BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?

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rob80b

BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« on: 29 Jun 2007, 04:59 pm »
Has anyone had a chance to give the BCD-1 a comparative review?
Also, James, how are those photos of the innards coming along.

James Tanner

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #1 on: 29 Jun 2007, 10:46 pm »
Has anyone had a chance to give the BCD-1 a comparative review?
Also, James, how are those photos of the innards coming along.

No reviews yet as we are still heavily backordered.  I have some inside shots - send me an email.

james

James Tanner

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jun 2007, 12:36 pm »
Has anyone had a chance to give the BCD-1 a comparative review?
Also, James, how are those photos of the innards coming along.

Hi Rob,

Tried to send you inside shot of CD Player - says your email address has 'permanent errors'

james

Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jun 2007, 10:35 pm »
Has anyone had a chance to give the BCD-1 a comparative review?
Also, James, how are those photos of the innards coming along.

My friend called me from the local dealer early this afternoon (Sat.).  I'm in process of home projects and was not planning on doing anything for a couple of mos. until the master bedroom gets painted and then I need new carpeting in the bedroom and main room (which back to each other) so all the A/V furniture and components in a month or so I was planning to take apart and then start at that point in time.  The dealer usually is closed Sun. and Mon. but due to the July 4 holiday is closed until July 5 now.  My friend really wanted to hear the player now so I went down and picked it up just before store closing today.  I'll be over his house for dinner in about an hr. and it will be at his house for a couple of days.  I'm bringing over my extra Gingko Audio Cloud 10 isolation platform as he has one on his Sony XA-9000ES.  The rest of his system includes an SP1.7, a 9BSST and Thiel 2.4s as the mains with a Rel Strata III sub.  I listened to the player in the store vs. an Ayre and Rega but not on systems I have that much familiarity with.  I like the Bryston from what I heard.  After my friend has it a couple of days, it will be at my place until Thurs. AM.  I use Thiel 7.2s as the left and right along with dual Rel Storm III subs, an SP 1.7 and a 14BSST.  I have a bunch of stuff around.  Right now I'm using a Marantz DV9600 universal as a transport into a MicroMega DuoPro DAC and like the results.  I have other things around but I'll probably just listen to those couple.  I should have a better idea by Tues. night.

Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #4 on: 2 Jul 2007, 01:05 am »
My friend brought the player over earlier this evening.  I listened a bit in his system last night and liked what I heard vs. the XA-9000ES.  I've only played a couple of songs from "Ten Song Demo" by Rosanne Cash and the title cut of "Baricades and Brickwalls" by Kasey Chambers.  The later is one of her few real rock type songs but it flushes out the ability of the source component to image (especially the voice which is forward and in the center) and produce bass response.  I'm taking a break to watch a movie on the system.  From what I've played so far, the Bryston images about as well as my transport/DAC combo and probably has a hair quieter/cleaner background and the timbre and timing of instruments seems to be a bit better (it seems to have better bass control).  I've had several people over who saw my DV9600 playing a hybrid who did not know I was playing the CD layer thru the DAC and thought they were listening to SACD so the Bryston is quite good.  I'll post some more comments before I bring the player back on Thurs.  A couple of notes about operation/layout.  The drawer of the Bryston is quick but noisy.  I have a number of different players (CD, DVD, LD, etc.) in 3 systems and off the top of my head I can't recall seeing an open/close button on the left side of the drawer.  It's taking some getting used to.  The Bryston chassis is not quite as high as some other things so perhaps that played into the decision to put it there for spacing.  It does in a way make it easier in a dimly lit room than some things I have where the button is not located on either the extreme right of the chassis or just to the right of the drawer (the DV9600 is that way where the open/close button is a couple of inches to the right and an inch or so below the drawer with the play button a bit above it).



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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #5 on: 2 Jul 2007, 12:48 pm »
Hi Phil,

It is interesting that you mentioned that some people thought 'they were listening to SACD".

One of the 'blind' listening tests I ran in our demo system for some reviewers that came by to listen while we were developing the BCD-1 could not distinguish the switch either between SACD and Redboook CD on the Bryston player.

Looking forward to your further comments - you have the first unit in the USA

james

Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #6 on: 2 Jul 2007, 01:53 pm »
On my friend's system, a well recorded SACD showed the benefits of the format vs. the CD layer in the Bryston particularly in the frequency extremes.  There were, however, certain qualities that were better about the Bryston.  Many people have really never heard good CD playback.   Before I had the DV9600, I had separate SACD and DVD-A players.  I had a Modwright XA-777ES which had the Absolute Truth Mod done to it.  I decided with the slower release of hi-rez mat'l and the fact that the XA-9000ES came out and it would not be long before mods on that would become commonplace to sell the player along with the Sony TA-P9000ES multi-channel pre-amp I used to switch between the SACD and DVD-A players in multi-channel.  While I like some things in multi-channel, probably 85-90% of what I listen to I prefer in 2-channel.  For a bit when I had the modded XA-777ES, I had a Proceed PMDT (which is why I ordered the pro version of the SP1.7) transport hooked to the MicroMega DAC.  The Proceed was actually among the best transports for CDs I've played with.  The XA-777ES did not make a good transport in my system.  When I'd play the CD layer of the hybrid on the Proceed/Micromega combo, I'd get the same reaction as someone would know I have an SACD player and see the SACD cover and assume by the sound quality they were hearing SACD.  When I sold the PMDT, I did not have a transport I liked in the main system and I moved the DAC to the basement system (I had a DVD-A player, a LD player and the Sony 2000ES SACD changer down there and the Sony changer made a very good transport of the three).  I found the DV9600 stand alone OK for CD, great for DVD-A and decent on SACD so I moved the DAC back upstairs.  I'll be listening more over the next couple of days and probably have one or more of my friends over to hear their take on what they think.

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #7 on: 2 Jul 2007, 02:57 pm »
Thanks Phil - I appreciate your input.

james

Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #8 on: 3 Jul 2007, 04:35 am »
Update on BCD-1 Review

My one friend who initially had the player came over this evening (John also sent you an E-Mail James and forwarded me a copy of it and your response).  I exchanged E-Mails with another friend I have not seen that much in a while and he came over as well.  He used to work at the high end shop part time and still helps out on rare occasion.  He also has a small audio cable manuf. co., has worked full time in high end audio sales, worked for high end audio manuf. and was part of a now defunct high end speaker co.  So he's worked in high end audio for 20+ yrs.  He has a 9BSST and his own built speakers along with a BP-20 or 25 and a Marantz rec'r for movies in the set-up (James he'll likely be sending you an E-mail at some point about a question on whether he can use a BP-26 power supply with whatever he has now).

I listened a bit before they came over as well as after to a variety of hybrid SACDs (playing the SACD layer on the DV9600 and in some cases the CD layer with the DAC/Transport combo and the CD layer in the Bryston) inlcuding a couple by Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Patricia Barber MoFis, Dylan, Lauren White's "At Last,"  Jennifer Warnes "The Well," etc.  I also tried something interesting with a copy of the imported SACD of Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" (4th cut) and the imported XRCD of the same title and having one in one machine and the other disc in the other compairing SACD vs. XRCD as well as the transport/DAC combo vs. the stand alone CD player.  I'm likely going to do lots of listening tomorrow and try to get to my favorite CDs and I only got to a very little bit of classical music tonight on something my one friend brought over on Naxos that I wasn't familiar with.

So far my impressions are very favorable.  On a very recorded SACD, obviously some of the limitations of the CD medium come into play when you hear cymbals or other instruments as well as the body/timbre of things.  That being said, the Bryston was of the quality that one could not automatically assume with the positives and negatives of recording on different formats that the SACD layer on the DV9600 was going to be better than CD playback on the Bryston.  That does not mean that I did prefer every aspect of that disc on the Bryston is some cases, it's just as a whole the Bryston was preferred in terms of music presentation and coherence.  Besides the equipment I have noted in the original post, the room is treated with various things including ASC, acousticsfirst.com and home made bass and midrange treatments.  I have an Audio Control 1/3 Octave RTA as well so I don't rely on merely what my ears hear.  Each of the Rel Storm III subs hooked to the left and right speaker is crossed over at 22HZ and the bass is full, flat but not overbloated all the way down to the mid 20s.  The Bryston images very well and similarly to my DAC/Transport Combo and also has similar tonality.  The Bryston, however, has a blacker (quieter) background to things vs. the DAC, has much more precise bass (on some select things the DAC can have full but somewhat sloppy bass compared to the Bryston), is a bit more relaxed (less harsh on some things like rock) and perhaps a touch clearer (less smeared) on some things but that was barely noticed and on select things.  The DAC is probably about 14 yrs. old (I traded virtually useless stuff for it - another friend who was involve in the deal regrets letting it go until this day) and listed for probably a drop more than the Bryston CD player in its day.

