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Akira
07-02-2008, 09:25 AM
I am totally uneducated in the arena of SACD and have a few questions.
1) I have heard that some CD players can read the super audio format?
2) How much does a disc cost and what is the availability for classic rock?
Carly Simon, Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Stealy Dan, 1972-77 etc.
3) Is the quality that much better, different. Hey this is audio after all
and we are all familiar with the $5,000. RCA audiophile cables.
Thanks

Hoerninger
07-02-2008, 09:49 AM
3)
The theoretical achievable quality I can not judge. But SACDs are very often more carefully produced. So even old recordings may sound nice.
SACD may be produced in multichannel, some are very delightful.

2) Prises are comparable to those of CDs, at least for my point of view.
Search at Amazon, for example "Pink Floyd SACD". :)

1) Others may know.
I am using a Pioner DVD player which "eats" all sorts of disks.
__________________________________________________ _
And than there are Audio DVDs with higher technical performance and multichannel.
__________________________________________________ _
And then there are audio disks with DTS.
I own "Sting ... nothing like the sun" in 5.1 multichannel. (My player eats. ;) )
Who has more details about DTS?
___________
Peter

PS: A cheers :cheers: for the Denon! :blink:

hjames
07-02-2008, 10:28 AM
I have a Harman Kardon CD changer - it plays conventional CDs plus the HDCD format discs.

HDCDs can play on regular CD players in normal mode, and can play in HDCD
players with a fuller sound. Not all HDCD discs are marked, so you may have an HDCD and not even know it unless you put it in an HDCD decoder enabled player. (K.d.lang's Invincible Summer is one I have)

SACDs will not play in conventional CD players - they require special SACD units and cannot play in anything else even in lesser mode (apparently Sony and Pioneer and the big brands for that). I had Roxy Music "Avalon' in SACD and just gave it away because it would not play in anything I owned.

DVD-A
These are DVDs that play in (usually) Audio only mode in DVD players only - they have one or more multi-channel audio tracks encoded for surround sound (Either Dolby or DTS mode, or maybe both depending on the disc).

After reading TiDome's description of DVD-A Nothing like the Sun, I recently
bought "Brand New Day" (DTS version) - its a very rich full surround environment and is a lot of fun - We also own the Beatles "Love" and its also a lot of fun in DTS.

My experience is that DTS sounds better for most movies and the small bit of music I have than the corresponding Dolby. Of course, your receiver needs to have a chip to do DTS sound for this to be true - not all do!


3)
The theoretical achievable quality I can not judge. But SACDs are very often more carefully produced. So even old recordings may sound nice.
SACD may be produced in multichannel, some are very delightful.

2) Prices are comparable to those of CDs, at least for my point of view.
Search at Amazon, for example "Pink Floyd SACD". :)

1) Others may know.
I am using a Pioneer DVD player which "eats" all sorts of disks.
__________________________________________________ _
And than there are Audio DVDs with higher technical performance and multichannel.
__________________________________________________ _
And then there are audio disks with DTS.
I own "Sting ... nothing like the sun" in 5.1 multichannel. (My player eats. ;) )
Who has more details about DTS?
___________
Peter

speakerdave
07-02-2008, 11:13 AM
SACD technology is inherently better than the earlier ("redbook") technologies because the sampling rate is much higher (2.8M vs. 44.1K). The 44.1K technology is a highly compromised technology that was settled upon for reasons external to the concern for audio quality. This was foreseen by the engineers at the BBC who felt that if the early digital storage technology was done right a five inch disc could hold 8 minutes of music. The industry wanted 70 minutes, to be more than an LP, and they wanted a five inch disc that could fit into a car stereo like a cassette. That's where the sampling rate came from.

SACD, like a DVD, is a later technology that is capable of storing much more information on a given size disc (remember the 1 foot digital movie laser discs?)

Execution bringing it to market has had its problems.

It takes a high quality player to bring the benefits of SACD to your amplifiers, speakers and ears. Consumers are often reluctant to pay for quality. Most CD players engineered and marketed to the price points people will pay, because of poor quality construction and electronics--especially the analog output sections which usually use cheap IC's--don't even capture the quality potential of regular CD's.

Cheap CD players that supposedly play SACD's often down sample to redbook BEFORE the DACS!!! Thus they do not really play SACD. If someone plays a SACD on one of these players and doesn't hear a difference, naturally they don't get what SACD is about.

There also can be similar problems in the recording chain that in effect compromise the true quality of SACD.

However, SACD's with a clean recording chain (this can include a conversion from an analog master tape, which is why so many SACD's are reissues of great recordings), played on a real SACD player with quality analog electronics for the output are a revelation. I would characterize them as almost like vinyl without its inherent problems of noise, compression and inner groove distortion.

The majority of SACD's produced today are in fact hybrid discs that have completely separate programs encoded, one for SACD and one for regular, and the pricing is very little higher if at all. However, there are premium quality SACD's, just as there are premium quality regular CD's and vinyl records, that are priced higher.

SACD's are not necessarily multichannel, and most are not. A multichannel SACD can also have a two channel SACD and/or a redbook layer and most do, so they can be played in SACD two channel or redbook CD. Just read the labels when buying.

So if you go into SACD, do some research, plan on spending up a little for a genuine player with good quality analog electronics for the output (that will probably also reveal more of the quality of your regular CD's).

