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Is it worth buying SACD?

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by Drd, May 25, 2005.

  1. Drd

    Drd
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    I suspect that like many people on here I am new to SACD.When I was buying kit for my home cinema recently I thought long and hard about whether or not to buy a player capable of playing SACD,after all,it sounded like it was just a gimmick.I came to the conclusion that as I don't change my hardware very often I may as well make sure I had the option of playing surround SACD.Boy am I glad I did!

    I started with DSOTM.It's brilliant.Up was just as good.Tubular Bells was stunning.Now Brothers in arms has arrived.Absolutely stupendous! OK it may not suit the purists,but who is to say what a rock album should really sound like?To me these 4 albums alone are worth every penny I recently spent,never mind the pleasure the plasma is giving too.Bring on WYWH.

    So those of you still thinking,BUY IT,crank up the volume and enjoy,you won't hear the bank manager screaming :eek:
     
  2. Ovation

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    Hi-res MCH music is here to stay in my collection. I've yet to be disappointed (and you're right, the "purists" are NOT amused). Oh well. If you want some excellent MCH SACDs, the Elton John re-releases are great. Also, if you're a classical fan, you have lots to choose from. Enjoy the tunes.
     
  3. Chewbacca

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    listen to the Police greatest hits sacd.Every breath you take is out of this world I don't give a dam what the purists think :)

    I cannot wait for war of the worlds sacd now that will be awesome :smashin:
     
  4. shane515

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    Could not agree more.....just glad I'm not a purist :smashin: :smashin: Brothers In Arms is without doubt 'awesome' I also cant wait for the SACD of War Of The Worlds.

    Shane
     
  5. manny

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    just to keep this thread nice and cosy, i agree too! i love multi channel music, on both SACD and DVD-A, and i hope BOTH formats are here to stay. there's no reason, given universal players, why they can't co-exist.
     
  6. Drd

    Drd
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    I've no experience of DVDA's so far,but I've ordered Porcupine Tree's Deadwing and I'm looking forward to it's arrival.It should be every bit as good as the SACD's by all accounts.
     
  7. deanym

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    Brothers in Arms SACD in a 2910 blew away the equivalent cd in a MF X-Ray. I toggled between the two after starting the discs simultaneously, and the scad was much smoother, and less harsh.

    Can't get the sub channel to work though, so any ideas would be great!!!

    Shame Brothers in Arms is the only SACD I have to date and it arrived today. The music I listen to isn't covered at all by SACD or DVD-A, so I'm pleased I have a half decent cd set up for those old discs!!

    As for purists - read luddite. If a purist's goal is for the best quality sound then surely SACD in Stereo counts in a fair fight with CD and vinyl?
     
  8. Drd

    Drd
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    My sub wasn't working for the first 30 seconds,then I realised I hadn't switched it on :D
    Worked fine then,shaking the house!.Sorry deanym,don't know why yours isn't working.
     
  9. pwood

    pwood
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    Nice to have but not worth spending money on if you aint a retro fan. Just an excuse to sell back catalogue stuff for the most part. Listened to Jamie Cullum on CD and SACD via ARCAM CD73 and Denon 2200 and the detail is better on plain CD. Reckon dedicated players or expensive ones will be impressive as I've heard a Krell SACD player however the problem with most setups is the speakers are not all exactly the same size so its a compromise most of the time. Peter Gabriels growing up SACD does the format justice
     
  10. Mandel

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    Bought an SACD player about a year ago and never looked back. DVD-A is also a good format, they each have their advantages and disadvantages but I prefer SACD. As long as one good multichannel hi-res format takes off i'll be happy, I just hope it is SACD.

    In my view, it's the quality of vinyl, the convenience of CD and the advantages of multichannel all rolled into one :thumbsup:

    I'll take the oppurtunity to pimp SA-CD.net for everything SACD related :)
     
  11. Mandel

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    This is probably because SACDs LFE level is 10db down from normal. This is so if you set all your speakers to small on the player the resulting combination of 5 redirected bass signals + LFE signal doesn't clip the sub output. To compensate either turn the sub up 10db on your SACD player or turn it up 10db on your amp.