I'm, as noted above, going to listen more tomorrow.  I'm probably not going to do much in the way of buying components in the main system (or bedroom system) until I get the bedroom painted (I did buy a new Vizio 1080p LCD for the bedroom last week but Coscto twisted my arm with a $200 off coupon and I couldn't pass for $1k as I don't know whenever I finish the paiting and carpeting if I'd be able to get the same deal in the near term) and get all the furniture, audio equipment (not looking forward to move all that heavy stuff), CD and DVDs, etc., removed and have new carpeting put in.  Even though I have excellent CD playback, at this point it is a consideration for purchase.  I auditioned a Torus Conditioner in the store a almost a couple of mos. back and I still need to evaluate that some more (and ask James one or two questions) in terms of what is in the system now and what makes sense to do first.  While I have 225 or so SACDs, I have many more CDs (and in the future due to teh current state of hi-rez will likely be buying many more CDs vs. SACDs) and will be keeping the universal in the system as it is excellent at video.  I might even try at some point to mod the universal (after the warranty is up and either do it myself or have someone who does mods) with something simple like a new clock.

What I found interesting was when the DAC was hooked in the basement system almost 2 yrs. ago.  My favorite transport I had down there as previously noted was the Sony 2000ES CD/SACD changer that I now have in the bedroom system.  The DVD player I had down there at the time (Samsung HD1000 which weighed 37.5 lbs. and they only managed to get a couple of hundred into the US before the DVD consortium ripped Samsung a new one as it had no DVI or HDMI and upconverted via component bypassing the copy protection) also did HDCD as does the Marantz 7300 OSE rec'r down there.  I don't use the system down there that often (it mainly gets used for daytime sporting events on HDTV on my old 64 inch CRT) but one day decided to do all sorts of comparisons of various things (the speakers down there are B&W P6s which are medium sized floorstanders and at this point about 13-14 yrs. old) and remember playing the 3rd cut ("Temptation" - a Tom Waits tune) from Diana Krall's "The Girl in the Other Room."  The DAC/transport was so good I had serious doubts that the $399 Sony ES Changer would be better playing the SACD layer of the disc and was amazed that it was.  So I was left with the impression that a decent budget SACD player would beat excellent CD playback every time.  The Bryston CD player erased that impression.  I would say that if I still had my Modwright XA-777ES, I'd likely prefer the SACD layer on it vs. the CD layer on the Bryston virutally every time, but one must remember that the mods alone (never mind the cost of the player) were a few hundred more than the Bryston CD player.

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #9 on: 3 Jul 2007, 10:41 am »
Thanks Phil - I appreciate your friends and your time and effort on this.

The bass and the quiet background is something we noticed as well.

What is interesting about your comments is how you can send a product into the world and given all the different systems and listeners out there for the most part a common consensus seems to arise.

james


Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #10 on: 3 Jul 2007, 02:13 pm »
Thanks Phil - I appreciate your friends and your time and effort on this.

The bass and the quiet background is something we noticed as well.
What is interesting about your comments is how you can send a product into the world and given all the different systems and listeners out there for the most part a common consensus seems to arise.

james




What amazed me James is that John (who now has the XA-9000ES and sent you the E-Mail) bought an almost $4k CD only player initially at the store where he got his system.  He lives about a half mile from me.  I met him delivering/installing his system with my friend who worked at the store at the time (it was probably a bit over 6 yrs. ago).  The brand of CD player he orig. bought is not my cup of tea.  I've heard it sound decent in a system of all the components and speakers from the same manuf. but it never did anything much for me.  John had come in the store asking about SACD and they were not carrying anything at the time.  I talked my friend who worked at the store into buying a Marantz 8260 (and he liked it enough so that's how I got the DAC in a 3-way trade for probably stuff worth $150 on the open market).  He brought his personal unit into the store one Sat. when the owner was not there and sold 3 of them (and then they stocked it).  John, who I had met a very short time ago and did not know well stopped in the store and noticed the $1k Marantz 8260 and was not happy.  I think he owned something like 30 or 40 CDs when he bought the more expensive CD only player. 

