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SACD - idiot question

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by mobily, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. mobily

    mobily
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    Hello all,

    After looking at SACD's I have noticed that some say that they are single layer and have stereo sound. Surely this means that they are exactly the same as anm ordinary cd but just cost more?

    Or is the quality any better?

    I thought the whole point of SACD's was so that it was 5 channel sound similar to the sound you get when watching a dvd.

    Kind regards,

    James
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    SACD is sampled at a much higher frequency than conventional CD,and is capable of much higher quality playback,with suitably good equipment.
     
  3. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Why would you think 5 channel sound was better than 2 channel ?

    IMO 5 channel sound is a gimmick to entice the public to embrace another format and your reply demonstrates that this actually works. It means people will go out and re purchase their entire cd collection again and make the music industry rich again.

    5 channel sound is designed for enhancing films. The sound track includes effects like bullets and planes screaming overhead, this rarely happens if you go and see an orchestra or rock band, except in rare circumstances (Pink Floyd being one). Therefore it is not necessary on a SACD disc.

    SACD is potentially, a better format for audiophiles (hi fi nuts) as the sampling rate allows for a more accurate reproduction of the recorded sound, but you will not hear any of these improvements unless you have a SACD machine of a reasonable quality and a good stereo hi fi set up to match.
     
  4. figrin_dan

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    Do you need an amp/speakers capable of reaching higher frequencies for SACD. Or did I dream that?
     
  5. alexs2

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    The potential upper frequency limit on SACD's exceeds that of many speaker systems(and for that matter,human ears!)but most amps will have no problems with the frequency range.
    Many speaker manufacturers are now producing speaker systems with supertweeters reaching up to 30Khz or above to deal with the frequency range of SACD/DVD-A.....whether or not your ears can or not is another matter.

    The real gain from SACD/DVD-A is in sound quality and detail.
     
  6. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Unless your a pooch :D
     
  7. Reiner

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    SACD was initially thought of as a replacement for CD in stereo only (first SACD players didn't support multi-channel if I recall correctly) but when the DVD-A specs came out and allowed 5.1 surround sound SACD jumped on the bandwaggon (sp?).

    Note: A one-layer SACD cannot be played on conventional equipment.
     
  8. miniman

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    I love 5.1 music, some better than others but that of course is my own personal view. I still listen to stereo sources as well but as a rule prefer dvd-a and sacd multi channel music
     
  9. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I have to ask why ? Im suspicious that its due to to performance issues of combines DVD/CD players, cinema amps and packaged h/c speaker systems.
    What equipment are you using ?
    What music are you listening to ?
    How does 5.1 , add to the overall experience ?

    I have had a couple of early multi channel cd s by ELP :blush: these played on the old dolby pro logic sytem. Interesting, in the same way as the DSP effects from a cinema amp, but ultimately they sounded gimicky and got on my nerves.
     
  10. overkill

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    I'm with Karkus. I bought into DVD-A & SACD about 10 months ago, and after the intial "ooh that's good", it's come done, after an upgrade of the player as well (Law of diminishing returns?) to, after prolonged listening, a "well it's better than CD I suppose". Although having said that, my CD player can give the SACD side of things a good run for it's money! Neither my DVD-A/SACD front end or AV amp are "budget" either. On a lot of disks the sound IS gimmicky.

    I expect when disks are produced with multichannel in mind, rather than an after thought, things will get better.
     
  11. Stereo Steve

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    Down to personal taste, surely? I find 5.1 music very engaging. Immersive is the word if you have it all set up right. Problem is, you have to sit in the sweet spot so it's a bit naff if you are wondering around the room. I would rather have it than not though.

    I do listen to SACD's in stereo as well, even when I have the multi channel option.

    Depends what mood I'm in. I do like to settle down and listen to the whole of DSOTM for instance in 5.1. It's an experience.
     
  12. mjn

    mjn
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    i thought my CD setup was better than any SACD i've heard so far.
     