    On my Yamaha amp the levels for the multichannel input can be set differently to the levels for everything else. If this is the case on your amp that's probably the way forwards. Hope this solves your problem :lesson:
     
  12. deanym

    deanym
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    Mandel,

    I hadn't read your post until now, but since posting, I've practically done what you said (after much socket testing to determine if everything was in fact sending/receiving signals!!) and it seems to be sorted, albeit the sub levels are still a lot less than usual. :)

    I reset all the levels on both amp (for dvd use) and the dvd player and have something I can work with!!! :D

    cheers for all the suggestions.
     
  13. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Aside from the information super highway, does anyone know of those old fashioned walk in things called 'shops' that may sell both DVD-A and SACD....?

    Alternatively, what URLs can one look out for :confused:

    Lovely job,

    Oh and finally, can I get any Faith No More on either format :thumbsup:

    Pete.
     
  14. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Most larger shops have a small section hidden away for this (I think the only one in Bath is the MVC import section) although SACD's are becoming more common amongst the regular CDs since they're backwards compatible with regular CD players. And yes, I know that DVD-A is backwards compatible with DVD players. ;)

    Online it's the usual suspects really, Amazon, 101cd.com have a few plus any others that you can think of.

    I've never really gotten on with multi-channel music though as you really have to sit still in the "sweet spot" for it to be of much value. :)
     
  15. manny

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    i know what you mean, but i've found this to be a blessing myself. for the last few years i'd only really put music on in the background or in the car. now listening to an album on SACD or DVD-A is an experience again, i have to find an hour or so and immerse myself in the music, the way i did with all the albums i eagerly rushed home with in my earlier days. there's no rushing home now, instead there's a thud on the doormat ;) but i've gotten back that involvement with the music.

    that won't apply to you all, but it's something i've found myself.
     
  16. Drd

    Drd
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    I agree entirely,you can get lost in the surround experience once you concentrate,and at this point you are actually listening to the music,not reading the paper or watching telly at the same time.It's been a long time since I've enjoyed music so much even though I have listened to the same albums in stereo.Perhaps it's just me,but I'll be buying a lot more SACD's,and they're not all retro.
     
  17. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Enjoy the tunes for a while more like.

    I wonder if you will be giving that advice to newbies into high resolution music when the rug is pulled from MC music, especially with SACD when Sony are seriously considering pulling the plug, DVD-A is being consigned to the bins with Dualdisc here now, and we are now being foisted with a dodgy format [Dualdisc] that has inherent manufacturing problems & limited audio width on its DVD-A/V layer. Oh and its only multichannel audio too (hooray I hear you cheer – but why has MC audio not set the heather laight to this point ?). Do you think the world is going to go Dualdisc crazy ? If so why not with DVD-A to this point ? Ovation you are doing new users into hifi/AV a disservice with advice like that TBH, I speak as someone who has been “burned” with promises of high resolution audio in the past, investing in kit to achieve it. Only to find the format dead (DVD-V DAD 24/96 stereo FYI).

    To the original poster, yep go for SACD releases they generally have a very nice CD hybrid layer on them, so even if SACD does die, you will be left with a CD playable disc anyway, I guess Im one of the purists Ovation mentions as I have a very large collection of CD & Vinyl that needs to have stereo based equipment to sound its best, when you consider that most audiophiles agree that vinyl is the most realistic high resolution format [I enjoy CD as much as vinyl FWIW], then you can see why some purists find it funny to see SACD or DVD-A held aloft as the saviours of high resolution audio, especially thru a 5.1 AV MC system that sounds “hobbled” with CD or Vinyl. Another way to look at high resolution audio and the amount of releases is to comapre SACD or DVD-A / Dualdisc to Vinyl and compare what you can buy today. Multichannel High resolution formats can sound great, but there is a very limited supply, your kit will not do CD or Vinyl justice and as a result you will end up listening to a smaller amount of music in satisfaction.

