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Positive Feedback ISSUE 39
september/october 2008


How to get the best from 2 Channel Stereo SACD and 50 recommended recordings.
by Teresa Goodwin


SACD is not just a high resolution Multi-channel format, it also a high resolution 2 channel format. SACD began life as a 2 channel Stereo format in order to firmly establish itself as a high resolution format before introducing multi-channel two years later. In the beginning SACD was for those of us who love 2 channel analog stereo, disliked the sound of CDs and wanted the convenience of CD with the "warm" sound of analog, SACD to the rescue!

From Sony's first brochure "Super Audio Compact Disc, Eliciting the full Performance of Music.

Super Audio Compact Disc is the realization of an audiophile's dream come true: all the precision of digital reproduction combined with all the warmth and ambiance of analog sound. The secret is Direct Stream Digital™ encoding. It's one bit, 2.8224 MHz (64 fs ) sampling produces nothing less than a quantum leap in music resolution."

The subject and recommendations of this article are based on the original 2-channel Stereo SACD format as it existed when the above statement by Sony was made.

I believe the whole idea of SACD was because of Sony's perception of listeners missing the warm sound of analog they gave up by adopting CD for convenience and to get the last holdouts who were clinging onto their LPs for sonic bliss. I think Sony underestimated the number of people who actually "liked” the sound of CDs and didn't anticipate the upcoming download revolution. So after 10 years on the market SACD has become a niche product mostly for Classical music lovers, although classic Rock and Jazz do get released now and then.

So why hasn't SACD completely replaced CD as originally planned by Sony in their Four Phase marketing strategy? I believe there are several reasons:

1) Some high-end CD manufacturers who do not want to pay the licensing fee to manufacture high-end SACD players underplayed or actually spoke ill of the SACD format.

2) Audio boutiques who sell lines of equipment that do not offer SACD players pushed their CD players as superior and bad mouthed the SACD format.

3) Print audio magazines until very recently have almost ignored pre-recorded SACD software even when a recording is available on SACD or they review the CD version and mention it is also available on SACD.

4) Ineffectual marketing as most listeners still have never heard of SACD! They know what HDTV and BluRay are but haven't a clue what an SACD is.

5) Many listeners are happy with the sound of CDs and MP3's and don't feel the need to pay for anything better.

6) Hesitation because of the high resolution war between SACD and DVD-Audio. Many still do not know the war is over and all one needs is a Universal player to can play both SACD and DVD-Audio.

So here I am telling everyone I meet about SACD and what a gigantic leap it is over Redbook CD and letting them listen to my Stereo. I have never had a single listener say CD was as good as SACD, not one. Yet I read it all the time on the Internet. For listeners who claim not to hear a difference between 2 channel Stereo SACD and CD I will do what I can to help. In my experience the difference is gigantic between the two formats, night and day, like the difference between recorded sound and the real live acoustic event. I have found the difference between CD and 192kbps MP3 up-sampled to CD-R to be very small. But SACD opens up a whole new world of sonically realism that only the best audiophile LPs have explored. So if your SACDs are not blowing away your CDs something downstream could be limiting it's performance?

Recommendations to get the high resolution from your SACDs in 2 channel stereo

If your SACD player is also a DVD player it should be set to "Audio Direct" which gives the most direct path and bypasses the Video circuitry and the display should be turned off to eliminate LCD noise entering the signal path and to keep you from being distracted from the music by watching your player count time.

Your SACD player should be plugged directly into a pre-amp, integrated-amp or receiver that allows a "pure analog" direct sound path that bypasses all EQ and other signal altering devices. Basically all you want is a direct straight wire with gain path from SACD player to speakers with the widest frequency response possible.

It is my personal belief that the octaves between 20k-40kHz are part of what makes SACD, DVD-Audio and LPs so realistic as these contain the upper overtones for most musical instruments. Muted trumpets' overtones extend to over 100kHz so having flat response to 100kHz is the best. You may ask why as most people do not hear above 20kHz and some cannot hear above 15kHz? According to research by Prof. Johnson at Pacific Microsonics and others even though we cannot hear ultra-sonic frequencies as sound we do respond to frequencies up to 80kHz and notice when they are removed. In other words ultra-sonic frequencies are processed by our brains and effect the frequencies that we do hear. Ultra-sonic research is helping deaf people to "hear" by shifting speech into the ultrasonic region where they can perceive it.

The frequency range of my signal path from SACD to speakers:

Yamaha DVD-Audio/SACD player: over 100kHz (no plus or minus range given).

