Yes, the plant has closed but production of SACD's will continue at the plants that do Blu-Ray.
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There are many SACDs released every year by different labels.
Though CD playback has technologically improved over the years, there is no way it can come close to SACD, IMO.
Simple test would be recording an LP to CD (44.1/16) quality and to SACD (DSD). The latter sounds much closer to the vinyl/analog.
What happened to SACD? I don't think enough consumers cared about them for the big players to continue interest. They have become a niche market. One can argue about the superiority of the the format over CD all day, doesn't matter.
Sound quality and the things audiophiles care about has nothing to do with it. Manufacturers weren't making enough money to make them worth their while. Simple as that, economics; just business. Not enough numbers, maybe not enough margin?
Hypothetically, if SACD sales numbers were to suddenly skyrocket (which is highly improbable) those major players 'might' sit up and take notice. In other words, if there were money to be made. But I think that ship has already sailed.
i buy them regularly and imo they are fantasic. the real issue is how well the music was recorded and i think many miss this point. a normal cd when well recorded is better than a badly done sacd. i have no trouble finding all sorts of offerings. of course they are a niche but niche markets do survive.
I never had even one SACD which sounded close to vinyl. None of them were able to create an illusion to be part of a live recording. Most of them are lifeless and boring....
The best CD's - by far - are theXRCD24 from JVC Japan. With an intelligent digital design, EMMLabs for example, you are indeed very close to the real thing. Anything else is still the same wot like the last 20 years ...
I can agree with you to some point as nothing beats my vinyl setup so far - Kuzma Stabi M + Kuzma 4Point + Dynavector XV-1s + my own phonostage.
However, I personally find many SACDs sounding much closer to it compared to XRCDs. The latter are sort of running hot, in my experience.
Of course, as many vinyl lovers would agree, it is very hard to match the high frequency extension of the vinyl, so may be this is the reason XRCDs sound more "lively" to you, but that is not all. :-)
There are great discs of all types, it all comes down to recording, mastering and production quality. I too am a huge XRCD fan of all types including as of late, the latest K2HD variants and all the XRCD24s out there. There are also outstanding RBCD examples out there from Stockfisch, Venus Records, etc...that like many of my SACDs are as close as I care to get to vinyl and very good to listen too....when you could get them, most DVDA's were also quite stunning.
As an aside, there are also lifeless, boring, poorly recorded, poorly manufactured discs of all types (and vinyl examples as well). I prefer to
stay out of the religious and other debates and chase music that I love and simply listen to it :-)
0 to very little music released on SACD that is of my personal interest.
Felt no need to invest huge dollar to SACD playback of just few items when SACD was bloomin. It's too audiophiliholic.
Purchasing releases just because them sound good not my bowl of soup.
Reselling them is waste of time and storefront space.
I remember when Sony first released the format and had demonstration kiosks.
I first listened to it and said...whats the big deal. I did ultimately buy in and have
a rather large SACD collection, and while I liked the well recorded ones on my
OPPO BDP-105, I was not blown away with the sound difference. Recently I
purchase the Esoteric K-01 and now SACDÂs are what I mostly listen to. The
difference between rebook and SACD is revealed by this player. Its huge! Thus,
as is obvious, IÂve concluded the benefits accrue to those with revealing systems.
Someone here mentioned the JVC XRCD24 as being very good , the few that I have they are correct,.. The few SACD that I have ,sound wise I find them smoothed over and boring.
I found the same thing 13 years ago when I got rid of a modified Sony SCD 777es which I purchased new and later had modified with all latest bells and whistles of the day.
Present time I wanted to check out digital play back again with my own system on my own terms and put a budget together of just under 10 grand for new or slightly used player however the more I investigated all the choices of digital play back the quicker I backed off spending that kind of money.
For now I settled on a used ModWright Ultimate Sony 5400 that came up for sale locally ,after a few discs the play back I found was just tolerable but the price was right and if I dumped it today nothing is lost.
A remarkable improvement I found Symposium roller blocks 3+ under the power supply and player I guess is really needed for any cd player spinning that disc that fast .Forget the tube rolling and after market ac cords and other wires for now , you need to drain those vibrations first, however it won't make SACD play back any more lively ,...