Question: SACD Versus Vinyl

Discussion in 'Home Audio (Stereo Systems)' started by cpa2guitar, Nov 5, 2017.


  1. cpa2guitar

    cpa2guitar Gold Supporting Member

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    I have about 150 records that I have not listened to in years. A lot of these are records I love - "Chicago Transit Authority", "Exile on Main Street", "Close to the Edge", "The Royal Scam", and many others. I quit listening to these and packed away my old Thorens turntable when I bought an SACD player and began buying my favorite albums on SACDs, though a few of my favorite albums have still not been released on SACD (e.g., anything by Zeppelin).

    Some of the SACDs I've purchased sound good enough that I don't miss listening to the record, but not all of the transfers to SACDs sound good. I have found that any rerelease of a classic recording on SACD by Mobile Fidelity, for example, sounds wonderful, but transfers by some labels sound no better than a CD of the same recording.

    So my questions are:

    1. What have you experienced
    regarding SACD releases of your
    favorite records; and

    2. Has anyone who listens to SACDs
    gone back to vinyl, and if so, are you
    glad you did?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Teleking

    Teleking Supporting Member

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    I think it's a situation just as you described.

    In some situations, the SACD will sound better. In some situations an LP might sound better than a regular CD. In some situations the SACD doesn't sound any better than the regular CD. In some situations, the LP can sound better.

    The problem is, it's exhausting and incredibly time consuming trying to find which is the best version.

    Some people hate any "remaster" where I think a lot of 70s records sound very thin and need some remastering. If done right, the remaster really sounds great.

    I gave up chasing it. I have some LPs. I have a ton of CDs. I have a few SACDs.

    I know that in my research, there have been about 30% of the records/cds I tried to chase down for a better version and I was actually happy I did.

    It just isn't worth the hassle, to me, to spend that much time chasing it when I'm disappointed far more than not in trying to chase it.
     
  3. Mister Natural

    Mister Natural Member

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    for me - I made a vow to not buy a duplicate recording that I had on vinyl when cd came out in the 80s
     
  4. cpa2guitar

    cpa2guitar Gold Supporting Member

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    Teleking,

    I understand where you are coming from regarding the hassle.

    I have had good luck consistently finding great sounding SACDs at CD Japan and Acoustic Sounds - can't recall ever being disappointed in an SACD from either of these sources - so I am posting their links below. I don't buy records, but supposedly both of these vendors also sell exceptional sounding vinyl. You might consider giving these two sources a try.


    http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/music/

    http://store.acousticsounds.com/cat/4/SACD
     
  5. Teleking

    Teleking Supporting Member

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    Curious, which SACDs have you found to be vastly superior to the regular CD?

    Thanks
     
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  6. cpa2guitar

    cpa2guitar Gold Supporting Member

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    I can certainly understand why you would make that vow. It gets expensive.

    I have purchased the first four albums of The Allman Brothers Band, The Allman Brothers through Eat a Peach, three times now - first on vinyl, then on CD, then on SACD. Have done the same with six Yes albums, Time and a Word through Relayer, then bought these six albums yet a fourth time when I bought the SACD set containing Yes' entire discography. And of course there are others (e.g., multiple purchases of Blow by Blow, Wired, There and Back, Asia, and Goucho, to name a few). As I said, it gets expensive.

    Still, I love great music, and these recordings are important to me. I offset the expense of these purchases and the expense of the stereo on which I listen to these recordings by driving cars that, on average, are 15 years old. About every 10 years we buy the missus a new vehicle, always something nice, at which time I start driving her 10 year old vehicle, which I drive until we buy her next new one. The money saved from not having two late-model cars in the family is considerable. In addition, doing this provides the perfect counterargument on the rare occasions when she complains about me spending the aforementioned savings on guitar, amps, stereo, or music. But driving a late-model car, truck, or SUV is not important to me, whereas listening to great music is. YMMV.
     
