Need suggestions for SACD player under $300

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Seth--L, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    After months of nagging, I’ve convinced a friend to buy a SACD player. Understandably, he’s not looking to make a major investment – his budget is about $250-$300. After reading consumer reviews on this site and others, it sounds like all the entry-level SACD players (DVD players that support SACD) are iffy. The models we’ve looked at:

    Pioneer DV-578A (the general consensus seems to be that the 563 was better)
    Samsung DVD-HD841
    Toshiba SD-6915

    Haven’t heard too much about the Sony DVP-NC685V.

    It seems like the best SACD player out there in this price range is the Philips DVD963SA which a lot of people are selling at 50% off the MSRP. The reviews I’ve found for it are favorable about its SACD playback quality.

    So, should I tell my friend to go with the Philips, or is there something we should be looking at, or is there better stuff due out soon?

    Thanks.
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    The new Toshiba 4960 might fit the bill... Single disc, universal player...

    Decent reviews at Audioasylum, even better wtih mods.

    Apparently the Pioneers convert DSD to PCM, whereas the Toshiba 4960 does not.
     
  3. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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    Check the Sony SCDC222ES 5 disc
    and the Sony DVP-NS900V single disc and DVD
    http://www.theperfectvision.com/news...61802/sony.htm

    I also have the pioneer 563a and feel that this cheap unit comes very close to the above two.
    I believe it was said that the 563a did not.
     
  4. Sheldon-m

    Sheldon-m Stunt Coordinator

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    check out the sony sacd player. i think it is about 300 at BB. it playes dvd's and sacd,and it has a storage of about 150 disk.
     
  5. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    If he doesn't want a dvd player then the Sony offerings are good(SACD/CD only).

    If he wants a dvd player then the Toshiba should be avoided. It's a POS. The Samsung isn't very good either.

    Yamaha has a changer that lists for $499 but I've seen it much cheaper:
    http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/DVD/DVDC940.htm
    It has Faroudja as well.
     
  6. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Just picked up brand-new Sony CE595 5-disc SACD/CD changer from Best Buy. No video circuitry in this player. $150.00.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Shane,

    I was thinking of trying to get my friend to spend more and go with a the Yamaha S1500.

    Danny,

    Is there a single disc version? How do you like it so far for SACD playback?
     
  8. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Seth,
    The only Sony Single disc version are high end ES other than their dvd players.
    There isn't a definitive date for its release. I keep hearing about pushbacks on the release date.
     
  9. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Seth,

    Sony announced earlier this year that they will come out with a $140.00 SACD/DVD single disc player. So far, nothing released yet.

    Haven't opened box to CE595 yet; got it 2 nights ago. This weekend, I will break it in. Hopefully, not breaking it breaking it in. [​IMG]
     
  10. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Danny,

    Any comments?

    Also, any news on the single disc version?


    Thanks
     
  11. Juan_T

    Juan_T Stunt Coordinator

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    So Hows the single SACD player?
     
  12. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Sorry, Seth....I posted in the other CE595 thread. But here's the post I made....

    OK, breaking in the player with the stereo hybrid of Spandau Ballet's "True".

    Damn! This disc sounds excellent in SACD!! Even though the CD layer sounded wonderful to me, the SACD layer takes in up to another level.

    [​IMG]

    Let me try another disc and report back....

    Update: Just tried, in 2 channel mode, my imported multi-channel hybrid SACD of Dave Brubeck's "Time Out". The CD layer is actually encoded in HDCD, verified with my computer's Microsoft Media Player, but unmarked on the disc or the packaging....the CE595 is very good with this layer. Despite not able to decode the HDCD info, it's certainly better than any $150.00 dedicated CD player I've heard. Like the Spandau Ballet SACD, the SACD layer performance takes the sound quality up a notch. The music sounded more real, the impact of the drums that much more dynamic, and the piano is just so....there. It's amazing this recording is 50 years old.