This has all been discussed on the forums before, and of course there is a great deal of information on the internet.

David

SEAWOLF97
07-02-2008, 12:03 PM
This was foreseen by the engineers at the BBC who felt that if the early digital storage technology was done right a five inch disc could hold 8 minutes of music. The industry wanted 70 minutes, to be more than an LP, and they wanted a five inch disc that could fit into a car stereo like a cassette. David

I have read...(Stereo Review, I think)....that the target of 74 minutes of CD music storage was calculated by the fact that Beethoven's 9th Ode to Joy took up exactly 4 LP sides (18 minutes each) and they wanted to get the whole piece on a disc without spilling onto a second.

Most MiniDisc's are 74 minute storage also.

speakerdave
07-02-2008, 12:13 PM
I have read...(Stereo Review, I think)....that the target of 74 minutes of CD music storage was calculated by the fact that Beethoven's 9th Ode to Joy took up exactly 4 LP sides (18 minutes each) and they wanted to get the whole piece on a disc without spilling onto a second.

Most MiniDisc's are 74 minute storage also.

Well, if that's true, their hearts were certainly in the right place!

speakerdave
07-02-2008, 01:44 PM
. . . . Recent testing has shown that there is no audible difference when high res stereo audio is converted to 16 bit 44,100 hz. . . . . .

C'mon, Don! This statement warrants chapter and verse.

toddalin
07-02-2008, 01:47 PM
Well, if that's true, their hearts were certainly in the right place!


It is true and that's the way it was and why it was. ;)

Unforetunately SACD and DVD-Audio are almost dying formats and software is hard and getting harder to come by. :banghead:

To get the most bang for the buck, buy a combintation DVD/SACD/DVD-Audio/CD player that will also pass DTS. Do not buy one that will not play all audio formats! There is not enough software in any one format to warrant purchase of the unit. And if you do get one or the other, the disk you absolutely can't live without will be in the other format (Murphy's law).

Recognize that no SACD or DVD-Audio disk will ever sound like the original release on LP/CD because they go into the studio and re-mix the music for the new format. Even on disks that have both formats (DVD-A and CD or SACD and CD), both mixes are not the same. This really keeps you from doing a true A/B comparison. ;)

Some disks are encoded for systems that have ALL large speakers and will never sound quite right if you have small rears and allocate the bass to the sub. The engineers knew what they were doing but refused to compromise audio quality for people with lesser systems. Sort of makes sense if you consider that the format is to get the most out the music. This is one reason why I run all "large" speakers, even in the rear and front surrounds.

DVD-A does include visuals, but in the interest of disk space, they are usually stills.

BTW, there is also DTS multi-channel format and these also sound different (my least favorite of the multi-channel formats). (Santana's Abraxas really sucks in DTS. :( )

I use a Yamaha S2300 unit (DVD/CD/SACD/DVD-A/DTS) and when S&V rated the unit, the SACD portion got among the highest marks of any unit tested. The DVD-A was just average, though to my ear in a real life situation, you would be hard pressed to hear a difference, even if you could get identical software for both formats. In the Yamaha, the SACD and DVD-A are completely divorced and don't share circuitry (except the final stages of amplification). This was due to copyrights/lawyers/$$$/etc.

Of course there are other "problems" with the formats. For example, DVD-A puts extra blank time between tracks on a disk as the player does it's thing searching the FAT. Some units are worse than others (my original Pioneer was terrible for this and also had the DVD "chroma bug"). The Eagles DVD-A "Hotel California" had me return my unit (after the shop tried for 4 months to fix this design flaw) because I could not tolerate the extra space between "Wasted Time" and the "Wasted Time Reprieve." Even my Yamaha puts in this time to access the FAT, but not as bad as my Pioneer..., and no Chroma Bug!

speakerdave
07-02-2008, 02:30 PM
When it is time to get a new player (you decide), the SACD format justifies the purchase of a real SACD player with a real hi fi analog output stage even if you play only 2-channel. Remember, a decent player, and a lot of people have never heard one, will make your regular CD's sound better too.

As regards multichannel, there are some really intriguing SACD's out--I'm thinking of choral works in particular (Grex Vocalis's Magnum Mysterium, Rundfunkchor Berlin's XL: Choral Works for 40 voices, Oxford Camerata's Tallis: Spem in alium, Anonymous 4's American Angels: Songs of Hope, Redemption, & Glory-- these have already accumulated here) and although I can't play them as multichannel that in no way diminishes the great benefits of SACD stereo.

As for DVDA, I see no harm in it, and whether you get a player that also plays it depends on which part of the catalog you are interested in. It's an entirely separate consideration.

David

speakerdave
07-02-2008, 02:53 PM
I don't want to start a war here. If you like, you could visit just about any other audio site and join a war already in progress.

No chapter and verse? It does matter who, what, where, when and how.

speakerdave
07-02-2008, 03:01 PM
. . . . SACD and DVD-Audio are almost dying formats and software is hard and getting harder to come by. . . .

And the trend will probably continue. If we were to make the decision based on the carbon footprint of making aluminum discs with plastic coatings we'd all be listening to downloaded MP3's tomorrow (and no more tube or Class A amps!)