    Good luck.
     
  18. deanym

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    Not true for those who already have a stereo set up they're happy with.
     
  19. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Deany I don’t care whether you have a stereo system + a 5.1 rig, most people don’t I know of. The point Im making is that many new people into hifi are being told high resolution MC audio is viable and format with a future (does not appear that way to me) I think your better off and concentrating on the best output you can get for 2 channels (for CD & Vinyl) and fit a AV system around that if you wish. But all this crap about “purists” not being happy, do me a favour. I mean really that just plain daft. Especially considering the longevity of the medium were talking of here. Pass that advice onto new users, rather than your quote above.
     
  20. deanym

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    CJ,

    Quite agree for the most part. I haven't offered advice to anyone regarding SACD or any other multiformat resolution - I only got my first SACD disc yesterday! Couldn't agree more regarding the lack of software and dubious lifespan of the format.

    But building a AV system around an existing cd/vinyl two channel set-up is exactly what I've done, therefore was only speaking my opinion regarding my circumstances (this is an AV forum rather than HiFi, therefore many people won't care that much about cd replay in the first place). I was curious to see how well SACD compared against a standard (cd only) stereo kit. My, pretty much, bottom of the range mulitchannel set up outperformed the equivalent cd and highlighted whats wrong with the cd format. (vinyl would've remained superior in my view - don't have decks though so could be wrong). Your point about cd played through the same multi system is completely valid - it sounded awful.

    In the amplifier section most of the requests for advice are "I want a new av reciever, it has to be good in stereo", or "I want a new av receiver, but I'm only interested in movies"

    So for the former, buy a stereo amp as well, if music means that much. In the latter case, they'll be happy with anything as long it performs with straight dvd.

    There's no such thing as a purist in Hifi. A purist is the guy at the concert/gig/theatre/opera house getting the real deal not a recording of it.

    But to answer the question of the thread:- if you already have a compatible player, you can get the software that interests you, then yes SACD is certainly worth having. Although as CJCROSS pointed out, its probably not worth new investment at that stage.
     
  21. Drd

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    I think I'm being misunderstood here.

    I am one of the 'lucky' people (not that I've worked hard or anything like that) who has not one,or even two,but three systems.The cinema set up totally replaced one of these systems and a CRT.There are many DVD players out there at various prices which are capable of playing multichannel music and I am simply saying that in my opinion anyone who is,like myself,debating the merits of purchasing a conventional DVD player versus one that is capable of playing SACD's,then go for the latter.I'm now convinced it's not a gimmick.In fact I think it's great (as you may have worked out for yourselves).
    When I commented on purists I was referring to those who dismiss out of hand any music beyond stereo as being un-natural and un-necessary.An orchestra may be an orchestra and we all know how it should sound,(not that I don't intend to add to my classical collection in SACD format),but when we come to electronic music then I feel anything is acceptable and anyone who closes their minds to this are losing out.If we all take the view it'll never last and don't bother,then obviously it will not last.Let's just try to be a little more positive.On the subject of whether or not it has a future,who wants 400 odd cassettes!I'm no worse off that I haven't listened to one of these for years but I got great pleasure from them at the time.My CD collection replaced them and I would like to think in due course my SACD collection may possibly replace the CD's.Who knows,but if we take such a pessimistic view then why buy anything?It's the present I'm listening in,not the future.
    Does vinyl/CD outshine SACD for quality of reproduction.I suspect you could get hundreds of views on this.There are so many variables each system will sound different.As long as I like my systems that's all that matters to me,and the same should be true for anyone else.BUT....vinyl cannot compete with modern multichannel systems for what is an amazing listening experience which has given me a great deal of pleasure in the last few weeks.Which brings me back to the message in my original post.IF you are about to buy a DVD player,all other things being equal,then (and yes this is purely my own opinion which may be irrelevant,but a simmilar comment from someone else may have helped me to make my decision quicker when I was being indecisive) go for the SACD player :)
    Regards
    Ian
     
  22. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Of course this also bring about the point of what makes a better listening experience? Being "surrounded" by the audio or just outright resolution? I think that's as much of a personal choice as tastes in equipment which undoubtedly helps explain the rift that multi-channel music creates between people. :)
     
  23. Drd

    Drd
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    I agree,but ultimately we can aim for both.
     
