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I need some feedback on a SACD recording

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enilsen

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I'm in the process of acquiring some SACD's and don't have the patience to wait for some one to post it in "What’s spinning". :mad:

I've googled for Santana - Abraxas SACD and found too many mixed reviews comparing the regular CD vs. SACD suggesting that the source material is the reason you can't hear any difference between the two. I'm not looking for a 5.1 recording, but a better quality release of the 2 ch. than what is already out there. :)

So, who can give me the facts with out suggesting that Sony is just pulling the wool over my eyes? :confused:
 

Cherian

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Try Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. I have many MFSL CDs and I find them to be among the best. I have not adopted the SACD format so I can’t say from experience but MFSL has a very good name in the market place.

http://www.mofi.com/
 
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Taz

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Floyd: Dark side of the Moon, It blows the orginal 2ch away. This recording is why I bought a SACD.
 

mrmike

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The only true dsd recording besides classical that my meager knowledge can recomend is Spyro Gyra, The Deep End. It truly sounds fantastic as does their other later recordings available on sacd. The Deep end as I understand was recorded in dsd as oppose to pcm. Can't say I can tell but it sure sounds good to me. The music is pretty good too. :)

Or if you are a Stevie Ray Vaughn fan, Texas Flood is a HUGE improvement over cd.
 
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enilsen

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Only a ML owner can probably hear the difference

DTB300 said:
Thanks for the link but as expected the critics here also make a point about that the SACD is not a huge improvement over the CD. In fact one comment was made that you can hear more flaws on the SACD version which clearly indicates that they never spent the time to clean up the original tape. I don't mind paying a premium for improvements but I suspect many of us will have to wait until they do it all over again. One thing I would like to see is when they make a SACD is that some of the sound compression used to level out the dynamics is lifted. I will probably get this SACD not expecting any miracle sound. Oh well everything sounds great on ML's anyway. :p

Well let’s hope Stevie Ray Vaughn will do the trick and put my faith back in SACD. This one I will definitely try out. :cool:

I will get around to acquiring the Spyro Gyra again as I have quite a few on vinyl and CD. It will give me something to look forward to. :)
 

DTB300

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enilsen said:
Thanks for the link but as expected the critics here also make a point about that the SACD is not a huge improvement over the CD. In fact one comment was made that you can hear more flaws on the SACD version which clearly indicates that they never spent the time to clean up the original tape.
Any format, no matter which one, will only sound as good as the master made for it.

Most of the non-classical (and a few classical) SACD's are "gimmicky" for me as they start to put musicians and singers into the surround channels. I have never been at a concert or a club where I have sat in the middle of the performers. MCH for me means using the surround channel for ambience, or helping to recreate the sound of the room or hall recorded in. That is why I like Classcial in MCH, but almost all other SACD genre I listen to in SACD 2 CH.

Personally (just my opinion here), while the Pink Floyd DSOTM SACD is better than the original redbook, it just does not represent what a good SACD disc can sound like. It is probably one of the better Rock SACD's out there, and there are not many rock SACD's. Some will argue that the recording is over 30 years old, and while I would agree, check out some of the late 50's jazz SACD's which have better quality sound IMO - just direct recording with minimal micing.

In non-classical genre there are much better sounding SACD's out there like: Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Diana Krall, Yellowjackets, Flim & the BB's, Mark Knopfler, Gerry Mulligan (MSFL), James Taylor, etc.

Playback devices also help with the SACD vs Redbook determination. I am a firm believer in the Modwright and Vacuum State mods to players for a drastic improvement in SACD playback over stock. You need to spend 2-3 times as much on a stock player to equal these modded player playback qualities.

