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Seeking SACD player for studio use
Old 19th January 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Seeking SACD player for studio use

Hi guys,
I recently need a SACD player in my studio to playback SACDs. But when I seek SACD player, I find most of them are audiophile use. So I doubt where are the SACD player for pros to use? Can your guys recommend some brands?
Thanks again
Old 19th January 2007
  #2
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane1980 View Post
Hi guys,
I recently need a SACD player in my studio to playback SACDs. But when I seek SACD player, I find most of them are audiophile use. So I doubt where are the SACD player for pros to use? Can your guys recommend some brands?
Thanks again
It's all in the format. A $200 Sony can sound great.
Old 19th January 2007
  #3
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Synth80s's Avatar
My advice: beware low priced universal audio players (DVD-A/SACD) and low-priced DVD players that also play SACDs. Most inexpensive SACD players don't have dedicated DSD decoder circuitry, so they convert the SACD output to PCM before the audio reaches the outputs. There's some debate as to how much this affects audio quality, but most SACD fans believe dedicated a DSD decoder is important as DSD is the native SACD encoding/decoding mechanism and, some say, the key to its sound quality.

That said, you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a decent SACD player. Sony makes one 5-disc CD/SACD changer that's a real bargain. The SCD-CE595 is well built and has a dedicated DSD decoder circuit. You can find the player online for $125-150. Here's Crutchfield's product link: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-xmJSNnz...d&i=158SCDC595

The same basic player can also be had with a few improvements as part of Sony's higher-end ES line (SCD-C2000ES). The ES player has two power supplies (one for the analog side, one for the digital), an additional set of analog outputs, gold plated outputs, a better remote control and a few more minor changes. Sony ES products also come with a 5-year warranty. You can get this player for ~$350 from Oade Brothers, one of the only authorized online Sony dealers who sell below MSRP.

I have one of each, and both are great. When I A/Bed them, I heard a very small difference in audio quality, but $125 player is definitely the bargain. CD audio quality is quite good as well. There are certainly more expensive players, but these two are both great, especially for the price. Almost everything else in this price range (like the low-priced, but popular Pioneer universal player) lacks DSD converters, so I'd stick with the Sony unless you want to spend $500+.

One word of caution: you may know this already, but the great majority of SACD players don't pass audio out the digital outputs (S/PDIF or optical) when SACDs are playing -- digital output only works for CD playback. I believe there a few very expensive high-end players that do pass SACD audio through the digital outputs.

Good Luck! Ask questions if you have 'em.

-Synth80s
Old 19th January 2007
  #4
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SnakeCained's Avatar
 

The pioneer gets my vote as a universal player
Old 19th January 2007
  #5
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As I understand it SACD never plays through the Digital out, only through the Multi-Channel analog out. The idea here is to keep users from being able to pirate a digital copy. I believe DVD-A is the same way.
Old 19th January 2007
  #6
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

FWIW,

I have the Yamaha "natural sound" model (DVD-S657) which does SACD and all the rest.

Not a pricey unit - about $300 Can, so prolly $250 USD.

Works fine. Can't speak for fidelity: I only use it for DVD's/CD's, with playback thru an all Yamaha chain (80's "natural sound" amp, and pr of NS-10's).

Not a home theatre setup nor for mastering/hi-fidelity listening, but it's the main playback system for ref. mixes...

Hope this helps,
Old 19th January 2007
  #7
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calfee Jones View Post
As I understand it SACD never plays through the Digital out, only through the Multi-Channel analog out. The idea here is to keep users from being able to pirate a digital copy. I believe DVD-A is the same way.
Correct -- I only know of one SACD player (very $$$$) which passes digital output. I suppose it's a DSD stream.

-Synth80s
Old 19th January 2007
  #8
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeCained View Post
The pioneer gets my vote as a universal player
Which model? I have a Pioneer DV-578A universal player which leaves a *lot* to be desired. SACD is converted to PCM, the on-screen menus aren't great but you have to use them to setup/operate the player because the remote is very limited, audio quality is average and the player is deathly slow -- takes ~15 seconds to boot, ~5 seconds to eject media, ~8 seconds to start playing a DVD.

