SACD Cost Disparity

Discussion in 'Music' started by John Berggren, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    I'll be upgrading my DVD player this weekend, which will allow me to begin enjoying SACD and DVD-A. I'm a bit confused though, on the costs of various SACD discs.

    I can pick up a Hybrid disc of Pink Floyd DSOTM or Norah Jones for $14. However, for Aimee Mann or Indigo Girls, I'm seeing costs closer to $30. Are these discs technically different? Why the deal on the former 2 (which put them right in line with traditional CDs) and the significant cost on the latter?

    Also, I'm inclined to buy Hybrid SACDs for my high end audio needs, since they will also play in my car. Does anyone out there think DVD-A is a better choice?
     
  2. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I'll use this as an opportunity to re-state Mike Broadman's high-res mantra:

    The choice of format should be based on the music available.

    Check out what's out on the two formats- you'll see very different catalogues. Pick the one that has more music you like.

    For example, I have both, but if I had to choose, I would keep SACD because of its bigger and better jazz and classical selection.

    Unfortunately, there is a wide price disparaty amongst SACDs. The cheapest I've seen is for the Rolling Stones, since they're marketed as regular CDs. I got a couple of those for $11.99. The Mo-Fi SACDs get up to $30.
     
  3. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Mo-Fi?

    My new player will do both DVD-A and SACD, so I might buy a DVD-A if it weren't available on SACD. I may be just as likely to buy a standard CD at that point. I do kind of wish one format would come out as the clear winner so catalogs would increase and prices would decrease.

    My primary 'sight unseen' reason to select SACD is the availability of Hybrid media.
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Mo-Fi = Mobile Fidelity, a company that used to make audiophile records and now is in the SACD market. They make great stuff.

    If you have both formats, than you don't have to choose- just buy the titles you like.
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    A few points to keep in mind about the different pricing on SACDs:

    1. Some SACDs are produced by small labels which have a lower unit volume of discs to spread the total costs over. As a result, their prices may be very high.

    2. A big factor in price can be artist's royaltees which can vary depending on the artist.

    3. DSOTM is less expensive since it is available to wider audience and produced by a major label. knowing that DSOTM will sell in the hundreds of thousands impacts the profit that a label expects and also spreads the fixed costs of production over a bigger base.

    4. Hybrids are usually cheap, especially like the Stones and DSOTM where you can only buy the remasters on the hybrid. This appeals to a wider audience also. There is also a desire on the label's part to keep the price in line with mainstream redbook releases and make up for it on volume. There has been sufficient hybrid capacity added so expect to see more hybrids in the future. IMHO Sony should only do hybrids. The Bob Dylan series from Sony will be hybrid...

    5. MoFi is priced at a premium, but I think they are worth it given the consistently state of the art sonics. In the past, I would not make that claim for every disc but their SACD releases that I have and my friends have is uniformly excellent. The Kinks, Patricia Barber, Blues in Orbit, etc. are some of the best discs in mine and my friends' collections.

    I am not sure why the Indigo Girls was so high - I have seen it consistently priced around $18-20 here in Atlanta. I have found Media Play and Best Buy to offer good prices. Tower tends to be too pricey on hirez but they have a decent selection. In volume, the online retailers are the way to go.
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    John, Mo-Fi = Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. Remember them, the ones who made half-speed mastered LP's and gold CD's? Now, they are making hybrid SACD's mostly. Their only new release that isn't an SACD, it's a plain CD, is John Lennon's IMAGINE tat just came out. They put some care into the albums they release. They may or may not be worth the $ to you...?

    The major labels in SACD are lowering SACD prices...well Sony is dragging it's feet, but the Universal labels ( a bunch!) are all selling in the $13 to $17 range. The rest of the labels are small labels and they may not ever lower their prices? May of them already have. A great many of them wanted $25 a disc a few years ago, some stille do, but several of them have dropped their list to $19.99. i.e.- Chesky, Telarc, DMP...Audio Fidelity's stuff lists for 15.99...I think?

    If SACD gets bigger maybe we'll see labels like Mo-Fi, Groove Note, and Analogue Productions drop their prices down to the $20 or less territory? Maybe not? They're mostly selling artists that aren't on the hit parade and aren't going to sell big numbers, proably? These labels are making a better product by and large. They may have to maintain higher prices?

    There's nothing wrong with how DVD-A sounds. It's on par with SACD IMO. I just don't like the ergonomics and features of the format as much myself. That could be subject to change? They may have a CD side soon?...or come packaged with a CD? We'll see? I buy a few of them just the same....

    Sorry to say, many of the best hybrids cost $20 to $30 a pop. For me, many of them were worth it. Many of the ones I've bought were recorded with DSD recorders or got the meticulous care that Mo-Fi or Steve Hoffman gives... Best wishes disc-hopper![​IMG]
     
  7. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been able to find every SACD I've ever wanted for under $20. I've seen them in stores for as much as $28, but I've always been able to find the exact same title at another store for under $20. The Indigo Girls title you mention is $25 at Circuit City, or at least was last time I paid attention. It was $18 at Best Buy. Still a little expensive, but under $20. You can even get it direct from Sony for $19 (http://www.sonymusicstore.com/store/...sp?merchId=232).

    Maybe it's just the titles I happen to have been interested in, but I've never had to pay more than $20.
     

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