Dan
 

enilsen

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It can only be as good as the master

DTB300 said:
Any format, no matter which one, will only sound as good as the master made for it.
I'm of the opinion that the master (source) can be improved on and in the process making these SACD's closer to what I have on vinyl (DSOTM is an example of this). In some cases better than the original vinyl release due to compression techniques used back then and poor cutting equipment. Anyone who has owned a real to real to do a live recording knows what I mean and the reproduction of that source to a SACD should be very dynamic. (Just like the old 50's recordings)

As you suggest that no matter what format, it can only be as good as the master would also imply that this could be a scam in some cases just to repackage something old that will play on a SACD player. The marketing companies would then always ague that you are getting the raw material with nothing added or taken away. Hmm! It's not analog anymore so they did take something away. Right. :mad:

Unfortunately expensive modified SACD players is not for the masses so I don't think these marketing companies are even concerned about those issues. The best argument here is that the masses will expect a near to live experience with their new found format (I guess that why they added some extra sound to fill out the 5.1)

Oh well it looks like vinyl is here to stay for those special recordings and I will fuel this new scam because I’m just curious if they can do any better.
 

DTB300

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enilsen said:
I'm of the opinion that the master (source) can be improved on and in the process making these SACD's closer to what I have on vinyl (DSOTM is an example of this).
DSOTM is a bad example of comparing vinyl to SACD.

And for the masters, you cannot make chicken salad from chicken poop. If you have all the original tracks which were recorded, then I imagine a new master can be made and be made better. But this is a topic for people in the recording industry who could answer this question better and in more detail than I. Knowledgeable people to discuss this with is either Ray Kimber or Michael Bishop over at the Audio Asylum "Hi-Rez" formum. Ray from Kimber Kable has done some great SACD recordings with his new ISO-Mic process, and Micheal Bishop of Telarc can also enlighten your questions and issues about SACD and Masters.

As you suggest that no matter what format, it can only be as good as the master would also imply that this could be a scam in some cases just to repackage something old that will play on a SACD player.
Unless the original is recorded in DSD, which SACD takes avantage of.

But for recordings to be redone for other fomats, this has been happening for Cassette, 8-Track, CD, and SACD. So if you really think that SACD is a SCAM, then do not buy it, do not talk about it, and move on and listen to your prefered format.

Oh well it looks like vinyl is here to stay for those special recordings and I will fuel this new scam because I’m just curious if they can do any better.
I do not think anyone has every said vinyl is gone, history, kaput. People still love the format and will continue to do so - and you are still seeing new vinyl being released - right?.

Again if you think SACD is a SCAM why bother with your time and money? Get over it, move on, and enjoy your vinyl - nothing wrong with that.
 

enilsen

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DTB300 said:
Again if you think SACD is a SCAM why bother with your time and money? Get over it, move on, and enjoy your vinyl - nothing wrong with that.
I just see the opportunity recording companies will have to capitalize on a new medium when in reality there is nothing to gain unless it comes from a DSD source or if the master was enhanced in someway. I never said SACD was a SCAM nor do I believe it is but when I have no other alternative for newer source material I will have to bite the bullet. The SCAM here (if there is one) is when no one can tell the difference between the CD and the SACD recording which I might assume is due to the lack of time invested in re-mastering this album. Yeah I’m hoping for chicken salad but will end up with chicken poop.

DSOTM is a bad example of comparing vinyl to SACD.
True, but majority of owners who have purchased this SACD in general acknowledge the sound quality to be one of the best SACD produced. They paid a premium and in return got some satisfaction out of this new found format. I only used this as an example of how a 30 plus year old recording can be enhanced to meet today’s expectations. This might not be a great HI-FI album, but for some of us this might be the only reason to get a SACD player.

One of the reasons I’m looking for feedback from this site and not the Audio Asylum is because of similar equipment used to listen to audio recordings. In all fairness it is not unreasonable for someone to question any new technology if not perceived to have a beneficial outcome. In this case I’m being very specific about what my expectations are to a specific recording done over 30 plus years ago. I was looking for a specific answer and I believe the answer is quite clear. When I get the SACD I will pass on my 2 cents.
 

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