My first chance to hear SACD was a bust!

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  • John Holmes
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 2703

    My first chance to hear SACD was a bust!

    Went to CC today. They had a Sony 775(not of the ES line) I believe was the model #, mated with a Sony reciever(of course). And five sat speakers with sub, all Sony.

    My first issue with the setup was, all of it's speakers (except sub) were suspened over my head. The second, no dedicated room to audition it. And last, it's drawer was keeped closed with some plastic strip. I assume so the sampler, would not decide to see the outside world on it's own.

    What I did manage to hear, gave promise however, I will have to go to another location to truly give it a good listen.




    "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
    "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"
  • ThomasW
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 10934

    #2
    John

    To really appreciate the benefits of SACD is necessary to hear it in a system that has better playback capabilities. And in a room with better acoustics than the average warehouse store.

    I haven't a SACD in a non-ES player. I recently heard a CD in the Sony DVP-NS900 universal player, it wasn't all that impressive. The same disc played in a XA-777ES in the same playback system as was used for the NS900 sounded very good.




    theAudioWorx
    Klone-Audio

    IB subwoofer FAQ page


    "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Comment

    • Andrew Pratt
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 16507

      #3
      Thomas do you think the less then stellar results from the the 900V was due to it being a DVD player as well?




      Comment

      • ThomasW
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 10934

        #4
        No Andrew, I think it's just not in the same league as the XA-777ES ($3000 list price).

        We did a big shootout over the w/e at a friends house. He has a pair of tri-amped $25K Apogee fullrange ribbons.

        Players compared were nOrh CD-1, Sony NS900, Sony SCD-777, Sony XA-777ES.

        The XA-777 was the winner it beat out my SCD-777 by a hair. But it should given it has 2 year newer technology

        The NS900 didn't sound bad, but it had a fairly flat 2-D soundstage stereotypic of most mid-fi units




        theAudioWorx
        Klone-Audio

        IB subwoofer FAQ page


        "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

        Comment

        • Lex
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Apr 2001
          • 27461

          #5
          Well, those findings Thomas just re-affirm that I made the right decision on my Rega Jupiter, cause I didn't have 3K to spend. For 1200, it does Redbook about as good as one could hope for, IMO.

          SACD would be nice, but to get the unit that makes you really appreciate the technology, I am afraid means, the 2-3K price tag, not the entry models.

          Lex
          Doug
          "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

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          • ThomasW
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 10934

            #6
            Well Lex I have a slightly different take as usual...

            I wouldn't buy anything other than a SACD or DVD-A/V player if I was limited to a single playback unit. The future is multi-channel and the hi-rez formats. So more and more software is going to be released for those players.

            The current crop of mid-fi SACD or DVD-A/V players are certainly no worse than mid-fi CDP's. So limiting to 2 channel playback is going down a dead-end street.

            The players can always be upgraded. So building a library of the new formats can provide good playback now; and great playback later when a better unit is in the budget.




            theAudioWorx
            Klone-Audio

            IB subwoofer FAQ page


            "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

            Comment

            • John Holmes
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 2703

              #7
              I was just sad that I did not get to hear the system the way it was meant to be. It would have been great to be hands on and let it strut it's stuff.

              It just seemed like a lot of work to set up a useless demo! I hope other CC's take a better approach. How can a new format stand a chance under those conditions?




              "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
              "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

              Comment

              • JonMarsh
                Mad Max Moderator
                • Aug 2000
                • 15209

                #8
                The CC demo is almost identical to what they have at Best Buy, and that's also pretty pathetic. There's no point in hooking up a SACD player of any kind to such a junky speaker and amp setup. Of course, the whole thing is sponsored by Sony, some dopey Marketing manager somewhere probably thought this was the way to pitch SACD to the "masses" by emphasizing cheap multi-channel.

                For the same money, I doubt you can buy a better CD player than the Sony SACD players; all the things necessary to make SACD work also contribute to the quality of CD playback. That said, without the transport quality and power supplies and audio electroinics, there are more than a few compromises. Which is why there is a lively niche upgrade market for these players, also.

                If Sony really wanted to make a statement about SACD quality, then a good two channel setup with one of their better speakers would make more sense.

                They are fighting uphill on the sat/sub multi-channel thing with the Bose lovers and all; it's more an esthetic thing, of how to keep the system really small. Sony could go that way, but needs to offer better inexpensive speakers if they want to push their own systems. Some of their "big gun" speakers, designed in the US, are pretty good, and have gotten good reviews in Stereophile.

                I'd better not say more, as I've something of a reputation (deserved) as a dyed in the wool foaming SACD advocate. Something I am hearing, which is interesting, is that SACD on the "cheapie" players does sound correspondingly better than CD on the same players, and can sometimes beat the same CD cut (hybrid CD) on a pretty nice CD player.

                And of course, if you don't think the CD is quite up to par, you can always add an Assemblage DAC or something similar.

                Me, I just put my Sony XA7ES in for service (hopefully still covered by warrantly); when I get it back, after a check out cruise, it's going under the knife with a super clock and outboard DAC.

                Regards,

                Jon




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