The temptation of Japanese SACDs

Anyone else getting slowly robbed by the temptation of the huge number of interesting and excellent-sounding Japanese SACD releases?..

I know things are getting silly when I am applauding myself for finding them for only €60 a pop.


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How are you ripping them to play on Roon?

Also, while I’m at it, tempt me with some examples…please. :slight_smile:

Here is an interesting link of how to rip with a couple of DVD/BR player options…no longer the domain of limited PS-3 machines

We have our own thread for that here: SACD ripping with Oppo or Pioneer

I’m buying only classical SACDs. Might not be your thing.

No worries, I listen to classical. I just bought “Decca Sound: The Analogue Years”. 50 Classical CD Box Set.

Also, I knew you were a classical guy from all your posts. Even if I hadn’t read them your “photo” kind of gives it away. :wink:

There are several excellent Japanese import Who SACDs (Sell Out, Tommy, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia). The sound quality is quite good. It’s not classical :slight_smile:

But it is classic …

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The SACDs I was most excited about ripping were the Smetana Quartet late Beethoven quartets. (One of them is here: I managed to buy two new, but the third was elusive, finally caught on eBay for not tooooo much. (It was advertised for €200-300 for a long time - that one I passed on…).

The reason I was keen to have these in DSD was that they are amongst the greatest performances of amongst the greatest music. And moreover, from a company (Supraphon) that is not selling high resolution downloads.

Another top target was the Bernstein Mahler cycle on Sony. These are Andreas Meyer remasterings (the same guy who did the new Gould masterings) and they include, for example, re-recording the organ part of Mahler 8 in a Swiss church. The lengths gone to in improving the sound are evidently extreme, which makes it all the more lamentable that Sony have chosen only to sell the high-resolution version in Japan.

I have only a few hundred SACDs, but they are providing a lot of pleasure.

Thanks for these recommendations. I’ve picked up a few of the Bernstein / Mahler SACDs, but the Smetana Quartet / Beethoven set appears to be completely unavailable. Luckily the CD version is easy to find!

Where do you learn about new releases?

Hi @Ludwig thanks for pointing this out. I always thought that the Bernstein Symphony Edition would contain the most recent remasterings, but that does not seem the case. Are they generally superior? Apart from the organ, I mean :wink:

When I bought the Smetana Beethoven Qts, two were in print. The third was difficult to find. Sadly they appear all to be now out of print.

The Bernstein Mahler SACDs are good, but you can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, and they are limited by the original (sometimes bizarre) recordings. Still, Andreas Maier did his best, and they are the ones to have if you want those performances.

Those remasterings were I believe first released as a Carnegie Hall special. Now you have to check they say remastered on the box. Maybe the Mahlers were released separately as a normal Sony Remastered release.

There is a Sony complete Bernstein remastered coming in December or so. I’ll be getting it, as I like him more and more and have very little, or almost none, of his Sony stuff.

1 Like is a good source

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yeah - I’ve seen this. It seems to overlap a lot with the two existing Bernstein edition boxes that I already own, so I’ll give it a miss. I ususally prefer Lennies NYPO recordings over their remakes because they have much less mannerisms. I need to be in a sepcial mood for the DG recordings, although I do like the 1st and the 5th of the second cycle a lot.

edit: Talking about Lennies Mahler, I was…

Any thoughts on which ones to get and which to avoid?

There is a CD box set of the Meyer remastered releases, but I believe the multichannel mixes are only available on the Japanese SACDs.

I’d probably steer clear of the vocal symphonies at first because with more complicated sound needs they probably have more weird balances. But that’s only a rough idea. (But if you know the performances and want them more than the instrumental symphonies, you can happily ignore my advice.)

Be sure to get the Baker Kindertotenlieder. It’s stunning.

Thanks, I will - she’s great!

I appreciate all your comments.

just to be sure: are you referring to this edition? Or are there any other Japanese SACD issues?


Go to search for Bernstein Mahler SACD and it’s the series released in 2007.

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Thanks :wink: