SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
VinyldechezPierre
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SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 12 Aug 2018 19:11

Can someone who's experienced both tell me if there is a difference in sound quality between the two?

I have just fixed my DVD player that has the capability of playing SACDs and was going to order one to see the difference between that and a CD but I find more Hybrids than straight SACDs and they are cheaper...

Can't help but wonder why. And, considering the Hybrids combine two different things on one disc, maybe neither is really as good as a straight SACD or simple CD.

Hoping someone can help. Thanks.

IndigoRock2001
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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by IndigoRock2001 » 12 Aug 2018 23:16

I can't directly answer your questions, but naturally I have to throw in my 2 cents anyway. I recently had an experience with an older SACD player (which I subsequently returned) which did not recognize hybrid SACDs, neither as CD's nor SACD's, I guess this might be a problem with older units. I got a new one which has no problem with them. Maybe there was a time before hybrids where the players didn't have to recognize them.
indi

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by ChrisfromRI » 13 Aug 2018 01:21

You often don't have a choice in which layer to play on a single player, but if you do then I have found that the SACD layer will sound better. Having said this the Hybrid CD layer usually sounds better than the previously released CD-only layer because the more recent SACD/Hybrid was remastered better.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 13 Aug 2018 10:29

IndigoRock2001 wrote:I can't directly answer your questions, but naturally I have to throw in my 2 cents anyway. I recently had an experience with an older SACD player (which I subsequently returned) which did not recognize hybrid SACDs, neither as CD's nor SACD's, I guess this might be a problem with older units. I got a new one which has no problem with them. Maybe there was a time before hybrids where the players didn't have to recognize them.
indi
I read the thread where you talked of your experience with that first player but I'm not sure where mine fits technology wise. I bought it in 2009, about 10 years after the first SACDs came out but I'm not sure when the Hybrids were first released.

I've got a second player that I'm going to fix and that one is more recent. I guess time will tell.

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 13 Aug 2018 10:38

ChrisfromRI wrote:You often don't have a choice in which layer to play on a single player...
What do you mean by that? Although the player is an SACD player, it may still choose to play the CD layer?

What you say about the CD layer makes sense in view of what I've read about the fabrication process. Especially the mastering part since it seems they will only make an SACD if they can start with the original multi-tracks tapes. They won't do it from a stereo tape.

And thanks for your info on the quality difference between the two layers.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by Sterling1 » 13 Aug 2018 11:37

Hybrid discs may have a CD layer, stereo SACD layer, and a multi-channel SACD layer. Now, my experience with two players, a circa 1999 Sony DVP-S9000ES, which plays DVDs, CDs, and stereo SACDs, and a new OPPO UDP-205, which plays virtually any disc, although purchased to specifically play multi-channel SACDs: In most cases, no matter which player I am using, I cannot distinguish the stereo SACD layer from the CD layer; however, I can easily distinguish the multi-channel layer from all other layers and multi-channel seems to me to be more life-like than stereo SACD/CD. With the older Sony player, some three layer hybrid discs to not play in stereo SACD. At any rate, for anyone that has a 5.1 home theatre with HDMI input, a new Sony Universal Player will accommodate CDs, DVDs, BDs, Ultra BDs, SACDs, and multi-channel SACDs through HDMI connection. One of the new Sony players is an Elevated Standard product, which I think would satisfy anyone. One more thing, I believe that multi-channel SACD can deliver a more enjoyable music listening experience than anything else out there today which I've heard. So, if the music I want is available on a hybrid disc with multi-channel SACD layer, I'll buy it. If no multi-channel layer exists, I'll just buy the CD.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by ChrisfromRI » 14 Aug 2018 01:21

VinyldechezPierre wrote:
ChrisfromRI wrote:You often don't have a choice in which layer to play on a single player...
What do you mean by that? Although the player is an SACD player, it may still choose to play the CD layer?

What you say about the CD layer makes sense in view of what I've read about the fabrication process. Especially the mastering part since it seems they will only make an SACD if they can start with the original multi-tracks tapes. They won't do it from a stereo tape.

And thanks for your info on the quality difference between the two layers.
My "universal player" prioritizes by quality, and will pick the SACD layer over the hybrid CD layer to play if I hit the play button. I have done side by side comparisons with my "universal player" and its internal DAC playing an SACD, versus a CD-only player with a strong external DAC playing the Hybrid CD layer, and the SACD always sounds best despite the lack of being able to use a strong external DAC.

