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"SACD is crap" article...?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by dunkyboy, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    http://sound.westhost.com/cd-sacd-dvda.htm

    What do you think of this article? Does anyone know better? It seems that if it were true, then SACD is crap and we're all getting conned by Sony... I would've thought if it were true, Sony's competitors would've said something by now too...

    I still haven't heard either SACD or DVD-A so don't yet have an opinion, sound quality-wise, but if SACD is blatantly inferior on paper why is anyone even considering it?

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  2. ncpl

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    Dunkyboy,

    Interesting article. No mistaking what his opinions are.

    However, have a look at

    http://www.audiorevolution.com/news/0303/28.darkside.shtml

    and see the opposing view. You might expect this view from a Sony backed project though (Sony funded the studio time for DSOTM)

    IMO, DVD_A is quite excellent when you put well recorded/mastered material through it. But then so is CD for that matter. Crap in/crap out will apply no matter which format you use.

    I haven't heard SACD's on my system so can't really talk about their performance. One has to be cautious of judging performance based on the specs though. How many screens or hi-fi's have you seen or heard that fell well short of the expectation you had based on a review or spec?

    I would prefer that my system dealt with both new formats. It doesn't, and nor is it likely to, and nor am I likely to pay for any more gear to enable both. Therefore, I'll stick with the DVD-A camp and hope they sort out their dire marketing and release plans.

    rgds

    Nick
     
  3. MikeK

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    Certainly agree with Nick on the crap in/crap out point.


    However, I think both formats are crap :)
    Not in the technical sense, but simply in the fact that the choice of discs is pitiful, and then they are too expensive.

    If either of these is to become the format of the future, then they'll have to get their finger out.
    If they keep farting around before either format gets any real market penetration, something better may become available, and both will end up on the technology scrapheap :rolleyes:
     
  4. sounddog

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    I don't think you can really say a format is crap because of lack of software ... no worth buying yes ... but that doesn't make it (technically speaking) a crap format.

    The first couple of years of DVDs were similarly sparse in software, laserdisc have always been lacking in avaliablity of films, the PS2, XBox, GameCube, PS1, Sega Genesis, etc, etc have all been lacking in good killer software at launch - every new format has struggled to begin with because of lack of software.

    Hopefully over the next couple of years we'll see a lot more universal players that will play SACD AND DVD-A and then it will be upto the studios to provide good quality software to see which wins in the end ... or if both can survive.

    As for stopping "farting around" ... this is no different to Phillips and Matsu****a farting around over DVD+R or DVD-R; Sony and JVC farting around over Beta or VHS and Sony and Phillips farting around over MD or DCC ... in the end both of the last two had a clear winner even with the "farting around" unfortunately leaving the consumers who'd bought Beta and DCC as the loosers.

    Vikki - who's selling a DV88 to buy a Pio 656sa (or maybe 757ai) to get both!!
     
  5. nathan_silly

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    DVD's took off because of the wide variety of software available, even within a year - their was sci-fi, comedy, horror, romance, family DVD's out. Every month, more and more DVD's of various genre's came out.

    Not so for DVD-Audio/DTS CD's/SACD/HDCD.

    That is why I have bought a MC-1 (no 5.1/7.1 input), as DVD-Audio and SACD is pretty much a niche product with very limited titles available.

    Looks like CD will be the major format for music for a few more years.
     
  6. sounddog

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    No disagreement there ... but there's nothing wrong with niche formats / products!! The situation with SACD / DVD-A software avaliablity will only get better though ... and some people like to experiment with niche products. (I can't even remember what year DVD was actually released, and at the time I was a poor - and yes I mean poor - student so didn't even get to look at how much software was avaliable!!)

    My point wasn't about weather they were niche products, or the amount of software ... it was in reply to MikeKs assertion that SACD and DVD-A were "crap" because of the lack of software - as I said ... they may not be (in many people's opinion) worth buying currently because of the lack of software ... but that doesn't make it "crap"

    Vikki
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Interesting one this, though I haven't had time to read the article yet.

    All these 'new' formats have pros and cons and often are far from an 'upgrade', in fact at the lower end of the market it can be the opposite. It is a matter of knowing and understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of the formats.

    Personally I find the technical claims for SACD to be 'over egged' and DVD A unrealised at present, though there are some 'technical' advantages for DVD A. CD is just getting good now and we are beginning to reap the benefits of reproducing what is actually on the discs!
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    Agreed. However, a format might be better than the alternative (Betamax v VHS, HDCD v CD) and because of various reasons- marketing, no of boxes shifted, the x factor- one will die out, or maybe both in some cases (VCD, CD-I)

    I would wait until the high street shop start stocking items- ie, if someone was interested in Region 2 a few years back (and oblivious to R1) it would have been sensible to wait until shelves of various titles were available, and not just a few in the corner somewhere (or none at all)
     
  9. ncpl

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    Beekeeper,

    I agree with your last comments. As I said above, a well done CD can sound awesome on good equipment.