David

hjames
08-14-2008, 06:32 PM
OK - the OPPO disc player I recently got does SACD , DVD-A, DivX, and other formats.
I had gotten an SACD copy of Roxy Music: Avalon ages ago but never heard the extra track (Always Unknown) before. It plays fine on the Oppo with all other tracks in fine Surround Sound, so I know the SACD feature of the OPPO works well, and I was quite impressed.
Since then I've gotten
[SACD] - Bryan Ferry: Boys and Girls
[DVDA] Sting: Brand new Day
[DVDA] Nothing Like the Sun
[SACD] The Who: Tommy (deluxe 2 disc ver)

Most of those were impressive so I just got
[SACD] Moody Blues: To Our Chldren's Children's Children (deluxe 2 discs ver)

Gotta say, I hate the Moodies disc. Its a bad mix or something - the mellotron is WAY down in the mix, I had to pull out an old LP to check the differences but it just isn't right. But no one online seems to comment on that.

Are there many horridly bad surround mixes on SACD?

Robh3606
08-15-2008, 04:30 AM
Are there many horridly bad surround mixes on SACD?

Of course there are. It's just a playback format so there are good and bad mixes just like any other.

Rob:)

Gary L
08-15-2008, 05:34 AM
Quote by Hjames:

SACDs will not play in conventional CD players - they require special SACD units and cannot play in anything else even in lesser mode (apparently Sony and Pioneer and the big brands for that). I had Roxy Music "Avalon' in SACD and just gave it away because it would not play in anything I owned.

I own just one SACD, Patricia Barber, Cafe blue and it sounds fantastic on my SACD player. I have played it on all of my other players and it plays fine but without the depth the SACD tracks add when played in the main system.

I suppose it is possible that some SACD recordings are specifically designed to play only on SACD players but this particular one says right on it, " Mobile fidelity Super Audio CD, Hybrid Stereo, Plays on all SACD and CD Players".

It is very hard to describe what difference there is but the best I can say is when I play it on the SACD system as opposed to the regular CD player, I can hear a great deal more detail and the music appears to come from everywhere instead of just right and left sides. I use just two speakers in my main system but the SACD seems to add a few more speakers that are not there.

Gary

hjames
08-15-2008, 05:52 AM
Apparently there are various SACD technologies!
I have some SACD surround discs, I have Hybrid SACD (like my Roxy Music disc). On an SACD machine it played 10 tracks, 9 in SACD Surround mode.
The OPPO machine I just got decodes the SACD tracks fine ...



Quote by Hjames:

SACDs will not play in conventional CD players - they require special SACD units and cannot play in anything else even in lesser mode (apparently Sony and Pioneer and the big brands for that). I had Roxy Music "Avalon' in SACD and just gave it away because it would not play in anything I owned.

I own just one SACD, Patricia Barber, Cafe blue and it sounds fantastic on my SACD player. I have played it on all of my other players and it plays fine but without the depth the SACD tracks add when played in the main system.

I suppose it is possible that some SACD recordings are specifically designed to play only on SACD players but this particular one says right on it, " Mobile fidelity Super Audio CD, Hybrid Stereo, Plays on all SACD and CD Players".

It is very hard to describe what difference there is but the best I can say is when I play it on the SACD system as opposed to the regular CD player, I can hear a great deal more detail and the music appears to come from everywhere instead of just right and left sides. I use just two speakers in my main system but the SACD seems to add a few more speakers that are not there.

Gary

Gary L
08-15-2008, 06:23 AM
I agree Heather! One of the things that boggle my mind and actually disgust me is all the changes where CD music is concerned.

I seriously doubt it is worthwhile to go out and buy a HQ CD/DVD player that can do it all because just about the time we do, a newer format will be introduced that it won't play.

One of the many reasons I still love my TTs and Vinyl!

Gary

hjames
08-15-2008, 06:44 AM
Agreed - I basically got the new unit because it promised to upscale standard DVDs, did just about all the current formats (DVD, XVID, CD, HDCD, SACD, and a few more), and was dirt cheap ($105 shipped!). My old JVC DVD player did most of that (except the SACD and the upscale) and I wanted a spare DVD player. I don't think BluRay is enough of an upgrade to jump, especially with having to replace all my current media (thats not gonna happen soon!)

and yeah, I still have the vinyl and TT ...



I agree Heather! One of the things that boggle my mind and actually disgust me is all the changes where CD music is concerned.

I seriously doubt it is worthwhile to go out and buy a HQ CD/DVD player that can do it all because just about the time we do, a newer format will be introduced that it won't play.

One of the many reasons I still love my TTs and Vinyl!

Gary

DaveV
08-15-2008, 07:42 AM
Having worked for an audio company that promoted and sold SACD technology along with their own products, here's how I saw it as an "insider" at the time:

SACD's can sound superior to CD's because SACD or DSD is a different recording technology than CD's or PCM and that's where the big improvement is. But better than analog?????????????
That being said, no SACD made from a PCM master is a real SACD recording as a digital master or digitally remastered LP isn't an analog LP.
To hear the real difference you have to have an SACD made direct to PCM or analog tape to PCM.
We've been through LP's, reel to reel, 8 track, cassettes and the big promise that all CD's are superior to all LP's so some people replaced their LP's with CD's and then along comes SACD and DVD-A and I think there was less of a rush to jump into yet another new technology.
The early SACD machines weren't cheap and Sony's expensive machine, SCD-1 I think it was called, turned out to be somewhat of a dog in the sonics dept although it was a masterpiece of "tank construction."
Then we had/have the "mobile generation" that wants portable music. CD's sounded fine to them because they never heard a good analog rig so it followed that MP3 and downloads were also acceptable to feed their need for fast on the go music.
It also seems that if they did hear a good analog rig they would still prefer the lesser sonics of "fast music" because they don't listen to music in a serious way so to be blunt, entertaining noise is noise.
For the "audiophile" seeking the analog sound but without the hiss, ticks, pops and alleged better dynamic range, there was a lack of true SACD titles coming to market and the majority of the general public didn't even know what the heck an SACD was and still doesn't.
Radio stations didn't have SACD players and most local music stores didn't have even one SACD to sell and the arguement that SACD's with layers so they could also play redbook or on CD player made them inferior to single layer is probably still alive and that made matters worse.
The cost to make 5000 of an SACD title was pretty cheap so it made me wonder how $1.85 each plus shipping translates into a $29.99 disc but I guess that's the same for LP's and CD's too.
At this point in time I think SACD is a dead issue because the demand isn't there and no doubt another new technology will come along anyway.
Bottom line to me is that analog is still the superior technology.
If they could make quiet and awesome sounding LP's in 1955 I don't know why it can't be done now without all the "audiophile hype" because I have old mono jazz LP's that sound better than many a new audiophile pressing on 180-200 gram vinyl. So what was more common then is now special?
In closing I'll toss another tidbit into the fire.
Some studies were done and claims were made that PCM or CD's upset the listener and quick shallow breathing was evident in some and a true SACD recording doesn't do that as analog doesn't.

hjames
08-18-2008, 07:09 PM
Thanks for the heads up - I just got a copy of this Mobile Fidelity SACD
Cafe Blue - its SACD Stereo - not SACD Surround ...
That threw me at first when I didn't hear anything coming from the center, sub or rear surrounds - but the sound from LF and RF is quite nice - it IS a clean recording - one I'll have to listen to further when I get some time earlier in the day ...


Quote by Hjames:
I own just one SACD, Patricia Barber, Cafe blue and it sounds fantastic on my SACD player. I have played it on all of my other players and it plays fine but without the depth the SACD tracks add when played in the main system.

I suppose it is possible that some SACD recordings are specifically designed to play only on SACD players but this particular one says right on it, " Mobile fidelity Super Audio CD, Hybrid Stereo, Plays on all SACD and CD Players".
Gary

speakerdave
08-18-2008, 08:17 PM
. . . . If they could make quiet and awesome sounding LP's in 1955 I don't know why it can't be done now without all the "audiophile hype" because I have old mono jazz LP's that sound better than many a new audiophile pressing on 180-200 gram vinyl. So what was more common then is now special? . . . .

Well, I've seen some discussion of this and wonder what actually is the source being used for all these numerous remasterings, viz. original session tapes, original master tapes, some kind of premaster two-channel mixdown, and (the worst rumor I've heard) a digital master? The new Aja! vinyl is being promoted everywhere as "all analog." Does this imply there is a lot of vinyl being pressed from sources that include a digital generation or is the Aja promotion positing a ghost?

Is anyone checking on this?

I don't think SACD will actually die, since the market segment that supports it (two channel stereo classical, classic jazz and rock and independent fine music labels making DSD originals) is already a boutique segment that will probably continue. But . . . . it, also probably, does not have a chance of displacing PCM, and for the reason you say, in most people's systems and listening styles, the surrounding equipment and context doesn't need it.

David

Gary L
08-19-2008, 04:59 AM
Thanks for the heads up - I just got a copy of this Mobile Fidelity SACD
Cafe Blue - its SACD Stereo - not SACD Surround ...
That threw me at first when I didn't hear anything coming from the center, sub or rear surrounds - but the sound from LF and RF is quite nice - it IS a clean recording - one I'll have to listen to further when I get some time earlier in the day ...

Her style is not for everyone but I had listened extensively at a friends to the regular CD and liked it. He ordered it for me on the net and it came in the SACD format like you just bought.

If you want to hear the difference between regular CD recordings and SACD then see if you can find or play this one each way. First time I listened to the SACD I kept looking to see if my speakers had been moved to a better position!

Enjoy

Gary

Ducatista47
08-20-2008, 10:36 PM
Whether they are surviving as niche technologies or limping into oblivion, I could not see spending my limited coins on a stand alone SACD, HDCD or DVD-A player (if the latter exists). The catalog numbers are simply not there.

Since I already have a really nice sounding redbook CD player with Burr-Brown chips and a tube analog output (and tube rolling does yield results there), I popped for a nice but reasonable Denon DVD player that also does SACD and DVD-A. It does DTS too. If you pick and choose, Denon still delivers great sound. I have a bunch of HDCD's, but I unfortunately may never hear their full potential. Yes, most of the aforementioned decisions were budget influenced.

Of possible interest is the fact that I have heard Japanese sourced CD's - with Obi - of very good recordings such as recent ECM titles, and they sound better to me than the SACD's and DVD-A's I have heard on the appropriate playback systems (not mine). Temper this with my love for two channel. The surround recordings I have heard really turned me off. That stuff coming from the other channels, especially the rears, is so processed sounding it sticks out like a sore thumb. Also, information is coming from illogical places. Realism was actually down as compared to stereo. The clarity of DVD-A was clear all right, but not realistic sounding, even in two channel. The one I am most familiar with is an AIX release and great pains were taken to get the most direct sound possible, including a direct simultaneous stereo capture, but the end result still sounds synthetic.

