SACD Players require special amp?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alistair Paterson, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Alistair Paterson

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    Do you need to buy a amplifier desighned to be used by SACD player or will you get the improved sound quality on any amplifier (in comparison to regular CD's).
    The reason I ask is because I have just purchaed a SACD player and I am currently running it through my Sony DB930 receiver. I know that this receiver is not the best when it comes to 2 Channel (stereo) music and so am looking at buying a dedicated 2 channel amp. Should I be looking at buying specific amp's for playing SACD or can I buy any amp that takes my fancy ?
    Any help would be most appreciated,
    AliP.
     
  2. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, buy an amp that comes with a turntable and vinyl! [​IMG]
    Just kidding....but only a little [​IMG]
    But seriously, no. You do not need to purchase any special amps to listen to your SACD player. A two channel amp of the same manufacturer will sound the same as the 5 channel version.
    Different amps sound different, but the SACD player has no specific requirements as to what TYPE of amp.
    I will say this, however..
    One of the main reasons for SACD is for higher resolution and a more "natural" sound (some might call this analog). I can't think of a better thing to hook an SACD player into than a tube amp like one of these:
    www.bottlehead.com
    Happy listening!
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Alistair, Manny is right in that you do not need a special type of amp for SACD. I also agree that a dedicated two-channel amp will help you immensely for playback of CDs and SACDs. I bought a Sony SCD-777ES SACD/CD player last October and connected it to a Sony STR-V444ES A/V receiver initially. As a bit of background, I owned the Sony STR-DB930 before getting the 'V444ES and found the 'V444ES to be significantly better for music. Still, I felt I could do better than a mid-priced A/V receiver for music. Rather than spending big money to get a better A/V receiver when I was only looking for better stereo music performance (I was and still am perfectly happy with the 'V444ES for home theater), I bought a stereo integrated amp. I went with the NAD C 370. It's a great stereo amp for under $700 USD. NAD makes excellent stereo amps for little money, which you are probably aware of if you read the British hi-fi magazines. What Hi*Fi? and Hi-Fi Choice love NAD amps. The NAD C 370 is significantly better than the 'V444ES for music. Based on this and my own experience with the 'DB930, I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever that the C 370 will be much, much better than the 'DB930 for music.
    Of course, a stereo amp will not help you if you are interested in multi-channel SACD (or DVD-Audio). I plan on getting a multi-channel SACD player and using it with the 'V444ES. I expect it to work just fine. The 'V444ES isn't bad with stereo music. I didn't mean to understate it's performance in that area. Anyway, I don't listen to multi-channel music as critically as stereo music, so I expect the 'V444ES to be fine with the former. I play DTS CDs, surround-sound DVDs, and DVD-Audio discs through the 'V444ES with good results. With CDs and stereo SACDs, however, I much prefer NAD C 370.
    ------------------
    My:
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    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  4. Alistair Paterson

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    Thanks for the info.
    I have got two stereo amps in mind, the NAD 370 as previosley suggested and the Sony TAFB940R.
    My personal preference would also be the NAD but as I can pick up the SONY TAFB940R for half the price of the NAD is it worth paying the extra (£200) for it ?
    Also as my SACD/CD player is a SONY I have heared that running the same make of components together can help produce better sound. is this correct?
    My SACD/CD is the Sony SCDBX940 and speakers are mission 774's.
    Advice would be appreciated.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Alistair, I have not heard the Sony TA-FB940 as it is not available in the US. I have, however, read a good bit about it in What Hi*Fi?, which I pick up regularly off of newstands over here. What Hi*Fi? seems to like the Sony amp, but they also regularly rave about the NAD models. I think the Sony model is more in the league of the NAD C 350 from both a price and performance standpoint. I own both the C 350 and C 370 in different systems, and while the C 350 is very good for the money, the C 370 is better. My gut feeling says that you should go with the C 370 over the Sony amp if your budget will allow it.
    As for matching gear from the same manufacturer, I don't believe in that. It sounds like a marketing ploy to me. All you are doing is limiting your choices in doing that. One can put together a far better system when considering all options within one's budget. It is true that both your SACD player and the Sony amp you are considering are part of Sony's "QS" series, which suggests that they are built to a similar standard. That is, they are both significantly better than Sony's mass-market audio products, but not quite as good as its ES gear. From that standpoint, maybe one could argue that they are a good match. However, there are still a lot of options to consider (NAD integrated amps, for example).
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    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
    [Edited last by KeithH on September 17, 2001 at 04:59 PM]
     
  6. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    You don't need a special amp to listen to SACD, but you should use a decent quality one and (if using a receiver or pre-pro) you should choose one that has some sort of analog bypass mode so that the unit doesn't convert the signal into PCM internally and then back, which will cause some loss in SACD quality.
    If you're using 2 channel gear, analog bypass shouldn't be a concern since most 2-channel gear doesn't have DSP circuits like HT equipment does.
    KJP
     
  7. Richard Watt

    Richard Watt Agent

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    I don't mean to change the subject, but Manny, that BottleHead site is cool! That is so neat that you can build your own amps and speakers for that price. I am definitely interested. Anyway, thanks for the link. I was looking for something to go with my possible 2-channel SACD setup.
    Keith, you've helped me in other threads concerning somewhat the same thing as this thread. I appreciate the help. I will also check out the NAD C 370. Thanks for the tip.
    And I thought I was going to have a boring afternoon at work. [​IMG]
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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  9. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I don;t quite remember how I stumbled onto that site, but I can tell you that after seeing Cary and others at my local HiFi store I was really astonished at the prices.
    I was very nervous about the DIY aspect of it at first, but the preamp looked like a neat project and for 150 bucks, wasn't going to be a big loss if it turned out to be a bust.
    I had never built anything before, and hadn't done much soldering besides some speaker wire ends.
    The kits are so well put together and the instuctions are so clear that a trained monkey (not the that does the show at Monkey Jungle....the reject they sent to Parrot Jungle...THAT monkey) can put this thing together in a weekend.
    Plus the Bottlehead forum is a great place to go for advice if you get stuck.
    The only problem is you soon get so hooked on these things, you end up buying the amps too....then a turntable...then horn speakers, then you start modding...then another preamp because you need one for the office....and so on...
     

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