Originally Posted by ccotenj
unless the mix is different, no "difference"...
i'm a relatively avid sacd buyer... mix and/or mch is really the only "difference" vs. redbook...
Wow, something must be wrong with your setup. The difference between a competent redbook versus SACD are night and day. Redbook being night, SACD being day.
Try a few of the titles I listed above. If you hear no improvement over redbook, something's wrong.
I have never been satisfied with redbook, even before SACD or DVD-A were invented. Redbook does not sound natural, it is harsh and artificial in reproducing accoustic instruments. Over the years, the technology improved but until high resolution audio became available, nothing sounded as natural (albeit with other problems, like surface friction noise & pops), as vinyl LPs and only live sounded live.
Only when I first heard SACD's DSD did I find that a digital format sounded analog. One of my first SACDs was the accoustic guitars of Al Di Meola, John McClaughlin, Paco DeLucia on their "Friday Night in San Francisco" SACD. It sounded like the guitars were being played in my room. Not just the notes that redbook captures, but the sound of the fingers on the string, the soundstage fidelity, the overtones and voice of the wood of the guitar, all that go into the value of using a quality musical instrument. It was a revelation - finally, there was a digital reproduction of an accoustic performance that sounded indistinguishable to me from hearing the music live, in person, close up.
If better-mastered SACDs don't do that for you, try changing something in your system, because you are missing out. Even old re-releases sound improved, up to the limit of the quality of surviving original masters. A worthwhile set in this vein are the recent re-releases of the early Doobie Brothers albums. I also like the DSD version of the re-released ELP Brain Salad Surgery, and countless classical music titles. While the re-release don't reach the level of the two Al Di Meola SACDs I listed above, or other DSD-recorded more recent releases, the DSD re-releases are audible improvements over the redbook.
It was only since the high-resolution formats became available, including DSD, that I have considered any digital format preferrable over vinyl. Not only do well-done SACDs sound analog, they lack the annoyances of wear-and-tear that vinyl is plagued by.
My equipment is modest but here is what works to bring out "the difference" for me:
SACD player: Oppo BDP 95, using the analog outs for stereo SACD tracks or DSD-over-HDMI for multi-channel. (This replaced the excellent Sony SCD-555ES using 5.1 analog-outs - used heavily until the Sony's 5-disk tray mechanism died)
Receiver: Yamaha RX-A3000
SpeakerLab 3 fronts, Polk Audio rears
(for Vinyl: Pro-Ject turntable w/Blue Point cartridge)
My rear speakers could benefit from an upgrade, but even with this modest system, the "difference" improving over redbook sound is not subtle. I hope you can find a way to hear the detail and analog quality of the high-resolution formats including DSD, for if you love music then this raises the satisfaction of listening to a new level that redbook has never reached.