Analogue Productions and Sony

Acoustic Sounds’ Chad Kassem provided a wonderful demo of some of his fine Analogue Productions releases, including Jimmy Lee Robinson’s All My Life and Elvis’ 24 Karat Hits—all sounding absolutely seductive and enveloping with an extremely liquid and relaxed sound—through a system featuring a Clearaudio Concept turntable ($1400), which Kassem was particularly fond of—“for the price, this ‘table is hard to beat”—and Sony’s SS-AR1 loudspeakers, seen here.

The speakers are currently only available in Japan. Sony’s marketing director, Michael McCole, explained that the company was showing the speakers at RMAF in an effort to gauge whether there is suitable interest for a US release. “We’re looking for the right partners in the industry to ensure that the speakers will be presented in the way they need and deserve to be presented.”

When I asked about Sony’s motivation to enter the high-end market, another Sony representative explained that the company wants to “protect the music industry” and “reinvigorate a concern for quality” because “good music should last forever.”

Jim Tavegia's picture

These guys from Sony can't be serious. When Sony decides to get serious and reopen their full support of SACD I'll believe what they say. If they were believeable the PS3 would still play MC SACD. I suppose things can change. They need to take a lesson from Marantz.

Mark Evans's picture

Major Kudo's to Sony. It only stands to reason that they should go forward into the high-end market after all, they practically invented the CD format along with Philips.

Nick's picture

Their track record for staying the course has not always been stellar, for some reason management seems to abandon good technology when things get a little rough. Let's hope they stay this time because their engineers are capable of great things.

Gustavo's picture

This informal speech are just empty words, I want to see real action from Sony, as full support to SACD format, not support to the silly BluRay format.Sony's past are not trustworthy in regards Hi-End music(Hi-End music is Stereo SACD format to me).

Michael McCole's picture

Hi, this is Michael from Sony. I wanted to thank those of you who came to see our new SS-AR1 speakers at RMAF. If you missed them at RMAF, we will also be showing them at CES. Hopefully you will have a chance to drop by and listen.I also wanted to point out that our new Blu-ray Disc Players play SACDs, and our new STR-DA5600ES AV Receiver can play DSD files. These are admittedly small steps, but I hope you agree that they paint a picture of Sony making some good decisions for music lovers.The engineers who work on our audio products all love music too, and there is a lot of excitement in the audio division of the company right now. Expect to see more news coming from us over the next year.

David Gulliver's picture

We need more than just hardware. We need software, too, and that means both physical SACD releases of all pop hits (as well as reissues of remastered classics) and ALSO uncompressed high resolution downloads. Oh, and getting things like Windows Media Player to provide full SACD playback would be nice, too. Putting an SACD player in every home with a Playstation doesn't mean squat unless there is readily available music out there to get people listening.

Gustavo's picture

THANKs Mr.Michael/Sony for take time to reply this blog.I look forward for news as a new Sony SCD-2 player to celebrate the late 10 years SACD format..Mr.Gulliver is right, we SACDs fans need alot of new titles to stop listening Low Rez PCM discs as dozens of Prog.Rock bands and alternative music as Walter Carlos/CBS and Ambient Music in the Sony possesion.Thanks in advance.

Tim's picture

I still can't understand why companies are spending billions to promote 3D and Full HD, but never seriously promoted Super Audio CD and SACD-players. Most people have never heard of sacd! It's time for a stereo-revival. What we need is some good entry level stereo equipment. Most people have no clue how good music can sound. They grew up with plastic mp3-players and ipod-docks. Give us (hybrid) sacd's with digital copies (for ipod) at a decent price! It's time to finally drop those redbook loudness war cd's, that sometimes sound worser than illegaly downloaded mp3's. Make people aware of the difference in soundquality. Everything is hd these days, except for audio carriers. That's the main reason why people don't feel the need for buying cd's these days. They sound most of the time as worse as mp3's due to the loudness wars! They can't hear the difference anymore, because of bad mastering and the bad equipment they own. Change those two things, and music will have a future again. At the moment, it's dead.

Gustavo's picture

I wish add low quality ADC mastering machines are the largest source of ultrasonic digital noise, a major cause of hearing fatigue in low class Pop-Rock CDs.

John Marchington's picture

I, too, want to see more in the way of SACD releases from Sony in both the classical and pop/rock genres. I still have fond memories of those early (mainly) stereo-only Sony SACD releases, of which I bought a considerable number, and one must hope that the company will see fit to release more of those as well as modern, stereo/multichannel recordings, on a regular basis.

Cookie Marenco's picture

I can't agree with all of you more! I encourage you to continue voicing your opinions here and on other blogs. After 25 years as a recording engineer and producer, I was told that quality of the recording didn't matter by artists, labels and distributors. I started Blue Coast Records ( in my own frustration proving them wrong, I'm happy to report. No one feels the pain more deeply than those who developed DSD/SACD at Sony and are my companions. Many of us are still working behind the scenes to keep it alive. At Blue Coast, we have released our first DSD title will be debuting 20 more titles by January 2010. We have 5 years of DSD mixes in the vault. This an economic issue wrapped in the chicken/egg syndrome. Without titles, the consumer has nothing to buy. Artists and labels are reluctant to spend the money needed in the studio on expensive recording. No one wants to buy an upsampled DSD/SACD made from 44.1.Your opinions matter. Change is possible.

E. Smith's picture

I think that the world has changed and the large recording companies are just now beginning to realize it. The redbook CD is greatly diminished. This leaves downloads, SACD and vinyl to take up the sales. Blu-Ray Audio? Talk to me about that in 2015, in the mean time, I'm not waiting around, life it too short. I'm buying every DSD recording I can afford ( especially those made with the Grimm Audio AD1 ). I just wish FedEx had a "preferred customer" card.

Hiro's picture

I agree with E. Smith, and when it comes to making Sony's catalogue available to us in Hi-rez, time is very important factor for one more reason. As many of the albums Sony sits on were recorded on extremely fragile analog formats, the company is doing a great disservice to music lovers of today (and future generations!) by letting our recorded heritage rot in their vaults, instead of being transferred to DSD with the Grimm converter and made available on Hybrid SACD.

Gustavo's picture

SonyMusic begin transfer older analogue masters to DSD(DSD512??) in the early 90 years, I think S-M already ended this work today 2010.Why almighty S-M do not release SACDs of this DSD material is beyond my comprehension.Maybe incompetence.