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SACD is NOT dead !

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Damn am I sick of people ringing the bell on SACD and claiming it dead! Just too many ignorant people! It’s like people claiming that an athlete MUST be on drugs because he won the gold. Shut up man, you’re gonna get a good slap up side the head for belching out such crap! An intelligent (you know, not brain dead) person doesn’t condemn if there isn’t proof to put behind it. It’s like saying it’s time to bury grandma while she’s still clearly enjoying watching Oprah on the tube. You just don’t say things like that. Ok, claiming the death of SACD is not in the same league as claiming that Usain Bolt is on something, but, you get the idea.

Here is the real situation:

Sure, SACD is not going to take over CDs, of that much we can be clear. BUT, there are still great players coming out that are either dedicated to SACD or are multiplayers that include SACD playback. Also, the number of new releases per year hasn’t changed much in the last five years.

The Players of interest

The Pioneer DV48A, DV58A (US) and DV-600AV (Europe) along with the Oppo DV-970HD and 980H are recent players that have finally made digital output of the SACD DSD signal via HDMI to a compatible receiver like the Pioneer Elite VSX-92TXH, the Sony STR-DA5300ES (TA-DA5300ES), the Denon AVR-3808 and AVR-4308 and Onkyo TX- TX-SR805, TX-SR875 and TX -SR905 or the Marantz SR60001, SR7001, SR8001, SR7002 and SR8002 receivers, and the Yamaha RX-Z11, RX-V661, RX-V761, RX-V861, RX-V1700, RX-V2700, RX-V1800 and RX-V3800.
There are also now players and receivers using iLINK that can also transfer the DSD signal to the receiver. A few years ago this just didn’t exist.
If SACD were already dead, we would not be seeing new features coming out that are specifically for SACD! Right?

Pioneer has released an SACD audio player, the PD-D6-J and NAD came out with their first SACD machine. There are loads of high end players that too, like the Esoterics, Ed Meitner / EMM Labs, the dCS Paganini, Scarlatti and Puccini and the Accuphase MDSD SA-CD Player DP-700, and loads more.
Other SACD player manufacturers include Alouette Audio, Audio Aero, Bladelius Design, Bel Canto Designs, Classé, Daisy Laser, Denon, Faroudja, Krell, Lexicon, Lindermann, Linn, Marantz, McCormack, Micromega, Musical Fidelity, Music Hall Audio, Onkyo, Opera Audio, Philips, Pioneer, Primare, Revox, Shenzhen Shanling, Sharp, Sony, Theatris, Van Den Hul and Yamaha.

Doesn’t look very dead to me!

The Discs are Still Coming

Although the majors have slacked off, the smaller labels are still rolling out new titles.
The SA-CD stats show that this year has only rolled off about 10%. RIAA stats are of course bogus as they are for SACD only (non-hybrid) discs. Most SACDs released now are Hybrid SACD and CD playback and are counted as CDs by the RIAA.
And since there are more and more users that have SACD playback capable systems and have invested in better sound, there are new users every day.

The picks at the stores are there too. Arkiv Music has 2030 classical music titles, up from 1428 a year ago, Elusive disc has 3000 titles, one year ago they had 2500, and has 4430 titles up from only 1240 a year ago! OK, there are those who say that 4400 is way to little, but at least it is still growing! That’s a long way from dead if it is still growing!

I’d say that rather call SACD as dead, we need to call it what it is, a baby growing to toddler stage. I think SACD is here to stay, and will slowly continue to grow.

So please people, let’s not bury SACD while it is still alive and kicking.

NAD M5 CD SACD Player !

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

It’s been a long time coming, but one of my favourite hifi manufactures has finally come out with a player that plays my favourite disc format (SACD of course).

NAD is a Canadian hifi manufacturer that is world famous for making not too expensive hifi equipment that sounds great. When I say great, I mean that it isn’t just well composed, doesn’t offend, I mean it jams! And it does it right with every kind of music; which is mighty hand for me because I have a very wide range of musical tastes. Their most famous product is the NAD 3020 amplifier from the 70′s, designed by Bjørn Erik Edvardsen, who has been back in the lab there recently to bring out the NAD C320BEE (a real gem in affordable hifi).


