You seem to be up on the latest SACD issues. At the studio level I do not see much interest or new recordings being made in SACD and none in DVDA.
Can you educate me on what you know about new SACD recordings and are most dual-layer?
James, I had a very interesting discussion about SACD with my friend who still works in the industry and on rare occasion will help out in the high end shop. He'll be at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (as last yr.) in an official capacity (he was trying to talk me into going but I'm in process of doing a couple of more house projects soon and then it's back to work about at this point 5.5 yrs. of retirement - no national healthcare here in the US and I'm not old enough for social security or to gum anyone to death:) at this point). We listened to the DV9600, which he also has (and got it right before I did as after I made the decision to sell my modded player I asked him about it since he was over my place comparing his 8260, John's XA-9000ES, my Sony 2000ES and my Modwright XA-777ES a few months earlier and after doing that he saw many of the faults of the 8260 and sold it) and discussed at some point taking it to a local guy we both know who does Allen Wright's mods and perhaps getting minor stuff to it like clock changes, capacitors, etc. My priorities are getting back to work, looking at the Torus, CD Source, Upgrade to the SP 1.7 after HDMI gets resolved probably all within the next yr. A little after that my warranty would be up anyway on the DV9600 so I might opt for it. He also noted if he had the opportunity to hear the $7k list Marantz 2 channel CD/SACD player (which he obviously can get an accomodation on) he'd consider it due to the fact that it plays SACD. I have about 28 classical SACDs of about a total of 225 or about 11% of what I own. He is a bigger classical fan (a friend of his maintains the classictoday.com website which is an excellent resource too) so for him SACD is probably more important as many of the new SACD releases are classical and hybrids. I'd expect that over time classical SACD will be a small minority of what I own as noted above.
Sony Japan is still releasing some older albums on single layer SACDs. I noted the "Elegant Gypsy" disc by Al Dimeola previously. I just ordered earlier today Santana's "Caravanserai" on a single layer Sony Japan disc. 200+ of the early Sony discs released on in the US were single layer as well as a handful or so of Universal's releases (e.g. one of Diana Krall discs) when they were supporting the format which stopped a couple of yrs. back. The Stones SACDs (and all of the rest from the same label - Abkco - e.g. Sam Cooke, Animals, etc.) are out-of-print and there are now DSD mastered CDs apparently with the same UPC code (but they come in a plastic CD case vs. a digipak). The Dylan SACDs issued by Sony are now showing up as remastered CDs with similar package changes. Rounder, which produced some really nice sounding SACDs (e.g Alison Krauss, Laura Nyro, Bruce Cockburn) has now stopped making them. Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" was made in Europe. They are distributed in the US by Warner which supports DVD-A and they have a DualDisc (I don't mean to offend anyone but I refer to them as DuDs, my player warns againt them, I know people who have weighed them and they weigh on avg. about 20% than std. media which can't be good for many drawer mechanisms over time even if they handle the thickness isse and of course the CD layer can't be called a CD) and I don't own any and will not buy any and don't follow them. Some of them have hi-rez DVD-A content, many like Sony issue their discs with a big enhanced 16/48 stereo mix (and who knows what they had to dither to get it there from 16/44.1 or wherever they ripped it from) and I don't follow them at all. Genesis, like Warner is distributed by Warner in the US and in the US you have remastered CDs with separate DVD-Vs. I sprung for one of their SACD/DVD-V albums (separate discs) from the initial release from Hong Kong (as its video is Region 0 NTSC vs. the European PAL discs). I was not thrilled by the one I bought and they have 2 more sets (of multiple albums) coming out and if I buy any, it will at most be a single album or two. Rickie Lee Jones' last album, "The Sermon on Exposition Blvd." was released in a CD flavor and a Ltd. edition release which I opted for which contains a hybrid SACD with both stereo and multi-channel mixes and a bonus DVD disc with video content from the recording sessions and 256kbps mixes of each song on the album (I have not played them) for download