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Question Is CD / SACD a dying format?

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gfong

Active member
Sep 1, 2020
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25
I think that SACD died the moment it came out in the late 90's. Needed a new player, costs were higher and it was not marketed well at all. Audiophiles have kept it kind of on going through the years.
I own about 50 and just can't be bothered buying the new releases that MOFI put out as they are mostly 2 channel and not that spectacular. I am one that wished the format would have survived as I loved the 5.1 tracks.
The Who's 'Tommy' SACD Multi-Channel and NIN 'Downward Spiral' Multi-Channel SACD take you to a different place when you listen to them at a good volume! :)
 
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Secretagentmole

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2020
44
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45
I think that SACD died the moment it came out in the 80's. Needed a new player, costs were higher and it was not marketed well at all. Audiophiles have kept it kind of on going through the years.
I own about 50 and just can't be bothered buying the new releases that MOFI put out as they are mostly 2 channel and not that spectacular. I am one that wished the format would have survived as I loved the 5.1 tracks.
The Who's 'Tommy' SACD Multi-Channel and NIN 'Downward Spiral' Multi-Channel SACD take you to a different place when you listen to them at a good volume! :)

Another one that does that is the beginning to "The Thieving Magpie" by Marillion, that demented triangle player gets right in your left ear if you crank the volume up...
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
382
192
19,070
CD remains a large part of my listening. I also listen to vinyl a great deal. I use streaming, usually Qobuz, to try new music out before buying the CD or LP as I can't afford to spend money on albums that I'm not going to enjoy.

I've never got into SACD. At one time I did have a Denon DCD-1500AE CD/SACD player, and I've got quite a few hybrid discs (mostly Chandos classical recordings). I just never really felt there was a justifiable difference, and the players are often quite a bit more expensive.

I think one of the biggest issues for CD now is the reliability of CD players. Whilst there is plenty of investment in DAC technology that can also serve streamers and other applications, CD transports are often an off-the-shelf afterthought. They are not built to the same standards as the older Philips ones that were used in players by a wide range of manufacturers, even those that are purpose-built for audio use.

This problem is further exacerbated by the increasing variability of CD pressings and by record companies squeezing as much onto a disc as possible to increase sales of repackaged recordings. I have some Decca box sets containing discs that exceed the 80-minute audio limit prescribed by the Red Book standards, and whilst I've never come across a player that can't read the Table of Contents, some newer players start to skip and mistrack towards the end of these discs. I broached the topic with one British manufacturer, who said their audio-specific transport may not always properly play discs outside of the Red Book standards. Strangely the Philips CDM4 transport in my 30 year old Rotel copes with them easily, as does the Sanyo mech used by Rega in the Apollo.

As I have 4,000+ CDs and wish to always be able to play them directly rather than ripping them to a server, I'm building a small collection of CD players as insurance, in case more manufacturers start to take the path Linn set years ago in ceasing support for the format.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
PS Audio believe SACD and DSD is what CD should have been from the start.

They, like Marantz, convert PCM to DSD in their SACD compatible disc players now.
Unfortunately it's a very expensive way of doing things...... which ultimately doesn't help the format.
Just hope my Oppo holds out for a good while yet
 

gfong

Active member
Sep 1, 2020
13
3
25
I think you're out by a good few years there.
Just realized that and changed it... Thanks! Maybe I was thinking of laser discs..lol Anyway I was around for both laser and sacd releases and even the BETA/VHS wars! :) Funny how Sony lost both of sacd and Beta! :)
 

Al ears

Moderator
Just realized that and changed it... Thanks! Maybe I was thinking of laser discs..lol Anyway I was around for both laser and sacd releases and even the BETA/VHS wars! :) Funny how Sony lost both of sacd and Beta! :)
Odd indeed when you consider betamax was technically better.....
And Sony didn't lose SACD, they are still going unlike betamax tapes... :)
 

Wil

Well-known member
May 8, 2020
103
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120
I know, I probably indeed have bookmarked a KI reference for-all-seasons. Been holding this back, but may as well share it now. Paraphrase, "We knew from the beginning CD standard was never good enough standard as true-Hi-Fi…":
 
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plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
987
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570
I know, I probably indeed have bookmarked a KI reference for-all-seasons. Been holding this back, but may as well share it now. Paraphrase, "We knew from the beginning CD standard was never good enough standard as true-Hi-Fi…":
please keep this info coming. i could listen to ken for hours giving his views on hifi. i wonder what he could of achieved if given a cost no object budget and asked to make the best cd player and integrated amplifier full stop ?
 

