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Welcome

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.

 


News

October 6, 2014

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.

SHM-SACD edition

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):

Following the announcement of the next Yes (official) and XTC remixed reissues, 2 more of my classic album remixes have been confirmed for release in November (a pretty expensive time if you like all these albums!)

My remix of Tears for Fears' iconic 80’s album “Songs From the Big Chair” is included on a 30th anniversary reissue, to be released by Universal Music Group on 4th November.

Songs from the Big Chair was one of the biggest albums of the 80’s, and particularly successful in the USA where it reached number one in the Billboard chart on its way to selling several million copies. It features two US number one singles, Shout and Everybody Wants to Rule the World, as well as 2 more hit singles Head Over Heels and Mother’s Talk.

It’s a brilliant record by a truly innovative 80’s band - both accessible and ambitious. The reissue will be available in several different formats including a stand-alone Blu-Ray and a comprehensive 6 disc deluxe edition with live tracks, singles, B-sides, TV/radio appearances, remixes, videos, and the original mix.

There will also be a vinyl edition of my new stereo mix. The new stereo and 5.1 mixes were overseen and approved by Roland Orzabal (and are included as flat transfers with no mastering).

The album reissue will be available on various formats in the following five configurations:

 

Tears For Fears - Songs from the Big Chair - SuperDeluxe Edition
Tears For Fears - Songs from the Big Chair - Deluxe Edition
6-disc Superdeluxe Edition
2-disc Deluxe edition

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:

Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair 2006 Deluxe Edition
2006 Deluxe Edition

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.

In the box, there is a full DVD-A/V with pretty much the same content as the HFPA disc - the original stereo/2014 stereo/surround mixes in MLP Lossless plus original stereo/new stereo in 24/96 LPCM & the surround in DTS 9624.
The DVD-V contains scads of stuff. There is the "Scenes From The Big Chair" documentary & the interview with album producer Chris Hughes (both previously available) and additionally there are all the known (and a couple that were thought lost) Promo films from the album including no fewer than 3 different films of "Mothers Talk" (and the US mix is enormously different too) and the Sport Aid film "Everybody Wants To Run The World".

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.

Back to the stuff we are all interested in - the 5.1 mix. I have no idea how he does it, but yet again Steven Wilson has nailed it - he just keeps on getting better & better at this, and hearing this album in 5.1 really does it justice in so many ways - the whole room is filled during "I Believe", and this is no mean feat considering it's Piano/Vocal. Superb.

5.1 Songs from the Big Chair
 
Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair HFPA BD
Sleeve of the DVD-Audio contained in the Superdeluxe Edition
(photo credit: Superdeluxeedition.com)
 
High-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc

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...

 


September 26, 2014

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.

Pop/Rock:

 

Soul (CD Japan lists it as 'Dance')

 

Jazz/Fusion/Blues

Bill Evans - Interplay (SHM-SACD)

 


September 22, 2014

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.

Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic (SHM-SACD)

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.

CD Japan SHM-SACD promotion

 


June 5, 2014

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:

Steely Dan - Countdown to Ecstasy

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.

 


May 18, 2014

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:

Asia - Astra [SHM-SACD]

All come in Cardboard Sleeve 'mini LP' (Limited edition release). Price: ¥4286 (¥4629 incl. tax in Japan).

 


April 5, 2014

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."

Amused to Death - SACD 5.1

The album can be pre-ordered here.

 


March 11, 2014

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.

Bryan Adams - Reckless [SHM-CD pictured]

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.

 


March 5, 2014

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.

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black [High-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc]

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.

 


February 16, 2014

New batch of SHM-SACD pop titles in March

Following on to the release of four pop/rock albums on SHM-SACD in the last quarter of 2013, UMG Japan has another dozen slated for release this quarter: the last Wednesday of March.

Asia - Alpha (SHM-CD pictured)

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.

 


January 12, 2014

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:

US
EU
BDP-S6200
BDP-S5200
BDP-S4200
 
BDP-S3200
BDP-S1200
BDV-N9200W
 
BDV-N7200W
 
BDV-NF7220
 

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.

It's not highlighted in the feature list but the spec sheets shows the following model as SACD-compatible: BDP-S6200. Models BDP-S5200 and below will only play the CD layer of hybrid SACDs.

Sony BDP-S6200 SACD/DVD/BD player

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:

 


January 5, 2014

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.