    The situation w.r.t. available software is not ideal, but, you would never expect it to be 100% at startup. The shame is that both these formats have been around for a couple of years now and there's still very little to show for it.

    I have about 25-30 DVD-A titles. Most are very good, some are quite excellent, and some are dissappointing. Sounds familiar ? If not, how's your Cd collection looking ?

    As for price? I have paid about £12 for each one recently, so, you can't really argue that they are premium priced anymore.
     
  10. MikeK

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    I don't think you can really say a format is crap because of lack of software ... no worth buying yes ... but that doesn't make it (technically speaking) a crap format.


    Which is pretty much what I said


    However, I think both formats are crap
    Not in the technical sense.............



    The first couple of years of DVDs were similarly sparse in software, laserdisc have always been lacking in avaliablity of films, the PS2, XBox, GameCube, PS1, Sega Genesis, etc, etc have all been lacking in good killer software at launch - every new format has struggled to begin with because of lack of software.

    Hopefully over the next couple of years we'll see a lot more universal players that will play SACD AND DVD-A and then it will be upto the studios to provide good quality software to see which wins in the end ... or if both can survive.

    As for stopping "farting around" ... this is no different to Phillips and Matsu****a farting around over DVD+R or DVD-R; Sony and JVC farting around over Beta or VHS and Sony and Phillips farting around over MD or DCC ... in the end both of the last two had a clear winner even with the "farting around" unfortunately leaving the consumers who'd bought Beta and DCC as the loosers.

    Vikki - who's selling a DV88 to buy a Pio 656sa (or maybe 757ai) to get both!!



    I was referring to the studios with my "farting around" comment - it wasn't really aimed at the hardware manufacturers.

    As for your comparison's, while there are parallels, the cases may not be entirely directly comparable.

    LD never really got off the ground commercially speaking (price and lack of software???), despite being technically superior to VHS, the (the recordability argument aside) - then something better came along!

    I take your points about VHS/Beta, MD/DCC, and the various DVD recordable formats, but I wasn't really trying to make any statement about SACD vs DVDA in general. I don't really care which one wins, (if either does) - but it's interesting to note that VHS beat Beta by being first to market and having better software availability (despite Beta being better) allied to the fact that it was a new technology - there was no incumbent.
    DCC was doomed by price and lack of software. MD did find a niche for a while in the portable arena, but it never really threatened the incumbent technologies of the day (CD and to a lesser extent CC), commercially speaking. Don't forget DAT in that little war either!
    The jury is still out on rec DVD - but it's not been a spectacular success so far, for a variety of reasons (fair enough, early days yet).



    Still, time will tell.
    I'm not trying to make any predictions - all I was saying is that IMO, neither DVDA nor SACD are particularly appealing at the moment, at least to me, despite any technical advantages the technologies may have over CD.
    You may feel differently - and that's fair enough!

    Let's just say that I've been bitten once too often to be an "early adopter" any more, although the term "early adopter " would be stretching it a bit for these formats now :) :) .
     
  11. gringottsdirect

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    DVD-A is great, the sound quality and extras, but most titles I seem to buy are SACD.
    SACD / CD hybrid discs and DVD-A / CD hybrid discs, including singles my ideal. CD singles with a poor quality CD-ROM of video seem out-dated to me, a DVD-A would suit me a lot better.
    A large benefit of SACD / DVD-A isn't just the hi-resolution technology, the revisiting of past favourites, new mixes and so on is useful. I prefer multi-channel anyway so that's a plus.
    Like everyone I have favourite CDs which sound poor, others sound fantastic, some of my SACDs sound little different than the CD notwithstanding multi-channel mix.
    I am delighted with the sound of all my DVD-A s, having a Dolby Digital / DTS is interesting too.
    Any title I can obtain in either format I will ignore on CD, but the hybrid theory should make my decision easier, ultimately I think every CD will have an SACD layer and every music DVD a DVD-A layer, both watermarked / copy protected.
     
  12. Dubbing Mixer

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    Don't fool yourselves. The most important consideration from the record companies POV is the rock solid copy protection inherent in SACD. I confidently expect SACD to replace CD for this reason alone.....
     
  13. MikeK

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    The digital watermark won't protect these discs from being copied - it'll only prevent a direct digital copy, and then only for now!
    If DVD-A or SACD take off, it won't vbe long before PC drives follow, and copying software won't be far behind!

    In any case, given that many users of pirated music are perfectly happy to listen to mp3, they aren't going to bother too much that the copied disc they have may have been through an analogue conversion first, or that it's been downsampled and mp3'd.

    If the music industry thinks that the copy protection on these discs will eliminate piracy, IMO, they should wake up and smell the roses!