As for HDCD, Microsoft purchased the parent company years ago to acquire another technology and promptly let it rot on the vine.

I have both the original and the MFSL Cafe Blue on CD format, and the MFSL mix is at this point not nearly as much to my liking. Maybe I need to give it more time.

I have one VTL CD and it has a more realistic sound in some ways than anything else. It does present the experience warts and all and perhaps that also adds to the realism. The room it takes you to is not the greatest room, but you sure are there. The process of recording music tends to try to fix problems, but doing so takes you one more step from reality. I think Manley was on to something.

The 2.8 mhz signal capture of the Sony system does have possibilities, but other than producing very smooth live remote recordings I am still waiting for it to improve things overall. I would bet a well recorded analog master tape would put it to shame. Cut it to an analog media, skipping the entire digital thing, and you would really have something. Oh, right, vinyl.

Clark

toddalin
09-03-2008, 10:29 AM
Heather, one of the very best DVD-Audio transfers I have come across is "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits. You gotta have good surrounds for "Money For Nothing" to really enjoy the opening pan sequences. ;)

Chas
09-03-2008, 10:49 AM
I love my Sony SCD-XA777ES (coupling caps bypassed) with SACD's. The only problem is that when I got it there were so few SACD's available. I ended up buying some discs for the novelty (i.e. that were SACD) rather than for the musical content.


SACD sound quality, it can be wonderfull, but so can vinyl and CD playback. As others have said, it is like anything else, it depends on the care in production. Funnily enough, my player is multichannel, but in the six or so years I have owned it, it has never been used that way.

Akira, you're welcome to stop by for a demo sometime, just PM me.

Ducatista47
10-05-2008, 11:05 AM
It takes a high quality player to bring the benefits of SACD to your amplifiers, speakers and ears. Consumers are often reluctant to pay for quality. Most CD players engineered and marketed to the price points people will pay, because of poor quality construction and electronics--especially the analog output sections which usually use cheap IC's--don't even capture the quality potential of regular CD's.

Cheap CD players that supposedly play SACD's often down sample to redbook BEFORE the DACS!!! Thus they do not really play SACD. If someone plays a SACD on one of these players and doesn't hear a difference, naturally they don't get what SACD is about.



I agree to a point. I think you also need a quality DAC, that said, most of the contemporary digital stuff is far superior to that which was made a number of years ago. Once the signal leaves the digital domain a high quality analog section seems to elude most designers. I am not sure if it is skill or cost, but most players I have heard short of the mega-buck variety just don't float my boat.

I don't think it needs to be tubed, but the analog section needs to be of high quality or the sound is simply acceptable and the magic is lost. I believe that if more SACD players had been sold with an excellent analog section, that format wouldn't be in the dire situation that we find it in today.


I was researching this yesterday at a place with more resources than my personal listening room. I asked about this at Electronics Diversified, the audio gear and music shop I hang at.

The consensus was that any SACD player up to at least $2000 they had heard sounded terrible when compared to the good quality CD players rendering the hybrid layer of the discs. These are true SACD discs with a hybrid layer for CD playback.

The SACD players included the Sony and the CD players mentioned were what they carry, the JoLida JD 100 tube output unit and the Rega Apollo, Planet, Saturn, Jupiter etc.

They also noted that even pretty great DVD players rendered the SACD layer even worse than the SACD player did.

So, I guess, it is in descending quality of playback, 1) Unknown super quality SACD player, 2) hybrid layer with a good CD Player, 3) most SACD players, and 4) DVD players.

Clark

toddalin
10-05-2008, 11:15 AM
I was researching this yesterday at a place with more resources than my personal listening room. I asked about this at Electronics Diversified, the audio gear and music shop I hang at.

The consensus was that any SACD player up to at least $2000 they had heard sounded terrible when compared to the good quality CD players rendering the hybrid layer of the discs. These are true SACD discs with a hybrid layer for CD playback.

The SACD players included the Sony and the CD players mentioned were what they carry, the JoLida JD 100 tube output unit and the Rega Apollo, Planet, Saturn, Jupiter etc.

They also noted that even pretty great DVD players rendered the SACD layer even worse than the SACD player did.

So, I guess, it is in descending quality of playback, 1) Unknown super quality SACD player, 2) hybrid layer with a good CD Player, 3) most SACD players, and 4) DVD players.

Clark

My $1,100 Yamaha SACD/DVD-Audio has EXCELLENT SACD specs. It's too bad that the DVD-Audio is not up to the SACD, though one is hard pressed to actually hear a difference in the real world.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/hd-dvd-bluray/409/yamaha-dvd-s2300-universal-dvdsacd-player-page2.html

Ducatista47
10-05-2008, 11:32 AM
My $1,100 Yamaha SACD/DVD-Audio has EXCELLENT SACD specs. It's too bad that the DVD-Audio is not up to the SACD, though one is hard pressed to actually hear a difference in the real world.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/hd-dvd-bluray/409/yamaha-dvd-s2300-universal-dvdsacd-player-page2.html

In fairness we were not talking specs but rather comparisons of the actual sound. I can safely say that most listeners have spent little or no time in front of a really good quality CD player with great sound. I am not aware of any that went for under $900 or $1000 US. Many in that range sound pretty bad too, but some are great.

