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Is SACD Dead ?? RIP !!

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twich54

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With Sony putting all its effort into its Blu-Ray what is the opinion of those with the SACD format. Retail support seems to be fading rather quickly.
 

MiTT

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No, I don't think so...

It's interesting that this is coming up here, it also came up in a thread I'd started over in the Main Discussion area when I was asking for opinions about the Esoteric DV-50S player. I don't believe it's a dead format and here's why...

Where does this information about Sony "putting all it's effort into Blu-Ray" come from. Sony showed new SACD players at CES this year, just came out with a new release of 30 Living Stereo tiles on SACD and has two more releases planned for this year. Sony is not expending a lot of time or money on non-classical titles, but that does not mean they are not continuing to support both new hardware and new software.

As I mention in the other thread, my local Tower has an entire isle dedicated to high resolution formats - both SACD and DVD-A, although there are quite a few more SACD titles, about 6-8 times as many I'd say. When I spoke to the folks working there they all said that sales have been "typically the same as the other formats". Now, bear in mind that this section is located in the Classical area, so I don't know if they are comparing these sales only to other classical titles, which I'm sure are only a small segement of the overall market. On line suppliers like Music Direct seem to be selling well too. They have over 1700 titles in stock and I get a couple of newsletters a week anouncing new titles available on both vinyl and SACD (and occasionally DVD-A).

The audio press and the High End community seem to still support the format. The latest issue of Stereophile has a cover story on the new dcs P8i 1 box CD/SACD player, a dedicated 2 channel unit that does not support any DVD Audio or Video format. This article notes that "even as Sony appears to be backing away from SACD as a mainstream format, it has become the de facto standard for the highest quality classical recordings". The latest issue of the Abso!ute Sound has a reviews of both the newest Krell SACD standard and the Esoteric XO-3. The most recent issue of Hi-Fi + gave one of it's Product of the Year awards to the above mentioned Sony/BMG Living Stereo SACD releases, and then went on to spend 6 pages further on reviewing the Esoteric P-01 Universal Transport, D-01 DAC and G-0s Clock. I don't believe that any of these companies would sink the development resources into new equipment selling between $4000.00 (Krell) to $14,000.00 (dcs) to $35,000.00+ (Esoteric) if they felt they were catering to a dying format. Nor do I believe that the high end press would waste the ink on reviewing this hardware (and software) if they felt the same.

Personally I feel that SACD offers me the very best digital playback I've heard in my system (when I borrowed a friends Krell SACD Standard). I'll continue to buy SACD titles, and am even considering a higher end SACD player in the near future. Until then I'll probably spend the bulk of my time and money on listening to another format that was supposed to have died 20 some years ago and that I feel offers the most musical enjoyment - vinyl.
 

aliveatfive

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Even tho Sony and BMG are now merged, the 2 divisions have different policies. BMG continues to release SACDs, Sony does not.
 

twich54

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Tim, All good points, yet I continue to get signals saying it is dying a slow death, such as, Barnes & Noble has dropped their dedicated section and at least the store closest to me says they will not even carry any by the summer. My local Audio salon, Overture, Wilmington, De says "the end is in sight" ?? as far as Sony goes there is far more reaching potential with Blu-ray than SACD and given their last great (if not the greatest) marketing blunder of all time......Beta !!! I don't know .....I guess I'll hang in here on the sidelines and wait and see ?????
 

SugarMedia

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Musical Fidelity's Antony Michaelson announced that they will not be making any more SACD machines, with the view that DVD-A is dead and SACD has too many limited titles.
 

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frostyM

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Everyone that enjoys playing SACD's should continue buying them and keep enjoying the music. For the ones that think it is going out, maybe some day they could only wish they should have gotten into SACD's.
 

twich54

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frostyM said:
Everyone that enjoys playing SACD's should continue buying them and keep enjoying the music. For the ones that think it is going out, maybe some day they could only wish they should have gotten into SACD's.
Wanna buy some real good beta tapes !!!!!!!!
 

audioraptured

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Is SACD Dead

twich54: Good evening twich, and may I add I agree with you. There was once a couple of racks filled with SACD's at the local Circut Sh*ty close to my area and now there is nothing. Same at Best and a few other places. These are main stream stores that have very basic and intro level stuff, and there seems to be nothing of any quality left. The public is most familiar with these locations. If there was going to be a place to support even the bacis type players, (universal or SACD or Audio ect), they either missed the mark in basic business class or are fading out the format. I am going to wait till the third or forth generation of Blue-Ray comes out before even trying to save for a new piece of equipment.
Rant starts here:
It seems we are going from quality, (I sill use wav files for music I've burned), to the 128kps, to less and less and etc. I teach in a high school and for the majority, they don't really care any more about great quality and fine sound. Its just noise, (have you heard rap music on these ipods?), and the latest junk, (I'm sorry, funk); but somehow they can afford a $300 player. I brought in "Take Five" and played it for them on my system I hooked up in Science class,and most couldn't believe the difference. Man, has the mass market pimps ever made junk music addicts and impulse buyers out of this group. A sad condition for all.
Rant ends.......
 

