What will it take for SACD to win mass acceptance?

What will it take for SACD to win mass acceptance?
Lower player prices
8% (25 votes)
More available titles
7% (21 votes)
A combination of lower player prices and greater software availability
50% (160 votes)
A massive PR campaign
2% (7 votes)
Celebrity endorsements
1% (3 votes)
Proselytizing by audiophiles
1% (2 votes)
Consumer boycott of lo-rez formats
1% (3 votes)
Here's my suggestion:
12% (37 votes)
Nothing will help. The masses don't care about audio quality.
13% (43 votes)
We already have hi-rez audio: the LP.
4% (14 votes)
Multichannel music
2% (6 votes)
Total votes: 321

Last week we asked about the relatively low-resolution MP3 format. Now let's get your opinion on ultra-hi-rez: the Super Audio CD.

Mike deCock's picture

The only way SACD will win acceptance is by forcing the market the same way they forced CDs: Make the music the masses want unavailable on CD.

david BRUCE's picture

america loves the celebrity

Jim Merrill's picture

The mass market needs lower player prices and greater software availability. SACD backers have a watershed opportunity to take the market away from DVD-Audio; they should be hitting hard with sub-$1000 players, popular titles, and broader advertising. Otherwise, SACD could be relegated to a narrow niche, regarded by the mass market as another high end curiosity like vinyl, tubes, and expensive cables.

Bicek Bruno,Slovenia's picture

The player must not be over $1000 US, and the number of titles must be at least 1000 and highly increasing in time.

Al Marcy's picture

SACD for Mass? The last bastion of local, live music, gone, lost foever. Those fiends, taking cost out of everything, forever...

Graeme Nattress's picture

Who is going to buy SACD? Only audiophiles (-phools?) who are prepared to pay silly mounts of money. The companies know that, and will fleece them rotten. It's only being brought out because the CD patent is running out!!

Brian A Curtis's picture

Also depends on how much better SACD is than CD and how good CDs sound on an SACD player.

MARK's picture


KJ's picture

I was very tempted to check out the box for

Andrew Johnson's picture

Universal (DVD-Video/Audio, SACD, CD) players, combined with a continued lack of DVD-A software.

Chadin's picture

Another factor that would help is an affordable machine that will play both SACD and DVD-A. Not many people will be able to afford separate players as well as the software to go with them.

Joe's picture

It would help if Sony Music would agree to support it.

Barry Krakovsky's picture

The masses won't see the advantage of SACD like they did with CD. It was easy for them to give up their scratchy un-cared- for LP's for CD's. The same cannot be said for SACD. The only thing that might allow the new format to succeed is if thay come with multi-channel. The public won't replace their CD's but at least they might buy knew software and the appropriate hardware.

Jim's picture

Sony should subsidize player prices to achieve a dominant market position and ensure the format's long-term viability. Spending the money to offer a $300 player now could ensure sufficient market penetration to stop DVD-Audio before it gets off the ground.

vic falvo's picture

It is becoming problematic to continue to add equipment and cables to systems. As the market is changing and few people care to invest in separate systems for home theater and audio, the biggest move to increase acceptance would be the incororation of sacd and dvd players. If Meridian, Theta, Proceed et al were to offer this, high end users would buy in.

Michael E's picture

In addition, the most important aspect I think is that the SACD does not cost more than the CD. The dual layer SACD/CD disc would not hurt either.

gulliver@pacinfo.com's picture

Actually, ALL of the above—in a massive media blitz. Start with Arnold, Sylvester, Chuck, Jean-Claude, etc., in high-visibility TV commercials blowing up their old CD players. Flood the market with an initial wave of cheap players to get the trend-setting crowd hooked, then cut supply and raise prices to spark feverish demand by the masses (like they do with the hot Christmas toys). Get every major recording artist to demand SACD for future releases. Most important, make sure every title is made as double-layer CD/SACD for guaranteed play in all current CD players. Stop regular-CD production of all new SACD releases. Get product placement in major movies, with the "cool, hip" characters belittling their onscreen co-stars for not having the "cool, hip" new format. Get James Carville to declare war on low-resolution everything. Someone with a lot of money should buy up the now-defunct Mobile Fidelity and begin reissuing all the classic albums on remastered SACD. Get behind multichannel all the way, and convince audiophiles to integrate with home theater (that's where the mass market and the money are). Demand Congressional hearings to investigate the fraud put forth on society by the makers of low-resolution formats claiming to offer superior sound. Most important, use the next six months, while DVD-Audio reinvents itself, to launch an all-out media blitz on the merits of SACD, and make everyone aware that, unlike DVD-A, SACD is here NOW!