AMC CVT-1030 tubed preamp with the Direct Mode on is 4kHz-80kHz –3dB.

Adcom GFA555II power amp: 1.7Hz-100kHz

Infinity Kappa 7 speakers: 37Hz-45kHz +/- 3dB

As you can see my limiting factor is my speakers, I could possible add a super tweeter or trade up to one of the newer speaker system that extends to 100kHz, then my limiting factor would be my tubed preamp which extends to 80kHz. It is possible an increase in sonic realism would result due to the overtones above 45kHz but for now I am extremely pleased with the frequency extension of my system playing high resolution formats such as SACD.

Lastly beware of receivers with DSP. Many stereo and multi-channel receiver/preamplifiers provide stereo and/or multi-channel analog inputs that are routed to analog-to-digital PCM converters for Digital Signal Processing control, often at 44.1kHz. The signals are then passed on to digital-to analog converters for the final output to speakers. This "feature" will cause ALL signals, regardless of source, to be no better quality than that of CD playback. Considering that you are playing an SACD with a sampling rate 64 times that of CD, use a receiver or preamplifier that passes the stereo and/or multi-channel analog signals through entirely in the analog domain. Keeping the signal in analog, without any further digital inter-steps, will insure you will be enjoying the full quality of SACD. All "effects" programs should be disabled, such as "concert hall", "stadium", "nightclub", etc. These ambience programs, which are more suitable for home video use, will destroy the carefully mixed 2 channel stereo and multi-channel surround presentation you will find on SACDs.

Not all SACDs that have both high resolution multi-channel and 2-channel stereo programs sound great in 2-channel as sometimes the high resolution 2-channel program is an afterthought. A few rock issues are believed to have used the CD masters to make the high resolution 2 channel program and only went back to the original analog masters for the multi-channel program.

Telarc is among the companies in which the 2-channel program is NOT an afterthought. Michael Bishop, Telarc's main Recording Engineer has told me "I definitely have stereo-specific and surround-specific microphones employed on our sessions. Believe it or not, a lot more time is spent on the stereo program even still. Most of the session monitoring is of the stereo program and the majority of post-production editing is performed relative to the stereo program. Stereo recording is still more of a trick to get "right." I think surround recording is a bit easier myself, although there is a lot more mic setup work."

Most of the other Classical and Jazz record labels get the 2 channel stereo program right most of the time, but there are exceptions. One helpful source is as their reviews rate both the Stereo and Multi-channel programs. But even when the 2 channel stereo program is compromised the resulting sonics are still far superior to CD, but it is best when they get it right!

How many SACDs are there?

As of September 26, 2008 there are 5452 SACDs listed at broken down into the following music categories:

Blues - 63

Chanson Françoise - 47

Chinese Pop - 105

Classical - 3,104

Country - 26

Demos/Samplers - 102

Easy Listening - 29

Folk - 11

Independent - 3

Inspirational - 2

Instrumental - 13

Jazz - 925

Latin - 11

New Age - 20

Pop/Rock - 459

Soundtrack - 77

Spoken Word - 7

Traditional - 30

Unassigned - 90

Vocal - 138

World - 50

50 Sonically superb SACDs that will easily reveal the superiority of 2 channel SACD over any other 2 channel Digital format

SACDs listed with my highest recommendation first. Generally I chose just one SACD from a series to increase the variety of this list. I also note if there is a multi-channel program for those of you that listen to SACDs in multi-channel.

1. GOTTSCHALK: A Night in the Tropics, Grand Tarantelle for Piano and Orchestra / GOULD: Latin American Symphonette - Maurice Abravanel, Utah Symphony Orchestra - Analog Stereo - Vanguard Classics VSD 500 - My Favorite classical recording of all time! These neglected masterpieces are presented in very realistic sound and bathed in ambiance! The sonics are so perfect it is hard to believe this was recorded in 1962, from the deepest bass to the highest treble the sound is as clean and clear as if it were recorded yesterday. Unlike Mercury Living Presence and RCA Living Stereo there is no audible distortion or compression anywhere not even on climaxes!

2. THOMSON: Plow That Broke The Plains; The River - Leopold Stokowski, The Symphony of the Air - Analog Stereo - Vanguard Classics VSD 501 - One of my favorite classical recordings, very realistic, the bass has more impact than the excellent Analogue Productions LP version. This has the same clear, clean, warm distortion-free sonics that the Gottschalk/Gould SACD above has. These two SACDs prove beyond a shadow of a doubt than SACD is not only miles ahead of Redbook CD sonically but that it also captures the all the resolution and warm sound of analog perfectly!

