What is the point of SACD?

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by surv1v0r, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You can't *rip* a SACD (not easily, anyway, there are ways... don't ask me though, even though I do have an Oppo 103, whic his one of the pieces of equipment that you apparently need to do this, I don't actually own any SACDs) but you can get a multi-channel digital output over HDMI.
     
  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    I didn't see any mention of ripping SACDs, but I can attest to the shrinking space on my network server that ripping SACDs is actually a lot simpler thanks to using the Oppo method. ;) It's a matter of putting a single folder with three small files in it onto a USB thumb drive and sticking it in the player--the player's ready. Then using a computer on the same network, you run a small utility to start the rip, and (optionally) extract the pure DSD files. We just hope they don't patch the players in the future to close that loophole!
     
  3. BobHol

    BobHol Old fart Subscriber

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    I've done some research and have come to the conclusion that there are players and amps that do pass SACD multi-channel via HDMI. Looks like I'd have to be careful and make sure that each unit is compatible with DSD or multi-channel audio. Is this correct? My NAD T-763 has a terrible reputation for reliability (though it has lasted this long). Some day I'll need to replace it.
     
  4. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

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    If you are considering current (or recent) components, I'd recommend looking through their respective owner's manuals. For example, there are many current home theater receivers that will accept and process an incoming DSD bitstream via their HDMI inputs. On the other end, make sure the player can output the raw DSD bitstream through the HDMI output. So, yes, it can be done with one single HDMI cable for multi-channel SACD.
     
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  5. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

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    You can go to Walmart and buy a $100.00 Sony Blu-ray player (one that states it can play SACD) and output the native DSD bitstream through its HDMI output. With a player that can output DSD through the HDMI output, you are just moving where the DSD decoding takes place.

    Multi-channel analog outputs (on a player) and inputs (on a home theater receiver or pre/pro) are very rare nowadays. Oppo is just about the only manufacturer that have multi-channel analog outputs on all of its players (including the new 4K Blu-ray 203 model).
     
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  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    I was somewhat surprised to see that on the 203, but I'm glad they kept it.
     
  7. Putterman

    Putterman Super Member

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    Somewhat to my surprise I found the Samsung BD-J7500/ZA Blu-ray player has multichannel outputs for < $200. Connect that to a slightly older AV receiver that has multichannel inputs, which most have, and you're in business. Many of the non HDMI AV receivers can be found for pennies on the dollar used. Even many less recent HDMI receivers have multichannel inputs. And already mentioned, there inexpensive SONY Blu Rays that carry SACD over HDMI.
     
  8. Bob

    Bob Super Member

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    to the original question, my input is that yes, you can tell the difference between all the formats, all the mastering, and everything else.

    before anyone knocks the 50+ year old recordings, they were 2-track custom monsters running at 15 or 30 IPS. no doubt some of
    the best recordings in time. and using tubes in the sound chain.

    then came the recording engineers who mastered the tapes and had target goals - mono, initial stereo (and various pre-RIAA), LPs,
    reel-to-reel, cassette, CD, mini-disks, SACDs, DSD (various bitrates), and perhaps, sometimes soon, the original recordings
    without processing (mastering) that is downloadable.

    each time it's re-mastered the ceilings are raised but the walls are also. limitations in the target media (CD compression), LPs
    (bass excursions, time limitations, IGD, constant angular velocity), cassettes (dolby processing), etc all cause compromises
    that, the next media/re-master, fixes.

    my objection is paying for all the various versions, each promising a better sound experience. So a long time go, I decided
    to stick with LPs. along the way people dumped their LPs and I grabbed them . Nowadays, CDs seem to be going through the
    same process.

    one note, my SACD player only outputs analog via RCAs. CDs can also come out Analog but can be routed through optical
    outputs bypassing the internal DACs, in many cases, the CD sounds much better through an external DAC. That minimizes
    the differences, although I haven't done critical listening as such.

    Bob
     
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  9. armyslowrdr

    armyslowrdr I don't want one..LOL

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    Really late in checking out the cutting edge forum---thus my lateness to this topic.

    Not having a golden ear I will say my ear can tell the difference.
    Have a Sony SACD player in the home theater for when I choose to listen to a multi channel presentation.
    In my main listening room I have a TEAC 2000.
    Mainly I listen these days to LPs. However when I play a CD in the TEAC versus an SACD the difference is night and day.

    The best way I can say is the SACD experience is startling. The clean dynamics just outpace other formats except for perhaps bluray audio (IMO with MY system).

    Another bonus is the TEAC player has built in streaming capability via USB from the computer.

    Also I have noted plenty at the on line outlets: new LP 35$, used scratched record at a shop 7 to 20$ depending on title, SACD on sale 25$. Especially
    for artists that I have no vinyl, in this scenario I would grab the SACD every time.
     
