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Sony Launches Super Audio CD - April 6, 1999 Announcement

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bmoura

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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?
Very true.
Classical and Jazz listeners are very focused on sound quality and they are big SACD and DSD Downloads fans.

Also true that there are a limited number of Hybrid SACD replication lines available. (Single Layer SACDs can be made on most DVD Video capable presses).
Definitely a factor when it comes to SACD availability and interest from the record labels.
 

ubertrout

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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.
For Sony Music, the driving force for SACD (and DVD-Audio for others) was copy protection. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act had just been passed in the USA (and similar acts elsewhere, pursuant to the World Copyright Treaty signed in 1996), which made bypassing copy protection illegal, even if the underlying copying would nonetheless be fair use, and further made distributing devices/programs for bypassing copy protection a criminal act. The hope was that with the carrot of improved sound quality and multichannel, consumers would embrace a format for which even ripping was not allowed.

Obviously it didn't play out that way. I was casually chatting with a friend who was an attorney working on SACD for Sony at the time, though, and I mentioned I liked the format, warts and all, and he was genuinely surprised - he had assumed the only purpose was copy protection and the sound quality element was a ruse.
 

bmoura

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For Sony Music, the driving force for SACD (and DVD-Audio for others) was copy protection.
Yes, the copy protection aspect of the Single Layer SACD and the watermarking of DVD-A discs was appealing to the major labels.

The smaller, independent labels were more focused on the sound quality improvements. As one famously said at an audio conference, "we can give you such a better sounding product with SACD and DVD-A than a CD."
So true.
 

JonUrban

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Yes, the copy protection aspect of the Single Layer SACD and the watermarking of DVD-A discs was appealing to the major labels.

The smaller, independent labels were more focused on the sound quality improvements. As one famously said at an audio conference, "we can give you such a better sounding product with SACD and DVD-A than a CD."
So true.
So true. I remember speaking (via internet) with a higher up music guy (at the time) and I was told the main reason the suits were willing to spend for DVD-A and SACD was that both had integrated copy protection, and that CD's were basically a free for all to rip and they did not like that. (Remember when Sony tried to CP CD's with that root-kit deal?). Anyway, without the copy protection, the formats would have never taken off ("We're basically giving them our master tapes!"), but the hoped for replacement of CDs never happened as the iPod and Napster came along and said "Wait a minute there folks" - and that was that.
 

Clint Eastwood

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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?
Austria and Japan are the primary plants...but IIRC there was one in Germany at one time...
 

Clint Eastwood

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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?
Classical music has been at the forefront of quality...they were doing blu ray audio much earlier than other genres
 

dr. simple

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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!
Yeah, the titles! After getting my Pioneer 578A I grabbed “Toys In The Attic”, “Blow By Blow”, Time Out”, The Carpenters, “Dark Side of The Moon”, “Toto IV” and all those Elton discs as fast as I could!
 

Old Quad Guy

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To put my previous comment into context; that was my feeling in the early 2000s, without a way to play Hi-Res music. The initial price of a SACD or DVD-A player was a deterrent. Now there are no excuses for not owning a SACD/DVD-A player, when you can buy one for under $50 bucks or less on eBay. I can't imagine music life without SACD, DVD-Audio and BR now.

Anyway, it must have been right after the announcement of SACD, that I saw a story about it on the local news here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project manager talked about the next evolution of the CD, and guess what title they were working on, Cheap Thrills! They showed a few guys working with Pro Tools, on beige Apple computers, the late 90s models before Steve Jobs rejoined the company. It looked promising and interesting.

Then around 2002, I saw the ad for SACD in Rolling Stone, but the player advertised looked expensive and was out of reach. And when I went to the record store, I started noticing Discs I could not play. But, I got into buying the Rolling Stones SACDs, as they were advertised as CDs with a SACD layer. Cool. I'll just wait for player price to come down.