3. LA FOLIA DE LA SPAGNA - Gregorio Paniagua, Atrium Musicae de Madrid - Analog Stereo - Harmonia Mundi HMC 801050 - The absolute coolest early music recording of all time! A thrilling experience, best of all it's high quality music making with very realistic sonics. The music is very realistic and fun! These are spanish Folia's written from 1500 - 1905. The 1905 piece is a Spanish Folia by Carl Nielsen played on ancient instruments with very realistic and super cool sound effects, like a HUGE land rover, an early 20's automobile driving around the block beeping it's very beautiful sounding horn. This car will map how wide and deep your soundstage is. If you love early music, this is the absolute best early music disc of all time. Even if you don't think you like early music you will love this one, I have never meet a human being who didn't love this recording on first listen.

4. DIE RÖHRE "THE TUBE" Stuttgarter Kammerorchester - Tube Analog Stereo - Tacet S 74 - The most beautiful String tone I have ever heard, lovely music. The Tube is a collection of excellently played baroque music using Tubes though out the entire recording process. On the back of the SACD it says "No conductor - no semiconductor - I beg your pardon." The players on this SACD are the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and they have no conductor. The booklet explains how semiconductors were avoided in making this SACD. From the 2 Neumann M49 valve microphones, the tubed mixer, to the restored tubed Telefunken M5 2 channel Stereo Reel to Reel, to the editing by hand up to the DSD converter which does use semiconductors. However the booklet says "... in the course of being converted the signal does not pass through any transistors, but rather adjoins them and is measured: The transistors cannot 'pass on' any of their properties to it's sound. So we can rightly claim that for the music recorded here no transistor effected the sound in any way all at. This is not a sampler but complete works by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. I especially love the first selection "La Musica Notturna della strade di Madrid" by Boccherini it is not only beautiful but exciting too, a major discovery for me. Also other gems by Sammartini, Avison, Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Biber and Corelli.

5. JENNIFER WARNES: The Well [Analog] - Cisco Music SCD 2034 - Mastered by Bernie Grudman is musically and sonically one of my favorite SACDs, The Patriot's Dream is my favorite song but this whole recording is fantastic and my favorite Jennifer Warnes recording.

6. JOE WEED: The Vultures - PCM Analog - Highland / Top Music SACD 1028.2 - The coolest surfing bluegrass music ever, great sound and lots of fun!

7. BLUESQUEST - Analog Stereo - AudioQuest Music AQ-SACD1052 - The best blues sampler of all time! Once I heard this sampler I purchased all the full SACDs that are available, the sampler is a keeper as about half of the recordings were never released on SACD. Because of this sampler I own most of the AudioQuest SACD catalog.

8. AUDIOPHILE REFERENCE IV - Analog Stereo - First Impression Music SACD 029 Very realistic sampler of FIM's best analog recordings, another disc that proves SACD can sound very analog-like when mastered correctly!

9. DMP does DSD - DSD Stereo - dmp DSD SACD-02 - Direct to DSD recordings with no editing within a single movement or song, some of the most realistic sounding recordings on SACD! This will display why DSD done correctly is sonically superior to even the highest resolution PCM, and why editing and manipulation are destructive to music by their absence on these fine DMP SACDs. Again I purchased most of the SACDs from this sampler.

10. DUKAS: Sorcerer's Apprentice; Le Péri; Symphony in C - DSD Stereo - Telarc CD-80515-SA - Extremely realistic, after all these years still one of my favorite SACDs. One of Telarc's first SACDs released 9 years ago.

11. TUTTI! - Orchestral Sampler - 24 Bit 88.2kHz PCM Stereo - Reference Recordings RR-906SACD - An excellent sampler from Reference Recordings proving that high resolution PCM upsampled to DSD can sound superb. Lots of deep, deep bass and a big bass drum to excite the senses. Includes Rimsky-Korsakov: Dance of the Tumblers / Chadwick: Intermezzo e Humoreske from Suite symphonique / Ron Nelson: Rocky Point Holiday / Stravinsky: The Firebird—Berceuse and Finale / Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21—Andante / Paul Paray: Symphony No. 1 (excerpt) / Bruckner: Symphony No. 9—Scherzo / Vivaldi: Concerto in F, RV 569—Allegro / Arnold: The Padstow Lifeboat / Ibert: Escales—animé (Valencia) / R. Strauss: The Times of Day—Der Morgen / Janácek: The Makropulos Case, Symphonic Synthesis, Act II / Eiji Oue, E.C.F., from Presque Isle / Mussorgsky-Ravel: Hut of Baba Yaga and The Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition. A great sampling of high resolution Reference Recordings and I am looking forward to full releases!

12. HOLST: The Planets, Lyric Movement for Viola and Small Orchestra / COLIN MATTHEWS: Pluto, The Renewer - DSD Stereo - Hyperion SACDA67270 - The is my favorite version of The Planets. Mars is even more menacing than the famous Zubin Mehta version and every planet thereafter is definitively played! The sound quality is unbelievably good, maximum goosebumps abound! This SACD also takes advantage of the extra playing time available by not having a multi-channel program as the playing time is almost 2 hours. It has the Planets with and without Colin Matthew's Pluto. The ending of Neptune is different in the version with Pluto as the ending of Neptune melts into Pluto. Pluto was commissioned as Holst died before Pluto was discovered. There have been mixed reactions to Pluto as it sounds a little more modern than the rest of the Planets, I like it and it works for me. This nice thing is you can play The Planets with Pluto (Tracks 9-16) or the original version without (Tracks 1-7). This is my vote for the definitive Planets!

13. BRITANNIA - Donald Runnicles, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc SACD-60677 - One of Telarc's most realistic SACDs to date and the performances are superb and many new discoveries as well. Elgar: "Pomp and Circumstance” March No. 4, Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, Turnage: Three Screaming Popes, MacMillan: Britannia, Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem

14. SHILKRET: Trombone Concerto / HÖGBERG: Trombone Concerto No. 1 "The Return of Kit Bones" / LINDBERG: Helikon Wasp - Christian Lindberg (trombone and narrator) John Neschling, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra - Stereo/Multichannel - BIS SACD-1448 - This has got to be a first, dramatic and exciting programatic trombone concertos, two of them even have speaking parts HÖGBERG's Trombone Concerto No. 1 "The Return of Kit Bones" and LINDBERG's Helikon Wasp. This is some of the very best Jazz inspired Classical music I have ever heard and the very best sounding BIS SACD I have, this is a total joy to listen to!

15. MASTERS AND COMMANDERS - Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60682 - Film music from all of my favorite seafaring films which have some of the most exciting music in the motion picture world. All the greats are here including Korngold's The Sea Hawk. This is my favorite Kunzel film collection so far and the sonics are extremely realistic and exciting!

16. BRITTEN: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Four Sea Interludes from "Peter Grimes" / ELGAR: Enigma Variations - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60660 - Another SOTA SACD from Telarc, excellent performances with "you are there" realism!

17. BALLET FAVORITES - Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60625 - A great sounding pure DSD recording from Telarc, includes Dukas: Fanfare to La Peri / Chopin: Finale from Les Sylphides / Delibes: Waltz from Act I, Coppelia and cortege de Bacchus from Act III, Don Quixote / Minkus: Grand Pas De Deux from Act III, Don Quixote / Tchaikovsky: Waltz of the Flowers from Act II, The Nutcracker / Khachaturian: Sabre Dance from Gayane / Adam: Grand Pas de Deux from Act II, Giselle / Shostakovich: Polka from The Golden Age / Falla: Spanish Dance from La Vida Breve, Act II Tableau / Pugni: Finale No. 8 from Pas de Quatre / Gliere: Russian Sailor's Dance from Act I, The Red Poppy.

18. RESPIGHI: Belfagor Overture; Belkis, Queen of Sheba; Church Windows - Vladimir Ashkenazy, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Exton OVCL-00216 - This SACD starts off with a Respighi work I'd not heard before the "Belfagor Overture" and a very exciting piece it is. Next up is one of my favorite Respighi compositions "Belkis, Queen of Sheba" whose third movement "War Dance" offers maximum orgasmic goose bumps! Belkis is a thrill ride from beginning to end. The holy grail of orchestral music, the mighty "Church Windows" has never had a better performance or better sound, surpassing even the highly regarded Keith Clark version on Reference Recordings 45 RPM LP! Wait until you hear the gong at the end of "St. Michael Archangel", it is huge and the decay is very long.