    Some estimates suggest VHS piracy is higher now than ever, coincidentally following the launch of DVD - but no-one really knows for sure the extent of the problem.
    We could even be looking at the return of the Compact Cassette (not that it's exactly gone away), with these v.high quality masters to tape from? :) :)
     
  14. Vection

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    It wouldn't be too complicated to run off an analouge copy. Then use that to make digital copies from. It's not as if the average pirate music user is looking for ultimate quality.

    Whatever digital copy protection is brought in it only takes the first generation copy to be made in analouge to defeat it.
    Whilst we're on the subject it does seem that sony haven't thought of what the effect will be on minidic sales and usage !!!! :suicide:
     
  15. Dubbing Mixer

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    I didn't say I thought this copy protection would work, simply that this is why SACD will replace CD. The copy protection in SACD involves (amongst other things) certain physical attributes of the disk itself being checked by the player, so cloning them won't be quite as simple as 'just software'.

    However, I entirely agree that the stable door has been banging in the breeze for some years and the greedy record companies still can't smell the coffee. (if you'll excuse the mixed metaphores)

    The whole revenue model of the music business has to change. Either CDs, SACDs or whatever have to fall in price to the point where it's not worth the bother of copying them or the money will have to come from performance with discs almost as a 'loss leader'

    Piracy has been with us since the first domestic recorders arrived. (wax cylinder I mean) All that's changed is the ease of acquiring what you want and the improvement in quality. As an impecunious teenager I used to tape (1/4") copies of my friends LPs and they taped mine, also AM radio. This in no way reduced record sales since we couldn't afford to buy more. Later, if I still liked them, I bought the LPs. In fact I'm still trying to find some of them now.
    The same thing is happening with the current generation of teenagers.

    The biggest obstacle to maintaining sales of recorded music is the far more attractive offer DVD represents.
    I wrote a paper in 1974 predicting it would become almost impossible to sell music without pictures. I just didn't think it would take this long to happen.

    There is, of course, a huge potential piracy problem with DVD as well. However, I reckon if commercial scale piracy can be prevented or policed then domestic copying will have no more effect on sales than domestic VHS copying did or does. Judging by the current extremely healthy sales of DVDs I think it is safe to assume domestic copying isn't wrecking the business.
     
  16. howesey

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    I prefer SACD. Sound quality can be better in some cases, if the music has been produced in PCM in any stage of it smaking it sounds just like DVD-A.

    SACD's are now rediliy availible. I have seen them in most HMV, Virgin Megastores and Ourprice stores. I have just bought an Outkast (can't remeber which one, will check at home) album on hybrid and it sounds so much better then my CD version, I guess it's because it has been mastered better. They only cost £14.99 as well, CD's are £16.99.
     
  17. sounddog

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    Well ... bought my first SACD (DSotM) last night - £12.99 from Borders ... now just waiting for the Pioneer 757ai to be delivered today to hear it in multi-channel glory - the CD layer sounded well mixed / mastered though.

    Vikki
     
  18. Steve.EX

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    I have read several reviews (the links too are not to hand) of the SACD TDSOTM and they have "reported" it to be not the very best example of the format (unfortunately).
    I have listened to SACD and DVD-A through reasonably exotic equipment (not my own i hasten to add, nothing i own could be classed as exotic) and i have to say i have enjoyed examples of both, for the today's relatively low prices to buying into these formats i personally do not see either as being "a waste of money"

    Steve
     
  19. nathan_silly

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    Can you listen to SACD/DVD-Audio in 2 channel only?

    Since my processor hasn't got 5.1 input, and it converts analogue inputs to digital anyway it's probably not the better pre-amp in my system.

    I can send the DVD stereo analogue outputs into my hifi pre-amp instead.
     
  20. sounddog

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    Yes Nathan ... a lot of SACDs are 2ch ... in fact most of the top end SACD players are still stereo only (Trivista, Sony SCD1, etc)
     
  21. Steve.EX

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    Nathan.
    SACD's come in various guises some contain a 2 channel only, some contain multichannel only and others (hybrid) contain a standard 16 bit pcm layer in conjunction with their SACD layer.
    You require a true analogue input/bypass to "appreciate" the gains, as with the Tag which digitises all analogue inputs (not connected to the analogue bypass) all be it 96khz you would (to put it crudely) downsample a 192khz souced output (D-A) of an SACD.
    IMHO although there are "good" examples of multichannel SACD/DVD-A where the surrounds have been used for ambience rather than "effects" my favourite SACD's have been 2 channel (surprise surprise) only.

    Steve.
     
  22. nathan_silly

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    Thought so. Probably won't use the MC-1 then.

    I would send the 2 channel output into a standard integrated amp.

    Is there a SACD/DVD-A player that has decent sound quality?

    How many titles are out for both?

    Cheers.
     

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