  13. the_pauley

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    In the earliest days of the format there were single layer SACD only releases. Since then the companies have got their act together and are releasing multi layered discs containing as many as three layers, namely, CD, SACD 2 channel and SACD surround.

    IMO this makes the format a better contender than DVD-A, because if neither format takes off, at least you've still got a disc that will play in a conventional CD player.

    Indeed in the many SACDs that I own, the CD track is in all cases of stunning quality compared to previous CD releases of these albums, the Stones and Dylan albums being a case in point.

    Did some interesting A-B comparisons recently. A friend who'd bought a Pioneer universal DVD/DVD-A/SACD player and was extolling the virtues of the the hi-def formats over conventional CDs (playing in his universal deck), was gobsmacked and more - than a little miffed - when he heard CD reproduced by my dedicated CD player, a Marantz CD6000 - KI Signature Edition.

    CD played in his universal deck through my amp and speakers was definitely lacking (CD reproduction is a common weakness with all but the most expensive universal decks and multi-channel amps), but through the Marantz, CD sound was superb, and although SACD had the edge, it was not a major difference.

    However, emphasising the importance of all the equipment used and not just the deck, CD played through my equipment sounded noticably better than SACD and DVD played through my mate's rig.

    On the subject of surround, "Dark Side of the Moon" is one of the few SACD releases I've heard that benefits from the surround sound treatment, mainly because this was conceived as a quadrophonic album back at the time of its original release. The Japanese release of Santana's "Caravanserai" also works well, again another '70s quad release. Many others sound better in their 2 channel SACD format than the 5.1. After all these albums were mixed and optomised for 2 channel reproduction.

    However I l do look forward to hearing new stuff specifically recorded for the new hi-def surround formats.
     
  14. KraGorn

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    Of course, another advantage of SACD for the music industry is that AFAIK the protection hasn't been broken so can't be ripped ;) .. certainly DVD-A is still un-rippable.
     
  15. miniman

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    quote:Originally posted bykarkus30
    I have to ask why ? Im suspicious that its due to to performance issues of combines DVD/CD players, cinema amps and packaged h/c speaker systems.
    What equipment are you using ?
    What music are you listening to ?
    How does 5.1 , add to the overall experience ?

    I like lots of different styles of music and have about 500 lps, 1000 12" ,various singles and over 500 cds, ranging from metal to classical rock pop and dance so I have a varied taste system wise I have a ax10i amp linn speakers(7) rell subs(2) 757 ai connected to the amp with a firewire cable. I also have a pioneer mixer 2 technics decks 3 arcam amps 4 control 5 jbl's and a jbl sub out of a club with a 15" sub, so yes i like my music. On the side of 5.1(7.2) I have yes fragile, frankie goes to hollywood, frank sinatra, rat pack, pink floyd dsotm, deep purple-machine head and a couple of classical dics and I must say for the most blow cd,s away. I find them more spacious and enveloping like your in the music, but as I said this is only my opinion. All I can say is that when I get home after a hard days working I sit on my lay-z-boy chair turn on my music and enjoy!
     
  16. Nike

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    A decent, well set-up 2-channel system should give you an enveloping 3-dimensional soundstage anyway.
    In this respect, both my turntable and CD player (through 2 speakers) are a more satisfying listen than any music I’ve heard in 5.1 since getting a 757 and being able to try DVD-A/SACD.
    I do however appreciate the increased resolution of the new formats when heard in 2-channel.
    DSOTM sacd in 5.1 was amazing though, I have to admit!
     
  17. karkus30

    karkus30
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    miniman. exploring a bit deeper and not including DSOTM (as this was an album designed for multi channel anyway. What eqt. are you listening to 2 channel cd on ?

    I notice you are using subs and Linns and seem to have a leaning towards 'club' sounds, so was wondering if you are influenced by that whole dance thing, which means that listening to straight 2 channel stereo through 2 speakers doesnt sound quite 'right'.
     