to portable players which I don't own at the moment. Neil Young's "Live at Massey Hall - 1971" came out in 2 flavors, a regular CD and a deluxe set for a bit more with a 24/96 DVD-V audio track. Neil Young's "Greatest Hits" got a similar treatment with a hi-rez DVD-V track a yr. or so before. Some of the Moody Blues things were released only in Europe and then they released some of them in the US. Some of the DualDiscs here are available in separate CD and DVD-A disc sets in Europe like The Talking Heads (and I might have to spring for one). The Doors studio albums were released in a DVD-A box set late last yr. and The Beatles "Love" in a deluxe ed. CD and (multi-channel only) DVD-A set several mos. back on the DVD-A side
So in summary for non-classical stuff you pretty much have little support. A classical music title may be considered a success if it sells 20,000 copies. A mainstream recording selling that would be a big failure so producing SACDs seems to have more support in that arena. You have companies like Mobile Fidelity doing back catalog stuff (I just bought the Pixies album the other day but have not played it yet) on SACD licensed from others (incl. Sony like a couple of Byrds albums), audiophile labels like Chesky and Telarc providing classical and non-classical support. On the DVD-A side you have an audiophile label like AIX Records doing it for that format. As I noted previously, in late 2005 I sold my Modwight XA-777ES and the Sony TA-P9000ES I used to switch between multi-channel DVD-A (Rotel RDV-1060 at the time which now is in the bedroom system and if I get the Oppo I'll put the Rotel in the basement system as I have no DVD source there at the moment) and SACD. My reasons for selling them were (to get what I could for the hardware while it is worth more), in order:
1) Mainstream SACD (and DVD-A) support was left to a very small trickle. Obviously, I like classical but it is not
my main interest.
2) I prefer 2 channel vs. multi-channel most of the time and I had a substantial investment in reproducing it
that to a degree was getting wasted.
3) Reasons 1 and 2 meant I was buying more CDs than any other media as well and on a going forward basis
due to those reasons I would be buying many more CDs than SACDs (or DVD-As)
4) Reasons 1, 2 and 3 and going to a universal simplified input into the SP 1.7
5) While I have excellent CD playback now, eventually going to something even better with 700+ CDs now and
225 or so SACDs, the majority of which are hybrids, and on a great CD player all the of hybrids could be
played and enjoyed (not to mention there may be some that a really good CD player could play better than
the SACD layer played back on my equipment)
I'm a moderator on a HT forum. I sometimes get asked why I have not rushed and and bought Blu-Ray and HD DVD. There are something like 200 HD DVD titles out now and 250 Blu-Ray titles some of which overlap (produced on both formats). I have 625+ DVD-Vs and 125+ LDs and equipment to play those and I'm not going to rush out and re-buy 98+% of those even if I end up with a hi-def. player. SACD is in a similar vein to me except I've made a committment to hardware and software and what I do on a going forward basis is dependent on what I have now and what I'll be buying in the future. SACD is not going to be mainstream and there will just be limited titles I'll be getting and often those aren't as reasonable or convenient as buying CDs. Many times places like Best Buy have new CD releases for $9.99 (I have a list of movies and music that may be of interest to me that comes out over the next 2-3 mos). I can readily pick it up at a local store. Most often at this point buying an SACD means getting it online and not cheaply (sometimes I have to be thankful if it is a normally prices US release around $18-20 vs. a $40 Japanese import) and there really are few and far between new releases done on SACD that interest me (perhaps one or two a yr.) and often shipping and handling is not cheap either. So from my preferences and the reality of the marketplace, SACD is like LD was 8-10 yrs. ago., still some stuff coming out and I have a player that is good now. I'm not going to run out and spend lots of money or SACD hardware at this point. While the ratio of CDs to SACDs I own now is more than 3:1, it could easily be 5:1 in several yrs. and I may not have more than a handful or two of new SACDs vs. what I have now. I understand if someone has more SACD software and is a huge classical fan. They may look at a hardware purchase for SACD and have entirely different preferences and good reasons for them.