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Sony Launches Super Audio CD - April 6, 1999 Announcement

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soundboy

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It has been almost 20 years since Sony launched SACD. Despite a format war with DVD-Audio, plus introductions of DualDisc and Blu-ray Audio Disc, SACD still see hundreds of new titles being released worldwide each year. I was kind of surprised to find the below notice.....


Did we ever get the dual-layer, non hybrid SACD?
 

JonUrban

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It has been almost 20 years since Sony launched SACD. Despite a format war with DVD-Audio, plus introductions of DualDisc and Blu-ray Audio Disc, SACD still see hundreds of new titles being released worldwide each year. I was kind of surprised to find the below notice.....


Did we ever get the dual-layer, non hybrid SACD?
You know, I do like SACD's, and I am glad they are still a device for surround music delivery to this day, but in reflecting back to 1999, I have to think about how the HiRez and surround market would have played out had Sony stayed with the DVD Forum group, got behind DVD-Audio, the European Hack never happened, allowing ALL DVD players manufactured from the beginning to play the DVD-A layer, and the entire industry got behind the format, including an aggressive push to get CD/DVD-A players installed in most 2000+ model year cars from Detroit and around the world. (Cars were the key to surround mass appeal, but that did not happen. Even the ELS system didn't arrive until 2004, about when the whole thing was imploding)

There's a lot to say about having a single format.

We all know how it all played out. Still, the major thing that annoys me about Sony and SACD (other than what's stated above) is that the SACD was in fact the perfect "Dual Disc" already, and in early 2004 had Sony put the pedal to the metal and blasted out a large barrage of pop/rock/hiphop SACDs instead of getting their feet wet with the utterly crappy DualDisc, the SACD might have had a shot to become what they wanted it to become.

So here's to SACD. The survivor. (y)
 

Clint Eastwood

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You know, I do like SACD's, and I am glad they are still a device for surround music delivery to this day, but in reflecting back to 1999, I have to think about how the HiRez and surround market would have played out had Sony stayed with the DVD Forum group, got behind DVD-Audio, the European Hack never happened, allowing ALL DVD players manufactured from the beginning to play the DVD-A layer, and the entire industry got behind the format, including an aggressive push to get CD/DVD-A players installed in most 2000+ model year cars from Detroit and around the world. (Cars were the key to surround mass appeal, but that did not happen. Even the ELS system didn't arrive until 2004, about when the whole thing was imploding)

There's a lot to say about having a single format.

We all know how it all played out. Still, the major thing that annoys me about Sony and SACD (other than what's stated above) is that the SACD was in fact the perfect "Dual Disc" already, and in early 2004 had Sony put the pedal to the metal and blasted out a large barrage of pop/rock/hiphop SACDs instead of getting their feet wet with the utterly crappy DualDisc, the SACD might have had a shot to become what they wanted it to become.

So here's to SACD. The survivor. (y)
IMO... even if all the things you wanted happened...the surround market would still be a tiny niche market...nothing would have changed that:(
 

4-earredwonder

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You know, I do like SACD's, and I am glad they are still a device for surround music delivery to this day, but in reflecting back to 1999, I have to think about how the HiRez and surround market would have played out had Sony stayed with the DVD Forum group, got behind DVD-Audio, the European Hack never happened, allowing ALL DVD players manufactured from the beginning to play the DVD-A layer, and the entire industry got behind the format, including an aggressive push to get CD/DVD-A players installed in most 2000+ model year cars from Detroit and around the world. (Cars were the key to surround mass appeal, but that did not happen. Even the ELS system didn't arrive until 2004, about when the whole thing was imploding)

There's a lot to say about having a single format.

We all know how it all played out. Still, the major thing that annoys me about Sony and SACD (other than what's stated above) is that the SACD was in fact the perfect "Dual Disc" already, and in early 2004 had Sony put the pedal to the metal and blasted out a large barrage of pop/rock/hiphop SACDs instead of getting their feet wet with the utterly crappy DualDisc, the SACD might have had a shot to become what they wanted it to become.

So here's to SACD. The survivor. (y)
And the REAL irony........In order to manufacture the hybrid SACD ...... a gold~tinted DVD is utilized for that purpose. Of course, it was SONY's ultimate scheme to push the 1 bit DSD licensing which led to the dreaded format war. As for the dualdisc.....DUH...Jon's correct..... SACD was in fact the perfect dualdisc from the start [except for the ability to include videos].
 

ubertrout

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And the REAL irony........In order to manufacture the hybrid SACD ...... a gold~tinted DVD is utilized for that purpose. Of course, it was SONY's ultimate scheme to push the 1 bit DSD licensing which led to the dreaded format war. As for the dualdisc.....DUH...Jon's correct..... it was the perfect dualdisc from the start [except for the ability to include videos].
I recall hearing somewhere that the SACD spec actually supports video, but it was never implemented?
 

