The Tacet Thread (Reviews/Latest News & Releases/General Discussion)

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SoonerCaniac

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Hi everyone,

With some isolated comments from QQers about Tacet DVD-A and SACD classical music, I started exploring the label (www.tacet.de) and have since fallen in love with this company. They truly "get" applying discrete surround sound to classical music and explore the potential of surround sound in a genre that has generally only received the ambience or "documentation of a live recording" treatment. I have only recently started collecting titles from the Tacet label and I hope to own them all or at least most soon. Listening to all of them will be time consuming, but I've been blown away by what I've heard so far. In any case, I wanted to see if there was enough support from QQers for a Tacet thread where we discuss all things Tacet. I was inspired by some recent press releases from the Tacet website that I will use to start discussion (hopefully!)...

Let's start with two news items that implies Tacet are no where near done with their surround sound catalog (from: http://www.tacet.de/main/seite1.php?language=en&filename=news.php&layout=news):

1) From the news headlines: "Good news for surround sound fans: this year at least 10 new DVD-Audios in TACET Real Surround Sound will be released." (20090320)

2) New web article from Andreas Spreer (entire article posted at end of post):
"The current situation with SACD, DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Disc regarding Surround Sound" (20090506) http://www.tacet.de/download/SituationSACD_DVDA_Bluray0905_e.pdf

While I support surround sound more than I support a specific format, I like what Tacet are saying in this article. They are not going to jump into Blu-Ray and risk alienating their customers' investments in SACD and DVD-A. They also prefer the DVD-A format over SACD, and they make some potentially controversial statements about SACD that are sure to ruffle feathers over at SA-CD.net (of course, they may also be making some controversial statements about Blu-Ray too). While I love SACD surround, I tend to agree with them about DVD-Audio and am glad to see that they will continue their support of the format.

TEN new DVD-As THIS YEAR! Wow! What a year for discrete classical 2009 will be!
Josh :banana:

-------------------------------

Places to buy Tacet online
(some titles are very hard to come by!)

Tacet.de
*Crotchet.co.uk (Good selection and generally the best prices; multibuy campaign sale going on NOW...Save 12% discount when you buy any 2 titles or more titles. Valid until 13-Jul-2009.)
*AdagioPlus.com (Canadian official reseller; good prices especially for USA buyers given exchange rate)
ElusiveDisc.com (expensive but an official reseller)
SpinningDogRecords.com (expensive but an official reseller)
Amazon.co.uk (very limited availability)

*=my favorites
-------------------------------

"The current situation with SACD, DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Disc regarding Surround Sound"

"Dear Music Lover:

At TACET, when it comes to new technology and formats we place high importance on good surround sound (TACET Real Surround Sound and Moving Real Surround Sound). TACET has a solid base of satisfied customers who listen to surround sound. Which of the three formats promises to be the most interesting for our customers in the future?

SACD (Super Audio CD): Recently, more SACD players have come onto the market playing back only stereo recordings and not multi-channel (surround sound) ones. It would seem that many manufacturers do not believe that the surround sound SACD has a future. There is good reason to doubt that the SACD will become the market leader for surround sound, in view of the high manufacturing costs (two layers to ensure compatibility with the CD) and a low level of SACD player owners amongst surround sound listeners.

Blu-ray Disc: It is not compatible with SACD or DVD-Audio. It sounds good, but not any better than the other two. Customers interested in surround sound are (almost) sure to own a DVD player and often an SACD player too. If they wanted to use a new format they would have to invest in both a new player and a new disc collection. In the longer term, in the best case there will be three formats rather than two, all of which must be playable. That is, if the Blu-ray Disc is to be an alternative to pure audio formats at all, in addition to its function as a movie medium.

DVD-Audio: In its original format the sound quality and capacity are ideal. With a minimal reduction in quality it is compatible with DVD-Video and will thus in the foreseeable future be playable on any surround equipment in the world.

Conclusion: TACET will continue to offer DVD-Audio and SACD. For the reasons we have stated, we will wait to see what happens with Blu-ray Disc. If Blu-ray should turn out to gain acceptance in the audio sector worldwide, TACET can still bring out Blu-ray discs at short notice. At the moment, however, this would probably be counter-productive and unsettle our satisfied customers. TACET is making a clear statement: starting from now we are releasing ten new DVD-Audios in tried and tested TACET Real Surround Sound (one per month).

