The Lana Del Rey is horribly mastered but I can tell you the difference between the cd and high res. file. It really sounds a little different but not in the details, it's overall. Though the mastering is exactly the same.
How do you know this? Your post seems full of conjecture and heresay.
Either SACD is better than CD, or it is no different. If differences exist to the detriment of SACD, then the format is flawed or the mastering is at fault, either way, for a 'superior' format SACD seems to fall down rather a lot.
The idea of high resolution formats, is to provide a sound quality that surpasses redbook CD at all times, if there is any question at all regarding the success of the formats in doing this, then they fail as a quality product.
In essence, why pay more for no guarantee of better quality or consistency?
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I've mentioned a few times in recent years that the Genesis Box set for 1976-1982 was an SACD release, but crippled by a truly awful mastering in stereo. Likewise CD stereo. The multichannel SACD was apparently alright, but the rest? Dire. By far the better masterings were either the Barry Diament versions he did for Atco in the US or the original CDs.
The format is neither here nor there if the underlying mastering tanks to the point it becomes an irrelevance.
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Did you click the "Source Direct"-button on your Pearl Lite Amp to get native DSD-playback from your sacd's. If not, most players downconvert DSD automatically to PCM.
Even for "ordinary" cd playback I prefer the Source Direct mode.
I don't have a Pearl Lite amp, I have a Pearl LIte SACD player!
You all seem to be straying from the point. I am only using Hybrid DSD SACD's of classical music made recently. When I switch between the layers, I can't detect any noticable difference. I am usin a good quality stereo Marantz Peal Lite SACD player, with a Roksan amp and Neat Petit speakers. The Hybrid SACD's that I buy do not cost any more than standard CD's and the recording itself is only available in this physical format. Your mention of Linn is interesting, as I have a few of their Hybrid SACD recordings. For example, Handels Messiah, by the Dunedion Consort. When I switch between the layers, trying to listen critically, I hear no difference.
Maybe there isn't any?
Labels have never supported sacd.
Sony and Philips engineers/factory made the sacd-technologies!
But when they talked about their new invention with the "Sony Music Label" they said they weren't interested at all.
The sacd as a mainstream format died because of internal struggling at Sony!
That's why it never was really promoted.
People running the labels don't give a s*** about a soundquality.
I downloaded the Lana Del Rey album and compared it to the cd. It sounds different, but far from perfect. The tracks have the same length, the same dynamic range (using the latest DR-meter),...
I never have listened to a Marant/Roksan combi so I can't really answer your question.
Have no idea ...
I have the KI Pearl SACD/AMP combi and I am listening most of the time in "Source Direct" mode. This mode is also recommended at various audiophile review sites and forums. With this mode the amp doesn't change the sound (no colouring, analyzing,...) so you get the music straight from the disc like the dac decoded it.
I have no idea how the Roksan does the job.
so what you're saying is your earlier comments meant nothing at all?
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The Pearl-Lite amp is a conventional analogue amplifier with all signal processing taking place in the analogue domain, so where all this talk of native DSD playback comes from I can't imagine. All that the source direct feature does is bypass some of this circuitry.
The Pearl-Lite SACD does have a slightly higher output level from SACD compared to CD (2.4 vrms vs 1.8 vrms) which equates to 2.5db level difference. That is barely noticeable but worth bearing in mind.
I too have the Haitink LSO boxed set referred to by the op, and I too could not not really tell any obvious difference between SACD and CD. I also listened to Nelson Freire playing Chopin on an SACD and have to say the sound was stunning but so to was the CD layer.
The Pearl-Lite SACD is very much an understated bargain and I think a very "honest" player.
I have agree with the above. Mooly have you tried any classical SACD's that are not Hybrid. i would be interested in any recommendations? Also, I was thinking of changing/upgrading my amp, what do you think? Have though about the Heed Audoio product. I used to own the original Ion Obelisk 1, which is related and still run the Ion FM1 tuner, which is still stunning. Infact the Pearl Lite is the first disc spinner, that I actually prefer over it.
