Best SACD players of 2014

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by Bigerik, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. nashvol2

    nashvol2 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  2. Coffeehound

    Coffeehound New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Yamaha CD-S3000 just replaced my tired Sony SCD--C555es. Didn't know what I was missing, the detail is staggering. And the complaints of it being light on bass or drive have not held true for me.

    Big hole in my wallet, but it is also capable of serving as a usb dac for downloads...so it was easier to rationalize. :D
     
  3. musician2358

    musician2358 Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Oregon
    From my knowledge of how native DSD decoding works, it is hard for me to understand why a current SACD player should sound better than an older one that does true native DSD decoding. Note that just because a DAC chip accepts DSD, that doesn't prelude decimation to PCM in the chip. DSD is somewhat complex to encode, but easier to decode than PCM. A player may fall down if it doesn't have an anti-jitter buffer and clock to emit precisely spaced bits at the head of the decode pipeline, or if they use a less than high quality analog filter at the tail of the decode pipeline. I think older Sony players like the C755ES or NC555ES sound at least as good, and in fact generally better than current Oppo players.

    M2
     
  4. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,014
    Location:
    Northwest USA
    Lucky SOB! I have the CD-S2000 which I think sounds great. I've never heard the S3000 but I've been told that it goes to a new level. Plus I think it has a digital in so you can use its DAC for computer files? Something all CD players should have IMHO.
     
  5. musician2358

    musician2358 Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Oregon
    I've not heard of conversion from PCM to DSD, but maybe there is an algorithm to do it without resampling. Converting from DSD to PCM is feasible without resampling because the DSD sample rate is chosen to be a common multiple of popular PCM sample rates.

    Some of the Sony BDP players have an option to generate either PCM or DSD over HDMI, so there are sony players that convert DSD to PCM.

    M2
     
  6. estreeter

    estreeter Super Member

    Messages:
    2,235
    Location:
    The Land of Smiles
    It's weird - after several months with the SA-14S1 playing both CDs and SACDs I absolutely agree that some Japanese electronics may sound too polite - overall, I find the Marantz a more relaxing listen than my 105D. As I've never heard the 8005, I cant comment on Al's earlier observation that some dealers prefer the cheaper model over Marantz's Reference players, but I wouldnt describe the DAC in the 14S1 as the best choice if the bulk of your listening material is rock - it might be a detail monster but that isnt always a good thing. Hope this helps.
     
  7. genewoodall

    genewoodall Active Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Teac customer support did not answer my question regarding its C3000 converting dsd to pcm. They were kind enough to send a auto reply that they received an email from me and would get back soon. Spearit Sound (dealer) did answer my question and told me that it does not convert pcm to analog directly but first converts to pcm. The Teac manual makes no mention of conversion.

    I have been looking for a new, current SACD player for months. The only players I have found so far that I can afford that don't do the conversion unless you want it to are the Oppos. I think some of the Marantz higher end stuff can also convert dsd to analog without conversion. Most Manufacturers and reviewers avoid this topic for some reason. I really cannot understand a competent reviewer overlooking this. But --most reviews these days are from self- appointed experts who simply talk about what they think something sounds like.

    Hope to see many more posts here on players that do not convert to pcm first.

    If the manufacturer's owners manual or reviewers don't mention this is there any way to find out? Most manufacturers don't even mention the specific dac, just something like Wolfson 24-192 dac.

    Gene
     
  8. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    North of Philly
    Gene, just to be clear, do you mean DSD to analog here?
     
  9. genewoodall

    genewoodall Active Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yes. I edited my post. dsd to analog. Thanks for catching that.

    Gene
     
  10. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    North of Philly
    Thanks for pointing out the DSD to PCM before analog chicanery. This is similar to a CD player being advertised as playing hybrid SACDs (no kidding).
     
  11. estreeter

    estreeter Super Member

    Messages:
    2,235
    Location:
    The Land of Smiles
    All part of the DSD roadshow - the same people who simply wont admit that the catalog of genuine native DSD recordings is tiny and the artists involved complete unknowns.
     
  12. genewoodall

    genewoodall Active Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Just had a chat with Robert at Marantz Customer Support. I asked if any Marantz players converted DSD directly to Analog with no other processing. He replied after checking with other support personnel that all Marantz SACD players first convert DSD to PCM, then to analog.
     
  13. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    North of Philly
    So, there must be a piece of the puzzle that's missing here, no?:scratch2:
     
  14. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

    Messages:
    2,217
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, California
    Even the audio-oriented 8005?
     