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 14 Aug 2018 10:13

ChrisfromRI wrote:My "universal player" prioritizes by quality, and will pick the SACD layer over the hybrid CD layer to play if I hit the play button.
That's interesting.

Off to order an Hybrid to see if my older player will be able to deal with it.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by IndigoRock2001 » 14 Aug 2018 11:38

Yesterday I got Their Satanic Magesties Request by the Stones on SACD. This is a single layer stereo SACD. It sounds SO much better than the regular CD which I also have. I think the reason is that when I play SACD's I play them on 'Pure Direct' setting which runs the signal through the amp without using it's DAC. When I play a CD I use the normal setting which uses the amps DAC. Now that I say this I don't know why I don't play CD's through the 'Pure Direct' setting and use the players DAC for that too, since it sounds so much better for SACDs
indi

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by terry-a » 14 Aug 2018 14:48

IndigoRock2001 wrote:Yesterday I got Their Satanic Magesties Request by the Stones on SACD. This is a single layer stereo SACD. It sounds SO much better than the regular CD which I also have. I think the reason is that when I play SACD's I play them on 'Pure Direct' setting which runs the signal through the amp without using it's DAC. When I play a CD I use the normal setting which uses the amps DAC. Now that I say this I don't know why I don't play CD's through the 'Pure Direct' setting and use the players DAC for that too, since it sounds so much better for SACDs
indi
This is not true. Pure Direct adds no special processing, but you're still listening to the DAC in the receiver. 100% guaranteed.

The player passes the digital signal through HDMI without converting it to analog. The only way to listen to the player's DAC is to listen to the analog output created by it's DAC. The only way to do that is to connect the analog outputs on the player to the analog inputs on the receiver. When you're connected via HDMI you're passing along the digital signal. If it's a digital signal it hasn't passed through the player's DAC.

Pure Direct mode is similar to an old fashioned tone control defeat. It bypasses the DSP circuitry, and follows a more direct signal path.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 14 Aug 2018 15:32

terry-a wrote:Pure Direct mode is similar to an old fashioned tone control defeat. It bypasses the DSP circuitry, and follows a more direct signal path.
That's the way I understood Pure Direct when I still had it. None of that on my vintage preamp. :lol:

That Rolling Stones album seems easy to find as an SACD, saw plenty of them anyway, but I don't have it as a CD and I need to find something I have in my collection so as to compare.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by IndigoRock2001 » 14 Aug 2018 20:54

Yes. I've found out here and in another thread that my Pure Direct dream is just that. Now I have to figure out how to choose between listening to the players DAC and using the tape deck or another input I use for playing my digital, as there is only one AUX input and no tape loop. There are a long row of RCA inputs with a video input for each LR pair, clearly for an analogue analogue to all of the HDMI inputs. I've got to do a bit of experimenting to see if I can use those for essentially another AUX audio input. It's a bit spooky as the amp needs to have it's inputs assigned, coupled with it's autodetection of HDMI inputs. It might be that I could assign the RCA outputs from the SACD player into one of the RCA inputs unused by a 'mirror' HDMI input. For example into the Satalite TV input which has nothing going into it on the HDMI side.
indi

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 15 Aug 2018 06:59

Ordered Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" for my tests although not sure if it's an hybrid or not...

As for your lack of enough inputs, there are switch boxes available for cheap. Mine costs me 20€. I'm sure those exist in the US. I was going to make my own from a schematic found here on the forum but at this price, it wasn't worth the work.

Mine has 3 ins and 1 out but you can probably find something with more ins if you want. Main thing is to make sure it is passive.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by Sterling1 » 15 Aug 2018 11:57

VinyldechezPierre wrote:Ordered Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" for my tests although not sure if it's an hybrid or not...

As for your lack of enough inputs, there are switch boxes available for cheap. Mine costs me 20€. I'm sure those exist in the US. I was going to make my own from a schematic found here on the forum but at this price, it wasn't worth the work.

Mine has 3 ins and 1 out but you can probably find something with more ins if you want. Main thing is to make sure it is passive.
I purchased the Norah Jones Hybrid SACD. It has three layers: CD, Stereo SACD, and Multi-Channel SACD. I prefer the multi-channel layer, it just sounds more realistic. I play from OPPO UDP-205 to Sony TA-P9000es analog multi-channel preamp to Sony TA-N9000es and TA-80es power amps.

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Re: SACD vs. SACD Hybrid

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 15 Aug 2018 13:00

My listen will be in stereo since I don't have a home cinema.

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