Low-end SACD player vs. mid-range CD player

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by CBackley, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored Thread Starter

    I have a low-end SACD player (Sony DVP-NS755V) that seems to be nearing the end of its life. Lately it’s been having difficulty reading the SACD layer on some hybrid discs. I’m thinking about repacking the player once it finally dies, and I’m debating getting another low-end SACD player OR a slightly more expensive CD player.

    From my limited research, it appears that there aren’t many upper-low-end (not even middle range) SACD players being produced these days. However, there appear to be more options with CD players. Our host and others have suggested that I’d get better playback with a CD player than an SACD player at roughly the same price points (I’m paraphrasing), even when it comes to audiophile hybrid SACD discs (e.g. our host’s excellent Nat “King” Cole discs for Analogue Productions).

    Any thoughts on this? If I had, say, $400-600 to spend on a new player, should I go for SACD or CD only? I hate to have a bunch of hybrid SACD discs on which I can’t wven access part of the content. In some cases, mastering may be different between SACD and redbook layers, and the SACD layer may have bonus content not on redbook.

    My receiver and speakers are nothing to write home about, but they work for my needs (my income, living in an apartment building, and having a 3-year-old child to support). I have details in my profile in you need to see them.
     
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  2. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Id get a sacd player and reg cd player

    I have a cheap onyko cd player for reg Redbook cds...dxc 390. I did s very brief a/b comparison to same disc played on my oppo 203 using analog outs on both w same avr and couldn't tell difference in SQ...maybe it's just my old ass ears...but by using my cdp for Redbook im saving the wear n tear on my oppo laser which is only used for sacd dvd a n movies

    Ive also read somewhere the dxc 390 sounds similar to a higher one disc onyko...so ymmv
     
    CBackley likes this.
  3. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    If you like SACD content, that's tough to give up. Since price is an issue, look on the used market. There are more used players on the market than ever as more and more people abandon optical discs
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  4. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Find yourself a used Oppo. Almost any model will do. Although if you can find a 95 or a 105 within your price range, those would probably be the best options.
     
  5. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Ps i just bought sherwood newcastle 861 in new condition for $218 on ebay...the onyko only cost me $100 on sale from bestbuy

    There u go...2 machines...300 bucks

    Course u have to have room for 2 machines
     
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  6. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    I think this is a great question, and there's no easy answer.

    The reason this is a tough question is that SACDs pose a particular challenge when it comes to buying a player. Because SACDs use encryption, you can't get them to play back digitally, through a player's optical or coax digital output. So unless you get a player with an HDMI output and you have a receiver or amp with an HDMI input, you have to use the SACD player's built-in DAC and analogue electronics.

    This creates a real paradox for the value shopper: SACD's entire point is superior sound quality, but if you buy a low-end SACD player you risk getting a so-so internal DAC and even more likely you risk ending up with mediocre analogue circuitry in the player (power supply, isolation, op amps, etc.).

    So I think SACDs are one situation in audio/hi-fi where it's wise to either spend some real money - like a few hundred bucks or more - or else just go with straight-up CD playback, where you can get a very decent player for $250 or less, and some really nice kick-a** players for $400-$800.

    I don't know what the used market for Oppo 105s is doing right now (it seems to change week to week), but @TarnishedEars makes a great suggestion in this regard. If you can find a used Oppo 105 for $700 or less, IMHO that's a value that's tough to beat for the sound quality you get from SACD and CD, all in one unit (nevermind the additional features it has). Ditto for a Cambridge 752 or a similar unit from the 2012-2014 period.

    On the other hand, I also think @Audiowannabee makes a good point: You can get very decent sounding older/used SACD machines for perhaps $200-$300, and if you're not satisfied with the SACD machine's sound with CDs, then you can buy an Onkyo C-7030 or similar high-value CD player for $200 or whatever they're going for these days.
     
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  7. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored Thread Starter


    I couldn’t find much on the sherwood newcastle 861. Is that the right model number?
     
  8. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Sorry model 860...in the very long farewell to oppo thread youll find the link for ebay seller
     
    CBackley likes this.
  9. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
  10. matthewp

    matthewp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wall, NJ USA
    Food for thought here. You could buy a decent DVD/ SACD player with an HDMI out and run that through an HDMI De-embedder and then into a DAC. I was in a similar predicament recently and ended up with a Sony UBP-X800 and a De-embedder. Can now listen to SACD/DSD with no issues.
    -Matt
     
  11. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Imho anyone who is using their very expensive oppo / blu ray players for redbook 2 channel cd s is just nuts or has way too much $$$ to blow...why do that ?

    Why use up your very expensive and perhaps irreplaceable machine laser when cheap n plentiful cd players are still being made.

    Id rather throw this 100 onyko in the trash before my oppo or this sherwood would die...thats for sure
     
  12. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    You might be able to fix this. Unscrew and take off the top cover, and used canned air with the little straw to blast dust off the laser lens. If you easily see the lubricated worm drive gear used to position the optical mechanism, give it a q-tip rub-down with vaseline (or proper lube). Close it back up and enjoy.

    SACD often sounds better, or at least different, because a different mastering is used on the disc or on the SACD layer. The difference between CD and the best SACD player is like the last 1% in the total scheme of things, so don't expect a magic world to be revealed by replacing your optical player.
     
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  13. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    If Oppos had a tendency to eat their lasers like many Sony, Denon, and Marantz models do, I might agree with you. But they don't. I have tens of thousands of hours on multiple different Oppos that I have purchased, but I've yet to ever see one exhibit the signs of a tired laser, or transport.
     
  14. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    That gives me great hope cuz many a cd dvd n blu ray players have i thrown out over the years...especially sony

    Dosent sony = Ford...
    Fix or repair daily
    Found on roadside dead
    F*cked up on raceday
     
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  15. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored Thread Starter


    Interesting. I know nothing ablut HDMI de-embedders. Why do you have one?
     
  16. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Because record companies would only put audio on a format like SACD or HD-DVD if it also included anti-consumer DRM, enforcing requirements such as only putting out a digital signal by encrypted HDCP over HDMI 1.2 or greater. One of many reasons for its failure.

    Grey-market Chinese boxes with reverse-engineered (cracked/stolen) decryption keys can get the digital back out of the encrypted transport stream.
     
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  17. matthewp

    matthewp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wall, NJ USA
    What he said :D
     
  18. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This is one of the big reasons why so many of us are Oppo fans. They are just incredibly well built, and very reliable machines.
     
  19. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Look into a used Pioneer DV-79 AVI. Plays CD, SACD, DVD-A and video of course. They go for $200 to $280, I own three of them, all purchased on Ebay in great condition.
     
  20. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    I have a sony 5-disc changer that is great for SACD. No so much for redbook.
    I'd buy another Sony DVP-NS755V and put the $550 dollars left into the
    best cd player you can find. (or go further down the rabbit hole transport and DAC)
     
    tmtomh likes this.
  21. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    This is my first oppo...i can't believe im practively begging a co who is going out of business to take $1300 from me...but would like to have a 205...

    The 203 $600 machine is my highest priced component ever purchased

    Hope i get many years out of it.
     
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  22. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored Thread Starter


    OP here. Does the 203 play SACDs? If so, is it the best bet for a good player in the $400-600 price range?
     
  23. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored Thread Starter


    I just looked on eBay and saw 203 prices were much higher than $600. How did you find one so cheap?
     
  24. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Yes 203 oppo plays sacd dvd audio bluray dvd video...etc...
     
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  25. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Cuz i bought it earlier in year
    ..
    Retail was 549 n shipping n got extended warranty...600 bucks
     
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