Any reason NOT to buy an SACD player now?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich Malloy, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    With the new hybrid Stones releases and the dramatic lowering of prices on new SACD/DVD players, this issue has suddenly gained an all-new urgency for me!

    Any reason why not to go forward with a purchase? Format wars still playing out? Maybe next-gen models will have digital outs? Anything?

    And what player would you recommend for the budget-conscious, wannabe hi-rez audiophile?
     
  2. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    It really all depends on what your future plans are, how much you want to spend now and/or later, and how picky you are. I am expecting a gift in the $250-$300 range in the next few weeks, and I have been dropping hints like mad for the Sony DVP-NS755V. Then I found a few more reviews on it (one on this page right now), but they are VERY mixed. One person here complained about the video quality overall, while Robert George (Obi) did are review over at HTT and I think he complained about the chroma bug but didnt mention any other huge video problems. Then others even came along and defended the chroma bug as not being that bad. Then, there is the issue of "does this player have bass management, time correction, etc, and if it does does it work right?" which is always hard to confirm.

    As far as getting in now, vs. later, I'm sticking with the golden ear reviewers on this one and assuming that SACDs will continue to be higher quality and less gimicky than SACD. As far as digital outputs or other technology changes, it depends... how soon are you planning on replacing your receiver or Pre/pro. Whatever mechenism the digital out uses (optical or digital coax) you still dont have an SACD decoder in your current receiver, so... Anyway, I think I'll let the fates play their hand on this one, and if I get the player as a gift, I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but if not... then I guess I too will wait and see what happens.
     
  3. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Depends on whether you mind investing in a technology which could go away next week. There are many audiophile SACD haters out there, as well as lovers... and SACD is currently an audiophile only type of product, so I believe it's success is hanging in the balance.

    Of course, while the industry is (hopefully) shaking itself out, and others are cautiously avoiding SACD, you could be enjoying great high resolution multichannel music at what is, as you point out, a great price.

    Personally, it comes down to content. There's very little on SACD (or DVD-A) which satisfies my particular tastes, so I'm willing to wait.

    Martin.
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I understand the Sony DVP-NS755V has a single internal crossover set at 120hz. 120hz?!?

    I guess Sony's marketing it to folks with teeny satellite setups, but I find it very odd that a format selling itself as audiophile quality would be catering to the home-theater-in-a-box crowd. I, too, find this very disconcerting. Thank god for the Outlaw ICBM, I guess, but I'd rather not have to add yet another piece of hardward to achieve decent playback.

    And I did see that one severely negative review of the video output of this player - geez. Was his experience unique, or have others found the video output to be so poor, as well?
     
  5. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    The best overall SACD player available right now is the Philips SACD1000. Originally priced at $1999, it can be had now for $999 or less. It has remarkable SACD and Redbook playback (incredible actually) and the DVD picture is first rate.

    The only stumbling block for many is that it is component output but not progressive scan (which doens't bother me in the least because I have an IScan Pro that is MUCH better than any progressive scan output unit out there).
     
  6. Gary Thomas

    Gary Thomas Second Unit

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    I recently got a Sony 222es cd/sacd player. The main benefit, I believe, is how it acts like a stand alone cd player in that you can shuffle / random play a combination of 5 sacd's &/or cd's.

    The problem I with combi DVD/SACD or DVD-A is the difficulty w/ random play.
     
  7. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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  8. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    Well Jagan,

    Pricing is always an issue. In the case of SACD, the R&D costs to both Sony and Philips were enormous and must be recovered somehow. Both companies have now started to bring down the costs some (technology marches on) but a really good player (analog especially, like you pointed out) is costly to produce thus the price. But IMO, the SACD-1000 represents the best possible performance in a combo player for under $2500, especially the analog delivery. Stupendous! Only dedicated CD players over this units price match its output, let alone a combo unit.
     
  9. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Luis,
    I have feeling there will be a few people who'll have a different opinion on those two "items" mentioned as "best".[​IMG]
    IMO the "best" CD/SACD player for the price is the Sony 555ES for about $600.00.
    And yes I would get it my self if I wasn't gonna buy a house right now which gains priority for now.[​IMG]
     
  10. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Well, I am most likely getting the Sony DVP-NS755V in about a week as a gift (since its a gift, there's a chance it could go either way). Any way, I'll have to let you all know what I think. After I get it all hooked up right, it will be the only CD, and DVD player in my system besides SACD. I have a $150 best buy special Sony 5 disk changer thats crap and has no digital output, so there is no reason to keep it in the system, and I have a pretty mediocre Toshiba SD-2200 DVD player that I cant see how it would really be any better than the Sony either so...

    Anyway, I'll be hooking this baby up to a Sony 32" non prog-scan Wega, and audio will be digital for DVD and CD and 5.1 outs to my Yamaha RX-V1200 reciever to Paradigm Monitor 7, CC-350 and mini-mon surrounds as well as an SVS 16-46CS sub. I'll get you all a review in a few weeks.

