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Ken Dryden

SACD players

44 posts in this topic

I am thinking about taking the plunge and investing in a SACD player. 

Any recommendations about particular brands/models and online vendors is greatly appreciated.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have and love my Sony UBP-X800. It's lower tier and less expensive than most others so maybe I don't know what I'm missing otherwise, but I've had no issues. I've read where a lot of people swear by Marantz. 

Edited by Dub Modal

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Do you have a budget in mind? Marantz does make some nice players but they are priced on the higher side and they only offer stereo SACD playback.

8 hours ago, Dub Modal said:

I have and love my Sony UBP-X800. It's lower tier and less expensive than most others so maybe I don't know what I'm missing otherwise, but I've had no issues.

Does your Sony play multichannel SACDs?

And just a note that these lower-end SACD players convert the DSD to PCM to output the signal through the HDMI port. While I am not a purist about this, others might be. I think the music sounds great either way.

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I do not have a SACD player BUT I tried one Linn, now out of production, some years ago and it was excellent. I think that the best SACD players are stereo only aimed to "audiophile", at least is my thinking.

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Just now, porcy62 said:

I do not have a SACD player BUT I tried one Linn, now out of production, some years ago and it was excellent. I think that the best SACD players are stereo only aimed to "audiophile", at least is my thinking.

Multichannel sound can be just as audiophile as stereo if you use full fidelity speakers for the surround channels. I think a lot of the "surround is not audiophile" talks starts when talking about the use of PCM for bass management. 5.1 SACD playback needs bass management for the .1 to sound best. I think there are only one or two SACD decoder chips that do this in DSD. Most implementations of bass management for 5.1 SACDs convert the DSD to PCM. My Oppo Digital player does this and as I said above, I think it still sounds great.

I will admit that most of the best-sounding surround SACDs are rock recordings. Having said that, Bob Belden went all out on the surround mix for his SACD of "Black Dahlia". It is pretty amazing to hear with a good surround system. Bob was big on surround. He felt it was the future of music. He'd be disappointed with the audiophile world killing it off like they are. Once you hear "Black Dahlia" in surround, you might see what he meant.

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Like other composers interested in post-stereo audio possibilities, Bob did "sound installations" with musics composed just for the installation. the multi-channel/surround thing was for him the only real way to experience music. I remember one day in Denton, we were listening to a Charles Lloyd record and he snuck up behind me and help up two LP jackets behind my ears. The record immediately took on another dimension (of course, we were both stoned as fuck, so...but still...) I jerked up and said wtf Bob, and he just grinned and said, see, this is what you're missing...at the time I though it was just Bob being Bob, mister ears, but now....yeah, surround, an immersive listening environment, not just an "audio" concept.

But I don't want to hear it unless it was recorded that way. The intent.

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Posted (edited)

Models come and go so fast these days that it's hard to keep up unless you can buy and try often. My favorite stand alone SACD players have been the Sony XA-5400ES and the Denon DCD-A100, both exceptional players for Redbook and SACD. Next in quality is the Oppo UDP-205, which I have in a second system. But these three were discontinued years ago. I don't have experience with newer players. For SACD in my systems I use a duo of PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player into PS Audio DirectStream DAC, which does give me full DSD playback, and sounds fantastic. But this is a very expensive playback duo, unfortunately. And the Memory Player has been discontinued, and the DAC soon will be. A few years to six or seven years seems to be the normal product run these days.

If your budget allows Yamaha, Cambridge Audio and Pioneer have universal players and SACD players that may be good to explore.

Edited by jazzbo

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2 hours ago, bresna said:

Do you have a budget in mind? Marantz does make some nice players but they are priced on the higher side and they only offer stereo SACD playback.

Does your Sony play multichannel SACDs?

And just a note that these lower-end SACD players convert the DSD to PCM to output the signal through the HDMI port. While I am not a purist about this, others might be. I think the music sounds great either way.

There is a setting on this player that keeps the DSD from converting to PCM, and it also plays multichannel. :tup

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I don't have a specific budget in mind, but thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. 

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2 hours ago, Dub Modal said:

There is a setting on this player that keeps the DSD from converting to PCM, and it also plays multichannel. :tup

But that will only work if your preamp/receiver also supports a 2.8 MHz DSD input.

I think the Yamaha CD-S1000 is pretty slick looking. On sale at Music Direct for $1,300.

AYHACDS1000BLK.jpg?scale.width=572&scale

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7 minutes ago, bresna said:

But that will only work if your preamp/receiver also supports a 2.8 MHz DSD input.

Yes, and thankfully mine does. Good point either way, and that Yamaha model you linked definitely looks nice. 

53 minutes ago, Ken Dryden said:

I don't have a specific budget in mind, but thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. 