    [​IMG]

    Remember, this is just my opinion. The playback is thru the headphone out of a receiver, using Audioquest's almost bottom-of-the-line interconnects, and a pair of $70.00 Grado SR60 headphones. I am satisfied with this player after about 2 days of breaking in. If it gets better with more time, then this should be one heck of an audio bargain.

    If your Best Buy has the unit in stock, try it. You have 30 days to return it.

    >>>an update
     
  13. Cary

    Cary Stunt Coordinator

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    The Sony single disc model is DVP-NS755V - I saw one at Best Buy tonight. I thought the SACD sound from an earlier Sony DVD/SACD model was very good, but obviously not state of the art. I mean, my God, this is $139! (I would expect the CE595 to be better, since it's only a CD/SACD device.)

    If advance video is more of an issue, the NS975V is coming out in Sept. for $300. It has upconversion to 720p/1080i.
     
  14. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Denon refurbed 2200 for $279 ish...the SACD is ok, but inferior to the 222ES...Redbook is also ok, but probably better as a transport...of course, YMMV.

    Sony 222ES for ~$300 used (I think)...much better on SACD, Redbook wise it's average.

    Denon 2900 (stretch @$529 refurbed, but for a universal, damn solid). SACD on par, or slightly better than the 222ES, Redbook is also very good (for a DVD player). Plus DVD Audio and other goodies.

    If you don't need DVD-Audio like the Denon 2200 gives you, go for the Sony ES models. Even though I don't own one anymore, I love their disc players.
     
  15. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    UPDATE

    My friend went with the Sony CE595. What drew us to it was the price and lack of video circuitry.

    The Bad:

    Sony has cut a number of corners to keep the price down. For instance, there is no dedicated stereo analog out, only multi-channel. The remote that comes with it has to be the worst remote control I've ever seen. It's junk. There's not even a button on it to bring up the menu. On the unit there is a jog dial to change tracks -- just stupid. When discs are being played or paused, seeking goes pretty slow. Worst of all, the time it takes for the next disc in the tray to begin playing is about 20 seconds. Most of the time seems to be lost in searching/reading the disc for text data. That said, it seems like these cuts were made so that as much money as possible would go towards audio quality. What Sony should have done is saved money through not making this a carousel unit.

    EDIT: Another problem we've noticed is that with discs where there is no blank space left before a track, when you skip forward a track, the player cuts of the first half second.

    Sound Quality:

    For the price it seems to get the job done well with SACD. I hooked up a Yamaha entry level CD player (CDX-396) connected with the same RCA cables as the Sony to do redbook comparisons. Sometimes there was little difference, if any, other times even a deaf person would be able to feel the more pronounced, tighter bass. Obviously a lot has to do with the quality of the tape masters.

    As a CD player sometimes I was able to detect a difference between it and the Yamaha, but I can't say if this difference was either good or bad. Basically something sounded different every once and a while, and that was it.

    Final Verdict:

    For $140 to $150, this is a good way to get into SACD without having to make a major investment. From limited testing it also seems to work fairly well as a CD player.


    Thanks for all the feedback.
     
  16. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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  17. ShaunLB

    ShaunLB Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck, the lack of stereo output jacks is fully corrected for $7-8. Go to RadioShack and get their 6ft Gold-Series PiggyBack RCA Cable (its quite nice quality).

    [​IMG]

    Now plug the end with the "piggyback" into the Front L/R. Run the attached output cables to your receivers CD-input. Then plug your usual Front L/R cables into the back of the "piggybacks" and run them as normal to your 6-channel in.

    I contemplated using Y-splitters and Y-cables, but neither beat this option for price/simplicity. Its working great for me...and in fact allows me to send Stereo SACD material to my standard CD-input...useful for my Zone 2 configuration. Hope this helps some people. [​IMG]
     
  18. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    That's funny Shaun...I actually have a pair of these in my storage bin from an old system...I'll give them a try - thanks!
     
  19. ShaunLB

    ShaunLB Stunt Coordinator

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    No prob. [​IMG]
     

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