2-Channel SACD Player Recommendation Please

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by James Edward, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have suddenly got to have a SACD player. I will be putting it into a strictly 2 channel system. I don't need video capability at all- just 2 channel analog outputs, and great sound. I currently use a Rotel RCD-971 CD player that sounds great, so I don't even need the SACD to deal well with regular CD's.

    Please recommend players from 200-500 dollars. Thanks.

    If this is a case where SACD in a cheap player will sound no better than my current CD player, let me know that also.

    If any are widely available, that would also be a help- I'd like to pick it up today...
     
  2. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    110
    If you are looking to spend that kind of cash why not get one with multi channel ability, then you can alter move to a multichannel set up in that room if you want to.
     
  3. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That would be fine, as long as the multi-channel capability does not compromise the stereo sound.
     
  4. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The phillips 963 would be a good choice. Plays SACD, DVD-Audio, and DVD. Video performance is not supposed to be all that great but it doesn't seem like you are concerned with that, and audio performance is said to be excellent. It also upsamples redbook CD. Nice looking piece too, all metal construction. They are around $400.
     
  5. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2000
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    the 963 doesn't play dvd-a......

    Look at the older Sony units.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tom,

    James said nothing about looking for DVD-Audio. He is looking for stereo SACD.


    James,

    Unfortunately, Sony discontinued the SCD-CE775 SACD changer last year and has not yet issued a replacement. It was an incredible bargain at $180 when it was being phased out.
    Assuming you can't find one, check out the Sony DVP-NS755V DVD/SACD player. While it plays DVDs, I think you will enjoy it with SACDs. Best Buy and Circuit City sell it for $250, and it occasionally goes on sale for $237. For more information on the 'NS755V, go to www.crutchfield.com .
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chriss, I thought the Philips '963SA was supposed to be a quality video player. As I recall it has the latest Faroudja deinterlacer. What exactly is the issue with this player?
     
  8. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith,

    I'm just going by a number of reports in the huge 963 thread over on AVS forum. I dont think anyone has said it's a bad player, but it seems to be plauged with a number of quirks and problems on the video end. Pretty much everyone agrees though that the audio quality is excellent.

    And oops that was my mistake, no dvd-a on the 963.
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chriss,

    Thanks. I read your post quickly and didn't see that you had mentioned DVD-Audio capability on the '963SA. I thought Tom misinterpreted James' question. My bad.


    Tom,

    Sorry about that.
     
  10. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Yes, apparently, there are a number of issues w/ the Philips. I've been following all the threads on it over at AVSForum.

    From what I gather, it's an excellent video player w/ some QC issues and some design flaws. I provided a short list of the primary flaws in another recent thread over here. The flaws may or may not be deal breakers for some like myself. Do a search for the 963sa, and you should find it.

    _Man_
     
  11. Look for a Sony SCD-C222ES it is right at $500 from most authorized dealers and it does both stereo and multi channel SACD and CD has no video section.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Man-Fai, is there any word whether Philips is working to fix these video quirks and QC issues? I hope so. While I am not in the market for the '963SA, I hate seeing a component with so much potential missing the mark.
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    A few of AVS posters got Philips responses that some sort of firmware update is in the works for release soon, but the most credible response so far seems to suggest very minor "refinements". I'm not holding my breath on issues like the angle icon bug or the short-changed scaling/aspect control features--ok, I am, but I really shouldn't. [​IMG] Perhaps, the update will at least fix the vertical shift issue, ie. picture is shifted up. What's holding me back so far is the scaling/aspect control issue.

    _Man_
     
  14. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Oh, since this thread is about SACD more than DVD, I should add that one poster got "inside info" that Philips converts the DSD bitstream to 26-bit/352Khz PCM for bass/distance/level management. They claim this is higher res than their competitors for nearly flawless fidelity.

    Also, there's some issue w/ bass management not working right via the 2-channel output. I'm not too sure about the exact details since I was not too concerned about it. If I get the player, I'd probably stick w/ mostly 2-channel SACDs and won't redirect the bass to a sub. FWIW, SACD isn't a priority for me right now, so there might be other tidbits that I'm overlooking.

    _Man_
     
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Man-Fai, thanks for all the information. I didn't realize there were so many bugs with the '963SA. [​IMG] Furthermore, I find it curious that Philips, as a co-inventor of the SACD format, would release a player that would do any processing in the PCM domain. [​IMG]
     
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    I don't know how DSD really works, but from what little I heard, isn't it difficult to do the DSP on it? Maybe there's just no affordable method yet. Afterall, this is not studio production equipment, just a $400 DVD/SACD player.

    _Man_
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Man-Fai, I have read that too. Still, given Philips' position with SACD, I might have expected them to leave out full bass management rather than convert to PCM.

    I don't recall is the Sony DVP-NS999ES does full bass management in the DSD domain. I've read that other Sony players do bass management without PCM conversion, but the bass management isn't at all complete (no time alignment or crossover adjustment).
     
  18. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Man-Fai, can you confirm that the 963 has distance management for SACD and do you know if the DSD->PCM conversion is skipped if no bass or distance management is used?
    I find it really hard to believe that the level management is done in the digital rather than analog domain.

    DSD is so different from PCM that totally different processing algorithms are needed so DSD mixing facilities have only recently become available (according to Lee Scoggins).
     
  19. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Craig,

    Sorry, I can't confirm myself since I still haven't taken the plunge on the player. Try posting to that big long (>60 page!) thread over on AVSForum although you probably won't get anything firsthand from a Philips person.

    From what I can gather, the player does allow bypassing the DSD->PCM conversion when not using any of the adjustments. In fact, IIRC, that's how the whole discussion came up.

    I don't understand why it's hard to believe that DSD->PCM conversion is happening. Isn't this conversion easy to do although there may be some loss of fidelity? It'd seem to me that 26-bit/352Khz gives a decent amount of headroom, especially when compared to DVD-A's spec. But again, I don't really know this stuff--just taking educated guesses w/ help of my Comp Sci and technology background, etc.

    _Man_
     
  20. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've got no issue with the DSD-> PCM conversion process - you just model the effect of damping of the DSD samples to create the PCM words.
    What I don't understand is the level management being performed in the digital domain - this would certainly lose resolution and seems unnecessarily complicated. I would have thought the attenuation would be done in the analog output stages.
     

Share This Page