In my experience SACD is a very worthwhile improvement over standard CD.
Comparing the CD and SACD layers of hybrid discs I find that the CD, even
when mastered with DSD, has a residual graininess; a touch or a ghost of the
digital nasties remains even in the best efforts. The SACD layer has a much
greater warmth and spaciousness, including all the virtues of the best LP
sound. There have been very few SACD issues from mono tapes or 78s. However,
the sound on the Alan Lomax Songbook is quite astonishing. The voice of
Woody Guthrie, at his first session in 1940, leaps out of the groove with
astonishing presence. I am afraid that this means that David Lennick, Mark
Obert-Thorne, Ward Marston et al may have to start over from the beginning.
At any rate I doubt - and I hope somebody will correct me and convince that
I am wrong about this - whether their 16 bit PCM DAT masters will be usable
in the new medium. 24 bit 96 k PCM is the minimum standard and not really
good enough for mastering SACD.
More generally, the people who ought to be promoting SACD are doing the best
they can to kill it off, insisting that it is dead in the water when there
are thousands of titles available and superb new stereo only machines coming
onto the market. SACD is so good that it cuts into the sale of expensive CD
and LP gear. The company that sold me my Marantz 7001 KI (600 GBP) refused
to put it on demonstration because the sound that it evoked from Fritz
Reiner Living Stereo discs was too good.
The fact that SACD is not going to replace CD is beside the point. It is
already the medium of choice if you are prepared to spend a reasonable
amount to get good quality sound. I am afraid that the great majority of
record collectors prefer to spend nearly all their available cash on
recordings. I have always thought this was excessively foolish.