Maybe This is Why SACD Will Ride Into the Sunset?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chu Gai, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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  2. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Chu, this has been debated here I belive.According to our friend Lee, Sony/Philips had a "rebut" on this, but don't ask me where to find it.
    Oh yeah, Stereophile's Atkinson constantly makes a remark how all SACD players have less "resolution" at higher frequencies then CD players,due to the format's[SACD] "handicapp".
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If there's a rebuttal then I've missed it but I'd assume they'd want to bring it to the attention of the authors.
     
  4. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    Me? If so, I don't remember posting that.

    In my opinion, a far more dire threat to the viability of SACD is the insistence of labels like Sony Classical on rehashing mediocre recordings that don't deserve to be on a hi-res format.

    I got burned a few months ago on a Sony release of Carmina Burana that if I had the sense to read the damn liner notes first, I would have noticed was a remaster of a 1963 live recording mastered in mono.

    It sounded like ass.

    Charging $27 for an SACD that sounds like a thrift shop $1.50 vinyl in rough shape is, in my mind, criminal.

    On the other hand, my DVD-A copy of Carmina Burana recorded live in a brand new studio in Berlin, for the B. Philharmonic, and dedicated to DVD-A production is a BLOW-THE-DOORS-OFF recording.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    What I have found so far is that if the redbook is good, the Hires isn't going to sound dramatically better, and it seems the newer the title, the more true that is. I've picked up a few DVD-As and SACDs that sound almost identical to the redbook, which really disappointed me. The formats definitely have the potential to be great, it's just a matter of taking the time to do it right, and as Lee notes, there are some recordings that are just not worth the time to rehash with a lousy "remaster". I've already become very select about what I buy on hires. Neither format is going to revolutionize the market, IMO.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I'm pretty certain Lew was mentioning Lee Scoggins. While neither format will take over or revolutionize the market, it will survive and do well. The few SACD's I've bought so far have been very good. Too bad the cheapo player I bought was a POS. That teaches me to buy cheap...(sub $250 universal player).
     
  7. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm pretty discriminating now, and demo my purchases on our gear before I make a decision on SACD and DVD-A titles. Briefly (and not comprehensively):

    Winners:

    Stan Getz Quartet, Pure Getz

    O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack

    Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out

    Santana, Abraxas

    everything by Al De Meola I've picked up

    Ton Koopman plays Bach Organ Cantatas (DVD-A)

    Losers:

    Carmina Burana, 1963 Chicago Philharmonic

    Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (DVD-A)

    Diana Krall, Look of Love

    The Police, Synchronicity
     
  8. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    To get back on track here, in my opinion the most plausible potential reason for SACD going off the rails will be Sony's arrogance, their reluctance to enter into fair liscence agreements, and their "day late and a dollar short" approach to marketing.

    Speaking as a former Sony corporate drone, and having seen more than a few ostensibly good formats sink out of sight without a trace, I have nearly infinite confidence in Sony's ability to drop the ball. Typically its not because the product sucks (often, its a stellar product/concept), but because they try to get the tail to wag the dog.
     
  9. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    I highly disagree. Sony Classical actually did an excellent job of selecting their very best Epic/Columbia/CBS recordings (in terms of interpretation and performance) by Szell, Walter, Gould, and Bernstein (among others) for SACD. In all cases the SACDs were a noticeable improvement over their redbook counterparts, even in instances when the recordings received excellent remastering for redbook.

    The problem was that these discs were not hybrids, carried a high MSRP of $18.99, and sometimes didn't even contain 60 minutes worth of music.
     
  10. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    hmm sounds like beta? the thing I notice with either format is the music that is available while some very good it is aimed towards audiophiles, audiophiles don't make a format money in the long run. There is little new popular music that's worth cassette tapes let alone hi res sound, then the price of discs is outrageous (people complain about a regular cd being over $10 now more than double that)
     
  11. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    "Correcto Mundo"! I've should have "said" "Lee san".[​IMG]
     
  12. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Sacd is just an attempt to muddy up the waters, so that the transition to DVDA (always makes me smile) is slower. I'm sure they crunched the numbers long ago and they are making money on this *format.
     
  13. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    I do notice that there are very few back-catalog classical recordings being released on DVD-A. Most of the classical recordings I have on DVD-A are very recent (nearly all recorded within the last 5 years) like the Naxos titles (Shostakovich's Jazz Suite, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky suite) and the New Wagner Overtures and Preludes from ARTS which sounds dynamically better than anything I've heard in either of the formats. The AIX classical recordings are all excellent. All of these newer DVD-A recordings are dynamically beyond reproach imho (especially in multi-channel), even when some of them are only 48khz like the Naxos titles listed above. There are a few DVD-A's that were recorded in the 70's such as Andre Previn's Holst/Planets DVD-A which is also outstanding for an older recording. Selecting titles with good masters will definitely benefit the formats, but realistically speaking, I would NEVER expect a vintage recording to dynamically exceed a new recording employing todays best technology.


    Reg
     
  14. Chris_C

    Chris_C Agent

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    This topic has already been been covered before. A search at HTF's music forum or at audio asylum would be enlightning if this is a new subject to you. Besides a three year old paper..... oh well I digress.
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not to get us off topic too much, but, Lee, do you see similar pitfalls re Sony's pitbull-like approach to Blu-ray — that is, swimming against the waters of the DVD Forum?
     
  16. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Chris,

    Newer papers, including at least one from the March issue of the Journal of the AES exist.

    THings haven't changed any, DSD is still flawed, and is immensely complex to process, if it can be processed at all. I have doubts that any of the devices that "process" DSD are operating on a one-bit stream.

    As more and more products incorporate EQ / Room Correction, the usefulness of DSD diminishes since none of these solutions will work when the input is a DSD stream.

    Cheers,
     
  17. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack, I have to admit that I've been focusing on other things lately, so I have only given the Blu-ray fracas a cursory examination when it pops up on the weekly email newletters I get from Twice, MarketNews, etc. If you post a couple of links, I'll bone up and work on having an intelligent opinion.
     
  18. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I don't have it bookmarked, but a search of James Angus should yield some information about one of the rebuttals to the paper Chu mentioned.

    Interestingly, the next year after that paper was published, one of the authors, Vanderkooy, went to work for Philips. I can't remember exactly what he said when he was pressed about the paper, but I remember him doing the old Dutch two-step around the issue.[​IMG]

    My own opinion is that both DVD-A and SACD can be very good and I enjoy them both, but I find it curious that Sony developed DSD-Wide. Was it because they needed multi-bit if DSD was to be widely adopted by the pros because of better compatibility with existing equipment or did even they realize there might be problems with 1 bit implementations?

    DJ
     

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