tweekerman, said they like CD over analog? No. Do I make a point of trying to minimize people who think digital is better. No. I have to deal with that every day on this forum. It is the mainstream thinking. But I do state what I consider to be a fact, that on an ultimate scale, analog is better sounding than digital. Any available form of digital. I don't require that anyone agree with me. But it seems that some digital people want to require that I agree with them.

Look, I can sum it up this way. Digital is a sampled representation of what? Analog. It is generally conceded that higher sampling rates will better simulate what? Analog. The perfect digital representation would be what? Analog. If we could have the perfect digital format, IT WOULD BE ANALOG. What more do I need to say? I've wasted too much time on this already.
Sorry to rant, but are we're now arguing about the less then 1% of individuals in a group that maybe makes up 1% of all people to begin with (if that) as being the only ones in the right, ie vinyl? This all sounds very elitist and ego driven. This looks like another expose showing why our hobby is so small to begin with. We complain about costs, insane markups and poor price-to-performance ratios, but when truly good components do come out that are affordable, and especially if they are affordable but are not fitting the audio snob dogma (strictly jazz music, played on vinyl, through all tube equiptment, coming out of planar or horn speakers, all connected by wires costing more then many peoples cars is the only right way) it is shunned automatically, or categorized and brushed off based on stereotypes, bashed with hearsay based on what one has "heard" about such components in general are sounding like. Funny thing, high end audio is. Very self defeating. Lots of high flown mannerisms, chest pounding and cute, obscure language useages, not so much concern about the music though, sometimes it seems.

I'm excited and hopeful for an improved 2ch medium for the masses (all jazz and classical titles are not for the masses), and if there where more the only maybe 5 SACD's I would be willing to buy at the current time to justify the $1000SACD player, I would be on the bandwagon....
Hey guys,

Instead of barking at each other about the benefits of our preferred software, we should be speaking with one voice promoting better recording, better engineering and having it in two channels. I've said this so many times in these forums I'm even getting tired of reading it, but the truth is, great recordings are equal to spending thousands in equipment upgrades. If manufacturers of digital software used all the available space on a DVD disc for nothing other than audio the result would end this endless debate. Heavens, we aren't enemies, are we? Currently, in the software wars our only enemy is home theatre. Peace to all.
This past weekend I broke down and purchased a new DVD player to replace my ageing Pioneer DVD/LD player, with a 9 bit video processor, which also served as my transport into an Audio Alchemy DTI-PRO32 and then to a Parasound DAC1000 20 bit DAC. I have always loved the sound this equipment produced but have been intrigued by SACD since I heard it 2 years ago at a local high-end shop on a Sony SCD-777es. I went ahead and bought the Sony DVP-NS999es DVD/SACD player which is replacing the DVP-S9000es in the Sony line. I got it more for the DVD performance with a 14 bit/108 mhz video DAC but figured the SACD was "gravy". I have had it playing CD's and SACD (on repeat) all weekend and have accumulated about 30 hours on each signal path (redbook and SACD). While it is still too early to tell how it will finally sound after a full run-in, I have been formulating some early opinions. First, the SACD sound is much more fluid that standard CD's - more texture and air. It is also more "laid-back" than standard CD (this may be due to the high output level from the AA equipment however). It is NOT a wholesale improvement over what I currently have but is an improvement none the less - and hopefully will improve more when fully "broken-in". BTW - I was not too impressed with the multi-channel SACD (a "gimmicky" sound)and found I preferred stereo - at least with the Alice in Chains greatest hits SACD. I have purchased about 4 SACD's and find them all to be very well done. At this point I think of this as akin to buying Mobile Fidelity CD's back in the mid-90's. BTW: Look how much some of those Mo-Fi's are selling for today! - Tony
The irony is...the new hi-rez formats...or for that matter...any new digital going to be decided by HT...where testing for 3-d imaging is done with Free Willy 2...instead of 2 issues...multi has 5 or 6...doesnt look promising folks....
Digital supporters...please read the following post...

this was way too long winded and technical for this guy on crack or what?

Phasecorrect- I read the iar article, yes it's long winded,
but it says the same thing as I posted above: DVD-A sounds better the SACD. And as I posted above, I agree with you that HT will decide the outcome of this format war.

If you read TAS you'll see that HP has four DVD-As on this super disc list and no SACDs, and he's had plenty of exposure to both formats on the best systems.

For those who are interested, Chesky has all their SACDs on sale.
Treyhoss, your findings may be accurate or you may be just finding out that your player plays SACD's better than CD's.
Brian, The comparison I did was between the SACD played on the new Sony vs. the CD played on my existing digital front end (w/ the AA and the DAC). The CD played on the Sony was nowhere near the quality of my other digital components. That said, I am keeping an open mind until I get about 400 hours, on the CD side, played on the Sony. That will be a more fair comparison. I'm not expecting the moon here and really got the Sony for it's picture quality, which is EXCELLENT! In some ways it is satisfying to see how well my existing digital technology, which is about 6-7 years old, holds up against the new unit. The DAC for CD in the Sony is 96/192kHz too! Time will tell...
I'm sorry Kana, but I must correct you. TAS has recommended nine SACD's to date. I think you saw the DVD-A listing under a DVD-A ad or something. As far as Chesky lowering the prices, isn't that what we have asked for? Lower prices and larger selection? Now that it's happening you cry the sky is falling.
I had a another thought that a few very old ‘philes may shed some light on. When 33 1/3 rpm came along to replace the 78 rpm was there a call for the heads of the then four or five labels? If we all sat with our heads in the sand I think we would still have shellac and a needle on a horn. PLEASE! Progress will happen. Vinyl is great for the 0.001% who choose to fight that battle. The rest will have to stick with the "drawbacks" of digital, thankfully it's better than it was, and this next generation holds promise.
Jade6- I'm looking at HP's New Super CD List on page 117 of issue 138(139 hasn't reached HI, if 139 says otherwise, I stand corrected) and there's no SACDs.

Four DADs are are listed under "Special Merit."

There's a difference between TAS & HP's recommendations.

I'm not crying "the sky is falling." I pointed out the Chesky sale, because you can buy a number of their titles in all three formats and compare.

I own equipment and music in all formats. I listen with an open mind, not my wallet.

SACD is different not better. The market place will determine if it's progress.

You've got a great system, suggest you try a DVD-A player/DAC of equal value/quality to your Sony and let us know how they compare.