  1. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  2. Stevie Ray Vaughan - In Step
  3. Eric Clapton - Slowhand
  4. Roger Waters - In the Flesh Live
  5. Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Rage Hard-Sonic Collection
  6. The Eagles - Hotel California
  7. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
  8. The Doors - Doors
  9. Dead Can Dance - Spleen and Ideal
  10. Dead Can Dance - Aion
  11. Sheryl Crow - Globe Sessions
  12. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand the Weather
  13. Peter Gabriel - Up
  14. Rush - Counterparts
  15. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood

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.

Our best-selling game hardware in 2013 was: PlayStation 3 80GB MotorStorm bundle

SACD-compatible, of course.

 


January 1, 2014

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.

SACD releases per year

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.

SACD catalog growth

Numbers: credit sa-cd.net

 


November 20, 2013

DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 for PS4

As reported below, PlayStation 4 has been designed from the start to deliver Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. This in contrast to PlayStation 3, which only obtained these features in its fourth hardware iteration in 2009, with the launch of PS3 Slim. These features were never added to the earlier PS3 models in a firmware upgrade because the constraint was in the HDMI chips used. PS4's HDMI chips may also have limitations that we'll learn about in the future (already it seems HDMI 2.0 with full 1080p 3D isn't supported) but for audio there seems to be less reason to worry. Already it's announced that now PS4 is launched, it will not 'just' have DTS-HD Master Audio but the 7.1-channel version of it, and it'll be the first product to support this. The logo on the consoles coming out of the factory already show the alternate logo, with the HD letters skewed and "7.1" added.

PS4 production version feature logos

PS4 featuring DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

What's not clear from communication about this upgrade over the pre-production hardware is what 7.1 exactly means, as DTS offers many possible uses for this number of channels, including:

Probably the standard offers flexibility to handle any of the above.

DTS 6.1 Center Surround

It's nice to see that while PS4 has little or no true audiophile aspirations like PS3 originally did, high-quality multichannel sound does apparently play an important role.

 


October 31, 2013

PlayStation 4: No audio support?

For many, 2013 will be the year of (the run-up to) PlayStation 4 launch. On January 31, SCEI announced an event for February 20, titled 'PlayStation 2013' where, like expected, PS4 was officially announced. The design was not yet revealed at that event – that only happened June 10.

PlayStation 4 - sides

PlayStation 4 - front & back

In the days following, more detailed, high-resolution images of the console surfaced, which seemed to confirm our expectations PS4 (essentially based on a PC architecture) would not support Super Audio CD. Unsurprising, as Sony must have realized early on during the lifetime of PS3 that the overlap between gamers and audiophiles is probably rather narrow.

PlayStation 4 feature logos

DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD are supported from launch (as opposed to PS3, which only introduced output of these streaming formats via HDMI with the fourth-generation console design, the PS3 Slim, in 2009). Sony hasn't bothered to include DVD and CD logos.

Now, with the publication of the official 'PlayStation 4 Ultimate FAQ', it occurs that PS4 does not support plain Red Book Audio CD playback. For DVD-Video and even Blu-ray Disc playback, apparently an upgrade to launch firmware v1.50 is needed. PAL territories can contact SCEE Consumer Services to request a Blu-ray activation disc by mail. Other reports indicate that also MP3, Blu-ray 3D and DLNA support are lacking, even in FW1.50. The HDD capacity should not exceed 160 GB.

This is in stark contrast with previous Sony consoles, which have always been position as omni-potent true multi-media players. This started with PlayStation 1, which has often been hailed as a very capable Audio CD player; then was expanded with PlayStation 2, which featured DVD-Video playback from launch. PlayStation 3 has raised the bar way further with support for SACD (initially), Blu-ray Disc and a wide range of online video services.

Sony Hi-Res Audio logo ?

It's unlikely then that SCEI will have thought of DSD support, in spite of Sony's recent Hi-Res Audio initiative. More about that and the DSD products Sony's announced within that in a separate article soon.

For now: No CD-DA, SACD, DSD, MP3, 3D BD or DLNA on PS4.

Update: President of Sony's Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida has announced that they (the system people in Japan, that is) are working on CD and MP3 support for PS4, and that the omission was not some ploy for forcing people to use the Music Unlimited streaming service. He did not announce when the features would become available and did not mention DLNA.

 


October 22, 2013

UMG resumes pop/rock reissues on SHM-SACD

After the good news that UMG Japan resumed the release of SHM-SACD titles this fall, even greater news comes in the form of new pop/rock albums. Normally, they'd be released the last Wednesday of the month but because inb December this year that's on Christmas day, we get the following titles on December 18, all of them in 'Mini LP' cardboard sleeves:

They are available at ¥ 4,286 through CD Japan.