  24. Kaotician

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    For those interested in the War of the Worlds SACD release, the official website has the collector's set (12" x 12" 80-page book, SACD surround and stereo discs, plus 3rd disc of remixes, plus 3 more discs of outtakes and alternatives, plus 'Making Of' DVD = 7 discs in all on special offer to members of the forum. Shop price for this set is £79.99, but you get a 10% discount and a free 'Montage' art print signed personally by Jeff wayne if you buy via the site.

    Expensive, but should be fun. I've certainly ordered mine :smashin:
     
  25. MartinImber

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    OF the music I have DVD-A is a tiny bit better than SACD then vinyl then CD then MD then cassette
     
  26. Ovation

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    When I say "purists" I mean those who sneer at MCH mixes as being "unnatural" or "gimmicky" after having been exposed to a few samples. Yes there are some poor MCH mixes out there. It is in its infancy, however. In the early days of stereo, there were "gimmicky" mixes too. They went out of style rather quickly. Or are you telling me that if you were 30 years older, you'd only listen to mono, because "stereo" is too gimmicky and unnatural? No? Well I've read many old reviews (I'm an historian and have a particular interest in popular culture) and the same complaints about MCH mixes I read now were made about "stereo" then by lots of people. Furthermore, "stereo" was conceived as THREE channels, not TWO (it means THREE-DIMENSIONAL, not TWO-CHANNEL) but the technology to play back three channels was not feasible at the time, so it was mixed down to two.

    Are there excellent two channel mixes? Of course. And I don't advocate the end of two channel releases. However, I find well done, DISCRETE MCH mixes (not artificial DSP-generated MCH) extremely satisfying musically. I've been in recording studios (even recorded a tune or three myself) and I know what the immersive sound in those studios is like. MCH (esp. hi-res) captures that experience far more effectively than two channel ever could.

    As to a "hobbled system". Well, we've had this discussion about $$$ vs performance and number of channels. I don't want to rehash that issue again. I will say, though, that it doesn't take an enormous amount of money to get decent sound, even from a "hobbled" system.

    Here's my setup (no doubt you'll tell me how crappy it is in your reply):rolleyes:

    Boston Acoustics VR-M60s front left and front right
    Boston Acoustics VRC centre
    Boston Acoustics VR-M50s surround left and surround right
    Boston Acoustics PV900 subwoofer
    Integra DTR 6.4 six-channel surround sound receiver/processor
    Cambridge Audio 540D DVD-A/V/CD player
    Marantz DV6400 universal player


    The Integra has a PURE AUDIO mode that turns it into an integrated amp. I use the Cambridge for CD playback, as I did a head to head comparo with it and several dedicated CD players (including the 540C) and (along with the store owner, for whom the comparo was blind) found it the best CD player at it's price point and up to double that. For hi-res, I use the Marantz (whose CD performance is preferred by my fellow audio "nut" friend as it is a bit deeper in bass, but I prefer the Cambridge's wider soundstage). I'm not a believer in exotic interconnects and speaker cable, so no fancy names here for those. In the future, I plan to add a separate two channel pre-amp/amp or integrated for two channel listening, though the Integra does a pretty good job. My speakers are set up in the ITU configuration--to conform with the recommended standard for both mixing/mastering MCH audio and playback of the same.

    This gear retails for 4500$C for the speakers, 1700$C for the receiver, 489$C for the Cambridge and 799$C for the Marantz for a total of 7488$C plus 15% GST. Not peanuts, but not outlandish. Certainly I could have purchased one player, one integrated and a great pair of speakers and had a wonderful two channel system. And someday, money and space willing, I will have a separate system for that purpose. But in the real world, where compromise is king (I also use this setup for movies), I still get what 95% of the listening audience would consider decent sound (in the general population, they'd probably call it "killer sound"). And I've listened to two channel systems that cost as much as my MCH setup. They're great, but the difference is not HUGELY spectacular.