See Ian's posts about DAC quality. Also, the analogue sections of almost all CD players are not nearly up to the job of outputing a quality signal. I am amused by audiophiles who pay automotive sums for a player, go on and on about the transport and settle for so-so analogue sections.

Clark

Mr. Widget
10-05-2008, 12:09 PM
They also noted that even pretty great DVD players rendered the SACD layer even worse than the SACD player did.

So, I guess, it is in descending quality of playback, 1) Unknown super quality SACD player, 2) hybrid layer with a good CD Player, 3) most SACD players, and 4) DVD players.:yes:

...and this unfortunately is what has pretty much killed this amazing format. :(

I have a former top of the line Sony DVD/SACD player. With this player, redbook CDs played through an external DAC are far superior to the analog SACD output. That said, when comparing the analog CD output with the analog SACD output, the SACD is slightly better with more air and three-dimensionality.

All of these comparisons though are only really accurate if you listen to stereo in the sweetspot with a decent system... if you enjoy a wall of sound type system, you use your system as a background music system, or even if you sit off to one side of the room on a couch... I doubt you would notice much of a difference between a $75 Panasonic DVD player and an $8000 Wadia.


Widget

Hoerninger
10-05-2008, 01:31 PM
With this player, redbook CDs played through an external DAC are far superior to the analog SACD output.

For me this remark is just like adding fuel to the fire, as I compared today the DA-sections of my player Pioneer DV-575A with that of the receiver Panasonic SA-XR55.

The player has digital and analog outputs simultaniously and the receiver can be switched vice versa. The differences are small but the receiver outperformes the player (CD; Dolby 5.1). When playing my only DTS disc (Sting; Nothing like the sun) the difference is more obvious. When new I listened only via the analog section and I wondered why this disc was well appraised here. Using the digital connection and let the Panasonic do the DA conversion showed a very airy and clean sound :applaud: (beside the music).

Unfortunately there can not be switched for SACD and DVD-A. So I am just preparing a PC with a redundant soundcard which has a digital output. The idea is to rip the CD layer of a hybrid SACD and play it from HD via a digital connection to the Panasonic and compare with the SACD analog performance.
Unfortunately sunday is over now, I will continue next weekend.
___________
Peter

toddalin
10-06-2008, 10:32 AM
In fairness we were not talking specs but rather comparisons of the actual sound. I can safely say that most listeners have spent little or no time in front of a really good quality CD player with great sound. I am not aware of any that went for under $900 or $1000 US. Many in that range sound pretty bad too, but some are great.

See Ian's posts about DAC quality. Also, the analogue sections of almost all CD players are not nearly up to the job of outputing a quality signal. I am amused by audiophiles who pay automotive sums for a player, go on and on about the transport and settle for so-so analogue sections.

Clark

Bring it by and we'll take a listen. I've never been able to A/B a $5,000 SACD unit against a $1000 unit on the system that I listen to.

What is the good in spending an additional $4,000 on an SACD player if I can't hear a real difference on what I listen to every day? There may well be a difference, but am I going to need $20,000 power amps and $50,000 speakers to hear it? And do my half dozen or so SACDs that I usually listen to warrant the cost?

I would love to try it. ;)

speakerdave
10-06-2008, 11:09 AM
. . . . What is the good in spending an additional $4,000 on an SACD player if I can't hear a real difference on what I listen to every day? . . . .

How did $2000 become $5000?

It seems to me it's too early to bring money worries into the discussion. If you don't think it's going to make any difference, then why bother even talking about it? I think part of the point of this thread is to try and show why some people have not yet heard a difference between SACD and CD. Nobody's trying to make you do anything. Go check it out! (It'd be nice if all of life's sweet things could be delivered to your door, but, really!) Unfortunately, you seem more interested in shooting down the idea of SACD because you fear your stereo is not up to it. I suppose it's possible it isn't. Is that what you want someone to tell you?

And, don't miss the subtle point that a decent player makes regular CD's sound much better as well. The truth is, the analogue outputs of most digital players suck eggs, and you are foregoing the full benefits of the money you spend on CD's until you have a good player. The music is being degraded with cheap IC grung. As for what it costs to get a good one, that is a problem I have not yet fully explored. I have settled for Denon mediocrity right now myself, since my good player broke and is unserviceable. But I seriously doubt you must spend $5000. Even on the Denon the difference between CD and SACD is quite evident, though it might leave a person wondering what all the fuss is about.


. . . . but am I going to need $20,000 power amps and $50,000 speakers to hear it? . . . .

I don't know. I didn't.

The most cost effective upgrade in digital playback might actually be to get an outboard DAC. Of course, you will be only able to play redbook digital through it, because SACD is not licensed for digital output except in very limited circumstances. Obviously this is not the answer for SACD, but I say this to tweak the SACD industry, if they're listening. They've allowed their silk to be enclosed in a sow's ear in order to try and gain a broader market. It hasn't worked. They should recognize that what they need to be about is quality and license quality players and quality recording channels only.

toddalin
10-06-2008, 11:37 AM
How did $2000 become $5000?

