I'm Getting curious ( SACD )

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Joe Tilley, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

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    Ok I have never been interested in Super Audio but I'm starting to get curious about it & have been tossing the idea around about trying it out. The question I have though is how much different or better is it?
    From the little that I have heard myself I would say its pretty much the same as regular CD other than some offering up to 5.1 ch. But also I have never heard it on anything like I have at home, just smaller systems like Sony's Dream System [​IMG]
    So by comparison if you was to compare the same CD title one being a regular CD & the other a SACD & just to be fair the SACD a 2ch track,how much difference would you notice or if any at all?
    What really has my attion is multi ch being ava but if the sound quality really is that much better I may just be sold on the idea of getting one to try for myself.
     
  2. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    What kind of system would you be playing it on? I have a decent system(PSB Stratus Silvers/Marantz SR700) with a cheaper SACD player and I hear a difference. It is not a huge night and day difference(despite what some here will tell you), but it is an improvement and worth the upgrade. You could always buy a player with a few hybrid SACDs and if you didn't think it was worth it, return the player and keep the discs(since they will play in a regular CD player).
    I think the biggest factor in going SACD, or DVD-A, is the titles. If there are enough discs to keep you happy, it is well worth the upgrade and there are players at all price points, so it is not all that expensive.

    Regards
    KrisM
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe, as I'm sure you can appreciate, the difference between CD and stereo SACD, depends on two basic factors: the quality of your system and the title you are comparing. With respect to the system, the more revealing (transparent) it is, the more noticeable is the difference. With respect to the title, it depends on the mastering on the CD and SACD. If the CD was mastered well, the difference may be somewhat subtle, but there will be a difference.

    On my mid-range systems, I find the difference between CD and stereo SACD to be, on the whole, significant. CDs can sound quite good, but I nearly always find the corresponding SACDs to have a wider soundstage and to sound "deeper".
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Joe, CD has a lower "ceiling" than SACD. SACD sounds better and better than CD as your equipment elevates. IMO, better SACD players are more imporant than better amps and speakers in this regard. Better sources make an existing amp and speakers go a bit farther, me thinks. If you get an SACD player, aim as high as possible. Best wishes!
     
  5. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

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    Sorry I didn't think to list my equipment. Right now I am using a Sony DA 5ES receiver hooked to a Monster HTS 5100 power center. My speakers are all Polk RT55i's for the front, front surrounds, & rear surrounds, & than a CS400i center. I have thought about maybe selling my current speaker set up & going to the LSi series but I am pretty happy with what I have so that is just a thought for now.
    Also I will be going to a separate amp in the future. I'm looking at the Outlaw 770 unless they offer something better before I buy, but that is a when I can afford to so it may be awhile yet for that jump.
    If I do make this journey into SACD it will be something in the Sony ES line also since I'm a die hard Sony fan & I've heard there ES SACD players are pretty nice.
     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    The biggest difference I've found between CD and SACD is kinda hard to explain -- I don't have the technical expertise to put it into words. I'll try...

    On CD, it seems like every instrument is "coated" in something I'll call "CD sound". I can still distinguish between instruments (a guitar can be told apart from a dobro, for example), but it seems that all timbres are slightly homogenized, or given a "CD sheen". Some of that essential acoustic character is missing or covered up.

    On SACD, conversely, particularly for recordings that originate on DSD, there's a trueness of timbre that's simply startling. I used to say, with regard to excellently recorded CDs, that it sounds like "the musicians are in the room with me". I don't think there's a single CD in my collection that I'd say that about today. I've heard the difference. Now, when I listen to something like Alison Krauss+Union Station "Live" on SACD, I can hear what's been missing. There's an immediacy and trueness that sounds almost exactly like "reality".

    The people behind SACD, the Sony/Philips consortium, believe they can fool anyone with DSD (the ol' "is it live or is it [DSD]?"). When they first introduced it to the public, they brought industry reps into sound room where two signals were being piped in: the direct soundboard signal of a band playing live, and the same signal recorded to DSD. Reportedly, no one could tell the difference. Of course, as mentioned upthread, a lot of this will depend on the resolving power of your system, but you don't need super high-end gear to easily hear the difference. My "budget only retailer" system is definitely mid-fi at best: a Sony C555ES SACD/CD player->Outlaw ICBM-1 Bass Manager->Outlaw 1050 receiver->Swans Diva speakers. I can easily hear the difference on my system.