    You don't want MCH hi-res, you don't need to get it. But, I stand by my statement that MCH music is worth experiencing and, what's more, it doesn't have to cost a lot.

    As for it disappearing, perhaps DVD-A and SACD and even DualDisc will not take off, but I'd not be too quick to write all of them off. The new hi-def DVD specs (both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD) include MLP (DVD-A) as part of their specs. Lossless DTS is also on the way and when they finally reduce the connection complexity, MCH music will take off.

    I'm not doing anyone a disservice. It doesn't cost that much to try MCH hi-res and if someone doesn't like it, they'll move to two channel anyway.

    As for vinyl, well, in order to truly benefit from that, you need to sink a lot more money in that than you do to benefit from hi-res discs. I have friends with large vinyl collections and I agree it can sound wonderful (provided they're well treated and are of good quality pressings--not always the case), but for those who don't have a vinyl collection, I'm not sure I'd encourage them to get into it at this stage. But then again, I'm not a "purist". ;)
     
  27. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Hmmm yep I think we will have to disagree about getting decent stereo sound from CD/Vinyl from a 5.1 system. For me were talking £1000 AV Pre - £1000 PA setup. £2000 that’s a lot of pennies comapred to say a £1000 stereo amp. No problem if AV/5.1 is your thang and your willing to pay that amount but if music (and I mean CD-Vinyl 2 channel) is your thang then your best concentrating on stereo.

    Ovation do you have a chip on your shoulder about what others think of your system ?, your quote above indicates this I feel. I don’t think your system is crappy at all, but for stereo listening you can do a lot better at a fraction of the cost you have done there.

    Good to see you veering away from the dark side.

    Right I think were getting somewhere here, I have approached my system building in a different vein, as music (hifi stereo – CD/Vinyl) is my main bag – I have assembled a system that is based around that and I have comprimised the 5.1 aspect for that, by just using my DVD-V player in stereo mode (firstly with good quality DACs to downmix 5.1 to stereo – now a benchmark DVD-V/A player – very good in stereo BTW) via my hifi, as my listening is 95% of my system use, with DVD-V visual use 5% it’s a compromise I can live with. The other aspect I have enjoyed in DVD-V music via stereo. But the fundamental point about the difference in systems Ovation is that 95% of time I use CD/Vinyl Im using kit optimally designed for the task. This is where out MC V Stereo empasse comes in. I think its down to system usage.

    Which brings me to this thread, I think anyone thinking that MC/5.1 SACD or DVD-A/Dualdisc is the way forward for high resolution stereo is plain wrong, also suggesting to people thinking of investing in SACD 5.1 kit when they could be getting much better replay from stereo CD or Vinyl is the way to advise. As I mentioned before if you have 10X the ratio of CDs to 5.1 music that highlights where to spend your monies. Stereo will always be here in music terms, surely SACD & DVD-A are proof of that.

    No it need not cost a lot, but when you run a CD/Vinyl format thru it – well you know the rest.


    Ovation as much as I admire your dogged determinmation to see MC music take off, its simply not the case, there are a few reasons for this but the main one to me is that audiophiles who are into music and are willing to spend large amounts of loo-la on music reproduction systems have been noticable more for their disdain of MC music than their support. The other final point is why has SACD/DVD-A not taken off then ? Well your standard 5.1 user is a AV movie fan, not music. The cost – have you seen the cost of Dualdiscs ? £15 +PP in most cases, its going to die the same lingering death as the other MC music formats.

    Multi-channel music (high res) and the kit its played on, is not wanted by a huge proportion of music fans, they would use high res stereo as that’s what their current huge collections are made up of (CD/Vinyl) but again the industry has spectacularly failed in this failed to see what the market wants and will buy into.

