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Thread: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-earredwonder View Post

    As far as Brian Moura's stereo projections being relegated to AF sales ONLY.....VERY doubtful.
    What he said was that 85-90% of their market were SACD fans, so obviously he was talking only about AF, not the whole world.

    If including the Quad layer only increases sales by 10-15% and that doesn't cover the increased
    cost? Then that's that for AF and Quad I would think.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by keywhiz View Post
    What he said was that 85-90% of their market were SACD fans, so obviously he was talking only about AF, not the whole world.

    If including the Quad layer only increases sales by 10-15% and that doesn't cover the increased
    cost? Then that's that for AF and Quad I would think.
    Brian could've been referring to AF only stereo sales but he also has a relationship with the folks at Analogue Productions and MoFi, as well. And since Brian is a man of few words, I'd take it 'somewhat' as gospel.

    And, as I type these words, the Blizzard of '17 blanketing the East Coast Has Only Just Begun (in the words of Richard and Karen Carpenter).

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-earredwonder View Post
    Brian could've been referring to AF only stereo sales but he also has a relationship with the folks at Analogue Productions and MoFi, as well. And since Brian is a man of few words, I'd take it 'somewhat' as gospel.
    Same difference with these small, audiophile labels. If he is saying 85-90% of their market are SACD fans, he was obviously not talking about the whole world. He was saying that MC fans are only 10-15% of what is already a niche market.

    I have never doubted we that we were ever more than about 1% of the recorded music fans in the world. At the very best.


    And, as I type these words, the Blizzard of '17 blanketing the East Coast Has Only Just Begun (in the words of Richard and Karen Carpenter).
    God speed! And Katie bar the door!

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by keywhiz View Post
    Same difference with these small, audiophile labels. If he is saying 85-90% of their market are SACD fans, he was obviously not talking about the whole world. He was saying that MC fans are only 10-15% of what is already a niche market.

    I have never doubted we that we were ever more than about 1% of the recorded music fans in the world. At the very best.
    Frankly, some of these MoFi and AF stereo-only SACD's don't sound so great. They are encumbered by old mixes and old tapes. I have one SACD with so much noise and crap in the background, that a low-res iTunes download is the more listenable alternative. For my preferences, the biggest advantage of the 5.1 MC releases is that they go back to the original multi-channel tapes and create a product that is much cleaner sounding with more depth, ambience, detail, etc. A number of AF quad reissues, although old originals, also seem to exhibit many of the advantages of a late 5.1 mix. If they could make every stereo SACD reissue sound like Alan Parsons Eye In The Sky, I'd be very happy faking stereo into surround sound with PLIIx or L7. But they can't. And when we do get a modern 2-channel remix it is packaged with a 5.1 remix anyway. So labels, please keep feeding us the Quads and the unreleased 5.1's stuck in the vaults.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by ar surround View Post
    Frankly, some of these MoFi and AF stereo-only SACD's don't sound so great. They are encumbered by old mixes and old tapes. I have one SACD with so much noise and crap in the background, that a low-res iTunes download is the more listenable alternative. For my preferences, the biggest advantage of the 5.1 MC releases is that they go back to the original multi-channel tapes and create a product that is much cleaner sounding with more depth, ambience, detail, etc. A number of AF quad reissues, although old originals, also seem to exhibit many of the advantages of a late 5.1 mix. If they could make every stereo SACD reissue sound like Alan Parsons Eye In The Sky, I'd be very happy faking stereo into surround sound with PLIIx or L7. But they can't. And when we do get a modern 2-channel remix it is packaged with a 5.1 remix anyway. So labels, please keep feeding us the Quads and the unreleased 5.1's stuck in the vaults.
    Certainly a large degree of the sales for these boutique labels is the result of the reputations they have built for themselves. A lot of this stuff will sell to fans of the labels right out of the box and they will wait until later to decide if it sounds good or not. And certainly in some cases they believe it sounds better than they might otherwise simply based on the label, name of the engineer, specs of the resolution, etc. It's all part of the sales package. "They Are Going To Make Audio Great Again!"

    So it's hard to determine the true value of a quad layer included on a AF SACD more generally marketed to their specific clientele. On one hand, it's probably bringing in a few more customers they wouldn't have otherwise (me, for example!). OTHO, that quad layer might be turning some SACD-stereo-only fans off and because of how AF traditionally markets their product while potential customers for the quad who really don't care about SACD-stereo aren't being effectively reached.

    I do think we will continue to see various MC titles released on physical discs for the next few years at least. But it will be drips and drabs for sure. It really just comes down to finding that sweet spot where everyone can make a little bit of money. Right reissue label, right licensing agreement, right band, right album, right marketing. And someone offering MC downloads will certainly be in the future as well.