MiTT

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audioraptured said:
It seems we are going from quality, (I sill use wav files for music I've burned), to the 128kps, to less and less and etc. I teach in a high school and for the majority, they don't really care any more about great quality and fine sound. Its just noise, (have you heard rap music on these ipods?), and the latest junk, (I'm sorry, funk); but somehow they can afford a $300 player. I brought in "Take Five" and played it for them on my system I hooked up in Science class,and most couldn't believe the difference. Man, has the mass market pimps ever made junk music addicts and impulse buyers out of this group. A sad condition for all.
Rant ends.......
I'll piggyback onto your rant audioraptured. I couldn't agree more. We live in a culture that really does prize convenience over quality for the most part, and it's not just limited to music playback. It's true of our fast food restaurants, drive through Liquor stores, 300 store shopping malls and online everything and anything under the sun. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good Taco Bell burrito now and again, but I do feel like we live in a culture that has replaced an appreciation of quality with instant gratification.

I've only recently purchased an i-Pod for myself, and frankly I'm glad I did because I can take my music with me wherever I go. However, I only rip my own CD's, and only at the highest quality setting that the medium will allow. I mean I've got 60 gigs of music avaialble, what do I care about file size as long as it sounds better, and it does sound suprizingly good.

So let me postulate this to the group; have you ever brought along a neophite to share in one of you're hobbies? I've taken people mountain biking here in Colorado just to share the thrill of taking a bike up and down a mountain that very few people would even walk on. I've brought folks into my listening room becauise they know that they love music, but have never heard it on a high end system, or even more appalling, on vinyl ("can you even still buy those things?"). I believe that a part of any enthusiasts journey includes the yoke of education. If one of your co-workers is blown away by the sound systems over at Circuit City, Best Buy or the freakin' BLOWZE store at the mall, we owe it to the entire audio community to expose them to the whole new world of the High End. No matter what your passion, if you don't expose others to it there may not be enough users to ultimately support the manufacturers that create the very things you prize, enjoy and lust for.

Which kind of brings me back to the point I was trying to make in this thread originally. Do I believe that SACD will be a viable mass market format? Oh hell no, which is why Circuit City, Best Buy and even Barnes and Noble will be oblivious to their existance, just like they are to the existance of vinyl, high end audio and music beyond the playlists of mass market, top 40 pop, rap and country music radio stations and MTV. In order to find and appreciate those things we'll need to look to those who cater to our specialty - High End audio retailers, local music stores run by actual music lovers rather than souless corporations, and on-line retailers who can support our special needs in markets where distance or population serve to isolate us from what is available.

Phew, I feel better, thanks...
 

MarkNewbie

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I was going to JUMP in on this with a full scale RANT!!!

Decided that after reading the last post, I don't need to. I have taken the exact same song, "The Power of Love" by Celine Dion and played it for people in both CD and SACD formats and everytime, they are stunned by the difference. I am always asked what makes the SACD sound so much better than the regular CD. I agree that SACD is not going to replace CDs but I dissagree that it is going to die. The largest purchasing group for CDs also happen to drive those cars that go whump, whump and drive us all nuts. It is not the quality of whump, whump that they are looking for, it is the volume of whump, whump that turns them on. We, on the other hand, are turned on by quality. Why do you think vinyl is still around?

<bobbing head> Nuff said! <crossing arms>
 

aliveatfive

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Hey, I hope all you SACD supporters are right! I've just had too much with what Sony did with Beta to believe that they'll stick with the SACD format when they see more profit in other formats. One of the columnists in TAS said recently that SACD may remain a niche format. Let's see how long it does last. I'm hoping for a long run, but I'm a realist.
 

tonyc

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Whether or not SACD is dead may depend on what kind of music we want to hear. New classical music on SACD comes out every week-I get these new title ads from musicdirect, the Elusive Disc, etc. On the other hand if you are like me and more into rock or pop, the pickings are much slimmer. It is ironic now that I have finally found a source (Ayre C5xe) which clearly shows the differences in quality among the formats (and ALL can be very good) I am having problems finding new tunes! Sony damned well better support SACD in their new players or previous early adopters like me may go HD DVD just for spite! I now wait with bated breath for the new Moody Blues series on SACD.
 

slowGEEZR

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I agree with MiTT's "rant". SACDs definitely do have the capability of sounding better than CDs, My MoFi SACDs of Patricia Barber are definitely great. However, just because the media is SACD does NOT guarantee better sound than a CD. For example, the Capitol SACD of Dark Side of the Moon doesn't sound near as good, to my ears, as the MoFi release of the same album on CD. I wrote a more thorough review in the Pop/Rock area on this board. -Steve
 

mdl

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I got bad news for ya...