The experience of music formats in the 2000s was a bit confused for the average person. On the one hand, CDs still sold, but the music industry had licensed it's catalogs to Apple for iPods. The average music listener at the time chose convenience, over sound quality. But MP3 was a terrible format. And the iPod generation, who never experienced records to begin with, have now embraced LPs. Perhaps from ear fatigue. Ironically, MP3 is now the dead format for buying music, and SACD / DVD-A still lives on. The music industry needs to just keep putting out titles and we'll buy. Format shouldn't be an issue anymore.

Anyway, my last purchase was for six SACD Quad titles from Dutton Vocalion. I'm looking forward to more titles to buy, and catch up on the ones I missed.

Happy birthday SACD!
 

filper

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Yeah, the titles! After getting my Pioneer 578A I grabbed “Toys In The Attic”, “Blow By Blow”, Time Out”, The Carpenters, “Dark Side of The Moon”, “Toto IV” and all those Elton discs as fast as I could!
Exactly as I did but a bit later with a brand new Pioneer 588A for $150 CAD. That player ended up costing me a lot of $$$$. :)
 
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4-earredwonder

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One of the regrets of the SACD format promising it's superiority over RBCD is SONY's failure to issue more Hi Res Stereo remasters in SACD since it also contained the compatible CD layer. Since SONY owned the pressing plants, what would've it have cost them to do so? It would've definitely extended the popularity of the format instead of relegating it to Limited Edition Status which most SACDs reserve. Of course 'slipping in' multichannel as well, now and again, wouldn't have hurt, either.

IMO, when ABKCO released those Rolling Stones Stereo SACDs in digipaks heralding REMASTERED SOUND at very sensible [and highly discounted] prices, I'm sure they sold like hotcakes as the average joe wasn't even aware it had a superior SACD layer, as well. I bought a slew of them at the time from Sam Goodys at ridiculously low prices.
 
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filper

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It's poetic justice that there is a slew of cheap Sony Blu-ray players out there that can rip SACD.
I picked up a used Sony BDP-S5100 for about $45 USD and ripped my entire SA-CD collection Multichannel and Stereo into separate folders and then copied personal favourite individual tracks again into additional folders for multi and stereo to a 2TB USB drive. Connected to a Sony UBP-X800 I can play any track or album within seconds and display the track information lifted from the original discs without having had to type them out manually. To me this has revolutionized how I listen to my SA-CD's. It is incredible to be able to click on the Multichannel or Stereo folders for my favourite singles and click shuffle play. It is so convenient to be able to locate an album with a few clicks. I find I am enjoying much more from my collection having the versatility to jump from album to album and song to song. This would have been impossible to do 15 years ago with technology as it was not being able to rip DSD and the limitation of much smaller hard drives. To me now DSD is just as easy to play as .wav was back when.

Happy Birthday SA-CD. You have come of age for me. I still spin discs too.
 
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sjcorne

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I like the ability to zip to a track, just as with CD.
Still my favorite thing about them, other than the gold slipcovers :LOL:

Every once in a while you'll hit a disc with video content that actually elevates the listening experience (Gentle Giant's The Power & The Glory and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours are two that spring to mind), but most DVD-V/DVD-A/Blu-Ray menus tend to get in the way for me.

My biggest issue with Sony's initial Single-Layer SACD launch is that they could've resurrected so many more quad titles. It's no coincidence that the Isley Brothers and O'Jays titles remain the most coveted from that series, and it was needless to remix titles like Cheap Thrills and Toys In The Attic into 5.1 when there were perfectly good quad masters in their vaults.

This thread is worth a look for anyone who wants to see some cool out-of-print surround SACD titles.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Reflecting on this thread, I've had more I wanted to say, but most of it would just be preaching to the choir. So I've decided a little self reflection is in order.