 


October 20, 2013

SHM-SACD program continued, apparently

A few months ago it seemed Universal Music Japan has stopped issuing SHM-SACD discs altogether. No new titles had been announced since December. Fortunately, it seems the hiatus was only temporary: for October and November, ten new titles have been announced – not classical this time, but all jazz.

October 23, 2013:

November 27, 2013:

To celebrate the occasion, CD Japan is offering a special bonus points promotion on SHM-SACDs (and SHM-CDs) starting this month and running until January 31, 2014.

 


October 18, 2013

More and more DSD download services

Earlier this year Opus 3 started to offer DSD downloads and now two more companies known for SACD releases join the fray: Acoustic Sounds have open up their DSD download store named SuperHirez.

Acoustic Sounds' SuperHiRez

Meanwhile Channel Classics, who early last year already started offering DSD downloads have now set up a dedicated storefront, Native DSD.

Native DSD Music

Now we have:

Plus various individual recordings listed on this page which lately has become a lot harder to maintain for very positive reasons.

 


September 30, 2013

Universal Music launches High-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc program

Universal Music Group (UMG), after doing initial market testing in France, now launches High Fidelity Pure Audio (HFPA), a roster of albums reissued on Pure Audio Blu-Ray – presumably, though none of the articles refer to this, with the Pure Audio Blu-ray format of msm Studios reported about on various previous occasions. UMG does specifically mention there is no video on these discs. Let's hope they adopted the technique that lets you play and navigate such discs without having to use the screen.

All discs will contain audio in PCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. Minimum sampling rate and frequency is 24-bit 96 kHz. 192 kHz appears to be optional. At least the BD format supports that. It's not entirely clear what the position of multichannel audio is but also that seems to be an option, though not a mandatory track.

All of this means HFPA discs are no or not much better than DVD-Audio, but the new format has the benefit of a huge installed base of compatible hardware, namely all Blu-ray Disc players, of course including all PlayStation 3 consoles. That's a far larger base than SACD or DVD-Audio ever could achieve.

What's also not entirely clear is what other record labels besides Universal Music Group participate in the HFPA Group – or how. What HiFi mentions backing from Warner Music Group, Bose, Bang & Olufsen, Dolby, DTS but all except UMG and WMG are hardware or technology licensing companies. DTS could reissue many multichannel albums but their only involvement thus far is use of their audio codec and Warner's contribution seems non-existent.

The initial release slate contains some three dozen titles, a mixture of pop/rock, jazz/blues and classical, some of which have been issued on SACD before – notably Verver artists such as Diana Krall, John Coltrane and Stan Getz, whose collaboration with João Gilberto has already seen four (!) SACD issues – some on DVD-Audio while quite a few others appear to be entirely new, such as Ascenseur pour l'échafaud that we've been asking for since years.

Miles Davis - Ascenseur pour l'échafaud - High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc

A statement on the HFPA Facebook page explains a sort of 'digital copy' concept:

To confirm, every High Fidelity Pure Audio product will contain a download code which will enable you to one-time-download an MP3 version of the album you purchased. That way you can enjoy the Blu-ray version with your home equipment, but also not lose out on the portability of having an MP3 album. This is available in Europe, Asia, Australia/NZ, Africa and South America.

Why everywhere but North America? Rights issues probably, but how come the record company that holds all these IP rights cannot sort this out? Or are HFPA discs actually not available in the US? The CE Daily article stated so (in addition to UK, France, Germany and Japan) but no mention is made on UMG's US site and almost no titles can be found on Amazon.com. The fact that the lauch took place at Dolby EMEA's office at Soho Square in London may be significant. There is a UK store and you can find a handful of titles on Amazon.co.uk plus many more on Amazon France. What doesn't help is that there is no clear category or tag used to search for. CD Japan also lists a number of titles.

UMG's UK webstore lists a couple of additional titles not yet found on Amazon:

  • Nirvana - Nevermind
  • Nirvana - In Utero
  • Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
  • Lionel Richie - Can't slow down
  • Marvin Gaye - What's going on
  • The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
  • Beck - Sea Change
  • Bob Marley - Kaya
  • Nick Drake - Five leaves left

Listed elsewhere is a new reissue of Queen's A Night at the Opera.

Of course, with physical media sales declining since many years and SACD and DVD-Audio having remained niche formars the new carrier has no shortage of skeptics, judging by coverage by Engadget, Forbes and TNT-Audio. Considering the wavering support for earlier premium audio formats by UMG as well as other record labels our recommendation is: Grab 'em while you can. This effort may be over before you know it.

