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-   -   Is SACD really dead? (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/153-cd-players-dedicated-music-transports/765683-sacd-really-dead.html)

vett93 12-09-2006 11:44 AM

I really enjoy the additional SQ improvement from SACD. I was surprised when I was told that even Sony had stopped funding to SACD. Is this true?

ematcion 12-09-2006 10:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by vett93
I really enjoy the additional SQ improvement from SACD. I was surprised when I was told that even Sony had stopped funding to SACD. Is this true?
As an audiophile format, SACD is too established to die overnight. Given that, it will never achieve mainstream acceptance like CD. If you accept that fact, then SACD is actually doing quite well. Here're some announced developments for SACD in 2007....

-- Telarc has announced 4 new SACD titles for the 1st quarter of 2007
-- Chesky Records will start issuing single-inventory hybrid SACD in latter part of 2007
-- Genesis has announced the band will reissue its catalog of studio albums, except its debut album, on multi-channel hybrid SACD starting in March 2007
-- Sony BMG just announced 2 days ago new SACD releases for its Living Stereo series of classical albums
-- Rickie Lee Jones has announced her next album will be released on multi-channel hybrid SACD

Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" SACD continues to be rumored in development. Following the domestic release of the first 5 Moody Blues SACD by Universal Music, the band's lead singer, Justin Hayward, has mentioned on his website that he will be working to bring more Moody Blues titles to SACD. As for Sony plugging the plug on SACD, its last SACD release, a classical/soundtrack from Danny Elfman, was just released in October. Not to mention that its PlayStation 3 offers SACD playback. Within 2006, equipment manufacturers such as Parasound, NAD, Cambridge Audio and Arcam all have hopped aboard SACD.

Sonic icons 12-10-2006 09:59 PM

In addition to what Ematcion wrote, here are a few links to consider:

http://sa-cd.net/titles
all releases listed on sa-cd.net, can be sorted by date

http://sa-cd.net/reviews/all
4018 user reviews on sa-cd.net, 25% or 1000 within the last year

http://www.cduniverse.com/browsecat....=2703&mode=all
all SACDs available from cduniverse, sorted by best-selling

http://www.cduniverse.com/browsecat....2=221&mode=all
all rock/pop SACDs from cduniverse, sorted by best-selling (yes, there is content available other than classical)

And another point about equipment. I'll be cautious here, but I think 2006 saw the first SACD players that are priced at $500 or less and also provide (some type of) HDMI output of the SACD audio: Oppo 970 and 981, and Sony Playstation 3. Perhaps, SACD players that combine "non high-end" pricing with the perceived ease-of-use of HDMI digital output will attract some new users to the format.

akhter 12-11-2006 03:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by vett93
I really enjoy the additional SQ improvement from SACD. I was surprised when I was told that even Sony had stopped funding to SACD. Is this true?
My experience is a decent CD player ($600-700) plays redbook CD well enough that i can't tell the difference between redbook and SACDs played by similarly priced SACD players. When I found this out, I stoppedd buying SACDs.

I should note that I care about 2ch music. I don't even have a 5.1 setup (currently its 3.1).

DigiPete 12-12-2006 06:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by akhter
My experience is a decent CD player ($600-700) plays redbook CD well enough that i can't tell the difference between redbook and SACDs played by similarly priced SACD players. When I found this out, I stoppedd buying SACDs.

I should note that I care about 2ch music. I don't even have a 5.1 setup (currently its 3.1).

My experience with an $1800 modded source, is that SACD well outshines Redbook with well produced material, listening though a really good headphone rig.

Lesser components can't resolve what SACD is capable of.

thehun 12-12-2006 09:33 PM

SACD is not dead, but on life support mostly from classical and Jazz labels. Vinyl still outsells it and has much broader support form small labels, which it self hasn't been a viable format for decades.That didn't stop hardware makers to support it though, as almost everybody offer one type or another SACD player.

ematcion 12-13-2006 02:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigiPete
My experience with an $1800 modded source, is that SACD well outshines Redbook with well produced material, listening though a really good headphone rig.

Lesser components can't resolve what SACD is capable of.
While less expensive SACD players may not perform as well as their more expensive counterparts, they are very well capable at resolving what's on the SACDs. My headphone system is nothing more than a Sony DVP-NS500V SACD/DVD/CD player and a pair of Grado SR60 headphones, and it show off the sonic beauty available on a well-mastered SACD....such as Steely Dan's "Gaucho".