I'm sure the Prioneer Elite models are better, but they also cost $500+ I especially like the Sony because it can be completed configured (surround config, bass management, etc.) using only the built-in screen and remote.

-Synth80s
Old 19th January 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
Which model? I have a Pioneer DV-578A universal player which leaves a *lot* to be desired. SACD is converted to PCM, the on-screen menus aren't great but you have to use them to setup/operate the player because the remote is very limited, audio quality is average and the player is deathly slow -- takes ~15 seconds to boot, ~5 seconds to eject media, ~8 seconds to start playing a DVD.

I'm sure the Prioneer Elite models are better, but they also cost $500+ I especially like the Sony because it can be completed configured (surround config, bass management, etc.) using only the built-in screen and remote.

-Synth80s

Hi Synth80s

Thank you for your suggestion and I will consider them. I need a high quality SACD player for my studio. My budget is below $2000. But I have seen a lot audiophile players which are around 10K. I know there is a great different between $100 converters and $1000 converters. So is it the same as SACD players?
Old 19th January 2007
  #10
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
It's all in the format. A $200 Sony can sound great.
Definitely not. I had a $200 Sony that was pretty good sounding but broke down after 2 or so years. So I got another $200 Sony and was very disappointed with the sound.

My solution? I bought a used Studer CD player for $ 150 that just KILLS. Amazing sound, dynamics and dimension.

I can't believe that the 'it all sounds the same because it's digital'- myth is still around.....
Old 20th January 2007
  #11
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the1Hub's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
Correct -- I only know of one SACD player (very $$$$) which passes digital output. I suppose it's a DSD stream.

-Synth80s
emm labs cdsd/cdsdse passes sacd audio through the digital out. however its through a fiber optic cable and requires one of there dac's on the other end. and yes it is raw dsd, no conversion. and it totaly rocks. it also upsamples red book to dsd and sends it out the fiber optic cable as raw DSD as well, some people say the cd sound better this way. we have one setup in our listening room at the office its really an amazing listining experince.

however not even close to your budget.

for your budget i would sugest a playstation 3. it really sounds very nice. it may also one day be able to play raw dsd tracks from DVD media. it will recognize tracks from a dvra1000 as DSD files but will not play them yet because its "locked out". but its something they "overlooked" in the firmware of the drive in playstations. and oh yeah it plays video games too.
Old 20th January 2007
  #12
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Definitely not. I had a $200 Sony that was pretty good sounding but broke down after 2 or so years. So I got another $200 Sony and was very disappointed with the sound.

My solution? I bought a used Studer CD player for $ 150 that just KILLS. Amazing sound, dynamics and dimension.

I can't believe that the 'it all sounds the same because it's digital'- myth is still around.....
Are you talking about CD players or SACD players?
Old 20th January 2007
  #13
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shane1980 View Post
Hi Synth80s

Thank you for your suggestion and I will consider them. I need a high quality SACD player for my studio. My budget is below $2000. But I have seen a lot audiophile players which are around 10K. I know there is a great different between $100 converters and $1000 converters. So is it the same as SACD players?
If you can go up to $2,000, you should consider the higher-end Sony players and the universal players from Denon (the 2900 is popular, I believe), Yamaha and Marantz whih seem to get good review everywhere.

I'm pleased with my $350 Sony ES player, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if a $1,000-$2,000 player sounded better! Having the ability play DVD-As using the same 5.1 outputs would also be a plus.

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #14
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Definitely not. I had a $200 Sony that was pretty good sounding but broke down after 2 or so years. So I got another $200 Sony and was very disappointed with the sound.

My solution? I bought a used Studer CD player for $ 150 that just KILLS. Amazing sound, dynamics and dimension.

I can't believe that the 'it all sounds the same because it's digital'- myth is still around.....
If that second Sony was the 775 5-disc changer or one of their low-end DVD players which also plays SACD, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't sound great. To my knowlede, none of the low-end Sonys aside from the original player I mentioned have DSD converters on-board. Sony had to prioritize their parts spending on the DVD video components, on-screen menus, etc. -- PCM-converted SACD is a "throw-in."

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the1Hub View Post
however not even close to your budget.
Humor us: how much?

