We can convert the masses to SACD!

Discussion in 'Music' started by Doug Otte, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    We had two friends over during the holidays. I had given my wife the SACD of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On (one of her favorite discs growing up).

    We first listened to the MCH. My wife then wanted to hear the title song from Gaye's CD box set of a few years back. So, I played the 2CH of it from the SACD immediately followed by the CD. Now, the remasters in the box set sound pretty good. At first, my wife said she preferred the CD to the SACD, but then she qualified that to mean that the CD sounded like she remembered hearing it growing up (implied: on low-fi equipment).

    However, within a minute or two, all 4 of us could easily hear the difference. The SACD was more warm, open, and "life-like" (term used by one of the friends) throughout the frequency spectrum. My wife had previously said she couldn't hear the improvement in SACD over CD. The wife and the two friends are not audiophiles, but they were all impressed.

    I'll copy this post to Audio Asylum.
    Doug
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I agree. But prices for players and discs will have to drop first. Eventually 5.1 outputs will be standard on all DVD players just as p-scan is now. It's the next step and you can't stop progress. Until then, only a few of us will be "impressed". Unless they are lucky enough to have a friend like you! Gene
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I also agree. I think Michael St. Clair had it right to suggest they should do surround demos in the movie theater. That way more people find out about it in a controlled environment.

    SACD is very analog like and quite open sounding. These are the terms I hear used most often when my audiophile friends are over and listening to hirez for the first time.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    I think it's a nice dream, and I wish very much that it were true. A gradual shift from CD to either DVD-A or SACD as the new standard would be nice, it would be really, really nice.

    Sadly, I do not think it is realistic at all. Even though many new, budget level DVD players now have DVD-A capability, The VAST majority of people do not even know that SACD and DVD-A exist. Of those that do, few have ever heard one played. Fewer stil own players capable of playing them, and few people who do own players capabale of playing DVD-A (like myself) also own, or can afford to own, speaker systems that would do the hi-res formats justice anyway.

    Couple with that the fact that the advantages of SACD or DVD-audio are not nearly so obvious as the swtich from vynuyl, or the swtich from casettes.... Nevermine the fact that most people are still extremely happy with CDs, and, sadly, a growing number of people are happy with MP3s, and it isn't hard to see why DVD-A and SACD will remain niche formats, ala laserdisc.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
     
  5. Brian+H

    Brian+H Stunt Coordinator

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    If more people knew about sacd or dvd-a, sure it would sell more and even 2ch sound would sell it (!) but no one knows about either in the non-audiophile world.

    I told my sister whos 33 about the Norah Jones' sacd, and she said I sounded like I was talking in another language.

    If people knew they'd be impressed, I totally believe that.
    No one knows. And the companies especially Sony seem content to let sacd's popularity grow by just word of mouth.
    Except RS 500, no major advertising. It's a stealth audio format, and they expect tons of growth this year? Come on.

    To be fair, though, both dvd-v and HDTV took a long time to catch on (especially HD) so, I really think it will be a few years before either really catch on.

    Then blu-ray comes on...who knows what's gonna happen.
    If people could only hear how good the formats sound, it would be money.

    Plus better more recent titles would help too.
    (get out of the '70's guys!)
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Another problem is everyone already has a dvd player and many of those have already upgraded (to p-scan for instance). Hopefully when they upgrade again in a couple of years DVD-A/SACD will benefit. Manufacturers need a reason to bump the prices back up on new models. Maybe including DVD-A/SACD on all players will help justify the next price increase. Gene
     
  7. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Not with Sony in charge, Lets see what other Sony things have not caught on. Beta, DAT, Mini disc, I would not hold my breath for SACD being anything more than nitch at best, same goes for DVD-A I hate to say! Just my opinion of course!

    Wes
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I hope you aren't saying that going from vinyl to CD is an improvement. SACD is the first time I've heard a consumer digital format that sounded more like vinyl. Vinyl may not be the best, most convenient format, but it has the potential for VERY high fidelity. There are some very good DVD-As too, but SACD is where I will probably spend more of my $$.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I could see another big marketing push for either HD DVD or BluRay when they hit the scene.

