Top Gun SACD....I am UN-impressed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RicP, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Well, this will be my first real "negative" review of an SACD since I invested in the format 14 months ago.
    I own 42 SACD's from virtually every company that makes them and this is probably the worst one that I own.
    Now when I say worst, I mean worst when compared to all the other SACD's -- not worst as in "sounds just awful".
    The Meatloaf--Bat out of Hell SACD was my cellar dwellar before I got the Top Gun Soundtrack. That one sounds no better to me than my Gold CD of the same album.
    The Top Gun SACD just doesn't sound any better than a good CD of the same music would. I notice perhaps a little more solid bottom end but mostly this whole SACD just left me feeling unimpressed.
    I don't know if it's a matter of the original recording, and perhaps it just wasn't recorded well enough to warrant transfer to SACD -- which begs the question to Sony -- Why Bother??
    Having the few extra songs is nice and Otis Redding's "Sittin on the dock of the bay" is probably the best sounding track on the disc.
    If you're not a total "Top Gun" freak, I'd probably skip this one and get the CD instead. Let's hope Sony did better with Journey's Greatest Hits...I'll be reviewing that one tomorrow.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ric said:

     
  3. DEAN DE FURIA

    DEAN DE FURIA Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually feel the same way about thr "Footloose" soundtrack. No better than a quality CD. I think I'll limit my SACD purchases to the multichannel ones- they seem to be consistant in quality.
     
  4. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the review Ric.

    Actually, what are the stellar SACD's that should be considered reference quality?

    I'm taking delivery of the c555es today or tomorrow and I'd rather sample some higher quality material. Is there anything on the level of Hotel California?

    I picked three titles recently based on content (BJ:52nd St/Carol King:Tapestry/Blood Sweat and Tears). I have no clue how they techniclly stand up.
     
  5. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dean,

    I bought the Footloose SACD and feel it surpasses the remastered CD. It isn't the best SACD out there, but it does beat the CD in my opinion. I don't know what other equipment or what SACD player you have, but if you have the remastered CD of Footloose, listen to Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear it For the Boy" on both discs. I find that on the CD, her voice sounds a bit edgy and there is some graininess there. By contrast, I find that the vocals are much smoother on the SACD.

    John,

    I have Billy Joel 52nd Street and Carole King Tapestry on SACD, and while I feel the SACDs beat the remastered CDs, they aren't the best-sounding SACDs out there by any stretch.

    Michael,

    On the subject of jazz SACDs, do you have Dave Brubeck Time Out? That's a great album. Great music, and the sonics of the SACD are very good.
     
  7. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  8. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    Thank you for the recommendations. Some of them were at BB a couple of days ago. The first time I went to view the SACD section there, I had to move LARGE boxes out of the way just to get to the display [​IMG]. I wonder why BB just doesn't group all the DVD-A's & SACD's together?
    Talking about the labels helps, now I'll do some research and figure out the best way to acquire what I want.
    Just got a call from my wife, stating that a large box just showed up (c555es). Ordered it a couple days ago and have tracked it across the country. I hope it's up to a performance tonight as I plan on listening to my SACD's and then start re-sampling Redbook cd's as this baby is my new primary player!
    If you never hear from me again... send out a search party [​IMG]
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael,

    No problem. I love Time Out. One of these days, I will get it on vinyl. For now, I have the SACD, remastered CD, and even the pre-recorded minidisc.

    John,

    Definitely give us a report of your experiences with the 'C555ES over on the Home Theater Hardware board. Enjoy it!
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Arrgh! I went to Compact Disc World last night to pick up the Top Gun SACD they had special ordered for me, and they got the CD by mistake! They had the CD behind the counter with the order invoice requesting the SACD. The invoice had the correct SKU and the price of the SACD, but someone blew it. I told the cashier that they had three Top Gun CDs on the shelf, so they could have walked over to the shelf and grabbed one instead of special ordering one. [​IMG] So, they special ordered the SACD again. I was hoping to post my thoughts on the SACD by now, but no.
    I did, however, pick up the Journey Greatest Hits SACD last night for $15.99 and will post my thoughts once I have had a chance to compare it to the remastered CD.
     
