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Welcome to PS3SACD.com. This site aims to be the most extensive Super Audio CD resource for PlayStation3 users. Considering it seems to be the only dedicated SA-CD site for PS3, we're confident it actually is. We also cover other aspects of the versatile media player that PS3 is, other SACD-compatible BD players, DSD, audio-only Blu-ray Discs, and other high-resolution multi-channel music formats, especially for pop/rock music.
Recently we've started covering PlayStation4, as far as media playback, especially audio, is concerned.
Classic pop albums on SACD 4.0 by Audio Fidelity
There haven't been any updates here for a while but that's not for lack of news. Those who follow @PS3SACD on Twitter will have noticed a number of postings and retweets about SACD reissues of pop/rock albums by Audio Fidelity, all of them in multichannel – most of them not in 5.1 but in 4.0 'Quad' Surround. Here are some of the highlights:
Simple Minds' Sparke in the Rain reissued in 5.1
Steven Wilson's latest remix project is Sparkle in the Rain, the Simple Minds album. He's remixed it in 5.1 and it's been released in more or less the same configurations as his previous project, Tears For Fears' Songs from the Big Chair. There is no SACD but there are several other high-res options, both for stereo and multichannel.
Two other Simple Minds albums, New Gold Dream and Once Upon a Time, respectively the album preceding and the one succeeding Sparkle in the Rain, have been issued on SACD but in stereo only. Both those albums have been issued on DVD-Audio as well, but these releases (stereo + multichannel!) are based on entirely different masterings.
The 30th anniversary superdeluxe edition collectors box set consists of 4 CDs and a DVD:
The other editions are:
Multichannel SACDs from Audio Fidelity for the first time
Audio Fidelity has been reissung great albums from just about any genre on SACD for a number of years. Until recently, those were stere only. Now AF finally seems to have discovered the wonderful possibilities of SACD and started to issue albums in 5.1 surround sound and, where 'quad' masters existed, in 4.0. Recently released and announced titles include the following:
The channel count is prominently on the cover of each of the new discs. For more details, check Audio Fidelity.
New brands launching universal SACD/BD players – Sharp and Arcam
Usually this time of the year – at least that how it went the last four years – there are lots of new SACD/BD players to report, following Sony's announcement of the new year's range at the annual CES show in Las Vegas, first week of January. The embattled company will launch just three new models, all of them low-prices 'no frills' players – no displays, and even 3D Blu-ray playback has been left out of the basic model, which is no doubt an artificial limitation for the sake of differentiation between the respective models but surely there are people who don't need that. The models are:
No SACD playback here, but Sony will continue to offer last year's 'top model', the BDP-S7200 (that one might call a no-frills SACD player).
Towards the end of 2015 we can expect Sony to introduce however an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player. That's the name given to the new standard – possibly the last consumer optical disc format we're going to see. It will offer discs of 2 or 3 layers with 33 GB capacity each, enabling 66-100 GB of storage space, which should be enough for a feature-length movie in 3840×2160 Ultra HD "4K" resolution, up to 60fps frame rate, with 10-bit color depth, a wider color gamut (up to Rec.2020 or BT.2020) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) of some flavor, possible Dolby Vision, encoded in H.265/HEVC, the successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. At CES, Panasonic was the only brand showing a prototype player. Sony, Samsung, LG, Philips and other brands will likely follow at IFA and CEDIA 2015, in September.
Two other AV brands however have recently joined the fray and introduced universal disc players. The first is Sharp – an early SACD supporter of SACD and DSD, that they typically referred to as '1-bit audio'. Both technologies feature in the new player, the SD-WH100U, with an intersting addition: WiSA or Wireless Speakers and Audio, a new standard that promises high-quality transmission of digital sound. Video of up to 1080p HD is transmitted with the WiHD protocol. Via the USB port it will handle PCM (24/96) and DSD of 2.8 or 5.6 MHz frequency.
The other brand to surprise us with its first more or less universal disc player is Arcam. The UDP411 supports at least Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, Super Audio CD and CD. DVD-Audio seems to have been left out (as with the Sharp). It uses a TI/Burr Brown PCM1794 DAC and a bespoke power supply, "with discreet sub-regulated power supplies on the drive, audio and DAC board." It supports with UPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play) and CIFS (Common Internet File System) to allow integration into home networks and easy access to stored content.
Arcam has two related produdcts: a simpler one – an SACD/CD player with the same DAC and networking technology: the CDS27...
... and one where the multi-format disc player is integrated with an AV receiver: the Solo Movie 'home cinema in a box' system. At the time of writing it's not yet listed on the company's website but What HiFi covered it.
In the area of dedicated DSD DACs there has been an overwhelming amount of product news in the past year, with many portable headphone amps now sporting asynchronous DACs that support not only high-res PCM but DSD64 (2.8 MHz), DSD128 (5.6 MHz) and sometimes even higher resolutions such as DXD. As it's uncertain when or whether undersigned will find the time to list them all here, in the meantime best check out the twitter feeds @DSD_Audio and @DXD_Audio.
