On 04/07/06, phillip holmes wrote:
> It's pretty easy to tell which SACDs are mastered from 16/44. The CD
> layer sounds the same as the SACD layer. I've had a couple that
> sounded almost identical on both layers. The sound was good though. On
> the other hand, with the RCA SACD classical reissue series, it is easy
> to tell a difference between the CD and SACD layers, although the
> difference is only evident on violins, flutes, trumpets, cymbals and
> the like. I'd say the sound is different because I can more easily
> tell the difference between the high instruments. 

I would say it is being able to hear instruments in dense orchestration
which are otherwise inaudible, and being certain which instruments are
playing. Also, better reproduction of the distances of the instruments
from the microphones.

> The most egregious
> distortion of MP3 is making everything way up there sound like it was
> cut from the same cloth. Like there's a guy with a tank of compressed
> air that releases some when the trumpet plays and when the triangle
> sounds and when a guitar does a power chord, etc.. Further, even if
> you didn't have access to the SACD layer, the CD layer is worlds
> better than the previous issues which were all issued from later
> generation tapes (speaking of RCA specifically). If SACD and DVDA
> helps improve work stations and mastering techniques through the
> industry, even if SACD and DVDA fail completely, then the byproduct
> (better mastering) will have been worth it to me.
> Which brings to mind one of the benefits from the quadraphonic
> debacle. The first generation of transistor equipment used for
> mastering was kind of blah, like all the other first generation of
> transistor stuff. When the mastering houses upgraded for cutting quad
> LPs, they had to use better electronics to cut the very high
> frequencies (carrier). This also led to rapid developments in line
> contact styli (a huge improvement over conical to my ears). I think
> the poor reputation of '70s vinyl was the ultra thin pressings and
> vinyl with too much regrind in it. On top of that, engineers were
> going microphone crazy. How many tracks do you need to record an
> orchestra? 

Three, or four if you want height.

> The more microphones in use, the more possibility for weird
> sound. And the more tracks you squeeze on a head, the worse the sound.

Don Cox
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