MSM Studios in the meantime does list a fair number of new Pure Audio Blu-ray titles, including many by Norwegian label 2L (for instance Hommage a Grieg vol 3 and Fartein Valen String Quartets), plus another album for Hong Kong artist Hok-E (Bondy Chiu): Chanteur.

 


September 24, 2013

Complete Yes on SACD, and CttE in 5.1

After Yes' albums Close to the Edge and Going for the One became available on SACD earlier this year, now all 13 studio albums of Yes are issued on stereo SACD – in Japan. The albums are not sold separately but as a box set titled High Vibration. The set includes a bonus disc with remixes and alternate takes.

  • Yes (1969)
  • Time and a Word (1970)
  • The Yes Album (1971)
  • Fragile (1971)
  • Close to the Edge (1972)
  • Yessongs (1973)
  • Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)
  • Relayer (1974)
  • Going for the One (1977)
  • Tormato (1978)
  • Drama (1980)
  • 90125 (1983)
  • Big Generator (1987)

Yes - High Vibration SACD box set

High Vibration is available from Amazon.com on import but currently is priced almost twice as high as at CD Japan.

If you care more for multichannel than (high-resolution) stereo, you may be more interested in the 5.1 remix/remaster of Close to the Edge. It's not out on SACD but on DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Disc, both bundled with a CD. The remastering and remixing was done by Steven Wilson, like so many other Prog Rock reissues, also including XTC's Nonsuch, again on CD+DVDA and CD+BD. Of course, the Blu-ray Discs will play on PS3.

Yes - Close to the Edge 5.1  
XTC - Nonsuch 5.1
Yes - Close to the Edge
 
XTC - Nonsvch

 


July 16, 2013

UMG offers crowdfunding service... for vinyl

Several sources including Billboard, Spin and Mashable that Universal Music Group is setting up Uvinyl, a "crowd-funded vinyl service" that will release limited-edition records of old, 'deleted' albums if there's enough demand. The Vinyl Project will re-press deleted and rare records into vinyl, and release them with digital downloads and personalized art prints.

If all this is feasible, could Universal please catch up with the times and offer such a service for SACD?

On a different note, another vinyl-related fun development is the possibility to create records using 3D printing. As this article explains, the result is truly low-fidelity, equating to a sampling rate of about 11 kHz and a resolution of 5-6 bits. That is probably not overestimated.

 


May 28, 2013

New Universal Players by Cambridge Audio and Pioneer

Cambridge Audio has announced a successor to its 2011 model 751BD: the Azur 752BD. It's equipped with five 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson audio DACs. Their third-generation Universal BD Player is available here.

Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD universal disc player

Pioneer meanwhile has introduced a new Home Theater System with universal disc playback, but it seems the MCS-434 is released only in Japan and Europe/UK. It's available through Amazon UK.

The same is the case with the step-up model MCS-737, a similar system with tall-boy speakers, listed here.

Pioneer MCS-737 HTiB with SACD playback

All SACD-compatible BD players and home theater systems will be included in our overview shortly.

 


April 1, 2013

Rush and Vangelis reissues on SACD

A fair number of progessive rock albums have been remixed and remastered in 5.1 lately, mostly thanks to Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree fame, and all of them have been released on DVD-Audio, including Rush's Moving Pictures and 2112. It comes as quite a surprise then that, a few years after earlier plans had been abandoned, we're getting a Rush reissue on SACD. It's not in multichannel, but Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio has remastered Hemispheres and Counterparts for Audio Fidelity.

Rush - Hemispheres SACD
 
Rush - Counterparts SACD
Rush - Hemispheres SACD
 
Eush - Counterparts SACD

More progrock reissues in Audio Fidelity's SACD program: Close to the Edge and Going for the One by Yes,

Yes - Close to the edge SACD
 
Yes - Going for the one SACD
Yes - Close to the Edge SACD
 
Yes - Going for the One SACD

Kevin Gray has also remastered the Original Soundtrack of Blade Runner by Vangelis for SACD. He talks about the job in this interview with NME (video).

Vangelis - Blade Runner OST SACD
 
Vangelis - Blade Runner OST on SACD
   

Other AF reissues include Touch by Sarah McLachlan, America's eponymous album, Welcome to the Club by Nat King Cole, King Creole by Elvis Presley, Calypso by Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol.II, Pickin' up the pieces by Poco.

