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Why don't any CDPs play SACD and HDCD, as well as redbook? Do you have to buy an SACD player, and then a separate CD/HDCD player to have it all? Do most people not bother with HDCD?
There are several high end CDPs out there play redbook CD, 2 channel SACD, DVD-A such as Cary 306, Ayre CX-5e... But these players are expensive.
Regular CDP can also play Hybrid SACD which is similar to regular CD.
For lower cost cdp, you may want to go with DVD player such as Denon 3910 which can play cd, multi-channel SACD, 2-channel SACD, DVD-A, HDCD. However, the sound quality cannot beat Cary or Ayre..or the like, unless you have it modded.
< < There are several high end CDPs out there play redbook CD, 2 channel SACD, DVD-A such as Cary 306 > >
The Cary plays CD and SACD, but not DVD-A.
Thanks, it sure does. Must be about the only one. It's also $6000, which is way out of my reach. Looks like a fine one, though.
Not as much as they used to.
I know Oppo make a cheap universal that plays all the formats you mentioned.
I have no idea how it sounds but Iím sure other manufacturers make universals that play all the formats.
If a true DSD bus is utilized, its data rate is compatible with SACD, DVD-A, and Redbook. I think there's a less-expensive mode to play SACD, but it's incompatible with the other formats. Hence the separate products.
The design effort for a three-way player would be enormous. DSD is required. The transport must recognize all three formats, the conversion from DVD-A to DSD stream mechanism would imply the need for ASRC for CD playback. If CD playback is to be synchronous, it could use a direct conversion as well (the DSD stream allows for this), but the output would be similar to that of non-OS filter-less playback, which is IMO not the ideal mode for CD playback. Although I think it's a lesser evil than ASRC.
So if I were to design a unit, I'd add a **separate** converter for CD playback using both HDCD decoding and 8x oversampling (with a "slow rolloff" filter). But due to added costs, it's not likely we'll see a playback system designed this way.
Well, the techno-talk is mostly over my head. I have read that many SACD players do not play redbook CDs as well as regular redbook CD players. True? If so, sounds like you'd have to have redbook, SACD, and HDCD players to get the most out of all formats. I doubt many people go to the expense. So is there one particular compromise setup that is common to most serious listeners, or just a matter of individual preference with no consensus on the best setup?
Ayre CX-5e plays all except multi-channel SACD and HDCD. I believe there are other players in the same class can play multiple formats too. These players are expensive.
Best setup? Even if money is no object, there's no consensus :)
Personally I like my EMM Labs gear better for both SACD and CD than anything else I've heard for either, but other people in the same room have chosen differently. (Like Christine I also have other players for other (non sonic) reasons.)
*** So is there one particular compromise setup that is common to most serious listeners, or just a matter of individual preference with no consensus on the best setup? ***
Probably the latter.
I have 5 players, one for each format. But I must admit it's more by accident rather than design.
I have one player that plays mainly CDs (although I also use it for MP3s and other digital formats - lossy and lossless)
I have one player for playing back only SA-CDs (even though it will also play CDs)
I have one player for playing back only DVD-Audios (even though it will also play CDs and DVD-Videos)
I have one player only for DVD-Videos (even though it is a universal player)
and finally I have one player only for playing back HD content (even though blah blah blah ...)
Plus three separate preamps to cope with the above...
No ASRC is required. Simple SSRC is sufficient (remember integer ratios..., DSD is 64 times CD and 147/5 time 96K and 147/10 times 192K.
All SACD players also play any CDs so there's no real problem there, some choose to implement separate signals paths for CD but most share a lot with the DSD path, for example upconverting Redbook to DSD and then using the DSD path. I don't know of any that support HDCD because (at least historically) HDCD required (by spec) one of a few particular DACs from Pacific Microsonics which (since they were developed before SACD) didn't handle SACD. Now that Microsoft owns HDCD, they let you use software to do HDCD decoding, but they are in the DVD-A camp.
To handle SACD and DVD-A is more a question of which chips you want to use, etc. since SACDs at the physical level are essentially DVDs anyway the transport is already there for DVD-A. Once again manufacturers have a broad range of options, from separate signal paths to sharing almost everything.
I should also point out that some early universal machines took the other route of converting DSD to PCM and then shared their PCM signal path.
We'll let other see if they agree that we said the same things :)
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