XRCD vs. SACD anyone?

Last week I got myself a couple of XRCDs and was quite surprised to find how significantly better they sounded vs. my regular cds, including ones which were classified as audiophile cd.

I don't have a SACD player, so I have yet to try out a SACD to find out how they sound. I have a few friends who have tried both XRCD and SACD, and they seem to prefer XRCD.

Does anyone have experience with both, and which format do you prefer?

Thanks for sharing your experience.
avguy: xrcd is not a "format." the discs are still redbook, using superior recording/mastering/manufacturing processes. as to my take on cd vs. sacd, see the following, which was posted on 1/18/02 in a thread titled "sacd and dvd-a; why so negative":

as i noted on another thread, i spent the week during which i'd ordinarily be at ces doing comparative listening of my boulder 1012 pre/dac and an accuphase dp-85 (one-box cd/sacd player). among other things, i listened to sacd's and redbook versions of the same recording played through the boulder dac and linestage (for cd playback, i used, alternately, the analog out of the dp-85 and the digital out on my accuphase dp-90 transport). the sonic differences between these recordings are, to my ears, nearly undetectable. sacd's originally recorded in 24/96 or higher sampling rates are sonically superior to redbook cd's, tho the sound does NOT approach that of high quality analog. unless and until a significant number, say a thousand, high sampling-rate discs in the sacd format become available, i'll stick with cd's and my tried-and-true lp's. IMO, there aren't enough dvd-a titles yet available to consider that format even nascently viable. -cfb
Another improved Redbook CD recording method is the JVC 20 bit K2 process. The original CCR LPs have been re-mastered using this process, and they are definitely better than the original CCR CDs. Cheers. Craig
The XRCD series is superb in sound quality, demonstrating
that the limiting factor in Redbook CD is NOT (for the most
part) the format, but rather the mediocre mastering of most
recordings. Similarly, other Redbook CD's are available
which are also outstanding i.e. Mapleshade and Reference
Recordings. Until the mastering of most recordings
approaches that of the formerly mentioned labels, SACD and
DVD-A is irrelevant.
As I own many CDs and have committed to this format for a long time, I too have been taken by JVCs XRCD offerings. I have six of them and prefer them over just about all the other mastering techniques from other companies who's CDs I own. I have never heard SACD, and this thread makes me feel a little better about that.
Try some remastered DMP 20 bits Gold CD

I was going to get a SACD, but I agree with the above posts. 16 bit has plenty of kick in it, if done with love and respect for the music. Wait and see. Buy some DCC and MoFi cd's, you'll love them! Then you'll see what a difference mastering really makes. BTW, I used to laugh at these gold cd's. Guess the laugh was on me!

btw, AVOID last year's Capitol 'remastering 'of Pink Floyd and Rush. What a disappointment. Now, if the story of MoFi resurecting and releasing their catalog on SACD, that'd be another story.

Can I throw another spanner in the works and ask where does HDCD fit in the scenario?
I've noticed a lot of Audiogoners mention HDCD discs as amongst their favourites................

HDCD can be SO much better than redbook, & for the same priced discs! Ben you've just got to try it, I have some of the same material on both redbook & HDCD; the latter is simply amazing. Pacific Microsonics is still very much in the fray, & I read that it has recently been adopted as a standard PC audio format.
I'd sure like to do a shootout of the same material on XRCD vs. HDCD - now *that* would really be interesting. From what I've read & heard about XRCD, I really need to get myself some of those discs - they sure sounded good at the show although there were no direct comparisons being demo'd. No wait, there was one shootout going on in a room comparing it to analog. I don't remember the specifics of the results but it's definitely a viable approach. SACD does sound good too, but the value for dollar just isn't there IMO.
bob: hdcd is just another flavor of redbook, not a seperate format. it is incompatible with upsampling dacs, that work on ALL cd's. moreover, hdcd was never adopted by a number of the big guns in the highend for a whole variety of reasons. -cfb
I think Pacific Microsonics (HDCD) was purchased by Bill Gates, so it will probably be part of Windows XP (Version 2) for doing your own multimedia on your computer.
So we can expect out cd players to start randomly restarting...