Thread: The future of SACD in 2007

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Post by Castor January 2, 2007 (1 of 73)
/showthread/10435/10435/y#10435

On January 7th last year I started a thread with this title and in the ensuing 12 months much has happened that was not predicted then.

On the negative side Universal and Naxos have ceased production of new SACDs altogether while some companies such as Chandos and Sony/BMG have shown a continuing luke-warm commitment to the format.

On the positive side the small companies like PentaTone, Talent, Channel Classics, Capriccio, CPO and 2L have enriched the catalogue immeasurably with a stream of beautifully recorded SACDs of interesting and, often unusual, repertoire. We have also had plenty of releases from orchestras own labels - LSO Live, RCO live, the continuing SFS Mahler cycle and The Philadelphia Orchestra via Ondine etc.

But what for 2007?

In the January 2007 edition UK Magazine Hi-Fi News, the respected journalist Barry Fox writes
“ Not only are we breeding a new generation that judges sound quality by a gold standard of 128kbs/s compression, we are breeding a generation which has never heard the sound on a live musical instrument. There is no longer any yardstick for audio quality.”

while Alvin Gold in an ecstatic review of the latest Krell Evolution 505 CD/SACD player in Hi Fi Choice writes:
“However, commercially at least, SACD’s star does appear to be on the wane. But SACD is neither technically nor sonically deficient. The format has already seen off DVD-A, there are plenty of discs available, at least in certain key categories (classical, jazz, acoustic) and SACD won’t be redundant until HD DVD and/or Blu-ray provide a truly wide-bandwidth home for high-resolution audio. Given the relative lack of success for DVD-A and SACD, that day may never come. SACD’s travails are the worst news for high fidelity, and more importantly for reproduced music itself”

It would be interesting to read what contributors to this forum, who are brave enough to look into their crystal balls, predict for this year.

Post by zeus January 2, 2007 (2 of 73)
Castor said:

But what for 2007?

Here's my bold prediction for 2007: much the same.

Post by raffells January 2, 2007 (3 of 73)
It would be interesting to read what contributors to this forum, who are brave enough to look into their crystal balls, predict for this year.
ignoring what Hi Fi reviewers have said for very good reason(s)...

I predict Naxos will NOT change its mind and release sacds...They will continue to allow individual labels under its umbrella to release them at higher price...
The current rate of sacd releases will continue for the whole year and some interesting and boring titles...includes organ works..

New labels will come on the scene.some will disappear..(Bit like my reviews)

A fightback by DVD A is predicted.In diffent guise mainly USA Led..after all the pressing plants will be redundant...Super DVDAudio?

None of the items listed by sacd that have NOT been released in 6 months of listing will ever get released...

Somebody on sa-cd will actually start discussing the tonal quality of sacd labels rather than surround..

The number of releases on the next generation ?????????? format will be so insignificant that It will hardly merit discussion in a music world...A couple of members of this forum MAY get excited about it though...

By Decemeber someone will announce their SACD of the year.

Grammyphone will still not understand that their is a difference between formats re sound quality...as several of their reviewers reach triple figure age and await a telegram from the Editor...

The end of the year will be 31st December..

Some member of the "club" will go off on one during the year probably because someone doesnt like his or her review.Other members may come back..

I may write another sacd opera ?..but will continue to extract the u****e when provoked..I will also give up modifying my gear as the sheepdog and white stick are becoming a hinderance...Not sure aboiut my crystal balls...as..! you
may note that xmas 2005 I predicted what day xmas would be in 2006....
Got That wrong.....

Finally// There will be predictions for 2008./

Post by Beagle January 3, 2007 (4 of 73)
raffells said:
The end of the year will be 31st December...

In the same spirit:

The cost of petroleum will push up the price of vinyl.

Post by The Seventh Taylor January 3, 2007 (5 of 73)
Or rather conversely, the staggering demand for vinyl has pushed up the price of petroleum to levels not seen before.