  7. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    The answer is truly a matter of taste. A well-done SACD can sound incredible and can give more detail than an LP. The LP may sound more natural and "warm". If you prefer extended frequency in the high and lows, and if your gear doesn't make digital sound too bright, SACDs can be wonderful. Scratches don't bother me if they are minimal and I tend to prefer not worrying about treble spikes so I tend to buy LPs and SACDs, depending on genre. Classical music and acoustic music seems to hit me best on vinyl. I tend to listen to rock more often on CD or SACD......or you can do what I did.............

    My favorite Disc player is the old Cary 306 or the Cary 306 Professional. I had one break down on me a few years ago but just found a used one for sale for about $2k. It is the best digital player I have ever heard and it can upsample CDs all the way to 768 from 44.1. That sometimes makes CDs sound similar to SACDs.
     
  8. RCCola

    RCCola (|@ / \ @ |.) Gold Supporting Member

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    The 30th Anniversary Dark Side of Moon SACD is supposed to be amazing. I don’t have a SACD player but have ordered the BluRay version. Got a 5.1 system on Cyber Monday.

    https://hooktube.com/watch?v=dj4_-kh-Kpg
     
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  9. Heinz W

    Heinz W Genuine '66 Relic Gold Supporting Member

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    The Dark Side SACD is amazing. The first SACD I ever bought, circa 2003? I haven't heard it for years as I haven't had a player. Today a new Oppo player is arriving at the house to be followed by a new AVR soon. Can't wait to be able to spin that disc again.
     
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  10. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Only things I’ve ever heard on multiple formats like this are a lot of Yes (Fragile, Tales, CTTE, Yes Album), DSOTM and Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”

    Here’s what I’ve learned.

    I love records, but that whole thing is a load of nostalgia and the fact is, people like Vinyl BECAUSE it sounds worse, and they like the “worse sound”. Separation in the low end is often weak because of the design of the format, the low end can be wonky because it has to be cut so far for mastering and then boosted again by your preamp, and of course, surface noise. I think people like Vinyl for the same reason I still spin it up. The work that it requires to listen to Vinyl and the fact that you pretty much have to plant yourself in front of the stereo to do it makes listening an experience, not just a button press. I’ve bought a handful of the “new vinyl” lately and it sounds nice, as do a bunch of my old 80s Classical LPs (Academy of Ancient Music specifically). But there is only a turntable in one room in my house so, not very often.

    CD is just fine. If mastered well, it’s better than just fine. I love it. I think it’s the best music format for almost everybody who likes music. Good iTunes music actually sounds really good to me now that they have finally made that format sound good, too.

    SACD sounds better, for sure, but the lack of portability is a real issue (some of my SACD has no CD layer). DSOTM was a huge disappointment in this format because my 1994 disc sounded better. In stereo and I disliked the surround mixes a lot... Imho. But “A Love Supreme” was awesome on SACD, as are a few others I heard (Rolling Stones SACD issues were really great).

    Blu Ray Audio, though, is the one that really struck me, especially with those Yes discs. I also love that they made the surround versions of those new Steven Wilson mixes really musical and listenable and not a distraction like other surround music I’ve heard.
     
  11. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    You've got to take into account that a lot more care is generally put into the preparation, than most standard releases on CD.

    Remastering, and in some cases even remixing, with audio quality the first and foremost consideration. IMHO, that's most of what you're hearing, as opposed to the format.
     
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  12. Dirtystranger

    Dirtystranger Supporting Member

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    There is a new SACD of Jeff Beck's Truth out now. The sound is a big improvement over the old release.
     
  13. Gibson62

    Gibson62 Member

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    The SHM-SACD of Gentle Giant's Octopus album sounds really nice.
     
  14. Rob Taft

    Rob Taft Supporting Member

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    I own about 70 SACD discs mostly jazz with some rock and classical and some are a big improvement over the CD and some have been a wash. I play then either on a old Sony SACD player or an Oppo unit. The one rock LP that I wish someone like MOFI would take on is Robin Trowers "Bridge of Sighs".
     

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