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  1. #1
    DIY Dude poneal's Avatar
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    Will SACD make vinyl obsolete?

    Any comments?

  2. #2
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    I can't speak for vinyl (see my other post) but I can say as a recent (xmas) owner of a sacd player it is superior to CD. The digital brightness is removed, but now includes more detail, a wider soundstage and more precise imaging (on my system).

  3. #3
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    It all depends what you call "obsolete"

    Quote Originally Posted by poneal
    Any comments?
    Vinyl was obsolete in an ergonomic sense the day they released CD's.

    Sonically the debate goes on.

    There is no doubt in my mind that DVD-Audio, and SACD will eventually provide the closest approximation of recorded sound available to consumers. Will that make vinyl any more obsolete now than it already is? Who knows.

    One thing is for sure. They will keep pressing vinyl until people stop playing it. And my guess is that it will be a long time.
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  4. #4
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    It would take a very long time

    You'd have to convince a lot of people, myself included, that SACD is actually superior to vinyl in all ways. I still would not get rid of my vinyl collection of some 4000 plus LP's even though I have made the comment that I would. It's just too much good music for me to replace in my lifetime. I would certainly welcome any CD format that truly has better sound, I just haven't heard it yet.
    Most of the vinyl crowd who have heard SACD will say that it's better than RBCD and getting close to vinyl, not quite there, but easy enough on the ears to listen to. Not really a rave review. It will be interesting to see what happens but I will never get rid of my vinyl collection. Many chose to do so when CD's came out (and many regretted doing so) but I already had too much vinyl to replace with CD. When I did buy CD reprints of old vinyl, they were terrible and I'd rather hear an old scratched album which I hate.
    Pristine vinyl has the ability to stun and amaze the listener. CD and SACD also has the ability but does so only on rare occaision. If they did it right all of the time, I wouldn't be looking for vinyl. I still buy vinyl often and I very rarely regret it. There is a big comeback in vinyl that is going on with more turntables available maybe than there ever was. There is also a lot of vinyl being released by both new and old artists. The reason is simple, people who buy it and enjoy it have still never heard better. We might be a relatively small group in the big picture but a large enough group to keep it going or it would be gone already. I am thankful that it's still here and doing well.
    Bill

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    The following comments have not been subjected

    to double blind testing, and so must just be taken as casual observations and not given the weight of actual scientific data to be used to prove a case in a court of law or scientific journal. It represents my humble opinion which will range in the readers perspective to vary from Gospel to heresy. So let it be.
    (Legal Disclaimer)

    SACD and DVD-A are new formats. It has taken 20 years to get CD right, and it still isn't cheap, and we are still learning. Figuring learning curve and all that, we are looking at about 5 years or so, things could get interesting. That said, SACD and DVD-A will become a fact of life within that timeframe whether you like it or not. It all has to do with licensing money. Follow the cash flow.

    SACD vs Vinyl. I've spent a few hours on this. With nice analog setups and very nice SACD players. I consistently like the LPs better, but always have something complimentary to say about the SACD. That doesn't happen with CD with a VERY nice CD player.

    Add to that, many of the old rock albums that were transferred to CD were done horribly. I can't listen to old Pink Floyd on CD. Even the remasters aren't very good. The vinyl I can play all day. That is another consideration that gets overlooked.

    Then, I've never had someone pick CD (very nice Arcam CD72) over my Analog rig. I've had some try to argue that I had it backwards...until I pulled the CD out of the drawer.

    And that's how it works in my life.
    Space

    The preceding comments have not been subjected to double blind testing, and so must just be taken as casual observations and not given the weight of actual scientific data to be used to prove a case in a court of law or scientific journal. The comments represent my humble opinion which will range in the readers perspective to vary from Gospel to heresy. So let it be.

  6. #6
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    I hope so. The market would be flooded by used vinyl for cheap.

    I for one don't plan on buying an SACD or DVD-audio player until I get my $40,000 worth of student loans payed off.

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    There is an undeniable hypnotic magic to watching the black disc spinning round at about one revolution every two seconds while a tonearm and cartridge visibly follow all of the wiggles and undulations of the grooves. Especially when the equipment is as visually pleasing as my Empires. The experience of playing a cd is comparatively sterile with the disc hidden in a drawer in a black box with a digital display counting up or down the seconds and minutes.

    The people who invented the cd should have spent a little more time on the esthetics of playing a cd instead of spending all of it eliminating wow, flutter, rumble, acoustic feedback, noise, hum, distortion, interchannel crosstalk, limited dynamic range, and frequency response irregularities. Until they do, there will always be a market for vinyl.