  11. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Well, I'm going to go on record and say I was floored by the Top Gun SACD.

    Not all the music tracks sound awesome, but here is the quick list of great tracks:

    - Sittin' on the dock of a Bay : Otis Redding

    - You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling: Righteous Brothers

    These two sound amazing. Problem is these weren't on the original Top Gun Soundtrack. But the detail in the voice of Otis Redding, I swear he's sitting in my room singing to me personally. The RBrothers tune also has detail that I can't hear on the redbook CD.

    Now, "Danger Zone" also sounds so clear, it reveals how engineered this song was. It sounds like you're in the studio while it's being recorded. I won't necessarily say that's a good thing. The other songs on the disc sound good, but don't floor me the way the three I listed out.

    Footloose on the other hand is a disc I was underwhelmed with. I've seen enough Top Gun sucks posts, while Footloose seems to have the lavish praise. Sorry, sounds no better than the redbook disc to me.

    Now, 2-channel vs. multi-channel, I've got a few, and as for SACD disappointments for me, Billy Joels discs underwhelmed me both from sound quality and multi-channel.

    I'm in the minority, but those two songs off the Top Gun disc are reference for me.

    Equipment used in bedroom: Sony DVPNS900V DVD/SACD, with Sony STRDB1070 w/pass through, MiniPod speakers (also some Infinity full range, but they don't get much use). Theater, SCD775 SACD player, Lexicon MC-12, Atlantic Tech. System 450, Sonic Frontiers MCA-5 amp, balanced audio connections.

    -Brian
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Brian, it seems that every review of the Top Gun SACD I've read speaks highly of the Otis Redding track, but not of the rest of the disc. I still can't wait to get my copy. By the way, doesn't the remastered CD have the Redding and Righteous Brothers tracks? I know they weren't on the original CD, but some extra tracks were added to the remastered CD. I don't have my remastered CD in front of me to see the track listing, but I am almost positive the Redding and Righteous Brothers tracks are there. Anyway, I have the original CD too and wouldn't use it to compare to the SACD. The remastered CD is better than the original.
     
  13. DEAN DE FURIA

    DEAN DE FURIA Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,

    I have the Sony 775 player into a Denon 4802. My main speakers are Legacy Focus. I went and listened to "Lets Hear it For The Boy" and yes, there is a SLIGHT difference in the vocals. As a whole though, the disc is not much better than a quality CD remaster. Now, Earth Wind, and Fire's "Gratitude" SACD in incredible. The studio tracks are pure ear candy. Sweet, detailed, WOW. Give it a whirl.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dean, the Footloose SACD certainly isn't the best SACD I've heard, but I do feel it is better than the remastered CD. As I said before, the difference to me was most apparent in listening to the vocals in "Let's Hear it for the Boy". I have always felt that the vocals sound a bit edgy on the CD.

    As for Gratitude, I picked up the remastered CD at Circuit City for $8.99 a few weeks ago just to see if I would like the music (in the end, if I buy an SACD, I like to have the CD too). It's a good disc, so I'll pick up the SACD at some point. Have you compared the stereo SACD track to the remastered CD?
     
  15. DEAN DE FURIA

    DEAN DE FURIA Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith, Yes I have. The studio tracks are where the difference comes in. The SACD high-end is SO SMOOTH! I mean, you can crank it way up and it sounds sweet. I love the tracks: "Sing a Song" and "can't find Love" It really shines in multichannel, though. Worth a listen.
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dean, great info. Thanks. Best Buy sells the Gratitude SACD, so I'll have to pick it up. Dang, my wantlist of CDs, SACDs, and DVD-Audio discs seems to grow exponentially every day. [​IMG]
     

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