Oh Ye of Little Format

Tonight our group of 13 people held a blind A/B/C  test comparing

Formats of CD, SACD and Apple Sound.

We listened to one minute three formats of five different cuts

ranging from Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Santana

Celine Dion, & one other.


The cuts were removed from the same CD using different layers.


Bottom line- Nobody zeroed in on anything! The Apple Sound actually

was slightly the favorite. Try it yourself.


Sound leveling software was employed and were the services 

of sound engineer. 


I always thought SACDs were nothing special. 

Now if an XRCD had been included I think it would have been preferred

but you can perform the same test using XRCD due to the way

it is recorded.


The fun never stops here...






It's no surprise to me either.

Don't Apple still use their own proprietary 'mastered for iTunes' for their music?

It might explain the preference.


As you say, the fun never stops when you're an audiophile.

Especially amongst like minded friends.

It's almost a definition of happiness.

How about a 21st century remake of Guys and Dolls with a bunch of fellows trying to organise an illicit hush hush sound comparison test?

R69-The SACD had two layers- One is SACD the other is CD.

I'm not an expert but I have heard of discs in the SACD format but taken from a Redbook CD data set. It lights the SACD light up but the resolution is Redbook CD quality. I don't have the technical knowledge or equipment to be able to determine that. 

I play my SACDs on a McIntosh MCD85 SACD/CD player connected by balanced cables to a McIntosh MA352 IA and I notice a definite difference between most SACDs over Amazon Music  Super HD and Apple high resolution broadcast formats.  The thing is like vinyl not all SACDs will present the just like vinyl sound.

SACD examples:

  • Dire Straights, Brothers In Arms 20th Anniversary - Like vinyl
  • Chicago II Original Master - Not much better than standard CD
  • Elton John, Elton Jon - Like vinyl
  • Diana Krall Love Scenes - Better than vinyl!
  • Concord Jass Vol 2 - Like vinyl
  • The Jim Hendrix Experience - Like a standard CD
  • Eric Clapton Slowhand - Like vinyl



We used  Brothers in Arms. That was the only one of the five I guessed


Sorry for confusing comparison explanation.  My comparison is based on Vinyl > SACD>High Resolution Bluetooth>Standard CDs.

My point is even some vinyl is flat and lacking of detail; assuming a good source some of my SACDs can match my good vinyl. I'm finding on my equipment some high resolution source is also really good; but not as detailed and realistic as really good vinyl and really good SACDs.