Since I've only been in the hunt for Hi-Def. and surround titles in the las 15-20 years (which is a newbie to some of you;)) I have to ask, O.K. what is it I don't like about SACD? The answer is not much. Here's a disc that has evolved to include an RBCD layer, stereo and multi-channel layers of superior quality sound. Could I have even thought up something like this, let alone do the science and take the chances inherent with the business of managing, marketing, mixing, mastering and production of this product? All the while making the profit needed to keep the business healthy. Very brave stuff. There must be some love for the music in there somewhere, taking all these chances. The only thing I don't like about it, is no album artwork appears when I play it on my player. Seems like the labels and machine producers could contract with one of those artwork distributors to supply the cover art.

There's still hope that it will survive a little longer, as I just ordered "The Jeff Beck Group" 7" from Japan, a Sony product of an album 47 years old. Sure, it seems a little pricey (inflation at play), but at least I have a chance to experience it. I also have to consider I have stacks of SACDs, DVD-A, etc. I've yet to crack open and play for the first time. Time is not my "Tilting at Windmills", but a real constant to struggle with, trying to get to all this wonderful, available music I love dearly.

On top of that, I'm adventuring into the Classical genre more and more. I haven't dipped a toe in before now simply because I didn't have time for more music and I don't even know what pieces of Classical music I like. It's just going to be another fork in the road to take and see where it leads me.

What makes the survival of this technology even more impressive, is that I believe there is a generational shift in not just how music is enjoyed a.k.a. on-line MP3 quality sound; but that youngsters in their 20's-40's don't seem to have that need to "collect" items of any ilk. They don't have that need to feel the physical item and maintain a pride in the physical ownership of stuff. We all know here, that we are "special" as in passionately obsessed with a format of music (surround) that most people just don't seem to embrace. I believe I would have been had I'd been properly exposed to it at an earlier time. I knew there were Quad records available long ago. A friend gave me a birthday present way back in 1972 of the Quad album "Chase" (later a DV twofer on SACD), which I've still got somewhere, but never heard it as intended because I didn't have the knowledge of equipment required to check it out. Just think how my journey would have changed if only someone could have dropped a needle on Chase and on Quad equipment for me to experience it.

Seems I've rambled on anyway, so another Hymn by the choir please.
 

MrSmithers

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You betcha, AR, as I spin Sony's new Hybrid 3 SACD


See the source image
Ralph’s spinning his way to Hollywood to make The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2! 🤥😀

Hopefully on your way old bean you’ll bump into some music execs and spill the beans on what needs to be done in 2019 - in terms of reissues and what not!

I think what D-V and Sony japan are doing is great... But the main thing is we need more more more multichannel titles coming this way! 😛
 

4-earredwonder

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Ralph’s spinning his way to Hollywood to make The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2! 🤥😀

Hopefully on your way old bean you’ll bump into some music execs and spill the beans on what needs to be done in 2019 - in terms of reissues and what not!

I think what D-V and Sony japan are doing is great... But the main thing is we need more more more multichannel titles coming this way! 😛
Roger that, Master Smithers. Having grown up in reverse like Benji Button, I can empathize with his plight.

I do email D~V from time to time with Requests but they seem to have fallen on deaf ears. I DO have rather eclectic tastes!

Hopefully, this THIRD WAVE of Surround Releases will prosper ... and dazzle.....and not fizzle!

See the source image


WITHERING DEPTHS?
 

MrSmithers

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Roger that, Master Smithers. Having grown up in reverse like Benji Button, I can empathize with his plight.

I do email D~V from time to time with Requests but they seem to have fallen on deaf ears. I DO have rather eclectic tastes!

Hopefully, this THIRD WAVE of Surround Releases will prosper ... and dazzle.....and not fizzle!

See the source image


WITHERING DEPTHS?
I did the very same - emailed DV with some titles that I thought would be great for them to reissue on SACD.... I didn’t get a reply either but I think I quoted some rather big titles eg Aerosmith and the like... I’m sure they’re pretty up to speed at ‘what could be’ released but I guess they have to factor in quite a few things... It happens to the best of ‘em... :)

 
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