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Is Sony Abandoning SACD?


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#1 of 102 MattCPT

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Posted July 09 2006 - 04:48 PM

I know a lot of people have commented on the lack of new SACDs (of interest anyway) and difficulty finding them in stores, but I was surprised by a recent experience.

I live in south Florida and was recently at the mall in Palm Beach Gardens when I noticed a Sony store. Not being a fan of Sony since their hidden rootkit debacle and now with what appears to be a premature release of Blue-Ray (MPEG-2, 25 vs 50 GB discs, etc...) I entered the store with the hopes of seeing a SACD display that finally markets the product to the average consumer. I figured that this was a sure thing since the "Sony Style" store sold only Sony products and would have a self serving interest in marketing SACD.

To my disbelief and extreme disappointment in Sony there was no such thing. They had a computer section, home theater section, clock radios, Mp3s, and a couple areas marketing Blue-Ray, including multiple players and movies. I asked a sales rep. that approached me where the SACD section was and he said "I'm not sure what your looking for... hold on a second" he then located another sales rep. and asked him. The second sales rep. asked "Do you mean an ES receiver?" I said no I mean SACD and then proceeded to explain what SACD was to a SONY SALES PERSON!! He then asked a third person who said "It's not like we carry everything here, Sony has a lot of products".

I agree that Sony has a lot of products but I must say that if Sony doesn't have any signs or SACD software located in their own stores, and their salespeople aren't even educated on the SACD product line then I would consider SACD to be either DEAD or unworthy of even basic marketing to Sony. I can't understand how Sony would have a home theater set-up in their own store and they don't take advantage of the opportunity to excite the public about their own high res surround sound audio products. There is NO EXCUSE!

The lack of support that Sony provides for it's own format has only reinforced my decision to wait for either a winner between HD-DVD and Blue-Ray, or a universal player that also includes SACD and DVD-A capabilities.

I would like to hear from anyone else that has been to other Sony stores to see if they carry SACD there or if Sony has completely turned their back on the format. Just for fun ask for SACD and see if the salespeople know what your talking about.

#2 of 102 Danny Tse

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Posted July 09 2006 - 05:29 PM

A couple of weeks ago, my gf and I were at the Metreon Sony Style store in San Francisco. No SACDs but I did see a couple of SACD-capable players on display. To be honest, I have given up on reps at retail outlets regarding SACD.

Has Sony given up marketing SACD? I'd say yes....those of us who were interested in the format have already committed ourselves to it. For those who are aware of SACD, I doubt any marketing campaign will sway them over.

Has Sony given up on SACD? I'd say no. Until they make a formal announcement otherwise, Sony/BMG will most likely go ahead with the upcoming Living Stereo SACD releases. I don't know about future pop/rock titles though. Maybe Sony should license some of its catalog to companies such as Mobile Fidelity.

All is not lost though. The fact that Universal Music has decided to market 2 of the Moody Blues SACD titles domestically gives us SACD fans a glimmer of hope. Of course, we still have Telarc and Mobile Fidelity releasing SACD titles.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#3 of 102 Rommel_L

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Posted July 10 2006 - 12:46 AM

Just probably here in the US market. SACD isn't really making a huge dent here but it is doing very well in the Asian and European markets, dare I say (almost) a standard for audiophiles and enthusiasts.

#4 of 102 JediFonger

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Posted July 10 2006 - 05:19 AM

rommel, foreign nations seem to adopt formats fairly quickly (except for DVD, VCD&SVCD had too long of a stay, imho)... the problem comes when you try to validate the quality of those releases. just because it's SACD does not automatically mean it's high-resolution. they may have just dumped the stereo 16/44 PCM directly into stereo DSD.

re: popularity. what i'd like to see is format creators offering musicians more incentive to try these formats. i wouldn't mind rap artists (like M&M?) try their hands @ 5.1. how about groups like radiohead? they're like the modern day pink floyd equivalent. etc. there's not enough push on the musicians side. once the musicians latch on (like REM or Elton John) their phenomenal releases will truly make the format.

as with any format, it's ALL about the content.

#5 of 102 Lee Scoggins

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Posted July 10 2006 - 06:10 AM

Sony has announced some new SACD titles recently so I think they are from abandoning the format. Several going on in the pro division as well...

Especially in classical I find there is enough of an audience for many boutique labels to do well. Costs of production should continue to drop.
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#6 of 102 Rommel_L

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Posted July 10 2006 - 09:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by YiFeng
... the problem comes when you try to validate the quality of those releases. just because it's SACD does not automatically mean it's high-resolution. they may have just dumped the stereo 16/44 PCM directly into stereo DSD...
You're right, it all depends on the quality of the source before it was converted to DSD, but DSD itself is high resolution. This is in relation to the good you topic you started (SACD flawed...)

#7 of 102 JediFonger

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Posted July 11 2006 - 01:32 AM

what i'm most interested in... is titles. so far, i've only got 4, 5 titles that interest me. not too much into classical and stuff. i'm more into pop. not much pop on SACD...=(... especially new stuff.

i'd have a hard time imagining somn like the beatles catalog on SACD or when i see stuff like miles davis, elvis, etc. the quality of the content is great... but fidelity of the audio is limited because of the platform they made their recording on NO MATTER how one remasters. that's why i'd like to see NEW material on SACD because with the right tools today, audiophiles can make a FAIR and more accurate assessment of the benefits of high-res audio because the original master will have been recorded at better than 24/192 or 24/96 and thus, when duplicated via SACD or downconverted to CD's 16/44, you would be able to make a fair comparison between the formats =).

#8 of 102 dany

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Posted July 11 2006 - 02:32 AM

I have a Sony player and have 2 SACD's and 10 DVD-A{i use the DTS} and 5 DTS discs. Sony failed with SACD titles except for classical and jazz,neither that i'm into. I'm looking for a universal player now.
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#9 of 102 Lee Scoggins

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Posted July 11 2006 - 03:03 AM

"but fidelity of the audio is limited because of the platform they made their recording on NO MATTER how one remasters."

It's not really a big problem for older works done on analog tape and many sessions did analog and PCM for a while. Analog to DSD transfers sound fabulous!
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#10 of 102 John Garcia

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Posted July 11 2006 - 05:33 AM

They likely don't market it in their stores because the average consumer has no clue about it anyway, just like their sales people don't. Therein lies the problem - a public that isn't on the cutting edge, nor desires the highest resolutions available to them... The reality is, most people probably don't need higher resolution, and that is fine. I am not the general public though Posted Image

I have more SACDs than DVD-As, but that is irrelevant to me. Both have their pros and cons, but both are solid formats if you ask me.
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#11 of 102 Marc Colella

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Posted July 11 2006 - 12:17 PM

Sony hasn't abandoned SACD, but it's hard to say they're supporting it either.

Sony/BMG continue to release RCA Living Stereo discs, but they're only in batches of 10 every 4-6 months?

The boutique labels are really the only ones keeping SACD on life support.

As long as there are a few companies providing SACD playback in their hardware, I'm not too concerned. I would hate to be stuck with a bunch of discs whose SACD layer cant be played just because my player broke and I cant find anything to replace it.

I'll continue to purchase what interests me in the RLS series. Talk about great bang for the buck... at 2 for $20 at HMV how could I resist the great sound quality and performances?

I wish I could get SACDs from other labels at prices like that.

In the meantime I hope someone would be interested in trading some of their SACD for my DVDs (anyone? Posted Image )

#12 of 102 JediFonger

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Posted July 12 2006 - 12:47 AM

where is the cheapest sacd's on the internet?

#13 of 102 Lee Scoggins

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Posted July 12 2006 - 02:18 AM

"where is the cheapest sacd's on the internet?"

Ebay, yourmusic.com, CD Universe. Posted Image Also, I found a very rare OOP SACD from Amazon Marketplace yesterday.

