RCA Living Stereo SACDs--a bit too revealing?

Discussion in 'Music' started by PaulDA, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I bought a stack of these in Paris and just got home day before yesterday. Popped three of them in the system today and played them through. The performances are wonderful, can't fault them (was not familiar with these particular discs until the news about them a few months ago). I did notice some hissing that I haven't noticed until now with any other SACDs in my collection. I know these tapes are half a century old but I guess all the hype surrounding these releases made me think the background tape hiss would be less than what I've heard. Am I being too unrealistic? I wouldn't trade them (got a great deal) but to someone who's listened to them on vinyl or CD, do these represent a serious step up in sound quality? Just curious from an historical perspective.
     
  2. James David Walley

    James David Walley Stunt Coordinator

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    A serious step up from CD. A very large contingent of audiophiles are analog buffs who still claim that LPs sound better than any digital disc format.

    For my part, I have the LPs of a couple of these SACDs, and I think the new discs sound as good if not better than the vinyl incarnations.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I've listened to them again and discovered the problem. I had put a couple in and listened from another room (playing with my three year old daughter) and when I went back into the room with the gear, during a quiet passage I'd hear a slight hiss. Probably shouldn't run my receiver at -5dB (reference calibrated) for critical listening. At my normal -20 to -25 dB, everything sounds wonderful. Hiss is no longer audible from the seating position.
     
  4. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i bought "the russians" one yesterday (pictures at an exhibition) and am impressed with the quality for such an old recording.
     
  5. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    No disrespect to my LP loyalist friends, but I've NEVER had an LP give me an immersive experience like a well engineerd SACD or DVD-A. [​IMG]
     
  6. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    There's going to be some tape hiss. It's not an issue and it's never distracting. If you want to hear some tape hiss, buy the Philadelphia Orchestra's 1960 recording of "Carmina Burana". It's a very good performance, but you'll be wondering what ocean it was recorded next to. Regarding the Living Stereo discs, I've never heard anything on my stereo sound as good as the "Daphnis et Chloe" disc. It is absolutely stunning!

    I can't wait to get the next 10 discs. CDUniverse has them available for pre-order right now for $8.39 each!
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Actually, I've been listening to these a lot lately, and while the hiss is sometimes audible (but barely at the volumes I normally listen), oddly enough, I find it adds to the experience--in a purely subjective way, of course. It gives me the feeling (when I close my eyes so as to not see all the modern gear staring at me) of listening to the music back when it came out. Silly, I know, but I get that feeling from some jazz and big band recordings I own that also have some tape hiss. My initial disappointment (that's actually too strong a word) came not from the sound of the recording itself, but the hype surrounding these releases. But I have no qualms with any of it now, these are the discs in heaviest rotation in my system at the moment (and I have plenty of other stuff to choose from).
     
  8. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    I've so far only bought the Rubinstein Chopin. I was very impressed. It's the best piano recording I've ever heard. The music and performance are wonderful, too. I didn't hear any hiss, either, but I also listen at moderate volume and haven't heard this one w/ headphones yet.

    About this whole nostalgia for hiss - maybe Sony could revise the SACD specs to include some hiss, pop, and crackle. That way we'd all be able to pretend we're listening to the old LPs! [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Doug
     
  9. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    LOL!!

    Of course, we could then run the sound through a small, tube-amped mono speaker to recreate those old radio broadcast quality sonics. Sit in an old leather wingback chair by the fire, sipping a single-malt whisky. Hey, this is sounding pretty good. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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