    It does seem the labels will have to lighten up on how much they are asking for the licensing of these old titles. Again, I go back to the Chicago Quadio box. Since it seems Chicago's distribution deal is directly with Rhino and Rhino was the ones who manufactured and released the set, it was able to work where they could offer a really nice package at a reasonable price and sell out of it rather quickly. And look at the recent Steven Wilson stereo remix of Chicago II. That was just RBCD, right? How narrow of a market is that? They can't have imagined they would sell THAT many of that one, I wouldn't think. Must have been some pretty low overhead for that one to pencil out for them.

    It can be done. But it will require all parties involved to keep their expectations reasonable. Including those of us on the purchasing end. Not everything we get is going to be the Quadio box.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Anybody notice that AF has released their first VINYL - "Leon Russell" http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/12...m_Vinyl_Record ?
    This from the company that told us no more vinyl, while they abandondon their quad SACD fans?

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by surroundophile View Post
    Anybody notice that AF has released their first VINYL - "Leon Russell"?
    Leon Russell isn't the first Vinyl LP released by Audio Fidelity.
    They've been doing Vinyl LP reissues for years.

    Past examples include albums by Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Bryan Adams, Scorpions, 10 Years After, Sade, Barry White and the TRON Soundtrack with music by Wendy Carlos.
    Acoustic Sounds shows 41 Vinyl LPs from Audio Fidelity at their store.

    http://store.acousticsounds.com/inde...2&CategoryID=5

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    I've got Audio Fidelity vinyl by Herbie Mann, J.Geils and Jethro Tull

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by keywhiz View Post
    What he said was that 85-90% of their market were SACD fans, so obviously he was talking only about AF, not the whole world.
    Actually the 85% to 90% figure (listeners who wanted Stereo CD and Stereo SACD) did not come from Audio Fidelity but from other record labels.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by keywhiz View Post
    It does seem the labels will have to lighten up on how much they are asking for the licensing of these old titles.
    Actually not. Remember that the record labels and artists are getting $250,000 and up for the license to one song on an album for movie use.
    That explains why some artists have their songs and albums available for movie licensing but not for reissues.

    It also explains why licensing rates for album reissues continue to go up - not down.
    There is a desire to bring the two closer together. Very difficult when optical disc sales of all types are declining.

    But then again, if you can make more by licensing one song, who wants to mess with making and warehousing optical discs?

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoura View Post
    Actually not. Remember that the record labels and artists are getting $250,000 and up for the license to one song on an album for movie use.
    That explains why some artists have their songs and albums available for movie licensing but not for reissues.

    It also explains why licensing rates for album reissues continue to go up - not down.
    There is a desire to bring the two closer together. Very difficult when optical disc sales of all types are declining.

    But then again, if you can make more by licensing one song, who wants to mess with making and warehousing optical discs?
    Quite true, Brian but that $250K and UP only applies to a few select titles/artists and is NOT representative of the majority of artists who have NO requests for inclusion in movie soundtracks.

    I still believe that if an individual artist wants to release either an existing QUAD/5.1 remix or commissions new 5.1 remix, that's the most viable alternative.

    Currently, the US reissue companies aren't going to touch those QUAD/5.1 'relics' especially due to complicated licensing agreement quagmires/rising royalty fees and also due to, as you state, declining optical disc sales.

    It seems this once promising gravy train is nearing or has reached the end of the line!

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-earredwonder View Post
    Quite true, Brian but that $250K and UP only applies to a few select titles/artists and is NOT representative of the majority of artists who have NO requests for inclusion in movie soundtracks.
    Bottom line is that the licensing costs from the record labels and artists have gone up significantly for all artists and albums. And there is no sign that will change.
    So the reissue labels are factoring that in to their plans when considering albums to license and what titles will work for reissue - whether that is on optical disc or LP.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by surroundophile View Post
    Anybody notice that AF has released their first VINYL - "Leon Russell" http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/12...m_Vinyl_Record ?
    This from the company that told us no more vinyl, while they abandondon their quad SACD fans?
    They really have not abandoned us quad folks. They are holding out for the right title to become available, waiting to hear back for approval on some. It will be something great when they finally do another one. Something like "The World is a Ghetto" or "A Space in Time". maybe that other Blue Oyster Cult album? I refuse to give up just yet. I want four to 6 more quads from AF before it's really all over.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoura View Post
    Bottom line is that the licensing costs from the record labels and artists have gone up significantly for all artists and albums. And there is no sign that will change.
    So the reissue labels are factoring that in to their plans when considering albums to license and what titles will work for reissue - whether that is on optical disc or LP.
    Labels are really killing themselves. If CD's would have sold for $10 instead of $18-$20 back in the '90s, maybe they'd still be viable. Now they are holding up the reissue companies for big bucks when NO ONE is buying CDs anymore. Record sections and stores are disappearing, yet these geniuses continue to bleed the little specialty labels to the point of near death.