    I just hope the major participants realize the value of a SINGLE new format for video and also hirez audio.



    I very good turntable rig and a good LP is simply mindblowingly magical in terms of realism-you can't help but move to the music. [​IMG]
     
  10. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    There are many things to overcome before these formats can take off. Hybrid discs are a good move but they need to release hybrids as the only option. If people start buying CD's and find there is a mystery format included on the disc many will be currious enough to at least consider it when they buy their next DVD player.
     
  11. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    This statement is very true. I think that it is the responsibility of the salesman at the B&M store to educate people on what their dvd player is capable of. Sadly half the time the salesman doesn't even know.

    I really wish SACD and dvd-audio would take off but I do not think it is going to happen for quite a while if ever. It seems these days most people are interested in convenience and low price,not quality. Just this morning, I was talking to a woman where I work about how good the Norah Jones SACD. I was trying to sell her on SACD and she just had a blank confused look on her face. Most people who do not live in our world will never understand. Heck, how long have we been pushing anamorphic widescreen movies and people still don't even understand that, do you really think people are going to catch on to high rez audio?
     
  12. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Sony doesn't have a good track record with promoting different formats, but I think they have done a better job with SACD. They did a nice job of distributing an SACD in a recent issue of Rolling Stone. Sony is also getting SACD into universal players and not keeping it a propietary item like Beta was.

    But sadly, the real truth of the matter, as mentioned above, is that the average Joe and Jane is content with the current redbook CD.
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    My nephew was watching me change a bad cable in my theatre. He noticed the wad coming from the back of the Denon 2900 and wondered what they were for. I told him they were the 6 channel output. This 14 year old kid's reaction was, "that's stupid as hell".

    SA-CD and DVD-A have zero chance of mass acceptance with these totally obsolete analog connections. I'm a zealous audio-vidiot and I just barely tolerate this nonsense!

    People don't want to give up digital recording either, which means that hi-rez formats must be CD compatible indefinitely into the future too.

    The theatre demos are an intresting notion but it would be like shooting at ducks with shotgun shells full of salt. They might feel it but they won't care. It would be a waste of advertising dollars. You look to spend those dollars on highly targeted segments, like, say, Rolling Stone readers.

    It'll take alot more than advertising to "flip" the music market from CD to hi-rez. It'll take very low disc prices, idiot proof digital connections, CD compatibility, and cheap players for the bottom of the market. Stereo will stille reign because average people think 2 speakers are enough to hear MUZAK. What's audio delight to most of us is just unimportant background noise to most folks.
     
  14. Robert Powers

    Robert Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree that Sony did a nice job of distributing the SACD in the "Rolling Stone" issue but the majority of the public had no clue that there was going to be a free cd in the magazine. When I purchased my "Rolling Stone" issue with the free sampler disc there were plenty of other issues on the shelf, and I told the cashier about the free cd and she had no clue that it was in there.

    Every other store that I went in that carried the magazine had plenty in stock.

    I have not met another person, outside of these forums, that have even heard of these formats. I have had plenty of people over at my house to listen and they seemed to be impressed but none of them knew anything about it. One day at a local "Best Buy" I asked one of the salespersons where the DVD-A and SACD section was and he had no clue what I was talking about. I asked another one and he directed me to the section but he told me that he has never listened to any music in these formats. I responded by saying: "You have no idea what you are missing".
     
  15. MattBu

    MattBu Stunt Coordinator

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    SACD doesn't sound signifigantly better than CD in my opinion. I listened to 10 comparison songs at a local mid-fi dealer in town. And I think I have very discerning ears. How would you convert me?
     
  16. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    Matt

    I am not sure you could hear an impressive difference on most mid fi setups. If the system is really well calibrated you will hear more of a difference but most stores, even high end places don't always calibrate as well as they should.

    This is also a problem that will keep mass acceptance from happening. Most speakers are not capable of relaying the sound nor are most system components capable of doing it justice.

    Audiophyles who are deep into vinyl seem to appreciate the sound more because they have capable systems. I have never heard of one who prefers SACD/DVD-A over vinyl but they notice the biggest difference.