  8. #8
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There is an undeniable hypnotic magic to watching the black disc spinning round at about one revolution every two seconds while a tonearm and cartridge visibly follow all of the wiggles and undulations of the grooves. Especially when the equipment is as visually pleasing as my Empires. The experience of playing a cd is comparatively sterile with the disc hidden in a drawer in a black box with a digital display counting up or down the seconds and minutes.

    The people who invented the cd should have spent a little more time on the esthetics of playing a cd instead of spending all of it eliminating wow, flutter, rumble, acoustic feedback, noise, hum, distortion, interchannel crosstalk, limited dynamic range, and frequency response irregularities. Until they do, there will always be a market for vinyl.
    Try the Shanling CD player. One of the most visually arresting CD players, and tubed to boot.

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  9. #9
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    Skep, LP's and visual

    While I do admire a good looking or unusual looking turntable, it has absolutely nothing to do with my desire to listen to vinyl. When I have a serious listening session, I turn off the lights and usually even close my eyes. What my turntable is doing or what it looks like is the furthest thing from my mind. It's very high in a cabinet anyway and I can only see it by standing up, don't have to bend over to do the tedious labor of love like lifting the arm, cleaning the LP, etc.
    I don't do these things for any reason other than the total enjoyment that I get from the sound. LP's are a pain in the arse as anyone who has them will tell you and you know it as well. You and I listen to the same speakers (although you have yours modified), I use quite a bit more power with 385wpc 4 ohm but your amp seems to drive your AR9's to your satisfaction. Our findings in LP and CD are just completely different. I will keep searching for great sounding CD's and I'll let you know when I find them.
    Did you see my post elsewhere about the Tori Amos album, Under the Pink? I asked you to try it and tell me what you think of it. The version that I have is actually on pink vinyl and the sound quality is outstanding. I am offering for you to buy the CD version (or even the vinyl) and if you don't like it, I'll buy it from you. It's safe to say that you would not like every song but I'm sure that you would enjoy many of them. I listened to it and the piano and other strings sounded as natural and real as I've ever heard. Some of the songs get off to a funky start but give them a chance and many develop into beautiful music and many others are just beautiful all the way through. Play it loud and you'll enjoy some great dynamics that you like to refer to with classical music. This girl plays piano as well as anybody, has a great voice and she actually writes this stuff. Will you give it a try?
    Bill

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    And don't forget the disc & stylus cleaning ...

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There is an undeniable hypnotic magic to watching the black disc spinning round at about one revolution every two seconds while a tonearm and cartridge visibly follow all of the wiggles and undulations of the grooves. ...
    ... adjusting stylus weigh, angle, etc. I'm sure a lot of people derive a masochistic satisfaction from all this tedium.

    Not me, though.

  11. #11
    DMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbangelfish
    While I do admire a good looking or unusual looking turntable, it has absolutely nothing to do with my desire to listen to vinyl. When I have a serious listening session, I turn off the lights and usually even close my eyes. What my turntable is doing or what it looks like is the furthest thing from my mind. It's very high in a cabinet anyway and I can only see it by standing up, don't have to bend over to do the tedious labor of love like lifting the arm, cleaning the LP, etc.
    Bill
    I'm with you. It's true that bias can enter into the equation when one sees what piece of gear is playing. I think the biggest myth in audio occurs when someone reads specs and becomes enamored of them, thereby becoming biased into thinking superior specs mean superior sound. CD's just can't compete sonically so measurements are pulled out as a defense mechanism.

    SACD will likely not replace the LP but it just might put the CD where it belongs - into extinction. It is clearly superior to RBCD and competes well with vinyl, even besting it in some key areas. But I have yet to hear anything short of a master tape that sounds as much like live music as the two 45 RPM LP's I own. Sadly, they are expensive and only worth it (to me) as representations of the superiority of vinyl. I don't care to spend $50 per disc even if it does sound at least twice as good as a CD. Regular vinyl at $10-12 a pop is still superior to RBCD and the ability to buy used LP's for a buck or two makes the process even more enjoyable.

  12. #12
    DMK
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    Whoa!

    [QUOTE=Geoffcin]Try the Shanling CD player. One of the most visually arresting CD players, and tubed to boot.

    That is one beautiful CD player! Who says they all have to look cheap?