Best of luck finding one that suits your needs. :tup

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Posted (edited)

I’ve been happy with this player,

https://www.soundandvision.com/discplayers/59

Yes it’s quite old, won’t play cdr’s, and loads slower than any other disc player I’ve owned. But I think it sounds great and I haven’t had any issues with it. I bought it used for $150 a few years ago. I’d love to move up to the Sony model Lon mentioned but they are quite a bit more.

There are several for sale under $300 right now on eBay according to hifishark.

Edited by Tom in RI
More info

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I have a two really excellent SACD players:

Marantz  SA8005  (plays SACD and CD)

Oppo - BDP 93 (plays Blue Ray, SACD and CD)

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Too bad Oppo stopped making these players.

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I've been using a Sony X700 in my new revamped system for SACD playback and have had no issues... my friend's dad gave me a ton of SACD's to build my collection back up and they sound fantastic, especially the Blue Note and Prestige AP series.

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Do they still make SACDs?

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Yes. Probably more than you imagine. Major labels. . . not so much. Audiophile labels mostly. 

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For new releases, or just back catalog?

I remember when there was a lot of aggressive  pimping going on for the format for a couple of years ago, that Greg guy in particular, making it a moral imperative or something, and then it seemed to stop.

I'm starting to have a hard time finding regular CDs for new musics, much less SACDs, were I to want them, so what are they making for today's new release market?

Serious question, as I'll probably be replacing my CD player in the next few years, so getting a head start on the scouting then.

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Ten years, wow... that's a decade worth of time...ten years ago I was only 55...do  I even have another decade in front of me to make replacing a CD player a sensible consideration?

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Posted (edited)

I'm of the same age, and after losing my first spouse 13 years ago and realizing how fleeting life is I have had no hesitation in keepng competent reliable audio equipment and making improvements to my system as music is a primary joy. . . and life is not guaranteed and always too short, and I don't deny myself principle pleasures and enhancements are welcome. 

Some SACDs that I have are phenomenal sounding--Miles and Duke and Mingus and Coltrane and Armstrong and Santana and Dylan et al. A pleasure to hear, and the preferred version. SACD playback is worth exploring if time and money allow.

Edited by jazzbo

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Posted (edited)

No, if I were you I wouldn't. Bandcamp, where you could possibly get a physical copy if you want, and/or other streaming options are a better bet. 

And I say this because I've read other posts from you @JSangry where you've talked about not revisiting recordings once they imprint right? Seems most jazz SACDs are legacy titles. There wont be any Billy Bang or similar artists on these things most likely

Edited by Dub Modal

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41 minutes ago, jazzbo said:

I have had no hesitation in keepng competent reliable audio equipment and making improvements to my system as music is a primary joy. . .

Jazzbo, where do you go for reliable recommendations regarding system upgrades?  Which sources do you trust?

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1 hour ago, Dub Modal said:

No, if I were you I wouldn't. Bandcamp, where you could possibly get a physical copy if you want, and/or other streaming options are a better bet. 

And I say this because I've read other posts from you @JSangry where you've talked about not revisiting recordings once they imprint right? Seems most jazz SACDs are legacy titles. There wont be any Billy Bang or similar artists on these things most likely

Yeah, seems that way, doesn't it...

Like, I went to get the CD of the latest Tyshawn Sorey record and there wasn't one, period. At least not on Bandcamp.

My latest area of exploration is the New Amsterdam label, and of that stuff, if there's CDs at all, they don't last long. Try finding the Ashley Bathgate CD at a friendly after-market price...carpe diem like a mo on that stuff if you wasn't a CD.

OTOH, I am going to continue to check out "classical" music, and on that, there's so much I don't have in any form, or any good form, that a highest possible quality fidelity (in the true, not the stunt sense) experience would be appreciated.

But as far as other stuff...yeah, not really interested...time is limited, so you gotta budget that time wisely. I really dug in deep to "a lot" (lol, really, what is a "lot" when it comes to music vs time?) of things over the years and I still have those records handy when that itch needs to be scratched (which it often enough does).

I guess when/ if the time comes, it will come down to price, like, if a good SACD player costs about the same as a good CD player, yeah, why not get the additional flexibility for the future?

I just hope that "the future" involves quality-ish components at affordable prices...I'll be damned if I 'm going back to vinyl as a medium for new music, and if disc-digital paradigm is relegated to the "Radio Shack or Millionaire and nothing in between" camp....fuck it, I'll just break out the cassettes and play them until they all break and then...live on YouTube. But frankly, deaths might be a better option!  But as soon as I say that, I think of my granddaughter...shouldn't say stuff like that.

Ok, this - I hope I live long enough for all the hipsters who are buying $50 LPs to scratch them up so much that they say, oh, we didn't have this problem with CDs, vinyl's a pain in the ass, and then say, but wait...physical objects are cool AND oh what about this SACD thing, I hear sounds EVEN BETTER than vinyl! And then, yeah, that Greg guy gets vindicated at last. A plethora of options become available to schmucks like me who just want to play their records. :g

People who don't want to do the work of inconvenience will always get offered options to separate them from their money!

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