It seems to me it's too early to bring money worries into the discussion. If you don't think it's going to make any difference, then why bother even talking about it? I think part of the point of this thread is to try and show why some people have not yet heard a difference between SACD and CD. Nobody's trying to make you do anything. Go check it out! (It'd be nice if all of life's sweet things could be delivered to your door, but, really!) Unfortunately, you seem more interested in shooting down the idea of SACD because you fear your stereo is not up to it. I suppose it's possible it isn't. Is that what you want someone to tell you?

And, don't miss the subtle point that a decent player makes regular CD's sound much better as well. The truth is, the analogue outputs of most digital players suck eggs, and you are foregoing the full benefits of the money you spend on CD's until you have a good player. The music is being degraded with cheap IC grung.



I don't know. I didn't.

What's got your panties in a bunch now?

I simply stated that I would like to hear a $5,000 unit on my system. I could have just as easily said an $8,000 Wadia. If I go into a high end store and listen on a $100,000 system in some perfect room, how can I relate that to the real world of sitting on the couch in my living room on a Saturday afternoon? :rolleyes:

I never said that it wouldn't make a difference and only inquired as to whether I would hear a difference (and how much difference) on my system. My stereo is a $4,500 Yamaha RX-Z9 and you know what speakers I run in 7 channels.

As for fearing whether I would hear a difference and shooting down SACD, go back and read. I've had a Yamaha SACD/DVD-A/CD/DVD player since it came out, and a Pioneer before that. I've been a staunch supporter of the formats since day one even if they are dead. But I do it more for the multi-channel format and different mix, than the difference in sound quality.

I only asked if I would hear an audible difference between a high end player and what others refer to as "$1,000 garbage" on my system, and would that difference be worth the coin.

speakerdave
10-06-2008, 11:47 AM
. . . . I simply stated that I would like to hear a $5,000 unit on my system. I could have just as easily said an $8,000 Wadia. If I go into a high end store and listen on a $100,000 system in some perfect room, how can I relate that to the real world of sitting on the couch in my living room on a Saturday afternoon? :rolleyes:

I never said that it wouldn't make a difference and only inquired as to whether I would hear a difference (and how much difference) on my system. My stereo is a $4,500 Yamaha RX-Z9 and you know what speakers I run in 7 channels.

As for fearing whether I would hear a difference and shooting down SACD, go back and read. I've had a Yamaha SACD/DVD-A/CD/DVD player since it came out, and a Pioneer before that. I've been a staunch supporter of the formats since day one even if they are dead. But I do it more for the multi-channel format and different mix, than the difference in sound quality.

I only asked if I would hear an audible difference between a high end player and what others refer to as "$1,000 garbage" on my system, and would that difference be worth the coin.

I've been editing and adding, trying to clarify my point of view, while you were responding.

It seems to me your question reduces the discussion to the absurd, and so it is pointless and defeatist.

Everything in the reproduction chain makes a difference. Of course a serious dip in quality somewhere will mask everything good before it and the quality stuff after it will make the junk very audible.

But one of the points being made here, is that, yes, an improvement in the analog output of the average digital player will be audible, although whatever degree of resolution by which SACD excels your system will be lost. But then, isn't working on the weak link what this hi fi thing is always about?


What's got your panties in a bunch now? . . . .

Leave my panties out of this, please.


. . . . As for fearing whether I would hear a difference and shooting down SACD, go back and read. I've had a Yamaha SACD/DVD-A/CD/DVD player since it came out, and a Pioneer before that. I've been a staunch supporter of the formats since day one even if they are dead. But I do it more for the multi-channel format and different mix, than the difference in sound quality. . . .

Yamaha . . . hmmmm. Roughly in the same realm as Denon, I should think. According to what the Duke said he was told, we are both listening to highly compromised digital sources right now. And according to me ears, my Denon is a definite step down from the Phillips SACD1000, which nobody said was the ne plus ultra, but at least it was engineered to demonstrate the quality of the SACD technology and did that very well

Hoerninger
10-06-2008, 01:13 PM
... we are both listening to highly compromised digital sources right now.

... and compromised hardware as well I presume.
I read about it and found it with Harman (and others do too for shure):

There are some receivers which perform another AD-DA conversion for bass management with SACD and DVD-A. Harman speaks of Triple and Quadrupel Crossover and Multichannel Digital Bass Management. (http://www.harmankardon.co.za/HarmanKardon/AdvancedFeatures/WhitePapers/TECH%20SHEET%20TRIPLE%20AND%20QUAD%20CROSSOVER.pdf ) It is for those cases where you must handle with different high-pass frequencies for the left/right, center and surround speakers.

Harman has incorporated it with DPR 2005, DPR 1005 and AVR 630. They do not name details about the AD converter. It is not clear how far the non bass signal is affected. But the circuit diagram indicates that all signals are involved.

[All six speakers the same makes this kind of bass management obsolete. Six times 8 inch equals round about two 14 inch with mono bass to all speakers.]
____________
Peter

Mr. Widget
10-06-2008, 04:18 PM
My stereo is a $4,500 Yamaha RX-Z9 and you know what speakers I run in 7 channels.I recently sold a mint Hafler preamp and amp together for around $200. I'd submit, if you turned off the extra speakers and used those two components instead of your digital receiver you'd hear a much greater improvement in your system than throwing thousands at a digital source... that said, once you had the upgraded electronics, it would likely be easier to hear the differences in digital sources.

