Howdy! I'm looking into buying a new DVD player (the NS500v is coming to mind). And my question is: is SACD really worth the extra money (i.e. sound quality? wide acceptance?)? I'm a college student that listens to Trance/Rock/Dance music, so are there any SACDs that are out in those genres? Because I look around and really so no support for SACD... Thanks!!
Joined: Jun 08, 2002
From: sacramento, calif.
Posted: 2002-08-09 03:39
I bought an ES-333 SACD about 6 months ago and listen to it a lot.
SACDs are excellent, regardless of the type of music (jazz, rock, folk, classical, new age, musicals) but what I really like about this particular Sony player is that all my regular CDs are better sounding than ever, too.
Based on my listening experience, there is more difference between a basic CD player and a really good one, than there is between CD and SACD. That said, I try to get SACDs whenever they are available. Most of what I buy is "only" available in regular CD. I don't lose any sleep over that, but I do enjoy the SACDs I find! And, because of the obvious difference in sound quality, I would never buy a CD if SACD is available in the same title.
+ Backwards compatible with CD's
+ Hybrid SACD/CD format
+ Sony, Philips, Pioneer, Denon, Pioneer, & Marantz thus far
- Analog out only [2/5.1 input required]
+ Compatible with all DVD players with built in DTS
+ Digital out
- Cannot be played on regular CD players
- Analog out only
- Only new DVD players with DVD-A feature can play these discs
All formats can sound amazing but keep in mind that it can also sound worse than their CD counterpart. It all comes down to how well they were mastered so purchase your music wisely. Currently, I own a C555ES 5-disc changer which supports 5.1 out for multi-channel SACD. I've only heard the promo SACD's that came with the unit and they sound really vibrant and open [Like vinyl ]. As if you are at a live performance. Again, not all SACD's will sound this nice as it depends on how well they are mastered.
Fixed = ) I left Sony last only because I had to think to remember the others.
[ This message was edited by: mofoed on 2002-09-11 13:25 ]
I had basically stopped listening to most cd's simply because I'm tired of how sterile they sound. I have some gold cd's that I like, but that's about it.
With DSD/SACD, even NORMAL cd's have better sound quality, and less digital harshness than non-dsd cd's, IMO.
The difference is subtle at first, but you start noticing it soon...
I think the Elvis box set "Close - up" is dsd I'm not sure, but it sounds AWESOME. That's a normal, not gold, cd. It was done by Sony studios in NY.
YES invest in an SACD player, man. I would have been more reluctant 6 months ago, but I believe now that SACD has pulled away from dvd-a. A good thing, IMO.
I have about 5 dsd cd's/sacd's and I love all of them.
I hadn't heard that Pioneer and Denon were now supporting SACD. What does that mean in real world terms? More dvd-a/sacd players?
We need more substantial releases!
The players can come later...
No one will buy expensive players before they have the software. First the cd/sacd, then move on to the player to unlock true sacd sound. I think that's how it will work.
I'm also curious as to Emi's buy-out of Warner music. What THAT means for Warner's staunch dvd-a support.
We really need Warner's catalog on SACD.
That combo with Universal would be fantastic.
Is it true that Universal europe is backing JUST sacd now? And no dvd-a?
In my waaaaaaaaaaay limited experience so far I'd have to agree with Maxx. It seems if the masters for whatever music it is were made to just meet the limits of redbook then remastering and putting them out in SACD doesn't give you much of anything.
If the engineer, past or present, was shooting for something better than that then a well mastered sacd ... in a system that can take advantage of it .... is scary.
One odd thing I've noticed since I've been on the upgrade frenzy recently. When I added the scd-777es to the old version of the system the difference between sacd and redbook was huuuuuuge. Now that my pre/pro and amp are much better for two channel sacd is better but cd has improved by a greater margin ... narrowed the gap a bit.
Some recordings are in DSD, VERY few though to this point.
The problem is in the editing area, to edit, most engineers have to go back into the pcm arena like protools. That eliminates the "100% DSD" sound.
It is certainly true that Pure DSD is superior to any other kind of sacd IN THEORY, but again, you COULD have a analog recording or even (cough) pcm recording done very well, and sounding better than a poorly done DSD recording; unlikely, but possible.
But really, when it comes to re-issues, "pure dsd" is of course not an option.
Cd's re-mastered using dsd sound better to me than the same cd material done without dsd.
I have the same exact album re-mastered with dsd and without, and the dsd version sounds better. They were done within a couple years of each other. So I doubt that the 100% pcm version was that much inferior.
DSD is a fantastic thing for music, IMO.
Pure DSD or not.
Some critics say if you introduce pcm along the way in a dsd remaster session, (i.e. editing, EQ) the benefit of dsd remastering goes away, NONSENSE.
It would be great if every sacd was done purely DSD, but don't think that if it's not pure dsd it's going to sound bad. It's not. My dsd cd's sound great, and pcm is being used, but the dsd is what makes it sound better than normal.
As far, as the master tape being "limited" for the cd audio redbook, no way. In my limited studio experience, cd audio is the lowest way to hear digital audio.
When you have a professional quality master tape, you lose much of the richness of the master tape sound using cd. It simply goes away. Most people don't know or care about that. Music on tape can sound SO much better than we're normally used to, cd's just are not able to bring it out using current standard techniques.
The studio sound is waiting come out, and sacd can bring it out more than cd does.
It's funny, When Keith Richards heard the new Stones sacd re-releases, he was amazed by what he heard. There was sound, and detail which he had not heard before! The sacd brought it out.
So master tape has more sound, and detail than cd can bring out, people have just never really heard it all. Sacd is changing that.
Wasn't saying that old masters were necessarily limited ... just depends on the engineer/circumstances. I guess also if the folks mastering the sacd know what they're doing/give a damn. Analog masters obbbbbbbviously have the physical capacity to exceed redbook and take advantage of sacd but if you send a crappy signal to the best recording equipment in the world you're only going to get a great recording of a crappy signal.
Only brick and mortar place you can buy sacd's locally around here is circuit city and the selection is tiny so I ended up getting a Stevie Ray redo on sacd and it might as well have been on cassette.
[ This message was edited by: octong on 2003-10-05 00:25 ]
Joined: Aug 23, 2002
From: Houston, TX
Posted: 2003-10-05 00:27
Instead of arguing about on theory, how about some actual experience?
Of my collection of about 60 SACDs, I find that generally, old analog recordings can be as good as new DSD ones, if they are recorded well to start with, and are well preserved, and/or remixed properly.
On the other hand, the worse sounding ones are usually mid-80's to early 90's digital recordings. These are probably recorded in 16/44.1 or 16/48 and there's not much one can do to "fix" them.
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