I should add: You just have to be careful that what you buy has actually been recorded in hi-rez i.e. 24 bit 96 kHz or higher or pure DSD recordings. Look for labels that state the recording resolution on the box like Pentatone and Chandos, Channel Classics or the excellent Russian new boy on the block Caro Mitis, and avoid labels that don't give out the numbers.
Also have been truly delighted with late era analog recordings that have been converted direct to DSD. They have the warmth and beauty of LP, with amazing clarity, almost like owning the studio master tapes.
I just want to add a word for Oppo Model 95 and also 93. They both play SACDs and every other type of disc superbly and cost a lot less than Krell, etc. Here in the States the 93 is about $500 and the 95 is $1,000. I have played hundreds of various types of discs and my 95 is great. I have no financial interest in the comany. I must also state that their service for their customers is wonderful.
I'd be interested to hear from those who have SACD players whether they think the improvement in sound quality is sufficient to justify purchasing a new player. I ask because I now rarely use my current CD player, preferring lossless FLAC streaming. However, if there's a quantum leap in quality, then it might be worthwhile.
I have seen a very substantive difference, even in Stereo SACD, in terms of ambience, dynamics, attaca and bandwidth.
However, I have seen all that with my Krell, which is quite expensive. So, it depends on the investment you wish to get into.
Thank you, Parla. I shall be sticking with stereo even with SACD. I suppose the law of diminishing returns comes in at some point - at the moment I have other claims for priority on my audio expenditure, so am unlikely to go as far as investing in Krell, but the Oppo might be a realistic option (though I note the curse of 3-D has arrived in its latest version).
I have the Oppo 83 model and it plays sacd like a dream as well as conventional cds.These Oppo players are also great with dvd.I have several dvds that are defective and mess up when I play them on other dvd players,but they play flawlessly on the Oppo.I had bought a $1,000 Marantz sacd player but returned it for a refund because I just wasn`t impressed with it.I then got the Oppo(after reading super positive reviews in both audio and video magazines)for $500.It has a very rich, full, detailed sound with a great sound stage with depth.
It's great news to see that in April EMI UK are releasing a new series of audiophile discs on SACD - The Signature Collection, at affordable prices. I just hope that future releases will, unlike EMI Japan, offer Multichannel SACD in addition to stereo SACD. EMI has a great back catalogue and some excellent current artists such as L'Arpeggiata, that I would love to hear in SACD multichannels sound. So thanks EMI for supporting SACD in this way, let us hope you offer a good choice of SACDs to cater for us all, with a surround sound option of course!
It's great news to see that in April EMI UK are releasing a new series of audiophile discs on SACD - The Signature Collection, at affordable prices.
I have my reservations too. However, it's a movement to the right direction.
Let's see what the final product might be. Based on Pentatone's reworking catalogue of Philips, I can't say I'm impressed, but I'm satisfied, to a considerable degree.
SACDs do sound better than their equivalent CDs but:
1. its advantages are only evident in first-rate dsd digital recordings or in very careful transfers, which are only a (small) fraction of what has been released, that's why many sacds don't impress: it's all the same to play any of the layers in a hybrid disc (I got many of those);
2. it's likely that legal rights on DSD midia imposed by Sony prevented this new format from prevailing in the HI-FI equipment industry (you normally cannot output it in the digital domain) and recording industry as well;
3. another factor that helps to explain why sacd didn't gain much more space (at least, up tp now), other than costs, lies in the undisputable fact that the red book standard (16bits / 44.1khz) evolved a lot in recent years, mainly due to new dac chips from companies like analog devices or wolfsom, just to name two;
4. if I was to buy a new player I wouldn't give much attention to sacd discs playing capability for the reasons above and due to the fact that the vast majority of my library is red book cds;
5. if I was to invest in a new digital source I would rather look for a great dac having computer audio in mind (Weiss, Dcs...) or for a great streamer like a Linn DS which you only need to add a NAS to. Then you would be able not only to stream the files ripped from your library (that CAN - not will - sound better than cdp) but also stream high-resolution files downloaded that are soundwise in another league indeed.
Well, that's only my experience after all.
I agree. EMI should look at the SACD titles they are offering and have a broader range of music on offer that can suit a range of classical music tastes. In multichannel sound of course!
They have escaped.
Usual fare except for one I cannot recall appearing before: Schuricht and the VPO in Bruckner 8 and 9. Curious.
Very expensive. Damn the deficit, look at the £21+ as investment for your grandchildren and do not hesitate to buy (smart design on the cover as well!).
How one's memory plays tricks.
I looked up the first review of the Schuricht 8th. Nowak edition, originally on two discs in both mono and stereo and reviewed by Deryck Cooke in 1964.
He didn't like it continuing to prefer the Horenstein on Vox and offering the Karajan on EMI as a better recorded alternative (I had this in mono, the stereo being available as a 'Special Import').
Of course Schuricht takes the 8th, this time the inner movements, faster than anybody. It is managing to convince that makes him such a unique and exciting Brucknerian.
This will be added to my birthday list.
I don't know the Schuricht 8th but bought the 9th after Testament issued it some years ago, on LP only, if memory serves me correctly. Robert Layton in ICRC commented it wasn't initially well received in Gramophone but he thought it one of the finest ninths he had heard in very good sound. I wouldn't disagree.
It was reviewed in December 1962 by, I assume, Deryck Cooke, who admires Schuricht but not in this symphony, and prefers the less-than-brilliantly-recorded Horenstein.
The review hints at all the things I like about Schuricht's Bruckner and, therefore, I will not be deterred.
DC never persuaded me in favour of the Horenstein 8th over the much better recorded, and obtained more easily, Karajan.