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SACDs/DVD-As becoming rarer than hen's teeth???


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted January 30 2012 - 09:02 AM

Looks like it's getting harder to find places, even on-line, to purchase SACD or DVD-A titles. Some titles of well-known classical works are now running between $100-$300 used on Amazon. Does anyone even produce and sell SACD / DVD-A recordings anymore? I'm not aware of any music-only Blu-rays that use DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD to get lossless, high-quality multichannel audio. I have an HTPC that can bitstream full HDMI 7.1 audio, so I have the "hardware" piece if someone starts selling 7.1 digital downloads. But everything over at HDtracks today is 2-channel stereo, either 44.1/16 or 96/24. Not to mention that downloading ~8GB of data for a high-definition multi-channel album would be a drag... What's one to do if you crave full CD quality audio (or better) in 5.1/7.1? EDIT: Correction to original post. I meant Dolby TrueHD, not Dolby Digital EX.
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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted January 30 2012 - 09:51 AM

Looks like both Naxos and Telarc have stopped producing SACDs; they both stopped around 2006-2007. Likewise for Sony. Anyone producing SACDs at all left?
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#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 30 2012 - 10:46 AM

Sure, they are still being manufactured in Japan, look for SHM-SACD at places like CD Japan. About $50 a pop, but if you want your SACD fix, that's one way to get it. A SACD of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd was released last year. It runs $35 + shipping from Acoustic Sounds. It is quite good. The Immersion Box Sets of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here also have 5.1 mixes of their respective albums on 5.1 Blu-ray (lossless). DSOTM includes the original quad mix in lossless. These sets are over $100 each, though, with a box of junk (marbles? a scarf? who thinks of these things?) But that's all I can think of. I actually went to the used market on Amazon to pick up a copy of Donald Fagen's The Nightfly DVD-A, because I could not find my copy. Of course, my copy will turn up, and I can then sell it back on Amazon and recoup my expenses.

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted January 30 2012 - 10:57 AM

UGH, this is what I'm afraid of. The industry appears to have gone backwards in technology, and SACDs / DVD-As are becoming expensive collectors' items. I used to be able to snag them for $15 a pop just a few years ago. Wish I'd known to buy out the whole store...
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#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted January 30 2012 - 11:26 AM

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs



#6 of 13 OFFLINE   adklz

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Posted January 30 2012 - 11:45 AM

Right off the top of my head I can tell you that SACD's are still being produced by Pentatone, Harmonia Mundi, and Channel Classics, also several orchestras are self producing SACD's. Most notably the London Symphony with their LSO Live label, and also the San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonia and the Concertgebouw . You're right it's not enough and the stuff coming over from Japan is just way too expensive for anyone other than the most devoted/monied collector, but for classical music fans there is a steady stream of new product.

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 30 2012 - 01:36 PM

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs

Foreigner 4! I'm going to dig me some "Urgent" on SACD! I forgot about Mobile Fidelity. These can be had at Amazon for slight discount prices off the MoFi site. Now that you mention them, I just picked up The Band Music from Big Pink.

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted February 08 2012 - 08:28 AM

Just got in a bunch of multi-channel SACDs last night. I made sure to get Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" on 5.1 SACD. Both sounded better than their respective stereo mixes. In particular, with the Dire Straits, I could hear a lot more layered things going on in the multi-channel mix - voices and instruments were separated into a 3-D space. This was quite different from how I remembered this album from the '80s. Most of the other stuff I ordered was classical. In particular, I listened to a Pentatone 4.0 SACD of Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony and the Nutcracker Suite. This recording was originally made in 1974 with intentions to master onto quadraphonic vinyl or tape. The original 4-channel mix was transferred to DSD with a minimum of additional processing. The result was a very realistic-sounding recording, with no gimmickry, that belies its age. I'll definitely be acquiring more of these Pentatone SACDs as budgets permit. Haven't tried any MoFi releases yet. I'm pretty selective if asked to pay $30 a pop for single albums. Since Pentatone bought rights to old Philips quad recordings to issue on SACD, I wonder why there's not a similar effort going on for pop, jazz, and classic rock titles. If the big labels don't see a market in releasing multi-channel SACDs, why don't they license their old quad masters to niche companies and let them sell the SACDs? As it is I'm tempted to acquire some stuff for quad vinyl playback (SQ, QS, and CD-4 decoders) to increase my options. EDIT: Oh, and it looks like all those MoFi SACDs are stereo only, not multichannel. :(
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#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted February 08 2012 - 08:38 AM

There's always Analogue Productions.

Steve Hoffman's recent Nat King Cole SACDs are to die for.  Excellent.


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#10 of 13 OFFLINE   larryKR

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Posted February 08 2012 - 01:51 PM

Two on-line retailers that sell SACD's are musicdirect.com and the already mentioned acousticsounds.com

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted February 08 2012 - 02:32 PM

It seems there are some hi-rez downloads now (like HD Tracks). I end up buying a few SHM-SACDs, a few MoFi's and a few Analogue Production ones a year. I just got a bunch and will have a Dire Straits SHM SACD on the way soon. I have a couple of free samplers of hi-rez downloads and a Paul McCartney and George Harrison download I bought that I play through the Squeezebox Touch connected to my DAC. Sounds excellent.

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted February 09 2012 - 08:19 AM

Phil - Unfortunately, I don't think HDtracks is selling multichannel releases, just high-bit-rate stereo. For my ears and setup, I think multichannel does more for the sound quality than pushing the bit rates above 48/24.
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#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted February 09 2012 - 11:38 AM

Colin, you could be right. I have not looked. I much prefer stereo, although I don't hate multi-channel (I probably prefer 90% of the SACDs and DVD-A's I own in stereo). I actually use an HDMI audio de-embedder to take converter 2-channel SACDs in PCM to my DAC. You may want to look at the AIX record site for downloads - http://www.itrax.com...-Channel-Stereo AIX (itrax) records is owned by Mark Waldrep who really has excellent knowledge of recording (among the best). The AIX sampler on Blu-Ray was distributed with some Oppo players. I have a few DVD-As too.