Some good news for Super Audio fans!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Scoggins, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Friends,
    I have been reading some encouraging words from my favorite high end audio periodicals on the popularity of Super Audio CD. [​IMG]
    In fact, I was so anxious to read the latest issue of The Absolute Sound that I paid $10 to download it (without ads) from their website - www.theabsolutesound.com )...
    Here are some quotes from both this latest issue and this month's issue of Stereophile...
    TAS, Issue 135, CES show coverage
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lee, I hope you are right, but I am skeptical. I'll believe that those other hardware manufacturers are jumping into SACD when I see it. As you may have heard, the Denon DVD-9000 will not play SACDs, as was initially announced. Meanwhile, Sony is still not flooding the market with software.
     
  3. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Interesting reading in Vol.25 No.4 page 37 of Aprils' 2002 Stereophile magazine.

    Sam Tellig ( Sam's Space ) talks to Antony Michaelson of Musical Fidelity about his CD players and why SACD wasn't included. Bottom line....SOFTWARE. Even with 600 titles out. Antony points out that there are 2 million CDs released and most SACDs are reissued Analog CDs. quote, " How many SACD titles are there after nearly three years? A few hundred:the umpteenth release of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue", 20-year old, early-digital recordings from Telarc-- recordings they could likely no longer sell at full price on regular CD.

    Antony also feels that Sony is flooding the market with millions of SACD-capable machines, then force the software makers to produce software. "But that isn't going to work,"he said.

    Another point being that. "A CD can be authored for as little as $500. The cost of authoring a SACD is 20 times higher. Not exactly feasible for a classical recording that might sell no more than 1000 copies".

    Just a few points from the article. Certainly worth a read.

    BTW I have two SACD capable players and under a dozen SACDs.
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Darrel,
    Good points which I also read; we read all the major audio press cover to cover...[​IMG]
    A few things:
    1. CD Authoring costs will certainly come down a bit in time and I think even Sony realizes this cost component must come down to be competitive.
    2. It is arguable that any classical CD is a money-losing venture given the current market economics. Choosing to look solely at the classical category would work against DVD-Audio and SACD.
    3. I agree with the Telarc comment...where the blank is the Spano, ASO Scheherazade already? I know they recorded this is DSD cause it says so on the regular CD...Telarc get your act together!
    4. Sony will likely lead the way with more Classical and Jazz releases concurrent with new titles. I have enjoyed immensely Chris Botti and the Midori Mozart discs that occurred simultaneous with the regular release. They are well recorded and that is my experience with much of the latter part of 2001 and 2002 releases so far.
    5. It still is not half time in this ball game and Sony has accomplished a lot behind the scenes. Let's give them a chance and lobby for more software from the labels.
    6. Life is still good for us Super Audio fans. I spoke with an audiophile friend over the weekend and the word is that the Sonny Rollins Way Out West disc is a new benchmark for great jazz recordings!
    [​IMG]
    Lee
     
  5. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Also, check out the below site and the story from it. I expect a universal player from Linn shortly. They already released SACDs on their record label.
    http://www.highfidelityreview.com/ne...snumber=402660
    High Fidelity Review
    SACD News Story:
    Linn Teams With Sony and ESS Technology
    The Linn ‘Silver Disc Engine’ DVD player will be the first to use ESS Technology’s Vibratto navigation software in a Super Audio CD environment, but the partnership goes beyond the company’s own machines…
    Linn hope to produce for, or license to other manufactures, a core disc playback environment to support, among others, CD-DA, SACD (two-channel and multi-channel), DVD-Video and DVD-Audio. The system uses an audio/video architecture designed by Linn, ESS Technology navigation and MPEG decoders with a transport and Super Audio CD front-end provided by Sony. The intention is to produce an architecture that will “…play any audio disc put into it”.
    Acting as a reference design house for Sony and ESS, Linn will produce two standard solutions for other manufacturers to work with, one mid-market and the other high-end, both of which can be tailored to suit particular needs. Each OEM solution will consist of transport, circuit boards and control software and will become available from mid 2002 onwards.
    More Information: Linn Products Ltd.
     
  6. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Lee,

    Until Sony/Philips get their licensing act together, I suggest that SACD is doomed to long term failure. Their refusal to grant Denon a license to produce a universal player is a huge mistake on their part, and will almost certainly result in Denon's not releasing an SACD player anytime soon.

    Sony sells (at most) 1 in 5 DVD players, which is where the real growth in the market is. Compare that with players from Toshiba, Panasonic, JVC and Denon, which account for about 35-40% of the DVD player market, and all of which are pushing down DVD-A into all but literally the very cheapest of their players.

