One word: SACD
Metaphysics. This is a tough question, depends greatly on your equipment.
In my system, there is no doubt LP outperforms both CD and SACD. However, this should not come as any surprise, considering my analog equipment is valued at about thirty five times what my SACD format is.
The Miles Davis 45 RPM set at $150. reflects the fact it is out of print. I consider this a heavy investment, considering the original sales price a few months ago. The original Columbia version of "Kind of Blue" Still outperforms the SACD and CD versions, and the two audiophile releases in both 33 and 45, perform equal or above the original, depending on the pressing. Again, this is with my system, and comparing against my Sony S9000 ES SACD player. As SACD software and playback equipment continues to evolve, the results could certainly reverse.
As for worrying about your investment in vinyl, the rare items will continue to retain, and perhaps gain value for many years to come. I would be more concerned with investing too heavily in SACD software, particularly if you are duplicating titles. Sony is bound to offer lower prices in the near future to promote the format. When this happens, your (and mine) existing SACD software will certainly drop in value.
CD's will probably remain on their same course for a long time, there are so many titles and so many players, I would expect it to remain strong for at least for another ten years. After all, my brand new car came equipped with both CD and a cassette player. How long has it been since any of us considered the cassette the top format?
Hi Albert. Thanks for your detailed thoughts.
Right now, my front ends are $14k (SF T3/P3), $5k SCD-1 SACD Player, and $8K for Analog so performance in each category is pretty darn good and, as with your system, my LP sounds better than SACD and CD. I guess I'm not so worried about my investment in vinyl, just that it will be a PITA to get SACDs of all those recordings should the conveniences of SACD ever make me want to go all digital. However, I do realize that it would be MUCH more difficult the other way around.
What do you do about new music that is available in all three formats? Do you buy vinyl because that is what sounds best on your system TODAY?
FYI: I've been scooping up tons of vinyl lately and haven't bought CDs for months. However, I'm paying top dollar for most of the vinyl $25-100/lp because I have been buying quality recordings of the classics (jazz, rock, classical), many of which are OOP.
I have not performed any direct comparisons between vinyl and SACD, but since I purchased a SACD player in January, I've purchased 1 LP, 2 CDs and 18 SACDs. I've not done any comparisons because I don't have any duplicates. With that in mind, I suspect that the individual skill and artistry of the mastering engineer will outweigh any of the advantages one format holds over ther other.
Why not both? There will always be something magical about spinning vinyl. And why hold off on music you're interested? If it's on vinyl and not sacd (which will almost certainly be the case for some time) buy it! if it's rare there will always be people wanting to buy it from you down the road.
I prefer the sound of vinyl but must say that my new 777es has a magic of it's own. but nothing will replace sliding that disc from its sleeve and slapping it down on a nice platter. forces me to pay more attention to the music as well.
I had vinyl frontend, still have 1200+ albums put away.
I no longer can deal with the hassle and expense of maintaining vinyl. BTW, it would appear we are both in MA.
You may be hearing from a "Frank" regarding your VK5i preamp.
I'm satisfied totally with this combo today:
VK50SE, VKD5, SCD777ES, Levinson 33H, Aerial 10t.
Transparent reference and Nordost Quattro Fil.
Metaphysics, I need your sources. It is very difficult for me to find new music on LP, and the SACD choices are still very limited. CD is the easiest to find new music on, but I have not bought more than a half dozen in the last three years. My LP library is very large, and when I can find software on LP, I always buy it over the other two formats. There are several titles I am looking for on LP that I am unable to find. In fact, I suspect they are available only on CD.
Dave Matthews "Under the Table and Dreaming"
Loreena McKennitt "Book of Secrets"
Rickie Lee Jones "Ghosty Head"
Alanis Morissette "Jagged Little Pill"
KD Lang "Ingenue"
If I fail to locate these on LP, hopefully SACD will make one or all of these available in the near future. How has your luck been?
I'm buying about equal amounts of vinyl and SACD these days, but the vinyl is reissues that aren't out yet on SACD and may not be for a while, if ever (Classic RCAs and Decca and EMI reissues)--my figuring is to get them now before they're out of print and the price goes out of sight. No matter which format wins out, I'm in a no-lose situation with the vinyl because I think these reissues are terrific and I'll be listening to them even if they come out on SACD. I've found that if I have the recording on vinyl, I generally don't get the SACD unless I really like the record and only have one copy of the vinyl. Still also buying CDs, unless it's a specific recording I want that I think may be released in SACD format shortly (such as Telarcs, Delos and Sony Classical recordings). As you can tell, most of my purchases are classical, so I've not yet been faced as much with Albert's dilemma.
I had an opportunity to borrow the Sony "777" player and test a stack of SACD's. Many of them were barely better than their cd counterparts. Others were astonishingly good, really everything one dreams of and then some. Then there is the compatability issue - all of the SACD's except the Sony's were dual layer and could play on a car cd player in addition to a home SACD player. Then price is a factor. If the SACD is two bucks more than the cd, why not get it?
So my answer would be: it depends on the quality of the recording and logistical needs (dual layer?) and pricing too. And availability.
That said, I was facing an equipment purchase issue and ended up buying a high end cd player (Cary 303) rather than an SACD player. The only SACD's that were sensational were demo SACD's, the others were better than cds but not home runs, and the 777 cd playback was quite good but there are better...
I am very curious as to how well Sony's upcoming $300 SACD players (fall 2001) will perform. Might be that the way to go is high end cd player and $300 SACD player.
I have read that it's EASIER to build an SACD player because much less filtering is involved. Any truth to this, as far as you know?