    Their biggest source of income now is putting old music in commercials, TV shows, and movies. At this point, they just don't care about the product itself.
    :-jon

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    Labels are really killing themselves.
    It's not just record labels. In some cases the recording artist has control of the masters.
    There have been examples of non-Superstar artists asking 5X the going rate to license one of their albums for a reissue.

    The challenge in all of this is that there is only one place to license the recordings.
    With movie licensing more lucrative than reissues, it remains the top priority when it comes to licensing catalog albums these days.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoura View Post
    It's not just record labels. In some cases the recording artist has control of the masters.
    There have been examples of non-Superstar artists asking 5X the going rate to license one of their albums for a reissue.

    The challenge in all of this is that there is only one place to license the recordings.
    With movie licensing more lucrative than reissues, it remains the top priority when it comes to licensing catalog albums these days.
    Is this a rarity for artist's on the whole ?,or is this common place ?

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    Labels are really killing themselves. If CD's would have sold for $10 instead of $18-$20 back in the '90s, maybe they'd still be viable. Now they are holding up the reissue companies for big bucks when NO ONE is buying CDs anymore. Record sections and stores are disappearing, yet these geniuses continue to bleed the little specialty labels to the point of near death.

    Their biggest source of income now is putting old music in commercials, TV shows, and movies. At this point, they just don't care about the product itself.
    Jon, I remember going to Crazy Eddies in Hartsdale, NY during that RBCD launch and if one recalls, ALL those early CDs were either pressed in Japan or Germany and were priced like Import Vinyl at the time. And those really crappy early CD players were $1K. Luckily, I had a friend who worked at Eddies who charged me peanuts for those import CDs (and some of them still sound better than 00 remasters....with higher DR scores).

    Yes, the history of the record conglomerates has been one BIG SHIT SHOW and they only managed to release what I consider a handful of worthy Hi Def releases (in DVD~A, SACD and the severely truncated BD~A format). And the majority of new releases are still only available in RBCD and Hi Def downloads, some of which are upsampled 16 bit RBCD quality.

    How long can the reissue companies (MoFi, AF and AP) realistically survive in this climate of excessive price gouging?

    And without any new top 10 music being released in surround or SACD adding to this Barnum & Bailey shit show (egads, even that circus ain't coming to town anymore), I suppose bmoura is positively correct in assuming that eventually it's all going to be stored in the CLOUD (hardly, IMO, an archival solution).

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Something is only worth as much as someone else is prepared to pay, so if the labels/artists ask too much nobody licenses it, so the products not worth what was asked for because nobody is paying for it. So they must have overvalued it. But (as Jon has pointed out) these 'geniuses' don't know or care, they're just going to wait until somebody offers what they want, but nobody will, so their product is actually worthless! So they'd have been better off taking the offer that was made. Reminds me of the film Catch 22!
    177 SACD (159 Multi, 18 Stereo), 218 DVD-Audio/DTS/DD, 10 Blu-ray Audio, 14 SQ LPs, 2218 plain old stereo CDs

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Quote Originally Posted by DuncanS View Post
    Something is only worth as much as someone else is prepared to pay, so if the labels/artists ask too much nobody licenses it, so the products not worth what was asked for because nobody is paying for it. So they must have overvalued it. But (as Jon has pointed out) these 'geniuses' don't know or care, they're just going to wait until somebody offers what they want, but nobody will, so their product is actually worthless! So they'd have been better off taking the offer that was made. Reminds me of the film Catch 22!
    True, but offering downloads on the internet for $18+ [of variable/questionable quality] without liner notes and minimal graphics, etc., will more than make up for it. The shit show ain't over yet!

    And if one is dissatisfied with their internet purchase, what recourse do we have to obtain a refund?

    And the practice of reselling unwanted music internet purchases will be a thing of the past. You bought it....you OWN IT!

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    Default Re: Audio Fidelity Hybrid Stereo SACDs

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoura View Post
    Weather Report - Heavy Weather
    June 23, 2017
    http://www.elusivedisc.com/Weather-R...tinfo/AFSA258/
    Isn't it a little ironic (and disappointing) that Audio Fidelity have largely avoided reissuing albums that have been previously available on Multichannel SACD, yet they have no issues with reissuing this album when it's already been available on SACD before?
    They went from being one of my favorite labels to being one of this year's biggest disappointments…


    Surround yourself with the best.

    Here's to 2017!

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    Default Re: Audio Fidelity Hybrid Stereo SACDs

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbluray View Post
    Isn't it a little ironic (and disappointing) that Audio Fidelity have largely avoided reissuing albums that have been previously available on Multichannel SACD, yet they have no issues with reissuing this album when it's already been available on SACD before?
    They went from being one of my favorite labels to being one of this year's biggest disappointments…

    While I somewhat feel your 'pain,' rt, there are nearly 30 QUALITY multichannel SACDs in my collection through the auspices of Audio Fidelity, most of which I never imagined would see the light of day....something which both MoFi and AP couldn't achieve in the many, many years both American reissue companies have been in business.