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #16
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Denon 1930 CI, I think that is the model. About $350. Plays DVD Audio and SACD. It has 5.1 analog outputs unlike most other manufactures. This comes in handy for DVD-Audio because SPDIF and OPTICAL can't carry uncompressed 5.1, it can only carry Dolby surround 5.1 or DTS.

When mixing in 5.1, I usually burn my L R C LF Ls Rs in Disc Welder Bronze and check it on a DVD-Audio player. You can't do that with a DVD-Video player, which is the standard purchase. DVD-Video players can only play compressed 5.1 (Dolby DTS). If it does not have the DVD-Audio logo it will not play it. You must also have Analog 5.1 inputs available on your receiver for home use.

Time will tell the winner of BluRay or HD DVD. Once this gets worked out you will probably need a new DVD Player, so don't spend too much money on one now.
www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 20th January 2007
  #17
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Denon 1930 CI, I think that is the model. About $350. Plays DVD Audio and SACD. It has 5.1 analog outputs unlike most other manufactures. This comes in handy for DVD-Audio because SPDIF and OPTICAL can't carry uncompressed 5.1, it can only carry Dolby surround 5.1 or DTS.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
I'm confused by your 5.1 statement. Are you referring to DVD-A players only?

*All* SACD players have 5.1 analog outputs because 99% of SACD players on the market do not pass DSD out the digital outputs. This is the main reason to stay away from most low-end SACD players: they have to include D/A converters (PCM at a minimum), but most don't include DSD converters so you're not getting true DSD. The low-end Sony I mentioned at top is an exception as are many more expensive players.

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
Humor us: how much?

-Synth80s

just for the transport and the dac 8 for surround your looking around $17000
Old 20th January 2007
  #19
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
I'm confused by your 5.1 statement. Are you referring to DVD-A players only?

*All* SACD players have 5.1 analog outputs because 99% of SACD players on the market do not pass DSD out the digital outputs. This is the main reason to stay away from most low-end SACD players: they have to include D/A converters (PCM at a minimum), but most don't include DSD converters so you're not getting true DSD. The low-end Sony I mentioned at top is an exception as are many more expensive players.

-Synth80s
Yes, I was referring to DVD-A, but not only. I am just not sure there is much point to buying an expensive limited format player at this time. At $125, sounds like your suggestion falls under that mentality.
Old 20th January 2007
  #20
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
This is the main reason to stay away from most low-end SACD players: they have to include D/A converters (PCM at a minimum), but most don't include DSD converters so you're not getting true DSD.
That doesn't make any sense. SACD's have DSD info on them that needs to be converted to analog. A player has to have a DSD converter to do this.
Old 20th January 2007
  #21
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
That doesn't make any sense. SACD's have DSD info on them that needs to be converted to analog. A player has to have a DSD converter to do this.
http://www.dsdproaudio.com/html/dsd_sacd_explained.html
Something to read
Old 20th January 2007
  #22
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taturana's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
Which model? I have a Pioneer DV-578A universal player which leaves a *lot* to be desired. SACD is converted to PCM, the on-screen menus aren't great but you have to use them to setup/operate the player because the remote is very limited, audio quality is average and the player is deathly slow -- takes ~15 seconds to boot, ~5 seconds to eject media, ~8 seconds to start playing a DVD.

I'm sure the Prioneer Elite models are better, but they also cost $500+ I especially like the Sony because it can be completed configured (surround config, bass management, etc.) using only the built-in screen and remote.

-Synth80s
i also have one of those pioneer dv-578A ... it's good enough for me at this point... i don't have many SACD's and it can sound pretty good... i am not sure i would spend too much on a dedicated sacd player, when i am not even sure if the format is going to stick around... i hope it does though... i would be a great substitution for cd (audio wise)
Old 20th January 2007
  #23
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Sinewave's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
That doesn't make any sense. SACD's have DSD info on them that needs to be converted to analog. A player has to have a DSD converter to do this.
No man all you need is to introduce a low pass filter and you can convert the DSD to PCM, like what you would normally do when recording PCM.


