SACD...Confused about it....

I was at a concert recently and the chap next to me was making a recording with various gear running into an Apple G4 Powerbook. The recording was being made with a pair of Neumann U89 mics and at a 24 bit 96khz sampling rate.

When the CD is mastered from the hard disk recording at 24/96 does this mean a SACD player is required to playback the mastered CD? And, if this is the case will a DAC rated for 44.1/48/96 be able process the 24/96 stereo signal?

I am thinking of upgrading from DAT to ??? and need to understand 24/96 technology before spending money. All input appreciated.

SACD is not 24/196. You can play 24/196 on a CD player, but it will only output 16/44.1, unless it has 24/196 DAC chips in it.

SACD is a totally different format, using a bitstream system, and will not play on a CD player, unless the player is multi-format with SACD format included.
The CD standard (Redbook) is 16-bit at 44.1KHz. So no matter what resolution the source was originally recorded in, once it was mastered to CD, the signal must be down converted to 16/44.1.

You can preserve the hi-res 24/96 signal by transferring them to either DVD-A or DAD. DAD is basically a Video DVD with only PCM audio tracks. DAD can be played on any DVD player and if the player is capable of outputing 24/96 signal (for example, the discontinued Sony DVP-S9000ES), you can decode that with a high-end DAC.

I don’t use Mac anymore so I don’t know what software is available these days. On Windows, I use Vegas+DVD from Sonic Foundry to make hi-res DAD.
Thanks for the info; sounds like I'll need a stereo SACD player one of these days in addition to the Vecteur L4 (redbook player).