Thread: SACD Worth IT?
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Old 11-20-2008   #10
chemrat
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: midwest
Posts: 11
Default Re: SACD Worth IT?

I have a modified SONY ES SACD player that is only 2-channel. Frankly, I'm not sure what source I'm really listening to all the time (embedded red book CD, 2-channel SACD, multi-channel somehow processed to 2-channel???). Some SACDs don't refer to 2-channel content, others explicitly refer to it. My modded unit doesn't light up the SACD light no matter what is playing, so I just live in confusion and decided not to worry about it.

In spite of all that confusion, I enjoy SACDs like the Dylan box, the Stones box (to a lesser extent- perhaps we're gilding a lily here), and Dark Side..., etc. Some of these I have as vinyl, CD and SACD. Typically, CD might sound bad while the other formats usually sound good; CD can be fine, though, and I don't play much vinyl any more due to abject laziness and the 12-channel PA and electric piano/synth that are in the way. Might I add that these multiple copies of the same thing were pre-pre-pre-pre-economic collapse purchases? If I hadn't found the used, modded SONY stereo SACD player on the cheap, I might be more clueless... that is debatable, but would not have had as much fun.

I do like the SACDs, whatever I'm really hearing when playing them. I often feel that the remastering is as much a key component to improvements in sound as format changes (listen to the great JVC XRCDs, for example, vs. early, "vintage - hah!" CDs- no comparison), though I certainly (if only partially) understand the benefits that one might expect from DSD, etc.

With what might be the possible death of blue ray, as discussed elsewhere, a universal SACD/DVDA player that upsamples video might be a good compromise for me, but heck, musicdirect.com and other online sites already mentioned have all the formats available. You have the player, and I'd try the discs if I were you. What can you lose but a few bucks (or a few hundred on a box set)? You could discover a magic, missing ingredient that brings music alive for you, for whatever reason. If you set it up for two channel output, you won't even spend a fortune on cables while checking things out. I'd start there and keep going to 5.1 if you like what you hear.

I keep my video separate from my audio, though I do listen to concert videos (and watch them too). I often listen to the concerts in "direct mode" rather than in surround sound, however- it is usually better on my video system as a 2-channel experience (I compare a video system that has an old Denon 5.1 DD/DTS recvr to my audio system with separates, 2.1 speaker set-up, all run full range). With movies, anyway, what's to define better? (other than THX, but they don't come over often to calibrate my system or my ears).

Let us know how they sound!
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