19. STEVE DAVIS PROJECT: Quality of Silence - DSD Stereo - dmp Records SACD-04 - Superb realism and excellent jazz.

20. CHRISTY BARON: Steppin' - PCM Stereo/Multichannel - Chesky Records SACD227 - Great Jazz inspired from Rock especially her covers of Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street" and The Beatles "Tomorrow Never Comes"

21. GRIEG: Norwegian Dances; Symphonic Dances; Lyric Suite - Ole Kristian Ruud, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - BIS SACD-1291 - Part of a series of Grieg orchestral music all available on SACD from BIS, the first three SACDs were DSD and the later ones are from high resolution PCM. This series is the best I have ever heard Greig sound and the performances are ideal! I have 6 of the 7 releases so far, I picked this one for this list as it is my favorite.

22. PATRICIA BARBER: Companion - PCM Stereo - Premonition / MFSL UDSACD 2023 - This is my favorite Patricia Barber SACD, her version of Sonny Bono's "The Beat Goes On" is to die for!

23. TURINA and DEBUSSY: Orchestral Works - López-Cobos, CSO Telarc DSD SACD-60574 - A very beautiful and exciting disc of Spanish inspired works with Telarc's extremely realistic sound!

24. VILLA-LOBOS: Little Train of the Caipiria / ANTILL: Corroboree / GINASTERA: Estancia, Panambi - Eugene Goossens, London Symphony Orchestra - Analog Stereo/Multichannel - Everest / Vanguard Classics VSD 512 - All the works are superb but the reason to get this SACD is the Corroboree Suite. I did a three way test between the Classic Records 180 Gram LP, the Classic Records 24 Bit 96kHz DVD and this SACD and the SACD overall was the best sounding with the most ambiance and realism, the LP came in second followed by 24/96 DVD. The other two versions sound fantastic that is until you hear the SACD. The LP version is the best sounding LP I have ever heard! The LP and 24/96 DVD include ANTILL's Corroboree and GINASTERA's Panambi however the SACD includes those works plus two additional ones: VILLA-LOBOS's Little Train of the Caipiria and GINASTERA's Estancia making the SACD playing time almost double! This is out of print but it does show up on eBay quite a lot!

25. RUSSIAN NIGHTS - Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60654 - All the great Russian masterpieces and some little known ones as well, and a well thought out program for listening. Superb sound as usual and excellent performances!

26. EPICS - Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60600 - Great movie music with very realistic sound!

27. DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" / MARTINŮ: Symphony No. 2 - Paavo Järvi, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60616 - This is an extremely realistic SACD from Telarc and best performance I've ever heard of the New World Symphony, the Martinu was a nice discovery.

28. MICHAEL GANDOLFI: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation - Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60696 - Another great sounding Telarc SACD of a new and very approachable modern composition, it is very melodic and enjoyable. The composition is a musical expression that seeks to illustrate the details of an actual garden in Scotland.

29. LISZT: Dante Symphony; Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo - Leon Botstein, London Oratory School Schola, London Symphony Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc SACD-60613 - Devilishly realistic, another Telarc Triumph!

30. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Film Music - Jerry Goldsmith, London Symphony Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60433 - Excellent film music with superb sonics.

31. PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kije Suite; Symphony No. 5 - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Paavo Järvi, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - Telarc DSD SACD-60683 - Another triumph from Paavo Järvi the best performance I've heard of either work and extremely realistic sound!

32. GREAT FILM FANTASIES - Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc DSD SACD-60664 - Music from Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in the best sound they have ever had!

33. JENNIFER HIGDON: City Scape; Concerto for Orchestra - Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc SACD-60620 - a real sonic blockbuster and Jennifer Higdon is an excellent classical composer, bravo!

34. MacLEOD, DOUG: Unmarked Road - Analog Stereo - AudioQuest Music AQ-SACD 1043 - My favorite Doug MacLeod SACD and the usual superb sonics from this label!

35. TERRY EVANS: Puttin' it Down - Analog Stereo - AudioQuest Music AQ-SACD 1038 - My favorite song is Rooftop Tomcat, other highlights include Money In Your Pocket and Down In Mississippi. Fantastic SACD both musically and sonically.

36. COPLAND: Billy The Kid; Rodeo / GROFÉ: Grand Canyon Suite - Morton Gould and his Orchestra - Analog Stereo/Multichannel - RCA Living Stereo 67904-2 - This is the most exciting Grand Canyon Suite I've ever heard even better than the composers own rendition on Everest LP. Billy The Kid includes the Waltz which is not part of the Suite and Rodeo includes the Honky Tonk Interlude. This SACD is loads of fun and these are easily the definitive performances of all three works and has some of the best sound in the entire RCA Living Stereo series!

37. STRAVINSKY: The Firebird (complete ballet), Fireworks, Tango, Scherzo à la Russe, The Song of the Nightingale - Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orcherstra - Analog Stereo/Multichannel - Mercury Living Presence 470 6382 - Best performance ever of the complete Firebird and superb sonics.