Yours sincerely,
Andreas Spreer
TACET GmbH"
 
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Chris Gerhard

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Is there another company that will release any classical music DVD-A's this year? I know several will release classical SACD titles, but I can't think of another beside Tacet that will release DVD-A titles.

Chris
 

SoonerCaniac

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Is there another company that will release any classical music DVD-A's this year? I know several will release classical SACD titles, but I can't think of another beside Tacet that will release DVD-A titles.

Chris
My guess is that Tacet is the only one. Seriously though, how many companies PERIOD are going to release DVD-As this year? King Crimson's label comes to mind (what's the label?), but is there anybody else? Kudos to Tacet for keeping alive a format which, IMO, was abandoned far too easily. I plan on supporting them without hesitation.
 

Chris Gerhard

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My guess is that Tacet is the only one. Seriously though, how many companies PERIOD are going to release DVD-As this year? King Crimson's label comes to mind (what's the label?), but is there anybody else? Kudos to Tacet for keeping alive a format which, IMO, was abandoned far too easily. I plan on supporting them without hesitation.
I would think we will see a few popular music DVD-A's but certainly not many. I don't know if Steven Wilson has anything coming later this year or not, the guy amazes me so I guess I can't rule it out. I don't know if AIX still messes with DVD-A but I don't think so. No other possibilities come to mind but there may be a couple that will show up. DVD-A was given several years to take off, it was still idling on the runway when everybody got off and went in various directions.

Chris
 

SoonerCaniac

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I would think we will see a few popular music DVD-A's but certainly not many. I don't know if Steven Wilson has anything coming later this year or not, the guy amazes me so I guess I can't rule it out. I don't know if AIX still messes with DVD-A but I don't think so. No other possibilities come to mind but there may be a couple that will show up. DVD-A was given several years to take off, it was still idling on the runway when everybody got off and went in various directions.

Chris
I forgot about AIX...I've just started exploring their catalog. In any case, I think you've about covered all of it for DVD-A! ;)
 

Chris Gerhard

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I forgot about AIX...I've just started exploring their catalog. In any case, I think you've about covered all of it for DVD-A! ;)
I just visited the AIX site and the titles shown as coming indicate late 2007 and I don't know what happened with those. I haven't seen any mention of 2009 releases.

Chris
 

wolfram

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Hi!

I've been a big fan of Tacet for some time now and have about 15 of their titles (both DVD-A and SACD) and I really love them. The sonics are great and the surround mixes are just amazing. I've gotten into surround music only about 2,5 years ago (but already spent a fortune on it) and was really disappointed when I found that classical music usually only had some ambience. What a waste of perfectly good rear channels. So I was more than happy when I found Tacet. And I think Andreas Spreer really prooves that there is nothing gimmicky about placing instruments in the rears. It just gives you more details and let's you understand what each instrument is doing. It works especially well on smaller ensembles like trios to octets. The Beethoven string quartets are a good example. Each instrument has one speaker and and you can easily hear how 1st and 2nd violin interact. But larger orchestras also profit very much from the additional space (I'm sooo looking forward to Beethoven's 9th, though it might take two more years).

Only the Moving Surround Sound does not really work for me with classical music, though I really love agressive mixes in modern music (Yoshimi, Talking Heads, Beck...). But then you usually have both versions (Moving and Real Surround) on one disc and can listen to whatever you prefer (man, that's really one great label!).

So keep'em coming Tacet and hurry up with the last 3 Beethoven Symphonies (Los, schneller! You can do more than one a year, I know you can!)
 
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Kal Rubinson

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Hi!

I've been a big fan of Tacet for some time now and have about 15 of their titles (both DVD-A and SACD) and I really love them. The sonics are great and the surround mixes are just amazing. I've gotten into surround music only about 2,5 years ago (but already spent a fortune on it) and was really disappointed when I found that classical music usually only had some ambience. What a waste of perfectly good rear channels. So I was more than happy when I found Tacet. And I think Andreas Spreer really prooves that there is nothing gimmicky about placing instruments in the rears. It just gives you more details and let's you understand what each instrument is doing. It works especially well on smaller ensembles like trios to octets. The Beethoven string quartets are a good example. Each instrument has one speaker and and you can easily hear how 1st and 2nd violin interact. But larger orchestras also profit very much from the additional space (I'm sooo looking forward to Beethoven's 9th, though it might take two more years).
I understand. I think of these as "guilty pleasures" which I sample from time to time but cannot really accept as a way to listen to music all the time. The effects simply distract from the music even though they can be fun.