    Couple this with the fact that there is already a substantial lead in delivered players with DVD-A capability, even though Sony had a 1 year+ head start on DVD-A.

    Further, Sony underwrites a fair amount of the costs for labels to produce SACDs. Even though this is the case, the titles aren't being released in droves.

    Don't get me started on Sony Musics utter disdain for consumers. They (Sony Music) have well over half the SACD titles released, and refuse to deliver them as hybrid media, necessitating the purchase of both CD and SACD discs if you want "universal playback" capability in your home. I bought the argument 18 months ago that insufficient capacity existed for both Sony and other labels to press hybrid discs, I don't buy it now.

    Reading this, you'd think I'm anti-SACD, and I'm not. I am very disappointed with Sony's handling of this format, and am beginning to wonder if both formats are going to be around in another 2-3 years.

    Regards,
     
  7. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    John, when I started to read your posts, I rolled my eyes and expected a pointless bitching rant. But I have to agree with much of it. You're right: why can't they make the discs hybrids? I feel kind of dumb having two copies of CD, one for the road and one for home.

    If other companies are seriously making SACD players, and especially DVD players that play SACD, it will be help. But DVD-A just seems to have an edge with the marketing- more emphasis on surround sound, player compatibility, and more popular titles.

    Ideally, the two will not have to compete. Let SACD continue as an "audiophile" format. If the Universe would be really kind to me, they would release DVD-A titles in SACD.

    I envy you DVD-A folks who get to hear Night At the Opera in high-rez.

    NP: Frank Zappa, You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Volume 3, CD
     
  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  9. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Lee:
    As John pointed out, Denon is no longer in the SACD game, and probably won't be anytime soon because of the fiasco with Sony.
    Mike:
    Why not pick-up a DVD-A player and then you'll have "A Night at the Opera" and other titles that may interest you?There are now some good DVD-A players out there at reasonable prices....of course, there's always the Denon DVD-9000.[​IMG]
    Reg
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  11. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Reggie or John,

    Is that true about Denon? I have been recently reading that a player was forthcoming from Denon in The Absolute Sound (see above quote)...

    Is there a press release or story on this?

    If Sony granted a license to Pioneer for the AX10 or 47A why would it not do so for Denon - it clearly isn't opposed to universal players...

    Let me know. Thanks!

    Lee
     
  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Lee,

    We don't need to read the press material ad nauseum.

    How many players will Linn sell in the overall marketplace at a minimum price of what, say US$4K or US$5K? Maybe more?

    As I said before, don't expect to see a Denon player anytime soon -- they're a bit miffed with Sony/Philips for refusing the license on the 9000/5803.

    Kenwood will have no new introductions before CEDIA, nor will Onkyo. I don't recall Yamaha's CES booth having an SACD player introduction, maybe I'm mistaken.

    What did all these brands I mentioned above have in common though? Hmmmm...... They all sell DVD-A players already.

    Marantz is "already in the game" with both DVD-A and SACD players as is Pioneer.

    So the only interesting part is that Linn will be selling universal players, at a high price. Welcome to the party.

    While Sony's cheapest players with SACD are getting very low in price, so too are the DVD-A players, so no one has an "exclusive" on the low end.

    I'll be happy to discuss the technical merits of both formats with you anytime.

    Regards,
     
  13. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Lee,

    It's in what hasn't been said. The 9000 / 5803 combo was stated as "undergoing licensing negotiations", and the Product Manager for Denon that handles these products has said point blank that Sony/Philips licensing issues could not be resolved.

    You can check out AVS if you want to get more information on this.

    Regards,
     
  14. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    As far as any past problems Denon may or may not have, assuming the below merger consumates, with Marantz already in the ballgame, I would expect to see the two cos. making products and rebadging them to some degree, perhaps with Marantz catering to a slighyly higher market.



    AMSTERDAM/TOKYO – Marantz and Denon will merge operations, maintaining both brands and creating a new holding company called D&M Holdings.



    The announcement was made jointly earlier today by Marantz Japan and its largest shareholder Royal Philips Electronics (49 percent) and Denon Ltd. and its largest shareholder Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. (98 percent) and is expected to close by May.



    D&M Holdings will employ about 1,650 worldwide and will set up its headquarters in Sagamihara City, Japan.