    Don't blame AF. Marshall Blonstein, AF's CEO, was a fan of multichannel........blame the record companies' greed and escalating costs......a situation which I fear will never be reversed.

    Accentuate the POSITIVE: It was a good run....while it lasted!

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    Default Re: Audio Fidelity Hybrid Stereo SACDs

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-earredwonder View Post
    blame the record companies' greed and escalating costs...
    And the recording artists and their escalating licensing prices. Along with a lack of increased sales when Surround Sound tracks were added.

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    Default Re: Audio Fidelity Hybrid Stereo SACDs

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-earredwonder View Post
    ......Don't blame AF. Marshall Blonstein, AF's CEO, was a fan of multichannel........blame the record companies' greed and escalating costs......a situation which I fear will never be reversed. Accentuate the POSITIVE: It was a good run....while it lasted!
    Yeah, it was a good and unexpected run. While it lasted it was pretty exciting, but I can honestly tell you, when Marshall told me that the BS&T Greatest Hits SACD was going to be stereo only, and the main reason was that the sales of the M/C SACDs did not increase enough to cover the extra cost, and that they would be "scaling the program way back", it was almost as if someone had shot my dog in front of me. It really took a very huge chunk of enthusiasm out of me and I really haven't paid as much attention to the whole surround thing anywhere near the way I did before that day. The proverbial balloon had finally burst for me. The wind was removed from my sails. The carrier signal had left my CD-4 demodulator...................

    :-jon

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    Default Re: Audio Fidelity Hybrid Stereo SACDs

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    Yeah, it was a good and unexpected run. While it lasted it was pretty exciting, but I can honestly tell you, when Marshall told me that the BS&T Greatest Hits SACD was going to be stereo only, and the main reason was that the sales of the M/C SACDs did not increase enough to cover the extra cost, and that they would be "scaling the program way back", it was almost as if someone had shot my dog in front of me. It really took a very huge chunk of enthusiasm out of me and I really haven't paid as much attention to the whole surround thing anywhere near the way I did before that day. The proverbial balloon had finally burst for me. The wind was removed from my sails. The carrier signal had left my CD-4 demodulator...................

    Don't despair Jon. Multichannel is still 'relatively' alive and kicking.' Just not from AF, AP or MoFi. Those upcoming Kratfwerk 3D Dolby Atmos LIVE titles of ALL eight of their studio albums is, IMO, a REAL bonanza. Last night I watched Sade's 'Bring Me Home Live' (EPIC BD~V) , a title which I've had for some time and I was absolutely mesmerized at the brilliant execution of this disc. SADE does NOT exist in multichannel on SACD (what a crying' shame) but this video [including the absolutely brilliant musicianship and out of sight awesome VIDEO show] restored my faith as it was indeed discrete in parts and the surrounds added a sense of excitement to the proceedings.

    And there's a lot of discs like that. Just turn off the video and BAM, you still have the wonderful Surround audio.

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    Default Re: Wise Words - Audio Fidelity Moves to Selective Multichannel SACD Releases

    Seems like a knee-jerk reaction if you ask me. They did absolutely no advertising, only put out 3-4 really heavy-hitting titles with the rest being fluff and filler, and are relying solely on internet sales. The program lasted approximately what, 12 months?

    How much of an increase in sales were they expecting??

    That's the definition of insanity! Repeating the exact process expecting different results. Shit.

    I can understand scaling back in order to control costs. I'm no fool, I understand that. But to go from two releases a month to zero seems a bit extreme. Obviously, an endeavor like this won't be an overnight success. Promotion is key. You can't NOT tell somebody about a product and expect it to sell. They should know a thing or two about selling a niche product. You want to increase sales? You're going to have to put in the leg work.

    Record companies are no different. I don't understand that mentality either:

    "Yes, we have this item. No, we don't want to sell it ourselves. You want to sell it? Oh, well then we want a BILLION dollars. You don't have a Billion? Aww, so sorry. No soup for you, then."


    That just reminds me of the imbecile down the street. He's had a 1970 LS5 Chevelle SS Convertible (4 speed) sitting in the bushes for nearly 40 years. It's rotten to the core, has had multiple trees fall on it over the years, and I'd bet money it's going to rip in twain should a person be so bold to attempt to move it. Will the owner ever restore it? No. He's a drunk. He's in about the same shape as the car. Will he sell the car? SURE WILL! For 10x more than it would cost to go buy one already restored.

    People are nuts.
    The voices in my head come from Right Rear only!

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