(Similarly, I'm sure the fluctuations of the Euro/Dollar were not the cause of the shift in SACD title offerings but the effect of it.)

Post by Claude January 4, 2007 (6 of 73)
I think 2006 has confirmed that SACD is an established niche format in the classical sector, but has failed elsewhere. The format manages to survive. I don't expect any new development this year.

Unfortunately classical SACD presence despends on a few dedicated labels, like Pentatone, Telarc, Praga, BIS or SonyBMG (Living Stereo). If several of them withdraw from SACD, this will immediately have an impact on the future of the format.

Some people hope that a HDTV and HD-DVD/BluRay boom (which has not yet taken place, at least not in Europe) might revive the interest in high resolution audio, but I doubt that, because when discussing these new TV/video formats, the sound quality is rarely an issue. High definition video might become mainstream, but high resolution audio won't.

I hate it when purists complain about the predominence of MP3, and it's impact on the way people hear music. Low fidelity audio has always been the standard in households: $50 record players with worn pickups, the ghetto blaster, the Walkman, the car radio. Hifi is a minority interest. I listen to SACD at home and MP3 when I'm at work. I have a FullHD LCD TV, but I can also enjoy Youtube streams. Am I disturbed? ;-)

Post by pgmdir January 4, 2007 (7 of 73)
Claude said:

I think 2006 has confirmed that SACD is an established niche format in the classical sector, but has failed elsewhere. The format manages to survive. I don't expect any new development this year.

Unfortunately classical SACD presence despends on a few dedicated labels, like Pentatone, Telarc, Praga, BIS or SonyBMG (Living Stereo). If several of them withdraw from SACD, this will immediately have an impact on the future of the format.

Some people hope that a HDTV and HD-DVD/BluRay boom (which has not yet taken place, at least not in Europe) might revive the interest in high resolution audio, but I doubt that, because when discussing these new TV/video formats, the sound quality is rarely an issue. High definition video might become mainstream, but high resolution audio won't.

I hate it when purists complain about the predominence of MP3, and it's impact on the way people hear music. Low fidelity audio has always been the standard in households: $50 record players with worn pickups, the ghetto blaster, the Walkman, the car radio. Hifi is a minority interest. I listen to SACD at home and MP3 when I'm at work. I have a FullHD LCD TV, but I can also enjoy Youtube streams. Am I disturbed? ;-)

Very well put, Claude, and absolutely true. I'm in broadcasting in the US. In the early 60's we prided outselves on having high fidelity on our FM stations. Today, FM stations generally are processed to make clock radios and car stereos sound loud. And the vast majority of our listeners wouldn't want it any different. Why anyone would spend more than a minimal amount for a tuner is beyond me. Pop music is processed to the point that high rez is a dubious benefit. I just hope we can continue to have classical on SACD. The Majors have virtually abandoned classical music, so the smaller labels like BIS, Pentatone, and (my favorite) Channel Classics are even more important.

-Bill

Post by Beagle January 4, 2007 (8 of 73)
Claude said:
... niche format in the classical sector, but has failed elsewhere.

Except, perhaps in the Japan+China pop world?

Post by brenda January 4, 2007 (9 of 73)
Castor said:
On the positive side the small companies like PentaTone, Talent, Channel Classics, Capriccio, CPO and 2L have enriched the catalogue

dear Graham, no wonder Bissie gets exasperated, - BIS deserve a mention in any list. regards, B

Post by brenda January 4, 2007 (10 of 73)
Claude said:
I hate it when purists complain about the predominence of MP3, and it's impact on the way people hear music. Low fidelity audio has always been the standard in households: $50 record players with worn pickups, the ghetto blaster, the Walkman, the car radio. Hifi is a minority interest. I listen to SACD at home and MP3 when I'm at work. I have a FullHD LCD TV, but I can also enjoy Youtube streams. Am I disturbed? ;-)

Claude, not in the slightest, sound healthily normal to me. B

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