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SACD Technology

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:03 am
by britre
I am curious as to your opinions on SACD discs. I purchased the new Pink Floyd Darkside Remix, and the resolution is superb through a normal player so I wanted to see what the 5.1 SACD sounded like.

My first problem is I could only find one player that actually decoded SACD which was a Sony. My next problem is it was close to $300.00. Which is a bit much for a player which has no built in decoder.

I have a feeling that the industry is going to start making the hybrid standard as a way to save the CD industry.

What are your thoughts, opinions, or suggestions on this?

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:25 am
by lukpac
I've had an SACD player (the Sony CE775) for a few months now, although unfortunately the only SACDs I've heard on it have been the Rolling Stones hybrids. Some people claim to hear significant differences between the CD and SACD layers on the discs, but honestly, any differences I've heard have been minor, at *best*.

That said, I've heard from others that the Stones discs don't do a great job of showing of SACD, and that some other discs have a much more distinct difference between the two layers. To these ears, that remains to be seen.

It also remains to be seen where SACD is headed as a format. On one hand you've got a lot of releases aimed at audiophiles (more or less as a replacement to gold CDs), and on the other hand you've got stuff like the Stones' catalog and DSOTM, where many people buying them don't even know they are SACDs.

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 8:45 am
by CDJones
I had been waiting anxiously for hi-res digital for years. And now that's it's finally accessible, I don't think it's going to last. I recently bought $500 Philips DVD963SA SACD player, and while some of the SACD's I've listened to are phenomenal, you'd have to be an audiophile to really appreciate them. Most people I know just don't sit down and *listen* to an album anymore. Current CD technology has gotten good enough that that next step probably isn't worth the expenditure.

And while I base my opinions listening to only the SACD stereo tracks, I haven't really enjoyed the DVD-A and DTS surround discs I've heard. There's just something about having the guitars behind you that doesn't do it for me. DSOTM might be another story, but I haven't felt the need to hook up the SACD player to the home theater set up to listen in surround.

I hope hi-res catches on, but unless universal disc players and hybrid releases on everything become the standard, I'm decidedly pessimistic.

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:28 am
by thomh
There is an interesting ongoing thread over on concerning DSD/SACD. Note that one of the participants is Bruno Putzeys, Chief Engineer at Phillips Laboratories.

SACD fundamentally flawed?

Read this post from Dan Lavry concerning why some have a preference for 192kHz sampling rates. His conclusion: DISTORTION.

384kHz PCM ???

We all know that audiophiles like the distortion inherent to analog and vinyl. Could this be the reason they are embracing SACD with all its "analog warmth"? Are they finally getting what they have always missed from digital? Namely DISTORTION.

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:43 am
by thomh
Further to my post above. Here is another interesting comment from Bruno Putzeys:

Disc comparisons

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 5:04 am
by thomh
Is this guy kidding or what?

Meitner Interview

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 10:51 am
by lukpac
Am I the only one thinking this guy is smoking crack?

Just look at one problem with PCM. Imagine what happens at your zero crossing. You have all those bits flipping. You have, you know, noise shock in the system coming off the power supply if all of a sudden 23 bits change from all zeros to all ones. You have that at every zero crossing. And you need really good error correction, because if a sign bit gets screwed up in the process, all of a sudden instead of your signal being positive, it thinks it’s negative.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:02 am
by Rspaight
That would explain why my PC crashes whenever I change my background from black to white -- all those damn bits changing and stressing the power supply.

Reminds me of a funny story. Back around '96 or so, I got an e-mail from some guy who didn't like the web site I was managing because the links were different colors. Some were blue, and some were purple. This really annoyed him, and he demanded I fix it.

I wrote back and explained to him that the links turned purple if he clicked on them. This was because the electrons had to go all the way from his screen back to our server, then back to his screen again, and they got tired. (Everyone knows that hen electrons get tired, they turn purple.) I suggested that if he let the link rest for about 30 days without clicking on it, it would regain its vigorous blue color.

I added that we were hard at work developing a hardier breed of electron that could withstand the rigors of long-distance travel, and asked him to bear with us.

I never got a reply.


Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 2:39 pm
by Patrick M
How do you develop a hardier breed of "hen" electrons?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 3:21 pm
by thomh
And for another viewpoint, we now cross live over to the SH forum: ... post478666

According to LeeS:

Ed Meitner is one of the most respected audio hardware engineers in the business and his insights are interesting indeed.

Now, I started worrying about LeeS when a bit further up in the thread he posted this:

Ironically I might add the champion is still the all-analog-all the time LP-the original hirez format!

And now, if you will excuse me, I must go take care of my self-inflicted PCM headache.......

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 8:49 pm
by lukpac
LP the "original hirez format"? Tell that to somebody listening to an analog master tape.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 10:45 pm
by Rspaight
Patrick M wrote:How do you develop a hardier breed of "hen" electrons?

I was using a White House keyboard that those dastardly Clinton staffers had stolen the "W" key from.


Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:51 pm
by krabapple
"While this master tape is well within Nyquist (22 kHz) of ordinary Redbook, are you saying that by going to a higher sampling rate you are able to capture more information from this analog tape because more samples are taken of each waveform."

Thomh, that is exactly what is happening. More musical data equals more musical detail, all else being equal and assuming a reasonable remaster. I am less concerned about capturing what is above 20khz, that is not really the point of Super Audio but a nice feature if you have a high resolving stereo. The big feature is more accurate midrange, mid-bass, and soundstage depth and width.

Conclusion: LeeS will NEVER understand what you are saying, Thom. But kudos to you for trying , and trying, and trying to get the fundamentals across to him. I'm also quite interested to see how Mr. Hoffman answers your msot recent questions too...especially since he has already noted that his CD and SACD layers used *different mastering chains*.

lastly, would someone please post this link the the Dennis/Dunn pdf to SHtv? It'll be interesting to see how the 'respected audio engineers like SH can't be wrong!' crowd deals with those results.

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:44 pm
by Rspaight
That's the disheartening thing, Krab. I *found* it on ... adid=27313


Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:21 pm
by krabapple
Rspaight wrote:That's the disheartening thing, Krab. I *found* it on ... adid=27313


OK, inspired by this, say hello to my new avatar.