As much as I want to LOVE SACD, I must admit one thing:Quality is nothing short of...

Discussion in 'Music' started by Javier_Huerta, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    absolutely uneven on these "first" (ahem; for me) releases.

    Let's see what I got.

    Pink Floyd - DSOTM: Heck, I bought my player just to listen to this one single album, so I really don't care if everything else released on SACD sucks. [​IMG]

    Orff - Carmina Burana: This one made my day. Even my (semi-deaf) dad thought it was the best recording he had ever heard in his life, period. It sounds so amazingly real, it's my new reference disc.

    Toto IV: Here it all starts going downhill. What was the mastering guy thinking? All he had to do was take the MoFi UltraDisc II and use it as a reference. The sound is so shrill and bright it even sounds a bit worse than the standard CD! (IMHO).

    The Police 25th Anniversary Remasters: OMG. What were these people thinking? I compared them to the Message in a Box set. The SACDs sound tinny, shrill, bright, with excessive ammounts of treble and weird (bloated, perhaps?) bass. My girlfriend (who is nothing of an audiophile herself) detected immediately that something was wrong with the SACD. I thought she was bluffing, until she told me "this disc (the SACD) sounds so tiny... as if Sting had a little kid's voice". Yep. the Message in a Box remaster, done 10 years ago, sounds better than these SACDs.

    So, what's going on in here? Do you think engineers must first get the hang of how to master / re-master stuff in SACD? Will someone tell us someday that the problem was something like the jitter issue on early CDs? Or do people simply are mastering SACDs with lots of treble so people will think they really sound different than normal CDs?

    Ack.... I wanted the Police masters to sound so good. [​IMG]
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Javier, what do you play these discs on? Players vary considerably. I'd point out that most of the Police's career wasn't particularly well recorded till close to the end. I'd also point out that, IMO, Universal labels are consistently releasing weaker discs than other labels. I'm gonna buy something on one of their jazz labels in the not too distant future and find out if they do atleast a little better there. Be suspicious of Universal releases, based on what they've done so far.

    Here's some really good sounding discs to try:

    Alison Krauss NEW FAVORITE hybrid/M/C
    Joe Satriani STRANGE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC M/C
    Rolling Stones LET IT BLEED hybrid stereo
    The Zombies Greatest Hits hybrid stereo
    Monty Alexander MONTY MEETS SLY & ROBBIE hybrid M/C
    Junior Wells COME ON IN THIS HOUSE hybrid M/C
    Jorma Kaukonen BLUE COUNTRY HEART M/C
    Anthony Wilson Trio - OUR GANG hybrid stereo
    James Taylor...pick your fav

    See what your player can do with these.... Best wishes![​IMG]
     
  3. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Hey Rachel! You might not remember me, but I still want to thank you for your *excellent* LD player recommendations. [​IMG]

    I'm playing them on a Sony DVP-NS900V player (I got it for half price, since, apparently, a new model is coming soon). I researched a lot before getting it, since I was about to buy the $249 Sony (I think it's the 777). Apparently, its one of the best mid-fi players (or so I've been told).

    I use a Pioneer THX amplifier, and Definitive Technology speakers all around.

    The thing that bothers me about the SACD releases, though, is that a well mastered CD can sometimes beat them. That's not fair. I spent a lot of money on SACD, and I want it to shine! OTOH, after listening to what a good SACD sounds like (the Telarc Carmina Burana disc - it's an AMAZING disc) I don't think I'll ever go back to CD (software permitting, of course).
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Are you using bass management? If so it's probably converting the analog signal to PCM then back to analog. That could degrade the sound on SACD. Meanwhile, CDs are being bass managed based on the original PCM.

    I have very few SACDs but they all sound wonderful on my system.
     
  5. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Javier, It's not your system. It's like anything else, some recordings just sound better or worse than others. For example the two channel "kind of blue" by Miles Davis is mediocre to say the least, but then I'll throw in James Taylor or the Rolling Stones and it's a whole new ballgame [​IMG]
     
  6. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Phillip: No, the Pioneer (can't remember the model) can't do bass management on the analogue inputs (thank God!). Besides, a couple of my SACDs sound simply out of this world to me, so it's a software thing, like Anthony said.
     
  7. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Javier,
    Philip meant the Sony player,which probaly do "downconvert" to PCM from DSD.
    Didn't you have Martin Logan speakers?
    Did you dumped those for the Def Techs?
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Javier, si, I remember. I'm glad I could be of help on the LD scene. That's my bag baby! I haven't heard the 900 but it has a good reputation. Did you look at the 775 audio only 5-disc changer perhaps? The XA777 is the really nice ES single-disc, audio only player. You'd like it! I haven't heard that Carmina Burana disc but I have a bunch of Telarc discs and it's a label that never disappoints me. A couple of the discs I recommended to you are by Telarc.

