Dedicated hi-res player vs universal player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by PaulDA, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Would a dedicated SACD player and a dedicated DVD-A player (each with reasonably high quality DACs) through a switch box be better than a low priced universal player directly into the multichannel analogue inputs of the receiver? In other words, would the better DACs outweigh the additional step in the pathway that would be avoided by a universal player with lesser quality DACs?
     
  2. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Paul, if you used a high quality switch box (Niles maybe), I think the 2 player setup COULD be better, depending on what you are comparing. For example, using Sony's 685 player mainly for SACD (around $250 or a little less), and then something like an XP50/c920/cp72/RP82 for DVD-Audio (plus they all have DCDi video processing) for around $300 (if you can find them) would be a very good setup. When you add the cost of the quality switchboxes though I think you would easily spend $700-$800. You CAN get a Denon 2900 for around that price (unless you get lucky and get one of the cheap b stock) but I am not sure if the 2 players would best the 2900. I think it would be pretty close. I think the Sony SACD would sound somewhat warmer (you may or may not prefer that) and the DVD-A from the other machines could be a little warmer as well.

    If you are talking low priced universals like the Pioneer 563, certainly the 2 player setup would slay that but at 3 times the cost. Something like the Denon 2200 ($500) or the upcoming Yamaha S1500 ($400) would be interesting to compare to that 2 player setup. I think the 2 player setup would win against those 2 universals.

    I recently went with a 2nd DVD player mainly for the DCDi processing of the C920's video and to also share the load with my Onkyo SP800 (used for audio only now). The DVD-Audio from the C920 (stereo only mind you) is pretty close to the SP800's DVD-A.

    There are just so many combinations and what you consider as a "low price" universal is important as well. I would think you would have to compare the 2 player setup to the $1000 players.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I would be using a Cambridge Audio Azur 540D DVD-V/A for DVD-A and CD (it has the best redbook playback that I've heard so far from a DVD player that I can afford--IMO better than Yamahas I auditioned, better than Denon 2200 (haven't tried 2900)) and, because of newly imposed budget constraints, I'd get a dedicated SACD player sometime in 2005--second half, most likely. I'm considering living with two channel SACD, as hi-res is more important to me than multichannel, but if switchboxes are transparent enough, I'll try them.

    How much is the one you mention?
     
  4. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Check out this Niles page...

    http://www.nilesaudio.com/products/s...switching.html

    I think the PS-1 is around $40-$50. YOu would need 3 for multi-channel but you could just get one allowing you to switch the all important stereo/main channels. Radio Shack has some cheaper switchers but IMO they are not as transparant. The Niles home page shows several well known etailers so you may be able to get 3 cheaper. I used a PS-1 for awhile and it is very good quality. They even have some automatic switchers that sense which signal is active, which would require no manual process but they are TOO expensive for most.
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the link. Just out of curiosity, was the difference between the Niles and the Radio Shack substantial or subtle?
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    My SCD-XA777ES runs circles around my 2900 for SACD but the 2900 is good enough to enjoy the limited stuff available in M/C, me thinks. What dedicated DVD-A players exists? In reality none exists.
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I don't suppose there are any dedicated DVD-A players, as they all have video info as well as audio. But I would be using one of these for video (whichever is best at the time). Part of this question is curiosity (how do the various permutations fare against each other) but part of this is splitting my costs over time. I definitely need a DVD player. I suppose I could get one that has excellent video, and then get a universal next year for audio purposes only. However, I want my DVD player to work well with redbook playback and, since I have some DVD-As, I'd like to not wait another year before I can use them properly. By these criteria, I opted for the Cambridge Audio (though it's only on order and not paid for, so I can still change my mind). For SACD, the need is less pressing, as I have no discs yet, though I'd like to start buying hybrids of any releases that interest me, in anticipation of getting a player in the future (as I've done with DVD-A). Above all, while I wait, I want the best redbook performance I can get for my money, and again, the Cambridge fits the bill. Ah, too many formats and connections. This hobby can be frustrating.

    Actually, as I'll be using the Cambridge for video, are there any SACD only (no DVD) players still out there?
     
  8. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    there are a few dvd-a only players. most are the best of the dvd-a players. meridian comes to mind. however, meridian doesnt come cheap.

    personally, i would stick with the 2900 or like. two separate players just gets pricey (think cables), complicated, and you have two players. just get a single one that does the job well. the 777es mentioned will best the 2900 in sacd performance, but its $3K list. the denon 5900 will come VERY close in sacd, and of course will be better in multichannel, and it has dvd-audio. budget will determine a lot.
     
  9. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Paul, I stille think you should grab a Denon 2200 or 2900. Simplify your life![​IMG]

    www.minidisco.com stille had the old regular line, Sony 5 disc SACD changer on their site last time I was there. My mind just can't remember the model # SCD-_____ at the moment. There's the Sonny ES 9000ES single disc player which costs 2-$3000. The Music Hall Maverick for $1500 and it's stereo only. Marantz has 3 models from $800-$3000. The two more expensive ones are stereo only.

    There's not alot to choose from. Sony was TOTALLY shoddy on the IN-WARRANTY service for my SCD-XA777ES recently. I finally choose to send it Doug Oade, of Oade Brothers Audio, my dealer, to straighten it out. Sony's warranties are not legitimate IMO. If you really want a seperate SACD player, I'd say do one of two things. Either drop some bigger coins on one of the Marantzes or buy the cheap Sony 5-disc changer where you can find it, if you can find one?

    I'd start buying the hybrid SACD's that you want soon. It's doubtful that many of them will get second pressings. Really, same for DVD-A! The Dylan hybrids are, apparently, going OOP. I think the little labels will serve hybrids for some years to come but Universal is the only major with any significant SACD suppourt presently. Sony might be about done????

    I stille think you should get the best uni that you can. You should also be well aware that neither hi-rez has much of an assured life beyond about next week, IMO. Best wishes![​IMG]
     
  10. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Paul, the Radio Shack switchers are probably within 90% of the Niles PS-1 performance. Price wise, I think the RS ones you could get 3 for under $60 while the Niles would be more like $120-$140. I will Pm you on a nice player and a good deal....
     

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