The sonics on Universal SACD's thus far.....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ReggieW, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    ....have not been top notch. I have bought three so far. The ET Soundtrack, Quincy Jones the ultimate collection, and Beethoven's 9th by Karajan. I also have the Coltrane A Love Supreme which is an Impulse disc distributed by Universal - I've yet to listen to it. Soncially, the ET disc is very good, but the other two are disappointing. In fact, the Quincy Jones disc is the worst SACD I've heard to date with the Warner/Rhino redbook CD bettering it when played through my modest Denon DVD-1600 via analog to my Denon 1802. Jones' lively 'Razzamatazz' had more life on the redbook than it did on the SACD. For some reason, the Quincy Jones disc also had to be turned up to reference volume level when listening through my Senn 590's to get a respectable/slightly loud volume level. My Denon 1802 volume setting was at 02, and I normally can play my discs at -08 and get good pretty loud volume. I will likely wait to read reviews before picking up anymore Universal titles. I am really looking forward to The Police next year, but sure hope the sound quality is up to par like the ET soundtrack.

    Reg
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, I have read mixed reviews of the Universal SACDs thus far. It seems that the Diana Krall SACDs are getting good reviews everywhere, but others are not. I've read mixed reviews on the Ella and Louis, Getz/Gilberto, and Muddy Waters Folk Singer SACDs, for example. I have the Getz/Gilberto SACD and am very pleased with the sound. However, I don't have it on CD yet for comparison. The SACD is a single-layer disc, but I plan on getting the Impulse CD ("Desert Island Disc"). The album was also released on a gold CD by MFSL some years back, and I wonder how that one compares to the SACD. In any event, I feel this SACD is a winner.

    I am really interested in getting the Folk Singer SACD. As I said, it has gotten mixed reviews. This title is available as a DAD as well as an MFSL gold CD, and some reviews I have read favor these discs over the SACD. I find that hard to believe, and I will get the SACD since it is considerably cheaper than the other two discs.

    The next Universal SACDs I plan on buying are the Krall and Coltrane discs. Please post a review of A Love Supreme when you get a chance. Do you have the CD for comparison?

    Thanks for posting your thoughts on your Universal SACDs. Much appreciated.
     
  3. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    If I may offer up my opinion - I think that the fact many people are indicating negative reviews for the Universal SACDs is because many of them tend to sound a bit bright.

    Even so, I have found the titles I have purchased to be very good - but definitely not the best SACDs on the market by any stretch of the imagination.

    I have the Steve Earle (which sounds very good for a PCM recording that was first transfered to analog before being transfered to DSD), Ryan Adams (good - but sounds very close to the CD, but has a bit more depth and clarity than the CD), John Coltrane (to my ears a revelation in comparison to the new 2-cd Deluxe version - and one of the better Universal SACDs), the 2 Diana Krall discs (very smooth, excellent quality SACDs), Ella and Louis (a tad bright and harsh but still has a quality that far exceeds a normal CD), Getz/Gilberto (also a bit harsh/bright - with some noticeable dropouts when I listened through headphones), Muddy Waters (I feel a very good SACD - but again slight too much high end. I did borrow the DAD on this from a friend a few months back - and from what I remember the SACD sounded a bit more natural), and the Karajan Beethoven 9th (only listened in MCH and was not that impressed - almost no low end on this disc at all).

    Like anything else - not every SACD is going to be a masterwork - especially from a major label that probably has a limited amount of time to master, duplicate and market these discs. (Probably more like an assembly line process than the kind of care that would be taken by a boutique label or by mastering engineers like Steve Hoffman.)

    But at mostly $14.99 - how can anyone really complain. If you buy the redbook CD it will cost you the same amount of money - and I surmise that all these SACDs sound as good if not better than the redbook CD versions.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The Quincy Jones disc really does sound poor. It's a compilation album but none of the tracks sounded good to me. I just listened to it once so far, last night. AI NO CORRIDA sounded so muffled that I got the LP out and the LP won overwhelmingly. Coltrane's A LOVE SUPREME sounded pretty good though. I was gonna compare it to the LP too but couldn't find the LP.

    Rya Adam's GOLD is a pretty good sounding SACD. It has some very catchy tunes. He has lifted the intros from some very famous songs. When one of his songs starts, your brain goes, he's going to play THE WEIGHT....not! All in all, it's an entertaining album though.

    I'm waiting for the Getz/Gilberto album to arrive.
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I heard the Coltrane disc and it is special.
    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately it was at a friend's house and I don't have my own copy yet. [​IMG]
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael said:
     
  7. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    Tonight was spin your Elvis DVD-A night (whoa! [​IMG] ) but I also gave a quick listen to the beginning of A Love Supreme and was impressed with what I heard. I do not own any other version of this but as I closed my eyes and concentrated on the soundstage the cymbals were incredible like nothing I've heard before.
    I've also sampled Folk Singer and was equally impressed. I hope to sit down and give both of these a thorough listen tomorrow night.
     
  8. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    As mentioned in another post on this same topic, the problem with Beethoven Sym. 9/Karajan/BPO is that it was never recorded well in the first place. If you're going to buy more DG SACDs in the future, you better get used to their lackluster sound.
     
  9. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    I found both 'A love Supreme' & 'Folk Singer' to to be great additions to my collection. While I've never owned or heard either before, the Universal SACD's far exceeded my expectations for 1964 recordings.

    Maybe my gear is not revealing enough to expose flaws that could be there but I like what I hear. Both discs have cuts that tax any system, specifically the cymbals and incredible jamming on ALS. McKinley Morganfield could destroy a cheap speaker with what he does with his voice on Folk Singer.

    Both of these $15 discs are a great investment.
     
  10. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    I just want to second the recommendation on the Steve Earle SACD, the original and remastered cd's were excellent as this was a DDD recording but the sacd just spreads the soundstage wide, its really quite an amazing recording. Michael T you posted that this was converted from the dat>analogtape>SACD, how do you know this, and why would they do that.
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Oh man, I so need to visit elusive disc. Can you believe I don't have the Coltrane SACD yet? Moving and all.
    Stupid "real life." [​IMG]
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, check the prices at circuitcity.com before ordering through Elusive Disc. Circuitcity.com is very reasonable on the Universal SACDs and has free shipping.
     
  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Mike,

    I picked up Thelonious Monk Five by Five yesterday at Tower in SACD. Review forthcoming.
     
  14. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Keith, thanks I'll keep that in mind next time.

    Lee, the Monk disc is great, but I would say that because it's a Monk disc. I haven't compared the sound to any other format, though.
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, no problem.
     

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