 


March 27, 2013

DSD playback with Oppo Universal Players

Oppo Digital, whose Universal Blu-ray/DVD/SACD/CD players we've covered many times here, has now made DSD playback a lot more affordable, at least to owners of their latest generation of universal disc players – types BDP-103 and BDP-105.

The company has issued a Public Beta Test Release Firmware that adds support for AIFF, exFAT USB drives and, most importantly, DSD of both DFF and DSF flavors. Not only stereo but also multichannel DSD is supported. Kal Rubinson has all the details here.

DSD playback on Oppo Universal Players 2013

 


March 4, 2013

DSD downloads from Opus 3 and M∙A

Swedish audiophile record label Opus 3, known from many (mostly classical and jazz) SACDs dating back to the earliest days of the format, has opened up a DSD download store, DSDfile. Some of the titles are available in standard DSD64 (2.8MHz) as well as DSD128 (5.6 MHz).

DSDfile

Meanwhile, audiophile record label from neighboring Norway 2L and M.A Recordings have made their high-resolution music available through Japan's e-onkyo music service. Again, some of it in double-rate DSD.

Note that besides plain vanilla 64fs DSD and 128fs DSD studios now also have the option to work with 256fs DSD (11.2 MHz) or 'Quad DSD' thanks to Merging Technologies' new Horus Digital Audio Workstation.

 


January 18, 2013

Roger Waters' Amused to Death on SACD

Ex-Pink Floyd member Rogers Waters' third concept album, Amused to Death, will be reissued on SACD (and vinyl) by Analogue Productions, Analog Planet reports.

The reissue, cut from the master tapes, will be overseen by engineer James Guthrie who was there for the original release. The Q Sound spatial enhancement effects are on the master tape so get ready for stuff appearing in the mix at your next door neighbor's house.

That's despite this SACD likely being stereo only.

Roger Waters - Amused to Death SACD

 


January 17, 2013

SHM-SACD program ended, apparently

A few months after they stopped issuing pop/rock SHM-SACDs, it appears Universal Music Japan has stopped issuing discs in the audiophile format altogether. No new titles have been announced for January or February. Remarkable, as you'de think with such high prices and relatively modest production and replication cost (no multichannel mixing and mastering, no hybrid disc) margins must have been great.

 


January 10, 2013

Sony SACD/BD range 2013

At CES 2013, Sony has revealed its fourth consecutive range of SACD-compatible Blu-ray Disc players. This time, not quite all models got equipped with SACD support – only the higher-end models did. Here's an overview of the new BD players and home theater systems. The BDP-Sx100 models are the successors to the 2012 BDP-Sx90 series and the BDP-Sx80 and BDP-Sx70 before that.

Sony BDP-S5100 SACD/DVD/Blu-ray Disc Player

Sony BDP-S5100 SACD/DVD/BD player

BD players BDP-S5100 and BDP-S4100 support SACD but BDP-S3100 and BDP-S1100 do not.

Sony BDV-N9100W BD/DVD/SACD Home Theater System

Sony BDV-9100W SACD/DVD/BD Home Theater System

Similarly, home cinema systems (in this case BD players with integrated AV receivers and typically bundled with surround sound speaker packages) BDV-N9100W and BDV-N7100W will properly play SACDs while BDV-E6100, BDV-E4100, BDV-E3100, BDV-E2100 and BDV-EF1100 will not. Note that most of these systems are not released in North America and that availability in Europe may vary from country to country.

US
EU
BDP-S5100
BDP-S4100
BDP-S3100
BDP-S1100
BDV-N9100W
 
BDV-N7100W
 
BDV-E6100
 
BDV-E4100
 
BDV-E3100
BDV-E2100
 
BDV-EF1100
 

We'll update our overview of SACD-compatible BD players with the 'BDP-Sx100' models shortly.

 


January 7, 2012

Top 20 bestsellers of 2012

Better late than never, here are the music discs that shifted most copies through this site in the past year. Sincere thanks to all visitors who've purchased stuff this way. The number 1 album has changed compared to 2011 but the band hasn't:

  1. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  2. Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard
  3. Roxy Music - The Complete Studio Recordings 1972 - 1982 [note: this is not an SACD]
  4. Queen - Night at Opera [SHM-SACD]
  5. John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia - Friday Night in San Francisco (Stereo SACD)
  6. The Byrds - Mr Tambourine Man
  7. Pink Floyd - Meddle [Gold CD]
  8. The Police - Reggatta De Blanc
  9. The Police - Synchronicity
  10. Doors - Doors
  11. Stevie Ray Vaughan - In Step

Runners-up were Rush - 2112 CD + Audio Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition and Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon - Experience Version

The best-selling SACD players, universal and otherwise, were these:

All of these play BD. The Oppo and Pioneer are universal (also play DVD-Audio), the Sonys lack this format. Runner-up was a universal DVD player: Pioneer DV-610.