    Ovation yet another dodgy piece of advice to anyone considering getting vinyl : new releases on vinyl are 100 times more evident than SACD/DVDA/Ddisc as are the sales (new Vinyl trounced all the high res formats last year), then theres the second hand market, Oxfam et al. As for cost of equipment £150 on Projekt TT will see of many £300/400 CDPs, £500 on a RPM6, £650 Clearaudio Emotion not much will get near to these under £1000 in CDP terms, As for a Universal player below £1000 doing SACD/DVDA again not in the races. And I have not even begun to say what you can get 2nd hand wise below £1000 in TT terms.

    Finally If you think Im a purist (I rate CD & Vinyl equally) then your barking up the wrong tree bro, I just have it in for MC high res stereo, give me stereo hi-res yes, but only MC and it’s a bit a joke for me and many other music/hifi orientated fans.
     
  28. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I'm with CJ- if you want a high res Audio format to invest in, buy a turntable.
     
  29. Ovation

    Ovation
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    If one were only going to listen to two channel, then I agree, my setup is not ideal (would spend the money for two speakers and a sub, rather than 5 and a sub and go with a nice pre/power amp). However, I don't think it's impossible to get decent stereo sound through a 5.1 system (simply add a pre/power amp or integrated and send two channel sources through it--though that incurs an additional cost).



    One, I apologize for the snarkiness. I wrote this late at night after a particularly trying day (I'm a stay at home dad to a three and a half year old, my wife is pregnant and was not having one of her better days, my mother-in-law is pulling shenanigans AND I've just started a new job as an online instructor for a community college).

    Two, I would, however, take exception that I could do "a lot better" for stereo playback "at a fraction of the cost". I readily concede that if I took the same budget and devoted it to a two channel system, I would have something noticeably (though, again, judging from some two channel systems that cost the same as my setup, not ALWAYS spectacularly better). "A fraction of the cost" would have to be a pretty sizable fraction.



    I've never denied that a dedicated two channel system is best for two channel music. I don't run my two channel material through surround sound processors to create artificial MCH music. But, though I use my setup for music around 70% of the time, hi-res MCH and MCH concert DVDs make up a noticeable portion of my musical listening habits AND 30% for movies is a sizable enough portion to warrant a 5.1 system. Again, I don't begrudge people from going two channel (I have a very good friend who's looking to re-enter hifi in a pretty serious fashion, and I have counseled him towards two channel systems exclusively--knowing his preferences, available space and budget--but I do suggest he include hi-res if it fits his budget. We'll see).



    I entirely agree. You've focused your system on your preferences. An excellent policy. However, you would agree, I hope, that if MCH is a major focus, then one should make provisions in that area. If you want a more eloquent advocate of MCH hi-res than me ;) (and certainly someone who has solid audiophile credentials) I suggest checking out the following link:

    http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/

    Kal posts at AVS Forum (the US version of this site) and elsewhere. His articles went a long way toward increasing my appreciation for MCH music and have provided a number of examples of well recorded titles. He's a bit more traditionalist than I am (he greatly prefers the "ambient hall" mixes whereas I find the "in the band/studio" mixes equally enjoyable). His articles also discuss, apart from titles, any number of "audiophile grade" MCH equipment (players, pre-amps, amps, integrated amps, speakers).


    Well, my ratio is now about 3 to 1 CD to 5.1/hi-res (I have some stereo only hi-res titles, though not that many) and as time goes by, the ratio will likely shrink further. As an early adopter of CD (got my first player in 1985) I also don't have a TT at the moment (though I'll add one when funds allow--I have a miniscule vinyl collection (about 30 LPs) but my parents inherited a mountain of 78rpms (notoriously fragile) that I'd like to archive). And once I get a TT, I'll explore the vinyl world again. But well recorded hi-res, even in stereo ;), is hard to beat. In fact, vinyl, CD, hi-res, what matters most in sound quality is the recording, not the format. Though, with all else being equal, my money is on hi-res (two channel or otherwise).