  15. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    4,880
    Location:
    Australia
    Ok, I'm getting really tempted guys.

    Does this machine upsample all redbook to DSD or can you leave redbook untouched.
    How is it with redbook?
    How fast is it to recognize discs and jump track to track?



     
  16. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

    Messages:
    2,217
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, California
    The only thing that I can think of is to look through the owner's manual of a machine you are interested in. For example, the owner's manual of the SACD-capable Marantz UD-5007 does mention that DSD is converted to PCM when it is being output with the analog outputs.

    A couple of promising machines are the new Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD and BDP-85-FD Blu-ray universal players, both employing the same ESS Sabre32 ES9018 DACs used in the Oppo 105. The BDP-88FD actually use 4 ESS Sabre32 DACs (twice the number used in the Oppo 105).
     
  17. momozmaster

    momozmaster New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Up North, hey...
    Can't rally say which is best, but I've used:

    Sony BDP-S5100 (PCM)
    Harman Kardon DVD-47 (6 ch. Analog )
    Oppo BDP-103 (8 ch. Analog, and PCM )

    On these Harman Kardon receivers:

    AVR-144
    AVR-3600
    HK 3490



    Favorite combo setups are:

    - HK DVD 47 / HK 3490 / 2X JBL E-80
    -> analog, stereo playback. Classical, Jazz​


    - HK DVD 47 / HK 3490 / 2X JBL S38II
    -> analog, stereo playback. Rock, Heavy, Pop​


    - HK DVD 47 / AVR-144 / 2X JBL S38II (F) 2X R.Audio R50s (S) 1 X R.Audio C550 (C)
    -> analog, stereo playback. Classical, Jazz​


    - Oppo BDP-103 / AVR-3600 / 4X JBL Northridge E-60 (Fr L+R & Rs L+R) / 1X Infinity Beta 40 (Ctr)
    -> analog, multi-channel playback. Classical, Jazz, New Age​


    - Oppo BDP-103 / AVR-3600 / 2X JBL Northridge E-60
    -> analog, stereo playback. Rock, Heavy​


    - Sony BDP-S5100 / AVR-3600 / 2X JBL Northridge E-60
    -> PCM over HDMI, stereo. New Age, pop​




    I've found the Sony using PCM for certain albums, and certain albums only, can be enjoyable for bass management purposes. (The Who "The Singles" and The Bladerunner soundtrack come to mind). I think a "best" is hard to find. It seems to me that each genre has it's own best combination.

    The differences are slight, and one must be very familiar to perceive the differences, but they are present, and once you've noticed them, you can't miss'em. Definitely, PCM over HDMI is not as good, and no math, numbers or person could ever convince me of the contrary.


    Overall my Oppo BDP-103 is best, but the HK DVD 47 stands tall and proud.


    My humble 2 cents.
     
  18. SSaxdude

    SSaxdude Super Member

    Messages:
    1,443
    Does the PS3 convert to PCM or is it straight DSD?
     
  19. momozmaster

    momozmaster New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Up North, hey...
    Here's a quote from Wiki:

    I've not been witness to a multi-channel DSD bitstream being played back by any receiver, at all. I've seen one receiver, a Marantz SR5009, allegedly playing a stereo DSD bitstream via DLNA. Seemed real, and sounded good, but can't say for sure if it's software was telling me the type of source files from the DLNA servers' catalog, which could still be streamed in a different format, or if it accurately identified the stream itself. So, I firmly believe SACD sound is very unlikely on any device via HDMI specially when it comes a device which is not specifically designed for the purpose of SACD playback.


    I can tell you this, if the PS3 doesn't sport a 6 ch analog out, hooked to a receiver with 6 ch analog inputs, it's highly unlikely one could ever get full, untouched quality output from that device. Straight DSD is not common, if, and when it happens, it isn't cheap.

    You best bet to have SACD playback on the cheap, is to have a receiver with mulit-ch analog, and an old SACD-enabled DVD player with multi-ch analog outs. You can find a Harman DVD-47 or Harman DVD-48 for cheap on local used stuff adds like Craigslist and Kijiji, or you buy an upscale BD player like the Oppo BDP-103 or BDP-105 and use analog interconnect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  20. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    581
    Location:
    northern illinois, USA
    The SA8005 is not polite- it is neutral, detailed and dynamic. The only "polite" attribute it has is that it simply will not distort or spit. It does this without roll-off or any compromise to the frequency response.
     

Share This Page