The Pioneer PD-D6-J CD/SACD player

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Review of the Pioneer PD-D6-J SACD Player

Pioneer PD-D6Well, this IS a surprise. Pioneer has given us SACD enthusiasts in Europe a great gift in the form of the chic looking Pioneer PD-D6-J!

Price UK : £399
Price EU : €499

Still no word as to when or if it will be available from Pioneer USA.

Of course this isn’t the first time Pioneer has offered audiophiles a proper disc player for music. In the 80′s they brought us the beautiful Pioneer Elite PD-73 with its huge transport that had to have the disc inserted upside down. The PD-D6J is made with the same spirit of a real music playing machine, but the disc goes in right side up now.

The PD-D6-J is strictly an audio player. It is compatible with CD and SACD as well as CD-R, mp3 and wma on an ISO9660 finalized disc.

Air StudiosOne of the things that makes this a special affair is that Pioneer called upon the expertise of the British recording and audio fine tuning experts Air Studios of London.

The AIR Studios logo means that they have been involved in the design since the prototype. It is their guarantee that some of the best ‘ears’ in the world have approved the product.

The PD-D6-J is a young thoroughbred player for CD and SACD. Although that sounds limiting compared to all the mega format DVD players out there, when it come to music there are some very audible advantages to having a player for music only. The first thing to note is that all the video circuitry causes a lot of digital noise in the audio stage. It requires some very sophisticated (and expensive) additional circuitry to clean that up and keep it from running through the power supply and the audio section. So by removing the video circuitry, the cost is lowered (less parts) and at the same time the sound quality is improved. Hmm, it kind of makes sense.


The Sony MEX-DV1000 and MEX-DV2000 are here !

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Well it looks like these babies really exist ! For the first time in history, you can buy a car stereo that will play SACD!! We are thoroughly jazzed here at SACD Central.

The MEX-DV1000 and MEX-DV2000 are single disc players with the slot hidden behind the faceplate.

Yamaha gets it up with 2 SACD/ Universal players

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Groovyness comes in pairs, and Yamaha seems to have found the groove with this pair of Universal players.

First, the most excellent DVD-S1700

Sony Announces Three Super Audio CD Car Stereo Players

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Sony Electronics headquarters in Japan.

Sony is bringing out three Car Stereo players with Super Audio CD, according to a news story from the company’s HD World newsletter which focuses on Sony’s High Definition or HD products and technologies (such as Super Audio CD, Direct Stream Digital, High Definition TV Sets and the Blu-Ray Disc)

Sony presents new Professional SACD

Friday, September 29th, 2006

O and is compatible with Dolby Digital, DTS and AAC. S-Master PRO technology simplifies the signal path by integrating all control circuits into the one chip and also reduces background noise. The TA-FA1200ES features the D.C.A.C. (Digital Cinema AUTO Calibration) using a 32 bit processor.

Sony SCD-XA1200ES SACD player
The SCD-XA1200ES SACD player has been specially designed to avoid any interfering vibrations. It sports the « super audio D/A converter » that also integrates several 1-bit converters in one chip. It’s destined to work hand in hand with the TA-FA1200ES stereo amplifier but still boasts 5.1 analog outputs and a couple of gold-plated RCA connecters.

Sony SS-K30ED
The SS-K30ED 2 way bookshelf speaker has a new barrel shaped cabinet that houses a 16cm aramid fiber woofer and is equipped with a 2.5 cm carbon domed tweeter. It guarantees sound reproduction up to 70 Hz and 88dB. As you may know, anything above 20Hz is inaudible to us humans but the frequences are perceived and play their part in our appreciation of sound.
The SS-K30ED comes in a high-gloss « piano black » finish.

Audiocom does SACD, mods

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Audiocom International is a special technical unit in the UK that makes mods for hifi equipment. In this particular instance, we are interested in their SACD player mods.

This is a recount of my experience of having my Pioneer universal player moded by this crew of cutting edge modsters.