    The same arguments were around in the early days of CD. "Don't bother with that newfangled thing, it'll never replace vinyl" or "why spend money on a CD player--there are no titles and you could upgrade your TT cartridge instead". And even further back, the mono vs stereo debate was pretty hardcore. That's my main beef. People are writing off hi-res too soon (I think it will always be around in some form) and writing off MCH as "gimmicky" the same way stereo was once derided. No one seems to want to address that issue. Oh well. In any case, to make an informed opinion about hi-res and MCH music, one needs to at least dip a toe in the waters. Hence my observation that it needn't cost a lot to see if it's any good.




    I'm hoping Kal Rubinson at Stereophile will help change some minds on this. Hope you don't mind. :D

    Why did SACD fail to take off? I think it's because Sony dropped the ball by being too greedy. Initial releases were non-hybrid in a futile attempt to get everyone to by an SACD player all at once. Single inventory hybrid releases would have gone a long way to generate market penetration. Bad marketing decision. It's killed more than one good product (Beta was way better than VHS, but Sony was stupid about that too). Moreover, the lack of a simple digital connection to MCH rigs out of some asinine paranoia about copy protection didn't help (recent machines with FIREWIRE connections notwithstanding, but far too little too late for mass appeal).

    Why did DVD-A fail to take off? Same copy protection/connection paranoia. Lack of portability (which SACD had in its favour and stupidly failed to exploit).

    What about DualDisc? Well, it tries to address the DVD-A portability issue, but not overly well (DVD-A+CD releases would be a lot better, and cheaper than a new format, but the level of stupidity in marketing departments never ceases to amaze me). It is, on some titles, doing something, at least in N. America, that might make it catch on more than the other two. A few high profile discs have been released EXCLUSIVELY in this format (Springsteen's latest, among them). Such an approach by SACD would have been the ideal way to ensure its mainstream appeal. I guess DualDisc makers have learned at least ONE lesson. Oh, and prices for DualDisc on this side of the pond are negligibly higher than CDs. Don't know about UK or Europe.

    I think we agree on marketing cock-ups. The beauty of SACD, in theory at least, is that everyone gets what they want. CD layer, STEREO hi-res AND MCH hi-res. Too bad they screwed the pooch on that one.

    I was mainly referring to comparative start up costs if you want to try either hi-res or vinyl (have to include the cost of a phono pre-amp as it is difficult to find entry level affordable gear that includes one). On this side of the pond (again) it's less costly to get started in hi-res than in vinyl. Moreover, I disagree that you need to spend over £1000 to get quality universal playback--at least not over here.

    I think you're a "purist" regarding MCH vs Stereo. FWIW, hi-res releases with ONLY a MCH mix are rare, and usually were among the early DVD-A releases (ALL SACDs, by spec, MUST have a hi-res TWO CHANNEL mix--MCH and HYBRID are optional). As for MCH being a "joke", I can only again point to the mono vs stereo debates of half a century ago. The exact same criticisms were made then about "gimmicky" sonic shenanigans. And there were examples of that, just as there are examples of it in MCH mixes today. Stereo matured, MCH will too. Moreover, I have several friends who are serious music listeners and they've each come away impressed with at least some of the MCH mixes I've played for them. Even the most hardcore audiophiles among them appreciated the "ambient mixes" of classical recordings, if not all the mixes (no one's perfect, after all :D ).

    In the end, it always comes down to "enjoying the tunes". Two-channel does it for you and MCH doesn't? Great. But don't argue that MCH or even two channel hi-res is necessarily a waste. I always recommend that people give hi-res and MCH a serious listen (and for my friends, I invite them to my place) and then decide.
     
  30. gavan

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    It's not so much the "Hi Res" that's impressive, it's the multichannel part. I find that the sound quality from listening to mp3s on my stereo from my iRiver (over digital connection) is pretty much just as good as the original CD. Likewise, my DTS music stuff sounds just as great as my SACD multichannel audio.

    Definitely, a good multichannel mix is the way to go. Not all music suits it but when the music does, and it's done well, the effect is fantastic. I can't wait until they perfect live multichannel recording. Currently a lot of the MC stuff is just remixed

    Gav
     

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