Author Topic: Super Audio CD  (Read 10748 times)

dsop

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Super Audio CD
« on: February 14, 2013, 02:15:18 PM »
What is the consensus here on SACD vs regular CD? For that matter, what about DVD audio?
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Paul Marangoni

funkle

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 08:05:28 AM »
SACD is a is a great sounding format for sure, assuming you have a well resolving system & compatible player (I don't have the latter anymore), but the increased quality will probably be lost on 99% of the people who would prefer the convenience of iTunes. The benefits increase with the quality of your system.

I would personally prefer Hi Rez downloads to any sort of physical media. Sites like HDtracks have a small selection of fusion & jazz. The convenience of using file based music is huge, and setting up a media server based system is so simple & affordable these days. I guess the ultimate scenario for me would be if iTunes started offering HiRez music, as they hinted they might do.

I like listening to hirez music, but the limited amount of what is available makes it kind of a once and a while thing, and redbook can sound pretty darn good. I prefer discovering new and obscure music to listening for the sake of fidelity.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 08:12:15 AM by funkle »

dsop

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 11:03:20 AM »
I read somewhere that double blind studies were inconclusive as to whether SACD sounded any better than regular CD.  As for MP3 or other downloadable file formats, I agree that there is a big convenience factor, but unless there is no loss of fidelity (as with WAV files), I get tired of listening after a few minutes. That compression seems to induce ear fatigue.

Another issue I find with downloading music files vs purchasing physical product is the lack of attention given to the music. People download music, listen to it a few times, and then move on to the next file. People used to "live with" a record and really "absorb" its every nuance. The album's jacket may have had something to do with this, as you could read all about the artist, see numerous photos, etc. without the use of a microscope (as in the case of CDs with microscopic printing).

It seems to me that it's pretty rare to find music that holds up to repeated listens anymore, and it may not even be the music's fault.

I'm sure that eventually we'll be able to purchase downloads of the highest fidelity and have them stored such that we can access them from any Internet enabled device. It would definitely free up a lot of shelf space for me, but hopefully there ends up being a way to access all the photos/credits/info from whatever player we're using at the time.

One more thought/question: Should I even bother offering my next record in a physical format? ???
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Paul Marangoni

funkle

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 12:00:23 PM »
I read somewhere that double blind studies were inconclusive as to whether SACD sounded any better than regular CD.  As for MP3 or other downloadable file formats, I agree that there is a big convenience factor, but unless there is no loss of fidelity (as with WAV files), I get tired of listening after a few minutes. That compression seems to induce ear fatigue.

I've heard about those studies too. I wonder what sort of equipment they used. I think the advantages are moot if the system isn't that good. But with a great hifi, the difference is pretty obvious IMO. And how astute the listener is important. It's interesting you mention the fatigue thing. I have heard that in double blind tests, while listeners could not identify any difference in an analytical way, they may seem to be more involved with the music in the case of higher rez - foot tapping, moving to the music etc.

That is an interesting point about living with the CDs. I used to have a much smaller amount of music, and would spend a lot more time with them. I have a huge library now, I listen to a lot of stuff with random play, so I get surprised sometimes. And I do generally have a handful of albums in heavy rotation at any given time.

I for one have no need for physical media, but I seem to be in the minority on this.

GeorgeX

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 01:15:53 PM »


Another issue I find with downloading music files vs purchasing physical product is the lack of attention given to the music. People download music, listen to it a few times, and then move on to the next file. People used to "live with" a record and really "absorb" its every nuance. The album's jacket may have had something to do with this, as you could read all about the artist, see numerous photos, etc.



One more thought/question: Should I even bother offering my next record in a physical format? ???

I think you answered your own question here. Do you want people having no choice but to not be able to make that connection?

I think you are dead on with your assessment of what digital has done to kill the importance of music. My friends that have gone the all digital route, none of them knows any song titles, can't tell you who played on an album, don't even have a sense for albums in general since they're playlisting all the time, etc. It's all very disposable. I wouldn't think you'd want that for your music.

