In Reply to: Was it the software, or... posted by racerguy on December 25, 2003 at 10:18:39:
my player is a SA-14. I know its red book is not up to the level of its SACD performance but it does not totally suck either. The rest of my system/room is definitely way better than the SA-14 so any differences to be heard are readily apparent the good and the bad. I had a Teac DV-50 in the system for a day with some friends and my general impression between CD and SACD still would apply there as well.
I have also noticed over the years that different people hear different things in different ways and respond accordingly. What stands out for one person is a wash for another. As an example a bud and I were listening to an external dac a few weeks ago on the system and he liked what he heard and decribed the presentation as cozy and warm. I did not get that impresssion at all. I found the DAC rolled off and very flat sounding with no dynamics. Go figure ?? I have also noticed that some guys tend to build systems that make all recordings sound similar or shall I use the word pleasing and in the process their system can not clearly show the differences between formats or recordings.
I have listened to top notch (hyper expensive Levinson, Wadia, Theta Digital)red book performance on various occassions for hours at a time and I have yet to hear what SACD does on such a regular and effortless basis. I know having a better red book player would tighten the gap in certain areas of performance but I do not think it can make up for a format which just does not have the data in the bits to begin with.
One of my next upgrades I want to entertain is a better front end to bring it in line with the rest of the system but I still do not see a all in one player (CD/SACD) that is substantially better than the SA-14 to justify the 5-8K investment at this point. Maybe in a year or two when more quality universal players start to become the norm I hope.
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