Damn am I sick of people ringing the bell on SACD and claiming it dead! Just too many ignorant people! Itâ€™s like people claiming that an athlete MUST be on drugs because he won the gold. Shut up man, youâ€™re gonna get a good slap up side the head for belching out such crap! An intelligent (you know, not brain dead) person doesnâ€™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 donâ€™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 hasnâ€™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, ClassÃ©, 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 Amazon.com 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.