Kal
 

wolfram

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I understand. I think of these as "guilty pleasures" which I sample from time to time but cannot really accept as a way to listen to music all the time. The effects simply distract from the music even though they can be fun.

Kal
Funny, I don't feel distracted at all. Rather the opposite, I concentrate much more on the details. But I've never believed that music at home should sound like being played live. And if in a concert you are not sitting in the middle of the orchestra, it's just because you can't, not because it would not be totally cool.:)

But I'm well aware that most friends of classical music prefer multichannel the ambience-way, for which there are thousands of titles. And that's fine with me. I like those as well (just bought the new Linn production of Beethoven's piano concertos 3-5), but I still find the Tacet approach more satisfying.

So just pleasure for me, no guilt...
 

DaneelOlivaw

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On Tacet's site it mentions their dvd-audio discs will play on any dvd system - do the discs contain a Dolby Digital track, a DTS track or both formats?

Is there a hi-res stereo track present?

Thanks!
 

wolfram

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On Tacet's site it mentions their dvd-audio discs will play on any dvd system - do the discs contain a Dolby Digital track, a DTS track or both formats?

Is there a hi-res stereo track present?

Thanks!
For DVD-Video they only contain a Dolby Digital track, no DTS. And no, there is no stereo track of any form on these DVD-As. But some of them run quite long. The Bach Brandenburg Concertos are 94 min, for example. The first of the Beethoven String Quartets runs 312(!) mins (therefore it's only 48/24), but you have the same music twice in two different mixes on this one.

The few SACDs have of course a hi-res stereo and a redbook layer.

So only DD 5.1 if you have no DVD-A player. I will have a listen to the DD track when I have the time and comment on their quality compared to the PPCM.
 

wolfram

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Ok, I tested the Dolby Digital track against the PPCM 96/24 on several discs and the winner is...

PPCM 96/24!! (tah tah!!)

Boy, was I suprised.

But seriously, of course the hi-res track sounds superior (and I would be quite pissed otherwise, cause I spent a fortune on my Denon 3930), but the DD is not bad at all and will give you a nice performance on its own. Maybe for those just being curious, the sampler "More Power And Ideas... "
http://www.tacet.de/main/seite1.php?layout=katalog&language=en&filename=production.php&bestnr=01543
is a good start. It was for me at least.
 

DaneelOlivaw

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Thanks Wolfram!

I know DD obviously is not a hi-res format, but many - probably most - music fans are not always audio fans and have no future plans to invest in a hi-res player. Plus, DD is a fully standardized audio format that doesn't need any special set up procedures (I still read about some hi-res players not performing bass management correctly or the owner having to deal with confusing set up procedures). And I also believe DD can sound pretty nice if the listener is not listening critically, though hi-res still has that extra measure of "real-ness" which to me makes it worth it to invest in a hi-res player.

Lastly, I am glad to see a label mixing their music in what sounds like a fully immersive manner, since ambient mixes especially the ones using the actual reverb recorded by mics in the recording venue, while definitely better than a stereo mix, are not my favorite way to listen to music in surround form.
 

wolfram

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I didn't mean to sound arrogant about DD. I'm not. I came to surround listening by the way of movie-dvds. Music came later. And still enjoying my movies in 5.1, I continue to be amazed by what DD can sound like. I just have to turn it up a little more.

So if you are looking for classical music in an immersive mix, than Tacet is certainly well worth checking out. And as I said before, the DD track on their discs sounds really nice.
 

DaneelOlivaw

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I didn't mean to sound arrogant about DD.
I never got that impressin form your post, so sorry if *I* made you think that.

I came to surround listening by the way of movie-dvds.
Pretty much the same situation here, and is the example I use when people don't think DD can sound good (though I fully realize that "good" is a very subjective concept and a member who owns a $5,000 vinyl rig for example probably has a different opinion of Dolby! :D).
 

SoonerCaniac

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On Tacet's site it mentions their dvd-audio discs will play on any dvd system - do the discs contain a Dolby Digital track, a DTS track or both formats?