38. JOHN HASSELL: Fascinoma - Stereo Tube Analog - Water Lily WLA-CS-70-SACD - very weird and wonderful, you are there sonics.

39. LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos. 1-6 / ENESCO: Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1 - Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orchestra - Analog Stereo/Multichannel - Mercury Living Presence 475 6185 - One of the best Mercury Living Presence SACDs and the most exciting version of the Hungarian Rhapsodies I've ever heard, extremely realistic sound!

40. CLAIR MARLO: Let It Go - Analog Stereo - Cisco Music SCD 2033 - from Sheffield Lab superb sound and this lady can sing!

41. ALISON KRAUSS + UNION STATION: Live - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Rounder 0516-6 (2 discs) - Seductive bluegrass and very real sounding live recording!

42. ART PEPPER: Meets The Rhythm Section - Analog Stereo - Analogue Productions CAPJ7532SA - Superb approachable Jazz with very realistic sound.

43. BARTOK: Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta, Hungarian Sketches - Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Analog Stereo/Multichannel - RCA Living Stereo 61390-2 - The best performance and best sound of these masterpieces.

44. DAVID JOHANSEN and the HARRY SMITHS - PCM Stereo/Multichannel - Chesky Records SACD225 - An excellent Blues SACD with you are there sonics.

45. MUSSORGSKY: Pictures At An Exhibition and other Showpieces - Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symhony Orchestra - Analog Stereo/Multichannel - RCA Living Stereo 61394-2 RE1 - My favorite performance of Pictures and bonus pieces are superb as well, excellent sound especially the delicacy and sparkle of the high percussive instruments, the low end is excellent as well just not as deep as the Telarc version.

46. ON BROADWAY - Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - DSD Stereo - Telarc DSD SACD-60498 - Superb sonics and beautiful music lovingly recorded.

47. JUNIOR BROWN: Down Home Chrome - DSD Stereo/Multichannel - Telarc SACD-63612 - Superb country and western music with excellent sound.

48. LINN SELEKTIONS - Stereo/Multichannel - Linn AKP 245 - An excellent sampler of Linn's well recorded SACDs. Samplers are a great way discover new hear high resolution music, although not listed in this list I also recommend all of Telarc and Channel Classics SACD samplers.

49. SACD Two-Channel & Multichannel Demonstration Disc - Stereo/Multichannel - Groove Note GRV1013-3 - A very pleasing multi-label sampler put together by Groove Note including: The Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble - Ogoun Badagris (DMP) / Anthony Wilson Trio - Chitlins con Carne (Groove Note) / Bill Cunliffe Trio - Ireland (Groove Note) / Linda Rosenthal - La Paloma (First Impression Music) / Luqman Hamza - Feeling Good (Groove Note) / Teresa Perez - Fantasia On Greensleeves (First Impression Music) / River Of Sorrow - High Mountain Flowing (First Impression Music) / Jacintha - Autumn Leaves (Groove Note) / The Florestan Trio (Hyperion) / Gaudeamus Sacred Feast - O Sacrum Convivum by Tallis (DMP) / Bennie Wallace - Moodsville: When A Woman Loves A Man (Groove Note)

50. Super Audio CD - Ultimate Collection - Stereo/Multichannel - Groove Note GRV1023-3 - Another great multi-label sampler! - Jerry Goldsmith: Theme From Star Trek (from "Film Music Of Jerry Goldsmith" - Telarc) / Bryan Ferry: Nobody Loves Me (from "Frantic" - Virgin) / Eden Atwood: The Girl From Ipanema (from "Waves" - Groove Note) / Tania Maria: Come With Me (from "Come With Me" - Concord) / Hugh Masekela: Stimela (from "Hope"- Triloka) / Roxy Music: Avalon (from "Avalon" - Virgin) / Eva Cassidy: Fields Of Gold (from "Songbird"- Hot Records ) / Jerry Goldsmith: Theme From Russia House (from "Film Music Of Jerry Goldsmith" - Telarc) / Jacintha: Light My Fire (from "Jacintha Is Her Name"- Groove Note)

Fellow two channel stereo lovers, it is my hope some of the items listed here will help you explore the high resolution, smooth string tone, realistic timbre and ambiance that 2 channel stereo SACDs offer over any other format. And if you are into Multi-channel that is fine as all listeners are welcome in the wonderful world of Super Audio Compact Discs.

Happy listening!