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Peter Gabriel SACDs
on March 26, 2010
Superb! All Gabriel's SACDs that I own are frankly the best sounding SACDs I own. From the Euro version Genesis 1970-1975 box, to PG 1, PG 2, Passion, and Shaking the Tree - the clarity, dynamics, lack of noise, etc is amazing and the cream of a large collection of SACDs. Only problem with any of them is that they are off the market - gone.
As to the SACD phenomena in general, I see a lot of reviews panning certain recordings because they aren't surround, or don't offer improvement to some ears over the CD counterpart, etc. To this I say that these reviews are missing the point of SACDs. It's a small market appealing to those that want media with a hugely expanded dynamic range and finer digital rendering of sound. Surround is an added bell or whistle, but not the objective of the SACD media. Some multi layer discs actually sound better as stereo than surround. Furthermore one really has to have made the investment in one's audio gear to make SACDs come to life. The better the system, and I mean the whole system (every component in the chain from player to speaker), the bigger the difference one will hear. Any weak link will pinch off detail and presence. My recommendation is that unless one has already justified a system expense on the order of, for example, blowing at least a few hundred bucks each interconnect cable, and components of the same order of quality, one is throwing money away buying SACDs, because you won't hear the quality of what your purchase contains anyway. Granted, there are some botched SACD production jobs, but for the most part, SACDs are worth the money if you have the equipment to render the sound contained in the disk. This applies to classical, jazz, pop, any genre of music.
It's a small niche in the music industry, therefore small production runs - which is why almost every Peter Gabriel SACD that was produced has already been purchased. And the aftermarket prices are through the roof, ~$100, if you bother to search them out.