Is there a hi-res stereo track present?
Hi FD,

Keep in mind as well that Tacet has released some of their titles on BOTH SACD and DVD-A, and while the DVD-A doesn't have a dedicated hi-rez stereo format, the SACDs do. However, also realize that for some of the dual releases (SACD and DVD-A) Tacet provides TWO different surround mixes ("Real Surround Sound" and "Moving Real Surround Sound") on the DVD-A and only one on the SACD. While having the CD layer and SACD stereo are obviously great, I'd rather have the extra surround sound mix, so for those titles I've opted for the DVD-A. There are a couple titles, however, where the DVD-A doesn't have the extra surround mix and in those cases I've purchased the SACD. Just something else to keep in mind.

The entire SACD/DVD-A catalog is located at:
http://www.tacet.de/main/seite1.php?language=en&filename=katalog.php&itemsPerPage=50&&searchstring=surround&search=no

One other note to think about: For the dual release titles, the SACD is advertised as being "Tube Only" (http://www.tacet.de/main/seite1.php?language=en&filename=tubeonly.php&layout=tube) whereas the DVD-A is not. I'm not sure why this is the case. I am not educated on things like "tube microphones and amplifiers" but it seems to me Tacet wouldn't have done two different recordings, one "tube only" for SACD and one non-"tube only" for DVD-A!? Can anyone explain this?

Regards,
Josh :)
 

SoonerCaniac

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NEW RELEASE:



Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92; Symphony No. 8 in F major, op. 93

Well, the first of the advertised slew of new releases is a disappointment, IMO because it appears to only be a DVD-A re-release of a previously released SACD. The DVD-A is also NOT advertised to have an additional surround mix so unless you need Dolby Digital, I see no benefit here in double-dipping. Please tell me if I'm wrong. I hope these 10+ new releases aren't just reissues of the SACD-only titles in the Tacet collection...otherwise I'll be feeling misled! :(

Good news however for those who need a DD-compatible surround mix!
Josh :)
 

SoonerCaniac

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Funny, I don't feel distracted at all. Rather the opposite, I concentrate much more on the details. But I've never believed that music at home should sound like being played live. And if in a concert you are not sitting in the middle of the orchestra, it's just because you can't, not because it would not be totally cool.:)

But I'm well aware that most friends of classical music prefer multichannel the ambience-way, for which there are thousands of titles. And that's fine with me. I like those as well (just bought the new Linn production of Beethoven's piano concertos 3-5), but I still find the Tacet approach more satisfying.

So just pleasure for me, no guilt...
I completely respect where Kal is coming from, but this is all well said Wolfram and I agree 100% (y) For me there's a time for the "concert mix" and a time to experiment and explore new ways to hear and interpret music. Tacet is filling a niche few other companies have tried to fill, especially to the level that Tacet has over the past several years. The ambience-only approach to classical certainly dominates the surround-sound market, so there's plenty of alternatives out there. It's just nice to see a company cater to the rest of us. :)
 

wolfram

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Hi FD,

Keep in mind as well that Tacet has released some of their titles on BOTH SACD and DVD-A, and while the DVD-A doesn't have a dedicated hi-rez stereo format, the SACDs do. However, also realize that for some of the dual releases (SACD and DVD-A) Tacet provides TWO different surround mixes ("Real Surround Sound" and "Moving Real Surround Sound") on the DVD-A and only one on the SACD. While having the CD layer and SACD stereo are obviously great, I'd rather have the extra surround sound mix, so for those titles I've opted for the DVD-A. There are a couple titles, however, where the DVD-A doesn't have the extra surround mix and in those cases I've purchased the SACD. Just something else to keep in mind.
As far as I know, there are only two titles that have an extra Moving Surround track on DVD-A and not on SACD. Namely The Four Seasons and Peter and the Wolf / Carnival of the Animals (the latter being in MS on either format, with only more versions on DVD-A: English, German, music only).
 

wolfram

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One other note to think about: For the dual release titles, the SACD is advertised as being "Tube Only" (http://www.tacet.de/main/seite1.php?language=en&filename=tubeonly.php&layout=tube) whereas the DVD-A is not. I'm not sure why this is the case. I am not educated on things like "tube microphones and amplifiers" but it seems to me Tacet wouldn't have done two different recordings, one "tube only" for SACD and one non-"tube only" for DVD-A!? Can anyone explain this?
If I understood that right, the Tube Only recordings are just in stereo. They use only two microphones (Neumann M 49, for those who know this stuff). So these are only on the SACDs because there is no stereo on the DVD-A.
 
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