He borrowed the 8260 on Sat. at store closing and the store is closed Sun. and Mon.  He wanted to hear multi-channel but forgot to get cables and the store was now closed.  He called me and I took 3 pairs of my home made cables off of my set-up so he could listen.  He looked at them kind of funny when I dropped them off on Sat. night and I listened a little bit with him.  He ended up comparing the stuff I made to his expensive store bought stuff and was fairly blown away by the difference (and I made some for him shortly thereafter).  He ended up keeing the $4k CD player.  I borrowed his $4k CD player when he went on vacation for a week and was not especially impressed by it in my system and he also has Bryston electronics and Thiels.  I lent him my Modwright XA-777ES at some point down the road and he noticed some things vs. his $4k CD player.  When I was almost finished with the basement I bought the Sony 2000ES changer and a couple of the Living Stereo SACDs and I dropped them off at John's as I would not be able to use it for a week anyway and I knew he'd like to hear it.  I listened a little that night.  The $399 changer on SACD was clearly better on SACD than his CD player was at CD and the CD player as noted was about 10 times the price.  The changer also was not horribly embarrassed on CD either.  When I picked it up by the end of the week he thought that while there was positive and negatives, as a whole he preferred the $399 changer even on CD.  Shortly thereafter he sold his CD player and bought the XA-9000ES.

I also noted in my previous comments how I played with the 2000ES in the basement and reached a similar conclusion that the $399 changer on SACD was always going to best even a really good CD player in every situation.  I really did not expect the Bryston to change that perception and that quickly.


Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #11 on: 4 Jul 2007, 04:09 am »
I did a bit more listening.  I listened to a wide variety of genres and recordings using different instruments made at different periods to get a feel for playing the Bryston CD player alone.  Included in the listening sessions was stuff like:

Jesse Malin                                    "Broken Radio"
Patty Griffin                                   "Rain"
Damien Rice                                   "Volcano"
The Platters                                  "When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
The White Stripes                          "Seven Nation Army"
City of Birmingham Symphony            Mahler "Symphony No. 2
Royal Liverpook Philharmonic             Vaughan Williams "A Sea Symphony"
Rosie Thomas                                "Since You've Been Around"
Rosie Thomas                                "Pretty Dress"
Diana Krall                                     "Blvd. of Broken Dreams"
Lucinda Williams                             "Sweet Old World"
Sara K                                          "Missing You"

I got the feeling listening to stuff like the above that anything I felt was wrong was due to the limitation of the mastering and CD format vs. the player.

I then tried a few cuts from CDs selected for quality of mastering:

John Cocuzzi Quintet "Benny's Bugle" from 'Swingin' and Burnin' on Wildchild Records (Mapleshade)
Jonatha Brooke "Annie" from her 'Live' album
Cristina Branco "A Case of You" from her 'Ulisses' album

The Bryston sounded great on each of the above.

I then tried a couple of really well recorded hybrid SACDs and compared the CD in the Bryston to the SACD in the DV9600.

Aimee Mann "Lost in Space" from the album of the same name on Mobile Fidelity
Greta Matassa "Ain't I Good to You" from 'Live at Tula's' on Jazz Stream Records.

The latter also contains a multi-channel mix which is among my favorites.  It is all ambience and no ping pong games and it sounds as if you're there.  In each case I preferred the SACD layer.  It just was a more natural presentation in terms of presence and timbre of instruments.  The Bryston, however, stacked up very well considering it was playing a lesser medium. 

If I had more time with the unit I would have like to burn a CD-R from each of the previously noted hybrids.  I've read interesting posts, primarily by Charlie Hansen of Ayre, that on a hybrid the CD layer is hampered by the fact the that it needs to focus thru the SACD layer and some of the light gets scattered.  He suggested try burning a CD-R.  The other thing I'd like to try and I'll see if I can get to it (depending on how much time I have tomorrow evening) is playing the SACD layer on my Sony 2000ES changer which in in the bedroom on the other side of the wall.  I may not get a chance to move it take stuff apart and move it physically to the main system but from memory I connected the zone 2 output of the Sony ES rec'r in there to the SP1.7 using my same home made interconnects, and, if that's the case, all I need to do is swap zone 2 output cables on the bedroom rec'r with the player's output to get a fair comparison.  I'd like to hear what the Bryston can do on CD vs. a more moderately priced decent SACD player.  I have no doubt that my old Pioneer Elite DV47A (I sold it about a month ago as it was residing in the seldom used basement system and I'm thinking about picking up on Oppo 981 for the bedroom and moving the Rotel DVD-A player to the basement system so I'll have a DVD source down there again) playing the SACD layer would be smoked by the Bryston playing the CD layer as I've already done that comparison with the DAC/transport combo I have now.


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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #12 on: 4 Jul 2007, 05:32 am »
For a cd player to play to sacd standards, well that's impressive. For someone like me who can't find very many sacds that suit my taste, having a Bryston BCD-1 is a must have. And it would make   buying sacd's unnecessary
The only drawback I can think in comparing is some cd recordings aren't as well done as the sacd version. Brothers in Arm for example, the remastered cd is pretty darn good. the sacd version IMO is a different recording and besides being dsd smokes the cd version.  Comparisons should be from the same known source master recording. But you probably knew that.  :duh:

Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #13 on: 4 Jul 2007, 11:17 am »
For a cd player to play to sacd standards, well that's impressive. For someone like me who can't find very many sacds that suit my taste, having a Bryston BCD-1 is a must have. And it would make   buying sacd's unnecessary
The only drawback I can think in comparing is some cd recordings aren't as well done as the sacd version. Brothers in Arm for example, the remastered cd is pretty darn good. the sacd version IMO is a different recording and besides being dsd smokes the cd version.  Comparisons should be from the same known source master recording. But you probably knew that.  :duh:


Yes:) just trying to get feel for the playback capabilities.  Right now I'd say that with an SACD of avg. quality, there are positive and negatives between the DV9600 playing the SACD vs. the Bryston playing the CD.  When I get a below avg. SACD, I tend to prefer the Bryston.  The other drawback is single layer SACDs of course.  I just ordered another Japanese import of a Santana album.  I got the Japanese import of "Elegant Gypsy" by Al Dimeola which is my friend John's favorite album by him and brought it over his place where he played the CD on his XA-9000ES and while he was sort of saying how could you spend $40 on a disc, he heard half a cut and ordered it.  I'll be gone a bit today but I'd really like to at least do the same type of comparison using the Sony 2000ES changer for SACD.  As I noted in an earlier post when I had it in the basement system as a transport with the DAC I was amazed how well a cut on a hybrid sounded on the CD layer and was even more amazed that it sounded better with the 2000ES playing SACD.  The slow pace of hi-rez releases means I have lots more CDs than SACDs now and the gap is going to only get bigger over time.  So the Bryston is a consideration.

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #14 on: 4 Jul 2007, 11:32 am »
Hi Phil,

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

Burke

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #15 on: 4 Jul 2007, 04:17 pm »
James -

I imagine that Phil can fill in more details, but most of the new SACD releases during the past 12 months seem to have been hybrid (dual/multiple layer) classical disks from labels such as:

Chandos
BIS
Sony Classical
Telarc
Hyperion
Chesky
Hungaroton
LSO Live
RCA Living Stereo (3 channel, hybrid)
Naxos
Pentatone

Since classical is my main musical interest, that suits me just fine. However, I realize that, lamentably, classical is a fairly small niche market. Most listeners go after other categories of music, which are still served up primarily on CD -- or MP3 downloads, even though there have been a fair number of pop, rock and jazz SACDs released in years past.

FWIW, as I'm typing this, I'm listening to an RCA Living Stereo 3 channel SACD Hybrid disk of Heifetz playing violin concertos via a Denon DVD-3910 "universal" player connected to my Bryston SP2 in 6 channel bypass mode and Bryston power amplifiers (7B SST front left and right, bridged 4B SST at center while I'm waiting for my third 7B SST). Sounds wonderful. I can only guess what a Bryston SACD player would add to the enjoyment. Any thoughts on that?