    Although everything I've said is true of two-channel SACDs compared to CDs, I'm also of the opinion that multichannel SACD (or DVD-A) recordings can present a sonic truth that two-channel stereo is utterly incapable of achieving (and no DSP can synthetically create). Specifically, multichannel can recreate the actual impression of the space in which the music was recorded. The rear reflections and reverberations you hear from a two-channel source have little to do with the space of the original recording, and are almost entirely the result of the space of your listening room. The more I hear well-recorded multichannel SACDs (stuff like Alison Krauss+Union Station's "LIVE" or Telarc's recording of Vaughan Williams "A Sea Symphony"), the more impressed I am by the potential of multichannel sound. I'm now convinced that it's as necessary as the higher sampling rates of the two hi-res formats for achieving that ever-elusive "musical truth".

    To put it in very simple terms: SACD has allowed me to rediscover my love for recorded music.
     
  7. Jeremy Tebo

    Jeremy Tebo Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm new to SACD, I've had mine for around 2 weeks now. I'd say it is defnintely worth the extra loot. I just got my 2nd SACD, The Police Greatest Hits SACD, and it sounds great. The multichannel sound is not as obvious as Pink Floyd DSOTM, but still very nice. IMO, it's a significant improvement over CD. I still haven't heard DVD-A.
     
  8. Cliff Olson

    Cliff Olson Stunt Coordinator

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    The biggest difference I've found between SACD and Redbook CDs, is dynamic range. SACDs kill CDs in range, IMO. From the softest sounds to wide open - VERY wide open, SACDs sound more natural and undistorted.
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rich said:

     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe said:

     
  11. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

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    Well thanks for the help guys, I think I may start to look into getting something. I'm trying to get ahold of the Sony rep for my store since I work at CC, & see if there is any way I might be able to get a ES player through them & save a couple of bucks. I don't know if it will do me any good since we don't carry the ES line but ya never know what could happen.
    Keith I remember just about anyone who is a Sony fan as it seams there is not many around. My intension on a player is audio only but its all gonna come down to the WAF & how much I can spend on a player. I hope I can work out a deal with a rep & get something nice.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe, let us know how things go. I hope you land an SACD player soon.
     
  13. Matthew Anker

    Matthew Anker Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,

    I haven't posted here for a while, but I think it's worth saying that the SCD-C222ES seems to be the superior player to the NS999ES. I know the 222ES's very well, and I have both look at the insides of the NS999ES and studied its circuitry. All the NS999ES is, is a DVP-NS755V with a fancier parts in the outputs.

    The NS999ES has a separate video and audio output stage (separate boards), but the audio stage is nothing more than a NJM2114 opamp with a linear power supply feeding it. No special circuitry there. The DACs are mounted on the main board, and are driven by the switching power supply.

    The 222ES has the advantage of a cleaner clock circuit, DACs powered by a linear power supply on a dedicated audio board, and the same NJM2114 opamp standard rather than extolled as a feature .
     
  14. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lewis said:

     
  16. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Lewis,

    amen to that!!!!!!!! I couldn't agree more. It has always been my position that if you hear any really serious difference in components, it will be how they are matched with your speakers. I agree that the speakers will make or break any system. There's a guy on this board spreading stories on how the Marantz 8400 blows away the Denon 2900 for audio, to his ears obviously. Well, having heard both, I think the differences are subtle at best, and I certainly didn't hear the Marantz "blow" away the Denon on a B & W Cdm-1nt system powered by Rotel gear. I just upgraded my speakers from entry-level JBL-26's ($200/pair) to PSB Stratus Mini's ($1,100/pair) and I now like my SCD-C222es even more! I think that I would need a serious upgrade to "blow" away what I already have...and when I hear terms thrown about like "blow away," I expect the differences to be VERY sigificant, not merely subtle. I have been told that for the differences to be anything but subtle, I would have to go to something like a SCD-777es or SCD-1 or something else of that caliber coupled with better speakers.

    Reg
     
  17. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Supporting Actor

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    Joe,
    I have a SCDC-222ES paired with a DA5ES[​IMG]
    One advantage to the Sony pair is when you use both connections (digital for redbook and analog for sacd) the DA5ES automatically goes into the right setting,,, as opposed to my DVD-Audio player in which I have to manually put in analog mode for DVD-Audio listening and then switch to digital mode to watch dvds. To me this is a great feature because being that the 222 is a changer, you can easily mix cd and sacd listening without fumbling for a remote. However, if you use the 222ES dacs, this does not matter.
     
  18. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  19. Lam Nguyen

    Lam Nguyen Stunt Coordinator

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    can someone list some recordings that originate on DSD, I listen to vocal jazz. Is there a way of telling if a disc originate on DSD by looking at the back cover of the cd. Thanks
     
  20. Greg Johnson

    Greg Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    Lam,
    Acoustic Sounds has a great selection of pure DSD SACD's here

    Greg
     

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