Quote:
I recently need a SACD player in my studio to playback SACDs. But when I seek SACD player, I find most of them are audiophile use. So I doubt where are the SACD player for pros to use? Can your guys recommend some brands?
Thanks again
If you can get to 3,500 there is a great SACD player with tube outputs at the Analog stage :Sony 9100ES SACD/CD/DVD player.
Old 20th January 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yes, I was referring to DVD-A, but not only. I am just not sure there is much point to buying an expensive limited format player at this time. At $125, sounds like your suggestion falls under that mentality.
1) The original poster asked for a recommendation for a SACD player, so I offered many, including universal players.

2) Expensive? If you think $125 is expensive for audio equipment, even an SACD/CD only player, I'm not sure what to tell you. $125 is cheap for any audio component by almost anyone's standard. The original poster later clarified his requirements to include a budget cap of $2,000 for a player.

My point is simple: if you want an SACD player, get one with DSD converters or don't bother. Almost all the cheap players on the market (again, under $500) don't have true DSD D/A converters on board, but the Sony models I listed above do. If you want to spend more, get a good universal player with true DSD converters, DVD-A playback compatibility and better audio quality overall (including CD playback). All of these players have analog 5.1 outputs. None of this is bad advice.

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #25
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth80s View Post
1) The original poster asked for a recommendation for a SACD player, so I offered many, including universal players.

2) Expensive? If you think $125 is expensive for audio equipment, even an SACD/CD only player, I'm not sure what to tell you. $125 is cheap for any audio component by almost anyone's standard. The original poster later clarified his requirements to include a budget cap of $2,000 for a player.

My point is simple: if you want an SACD player, get one with DSD converters or don't bother. Almost all the cheap players on the market (again, under $500) don't have true DSD D/A converters on board, but the Sony models I listed above do. If you want to spend more, get a good universal player with true DSD converters, DVD-A playback compatibility and better audio quality overall (including CD playback). All of these players have analog 5.1 outputs. None of this is bad advice.

-Synth80s
You must have misunderstood. I was agreeing with your suggestion. No Argument here. Although, it does seem this is the place to argue.
Old 20th January 2007
  #26
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
That doesn't make any sense. SACD's have DSD info on them that needs to be converted to analog. A player has to have a DSD converter to do this.
I'm drawing a distinction between:

A) DSD Stream > DSD D/A Converters > Analog Output

and

B) DSD Stream > Conversion to PCM Stream > PCM D/A Converters > Analog Output

Again, everything is a matter of opinion, but many SACD hardcore fans hold that option A is best for audio quality, especially for SACDs that were originally recorded and mastered in DSD format (which isn't always the case). A few of my favorite SACDs were remastered from 1/2" analog direct to DSD, so I prefer true DSD conversion on the back-end as well.

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You must have misunderstood. I was agreeing with your suggestion. No Argument here. Although, it does seem this is the place to argue.
No offense intended. The way it read, I thought you were taking issue with my recommendation of an SACD-only player at any price.

-Synth80s
Old 20th January 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the1Hub View Post
just for the transport and the dac 8 for surround your looking around $17000
EMM Labs CDSD vs. Toyota Corrolla

Act 1: "An Audiophile's Dilemma"

----

For: "On one hand, I really want THEE best SACD player available so I can truly enjoy my collection...and brag my ass off when I post to audio forums on the 'net"

Against: "On the other hand, my 10-year old car, which I have driven into the ground because I spend all my income on audio gear, is dying."

For: "Nothing brings me more enjoyment than listening to music."

Against: "If my car completely breaks down, I won't be able to get to work and I won't be able to make the money I need to buy more audio gear."

Etc, etc, etc.... heh

-Synth80s
Old 21st January 2007
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Well, your guys gave me a lot of information but the problem seems to be still exist...
All the recommendation are players below$500 so I am a bit worried about the sound quality. The price higher than $3500 which is too high and I am also doubt about the prices of audiophile systems.

So what can I do next?
Old 21st January 2007
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane1980 View Post
Well, your guys gave me a lot of information but the problem seems to be still exist...
All the recommendation are players below$500 so I am a bit worried about the sound quality. The price higher than $3500 which is too high and I am also doubt about the prices of audiophile systems.

So what can I do next?
Worried about sound quality? Just buy the $200 Sony and try it. What have you got to lose?

(and it sounds great!)
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