In all honesty, I have never bought a digital file and never will. There has to be more like me somewhere. Those are potential lost sales

GeorgeX

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 02:17:49 PM »
FWIW, among people buying the entire album, digital sales have never come close to cd sales, although the gap is lessening. Last year was the closest they have come. CDs sold 193 million and digital albums sold 118 million. The percentage gap is wider in the closest applicable category, jazz. More than three times as many cd sales within the genre.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130104005149/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2012-Music-Industry-Report

Of course, digital allows for cherry picking tracks, but is that something that we think a lot of fusion fans do, in particular?

rapidfirerob

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 02:54:50 PM »
I do treasure having actual product, but have trouble fitting it in our small house. Nothing gives me more pleasure than playing a record and looking at the jacket. I don't feel I need to own every fusion release that comes out. I don't have time to listen to all of it. There will always be a number of people that enjoy playing records and owning CDs IMO. Record sales go up and down, but the medium hangs in there. I can't physically own anymore or I would. Maybe when the child moves out.
I think it's a matter of whether you can afford to press CDs. I assume that is the product you are speaking of, and not vinyl. I hope you continue to offer CDs. Some folks sell CDs with free downloads to go with the album.
I only heard an SACD once in a high end audio store and couldn't tell the difference between that and a CD. Not a great way to judge, for sure.

funkle

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 10:06:56 PM »
One of the things that has changed in my live is that unfortunately, I don't have time in my days for dedicated listening. So I listen while I'm working, driving, cooking, working out etc. An unfortunate symptom of modern life/family life. The upside is I listen to a LOT of music every day, more than I did when I had to jockey discs. All made possible by the fact that I can access my library anywhere, any time (I'm seriously considering adding speakers to the bathroom for when I shower). This, in addition to the fact that I don't have to deal with trying to find something amidst piles of disorganized media makes it better.

I do miss the liner notes. It would be nice if there was more support for this within itunes. itunes offers digital liner notes with their downloads, but no way to add them to cd rips. I think the ipad has amazing potential as a controller. It would be nice if you could bring up liner notes on your ipad when using it to control the music.

GeorgeX

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 11:22:40 PM »
This, in addition to the fact that I don't have to deal with trying to find something amidst piles of disorganized media makes it better.


In all fairness, this is you being disorganized more than it is a function of cds. I have had my cds in alphabetical order since I first racked them when I bought the house in '96', and never have they been in piles. I'm guessing, if someone called out an album name, I could have it playing before you do.  :P


funkle

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 11:01:09 AM »
In all fairness, this is you being disorganized more than it is a function of cds.

No argument there  :laugh:

rapidfirerob

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 04:21:38 PM »
This, in addition to the fact that I don't have to deal with trying to find something amidst piles of disorganized media makes it better.


In all fairness, this is you being disorganized more than it is a function of cds. I have had my cds in alphabetical order since I first racked them when I bought the house in '96', and never have they been in piles. I'm guessing, if someone called out an album name, I could have it playing before you do.  :P
I don't have room for all my CDs to be on display. Many of them are in Case Logic cases. I shower with music on usually, from the bedroom turned way up!

profusion

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 10:14:46 AM »
I'm an anal retentive guy who has all my CDs in alphabetical order. I don't mind digital files, but my problem is that I do the majority of my listening in the car while commuting, and it's a hassle to deal with moving music on and off of an iPod etc. They don't make high-capacity mobile players anymore, which is just ridiculous. If I could get a 200 or 300 gb player, I'd consider it. But I'm not going to deal with trying to organize the 32gb I have available on my phone. It's easier just to pick out a CD or two from the shelf each morning.

Halfdim7

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 12:11:01 PM »
I've never heard any of the audiophile disc formats, and I've never owned the kind of equipment where the difference would likely be audible. I know that Neil Young claims that BluRay audio can exactly replicate a studio master, so that would seem to be about as far as you can take it, if Neil's surely tinnitic ears speak the truth.
Most people don't care enough about music to warrant that though. The whole industry is based on novelty, and the ability to "dig deep" in a recording would only underscore how flimsy the music is. I don't even listen to much contemporary fusion and almost no modern prog, because there is just something missing for me.
On top of that, I think the way music is mixed and mastered has as much, if not more to do with how awful a lot of stuff sounds today than whatever format it's on. This gets pretty evident when you consider how much more musical an old Hot Club recording, done with a whole band playing into one mic and likely ripped from a 70-year-old 78, sounds compared to a modern record recorded in Pro Tools HD or whatever. The performance is what shines through with those old recordings, and you forget about the medium. I think that should be the goal, rather than "hey, I can hear the drummer's throne squeak!" or whatever.
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

funkle

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 09:09:31 PM »
One could say most people don't care about hi fidelity, but I think most people might have an aha moment hearing a track they thought they knew well on a great system

They don't make high-capacity mobile players anymore, which is just ridiculous.

You can get a 160GB iPod classic.

conebeckham

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Re: Super Audio CD
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 09:03:17 AM »
You can, but Apple is phasing them out......I love mine.