Jim Treanor's picture

...and lower software prices. There's a real opportunity here, too, to mine the vaults and make available the great analog-recorded performances on a high-tech medium that does justice to them.

Mike Parenteau's picture

Besides the promise of higher-resolution audio, the one really interesting feature that was initially touted about SACD was its back-compatibility with current CD players. I doubt whether everyone will want to repurchase all of their car CD players, boomboxes, and portable CD players just because SACD becomes available. The dual-compability promise is a big factor in SACD's success. It would give it a genuine advantage against DVD-Audio. I am not yet ready to consider my high-end audio system obsolete every six months or so, just like my home computer. If that's the way the industry is heading, I'll do what I do with computers and buy low-end.

Scot Forier's picture

Wow, what great choices. I believe that for SACD to take off there needs to be a combination of lower proces and greater software availability. Another factor that needs to be addressed is the multichannel format, as more and more home theaters are being used as primary listening areas Sony needs to target these consumers.

LT Sherwood's picture

SACD will prevail in the markets for which Sony wants it to. Currently they are trying to recoup investment, but they've already indicated it will ride a price curve down. OK, maybe boombox aficionados won't buy until and unless the price is no more than 16 bit technology, but large numbers of buyers will pay a modest premium for improved sound. sound.

Don Bilger's picture

I see no mass market for SACD. In the 1980s, CD offered mass-market buyers a medium with far better fidelity than their wretched LP front ends, with greater convenience and longer life as added enticements. SACD does not offer a comparable set of advantages over CD, so it will be a very tough sell in the mass market.

Zippy the Hamster Boy's picture

Competatively priced software would be a catalyst for mass acceptance. I can almost justify the prices for the hardware, but $25 for a disc? No way, man.

Donald Tu's picture

How about starting with a hi-res digital output from the SACD player?

Bob N.'s picture

The masses won't pay much extra for sound quality. If player costs can be brought down to the point where somebody at Circuit City could imagine stretching his budget to choose SACD over CD, then it can happen. The cost differential on the software side has to be kept low, too. Even then, the masses are more likely to be impressed by multichannel than by audiophile sound, and I suspect DVD will always have a price advantage of SACD.

david@tesm.edu's picture

It's all about money. Lower the prices with more channels and you have success. The masses don't care about sound quality, just quantity: cash and channels

Priya N.  Werahera's picture

SACD can win the mass acceptance only with combination of lower prices for software, wider selection, lower player prices and availablity with a universal player. It is hard for me to believe that majority of the public will buy one player for SACD/CD and one player for DVD-V/DVD-A/CD. They will look for one single player that can do it all. So SACD must be able to integrate with DVD players. At this point I am not sure how the multi-channel capablity is going to effect SACD. It seems that DVD-A has this capablity and if surround sound recording become popular, SACD must be able to adapt to some form of multi-channel playback scheme. I know the audiophiles will NOT CARE for multi-channel stuff, but SACD will not survive if it cannot get the acceptance of the general public. AS for those who still think LPs are the future, please wake-up. Compare the "kind of blue" by Miles Davis on LP and SACD. I do not think LP can claim to have superior sound anymore.

Tom Selnau's picture

Dropping $5000 players to $3000 is insufficient. It should also play DVD to really take off. Offer this for $1000 and software for $25/disc and the format could survive.

tony esporma's picture

For mass acceptance, it must not only drop in price but it must play in PCs. Being that currently DVD-R drives are rolling out and that nothing has yet been said about SACD-R, I don't believe that SACD can become a viable product as an audio only product.

MikeG's picture

Where is the support from Sony? Rather than 8-page spreads, I'd be more inclined to buy one when Tower and Borders have 1000 titles in stock.