    Under the terms of the agreement, existing Marantz shareholders will receive one share of D&M Holdings for each Marantz share. Existing Denon shareholders will receive 0.4416 shares of D&M Holdings for each Denon share. Ownership of Marantz shareholders will be 30 percent while Denon shareholders will have a 70 percent stake in D&M.



    Philips and Ripplewood will have stakes of 14.7 percent and 68.6 percent in D&M, respectively. D&M will be listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.



    Marantz Japan acquired trademark rights and sales subsidiaries operating in Europe and the United States last May, according to Tatsuo Kabumoto, Marantz’s chairman and CEO, who will become president and CEO of D&M Holdings.



    The two brands will be maintained "as well as their sales and marketing … brand specific product and unique distribution channel," the companies said in a joint statement. Research and development, product, purchasing and financial control activities will be combined as soon as possible to "reinforce their competitive edge and deliver the identified synergies."



    Those synergies are, according to Denon CEO and representative director Mitsushige Sakamoto, "integrating Denon’s digital A/V technology with Marantz’ video and wireless technology. D&M Holdings will secure its position in the home theater market."



    Sakamoto will become president & CEO of Denon when the merger is completed, while Takashi Sato, current president and chief operating officer of Marantz, will become president and CEO of Marantz.
     
  15. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Phil,
    Great post. Since Marantz is on board, maybe Denon is now too. [​IMG]
    John,
    I remain unconvinced if all you have is AVS chatter or anecdotal evidence. Until an official press release comes out, I am going with the TAS reporting.
    By the way, why wouldn't the Sony Linn agreement make it more likely that more DVD players include SACD capability. Its all a matter of economics at the end of the day - supply and demand AND component costs. Maybe the Linn collaboration will yield less expensive solutions that Denon or someone will pass along to the consumer in the form of lower prices.
    Food for thought,
    Lee
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, interesting points about DVD player sales. I remember reading somewhere a couple of years ago that Sony sold the most DVD players in the US. It seems things have changed. Toshiba, Panasonic, and JVC have done a good job getting inexpensive players with loads of features into Best Buy, Circuit City, and other chain stores.

    It is nice to hear that inexpensive DVD-Audio players are selling well. However, without trying to sound like some of our "friends" on Audio Asylum, I doubt that has a lot to do with DVD-Audio. DVD-Audio software is severely limited (new releases are few and far between), and the format is not being promoted very well (like SACD). If you consider the JVC XV-FA95GD seven-disc carousel DVD/DVD-Audio/CD changer that Best Buy sells for $300, I suspect that the vast majority of buyers have chosen it for DVD-Video playback, progressive-scan video output, the novelty of the seven-disc carousel, and MP3 CD playback. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the average consumer thought that DVD-Audio simply referred to playback of audio off of DVDs. If you walk into Best Buy, you won't find a single DVD-Audio disc displayed alongside the players. Circuit City doesn't even sell DVD-Audio discs.

    I know what I said about the sales of DVD-Audio players echo what we read on Audio Asylum, but many people on Audio Asylum have a bias against DVD-Audio. I don't have such a bias. Rather, I am just giving an honest opinion. Let me also add that I don't think Sony is doing nearly enough to ensure the success of SACD. In my opinion, both formats have a long way to go to make any semblance of an impact with the masses.
     
  17. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Keith said:
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, that's great. [​IMG] Unfortunately, I am not surprised. On the one hand, the consortium behind DVD-Audio wanted the new audio format to be associated with the burgeoning DVD-Video format. However, in the process, they assigned the high-resolution audio format a generic name.
     
  19. Steve Meskell

    Steve Meskell Second Unit

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    My question to you guy's is... when do you think a universial player costing under $500(not counting any Apex models) will be availible to the public? My Sony dvd player will be 3 years old soon and I want to upgrade it. I love all of my DTS cd's and the few DVD-A's that I own that have DD 5:1 or DTS mixes....I can only imagine how great it would be hearing "Hi Res" 5:1. And I would buy SACD's in a heartbeat but as they say " The money is tight", so buying a seperate SACD/DVD-A player's is not a option right now.

    Thanks...........
     
  20. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Lee:

    The Denon 9000 is due in THREE WEEKS and there is no mention anywhere on the Denon website of it having SACD compatibility. A few individuals on this forum have already placed pre-orders for this unit and should be receiving them soon.

    Steve:

    The Pioneer Elite 47a can be had for 899.99 from an authorized dealer online. There are no Universal players in the price range you requested (except the lackluster Apex). I do not think you'll see Universal players drop to your price level for a few years, as there are only a few universal players even being produced.

    Reg
     

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