Wil

Well-known member
May 8, 2020
103
43
120
Something quick as thanks… favourite CD player I own is CD-7, which when looking for a photo to show you brought me to:


please keep this info coming. i could listen to ken for hours giving his views on hifi. i wonder what he could of achieved if given a cost no object budget and asked to make the best cd player and integrated amplifier full stop ?
A good single pic showing CD-7's internal view:
 
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Wil

Well-known member
May 8, 2020
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Well it would appear that Luxman don't think so.
They have just released the D-10X, their flagship SACD player..... at a cool £14,999.
I see onsite review was published a few hours ago:

The "Verdict" correlates somewhat to consensus expectations for high-end sound, i.e. analytical:
"We have no doubt that some people will love the D-10X’s forensic approach to music replay, revelling in the wealth of detail it renders and the way it sounds authoritative, composed and controlled. Add the exceptional build quality and finish, and it certainly makes a strong case.

However, the Luxman falls short in its ability to communicate the passion in music, and that makes it a talented diversion rather than an essential listen.
"

please keep this info coming. i could listen to ken for hours giving his views on hifi. i wonder what he could of achieved if given a cost no object budget and asked to make the best cd player and integrated amplifier full stop ?
Up until the end, only eclipsed by Ruby edition, Ken maintained that his favourite "one of the most musical" player was his first Signature release, CD-63mkII KI:

"CD-63 KI? In our view it remains an enjoyable and capable performer. Sure, the best current players can beat its performance almost everywhere, but that’s not the point. We would no more damn the KI for that than we would complain if a classic car failed to reach current standards in drivability.

The question is whether this player remains a special proposition, whether it still manages to stir the soul – and in our opinion it does. Its presentation is so full of colour and life that it’s hard not to get enthralled by the music. That, in the end, is what great hi-fi is all about.
"
 
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stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
144
13
4,595
Cds are magical - Vinyl too. People will always have tendency for sth. to keep in their hands + Art Cover BUT one thing...when I spoke the other day to a 19 year old chap he told me "I do not own a single CD not Vinyl - they are just not my generation" so I think CDs / Vinyl will be going on together on the digital path of the younger generations but it can be so that they will vanish. History shows us however that everything comes back sooner or later....
 

digiman

Member
Oct 17, 2020
1
0
20
I personally think they are however, because less and less people buy them they're increasing in worth and may be worth collecting. I've got a collection of hundreds of CDs and am pretty sure they're worth a fair amount, there's loads of albums I couldn't find so i had to get them burned with a company called supaphoto. I had a look for new CD players and even they're becoming more expensive, so it might be worth investing in before they whole system becomes inaffordable
 

Longchops

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
91
41
70
Bit late to the party, but I listened to an SACD for the first time last week and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Best thing I've ever heard. The clarity is far improved over a standard CD, very obviously so as well. Seems like they have all been discontinued now so you have to buy them second hand, but I can see why someone would want such a player.

We were making such amazing progress in terms of audio in the 1980s and 1990s. We went from CD, to DAT, to HDCD, to SACD, then DVD-Audio; and then we abandoned it all to go back to the stone age and listen to a potato. On a telephone. :rolleyes:
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Bit late to the party, but I listened to an SACD for the first time last week and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Best thing I've ever heard. The clarity is far improved over a standard CD, very obviously so as well. Seems like they have all been discontinued now so you have to buy them second hand, but I can see why someone would want such a player.

We were making such amazing progress in terms of audio in the 1980s and 1990s. We went from CD, to DAT, to HDCD, to SACD, then DVD-Audio; and then we abandoned it all to go back to the stone age and listen to a potato. On a telephone. :rolleyes:
They are still being produced. Don't know where you got the idea otherwise.....
 
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