  18. miniman

    miniman
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    karkus30

    I use a NAD C521 cd player, but have to admit to using the 757ai alot also. Although not a dedicated cd player I find the i link, when used with the ax10i gives very good results. As far as the club sound not really as I only got into dance music when I worked for sundissential about 5 years ago, as I said I like lots of differnt music. When I was 12 I went to three concerts in one week much to my narrow minded class mates amusement the three concerts were ac/dc, moodey blues and a CBSO concert.
    I'm not saying I dislike 2 channel music its just that with the advent of high resolution music along came multi channel(some good some bad) and I just kind a like it a bit more than stereo. I think also it has a bit to do with why have 7 speakers and two subs and only use your left and right speakers if and this is the killer YOU like multi channel music, because at the end of the day its what sounds good to you and not other people.
     
  19. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I can see your point Miniman, cant fault your conclusion. You have chosen multi channel because you like it, not because you dont like the sound of 2 channel sound. I had wondered if you were listening through DVD player and a budget av amp and speaker package, so your bias was for the fuller effects of surround sound.

    I have never heard 5.1 music through a really good set up, but it would be interesting to compare. Having said that, the cost of a further 3 speakers to match my existing set up might be a bit prohibitive, then theres the stack of Naims and a decent dedicated SACD player etc.
     
  20. alfablue

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    This may have been said already but some SACD's are known as "Hybrids" which contain a conventional CD layer (no better than a CD), but the SACD layer has the higher sampling rate, and you can select to play this on an SACD player in 2 channel stereo. As such I would expect, all other things being equal, for it to sound superior to CD. You have to make sure you are using the analogue outputs of your player (assuming it is most likely a universal player) so it uses the internal decoder, and set the player's software up accordingly, or you will just get CD quality.

    Be aware though that some titles are not Hybrids (such as Miles Davi "Kind of Blue", Roger Waters, "In the Flesh"), so won't play on a CD player.

    Also of note is that Kind of Blue has no .1 channel (subwoofer), not a problem, and probably not appropriate to this music, but at first I thought my setup was wrong.

    SACD-s - As for the benefits of 5.1 - DSOTM is superb, but as mentioned above it was created for multi-chanel sound (albeit quad). Of the others I have heard it is virtually a waste of time on In the Flesh, it adds some worthwhile ambience to Kind of Blue, but places one amongst the band, which is a bit odd at first. Maybe the best sound is SACD in 2 channel mode.

    DVD-A's I have, REM "Automatic for the people" really works in 5.1, (and is second best favourite after DSOTM) it really brings out the detail and then you really appreciate the arrangement and musicianship. REM - "Best of" works okay on some tracks. Yes, "Fragile", pretty good in 5.1. REM don't seem to have over-exploited the format in their mixes, which is good.
     
  21. jfinneru

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    hey guys. It's one sacd I can recommend with all my heart, and that's Roxy Music - Avalon: 21st Anniversary Remaster. the sound on this sacd is my reference. the sound is superb!
     
  22. Radiohead

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    I'm looking at my Kind of Blue SACD and it has both SACD and CD layers.....now In A Silent Way on the other hand does only have SACD layers.

    :)
     
  23. alfablue

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    Thats strange, mine says "single layer, plays only on super audio cd players"

    (It does say stereo or multichannel, but thats both from an sacd layer).

    I have CS 64935
    barcode # 5 099706493563
     
  24. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Columbia are in the process of replacing single layer discs in their catalogue with hybrids.

    Makes sense. If the format doesn't take off you've still got the CD.
     
  25. alfablue

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    yes, it makes sense, its surprising they ever released any single layer SACD's - I suppose there might be a profit margin penalty for the record company (I presume dual layer will have higher manufacturing costs).
     
  26. Radiohead

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    I'll have a check of mine when I get home tonight

    :smashin:
     
  27. Radiohead

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    Mine is:

    CS 064935
    barcode # 099706493594
     
  28. alfablue

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    Radiohead, a later pressing, mystery solved I guess
     

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