Wanna pick a fight with a hardcore audiophile? Tell him that SACD is a dead format. While competing DVD-Audio died on the vine with poor major label support and technical complications, the video deficient SACD kept chugging in the specialty audiophile market even with the rise of the superior Blu-ray format. Disc players like the Oppo Digital BD-83 Special Edition , the NuForce Oppo Edition, the controversial Lexicon BD-30 and even the uber-high-end EMM Labs TSD-1 and DAC2 all support SACD as a high end audio format.
Simply put if you want to demo your audio system today in the digital domain - you need a stash of SACD discs to wow friends and family with audio that is so much better than what they download from iTunes that they can't believe it.
Here's the Audiophile Review Top 10 list of both stereo and surround sound SACD disc that are must have titles for your collection.
1. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of The Moon SACD - Perhaps the most audiophile fantastic concept album ever and this James Guthrie remix into 5.1 is the single most must-have SACD ever. There is no bad note on Dark Side of the Moon and there aren't many records you can say that about. Even Sgt. Peppers and Thriller have a stinker on them.
2. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue SACD - (out of print) - While this all time classic is available on all kinds of vinyl - you will have to make it your audiophile mission to find a used copy on SACD because it was released and it was good. Like Dark Side, this is a defining record not only for the artist but for a genre of music. Yet another record without a bad note on it.
3. Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Getz and Gilberto SACD - Brazilian Jazz doesn't get better than on this album and in SACD you get to hear every lush detail of a truly iconic performance. There are both hybrid SACD and single layer SACD discs (Japanese import) available on the market today.
4. Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul SACD - () Long before South Park and Scientology, Ike was one of the master song stylists in the R&B circuit. Hot Buttered Soul is likely Hayes' best work start to finish on an album. On SACD, the record sounds a bit dated in terms of recording techniques but the music more than makes up for it. It's a top demo disc in anyone's collection.
5. Michael Jackson - Thriller SACD - Out of Print - Do you find it all ironic that the best selling pop record is out of print on SACD? With Michael Jackson becoming the most successful dead celebrity in the world - you'd expect to be able to get this disc at retail but you will need to head to eBay for this gem. The album is strong and the audio shines on better systems. On lesser systems, specifically lesser disc players, its barely better than CD but on top level systems it really comes a live. Hunt this disc down for your collection.
6. Keb' Mo' - Just Like You SACD Multichannel - Out of Print - I saw one of these discs on eBay for $69 and if I were you - I would buy it. Modern blues recording in 5.1 surround on SACD that has all of the recording pop that you expect from today's studios mixed into impressive surround sound. This is a great demo disc without question.
7. Norah Jones - Come Fly With Me SACD Multichannel - If you are playing your system for guests who don't have a degree in music or dig hardcore jazz this is a perfect disc to break out a modern pop track and WOW them. This well crafted modern Blue Note album is easily bought at places like Music Direct and should be a part of your collection if you don't already have it.
8. Peter Gabriel - Security SACD Stereo - Out of Print - Unlike many artists, Peter Gabriel at one point came out with most of his entire collection on stereo SACD. Sadly, today you have to hunt it down. While only incrementally better than the CD version - it is better and Security is an album worthy of the $50 bid on eBay for your audiophile music collection.
9. Aerosmith - Toys In The Attic SACD Stereo - Out of Print - Walk this way down to the SACD bin at your local audiophile record store to find this hard to find classic, hard rock album because "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion" are worth owning on SACD if you can find a copy for your collection.
10. John Coltrane - Lush Life SACD Mono - () This monster record is a true jazz classic that never ages but can be hard to get. Many stores have it back ordered so strike while the iron is hot to get one of the best example of Coltrane soloing ever recorded in SACD. While its an older recording in mono - its still worth your attention as the improved sonics and masterful performance is worth of your attention.
Much like building a true audiophile system - nothing is truly easy or inexpensive. This list of SACDs represents the best that the format has to offer. Post your list at HomeTheaterReview.com's Audiophile Music section to share your picks.