4-earredwonder

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I recall hearing somewhere that the SACD spec actually supports video, but it was never implemented?
Yes, ubertrout. Sony had been toying with the idea that to compete with DVD~A's video content they would add video capability to the SACD format. But it never panned out as both formats initially were 'failures' in the early 00 format wars. I believe it was referred to as SACD 2.
 

bmoura

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As for the dualdisc.....DUH...Jon's correct..... SACD was in fact the perfect dualdisc from the start [except for the ability to include videos].
Actually not.

The Dual Disc's CD layer was out of spec - which led to a series of manufacturer warnings that many disc players would not play the CD layer correctly.
In contrast, the Super Audio CD (SACD) was designed with a CD layer that was within the CD specification and did play correctly.

From Wikipedia:
Dual Disc - Manufacturer warnings
A number of electronics companies such as Lexicon,[9] Marantz,[10] Mark Levinson,[11] Onkyo,[12] Panasonic,[13] Pioneer,[14] and Sony (both its Computer Entertainment and Electronics divisions)[15][16] issued statements warning consumers about possible problems with playing DualDisc titles on their equipment.

These warnings ranged in severity from DualDiscs simply not working with the equipment to actual damage to the disc and/or equipment. Meridian Audio, Ltd., on the other hand, issued a statement that "no harm or damage whatsoever" would be caused to the player or the disc if DualDiscs were used on their equipment, but noted that their players with DVD drives would not reliably play the CD layer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DualDisc
 

MrSmithers

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20 years wow! Many happy returns... 🎂 I'll always have an affection for SACD's as they introduced me to multichannel music. I don't think that was until a couple of years after launch though.

I agree that it could have been a totally different story. Format wars never work out well. I guess you could say SACD succeeded in defeating DVD-A though?! And even holding out against Blu Ray. It's interesting that we can now jump from the discs and play the files contained on them directly however...
 

4-earredwonder

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Actually not.

The Dual Disc's CD layer was out of spec - which led to a series of manufacturer warnings that many disc players would not play the CD layer correctly.
In contrast, the Super Audio CD (SACD) was designed with a CD layer that was within the CD specification and did play correctly.

From Wikipedia:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DualDisc
Brian, I was NOT equating SACD with the dualdisc only making a comment [along with Jon Urban] that with the capability of playing the CD layer, why did SONY even bother with the dualdisc [which SONY released with lossy DD 5.1 codecs and/or 'enhanced stereo' [16/48]. Sony could've simply bypassed the dualdisc and just released all the albums they released on dualdisc in hi res DSD 5.1 or Stereo SACD versions.
 
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Old Quad Guy

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But here's the thing in 2000... How "Super" can an Audio CD be when you can't play it on a regular CD player?

When I finally bought a SACD player (used Pioneer 578 for $100) in 2006, I was annoyed at every conceivable configuration of the format when I tried to buy SACD discs. How many SACDs had stickers on them that said "Will Not Play on a regular CD player." What the hell, sometimes I just like to play CDs. But no, had to buy the CD version as well. Fortunately, everything is cool with it now, it plays CD layer, with both Stereo and Multi-Channel all on one disc.

Another thing, by 2000 I had, or thought I had every music title in CD format that I could possibly want from Tower Records. I was exhausted from buying stuff by then. And folks were having fun turning their CDs into MP3s. In 2006 it was a MP3 world, but people still bought CDs and still do. If only all CDs by 2000 had been SACDs, playable on a CD player, well, we'll never know.
 

ar surround

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But here's the thing in 2000... How "Super" can an Audio CD be when you can't play it on a regular CD player?

When I finally bought a SACD player (used Pioneer 578 for $100) in 2006, I was annoyed at every conceivable configuration of the format when I tried to buy SACD discs. How many SACDs had stickers on them that said "Will Not Play on a regular CD player." What the hell, sometimes I just like to play CDs. But no, had to buy the CD version as well. Fortunately, everything is cool with it now, it plays CD layer, with both Stereo and Multi-Channel all on one disc.

