When does SACD make sense - my theory

I purchased a SACD player a few weeks ago. Sony SCD-C555ES. Also purchased about 15 SACDs.
Tried Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and compared to my vinyl. Vinyl was better. Tried the new Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd from 2003 and compared to vinyl. Vinyl also better.

My thinking is that Vinyl will always better from old stuff that was captured on Analog and mixed for Analog/Vinyl. Never purchase SACDs with 50s, 60 and 70s music. Rather focus on the period when the CD was young, the recordings were captured digitally and now need a major re-mixing to sound good.

My theory.
1. When there is vinyl it will always be better than SACD
2. SACD players do good job on CDs too. My a couple of years old CDs sound at least as good as when I played them on my previous Rega Planet. Consequently, do not replace a few years old CDs with a SACD version. Very small difference.
3. Replace early CDs - 80s and early 90s, before the figured out the technology that are very cold sterile recordings that will sound much better in SACD.
Looking forward to everyone's comments.
Sorry, don't agree you can generalize this way. You're selling good SACD short. Audiophile quality LPs will usually sound better than SACds, but not always. SACD reissues of ordinary decent or not so decent LPs--e.g. most of the 60-70s Columbia catalogue--are a huge improvement. And at least on high end equipment, the SACD layer will virtually always sound better than even upsampled CD. My comparisons are done on a Classe Omega SACD player, with CD playback from the Omega's digital out to a dCS Purcell and Elgar combo, and where the SACD isn't so great, invariably the CD is worse.
It is a mistake to think you are hearing everything SACD
can do with a Sony SCD C-555ES.

I also don't believe you can generalize about decades like
that. I have some early [late forties, early fifties] Ray Charles CD's that are remastered from his recordings done
for Atlantic records. These are CD's, not even SACD's, but
they sound great.
Usual trendy analog/vinyl can't be beat line. I don't spend my time comparing the same recording on different media. I don't own the type of equipment that the previous poster owns, but one thing I can say is that my $200 CDN Sony SACD player sounds better playing SACDs than my Arcam FMJ CD 23 does playing CDs most of te time. The Arcam does better on CDs than the Sony. I have yet to hear an SACD that does not provide very good to great sound. Each recording should be enjoyed for what it is, without trying to pigeonhole it. A priori thinking is the motor of subjective audio.
If it takes $15K worth of playback equipment to hear "everything SACD can do," then the format is doomed
to failure.

But the bigger problem is, they're not making it easy to
find SACDs. How many record stores have you been in with SACDs on display? The Borders I shop at has none.
>>If it takes $15K worth of playback equipment to hear "everything SACD can do," then the format is doomed
to failure.<<

Following this line of reasoning -- I suppose all audio
is doomed to failure.

>>But the bigger problem is, they're not making it easy to
find SACDs.<<

It is not "easy" to find LP's, either, nor to find play-
back equipment for LP's. How many "Good Guys, Tweeters,
Sound Advice" carry Kharma or Wilson speakers?

I would assume that most people who are dedicated to
this hobby are accustomed to a little trouble in finding
the neccessary stuff to feed thir appetite.

>>How many record stores have you been in with SACDs on display?<<

I have found it exceedingly easy to find SACD's.

Then again, I am looking for them.


It ain't that hard.

Whether or not SACD *immediately* catches on with the
masses is beside the point.

The argument over whether or not a higher resolution
is the future of digital is far from over.

Make your bets and we'll settle up in about ten years.

Rsbeck- Glad to hear it so easy to find SACDs on the mainland. And thanks for tip on www.music-direct.com. I prefer to buy directly from record labels like Concord & Telarc.

It wouldn't take 10 years to decide the format war. HT will
dictate the battle not Hiend audio. I don't have $15K invested in any digital format, so I real don't care who wins, but just for fun, I'll put my money on DVD...what would you like to wager?

