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View topic - Why are SACD's soo much better?

Why are SACD's soo much better?

This forum addresses questions on installation, configuration and troubleshooting you might encounter with your Sony MD/CD/SACD.

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by scott1019 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:32 pm

Having recently purchased a few SACDs and borrowed a few from the library, I would like to learn more about this medium before making a serious commitment and getting a lot of content.

Besides the technical reasons, is there an inherent reason why a SACD created with the same exact source material as a standard CD will have any difference in sound quality with all other things being equal?  

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by sterling1 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:12 pm

I've got a Sony DVP-S9000ES. I cannot hear, or distinguish SACD's from CD's of the same material. Perhaps, that's why I have not put much into building an SACD library. Today, I've succumbed to iTunes via USB from PC to Creative Sound Blaster X-FI HD to S/PDIF Toslink DVD input on my Sony TA-E9000ES. It sounds real good.
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by jehill » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:13 pm



Your last statement says it all.  The current crop of Sony BD players output the SACD audio channels via the HDMI output.
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by scott1019 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:18 pm


On 2011-02-14 18:13, jehill wrote:


Your last statement says it all.  The current crop of Sony BD players output the SACD audio channels via the HDMI output.


This may be true, but I have yet to hear from anyone who can verify whether or not its sent via DSD or LPCM.  Since most modern receivers convert everything to LPCM anyways and aren't able to recognize DSD, isn't this a moot point?


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by mykyll2727 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:38 pm

   Great MCH SACD played thru iLink is still the best sounding audio playback I've yet to hear. IMHO if you can't hear it that way then analog outs are best if the player's quality is there. Quality SACD (2ch or mch) played from a unit with a quality build, DACs, transport, etc. is still sonically superior to all but the very, very, best RBCD. The vast majority of RBCDs are not of that high a quality. Some of the 24 bit Cds out there are closing the gap. In truth though I have a few 16 bit Japan release CDs that are on par with all but the very finest stereo SACDs I have._mykl 
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by David_S » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:03 pm

I do not have iLink capability & cannot comment on it, but I prefer the sound of some of my MCH SACDs played in 2ch mode.  It might be personal taste but it seems that some SACDs have the MCH tracks included just so the 5.1 label can be put on the cover.  You should give them a listen in both 2ch & MCH modes to see which you prefer.

I agree with mykyll2727's statement "The vast majority of RBCDs are not of that high a quality".  The gap in sound quality between a bad RBCD & good RBCD becomes more apparent with every improvement in the audio system.

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by scott1019 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:03 am

When listening to the same source material on both a RBCD and a SACD I can hear no difference with all other things equal.

Only when you have a system in which DSD can be utilized will any of this extra information translate into great fidelity. Even then you are at the mercy of the design constraints of the equipment.

I have yet to hear a SACD that sounds bad, and I agree that most RBCDs sound bad, but there are some that sound every bit as good as a SACD. It all depends on who did the mastering.
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by mhedges » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:27 am


On 2011-02-14 17:32, scott1019 wrote:

Unless the processor being used is able to receive the DSD signal via i.Link or HDMi,  you are still at the mercy of the bandwidth of a standard Toslink.  




I don't want to beat a dead horse but SACD does NOT use Toslink or digital coax.  In fact, virtually all SACD players have no digital output while playing SACD.

If you want real SACD you have to use the players analog outs, or iLink if your player/receiver has it.

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by scott1019 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:07 pm

I didn't mean to be misleading.  What I meant to say is that without a receiver able to utilize DSD via i.Link or HDMi, the rest of the information provided to the receiver is worthless since it will be compressed at the same rate as a signal coming from a Toslink.. .
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by mykyll2727 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:47 pm


On 2011-02-15 17:07, scott1019 wrote:
I didn't mean to be misleading.  What I meant to say is that without a receiver able to utilize DSD via i.Link or HDMi, the rest of the information provided to the receiver is worthless since it will be compressed at the same rate as a signal coming from a Toslink.. .


If I understand you correctly I think I may understand your difficulty differentiateing between the two. If SACD is not being played thru analog outs, iLink (or some version of it), or HDMI then what you're getting played is the CD layer not the SACD layer._mykl
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