I own only a very small number of SACD's, as my preference is for DVD Audio (and might now be changing to Blu-ray Audio, as some companies, including Naxos, are begining to produce 88.2k and 96k material on blul-ray audio-only discs), but all of my (small number of) SACD discs have either a very muted, or no, centre channel.
I would be interested to hear what a tech-savvy person would have to say about the value of buying modern remasters of material recorded prior to the advent of technology which enabled hi-def recording, mixing, mastering and playback. You cannot get more fidelity out of an old master by remastering with 96k equipment. The most you could do is restore these original older recordings to their original (less than hi-def) best.
Mark Waldrep (of AIX Records) has frequently "gone to war" in print over "fake" DVD-A recordings which are "fake" because they offer no better sound quality than the originally produced CDs because they were not recorded at hi-def in the first place:
I have probably really stirred the hornets nest now (and I don't even have a dragon tattoo!).
Would be interested to learn when hi-def capable equipment emerged, and first started being used, if any audio engineering historian out there knows??
Just for the record, for my own purposes I use the term hi-def for audio as anything that was originally recorded, mastered and produced at the consumer stage with 24-bit 88.2k sampling rate as a minimum start (or the DSD version, which as I understand is only 1-bit, but at a sampling rate in the mhz rather than khz range.
Over to you guys!!
(later edit): when I said "about the value of buying modern remasters of material recorded prior to the advent of technology which enabled hi-def recording, mixing, mastering and playback" I was not suggesting that earlier recorded material was not worth chasing - a world without Satchmo etc would be a sad world. But what I was referring to was an expectation that putting older recordings into a hi-def package would give you real hi-def where there was none to begin with.Edited by madaudio - 10/3/12 at 6:59pm