Tears For Fears gets the multichannel treatment
Less then 5 months ago, UMG's Japanese branch reissues Tears For Fears' Songs from the Big Chair on SHM-SACD (available on import via Amazon but not part of UMG Japan's upcoming re-reissue program for November.) Now fans who may not have ordered that edition yet are faced with a dilemma, like with the recent Yes reissues: go with the high-resolution but stereo-only SACD or choose the multi-channel mix on a different format, though based on ones personal preferences and playback capabilities that might be easy to solve.
Anyway, after fans of (mostly seventies) Progressive Rock have been treated royally in recent years by a long string of 5.1 remixes by Steven Wilson, now fans of decent eighties pop/rock get a chance to enjoy what he can do with multi-track originals: He's remixed Tears For Fears' second album, and it'll be coming out on DVD-Audio and 'High-Fidelity Pure Audio' Blu-ray Disc (HFPA BD) next month. Steven Wilson writes the following about his latest work (apparently his first for Universal Music Group):
The album reissue will be available on various formats in the following five configurations:
The 2-disc Deluxe edition consists of two CDs (the main CD and the 'edits') so if you're mainly after the 5.1 mix you have to go either with the 6-disc box set which includes the DVD-Audio (it's particularly attracticely priced at Amazon UK: £37.99) or with the Blu-ray Disc, which will be available as a stand-alone product (as isn't even included in the Superdeluxe Edition), at least in some European markets: Germany and France. This Deluxe edition should not be confused with the 2006 2-CD Deluxe edition, which you can rcognize by its familiar semi-transparent outer sleeve used on many other Universal deluxe editions:
Neil Wilkes, who did the authoring of the DVD-Audio, DVD-Video and the HFPA Blu-ray Disc, adds the following:
The HFPA contains Steven's excellent stereo & 5.1 mixes. Stereo is 24/96 LPCM, 5.1 is defaulted to DTS-HD but does have an LPCM stream as well.
Streams are switchable on the fly using the coloured buttons on the remote and the disc will run completely headlessly (defaults to 2014 mixes) as the bonus stream - the Original Mix - can be accessed from the remote too as well as the individual tracks from the remote numbers, just like regular CD.
I have no knowledge of release date on the standalone HFPA but can assure you that there are 3 mixes included.
Video presentation is what it is, so before anybody complains that a couple of the films are smaller than they might be, please remember these were letterboxed in a 4:3 frame & there is sod all I can do about it unless budgets start to run to printing a film from U-matic tape sources (AKA "Pro VHS" if that's not an oxymoron) and then scanning in that negative then blowing up digitally would be the only option & that would look substantially worse, believe me. Most are in 4:3 full frame and will be pillarboxed on a 16:9 display so the "Danny DeVito Effect" is not possible. Audio content is 24/48 LPCM for these films.
Also included are a stack of BBC-TV appearances too - mainly TOTP but also a couple from the old "Wogan" show (trivia guide - the old BBC theatre, where that show was filmed, is now the Shepherds Bush Empire) and these are in 16/48 as we had run out of space on the DVD by this time and 24-bit did not fit.
According to Amazon, release dates of the various editions vary between November 3 and November 11 – nicely in time for this year's holiday season...
100 SHM-SACDs reissues reissued
Yes, these albums may be decades old and have been reissued very recently on SHM-SACD but since they're limited edition, many of them were already out-of-print and unavailable again, so due to popular demand UMG Japan reissues them once more. Here are 100 titles, to be rereleased November 26 this year at a price of ¥3,500.
Soul (CD Japan lists it as 'Dance')
Free SHM-SACD in August + more U.K. SHM-SACDs in September, and another Steely Dan
In July, UMG Japan issued some Free SHM-SACDs and in August another one followed. No, you will need to pay for them (¥ 4,286 each) but if you like Free music this'll be good news. If you like U.K. – another U.K. band (actually a progresive rock supergroup) – you'll be pleased to see three of their albums including their self-titled debut album released on SHM-SACD. And then there's another Steely Dan album finally out on (SHM) SACD for the first time.
Here are last month's and this month's releases:
August 27, 2014
September 24, 2014
It looks like there will be no new SHM-SACDs in October but in November UMG Japan will reissue 100 earlier, out-of-print SHM-SACDs. Yes, reissues of reissues if you will, but great news for collectors. A complete list will follow on this page in the coming days. In the meantie you can take a look here.
At the same time, CD Japan runs a special promotion offering 10% extra points on all SHM-SACDs. There are also promotion on regular SHM-CDs and on Blu-Spec CDs. Check the website for more details.
