Dear Mr. Phipps,
after consultation with our house engineer, finally back from recording sessions, he has answered the following:
For as long as we can remember, the CD vs SACD stereo layers of our SACDs have sounded equally loud - played on hardware players. To rip SACDs before listening to them is a rather uncommon way of using them. The ripping process needs to respect that DSD audio can have levels exceeding what corresponds to 0 dBFS in PCM. Thus, one could make the audio on the SACD layer louder (a recommended maximum is +3.2 dB SACD, but more than 6 are obviously being used). Some companies do this, but for BIS SACDs, as a rule, the source for both stereo layers is identical. Depending on the company's philosophy, one will have to play back ripped SACD audio with raised levels, compared to CD audio, or not. To reflect this, the popular foobar2000 Super Audio CD Decoder plugin(foo_input_sacd) offers the "PCM Volume" setting, which ranges from 0 to +6 dB. To be used with +6 for our SACDs.
As far as I can understand it this destroys Mr. Phipps's reasoning. Rest assured that we behave just like I said before - we're not in the business to spread misinformation, an utterance which I take umbrage on.
Robert von Bahr, CEO, BIS Records
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