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Hello and greetings,
I decided to do a test of the SACD format today when I picked up two SACD disks (Miles Davis "Miles Smiles" and a random classical cd) from the Best Buy Magnolia store near me. Granted their customer service was worse than horrible and the fact that I will probably never do component business there again, I did at the end wind up with a Denon 1930Ci DVD/SACD/etc... player for testing purposes.
I considered it a good buy for $350 although online it's much cheaper. I had an itch with this SACD format that I had to scratch. I was immediately deemed ignorant when I finally figured out I couldn't connect this SACD digital output to my BelCanto DAC. But nontheless I decided to give the player a whirl and decided to keep it after listening to both of the SACD disks I own tonight through the analogue outputs.
I have to say I have never heard a more musical presentation through the stereo. Gone were the harsh sounds and the manic mode of listening which I was accustomed to with CD. Granted the Musical Fidelity A300 -> Bel Canto DAC2 sounds more detailed, it just has more "punch" or something or other. I found the SACD Denon stock sounds more musical, more laid back, and definitely interesting.
Two questions for you all now. 1. Now that I know I can't put SACD through a standard DAC (unless I am wrong?), what players in the $1000-$2000 money space would you recommend in this arena (SACD/CD Playback). Also which player would be similar to my cd player setup in terms of sound quality (ie. overdoing the MF Transport / Bel Canto DAC2).?
Here's the rest of my system (only components worth mentioning)
AES AE-3 Preamp
Dussun v6i Amp
Bel Canto DAC2
Monster Power Line Conditioner w/ PS Audio Outlet at around 120 constant power (I am in the US)
results until one gets a player that costs over $3000.
Any $1,000 or less Universal player, or SACD/CD player will not sound as good on SACD as any "take your pick" flavored $2,000 and above redbook player. Before my Denon was re-designed by APL, - it's SACD section wasn't nearly as good as my Arcam FMJ running straight up Redbook...
...and that is the Sony C2000ES changer...much more transparent than earlier Sony's and a match for most high end units. Not quite as smooth in the midrange, but perhaps the most outstanding value in audio today. Unfortunately it only seems to be available on eBay as a grey market (Canadian) machine, but otherwise it is fantastic sound for less than $300.
1. In order to make such a blanket statement, you would have had to compare pretty much every sub-$1000 SACD player to every $2000+ CD player, which I don't believe you have done.
2. It directly contradicts my personal experience with a sub-$1000 CD/DVD-V/SACD player playing SACDs compared to two well-regarded $2000+ CD players playing CDs.
But I haven't necessarily compared them back to back....
So, - I should back off that a little... but not too much...
My experience is different than yours, - doesn't make it ridiculous...
Maybe it's a stretch..
What two players have you compared that jump out at you?
Compared very favorably to the $3000 Marantz SA11S1. The Marantz only edged out the XA777ES when going balanced out. The "ex a triple 7" was my reference SACD player for about a year.
In stock form I really liked the sound of the Marantz DV9600. You could find used, however, modded tubed (stereo tubed only. most of the modded units mch outptuts are stock or only slightly tweaked) units like a Modwright Denon or Pioneer universal, an Allen Wright one, an APL Denon unit or maybe some others. The other idea is a new Oppo 970 (average sound) that both APL and Reference Mods are doing major hacking to and the resultant full player cost is $900-1k all in. The APl version is even including a proprietary link to its yet-unreleased hi-end DAC. Me, I won a Modwright modded Denon 3910 (after owning the Dv9600, stock 3910, and other non-universals like Technics A10, Oppo 971, Sony XA777ES and 777ES, and the best sounding SACD (but no DVD-A) I've owned...the Modwright Sony 999ES. My modded 3910 has 99% of the SACD sound and great DVD-Audio too, plues btter redbook, hence the change.
A little above your budget, but you might like this a lot:
Thanks a lot. I'll look into this one definitely. I have just to count a few more jars of pennies and I am on my way.
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