Sony Music officials confirmed earlier today that they have reduced the price of their Single Layer SACD discs to dealers. The new dealer prices will result in 1 disc Single Layer SACD discs carrying a list price of $18.98 and 2 disk Single Layer SACD disc sets carrying a list price of $24.98. The new pricing brings Single Layer SACDs from Sony Music in line with the list prices for new Sony Music releases on both the CD Audio and Hybrid SACD disc formats.
High Fidelity Review readers will recall that Single Layer SACDs do not include the CD Audio compatibility layer found on the newer Hybrid SACD discs. As a result, they are only playable on SACD players.
A Look at Sony Music’s SACD Pricing
Today’s action by Sony Music is the third time since the introduction of the SACD format that they have lowered prices on 1 disc Single Layer Stereo SACD releases. When the SACD format was introduced, Sony Music sold Single Layer Stereo SACD discs for a list price of $24.98.
Later on, when Single Layer Multichannel SACD discs were unveiled, Sony Music changed their pricing to a two-tiered approach. A 1 disc Single Layer Stereo SACD release was reduced in price from $24.98 to $19.98 while a 1 disc Single Layer Multichannel SACD sold for $21.98 — a $2 premium over the Single Layer Stereo SACD pricing.
With today’s pricing change, both types of 1 disc Single Layer SACD albums move to an $18.98 list price. This is a $1 savings for Single Layer Stereo SACD purchases and a $3 savings for Single Layer Multichannel SACD purchases.
Bigger Drop for 2 Disc Sets
The news is more interesting for SACD fans who were considering the purchase of one or more of the 2 disc Single Layer Multichannel SACD releases from Sony Music. Those had been carrying a list price of $34.98 for Stereo Single Layer Multichannel SACD releases and $38.98 for Multichannel Single Layer Multichannel SACD releases up until now. The new pricing brings both of these Single Layer SACD 2 disc sets down to a list price of $24.98 — a $10 to $14 savings per disc.
Early Adopters of the New Pricing
Even though the announcement of the Sony Music Single Layer SACD price cuts is just arriving, some stores have already reduced their prices to customers.
Music Direct, the audiophile web site based in Chicago and located on the web at www.amusicdirect.com sent out a flyer to its customers advising them of the Sony SACD price drop. Music Direct is now selling its Sony Single Layer SACDs for $16.99 (1 disc) and $22.49 (2 disc).
Another audiophile web site, Red Trumpet at www.redtrumpet.com, has also lowered their Sony Single Layer SACD pricing. Their web site now shows 1 disc Single Layer SACDs like Ship Ahoy by the O’ Jays for $15.99 and 2 disc Single Layer SACDs such as Bruce Springsteen Live in New York City for $21.99.
In talking with other web sites that carry SACDs, they confirmed that they have just received notice of the Sony Music SACD price cut and will be adjusting their prices accordingly in the very near future.
The bottom line is that SACD owners now have an opportunity to pick up the Sony Music Single Layer SACDs they have been considering for less from these stores. Happy shopping.
Music from the Sopranos (Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax C2S 85453) — A 2 Disc Single Layer Stereo SACD — List Price Drops from $34.98 to $24.98