    I also hope SACD hangs on as a format. I'm getting while the getting is good, as far as discs go. SACD is a great format but I even question Sony's commitment to their own bleeding format. Their hardware suppourt has lessened and they refuse to give the people the hybrid discs they want. I've come to suspect Sony might be more intrested in the industrial DSD market than the consumer end. I, too, hope the format lasts and gets even better. It's hard to have confidence with Sony leading the way. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  9. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    My experience has been somewhat different with the Police SACD's. I find they sound significantly better than the "Message in a Box" collection from ten years ago. I don't think these albums were well recorded in the first place, so I would not expect stunning fidelity on any format just better refinement - which the SACD's do accomplish imho (even though they are far from reference quality). I have a Sony SCD-C222es. The only two Police titles I don't have yet are "Regatta De Blanc" and "Outlandos D' Amour."

    -Reg
     
  10. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Lewis: I wouldn't get rid of my ML's for *anything*. [​IMG] Those things have become practically part of my life as no other piece of equipment has. But they are part of my 2 channel system - my 6.1 system is based on Definitive Technology speakers. Not even close to the ML's, but they do have a very dynamic sound to them.

    Rachel - I share your opinion completely. I'm a bit worried about Sony's SACD strategy around here - they sold the players at a premium last year, they pushed the software, then they stopped the marketing, started selling the players at a discount, and stopped selling the software (they sold SACDs at Sony Stores around here for a while). I like Sony a lot, and I wouldn't like SACD to end up like Beta did a couple of years ago, but I'm the only person I know around here who has bought a SACD.
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Javier, have you put your SACD player on the stereo? I wouldn't be half as intrested in SACD if it wasn't such a terrific stereo source. Recuredos de la Gata!
     
  12. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    I was under the impression SACD wasn't doing too badly....but then again, I have noticed a significant lack
    of new hardware supporting it. I figured Sony would try and get it into its lower-end machines ASAP, but I'm not seeing it happen. Well, crap, I am gonna be buying a new player soon, and I was tempted to delve into either DVD-A or SACD. SACD was winning out, mainly based on the idea that vintage Aerosmith would be arriving somewhat soon...now I'm wondering if I should go the cheaper, DVD-A route, especially with the new R.E.M. titles announced. When it was first announced, I figured SACD would be another Mini-disc fiasco in terms of sales of pre-recorded software...maybe I was right.
     
  13. Hartwig Hanser

    Hartwig Hanser Second Unit

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    Hi,

    which Carmina Burana do you have? The new Telarc with Runnicles?
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Nick, hedge your bet and get a universal player. SACD is doing better than DVD-A but neither format is an overnight success, obviously. Aerosmith has 2 SACD releases, a Greatest Hits Package and JUST PUSH PLAY. Right now the title selection is way better with SACD. Next year, who knows? Personally, I like the 2 or 3 way play of SACD, hybrid M/C discs play three ways. Best wishes!
     
  15. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I'm still not sold on any of the universal players. Cable rat-nest aside, I think you can still do much better buying two separate components for the same money (SACD/CD and DVD-V/DVD-A). Too many compromises when they try to stuff it all in a single box, and the price-tag for this supposed "convenience" remains too high. Instead of spending a $1000 for a universal player, I bet you'd get superior audio/video/etc by purchasing a Sony C222ES for SACD/CD and a Denon 1600 for DVD-V/DVD-A (to name just a couple fine, budget players).
     
  16. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    Not that it means anything, I noticed in J&R's catalog last year they had 3-4 SACD players. Now in this years, I only see 1. (Not counting the Dream Theater sets).
     
  17. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  18. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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  19. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    Lee, you weren't aware of it, but I owe you a big thanks. My wife and I have lived near Salina for almost a year now, and I had never heard of Acoustic Sounds up until your last post. I thought you were joking at first, as Salina is your average bland Kansas large town, but after doing some searching on Google, looks like I'll have to check them out.
    Talk about not knowing about something cool that was right under your own nose.....yeesh!
     
  20. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    I almost forgot - yesterday, I took out my Toto IV album and was about to compare the SBM, MoFi and SACD versions of the disc, when I noticed about the liner notes of the SACD...

    They are THE SAME LINER NOTES AS IN THE CD!

    They are so much the same, in fact, that the front cover of my SACD reads "Compact Disc Digital Audio", and has the ubiquitous CD logo. Which is funny, since the album is not even a hybrid.

    I guess Sony has found more than a couple of ways to save a couple of cents on their SACD's. [​IMG]

    And I forgot to compare all versions, too!
     

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