Thursday, August 13, 2009


8-13-09 SACD

My CD player bit the big one, so I went and got a replacement. All I could find was a Sony "SACD" machine (SCD-CE595, approx. $150).

Then a light went on in my head: I have some SACD's already! All the Can re-masters, the 'good' Rolling Stones CD's, some of the Bob Dylan re-masters...and a Peter Gabriel "Security" that is not a hybrid disc (i.e. it won't play in a CD player, it wants a SACD player). SACD's are all multi-channel (?), which of course – I am not set up for. Surely not all SACD’s are multi-channel!? (Guess I haven’t seen any mono ones yet – they exist!).

So, I did a little research and I see that there are actually a few SACD titles I would like to find. Some were done a few years ago, some are newer.

I've already learned: I will buy the SACD version in addition to whatever other versions I deem necessary. As in, I won't be getting rid of any LP's or Japanese little album covers, in favor of SACD's!

So, in no particular order, I want to try and find SACD's for:

ANIMALS / ERIC BURDON – Retrospective (Abkco) in digipak

ART OF NOISE – Daft; Reconstructed (ZTT UK)

BAND, THE – Music From Big Pink (Mobile Fidelity)

BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING CO. – Cheap Thrills (Sony)

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS – II (Mobile Fidelity) "Spinning Wheel" album; 3 (Mobile Fidelity)

BOWIE, DAVID – Let’s Dance (Virgin)

BYRDS – Greatest Hits (Sony)

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER – Bayou Country; Green River; Cosmo's Factory; Willy & The Poor Boys (Fantasy)

DAVIS, MILES – Kind Of Blue (Sony)

DEEP PURPLE – Machine Head (EMI UK)

DEREK & THE DOMINOS – Layla (Universal / Island)

DONOVAN – Storyteller

DURAN DURAN – Astronaut

DYLAN, BOB – Desire; Self-Portrait; Bob Dylan [debut]; The Times They Are A-Changin’; Planet Waves (Sony) in digipaks

GABRIEL, PETER – I, II, III, Us; Up; So; Shaking The Tree (Geffen)

GENESIS – SACD boxed set #1 (Virgin UK) U.S. vers. is not SACD


ISAAC HAYES – Hot Buttered Soul (Mobile Fidelity)

HARRISON, GEORGE – Live in Japan

HERMAN'S HERMITS – Retrospective (Abkco) in digipak


INDOCHINE – Birthday Album (2CD)

JOHN, ELTON – Tumbleweed Connection; Captain Fantastic; Elton John (“Your Song” album)

KING, CAROLE – Tapestry

MOODY BLUES – A Question of Balance (Universal UK); Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (Universal UK); On The Threshold Of A Dream (Universal UK); Children’s Children… (2CD)

OLDFIELD, MIKE – Tubular Bells (Virgin UK)


ROLLING STONES – #1; No. 2; Flowers; Aftermath (UK); Their Satanic Majesties Request (Abkco); More Hot Rocks (Big Hits and Fazed Cookies) 2CD in digipaks

ROXY MUSIC – Avalon; Best of (Virgin UK)

SANTANA – Abraxis; Caravanserai (Sony)

SIMPLE MINDS – Best Of; New Gold Dream; Once Upon A Time (Virgin UK)

T. REX – Electric Warrior (A&M UK)

TANGERINE DREAM – Rubycon (Virgin UK)

WHO, THE – My Generation (MCA)

ZOMBIES, THE – Greatest Hits

I didn't see a lot of jazz titles that I wanted, when researching SACD titles (Just “Kind of Blue”). Obviously, some of the above are from England – and won't be easy to find locally. I do not think all of them are "Multi-channel", but all of the above titles have versions designated as "SACD" (Super Audio CD).

I had some SACD titles already in my collection – and didn't even realize it! For instance, the 2CD + DVD Elton John "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" set is an SACD disc, as is the UK Moody Blues "In Search Of The Lost Chord" 2CD deluxe edition - which isn't even designated as an SACD, but...the little light comes on! It's an SACD!

Yes, I checked, and I have a ton of "DSD Mastering" CD's from Japan - I tried a few of those, but the SACD light won't come on. Drat!

So - yet another disc format! Yow!


Anonymous said...

Re: Simple Minds

I have the DVD-Audio of New Gold Dream. It's 5.1, not that I have surround sound playback either. My home is so small, I don't think it would fit! The nice thing about New Gold Dream is not just that it was mixed to 5.1 (except for 2 tracks that they could not find the discrete masters for) but that it features many alternate takes and extended instro passages that were edited down for the original album. It also has a previously unreleased track. If the SACD is anything like the DVD-A, then you are in for a different listening experience beyond the 5.1 (which you may want to invest in). I'm such a fan of this album, that I'm happy to have the DVD-A even though I can only hear the PCM stereo mix in my DVD player.

I see that The Best Of Simple Minds is also available as SACD. This is the only way to get pre-New Gold Dream tracks in the format. And their superb 2002 album Cry is also available in the format. Might I suggest you skip the turgid Once Upon A Time for this one? And "Let's Dance?" That one's bad enough in PCM stereo! But I should probably buy the Propaganda SACD on principle. It was the best sounding album I've ever heard.

Ron Kane said...

No Virgin UK SACD's were in evidence when I looked last weekend (apart from the 2 x Bowies I found)- otherwise I would've obtained any Simple Minds or Propaganda SACD that I found.

I do not have 5.1 listening capability at home either, but - the masterings seem uniformly excellent on the SACD's I've listened to in stereo.

That, and I am a failed format maven: Beta, MD etc.

Anonymous said...

I need to put on the headphones and give my UK 1st pressing of New Gold Dream an A/B with the DVD-A. It might prove illuminating. I remember when I did this with an RCA Bowie CD (Golden Years) and the same tracks on the Ryko box. I tell you, my jaw scraped on the floor when confronted with the dreck that RCA had foisted on the public. No wonder Bowie was pissed and let them go OOP until someone would do a good job on them.

Nevertheless, you have people paying premium for WEA "target" CDS! The truth falls somewhere in the middle, I guess. The initial CDs were mastered by people who did not yet have experience with digital sound. But I'm sure they trump the loud, bright and shallow masterings common to today. The golden age of digital audio was probably 88-92. Engineers had enough experience to know what they could get out of red book but the race for loudness had not yet begun.

chas_m said...

Old Elton John records are something of a guilty pleasure of mine, one of those "time and place" associations that sticks out of my record collection.

So I just wanted to say that I applaud the choice of "artwork" for this post, and the interesting discussion on SACDs.

Sadly I doubt I will invest in this format, as it doesn't seem to have "caught on" sufficiently to stop the NEXT big format change from coming. One wonders if we'll ever reach another "standard" for audio releases that will last anywhere near long enough to build up a respectable collection! :)

Ron Kane said...


I hear you. I went with SACD because I needed a new CD player and they apparently no longer sell those. What was there was a 5CD Sony SACD changer for a decent price. And I realized that I already had some SACD's in my collection, as they are compatible with a regular CD player.

And any pre-Philadelphia Freedom E.J. is OK w/me!


Anonymous said...

Funny. I am okay with EJ right up to "Philadelphia Freedom." but after that, nada. Actually "Philadelphia Freedom" has always been a favorite EJ song. I think he smoked Bowie on the Englishman-Goes-Philly-Soul sweepstakes, truth be told. I credit the flutes. Lately, whenever I hear "Rocket Man" on public music systems, I appreciate it more than ever. His top 40 songs were good quality and appreciated, growing up. The caliber of his and Taupin's work was above the norm, during his heyday as the biggest pop star in the world.