As much as SACD is dead (I hope it hangs around as a niche), redbook is pretty much just as dead. I do not know anyone under 25 who buys CDs in volume. They download. The record stores have a handful of old farts like me (who still call them "record stores" :) shuffling around...

On the bright side... most great music was made before 1980 anyway :)
 

twich54

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slowGEEZR said:
I agree with MiTT's "rant". SACDs definitely do have the capability of sounding better than CDs,

Point well taken, and with that being said so was Beta far superior to VHS, and here we are in 2006 with the only Beta being utilized is in the TV News industry, and it's niche market there is quickly fading as well !!!

I do not own a SACD player and don't know if I would be wise to make a purchase given:

1) the cost
2) Sony's track record
3) how long the "niche" will be supported ????
 

Peter Hogan

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mdl said:
On the bright side... most great music was made before 1980 anyway :)
I don't know if that's a 'bright' side...with the corollary being that little great music has been made in the last 25+ years...

Peter
 

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mdl said:
As much as SACD is dead (I hope it hangs around as a niche), redbook is pretty much just as dead. I do not know anyone under 25 who buys CDs in volume. They download. The record stores have a handful of old farts like me (who still call them "record stores" :) shuffling around...

On the bright side... most great music was made before 1980 anyway :)
Sometimes somebody writes down my own thoughts, something that I would have said, maybe even better and more sythetically expressed than I could have done it. It does not come up often, but this is definitely the case. Thumbs up, man.
 

jjqiv

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lugano said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl
As much as SACD is dead (I hope it hangs around as a niche), redbook is pretty much just as dead. I do not know anyone under 25 who buys CDs in volume. They download. The record stores have a handful of old farts like me (who still call them "record stores" :) shuffling around...

On the bright side... most great music was made before 1980 anyway :)



Sometimes somebody writes down my own thoughts, something that I would have said, maybe even better and more sythetically expressed than I could have done it. It does not come up often, but this is definitely the case. Thumbs up, man.

My local music stores are full of that age range. In fact, I would say that is the dominant age range. I've never seen an SACD in their hands, but see quite a bit of vinyl cluched under their dirty little arm pits in the check-out lines. I doubt they are using the LP's to just help shape their mohawks. :rolleyes:
 

mdl

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Peter Hogan said:
I don't know if that's a 'bright' side...with the corollary being that little great music has been made in the last 25+ years...

Peter
I was *kinda* kidding. Personally, I think the 40s and 50s may have been the greatest era (I have a love of big bands, Sinatra, and Elvis). I also suffer from nostalgia and find most modern pop music truly lacking. Part of it is it is not made for me.. the other part is I think the playing is poor. I remember people used to look down on disco for musicianship (I think Lou Reed had a quote: "what kid wants to grow up to play on a Donna Summer record"). Even in the adult contemporary category I see people like Michael Buble (sp?) have big hits with Sinatra covers... and I just cringe when I hear them. The great thing about music is it all more or less costs the same... why buy a cheap copy (or the watered down 3rd generation) when you can buy a frickin masterpiece!

Last weekend I was watching a movie with Jose Ferrer called "Deep In My Heart". The movie was equal parts great and cheese, but they would cut to scenes with huge orchestras (never mind scenes with Cyd Charisse.. ai yi yi) and all I could think of was... when would anything even close to this be made again. Sampling... digital formats... "pro tools"... they have all eroded the one truly important thing: talent. All of that I think did change dramatically in the early 80s... so in a certain sense I still stick to my statement. I can still enjoy things beyond the 80's though (e.g. James Carter's Chasin' the Gypsy... *love* that one good and loud).

Regarding SACD, the RCA and Mercury reissues are the sole reason I got into this format. I am forever thankful for these reissues and the cheap universal players that are out there. Worrying about SACD is on the same level for me as vinyl... it ain't ever gonna sell big numbers... but I can spend the rest of my years collecting and enjoying it. On a grander scale, I do not think consumers want another format (including Blu Ray etc etc).
 
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