WestCoastD 12-13-2006 03:44 PM

I'm thinking that, due to the recent [commercial] explosion of Home Theater and related products, that the general public is becoming more knowledgeable, or versed, with the concept of "surround-sound" (DolbyDigital, etc.,...), and, consequently, are [just] beginning to discover, understand, and appreciate, the reality of "multi-channel" music.

With the home entertainment market quickly moving to flat screen TV's combined with audio systems (simple or complex), practically every household will become equipped to play multiple sources of video and music, either via-digital cable TV broadcasts or disc. This will become the home entertainment "standard". More common folks, not just audiophiles, will eventually have much more of an interest in multi-channel music- especially once they experience it within their own house.

The point I'm trying to make here is that once the general population becomes used to viewing flat-screen TV's with "surround-sound", for DVD-movies and digital-cable TV [at home], they will then understand the "beauty", and "coolness", of multi-channel music, moreso. And [i] believe this will spawn a new "surge" of potential business in SACD's, DVD-A's, etc.,..(mark my words).

thehun 12-15-2006 09:12 AM

Quote:
The point I'm trying to make here is that once the general population becomes used to viewing flat-screen TV's with "surround-sound", for DVD-movies and digital-cable TV [at home], they will then understand the "beauty", and "coolness", of multi-channel music, moreso. And [i] believe this will spawn a new "surge" of potential business in SACD's, DVD-A's, etc.,..(mark my words).
I used the same argument years ago when the formats debuted, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm afraid that by the time sizeable segment of the market would show interest, these formats will be long gone.

PULLIAMM 12-15-2006 09:44 AM

I have occasionally considered buying an SACD player. The only reason, though, is that they are alleged to have better DACs that make redbook CDs sound better. Trying one may be the only way to find out if there is any truth to this. Actual SACDs remain few and far between.

VicAjax 12-15-2006 09:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM
I have occasionally considered buying an SACD player. The only reason, though, is that they are alleged to have better DACs that make redbook CDs sound better. Trying one may be the only way to find out if there is any truth to this. Actual SACDs remain few and far between.
i don't know where you heard this, but it doesn't make much sense. if SACD DACs improved redbook playback, you'd see far more hi-end CD players incorporating SACD technology.

WestCoastD 12-15-2006 11:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun
these formats will be long gone.
Also, I think people are like "sheep"........... I believe if Sony were to make a TV commercial featuring some popular celebrity (maybe Paris Hilton for example :D ), sitting in their living room and listening to some cool music (with the camera panning around the room, making notice of the multiple speakers positioned all-around, and also making notice of the large SACD emblem printed on Paris' shirt), then, during a climaxing moment of the music, the camera zooms close into her face, and Paris exclaims: "I just love my Super Audio CD's.", followed by huge "Sony SACD" graphic.............you'd see sales soar the very next day.

Kal Rubinson 12-15-2006 01:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM
I have occasionally considered buying an SACD player. The only reason, though, is that they are alleged to have better DACs that make redbook CDs sound better. Trying one may be the only way to find out if there is any truth to this. Actual SACDs remain few and far between.
Quality is what it is but Redbook uses PCM DACs and SACD uses DSD DACs.

gostan 12-15-2006 05:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Quality is what it is but Redbook uses PCM DACs and SACD uses DSD DACs.
There is the alternative of dropping some $$ on sommething like an Esoteric SA-60 which gives you the option of user selectable pcm digital audio conversion to dsd audio. Pretty nice feature - two channel and sacd dsd ability.

Benefactor 12-16-2006 12:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion
Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" SACD continues to be rumored in development.
By whom?

I haven't heard anything in a very long time...

Blindamood 12-16-2006 01:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD
The point I'm trying to make here is that once the general population becomes used to viewing flat-screen TV's with "surround-sound", for DVD-movies and digital-cable TV [at home], they will then understand the "beauty", and "coolness", of multi-channel music, moreso. And [i] believe this will spawn a new "surge" of potential business in SACD's, DVD-A's, etc.,..(mark my words).
WestCoast, unfortunately I'd have to disagree with this. I work in the software industry, with many high-tech 'gadget' types, many of whom are now moving to the larger flat-screen tvs. I have yet to meet a single person in this environment, or who I have run into in social situations, who even knows what SACD or DVD-Audio is.