"I'll continue to purchase what interests me in the RLS series. Talk about great bang for the buck... at 2 for $20 at HMV how could I resist the great sound quality and performances?"

I agree and SoundMirror did a clinic of a mastering job on every disc. I'm looking forward to the next series.

There are some Sony SACDs coming out in jazz and classical that are not part of that series.
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#14 of 102 JediFonger

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Posted July 12 2006 - 02:57 AM

yeah, i tried amazon.com. doesn't have all i'm looking for. not enough titles. don't you have to be a member for yourmusic.com?

thanks for CDuniverse.com, it still doesn't have the selections acousticsounds.com does... but it's got Gedo Senki!!! =). v. interesting. it's cheaper too. haven't thought about ebay yet... but will.

#15 of 102 PaulT

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Posted July 12 2006 - 04:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by YiFeng
yeah, i tried amazon.com. doesn't have all i'm looking for. not enough titles. don't you have to be a member for yourmusic.com?
Yes, and live in the US.Posted Image
https://www.yourmusi....ping_locations

I buy SACD / DVDA mostly from eBay, elusivedisc, amazon.(ca), sometimes musicdirect but their shipping to Canada is pricey.

Like others have commented here, I'm also buying a lot of the RCA Living Stereo series. Nice price!
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#16 of 102 Matt Fisher

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Posted July 12 2006 - 05:00 AM

yourmusic.com is a nice place to pick up titles, I think last I checked they had about 50 titles, all at their $5.99 price (unless it was multidisc), their only 'catch' is that you buy 1 title a month, and then you can buy as many as you want otherwise, great deal IMO, I've been with them a year now and have picked up a lot of titles, SACD and CD alike.

#17 of 102 JediFonger

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Posted July 12 2006 - 06:17 AM

reminds me of columbia house =). sorry not into that =(.

anyway, there's like... no titles that i want =(.

#18 of 102 Danny Tse

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Posted July 12 2006 - 08:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Fisher
yourmusic.com is a nice place to pick up titles, I think last I checked they had about 50 titles, all at their $5.99 price (unless it was multidisc), their only 'catch' is that you buy 1 title a month, and then you can buy as many as you want otherwise, great deal IMO, I've been with them a year now and have picked up a lot of titles, SACD and CD alike.

That's not really true. You are charged $5.99/month whether you buy anything. If you have anything in your queue, then the next available title will be shipped to you. Otherwise, you can buy as many CD/SACD as you want for $5.99/disc....plus tax, of course.

BTW, "War of the Worlds" isn't listed as a SACD at yourmusic.com, but it is.

Almost got the SACD of Tangerine Dream's "Rubycon" yesterday off of ebay....until it got too expensive. Posted Image
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#19 of 102 Matt Fisher

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Posted July 13 2006 - 08:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Tse
That's not really true. You are charged $5.99/month whether you buy anything. If you have anything in your queue, then the next available title will be shipped to you. Otherwise, you can buy as many CD/SACD as you want for $5.99/disc....plus tax, of course.

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Right, but you'd have to be pretty dumb to remain a member of the service and not always keep something in your queue. If there's nothing you want, you can cancel at any time, there's no commitments to it, and you can rejoin whenever you want.

#20 of 102 Mark_TS

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Posted July 14 2006 - 08:12 PM

all bets are off on SONY
1. the Blu Ray discs they put are ive read wher underwhelming.
2. A judge in the UK voided the gigantic SONY-Bertlesman Music Group (BMG)
merger. Which means they will bleed money to fight that best used elsewhere.
If they are forced to seperate, the costs of such a move could devastate the company.
3 The PSP3 is said to have such poor chip yelids from IBM (1 in 5 are usable-and they are expensive to make-more $ bleeding from SONY which lost 3% world market share last year.
They are having big money problems, and are wracked by internal upheavals
So, either they will skyrocket in price, due to a very short supply, or they will just be impossible to find.
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