Burke

James Tanner

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #16 on: 4 Jul 2007, 05:41 pm »
Hi Burke,

Gee the more I look into this the more it seems that SACD is a no-go?

james

James Tanner

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #17 on: 4 Jul 2007, 07:57 pm »
Here is an email response I received from a very well respected LP and CD reviewer recently.

In a message dated 7/4/2007 1:28:47 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

jamestanner@bryston.ca writes:
Question - Hi Richard, what is it about SACD that you do not like


Nothing, really, that I dislike, but I simply don't find it to be that much of an improvement, if indeed any at all. In going through SACD reissues of recordings with which I was familiar in their earlier incarnations (and still own), I found I almost always preferred the earlier version. I will concede any number of charges that might be lodged against my responses: I'm old and accustomed to what I've lived with; my hearing is not what it was; etc. But in general the non-SACD versions of earlier recordings (I'm thinking specifically of both the RCA Victor "Living Stereo" series and Mercury's "Living "Living Presence") have a greater degree of realism, of "honesty," etc., and I tend to suspect that the SACD "updating" may have included some fiddling about to arrive at a rather different set of expectations, possibly dictated more by the sort of things "non-classical" listeners seem to like.
 
As for brand-new recordings engineered for/in SACD from the start, I'm wondering if the alleged improvement is something that would make itself more apparent on modest playback equipment than on a serious high-end system. BIS, a label with very high engineering standards, seems to have abandoned SACD after a couple of dozen releases, while finding ever new avenues to sonic excellence in the "redbook" format.
 
Richard F.

Burke

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Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #18 on: 4 Jul 2007, 10:16 pm »
While I certainly don't claim to have reviewer credentials equivalent to Richard F., the particular Heifetz recording I was referring to above sounded pretty "honest" to me in its 3 channel SACD incarnation, with a solid sound stage, logical placement of instruments within it and seemingly accurate portrayal of the instruments' sonic characteristics.

I wonder what kind of "fiddling" would be absent in its non-SACD incarnation. :>)  (Heifetz was a violin player.) As for the SACD being geared ("goosed") for mid-fi equipment with sonic features designed for non-classical listeners, I can say that the same disc sounded rather "flat" and "lifeless" to me before I auditioned it on my recently upgraded system which is now heavy on the Bryston gear. I hope I haven't just signed up for a mid-fi setup. :>)

That is not to say that all recordings in the RCA SACD line-up are equally well presented -- I'm sure I haven't listened to as many of them as Richard F., and there can be exceptions that "prove the rule". Perhaps the Heifetz recording is one of those.

Meanwhile, most of the Redbook CDs I've played through my newly upgraded system sound marvelous, and give the lie to the stereotypical complaint of many who invest in a new system and say they can't stand to listen to their formerly favorite recordings because the new system reveals faults in the recordings that had had been masked previously.

Instead, I have found that the refined authority, detail and control afforded by the seemingly limitless power of the 7Bs combined with subtlety and finesse of the SP2 gives new life to old recordings, including, for example some performances of Beethoven symphonies conducted by Bruno Walter which previously sounded screechy in spots and basically harsh on crescendos.  Now those passages have excellent dynamic range and the instruments sound like themselves rather than cats with their tails being pulled.  :>) The Maggies just needed more juice to deliver what was "hidden" on those old disks.

I will agree with what I think Richard F. is saying with regard to some recordings that appear to be engineered for spectacular effect on mid-fi gear -- sonic "blockbusters" that some people use as "demo" material to show off their relatively economical but bragged about systems -- those recordings do not benefit any further from a more refined and capable system. But in most cases that come to mind where this is true, I'm thinking of CDs, not SACD.

However, sonic virtues or lack thereof aside, I'm rather certain that SACD would not be a big money maker for Bryston or any other company that would just now be sinking R&D investment into it. I'm sure we will continue to be enjoying CDs for a long time to come. (Unlike some other segments of the music industry, sales of classical CDs have not been taking a nose dive.)

Burke

Phil A

Re: BCD-1 CD Player Reviews?
« Reply #19 on: 4 Jul 2007, 11:46 pm »
Hi Phil,

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


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.