I am a huge fan of multi-channel music, and I do my best to pass the word, but no one else seems to get it. One guy I work with just bought a gorgeous 61" Samsung DLP tv, and now wants to get a HTIB system for sound...ugh! Like most, he blew his wad on the set, and has no interest in spending lot more on sound. Sad, really.

KMO 12-16-2006 03:14 PM

But he is getting a HTIB, at least, so he's aware of surround sound. That's progess. And half of Sony's HTIB set-ups include SACD.

WestCoastD 12-16-2006 03:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindamood
I'd have to disagree with this. I have yet to meet a single person ,who I have run into in social situations, who even knows what SACD or DVD-Audio is.
you're mostly correct there.

However this current flat-screen HDTV, home-theater, market is still very new to the [commercial] world, and it is growing and exploding fast. The typical consumer is still unaware of the concept of "multi-channel" music. But they understand "surround-sound".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindamood
One guy I work with just bought a gorgeous 61" Samsung DLP tv, and now wants to get a HTIB system for sound...ugh! Like most, he blew his wad on the set, and has no interest in spending lot more on sound.
that's because they don't understand the advantages of better audio [yet].

The whole point (as I mentioned previously) is that most everyone buying a flat-screen HDTV is also buying some sort of "surround-sound" audio to go with it (whether simple or complex), to have basic surround capability (DolbyDigital, DTS, etc.,..) for, primarily, digital cable TV broadcasts and DVD-movies. This will become the new home entertainment "standard". It was never like this before [at this level]. I'm thinking once they become used to this new "standard" many will naturally venture into other forms of media- ie. "live" concert DVD's, etc.,..bringing them closer to understanding the concept of "multi-channel" music.

I don't expect everyone to suddenly awake and discover SACD and DVD-A, However, I believe one thing will trigger the next thing, which will trigger the next thing. Moreover, I would also think it would take some effort (or money) by Sony (and the like) to put it out to the media. Did you ever see any TV commercials for SACD or DVD-A over these past years? (me neither)...........

ematcion 12-16-2006 07:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benefactor
By whom?

I haven't heard anything in a very long time...
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason recently mentioned about it in a recent interview. I will try to find a link for it.

ematcion 12-16-2006 07:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD
Moreover, I would also think it would take some effort (or money) by Sony (and the like) to put it out to the media. Did you ever see any TV commercials for SACD or DVD-A over these past years? (me neither)...........
Sony once gave away a SACD sampler, which has music from the likes of James Taylor, Pink Floyd, and Bob Dylan, in an issue of Rolling Stones magazine. You can still find that sampler on ebay....for big $$$. As for TV commercials, both of the SACD retrospectives of Herman's Hermits and The Animals mentioned they were SACDs. Both SACD titles are now out-of-print and have been replaced by DSD-remastered CDs.

WestCoastD 12-16-2006 11:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion
As for TV commercials, both of the SACD retrospectives of Herman's Hermits and The Animals mentioned they were SACDs. Both SACD titles are now out-of-print and have been replaced by DSD-remastered CDs.
So you're saying they (Sony) did every media-marketing effort possible, as with any other product, as for SACD? (not even a "spark" as far as I'm concerned)

No-one knows of the term "SACD" because they don't see it on TV for the most part. It's never really transformed from the "audio" world to the commercial world.

ematcion 12-17-2006 02:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD
So you're saying they (Sony) did every media-marketing effort possible, as with any other product, as for SACD? (not even a "spark" as far as I'm concerned)

No-one knows of the term "SACD" because they don't see it on TV for the most part. It's never really transformed from the "audio" world to the commercial world.
I don't think Sony put in "sustained" effort in getting the word out on SACD, but the company didn't just sat on its hands either. Don't know if you remember, but Sony and Universal Music ran multiple full-page ads for several months in magazines such as Sound and Vision (which has a monthly section on surround sound music) as well.

Let's face it, SACD just came out at the wrong time....the rise of downloading effectively killed it, along with DVD-A, as a mainstream music medium. To the average music buyer, it wasn't a technological innovation like the CD....SACD was just an improved CD. If that. Once the mp3 revolution was in full swing, and the arrival of the iPod, the battle was over. Ninety-nine percent of the average music buyer aren't concerned about sound quality, mastering, or even surround sound....they want convenience. I don't even want to go into the other "distractions" such as video games, internet, DVDs, etc. that pull consumers away from hi-rez music.

