Thread: SACD players

Posts: 9

Post by armenian December 31, 2004 (1 of 9)
Seeking your recommendations for the best possible SACD player in the +/-1K price range, overall sound is of course the most critical issue here, other specifics; sigle disc and bass management.

Thanks,
Vahe

Post by Dan Popp December 31, 2004 (2 of 9)
Vahe,
I really like my Marantz SA8260. I think you can find them for about $850 now if you do your homework. "Bass management" I don't know about since I listen in stereo, but it is a single-disc player.

A friend of mine with a nice system just bought a Denon universal player for about $700 - sorry, I forget the model number. He's very happy with it.

I think at that price point if you buy a unit from any of the major manufacturers (and of course, listen before you buy), I don't think you'll be disappointed in the sound quality. You may also want to consider things like the 'ease of use' and 'ease of setup,' which vary quite a bit.

Post by cavaille January 2, 2005 (3 of 9)
Recently I have purchased universal reader DENON 2900 (DVD, CD, SACD, MP3, etc) at very nice price in Spain (325 !!).
It matches perfectly with my amplifier Technics, class AA (65W x 4, 5-50.000Hz, 0.0003% of distortion).
With 2 pairs of bookshelf loudspeakers (2 Fisher of 3 ways, and 2 Chario Hyper1000), SACDs sound perfectly!.

In conclusion: you don't have to pay a fortune to have a wonderful sound equipment.

Post by armenian January 2, 2005 (4 of 9)
"In conclusion: you don't have to pay a fortune to have a wonderful sound equipment."
My experience with anything audio in over 40 years has been that generally the mid priced systems offer possibly the best overall performance for the $$, you can easily spend 10 times more for very little improvement, this is primarily for the folks with the golden ears, at the opposite end of price structure the market is flooded with super cheap systems, these are essentially disposable audio.
The Denon 2900 is available here in Houston and I am considering it seriousloy.
My current streo system is fairly elaborate bi-amplified system, I use a pair of 30 year old McIntosch MC-2205's with a McIntosch preamp. Speakers are custom designed, the low ends are tuned to 24Hz with responce extending well below 20Hz at full power.
Expanding this system for SACD is not going to be straightforward, my plan is to connect the two front channels to the main system and for the rest I will use a separate multichannel receiver. This will result in two separate systems with separate volume controls, this obviously is going to be a pain, but I am willing to put up with it since I generally use the system at a set volume and additionally the music system is in its separate room and thank god with no TV present.

Thanks,
Vahe

Post by jdaniel@jps.net January 2, 2005 (5 of 9)
armenian said:

My experience with anything audio in over 40 years has been that generally the mid priced systems offer possibly the best overall performance for the $$, you can easily spend 10 times more for very little improvement, this is primarily for the folks with the golden ears, at the opposite end of price structure the market is flooded with super cheap systems, these are essentially disposable audio.
Thanks,
Vahe

I agree *except* for what they call the 'front end,' the source component. There is definitely a big difference going from $1K to $3K in CD/SACD players, much more so than any other component, and I've listen to quite a few, (tho hardly everything in every combo). This is where I would be most careful and listen to as many players as I can. If you can find a $3K player used, maybe the Marantz SA14 ver. 2 or the Sony XA777ES, it will probably run around $1200-$1500, a little more than you want, but the sound difference will enhance the sound of all your other components.

Post by armenian January 2, 2005 (6 of 9)
I agree *except* for what they call the 'front end,' the source component. There is definitely a big difference going from $1K to $3K in CD/SACD players, much more so than any other component, and I've listen to quite a few, (tho hardly everything in every combo). This is where I would be most careful and listen to as many players as I can. If you can find a $3K player used, maybe the Marantz SA14 ver. 2 or the Sony XA777ES, it will probably run around $1200-$1500, a little more than you want, but the sound difference will enhance the sound of all your other components.
I would definitely consider $1200 to $1500 if that offers audible improvement over less expensive players. My problem is that listening to SACD players in dealers showroom really does not tell me anything, in that environmet it is next to impossible for me to hear any difference between a "Best Buy" disposable and or a Krell player.
The only other option is to find a dealer who would agree to sell you a unit and take it back if you are not satisfied, no questions asked. That is pretty tough call in Houston, the 4th largest city in USA, with only ONE hi-end audio store.

Thanks,
Vahe

Post by Dan Popp January 2, 2005 (7 of 9)
cavaille said:

Recently I have purchased universal reader DENON 2900 (DVD, CD, SACD, MP3, etc) at very nice price in Spain (325 !!).

That was the unit my friend got. He looked at both the 2910 and 2900.

One of the things you can do,Vahe, is search the 'net for reviews of individual products. I found it easy to pull up consumer reviews for these units.

Also, regarding the store's return policy: buying with a credit card gives you an automatic 60- (? not sure - maybe it's 30-) day guarantee. It's part of the contract among you, the card and the merchant. You don't like it, you don't pay.

Post by jdaniel@jps.net January 2, 2005 (8 of 9)
Thank you for reading--another thing, it depends on what you listen to as well. I found what separated the men from the boys in CD/SACD players was the "untangling" of textures in the mid-bass of large-scale Classical music, and "quickness" in the bass, with accuracy. I find SACD reproduction to be very much the same from player to player--a tribute to the format in my opinion. I can tell you with much extended listening under my belt that the Marantz SA14 v. 2 was the best I've ever heard in the above respects, tho I sold it for multi-channel capability. I have a McCormack UDP1 coming very very soon, (was supposed to be here last week), and I'll report as soon as the player's broken in.

Post by armenian January 2, 2005 (9 of 9)
jdaniel@jps.net said:

Thank you for reading--another thing, it depends on what you listen to as well. I found what separated the men from the boys in CD/SACD players was the "untangling" of textures in the mid-bass of large-scale Classical music, and "quickness" in the bass, with accuracy. I find SACD reproduction to be very much the same from player to player--a tribute to the format in my opinion. I can tell you with much extended listening under my belt that the Marantz SA14 v. 2 was the best I've ever heard in the above respects, tho I sold it for multi-channel capability. I have a McCormack UDP1 coming very very soon, (was supposed to be here last week), and I'll report as soon as the player's broken in.

90% classical, 5% jazz & 5% ethic, all performed with acoustic instruments. Just about anything from J.S.Bach to Arvo Part and beyond. Mahler and Bruckner are my current favorites with at least 10 versions of each symphony. My current stereo system is fairly capable for these large scale works as well as large scale choral works. Please report on McCormack UDP1 after you get a chance to evaluate it.
I am beginning to sense that I may have to double the budget for a SACD player, the search continues.

Thanks,
Vahe

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