  10. a golden ear is not necessary, but a TRAINED ear, yes. or, maybe not as in the case of a non-audiophile i once counseled. i told the guy to just carefully listen over an extended period of time, months, to music that he had on both LP and CD, to see if he didn't notice the more relaxed, and fulfilling sound of the vinyl vs compact disc.

    about three months later, i saw him and he volunteered to me that it was true, he could definitely sense just that. a more satisfying and yes, relaxed feeling after hearing vinyl but not on CD. SACD also has these characteristics that allow the relaxation and to hear the more vividly alive music in comparison to Cd.

    i many times will buy the SACD when it's likely that an original LP version of the music (such as Mingus' "Ah Um") would be prohibitively costly or quite thrashed vs buying a pristine sounding SACD. new vinyl tough is usually a better buy for ultimate sound quality and that word used by tas-verisimillitude.

    that word captures the essence of why vinyl playback is more involving. used records can be nearly as clean if you limit yourself to mint or near mint status which is always included in the description of the item for sale. getting yourself a Spin Clean ($120) record cleaner of for a lot more money (~$600), an ultrasonic cleaner, will take you steps closer to VERY pristine sound from used records.

    so, yes SACD is a worthwhile investment in hardware to play it and the software to play.
     
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  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Granted, part of it was the crappy player I had (a Pioneer DV45A), but there were times I would listen to CD and get a headache after an hour or two. Yet with SACD or DVD-Audio, I noticed much less of a headache. Vinyl? Never. I realized that what I was doing was clenching my teeth unconsciously whenever a CD was playing (which also explained my sore jaw). At any rate, one day I was working and sitting not too far from one of the speakers, and I noticed that anything in the high frequencies had sort of a "buzzy/raspy" sound on the CD (if you're familiar with a sawtooth waveform...that's what it faintly sounded like), which was absent on a vinyl version of it. Strangely, my Pioneer 100 CD carousel was actually slightly smoother sounding than that DV45A.

    I have noticed now that since I have moved to a more musical player, I can tolerate CDs longer, and SACD (and high-res in general) more approaches that liquidity (that sense of naturalness and relaxation in the reproduced music) I would get with the better vinyl in my collection. Once I got the player in my system, I heard how much better digital could sound, heard how close SACD and high-res could sound to pure analog, and it made me understand why some listeners out there will drop several thousand dollars on digital playback equipment (transports, streamers, DACs, etc.).

    Some SACDs I still don't trust (primarily, imported SACDs where the sources are unknown...hell, they could be a CD rip for all we know), but for companies like MoFi and Analogue Productions who actually remaster to SACD, I will buy those if I see some titles I like. I have heard some really nice reissues. Very lifelike and musical. :)
     
  12. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    I have a couple of Sony SCD-CE595 changers with these analog outputs. This was a sleeper player in which Sony, in an effort to increase interest in SACD's, used one of their better implemented chips.

    My wife and I took turns in a double blind A/B test between the Sony and a Marantz SA8004 and could tell no difference between the two playing separate copies of the same SACD. The last one I bought at Goodwill cost $7.00.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

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    I had this SACD player....used a customized Burr-Brown DAC chip. I paired it with a pair of Grado SR-60 headphones and a Technics HT receiver used as a headphone amp (no headphone jack on the SCD-CE595). Sounded great!

    For those who wants to pick up some inexpensive SACDs, importcds.com has some MoFi SACD titles on sale.....

    http://www.importcds.com/search?mod=AP&ft=SACD&lb=Mobile Fidelity#!?pagenum=1&sortby=PriceLowHigh
     
  14. i had a wonderful sounding sony ns500v that i had read about in tas that also was a real sleeper new, $169, delivered. it also had the analog outputs. when i played rbcd discs, they sounded so much better on it that i felt that my rbcd collection was now worth more to me.

    eventually, its sacd function failed, now i have an oppo 203 awaiting hookup.
     
  15. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I guess you probably wouldn't be happy to know that I found mine in a thrift store for ~$15. :p

    If it makes you feel any better, I had to solder some header pins back together (doesn't look like they were ever soldered from the factory) to get the display working, and also had to spend a few more bucks to get the remote off a certain auction site...

    I don't actually have any SACDs though...
     
  16. i bought my sony near the beginning of the sacd life cycle and paid about the price of a list price CD which was worth THAT price, not their list price. i acquired quite a few in hopes that if we supported the format, it would live. well, it didn't live a full life but they are still being made and are usually about $30 now. for less than the cost of a pristine LP of legacy music (blue notes and some other titles), you can have a very good transfer that will not become noisy.

    my second unit of the ns500v was about $40 on ebay and it worked in sacd, for a while.

    here is a source of sacd at decent pricing: http://www.importcds.com/music/sacd this was posted by soundboy above.

    please note that i had put the wrong link but NOW the right one is there


    cd
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
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  17. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Just bought Bill Evans' "Explorations" SACD for $14.99 on Amazon.
     
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  18. in the above post, please note that i had put the wrong link but NOW the right one is there
     
  19. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

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    I had a Sony NS500V as well, and like yours, it developed that issue with recognizing SACDs. But while it worked, it sounded great.

    Btw, the TAS article had the NS500V go up against a Rega Planet and it was able to go toe-to-toe with the (way) more expensive machine.
     
  20. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have the same exact changer and I really like it. I paid $11 from Deseret and got a $8 remote from eBay. I just got a Marantz DV6001 and can hear no difference between it and the Sony......but I cant hear any difference in two channel mode between SACD and CD so my opinion may not mean much. Regular CDs have such a low noise floor, especially compared to to LPs, that I would need to listen to very quiet classical music at huge volumes to hear a difference.
     

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