Huge differences in SACD/DVD-A quality from player to player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by NickSo, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Bass Management issues aside, will there be noticeable differences from player to player for SACDs and DVD-Audios?

    Im currently interested in the Pioneer 563, since its such a low priced player (compared to other unviersal players), will the sound quality for high-res formats suffer as well?
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Certainly players sound different, regardless of whether it is CD, or whatever.
     
  3. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    (as an owner of the 563, i've found) the opamps in the 563 - which are general purpose not audio-optimized opamps - are pretty bad (which results in the grainy sound).

    creative's audigy2nx (which plays dvd-audio) usb2 sounds better on dvd-a
     
  4. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    Yes, there are differences in the sound of players.

    The 563 is not a bad step into the formats. I currently have one, and I am not unhappy with it. It works for me, until that upgrade bug hits me again.... LOL! [​IMG]
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have found that budget hi-rez players handle the hi-rez formats better than they do CD. As an example, I found the Sony SCD-CE775 SACD/CD changer from a couple of years ago to sound quite good with SACDs but to be really weak with CDs. However, SACD sound quality improved as you went up Sony's product line at the time (i.e., SCD-XA777ES > 'C555ES > 'C222ES > 'CE775). It's just that the differences in CD playback were greater to my ears.
     
  6. Stephen M

    Stephen M Stunt Coordinator

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    You still get what you pay for, especially in audio. Good audio requires good analog output stages and these cost money in parts and engineering. The Pioneer is nice for the money but don't kid yourself if you are looking for excellent sound. You won't get it with the 563. My advice is listen to the Denon universals and buy the most expensive you can afford. The analog stages improve at each level from 2200 to 2900 to 5900. In addition, keep in mind that cheap players break down frequently with heavy use. Buy once and use it for a long time.[​IMG]
     
  7. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    If you do not have the rest of the system in line with the higher end players, you will not be gaining much. If you have entry-level speakers, receiver, etc, there would not be much point to spending more on the SACD/DVD-A player than the rest of the equipment.
     
  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    One thing to keep in mind is that the current crop of universal players can sometimes offer better DVDA sound than Super Audio due to implementation issues and the quality of chips. The universal mfrs are getting better at making both sound right.

    I have a Pioneer 563 that I use for DVDA and its sounds very good for the money. It's no where near my 777ES but it's a great value for the price.

    You can enjoy the benefits from hirez using a 563 or other machine even on a modest system IMHO. [​IMG]
     
  9. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    My system (er, my DAD's system) isn't super high end, but its not soemthing you could find at FutureShop either.

    For music, my dad has an old (more than 12 years old, but very good quality) Denon CD player that still works great, a Luxman Amp (I dont think its commmon here, its a japanese brand designed to be aimed at higher end brands from other countries awhile back), and a pair of JBL Studio Monitors... All are about/more than 12 years old.

    For HT, its a bit more high-low-end... Paradigm Peformance Series mains, and (unfortnately not matching) JBL center/surrounds.

    I demoed the 2900 yesterday, and it sounded GREAT, the salesperson played DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, it was smooth as butter. He also told me the 2200 was on sale, from $1300 to... $800 (both canadian prices), is this a good price?

    Thanks for the replies guys, you've made it even more difficult now lol... Now i must ponder if my system can adequately make use of the extra $550 if I were to go with the Denon :p)
     
  10. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    I would say that the Denon has a better PQ and SQ. If your system can take advantage is a different story. I am not sure what they go for in CAD but it sounds like it is a good deal. If you can swing it and plan to upgrade the rest of the system, providing the current one doesn’t do it justice, you may want to go that route.

    I also agree that universal players aren’t quite up to where stand-alone SACD players are in SQ. But it all depends on what you are looking for and budget.
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Ohwell, looks like we're holding off on the SACD/DVDA player for awhile... My dad demoed the 2900 with DSOTM with his CD and a SACD... Though he heard a difference, he didnt think it was worth $800 for a 2200.

    He believes its just gonna go obsolete like BETAMax, and its just a new gimmick on the market. He also said that a high end CD player can make regular CDs sounds just as good as the SACD on the 2900.

    Ohwell, time for ME to save up then [​IMG]... maybe ill take home a 563 one day and demo that on my system...
     
  12. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Nick,

    No matter how high-end a Cd player may be, it won't do multi-channel, which SA-CD also does. Also, a high-end redbook CD player will have to be very expensive [meaning, many times the price of a 2900] to compete with a decent player like the 2900 that plays Sa-cd.

    Reg
     
  13. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Well, multi-channel isnt the issue, just the audio quality...

    *I* know that a CD player would have to be REALLY expensive to sound decent compared to an SACD, but my dad doesnt know that, nor chooses to believe it.

    Ahwell, can't teach an old dog new tricks i guess... [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    But you can give an old trick a new dog. [​IMG]

    Seriously, the 2-channel track of a SACD player would be better than a CD player of equal value. You do not need to listen to the multi-channel track.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I bought the cheapest SACD player I could find and to my ears it sounds fabulous. If I didn't have either of the hi-rez formats I'd buy the Pioneer you're looking at and not worry about "what I'm missing". The older I get the less concerned I am about the difference in quality between a $250 player and a $1200 player.
     
  16. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Just to answer your post directly, I would be inclined to say that, no, there are not HUGE differences between hi-rez players.

    There are probably differences, to be sure, but like in most things audio (excluding speakers), when someone says there is a huge difference between item A nd B, I would say they are stretching things a bit.

    If you are just looking to dip your toe in the water, then I would say that the 563 is a fine choice. And at that price, its really about the only game in town.

    IMHO, or course.

    I know you said to ignore BM, and MC is not a big concern, but if I read your equipment list correctly, you have no sub? That will be an issue with virtually ANY hi-rez MC player, because they typically do not redirect the .1 channel to the mains when configured for no sub.

    As such, any disc that uses the .1 for most of the bass will sound pretty weak.

    BGL
     
  17. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Oh, i do have a sub, but thats on the HT system, not on the music system. The JBL Studio Monitors both have 12" woofers, so im sure they'd be up to the task of most bassy music.

    Though i heard a difference, i thought it was quite subtle in how the SACD was smoother, than a CD. Im just concerned a cheaper player the improvement will be even LESS subtle than the 2900, thus making SACD not a significant improvement.

    Ohwell, i guess ill save up until the price of the 563 wont leave a big of a dent as it would now. [​IMG]
     

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