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RE: Parallels with the incomparable Porsche 911

Robert, your are absolutely right that software is the key. But, the disconnect still exists between genres. The are just under 5,000 titles in classical at sa-cd.net, with a high proportion being in Mch. Meanwhile, there are about 600 in rock/pop, with a much lower proportion in Mch. At least, that is what I see. So, it is quite clear that classical is where the predominant emphasis is for Mch recordings, and for SACD, in general.

Then, we get to the engineering differences between rock and classical in terms of what they are trying to accomplish with Mch. Classical mostly tries to capture the natural ambience and space of the hall in live performances. Rock tends to use Mch for engineered effects on studio recordings, with instruments panned into the rear channels. The exception is the occasional closely miked live rock concert. Again, for tbone's benefit, this has nothing to do with the music and is not a put down of rock. I am not saying one is better than the other. It is just a description of what is.

So, as a practical matter, I fully understand that rock listeners may prefer stereo to Mch, and I do not think there is any convincing him or others. What he hears with rock and what we hear with classical are two entirely different things, beyond the music, even, given the engineering tendencies of the recordings. And, neither his findings from listening to rock nor ours to classical are truly universal. But, you and I know quite well that against the standard of classical live performance, Mch is exponentially better at capturing the sound of the live event than is stereo. That may also be true for the small numbers of jazz recordings in Mch.


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