The best-selling AV Receiver here was the Onkyo TX-NR509 5.1 Channel Network A/V Receiver.

Natually, all games consoles sold were PS3s. In order of popularity they were:

Note that the Super Slim models do not play SACD.

For a visual overview of 2012, click here.

 


January 3, 2013

SACD release rate stable in 2012

No further uptick this past year (like the two years before) but the number of SACD titles released in 2012 – 740 – is pretty much in line with the annual average across the past nine years: 728.

SACD title release per year 2004-2012

Numbers are based on the database of sa-cd.net. In the course of 2012 the site switched from a system entirely run by the admin to one where users need to submit all details for new entries but this does not seem to have affected the numbers. A positive sign: in the past month, December, the number of new entries reached an all-time high: 146.

Total number of SACD titles over time, 2004-2012

If SACD releases continue at the current rate, by the end of next year the total catalog will approach 10,000 titles.

 


Earlier news

November 25, 2011
November 23, 2011
November 20, 2011
November 15, 2011
October 30, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 17, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 12, 2011
October 9, 2011
October 5, 2011
October 4, 2011
September 29, 2011
September 25, 2011
September 19, 2011
September 18, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 12, 2011
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September 3, 2011
August 28, 2011
August 23, 2011
August 17, 2011
August 15, 2011
August 14, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 26, 2011
July 17, 2011
July 13, 2011
July 12, 2011
June 29, 2011
June 28, 2011
June 17, 2011
June 16, 2011
June 15, 2011
June 14, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 8, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 10, 2011
April 9, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 10, 2011
March 8, 2011
March 3, 2011
March 2, 2011
February 27, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 16, 2011
February 3, 2011
January 27, 2011
January 20, 2011
October 17, 2010
October 13, 2010
October 10, 2010
October 5, 2010
September 26, 2010
September 24, 2010
September 21, 2010
September 16, 2010
September 7, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 30, 2010
August 29, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 19, 2010
August 2, 2010
July 29, 2010
July 27, 2010
July 22, 2010
July 19, 2010
July 15, 2010
July 8, 2010
July 7, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 30, 2010
June 13, 2010
June 12, 2010
May 30, 2010
May 20, 2010
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May 6, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 29, 2010
April 28, 2010
April 26, 2010
April 22, 2010
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April 19, 2010
March 29, 2010
March 24, 2010
March 17, 2010
March 14, 2010
March 10, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 26, 2010
February 12, 2010
February 7, 2010
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February 5, 2010
January 27, 2010
January 25, 2010
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January 16, 2010
January 7, 2010
December 19, 2009
December 18, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 11, 2009
December 9, 2009
November 23, 2009
November 22, 2009
November 19, 2009
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November 17, 2009
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November 14, 2009
November 13, 2009
November 11, 2009
November 10, 2009
November 6, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 23, 2009
October 20, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 8, 2009
October 2, 2009
September 29, 2009
September 25, 2009
September 15, 2009
September 14, 2009
September 8, 2009
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September 4, 2009
September 1, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 28, 2009
August 27, 2009
August 26, 2009
August 19, 2009
August 18, 2009
August 17, 2009
August 14, 2009
August 13, 2009
August 10, 2009
August 7, 2009
August 6, 2009
July 31, 2009
July 26, 2009
July 24, 2009
July 9, 2009
July 7, 2009
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June 24, 2009
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June 5, 2009
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December 3, 2008
December 1, 2008
November 27, 2008
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November 17, 2008
November 13, 2008
November 6, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 5, 2008
October 31, 2008
October 27, 2008
October 21, 2008
October 17, 2008
October 15, 2008
October 13, 2008
October 9, 2008
October 6, 2008
October 1, 2008
September 19, 2008
September 17, 2008
September 15, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
September 5, 2008
September 1, 2008
August 29, 2008
August 28, 2008
August 22, 2008
August 21, 2008
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August 5, 2008
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June 1, 2008
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October 1, 2007
October 1, 2007
September 12, 2007
September 10, 2007
September 4, 2007
September 3, 2007
August 17, 2007
August 17, 2007
August 17, 2007

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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