Since this is a music forum and you own a lot of SACDs,
how about sharing some of your favorite SACDs.
I will bet that in 10 years, digital will finally wipe
vinyl off the map at the high end and that even at low
and mid-fi, 44,100 CD's will have been phased out in favor
of a higher resolution digital format. I bet technology
such as Meitner's will be used in even low end players.
It will be something like Plasma Screens and DVD players --
the price will come down, high end technology will trickle
down and there's no way vinyl is going to be able to
compete, either in the quality of play-back or in value
for the dollar.

I am just beginning to listen to SACD's and I am still
waiting on my Dac6. I started listening to SACD on a
Yamaha s2300 Universal Player, which was okay. For a
little while, I had a Sony SCD XA777ES [1,600 used on
A'gon]in my rack prior to giving it to my brother for
his birthday, which was a HUGE upgrade over the Yamaha.

With that caveat -- here is a list of Jazz SACD's I have

(In no particular order)

1) Sonny Rollins Plus Four

2) Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Russel Malone

3) Chet. Chet Baker.

4) Bill Evans Trio -- Sunday at The Village Vanguard

5) Mingus -- Ah Um

6) Ray Brown -- Soular Energy

7) Art Pepper -- Meet The Rhythm Section

8) John Coltrane -- Soul Trane

I will have better information after I get the Dac6 in my
rack and get to listen to more SACD's.
I certainly hope you're right about Mr.Meitner's magic moving downstream.

Thanks for sharing your list.

Look forward to some feedback after you get the 6.
I don't have $15,000 invested in my digitial, $2,500 for my SCD-1 and $2,500 for my modifications. $5,000 total. The same $5,000 would hardly begin to buy the phono pre-amp, table, arm and cartrige I'd need to justify my equipment. Even at $5,000 the quality of most SACD playback is very noticable and well worth the money. SACD at least half the time is equal in cost to CD, so that issue is over. Vinyl is still about $30.
I just got Nora Jones on SACD last week. The improvement is amazing. The imaging of Nora's voice is so real. Great soundstage and much less harsh on the piano.
This "SACD make sense" discussion has raged for three years now. Some who "would never" buy SACD have and are now writting about how great it is. I have spent three years enjoying the great but limited library and have no regrets. The improvement in CD playback alone has justified every dime spent.
Oh yea, "Best Buy" or on line "Music Direct", Elusive Disc" and "Acoustic Sounds". The same places you should have been shopping for vinal.
Certainly going back to the original digital tapes and remastering a lousy 80s CD release in DSD will yield a huge improvement, much more than doing the same with a (really good) analogue master tape from the same era.

It all depends on the quality of the original master tape (and not all reissue-ers have access to the original masters).

And it's also important to note that, in the early to mid 80s, engineers and designers had already refined analogue recording and reproduction to a very high degree: it was a mature technology. At that time, PCM digital was new and, by comparison, raw.

DSD itself is already evolving: Meitner's Mk IV ADCs have already doubled the original DSD sampling rate.

I myself only have one SACD that was made in DSD from beginning to end of the recording chain--and it's not music I like that much--all the others are reissues, mostly from vinyl.

I'm hoping for a big increase in SACDs made from original DSD, and not analogue or PCM, masters. Until then I don't think the technology can demonstrate its true potential.

Ideally, all new recordings should be mastered in DSD, but released in a dual-layer SACD/CD (and, later, SACD/DVD-A). It's easy to convert to analogue or PCM digital from DSD.

But, when I think of it, none of the new releases I've bought in the last year were available as SACDs (or DVD-A for that matter). The expection might be Patricia Barber, but I do balk somewhat at paying virtually double.

I think the early Stones reissues were very well done. I have most of it on vinyl, though some in very bad shape and I really appreciate the SACDs: they're certainly a few cuts above the same albums I have in early CD versions. Even the PCM layer on the hybrids is better than the earlier CD versions.

Happy listening all!

I agree, DSD recording do need to become more common. I also don't relish buying a CD and then finding out that they are releasing it on SACD, so I have to buy it again.

And RSBeck, I dont know if you know this or not, but I am your long lost brother! My birthday was April 29th, so anytime you need to get rid of any other equipment, I won't feel hurt by the belated gift.

Justin -- LOL.
Rsbeck- DAC6 was it worth the wait and how does it compare
to your old sony on redbook?