  13. #13
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    Since we're on the subject

    I found a CD which I found completely enjoyable and having no digital signature that I could hear. That's about as high of a compliment as I have ever given to a CD. The title is Bach, Great Organ Works performed by Virgil Fox at both The Riverside Church in NYC (his home organ for 30 years or so and the largest organ in NYC) and also at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This is an RCA Victrola label CD, distributed by BMG in 1988 #7736-2-RV.
    There is a notable hiss in the background during quiet passages which is a minor annoyance but it must come from the master tape that it was recorded from as between tracks is dead silent. Would have been nice to filter out the hiss but if any music would be lost, it would not be worth the effort as during most play, you are not aware of the hiss. Anyway, I could find nothing wrong with this CD with the pipe organ sounding exactly as it is supposed to and Mr Fox's performance is outstanding as always.
    Now, if I had that Shanling, maybe it would be even better but it was good enough for me to completely enjoy with no listening fatigue. It's rare for me to find this with CD but more and more decent ones seem to be being made. And this is an old one. OK, I found one, yippeee. Still looking for some more.
    Bill

  14. #14
    DMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbangelfish
    OK, I found one, yippeee. Still looking for some more.
    Bill
    Bill,

    I have quite a few good sounding CD's - perhaps 300 of them. Unfortunately, out of a total of about 4000 CD's, that's pretty lame. I have about the same number of vinyl pieces and all but about 100-200 sound excellent. I guess if even one CD sounds good, the medium itself isn't at fault. However, one recording engineer I know who consistently puts out top quality CD's says that to do so is a major PITA and it isn't worth it for major labels to take on that cost. He wasn't in the business during vinyl's heyday so he couldn't really answer the question of why so many of them sound so good if cost is such a factor.

    The fact of the matter is that I don't care if it's the medium or the recording/mastering or the phases of the moon that cause CD's as a rule to sound distorted and lifeless. They do and until they can come out with a consistently good product, vinyl will retain its crown as the closest to live music.

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Wink For me, CD made vinyl obsolete ...

    Quote Originally Posted by poneal
    Any comments?
    Though I haven't given away my LP collection.

    SACD is even better than CD, at least typically for the recordings I've heard.

  16. #16
    DMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Though I haven't given away my LP collectio .
    If you decide to do so, don't forget your pals here at AR!

    I believe you posted that you had a rather modest analog front end. Unfortunately, it does cost a bit of money to maximize the sound of LP's, moreso than CD's. I guess I should say instead that vinyl playback gets noticeably better as your components are upgraded. That doesn't mean you can't get satisfactory sound from modest gear, though. It just means you have to add a little luck with some learning of what's good for minimal bucks. I bought an old Technics turntable from someone who used to post on AR for $75, including arm and cartridge and while it isn't nearly as good as my main setup, it toasts CD sound. Now my kids use it.

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    $40 TT or $400 CDP?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMK
    If you decide to do so, don't forget your pals here at AR!
    I bought an old Technics turntable from someone who used to post on AR for $75, including arm and cartridge and while it isn't nearly as good as my main setup, it toasts CD sound. Now my kids use it.
    That is what I would have said prior to my purchase of a used Technics table for $40. It has better dynamics and sounds more "real" than my $400 CDP. Unfortunately much of the music I like to listen to isn't available on vinyl and my CDP does make CD's sound quite good.

  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I listened to Virgil Fox on a Crystal Clear LP yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by DMK
    ... That doesn't mean you can't get satisfactory sound from modest gear, though. It just means you have to add a little luck with some learning of what's good for minimal bucks. I bought an old Technics turntable from someone who used to post on AR for $75, including arm and cartridge and while it isn't nearly as good as my main setup, it toasts CD sound. Now my kids use it.
    By the way my vinyl playback is this: Realistic LAB-2220 linear tracking turntable (c.1993) & Grado Prestige Red cartridge. The former has noticable flutter if not played for a few weeks (!?) but is otherwise tolerable.

    That is, # CCS-7001, and I listened to the J.S. Bach's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in D Minor, (BWV 565, not that Crystal mentioned the fact). I have no direct comparison obviously, but I listened to the only other recording I have of the work, Peter Hurford on Argo, 411 824-2, recorded 1979 and released on CD (and bought by me) in 1984.

    Which did I like better? Well, um, the Virgil Fox on LP. Overall a richer sound -- also Fox gave a more romantic performance than Hurford's which was "gothic" let's say. But was the sound better because of the medium?

    I couldn't say so. The warmth might very well have come from the recording venue, (Garden Grove Community Church, Garden Grove, CA versus Ratzeburg Cathedral), or from the sound engineers. Bottom line for me based on this limited trial: not compelling reason to invest scarce $$ in new vinyl payback.

  19. #19
    DMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beckman
    That is what I would have said prior to my purchase of a used Technics table for $40. It has better dynamics and sounds more "real" than my $400 CDP. Unfortunately much of the music I like to listen to isn't available on vinyl and my CDP does make CD's sound quite good.
    That's the primary difference between the two mediums - one sounds "good" and one sounds "more real". You hit the nail on the head! My thoughts exactly.

  20. #20
    DMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    By the way my vinyl playback is this: Realistic LAB-2220 linear tracking turntable (c.1993) & Grado Prestige Red cartridge. The former has noticable flutter if not played for a few weeks (!?) but is otherwise tolerable.
    Perhaps instead of purchasing a new 'table, you may want to get the Realistic to a repair shop. Flutter isn't a good thing and will certainly skew your results.

    I wouldn't expect anyone to invest money based on just a few trials. But it appears that you are "getting" vinyl sound - harmonically rich and live sounding. But if the differences aren't worth it to you, I respect that. Whatever you decide, enjoy the music.

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    Feanor, I'm Not a fan of linear tracking

    I had a Yamaha linear track tt which was a fairly high priced unit in it's day compared to what else was out there. While it wasn't bad, it wasn't as good as some other very basic and inexpensive manual belt drives. Too much mechanical junk for me and all that stuff makes noise and resonance. If it could be done correctly, it should track better than anything and get the most of an LP but I think you'd have to spend a lot of money to find such a rig. There are some very expensive tt's made in linear track and I'm sure they perform well but most of us won't be buying them as they just cost too much. I also don't understand how you could make the mechanical devices that would allow for perfect tracking any better than gravity and simply following the groove. If you feel that linear tracking is important due to allignment or something, try listening to an album and tell me how much better it sounds at the beginning, the middle or the end. The difference is so minimal that it gets no mention anywhere that I've seen.
    Any Virgil Fox recordings that I have seem to be very high quality and I would expect them to be so. I think he may be the best organist to ever play the instrument. It is like an extension of himself and his recordings are better than any other organ music that I have. I posted elsewhere that I was even perfectly happy with a CD of his and that is rare for me. I intend to buy others that I find but I'm also buying all of the vinyl of his that I can find if it is mint.
    In my search for Virgil Fox recordings, I read that he made the first digital recording in the US in 1977. It appeared that they were saying this was the first digital recording in the US by anyone. Does anyone know if this would be the case? Doesn't really matter, I just thought that it was interesting. Mr Fox became quite popular in the 70's with many live performances around the world and sometimes having a light show which brought some younger people to hear Bach and some of the other classics in a way that they had never heard it or cared to hear it before. Heavy Organ is one of the album titles and that rather says it all.
    It was like a rock concert in many ways with the light show and very loud pipe organ playing Bach. I don't think anyone ever did it better.
    Bill

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Nope, but I have another TT option

    [QUOTE=DMK]Perhaps instead of purchasing a new 'table, you may want to get the Realistic to a repair shop. Flutter isn't a good thing and will certainly skew your results. ...QUOTE]

    I won't spend on dime on the Realistic; (for one thing I don't trust Radio Shack Canada to do the job right). But I have another option.

    Sitting on dusty shelf I have French-made ERA Mk 4 turn table that worked fine last time I used it 10 years ago. With it I have a Grace 707 tonearm which needs a minor repair; one of the four leads to the cardridge connecting pins is fell off and is missing. I imagine this won't be a difficult or costly repair. I might need a new cartridge though, because the Grado on the Realistic is a 'P' mount.

    Do you suppose this combo would be worth fixing it?

  23. #23
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    My Fox from Crystal Clear Recordings ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jbangelfish
    ... Any Virgil Fox recordings that I have seem to be very high quality and I would expect them to be so. ...
    ... was made "direct to disc".

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    Feanor, I don't know the tt but

    If it has a Grace arm, it's probably a few shakes better than the Realistic linear. It's quite possible that it would sound very good, many European models did and do perform well. See if you can fix it and give it a try. I used an old Pioneer PL12D belt drive, pure manual (hate semis and autos) and with a Shure V15 MM, series 3, it sounded quite good. This was a long time ago but the tt still worked up until a few months ago with my son using it. Good enough to give you a taste of what vinyl can offer. Your French tt would probably be even better. I bought an NOS Grado cartridge on ebay for $100 as a backup and it was well worth it. There may be other bargains around that price. Look for separation of 25 or better and a range of better than 20hz to 20khz and you should have a decent start.
    Bill

  25. #25
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Sounds like good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbangelfish
    If it has a Grace arm, it's probably a few shakes better than the Realistic linear. It's quite possible that it would sound very good, many European models did and do perform well. See if you can fix it and give it a try. ...Bill
    I'll try to get around to it. The Grace has every sort of adjustment that's imaginable, hence is a huge pain in the butt to set up. Maybe my tech will fix the missing connection and set it up too.

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