I am not saying Sony couldn't have done more, but it knows it was a lost cause by the time Sony started releasing its hybrid SACDs. Despite the setback, SACD continues to march on with flag-wavers such as Pentatone, Telarc, Chesky, and many other smaller labels. Even the "majors" haven't completely thrown in the towels yet....both Sony and Universal continue to release SACD titles, although in reduced numbers. Universal Music could've easily not import those Moody Blues SACDs, but I guess the company saw enough talk about them on various audiophile websites to start looking at them in a different light. If you check sa-cd.net's numbers, the monthly average of SACD releases numbered 65 titles. Yes, these titles may not be the ones many of us like (i.e. pop/rock), but someone is certainly buying enough of them to keep the SACD ship afloat. And that can only be good in the long run.

peakrc 12-17-2006 07:18 AM

Just some points to keep in mind about SACD:

-smaller catalogue
-surround is not that important because as being immersed in the sound is more important for video...quantity not quality issue. Multi-channel sound was not a draw in the Seventies with Quadraphonic and it was not necessarily a quality issue. People want their music in front of them.
-SACD stereo can sound like the mastertape but often I hear the engineering effort is misspent on the multi-channel portion
-CD format is portable (on your PC, punted to your MP3 player, backup copies for your car). SACD is such that you cannot upgrade the DAC portion of the player...if it is the weakness. Witness the advancement in CD replay because of external DACs/output stages

afrogt 12-17-2006 07:22 AM

Quote:
Once the mp3 revolution was in full swing, and the arrival of the iPod, the battle was over. Ninety-nine percent of the average music buyer aren't concerned about sound quality, mastering, or even surround sound....they want convenience. I don't even want to go into the other "distractions" such as video games, internet, DVDs, etc. that pull consumers away from hi-rez music.
This is so true! Its all about portability, not high rez sound. Most people under 35 I know don't have stereo systems. They have computers and iPods/MP3 players. They burn CD's from downloaded music and play them in the car stereo. Nobody sits down and just listens to well recorded audio like SACD.

Another thing is having the right player. Does it have adjustable bass management? Does my receiver even do bass management thru the 5.1 analog inputs? What are 5.1 inputs anyway? Its stuff like this that only 1% of the market like AVS cares about.

jvgillow 12-17-2006 07:55 AM

It is all too true, these days listening to music is a passive activity for most people, something to fill the silence when driving to work, browsing the web, working around the house, or playing a video game. I only know maybe 1 other person besides myself who will set aside dedicated time to enjoy an album with little to no other distractions.

Concert DVDs have a better chance of being properly enjoyed, since there is some video to hold the viewer/listener's attention. But as for high-resolution audio, it's always going to have a limited target audience.

WestCoastD 12-17-2006 06:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion
Sony and Universal Music ran multiple full-page ads for several months in magazines such as Sound and Vision (which has a monthly section on surround sound music) as well.
yeah, that is moreso in the "audio" world, not, necessarily, the "commercial" world. It needs to be presented in the TV market, amongst the major demographics to (hopefully) gather the widest audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion
SACD just came out at the wrong time....the rise of downloading effectively killed it, along with DVD-A, as a mainstream music medium. To the average music buyer, it wasn't a technological innovation like the CD....SACD was just an improved CD. If that.
True, "down-loading" affected music sales (CD's, etc.,...) significanty, the record labels (and artists) all felt the pinch. However, it was'nt necessarily the reason for SACD (or DVD-A) failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion
Once the mp3 revolution was in full swing, and the arrival of the iPod, the battle was over. Ninety-nine percent of the average music buyer aren't concerned about sound quality, mastering, or even surround sound....they want convenience. I don't even want to go into the other "distractions" such as video games, internet, DVDs, etc. that pull consumers away from hi-rez music.
It's true, most of the [commercial] consumers are'nt concerned over resolution quality, at all. CD's, and respective compressed formats, are just fine on sound quality- for most. I don't think SACD's or DVD-A's would ever become commercially popular just on their high-resolution merits alone (especially stereo formats), that's not my intent, or emphasis, here.

