SACD Players, Which one is considered the best under $2000?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam_Reiter, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    I was just wondering, since I really don't know much about SACD players themselves and what brands are supposedly the best, can anyone tell me? What models and brands have been the BEST in the last 2 years? I wouldn't spend more than $2000.

    Back in the day, Sony ES was supposed to be "tops". I see alot of people say that Sony ES isn't what its cracked up to be. I am not nessesarily ready to get a stand alone SACD player yet, but I'd like to keep my eye out of eBay for one. But I want to know, "oh so and so brand scored tops in a shootout of SACD players".

    Can anyone comment or give me some URL's of some really good shootouts between SACD players? Doesn't matter to me if its JUST a SACD player, or its DVD/SACD or DVD/SACD/DVD-A, I just care about the BEST SOUND QUALITY SACD player out there today.

    Thanx guys.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    The Sony XA-777ES can be had for around $2k. The Marantz 8260 lists for $1,050 and is also very good. Are you looking for 2-Channel only or do you want multi-channel capabilities?
     
  3. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I think the Sony XA777ES is still considered the best-of-the-best, at that price range and even well above. Stereophile awarded it a rating of "A+" (yes, they created the "+" for this component alone), and ranked it higher than the much more expensive Accuphase DP-85 SACD player ($16,500; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.25 No.9, September 2002) and Classé Omega SACD player ($12,000; reviewed by Jonathan Scull, Vol.24 No.11, November 2001).

     
  4. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    I own a Yamaha DVD-S2300 universal player, and I am absolutely thilled with its SACD performance(i'm using it as a stand alone DVD-Audio/SACD player). I personally feel that it offers the best SACD audio from the current crop of universal DVD-Audio/SACD players under $1,500. You also might want to hold out for Denon's upcoming DVD-2900, this unit looks like it's going to be an impressive performer.

    As far as a dedicated SACD player, I have to agree that the Sony XA777ES is currently tops.

    SV
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    XA777ES![​IMG]
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Adam, I would definitely check out the 'XA777ES. It is certainly true that there are a lot of audiophiles out there who won't touch Sony ES components with a ten-foot pole since they are made by Sony and not a more boutique-oriented manufacturer. Some Sony ES components are lacking, but Sony's ES SACD players are outstanding buys. The 'XA777ES is an excellent CD player, and SACD is thrown in as a bonus.

    You should also check out some of Marantz's offerings. The '8260 looks to be a good buy for around $1000. You might also want to look at the SA-14, which retails for somewhere in the $2000-2500 range, as I recall.
     
  7. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Wow, thanx for the response guys. But how about under $1000 too. I am not so sure I would be comfortable spending over $1000 until I really know which format is going to hold. SACD, or DVD. I know I said $2000, but I am rethinking that a bit. I would especially want the multichannel. I wouldnt spend that much and not get multichannel.

    Ok, so what are the highest reviewed SACD players $1000 (or near) and below?
     
  8. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    The two best models I'm aware of have been discontinued and are very hard to come by: the Sony C555ES and the Philips SACD-1000. The former is a multi-disc carousel and could be found for $600-800, the latter is a single-disc combo player (DVD-video/SACD) that sold for $1000 until Tweeter dropped them to $400 to clear out inventory. If you can find the C555ES for $600 or the Philips SACD-1000 for $400, then you've found a deal of the "hot" variety (particularly these days when these players are quite scarce, to say the least).

    I'm not familiar with any other SACD players in the sub-$1000 price range that I'd recommend. I've got a C555ES, and I love it.
     
  9. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Adam,

    Another option is to get one of the recently discontinued cheapie Sony players and have it modified. I'm thinking of the SCD-CE775, DVP-NS500V, 222ES or 333ES. Even the 555ES can be found for $500 or less used. There are a number of different people who offer mods for these players, although I don't think there is any one who will do ALL of them. Here are a couple to look at:

    www.modwright.com (run by Dan Wright)
    www.sacdmods.com (run by Matthew Anker)
    www.audiomod.com (run by Richard Kern)

    The CE775 and NS500V probably go for $150 used in their stock form. Mods will probably cost an additional $300-$400. For $600 or a little under, that's going to be one fine player you'll have. I personally have a CE775 that's been modified by sacdmods.com and have been very happy with it.

    That said, I'm not saying that you can spend $600 and outgun or even match a $2000 XA777ES--I've been toying with the idea of getting one myself--but it's certainly an inexpensive way of getting into the SACD format until more titles arrive.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Adam, Eujin makes a good point about getting a used player and having it modified. The folks who do these mods have a reputation for doing excellent work. Just note that if you buy a new player with a warranty, the warranty will be voided by having the mods done. I would give that some consideration especially if you were to buy a Sony ES player, which comes with a five-year warranty.

    If I were looking for an SACD player for up to $1000 today, I'd give the Marantz SA-8260 a serious look (and listen [​IMG]). It looks to be a solid player from everything I have read. I've had an occasion to hear one briefly playing CDs. It sounded good to me, but I had no basis for comparison at the time.

    Another player to look at is the new Philips DVD-963SA, which retails for $500. It is a progressive-scan single-disc DVD/SACD player. The '963SA looks to be an exceptional bargain, as it has an excellent video section, detachable power cord, and it upsamples CDs to 24/192. Some reports say it has a toroidal power supply, but I have read conflicting reports about this. In any event, I would not expect the '963SA to compete with the Sony 'XA777ES, but it looks great for the money. It has garnered excellent reviews here so far. Do a search.

    While the '963SA retails for $500, J&R Music World (authorized dealer; 1-800-221-8180) is selling it for $400.
     
  11. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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  12. Joe Cole

    Joe Cole Second Unit

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    Adam,

    You have great equipment. The 777ES is an outstanding CD player and worth the 2K just for that. And its SACD play back is equally as good. If you are in need of a CD upgrade don't over look the 777. I own one and bought it as a CD player and have learned to love SACD as well.
     
  13. Paul Stiles

    Paul Stiles Agent

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    I have had a Sony XA777ES for about four months. It replaced another Sony ES player that I had been using for over 15 years.

    I don't have many SACDs yet, but the performance of the XA777ES on redbook CDs alone is worth the cost of the player to me.

    If you are uncomfortable about spending $2K on a XA777ES, I would recommend looking at the Sony C555ES 5 disk changer.

    XA777ES review:

    http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?469

    C555ES review:

    http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?469
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Eujin, I had read the view that Philips erroneously used specs. for the '1000 on its web description of the '963SA. Thanks for confirming that this is the case. One rarely get a toroidal power supply for just $500. An exception are the NAD stereo amps. [​IMG]
     
  16. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Seth V: Wow, I thought that Yamaha universal player wasn't even for sale yet!

    How does it sound? Is it built O.K.?

    Thanks.

    LJ
     
  17. Rick Deschaine

    Rick Deschaine Stunt Coordinator

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    KeithH,

    I just this weekend found a brand new C555ES at a local B & M store. Was wondering if you have any experience with the Sony XA20ES Cd player and if you can give me some info about the DACs for each unit and comparison. I plan to do some serious redbook comparison between the 2 but haven't had time yet.
     
  18. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    for a little over 1000, you could get the marantz 8300, has dvd audio as well as sacd....

    Rich
     
  19. Serge Ch

    Serge Ch Agent

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  20. John Beavers

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