SHM-SACDs due in June and July
UMG has announced a new range of pop/rock SHM-SACDs for this month and next month.
Due June 25:
Due July 30:
Then there is a set of classical SHM-SACDs, all six of them with works by Richard Strauss performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker. For some odd reason these albums are priced ¥4300 instead of the usual ¥4286. Whence the 14-yen difference? Release date June 25.
SHM-SACDs for the month of May
It's great to see that Universal Music Japan is releasing pop/rock SHM-SACDs on a monthly basis again. For the 28th of this month, they've announced these titles:
All come in Cardboard Sleeve 'mini LP' (Limited edition release). Price: ¥4286 (¥4629 incl. tax in Japan).
Amused to Death in Surround
It's been well over a year since the reiusse of Roger Waters' album Amused to Death on SACD was announced by Analogue Productions, and we still need to wait until September 23, 2014, but great news has surfaced in the meantime: the album will be released on hybrid multichannel SACD. Acoustic Sounds writes: "Amused to Death was mixed by Pink Floyd's producer/engineer James Guthrie, and now, using those same analog tapes, he's mastering the album for multichannel SACD."
The album can be pre-ordered here.
Pop/rock SHM-SACDs for April
Not a large batch of 'new' albums slated for reissue on SHM-SACD in April but for sure of great interest to some, because they include five artists who have had few or no albums on SACD so far, including some seventies Prog Rock – a genre that so far has been better represented on DVD-Audio.
Summary: all these titles are stereo-only non-hybrid SHM-SACDs and limited edition releases in 'mini LP' carton sleeves, released by UMG Japan, priced ¥4,286 and scheduled for April 23rd.
More HFPA Blu-rays
Universal Music Group is continuing to reissue back catalog albums in all genres on High-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc. Here's an update of newly released titles (since late October) including some that were announced but not yet listed back then:
All of these can be found here.
In the meantime, Universal Music France has released quite a few more HFPA BDs, mostly by the same artists as the earlier titles: Johnny Hallyday, Jacques Brel, Noir Désir, Zazie, Eddy Mitchell, Alain Bashung. One new artist: Vanessa Paradis. These French releases can be found here.
New batch of SHM-SACD pop titles in March
Asia - Alpha (SHM-CD pictured)
All are scheduled for March 26, 2013, priced 4286 Yen, designated as "Limited Release" and reissuesd in "mini LP" cardboard sleeve. And the fact they're SHM-SACDs means they're single-layer stereo-only SACDs.
CES 2014: Continued SACD support in Sony BDP range
For the fifth year in a row, Sony uses the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to launch a range of Blu-ray Disc players to support Super Audio CD. Also, Sony Europe announced this year's line-up of BD players and Home Cinema Systems. The 2014 range looks as follows:
It appears Sony Electronics North America has not announced any new Home Theater System products for 2014, at least not in the sense of Blu-ray Disc players integrated with AV receivers and bundled with multi-channel speaker packages – only some wireless (2.1ch) audio products.
Sony BDP-S6200 SACD/DVD/BD player
For the Home Theatre Systems, not all specs are clear in detail. Disc playback is not specified here. They do support high-resolution audio of up to 192kHz/24-bit in a range of formats including WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC (Apple Lossless), Linear PCM, MP3, WMA and AAC-LC2. They also feature new surround modes such as Cinema Studio 9.1ch. No mention of DSD support here however. That's limited to Sony's High-Resolution Audio products, already announced at IFA and CEDIA 2013.
Hardly a range of SACD players then, but continued SACD support.
The BDP-Sx200 models are the successors to the 2013 BDP-Sx100 series. You can find previous ranges here:
Top 20 bestsellers of 2013
A very different looking chart of best-selling titles at PS3SACD.com this year. Ok, the number one is the same but a lot of new titles have entered the top 20, especially albums by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
All are SACDs except where noted. No more Dark Side of the Moon? Sold out? Or does everybody own a copy by now of what is probably the best-selling SACD of all time? Not quite yet – it landed on #21 in 2013.
The hardware top 5 looks as follows:
The Sony models all play SACD; the Panasonic one plays DVD-Audio; the Oppo model supports both.
SACD-compatible, of course.
BD-Audio catalog grows, but not quite like SACD
2013 has finally seen a serious effort to establish Blu-ray Disc as an audio-only effort. Some 40-odd titles have been released, multiplying the total catalog that so far consisted of literally just a handful of titles. Although there appears to be no central source keeping track of the exact BD-A numbers it's quite clear the number of releases per year as well as the total catalog size are still far outstripped by SACD's: Despite a minor decline compared to 2012, with 692 new titles in 2013 the SACD catalog has grown to over 9,000 titles.
As new options for distribution of high-quality become available in the form of BD-Audio, high-resolution PCM, FLAC and DSD downloads become available, SACD steadily marches on.
Numbers: credit sa-cd.net
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