His panties aside, I pretty much agree with Speakerdave's take on this topic. :D


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toddalin
10-07-2008, 10:00 AM
I recently sold a mint Hafler preamp and amp together for around $200. I'd submit, if you turned off the extra speakers and used those two components instead of your digital receiver you'd hear a much greater improvement in your system than throwing thousands at a digital source... that said, once you had the upgraded electronics, it would likely be easier to hear the differences in digital sources.

His panties aside, I pretty much agree with Speakerdave's take on this topic. :D


Widget

The Yamaha has the capability of running in CD Direct mode where all digital processing and on-screen displays are turned off and the signal passes directly through an attenuator then on to the amps.

So unless the amps are digital (and I don't see this in any of the literature or tests I've have/seen), you are mistaken.

(The Yamaha also has the capability to input a digital signal and process it internally though an i-link to reduce D-A-D-A conversions along the way.)

Mr. Widget
10-08-2008, 01:41 AM
The Yamaha has the capability of running in CD Direct mode where all digital processing and on-screen displays are turned off and the signal passes directly through an attenuator then on to the amps.All of the better model AV receivers have this feature... and yes they do typically sound a bit better in "Direct", or "Bypass", or whatever the specific brand calls their analog only option. The problem is that all of the mainstream AV receivers from Denon, Onkyo, Harman Kardon, Yamaha, etc. use mediocre quality IC chips for their line sections and even worse for their power amps.

If you don't believe me, buy a relatively inexpensive set of vintage components and do a comparison... be prepared to be impressed and then depressed... you simply can't get that level of quality in modern surround sound without shelling out really big bucks.


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toddalin
10-08-2008, 09:14 AM
All of the better model AV receivers have this feature... and yes they do typically sound a bit better in "Direct", or "Bypass", or whatever the specific brand calls their analog only option. The problem is that all of the mainstream AV receivers from Denon, Onkyo, Harman Kardon, Yamaha, etc. use mediocre quality IC chips for their line sections and even worse for their power amps.

If you don't believe me, buy a relatively inexpensive set of vintage components and do a comparison... be prepared to be impressed and then depressed... you simply can't get that level of quality in modern surround sound without shelling out really big bucks.


Widget

Again, you are comparing the up-scale equipment with the consumer-grade stuff.

The chip sets used in the top of the line Yamahas bear little sembalance to those used in their lesser equipment.

To say that the top of the line Yamaha equipment equates to the consumer trash is like saying that a JBL 4350 specs out like an L19.

Mr. Widget
10-08-2008, 10:47 AM
The chip sets used in the top of the line Yamahas bear little semblance to those used in their lesser equipment.That may be, but I have heard the Denon and Onkyo competitors of your Yamaha, and I have heard previous generation top of the line Yamahas, and they simply don't sound as good as a good old fashioned amp/preamp that was competently designed with discrete components.

To be fair, I have not heard your particular Yamaha, but no one I've talked to including the Yamaha distributors have said, "Oh my god! They have finally made an AV receiver that sounds really good. It is time to toss out your two-channel rig."

I am not saying that your receiver is junk, I am sure that it is a fine example of a surround receiver. However, if you want to hear nuance and detail, buy an inexpensive older amp/preamp combo and give it a shot. I think you'll be surprised.


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jeenie67
01-11-2009, 06:13 AM
I'm using an OPPO DV-980H disc player, $170 direct from the manufacturer. It runs firmware. Like some, I have DVDA's, DVDV's, SACD's, and CD's. For me it depends on what media is available, not the format. I do here a difference as to a finer quality, overall neutral balance of sound from the SA's over CD's [I am blessed, plagued ? (it costs me $$$) with a good ear]. I highly prefer my vinyl over any current digital equipment. All media is presented by this player direct into two Crown XLS 202 amps, bridged mono right and left, and terminating at Altec Model 14's. This player is the only one of a multitude that I have had the opportunity to audition that satisfies me in reproduction of material. I didn't research the player before purchase; bought it on price only. Later audiophile reviews I've read concerning the player have given the unit very high regards. I lucked out.

hjames
01-11-2009, 06:32 AM
I'm using an OPPO DV-980H disc player, $170 direct from the manufacturer. It runs firmware. Like some, I have DVDA's, DVDV's, SACD's, and CD's. For me it depends on what media is available, not the format. I do here a difference as to a finer quality, overall neutral balance of sound from the SA's over CD's [I am blessed, plagued ? (it costs me $$$) with a good ear]. I highly prefer my vinyl over any current digital equipment. All media is presented by this player direct into two Crown XLS 202 amps, bridged mono right and left, and terminating at Altec Model 14's. This player is the only one of a multitude that I have had the opportunity to audition that satisfies me in reproduction of material. I didn't research the player before purchase; bought it on price only. Later audiophile reviews I've read concerning the player have given the unit very high regards. I lucked out.

Yep, a number of us have found those OPPO disc players to be quite the value - I got the DV981HD through a WOOT closeout last year - works quite well for movies and such, even the burned to disc DivX downloads of Doctor Who and Torchwood play well through it!

jeenie67
01-11-2009, 07:29 AM
Hola, Your unit was an upgrade of mine. The video circuitry, in reviews and comment as I understood it, was accentuated some while the audio circuitry was degraded ever so slightly. Either way, these two units hold their own against the highly expensive players of various manufacture. I like the feature of upgradable down the road offered by its design. It also is the easiest component to operate and navigate that I ever owned. Enjoy the day! Jeenie.