    This format may never go main stream because it is an elitist format. It is audiophyle quality and the general public is not going to care. They listen to music in the background as they drive or at home.

    How many peoiple do you know (outside of here) that sit in front of their system and just listen to music. Not many probably. They listen while they are working around the house, doing homework, driving in the car, ETC.

    To appreciate and hear the difference you have to be at a level where you listen to music with more than a casual ear. You have to have passion for what the artist is doing and dedicate time to absorbing the recording. Once you get out of the sweetspot there isn't much if any difference and if you are moving around the house the better sound is not going to be impressive.

    I would love to see these go mainstream but it isn't likely to happen and I am not sure it is intended to much more than a niche market.
     
  17. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Doug,

    You made some very very good points in your post. First off, most mainstream people do not have the kind of gear to even take advantage of high rez audio. I hear so many people say, yeah,I have a great theater/audio setup,I have those Bose cubes. Or people have the very general low end line of Polk/Kef or the other entry level crap that you get at Best Buy, Circuit City or Soundtrack.

    Then you have people who are ignorant when it comes to setting up their systems. You do not know how many times I have went to someones house who thinks they are listening to Dolby Digital and are really listening to Pro Logic. The mainstream people are perfectly happy setting up their system with the crappy rca red, white and yellow cables that come with your dvd player.

    Then as Doug has stated, how many people have a dedicated listening area that they sit down to for a couple of hours at a time to listen to music? Most people are listening to music while cleaning the house or something like that. At that point, what is even the point of high rez audio? I am even guilty of this, I would say that I really only take the time to sit down and dedicate myself to listening to SACD/DVD audio once a week. The rest of the time it's while making dinner or something.

    More and more companies will have both formats on their dvd players and the price for these combo players will continue to drop just like with progressive scan dvd players. People will continue to purchase dvd players with both formats on it, but most will not take advantage of what their players are capable of. Either because they just don't care or don't even know they have a player that has high rez audio.

    SACD and DVD-AUDIO will be for us, the people who crave for the best. Audio and videophiles, not the mainstream market. Sad but true.
     
  18. Robert Powers

    Robert Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug,

    That was an excellent point that you made about being at the right listening location in order to appreciate this format.

    Every time I listen to DVD-A or SACD formats I always sit in the center of my listening area and I stay there with a drink in my hand until the music is over. I stay focused to the music just like as if I were watching a very good movie. I never play these formats when I know that I will be busy doing other things. I think having a drink with me while listening intensifies the experience. Otherwise, I would probably not be sitting there through the entire experience.
     
  19. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    The mainstream crowd that listens to music has only a CD player in their car, and maybe a small 2-speaker boom-box at home. The new disks won't play there.

    With DVD players, you have basically the same story. Their composite (at best) output goes into the back of their TV, and they are happy with that. Doing the 5.1 route correctly will cost big bucks, and they have other things to spend their money on (beer and pizza, anyone?). [​IMG]

    The ONLY way this will go mainstream is if they just stop making CD's completely. That is the reason I switched to CD's. I could not get the title I wanted on a 33.

    However, if they were to do that, the systems are going to have to be really cheap - and incorporated into car stereos and small boom-box like machines already. If they are not, there are going to be a lot of really pissed-off people running around - and for that reason - it will never make it to the masses.

    Glenn
     
  20. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    I often sit and listen with a pitcher of martini's next to me when I have those dedicated listening times. I feel like I am pampering myself. The wife takes a long bath and I enjoy a some great music to unwind.

    I know everyone thinks SACD/DVD-A is a competitor of CD but now that I look at it and the music they have brought out so far I have to believe that it is competition to vinyl. Compared to the costs of a really good table and all the associated equipment + the high cocsts of albums it makes sense that the Audiophyle group who can't spend mega bucks to reach perfection can get a lot closer for less.

    I also look at the quality of music coming out on CD now and how much of it could or would be appreciated if unveiled by hi-rez. Would Britty spears sound like a squacking chicken? Would there be any benefit to 99% of the music out there. I don't think so. The small number of artists who really deserve hi-res will show up (for the most part, think Star wars on DVD) and the rest don't matter.
     

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