Blu-Ray/SACD player recommendation needed

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Joel Shapiro, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    Location:
    los angeles
    anyway another thing to consider is (after some experimentation last night) the Oppo 203 will play DSD64 but will not play DSD256.

    don't know what your needs are but SACDs are a lower rate than that. But if you are going to be getting the ultra-studio-quality files I don't know if the other brands will play DSD256 or not. For me DSD64 is as much as I could possibly need unless I wind up working for Deutsche Gramophone or something...
     
  2. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    I have been researching universal players a lot lately FWIW. Depends on what your focus is audio, video or both. Based on your comments it seems to be all about audio. My summary: The Sonys look good for picture quality and streaming, X800 is $299 and plays everything and has Netflix, etc. The differences on X1000 are those listed in other posts plus ES brand (longer warranty), better feet for stabilization, better DAC, and will supposedly get the Dolby Vision through firmware update (X800 wont). The X1000 is $100 off on Crutchfield at $599 now.

    Personally I have narrowed it down to the Yamaha Aventage BD-A 1040 (the older model to 1060) and Oppo 203. The 1040 is older tech - 3D, 1080i and p (not 4k) but could be the best value for audio quality. I've seen them for $399 but this model plays DVD-A, SACD, and decodes HDCD, truly universal. I think it had a 32 bit Burr Brown DAC. The 1060 does not play DVD-A and the Oppo 203 does not decode HDCD (Neil Young and a few other artists if this interests you). Not sure if that is something that can be updated with firmware? However, the 1040 only has Hulu and Youtube (no Netflix) for streaming apps. In sum probably going to pay the extra $150 for the Oppo 203, great reviews for picture and sound and probably most "future proof"- 4k, more outputs, 7.1 analog out if I ever need that, Dolby Vision. And I respect the philosophy of "get your streaming through TV or chromecast, we'll focus on a great player." I don't have many HDCDs and the glitches seemed to have been ironed out with recent FW updates.

    OP - PM coming on buying the CDs you now hate :)
     
  3. George P

    George P Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango

    Location:
    NYC
    I have been reading about the BD-A 1040 and found this comment on an amazon review:

    "This unit has exceptional audio quality for those who will use the internal circuitry (you won't get to take advantage of this if you use an HDMI connection for audio). While it is a blu-ray player, I think it is really a blu-ray player second and a CD/Super Audio CD player first."

    Would you guys agree with this statement? Do you think the BD-A 1040 has sound quality that is as good as or near to the sound of Yamaha's SACD/CD players?
     
  4. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Funny to look back at my old post because I ended up doing something different from what I was thinking at that time. I can’t really answer your question on the Yamaha BD-A 1040 as I didn't buy it but after the reviews I read I would agree it is designed as an audio first player. I ended up getting the Sony X-800 for blu rays, SACDs, DVD-A’s, I think it went down to $150 around Christmas, and I bought the Marantz CD 6006 to play my redbook cds, which is the bulk of my collection. That cost me $450. I am really happy with my choices, I play the Marantz a lot more, even using that for some of my MOFI hybrid SACDs, like how it sounds.
     
    George P likes this.
  5. George P

    George P Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango

    Location:
    NYC
    Anyone know if it is possible to play the redbook layer of a hybrid SACD on the Yamaha BD-A 1040?
     
  6. caupina

    caupina Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    Why wouldn't it??...it's a CD/SACD player, isn't it??? And a hybrid SACD contains both the redbook (PCM) and the DSD layer so it should play with no issues.
     
    scobb likes this.
  7. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Funny to look back at my old post because I ended up doing something different from what I was thinking at that time. I can’t really answer your question on the Yamaha BD-A 1040 as I didn't buy it but after the reviews I read I would agree it is designed as an audio first player. I ended up getting the Sony X-800 for blu rays, SACDs, DVD-A’s, I think it went down to $199 around Christmas and I bought the Marantz CD 6006 to play my redbook cds, which is the bulk of my collection. That cost me $450. Very happy with my purchases, use the Marantz all the time and the Sony relatively little.
     
  8. George P

    George P Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango

    Location:
    NYC
    I was told by an owner that the player auto chooses SACD and that he doesn't think that there is a way to choose the Redbook layer instead
     
  9. caupina

    caupina Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    It doesn't make any sense...probably he meant that it has an Auto feature that automatically selects the DSD layer of a hybrid SACD but I'm pretty sure you can disable it on the setup menu.
     
  10. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Yes.
     
    caupina likes this.
  11. Yovra

    Yovra Forum Enthusiast

    My old Denon SACD/CD/DVD-player is falling apart a bit, so from now on I'm going to follow this thread with attention.
    The Pioneer BDP-X300 and the Yamaha BDS681 are ''in the race", some more expensive options are also under consideration: the Marantz UD 7007 and the Cambridge Audio CXUHD...
     
  12. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    What model? Asking because I have two Denons in the rack. But work and sound fine. But one has a tray door that is sticky. It might just need lube on a point or two.
     
  13. Yovra

    Yovra Forum Enthusiast

    It's a Denon DCD 625. It doesn't recognize the SACD-discs anymore and it's slow and noisy (and getting noisier all the time).
     
  14. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    The UD7007 is so many bags of wrong it's off the scale. Poor UI, slow reaction times. Meh. The Cambridge is transport only. See if you can land a NOS CXU or 752BD .
     
    Yovra likes this.
  15. The dreaded problem that seems to eventually hit all Denon SACD players. It's a failing laser assembly.
     
  16. LightninBoy

    LightninBoy New Member

    Location:
    St Paul, MN
    My NAD M55 is dying so that has me interested in threads like this.

