What would most likely make you interested in a new format?

What would most likely make you interested in a new format?
Multichannel sound
6% (16 votes)
Better sound quality
78% (192 votes)
More special features
2% (5 votes)
Longer playing time
2% (4 votes)
6% (16 votes)
Nothing would help
6% (14 votes)
Total votes: 247

The makers of new audio formats like SACD and DVD-Audio are betting that consumers are looking for something more than they already have. Reader Norm Strong wonders what it is <I>Stereophile</I>'s readers are looking for, and why.

Bram Hillen (the Netherlands)'s picture

I bought the Sony SACD-777 because of the pure sound quality the SACD format is able to deliver in a two-channel form. I am NOT waiting for multichannel. Multichannel is very good for movies, but has nothing to do with serious high-end audio.

Steve Williams's picture

I am tired of chasing format rumors just to have them replaced. The one thing that would remedy this fo me is for the industry to settle on a format (say CD) and work to improve it throughout the entire process (recording/ transfering to disc/ and play back).

Andrew Johnson's picture

If you can't give me better two channel sound...why should I believe you're ready to take on 5.1+ channels?

Rodney Gold's picture

The only thing that would make me excited is a paradigm shift in convenience—the same type of thing that made me shift from conventional photography to a digital camera. Give me a 500-gig solid-state memory pack that I can plug in anywhere and store my music in whichever format I want on it; then maybe I will bite.

awalter's picture

sound quality is all important

Nick Fulford's picture

The record industry must give up on Perfect Copy Protection Forever (watermarking, encryption, etc.) and start making their libraries of music available in the new formats. The presence of universal machines would also go a long way toward helping SACD and/or DVD-A succeed.

Sam Tellig's picture

One reason I do not want new formats is that I do not want to further enrich the major record labels. I want to see independent labels prosper, thank you. Now if most of the indies get together behind a new format, THAT will be a different story. To put it another way, I don't want to support Sony, BMG, Time Warner.

Dave W.'s picture

Always looking for an improvement in sound. What's missing is the energy of live performance. Perhaps this is almost attainable in the plus 100k range (Krell/Pipe Dreams) but I live in the below (well below)100k world!

Myron C.'s picture

We do not need new formats. Multichannel sound is for mindless cinema! Special features: none are needed, for I want to listen to music, not collect "state-of-the-art" electronic hardware! Longer playing time: how long? The longest pieces of music that I listen to include Wagner operas, but even live, they offer you intermissions for drinks and dinner! We do not have long attention spans that beg for longer playing times. Should we not give more thought to the quality of our playback equipment? I bet most of our existing recorded music would sound better with good audiophile equipment than with most of the mass-produced solid-state items available. You can find good audiophlile equipment at reasonable prices (and I do not mean the thousands-of-pounds-or-dollars end of the market) if you look around many websites. However, above all else, I bet many of Stereophile's readers are looking for an end to this discussion about DVD, SACD, etc. Perhaps your next question should be: What questions would Stereophile's readers like to read and answer?

bobaloo's picture

Better sound quality is the only choice for true audiophiles-the other choices sound like mass market bells and whistles features.

Chris S.'s picture

Being a poor college student, I think my system sounds okay (read: crappy). But even on my system I can hear the difference between even a good CD and an LP. We need higher resolutions and sound quality, not hours of the same tunes or the disc-filling dreck the music companies think are special features. It's all about the music, people!

I.M.  Outthere's picture

A rebate for all of the money I've wasted on "perfect sound" media.

Mike Healey's picture

Better sound quality, definitely. Equipment manufacturers and hi-fi shops have been working to squeeze water out of a digital rock for decades. Now the new formats can produce a satisfying LP sound with CD durability. Will non-Stereophile listeners purchase the new format? I don't know. People used to buy AM transistor radios that had a single earplug headphone.

Brian Boehler's picture

I will always look to new formats that actually provide better sound quality. The closer we get to recreating the actual musical event with all it's gesalt, the more likely I'll be to shell out long green to get me there.

scott higgins's picture

Titles released @ same time as red book CD's if "new" music.

Hesham Attalla's picture

I here am reffering to it's ability to interact with the MP3 format.

carl's picture

make it real....it's still canned "stereo"

Dave's picture

Sound Quality is the only importantce.

Brian's picture

If it was affordable and sounded better than CD I'd buy it.

Christian Green's picture

Backwards compatible with Current DVD technology. I'm NOT going back out to add yet another piece of hardware for a limited use software offering!

David Badner's picture

It also must have music that I wanted to hear.

Stephen Curling's picture

CD's have excellent sound quality but there is still compression which needs to be eliminated.

JimB's picture

I would invest in better sound quality, especially better recorded music that can be played back on a machine without making me reach for the volume control.

Ken Kirkpatrick's picture

I just want a CD that sounds as good as great analog. It doesn't have to be better, just as good. If not, I will just keep playing vinyl.

Marc Sindell's picture

Never did like the sound of CDs.

Jeff Malloch's picture

The point is to get as close to the real thing, isn't it?

Robert H.  Taylor's picture

Recently I purchased a Wadia 850 C.D. player and I love it (your review helped my decision). This 850 is good enough for me.

Gary Smith's picture

Aren't multichannel and better sound quality the same thing? Or at least more realistic?

John Mallon's picture

Quality, Reliability, Backward Compatible, and Value for money. Also the more formats it can handle the better, EXAMPLE: SACD, DVD, CD! That way I won't have to worry about buying the wrong format.

Anonymous's picture

Better sound. The rest is fluff.