    Also, does anyone know of any sites that I can order SACDs from that has a good flexible database? I'd like to be able to start out with SACDs that are multichannel plus hybrid (to play on a CD player) if possible, just in case this whole format doesnt work out.
     
  11. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    How many hybrid discs are out there? Is there a list anywhere?
     
  12. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I actually found this place http://store.acousticsounds.com/ and you can click down the side bar on Hybrid Mono, Hybrid Multichannel, Hybrid Stereo, Single Layer Multichannel, or Single Layer Stereo. It appears like there is a decent number of Hybrid disks out. Of course I wouldnt let that be my only purchase critera, but it may play a role.
     
  13. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    Lewis, I agree that the 555ES is a very good player, but in my system it didn't hold a candle to the SACD-1000 in analog playback. I had both for about a month solid with over 200hrs playing time and the Philips beat it hands down. The Philips redbook playback almost even matched my SimAudio MOON Eclipse CD player ran thru a Bel Canto DAC...
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Thanks, Charles - wow, "Jazz at the Pawnshop" is a hybrid?!? I just might have $60 layin' around somewhere... [​IMG]
     
  15. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Well, it seems like Luis and Lewis are talking about players above and beyond what I was thinking of (I'm looking for a machine that plays SACDs, they're talking about "budget audiophile" models) but Luis makes a point about considering how a player will sound in your system. So, to address Rich's comment about the 120Hz crossover, yeah its high, I cant deny that, but I am pretty confident that it will sound fine in my system due to the location of my sub, and the fact that SVSs are not known to be boomy or localizable any way. I think 200Hz (which I've seen) is too high, 120 is just higher than I'd like. I bet many people would have trouble telling the difference between two properly balanced systems one crossed over at 80Hz and one at 120. Heck, its only half an octave.
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Luis,

    We all have our opinions, but I feel strongly that the Philips SACD 1000 is not the best SACD player out there. I still have issues with sound quality coming from DVD players. The Philips piece is very capable, but I prefer the Sony 'C555ES. The Sony 'XA777ES is a far better than the Philips player in my opinon. Again, that is just my opinion.


    Jagan,

    The Philips SACD 1000 has been out for well over a year now, so my guess is that the retail price was slashed because it is being discontinued. Philips has since introduced lower-priced DVD/SACD players. I would not interpret the reduced price of the SACD 1000 as an indication that SACD is doomed. All components drop in price when they are discontinued. Manufacturers need to move old merchandise to fill the supply chain with the new stuff.


    Rich,

    I can't imagine a reason why you shouldn't get an SACD player. At issue is whether there is a component that suits you in your price range and whether you feel there is enough music available on SACD to warrant the investment in a player. If there is a player that suits you and there is enough music on SACD that interests you, then go for it!

    What is your budget for a player?
     
  17. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually Keith, I never said the SACD-1000 is the best player out there... I said it "represents the best possible performance in a combo player for under $2500, especially the analog delivery.
    The C555ES is a very good CD/SACD player and is far more "high-end" than 90% of the systems it will be mated to... it simply didn't work with my system; nor is it a combo player (as you well know). When I was auditioning the 555, it seemed to deliver all redbook recordings with a very forward, in your face attack that did not work well with the MG3.6R's in my system. Even after spending considerable time with rearrranging the room, adjusting acoustics and even operating in a comnpletely different room, I couldn't get this to go away. Now I have to tell you that this is an "issue" that most consumers will actually find desireable. Most system setups I have heard using Sony products in the past two years tend to be "hot" and the people having them like them this way. This is just not a particular "sonic signature" that appeals to me. Now, I had a LOT of people listen to my system with the 555 in place and they loved it! So I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting or desiring that sound... its just not for me.And BTW, many reviewers have noticed this very thing... and I read their comments well after having listened to the unit myself.
    The C555ES is a wonderful unit. And as far as the 777 is concerned, I too agree that it does do some things better than the Philips, and for $2000 more it should (MSRP $2999). But it too is NOT a combo player. Funny thing is that the 777 and the SACD-1000 have very similar build qualities. This very discussion is why I believe that ultimately everyone should audition a product in the comfort of their own home before plunking down so much money. Your ears are the best judge for what you will ultimately like. [​IMG]
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Luis, I reacted, perhaps a bit aggressively, to the following statement in your first post:

     
  19. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    KeithH,
    I'm all with you on the particulars you spoke of about the 555... it IS a remarkable sounding unit, especially for the price! [​IMG] That level of performance wasn't available at that kind of price 'til very recently. I agree with you on I believe it is actually due to the preamp/receiver controls used in manufacturing, specifically the volume controls. Played thru my Placette Audio preamp, the sound is just gorgeous with the 555 (and the SACD1000)... far more noise-free and transparent than thru anything else... alas there is no multi-channel version (yet!) [​IMG] but soon!
     
  20. Emil Stoica

    Emil Stoica Second Unit

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