SA-CD’s Not Dead!
On January 6th, Sony announced 8 new Blu-ray players that support the SA-CD disc system. The Sony press release states:
The full HD 1080p new Blu-ray Disc™ line includes four stand alone models (BDP-S780, BDP-S580, BDP-S480, and BDP-S380) and three integrated home theater systems (BDV-E780W, BDV-E580, and BDV-E280), as well as a 5.1 channel home theater audio system (HT-SS380). All of the models play back DVD, CD and SA-CD discs in addition to Blu-ray Discs.
This is excellent news for those of us who have been buying all the SA-CD’s we can find. It will be cool to have a modern DVD player that plays SA-CD’s; perhaps I might finally get to hear some of my DVD-Audio discs!
And Universal (and WEA) Japan are certainly keeping up with the SA-CD releases in Japan. Titles I never thought possible either exist now – or will shortly – for instance, Caravan “In The Land of Grey and Pink”. I bet this sounds amazing, when re-mastered in DSD ( = Direct Stream Digital ) in Tokyo, for Universal Japan.
In the other room, I have 4 cartons of SA-CD’s, including almost the only classical titles I own (lots of Mercury “Living Presence” and RCA “Living Stereo” titles). Even with my Sony SCD-CE595 SA-CD player, I can definitely hear how good some of this material sounds.
Mobile Fidelity seems to be doing lots of DSD-Mastered hybrid SA-CD’s these days. Of their more recent releases, I have gone for several titles by The Band. My close associates know that I was never all that fond of The Band, so it’s a treat for me to hear some of their albums for the very first time from a nicely DSD-Mastered SA-CD – but where’s the 2nd album by The Band as an SA-CD, Brad?
While I wait for the Japanese to get busy and Analogue Productions to re-release more rock catalogue titles on SA-CD – I have the aforementioned cartons of SA-CD’s in the other room, awaiting the installation of a 5.1 system – once I can get my living room cleaned up a bit. All the Rolling Stones Decca / London titles, the first 6/7 Moody Blues titles, many good Bob Dylan titles, almost all my favorite Elton John albums, and lots of neat one-offs!
Am I going to buy any Blu-ray discs? There have been some interesting Blu-Spec CD’s in Japan, mostly from Sony Japan (YMO!). Blu-ray movies? I think the Criterion folks have some good titles available as Blu-rays, but…haven’t really read of any film titles as Blu-ray discs that make me want to rush out and buy a Blu-ray player.
I really hadn’t planned on introducing any more formats to the ‘format war’ of Beta, VHS, Laser Disc, DVD, CD, SA-CD, MD, cassette etc. Hmmm…