XRCD vs SACD - Sound Quality Difference(s)?

Elusive (online music seller) has SACD and XRCDs, essentially the same price, on quite a few albums.

I still buy CDs and SACDs and own an SACD transport.

Have you compared resolution differences between SACD and XRCD?

Thank you.

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The differences between them, resolution wise, are huge since XRCD is a pure red book format at 16/44.1

From the sound’s point of view, there is always a difference between SACD and the regular cd, but that left apart, usually XRCDs are sounding much better than their CD-DA counterparts. There is some technology that JVC uses to make the XRCDs (you can find more info on the net) and they are way much more carefully manufactured.

As everything audio you should try for yourself and see if you just like the sound (and not necessarily by comparation). But, if you insist in comparing them, keep in mind that most SACD players are not necessarily the best choices for CD-DA (different circuits and usually the emphasis is on the SACD part).

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Format comparisons can be tough unless you are sure you have the same rendition of the same work played at exactly the same volume.

For me, it’s been much easier to compare formats when listening to a large volume of recordings in each format.

I only have a single XRCD, an old demo disc from JVC, that sounds fine, but unspectacular.

I have approximately 55 SACD’s, and several of them sound spectacular; far beyond what I expect from redbook CD’s. I’ve been particularly struck by how well some of them convey nuances of imaging (a factor not very important to me, but still striking at its best). Some of them also have remarkably fine grained tonal variation (really lovely) to my ears.

As a Meridian user, I’m not supposed to like SACD, but it’s really wonderful sometimes.

I love SACD. I’m lucky enough to own an Esoteric K-01X BH. It’s sublime.

[Off Topic] But even that pales in comparison to my Linn LP12 vinyl front-end.

XRCD, like it’s counterpart the JVC K2 CD do sound better than regular CD, but not a patch on SACD, assuming it’s been mastered ‘properly’ for SACD rather than being a simple upscale of a 16-bit master.

I think SACD has a format advantage over other Redbook-based formats. It is not limited to 44.1kHz, so it can therefore sound better (related to ADC / DAC filtering, though some may disagree). In addition, it stores much more information.

As for upscaled SACD, it would be an interesting exercise to check the SQ of an upscaled SACD vs original CD.

Likewise for vinyl. Many vinyl are made from 16/44.1 digital source.

I had not heard of XRCD in the past. As I indicated, I still buy SACDs, and some are extremely good. I do have some conventional CDs that were well recorded and when played via my second CD transport via i2s into my DAC, sound very good as well. I was wondering (when I posted this) whether XRCDs were seen as something better.

I know there is an audio dealer who is selling his self-recorded CDs. I have not read reviews as to how they sound.

There can be a tendency (I was guilty of that with vinyl) of buying music based upon resolution rather than content. That is how I wound up with direct-to-disc and other LPs.