I'm afraid the Haitink set are the only SACD's I actually own personally other than the one supplied with the Pearl. Out of all the CD's I own, all have been normal original Red Book ones. The Nelson Freire was from the library.
Have you tried putting any Radio 3 or Gramophone podcasts onto a USB stick and using the front USB socket on the Pearl. The quality is outstanding.
I'm not familiar with any of the products you mention so I guess it's a case of you trying to home dem any you might fancy. One amplifier I am familiar with and would highly recommend for subjective sound quality is the Sugden A21SE
Thanks a lot. I'll certainlly give the USB idea a go. How much is the Sugden?
The A21SE is around £2.5K but it's well worth a listen to show what can be achieved sonically and to set some yardsticks by.
Ultimately you have to listen to a few different designs to see what appeals. I believe the Pearl-Lite amp is very good but I haven't heard one.
The following excerpt from a review in Soundstage! "proves" that SACD has superior imaging and can create a more 3D soundstage:
The FMJ CD37 was a wonderful CD player, but it was an even better SACD player, bringing life to this format and proving its sonic superiority. I am not sure whether it was its ability to decode DSD natively or all of Arcam’s vast expertise in producing excellent digital players that helped the CD37 sound so good, but its performance with SACDs was truly spectacular. All of the sonic traits that I heard with CDs were there with SACDs, only magnified. The CD37 sounded so good that it made me want to listen to all of the SACDs that typically sit unused in my CD rack. In fact, it made me wish that I had more SACDs to play. Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms: 20th Anniversary Edition (Vertigo 602498714980) sounded gorgeous, even if the CD37 could only play it back in two channels. The acoustic guitar on "Walk of Life" was rich and vibrant, and the bouncy melody and vocals were infectious. The imaging on "Ride Across the River" was eerily holographic, with the shaker nearly jumping out of the soundstage.
The differences between the Denon and the Arcam players were even more apparent with SACDs. To my ears, SACDs sounded more like CDs through the Denon, very good CDs mind you, but there was just something a little lacking. For example, with the Denon player, the pinpoint imaging on "Temptation" from Diana Krall's Girl in the Other Room SACD (Verve 602498620465) was still there, with Ms. Krall's sultry vocals dead center, Anthony Wilson's guitar set slightly back and to the right, and the brushes, cymbals and high hat off to the left. However, the soundstage depth was reduced, resulting in a less three-dimensional presentation. In contrast, the Arcam CD37 was able to take this SACD to the next level of performance for a true high-resolution experience.
After listening to the Arcam FMJ CD37, I can understand why so many audiophiles listen to SACDs. Its performance with these high-resolution recordings was breathtaking. Even though I typically listen to high-resolution audio discs on a multichannel system, I found the CD37’s playback of SACDs in stereo to be totally captivating. Being Arcam’s reference CD player, its performance with Red Book CDs was as equally accomplished.
Perhaps the Marantz Pearl Lite is like the Denon and can't take the SACD to the next level of performance. I have an Onkyo CS5VL that is not that great with redbook but is far better with SACD.
In pursuit of better music I've been dipping a toe into SACD/DVD-A, and having a redundant Pioneer DV-575A universal DVD player, thought I'd have a go at playing my DSOTM SACD, The Beatles Love DVD-A disc, and a couple of Living Stereo SACDs, Heifetz/Bruch, and Reiner/Chicago Symphony/Debussy. Initial thoughts were no difference, compared to my main AAA5+ CDP, but then I changed the setting from CD to SACD, and, not quite sure which to choose, put all the settings to PCM. When I tried any SACD, all I got from the optical digital output was digital noise. Playing DVD-A was better, but not convincing - longer listening required. From reading this thread I'm now beginning to think I'll stick to vanilla CDs. One of my problems is that, being a DVD player it also has to be connected to a tv/monitor to access menus, which is awkward, to say the least.
Re Linn's catalogue, most of it has no appeal, but there are some gems, and it's worth visiting the site just to hear the difference between the studio masters, CD and mp3 recordings?
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