Another thing, by 2000 I had, or thought I had every music title in CD format that I could possibly want from buying at Tower Records. I was exhausted from buying stuff. And folks were having fun turning their CDs into MP3s. In 2006 it was a MP3 world, but people still bought CDs and still do. If only all CDs by 2000 had been SACDs, playable on a CD player, well we'll never know.
I suspect that Sony and their baloney were obsessed with copyright protection and thus omitted the CD layer from the first SACDs. Perhaps they also wanted to force people to buy their early expensive SACD players or those of other manufacturers who bought the codec rights from Sony. Then there was the issue of paying royalties for each layer on the disc even though it was the same music.

It's poetic justice that there is a slew of cheap Sony Blu-ray players out there that can rip SACD.
 

Quad Linda

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From a marketing standpoint, single-layer SACD made some sense. Get them to buy new hardware. The other reason was likely to eliminate people buying hybrids and playing them on CD-only players. That would lead folks to opine: "nothing super about this disc. It sounds exactly like a CD."

Initially, I passed on SACD, even though I sold the hardware. Multi-channel releases like Tubular Bells, Blow by Blow, Gratitude and JT made SACD a format I could not live without.

New mixes and recycled Quads alike, I drooled over new (re)releases and still do. I own SQ's/CD-4's/Q8s of most of the rereleases. But, I bought them again, often for the third or fourth time in multich. And I have depleted bank accounts to prove it. Multich is wonderful. I eagerly await 2ch and even mono SACD's, as well.

I like the ability to zip to a track, just as with CD. Still, my preference is DVD-A or BD-A. But, like all BD & DVD-V, you could go make a sandwich waiting for the actual program to start.
 

leevitalone1

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Thanks for that. I missed it by a few years, having gotten into multichannel in 2003. Unfortunately I didn’t have an SACD player until 2005, but when I did I couldn’t wait to get “The Stranger”.
It was the titles that did me in. I would go every week to buy a new dvd audio disc and would drool over the sacd titles. Then I caved and bought an SACD player, Now two dvd machines. Both analog 5.1. The critics said even then that dvd audio won't last and sacd will be an 'audiophile" format. Well DVD audio did mostly fail but, it evolved into the lossless BD audio. That is still MLP So, basically the format remains, and now every machine plays it. Most people don't even know it!
 

bmoura

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But here's the thing in 2000... How "Super" can an Audio CD be when you can't play it on a regular CD player?

When I finally bought a SACD player (used Pioneer 578 for $100) in 2006, I was annoyed at every conceivable configuration of the format when I tried to buy SACD discs. How many SACDs had stickers on them that said "Will Not Play on a regular CD player." What the hell, sometimes I just like to play CDs. But no, had to buy the CD version as well. Fortunately, everything is cool with it now, it plays CD layer, with both Stereo and Multi-Channel all on one disc.

Another thing, by 2000 I had, or thought I had every music title in CD format that I could possibly want from Tower Records. I was exhausted from buying stuff by then. And folks were having fun turning their CDs into MP3s. In 2006 it was a MP3 world, but people still bought CDs and still do. If only all CDs by 2000 had been SACDs, playable on a CD player, well, we'll never know.
The Hybrid SACDs can, of course, be played on any CD player.

As for Single Layer SACDs, the record companies saw them as appealing since they didn't have a CD layer. In fact, Universal Music cited the Single Layer SACD option as a reason for releasing albums on SACD before DVD Audio!
Later on, it became clear that listeners wanted the CD layer and so even Universal moved to Hybrid SACD releases. (This also explains why some early UMG SACDs came out as Single Layer SACDs).
 

JonUrban

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One thing I can say is that Marshall (AF) and Michael (D-V) have together rescued the format for me. Since I am not a classical guy, and I don't really care about music from Hong Kong or other parts of China, these two companies are the ones that brought the "goods", so to speak, on SACD.

And for that I am VERY GLAD!

39410
 
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bmoura

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Since I am not a classical guy, and I don't really care about music from Hong Kong or other parts of China.
I don't know about the music in Hong Kong or China, as you say, but when it comes to Classical and Jazz, there is more to come in Multichannel and Surround Sound in the year ahead.
Looking forward to it. :)
 

J. PUPSTER

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I don't know about the music in Hong Kong or China, as you say, but when it comes to Classical and Jazz, there is more to come in Multichannel and Surround Sound in the year ahead.
Looking forward to it. :)
You might could also make an argument that Classical has kept the whole SACD format alive. Allowing us Rock, Pop, Jazz etc. lovers to slowly get our preferred titles. I for one still prefer DVD-A but it doesn’t have a RBCD layer. Aren’t there only a couple of plants making the SACD discs?
 
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