    Are there any Sonys that have a display so that I don't need to turn on the tv to see the track number or select other options? I have a cheap Sony bluray that I'm actually pretty happy with soundwise (it just sends the audio over HDMI and my receiver decodes it) but to do anything with it I have to have the TV - in my case a projector - on.
     
  17. NCSQ

    NCSQ New Member

    OK, I am relatively new to this PCM vs DSD debate, but having read the "Myth vs truth" link; several other articles; and spoken to Yamaha support, I have come to the conclusion that, for most people, the actual final decoded sound distinction between PCM and DSD encodings from the same original master would not be at all significant.
    This was an important thing for me to understand as I am faced with the following problem. I have a home theatre setup, with full 4K video equipment that uses a Yamaha YSP-5600 surround-sound soundbar. However, I did not have an SACD player. So I looked around for one that I could connect to one of the spare HDMI ports on the soundbar. I settled on the Yamaha BD-A1060. So, I downloaded its user manual and read it very carefully and then sent some questions to Yamaha tech support, to ask if it would play the multichannel SACDs through the YSP-5600. I was not at all interested in using the video output from the BD-A1060 - only its audio.
    They told me that this is possible, but I needed to set it up, as per p41 of the manual, by selecting the HDMI output priority with output method PCM and SACD Area set to MULTI. This has the effect of converting the DSD signal to PCM in the A1060 [it actually says this in the manual] and then sending that PCM signal through the HDMI out port to the sound bar. The reason for doing this is that the soundbar only supports PCM input. [Now, if I had a soundbar or DAC that supported DSD, I could have selected the DSD output method in the A1060 and it would probably then simply pass the DSD signal from the SACD to the sound bar with no conversion at all - by selecting the output method as DSD, instead of PCM. This is a point relevant to some of the issues raised in this thread.]
    I almost made the mistake of purchasing a new SONY soundbar that said it was DSD compatible, but on close examination of its manual and advice from Sony I found that it only accepts DSDIFF files, NOT copy protected SACD DSD.
    After realising that the conversion from DSD to PCM was not a big deal, I felt less inclined to worry about this, and so decided to simply connect the A1060 to the existing Yamaha soundbar -with the suggested settings.
    I have yet to test this, as the A1060 is still to be delivered. However, after reading this blog and talking to Yamaha again, I am left with one lingering doubt. The A1060 manual does not say what quality of PCM it generates and Yamaha support couldn't tell me either - although they SUSPECTED it would be 192/24.
    Now here is my problem. The soundbar will accept up to 192/24 PCM input - according to its specs. However, comments on here have suggested that the A1060 has a TI encoder that is PCM 192/32 - ie not 24. If, by chance, it converts the DSD from the SACDs to 192/32 PCM, what is a decoder with only 192/24 PCM capability going to do with such an input? Is that going to affect the sound to any appreciable effect, or worse, would it simply not be able to decode the 32 bit PCM at all. I guess I will find out if the latter possibility is true pretty quickly, but what about the former? Can anyone comment on this?
    Actually, I was rather surprised that Yamaha wasn't able to say what level of PCM the A1060 converts the DSD to. Does anyone here even know?
     
  18. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I think you are good to go, your player will output 24 bit pcm.
     
  19. NCSQ

    NCSQ New Member

    Well, good news. I have now got the A1060 hooked up to the YSP-5600, and I am able to play an SACD using the PSM conversion mode. The sound is very clear, but I must admit it is not as obviously better listening to the SACD version of Ommadawn, compared to my old CD version, [both stereo] through this system as I might have expected. Maybe that is just a function of the limitations of the Yamaha soundbar - I mean it is a very good soundbar - but it is only a sound bar! Anyway, both the CD and the SACD sound very good to me. Maybe when I get some of the multi-channel SACDs I have ordered, I will have a different experience.
     
  20. donmac

    donmac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I'm late reading this thread, but I thought I'd add in something that I don't think anyone else has posted (unless I missed it): a lot of Sony Blu-ray Players decode DSD. I own 2 older Blu-ray models (BDP-S370 and BDP-S380) from Sony and both can decode and play SACD and can also output the DSD bitstream over HDMI to my A/V receivers which then decode DSD.

    In the past many years ago, Sony highlighted this feature but stopped doing so at some point. However, the feature is still included in a number of their Blu-ray players even though they don't point it out in the specs. I think only their very low-end players lack the feature, so I think the best way to find out if a particular player has the feature is to go to Sony's website and download the manual for a particular player. For example, I went to their website and chose a random player (Sony BDP-S6700 with MSRP $100) and downloaded its manual ( Support for BDP-S6700 | Downloads, Manuals, Tutorials and FAQs | Sony USA ).

    Inside the BDP-S6700 manual, I found this section:


    [DSD Output Mode]
    [Auto]: Outputs DSD signals from the HDMI OUT jack when playing a Super Audio CD and DSD format file. Outputs LPCM signals instead if the HDMI connected device not support DSD.
    [Off]: Outputs PCM signals from the HDMI OUT jack when playing a Super Audio CD and DSD format file.


    Which is very similar to an entry in the manual for my older Sony BDP-S380 which I know decodes SACD/DSD:


    [DSD Output Mode]
    [On]: Outputs DSD signals from the HDMI OUT jack when playing a Super Audio CD. When [On] is selected, no signal is output from other jacks.
    [Off]: Outputs PCM signals from the HDMI OUT jack when playing a Super Audio CD.


    So for SACD/DSD decoding for a lot less cost just pick a Sony Blu-ray Player then check its manual online for a section on DSD output and, if it's there, get the player.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

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