However, my focus here is more on "surround-sound", or multi-channel music. As far as I'm concerned it's the "surround mix" that makes these music releases intriguing and "cool", or unique, and more dynamic, including- SACD's, DVD-A's, even DolbyDigital and DTS 5.1 releases for that matter. And now that the typical household is becoming equipped with flat-screen HDTV's and surround-sound (simple or complex) most everyone will have the capability to enjoy (5.1) multi-channel sources (DVD-movies and audio).

Look at the popularity of gaming (PlayStation and XBox) using surround-sound audio, it's taken the experience to another level, or "standard", that has become [commercially] popular.

I guarantee you if major labels were to produce new pop artist releases in multi-channel formats (ie. combination of standard resolution stereo format combined with a hi-rez multi-channel version), that were advertised this way on TV, people would jump all over them, mostly, because many more would [now] be capable of playing such a thing in their homes. Moreover, if a label is producing large quantities of unit's (pop-music volume) the cost should be comparable to typical new CD releases ("Dual-Disc" format is sort of doing this, but totally different).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion
SACD continues to march on with flag-wavers such as Pentatone, Telarc, Chesky, and many other smaller labels. Even the "majors" haven't completely thrown in the towels yet....both Sony and Universal continue to release SACD titles.
I'm happy we have these major elements still producing product, however, it has to make its way to the TV media to really get somewhere, other wise it will hover around the same levels for ever................

WestCoastD 12-17-2006 07:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by peakrc
-surround is not that important because as being immersed in the sound is more important for video...quantity not quality issue. Multi-channel sound was not a draw in the Seventies with Quadraphonic and it was not necessarily a quality issue. People want their music in front of them.
multi-channel mixing is just as significant for music as video, I think. It add's a different dynamic to the experience. When done right it's wonderful, a "different" sort of experience from it's respective stereo production (which I appreciate as well).

You can't even consider the 70's Quad product, that was then- this is now. Today's 5.1 mixing capability is way beyond what "quad" was. Also, an actual quad system set-up cost's probably more than a decent system today- capable of producing multiple, high-quality, video and audio formats.

kw3rd 12-20-2006 02:48 PM

sorry to say but we live in the mp3 world. Audiophile quality doesnt mean a thing to the buying public anymore. Why should it? iTunes is the way the market is going and how many sacd singles do they sell?

Besides, just how important is it to hear Britany Spears, Jessica Simpson, or any other pop tart in sacd? The ones who buy those albums are the ones driving the market. And today's record exec's feel no obligation to be the purveyors or guardians of art - unlike the recently late Ahmet Ertugen :(

One other point - are there any sacd car audio systems? That alone ought to make you wonder about its future.

jvgillow 12-20-2006 05:17 PM

I haven't heard of any car SACD systems, but I do know that some luxury cars were sold with DVD-Audio support and 5.1 speaker layouts. Probably had speakers from Bose though :(

Kal Rubinson 12-20-2006 05:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by peakrc
Just some points to keep in mind about SACD:

-smaller catalogue
Granted but it is growing.

Quote:
-surround is not that important because as being immersed in the sound is more important for video...quantity not quality issue. Multi-channel sound was not a draw in the Seventies with Quadraphonic and it was not necessarily a quality issue. People want their music in front of them.
The very best multichannel recordings keep the music in front and benefit from the recreation of the original ambience provided by the surround channels. This results in a more natural reproduction, not in gimmickry.

Quote:
-SACD stereo can sound like the mastertape but often I hear the engineering effort is misspent on the multi-channel portion
You hear? Do you mean that you actually hear a deficit that is the consequence of the existence of multichannel or do you mean that you heard about this from others?

Quote:
-CD format is portable (on your PC, punted to your MP3 player, backup copies for your car). SACD is such that you cannot upgrade the DAC portion of the player...if it is the weakness. Witness the advancement in CD replay because of external DACs/output stages
Ah but the best players now incorporate superb DACs and there's no reason for an external DAC for DSD since the nature of the encoding makes lesser demands on the decoding process. And there are SACD players which accommodate matched external DACs for those at the bleeding edge.

Overall, these may have contributed to the lack of mass market appeal but they are not really deficits of the medium for those with a serious interest in the best quality of music reproduction, we happy few. ;)


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