Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DennisF, Mar 28, 2017.
Well, there is my post #73 ...SACD Players Under $2000 With Best Redbook Sound
We are in violent agreement!
How would you define a mid level system? Not a challenge, just a question.
Would the level be aligned in major part by the price?
I have about $10k invested, with about 50% of that in speakers.
In my experience, I have had a few Sony CD players, a Pioneer cd/SACD/DVD A player and two OPPO players (93 and 103)
The OPPOs certainly sounded better than my other players, with the improvement in the heft and weight of the sound. I can't say that there was much more to it than that, but from an audio only perspective, I could hear what my $399 bought at a time when you could buy a BluRay/cd/DVD player for <$100. Worth every penny.
In contrast, my speaker upgrades drove a dramatic increase in the quality of soundstage, imaging, detail and complexity of the harmonic interaction of the instruments.
I know that DACs and analog circuits can make a difference with respect to the above, but on any given day, the speakers and room are probably at least 20x more important in overall SQ.
No question in my mind about the speakers and room being more important. But back to your earlier point about the importance of the CD players analog outputs -- wouldn't you be connecting your OPPO through the digital outputs directly into your Onkyo anyway? Why would you care in that case about the analog output?
I'm leery of giving exact price points for what makes a quality system, as it always seems to offend somebody. Very modestly priced systems can be very revealing without being bright or harsh, but it's not easy to do.
Having been at digital since 1984, I've gone through more front-end configurations than I care to remember, from single disc spinners to transport and DAC separates, with all sorts of boxes and cables in between. My price-point revelation came when going from the Oppo level ($1200) to the Esoteric level ($6000) of disc spinners. Among the other aspects I mentioned above, one of the biggest improvements was in reduction of grain and an increase in continuosness more like LP playback, as well as what you describe, "a dramatic increase in the quality of soundstage, imaging, detail and complexity of the harmonic interaction of the instruments." I didn't know could be there until I heard it.
In total agreement that people often pay way less attention to the room than they should, and instead try to fix it by buying a new component/speakers, but it's a tough sell to get someone to put a few grand into room treatment.
Anyway, to the OP's original question, I'd get a used Sony 5400es and a spare laser assembly for future use. IMO the Sony does much better on RBCD than the Marantz 8004/5. You also get SACD capability to boot.
I actually do both.
When I have a recording that I know to be the best of the best, I will jump through the hoops required for playback through the OPPO's DAC's. (not a big deal) as opposed to the ones in the Onkyo. It can make a difference, but i need to be really listening critically to appreciate it. the difference is there, but you wont be enjoying the music, you will be listening for the "difference"
However, for the most part, I use HDMI just because I can seamlessly go from one source to another, from one format to another. In particular, I am a a pretty big fan of multi channel music.
All the audiophiles out there can shudder, but I like some recordings put through the available HDMI multi channel DSP programs.. The results are often interesting, and if not,I'll turn it off.
I will say, to avoid further inquiry on your part, or contention, that I think its absolutely insane to spend multi-thousands of dollars on a CD/DVD/BR player.
IMO it's beyond need or reason.
Just like the idea that an AC power cord or interconnect for ANY digital player or any audio component, can have a significant impact on SQ. Simply part of the voodoo of audiophilia..........
Let the flaming begin!
My indertstanding is that HDMI is also digital. Maybe I misunderstand, but it looks to me like you don't use analog outputs. BTW, you won't hear me telling you to splurge like that on digital playback on a any system under about $15K.
So, are you of the opinion that a $6000 CD player (Esoteric) and $2,500/pair of speakers (the Triton 3 listed in you profile, sub not incl)) gives better sound than vice versa? Speaking personally, I'd be at $1500 for the CD player and $7,000 for the speakers. I'm not dissing the Tritons, which I have not heard, but in my experience, going from a good $2,500 speaker to a good $7,000 puts you in an entirely different league. Not so with the CD players, unless the speakers are really high end. YMMV.
You didn't read and digest my posts. I do use analog out.
At this point, Its clear to me that you equate SQ to the the amount of money spent on the system. honestly, nothing more to discuss.
On my system with my speakers I can clearly tell the difference between changes in components and cables. That's good enough for me. I've considered more expensive speakers but these fit my listening space and tastes.
I take from your comments that you've never had a reference level CD/SACD player, power cords, interconnects or speaker cables in your rig.
Mea Culpa. I think the problem is that I don't understand how digital connections work -- my preamp has has no DAC or DAC input, and the only outputs I have ever used in my entire life are CD RCA out to - preamp RCA in. So when you said you used the output from your DAC to connect to the amplifier, I (honestly) didn't realize that such output went (I think now) through the CD player RCA-out to the preamp RCA in . I thought it went from a digital out on the cd player to some sort of digital input on the preamp -- but I guess that makes no sense now that I think about, as it would mean two DACS were being used. So anyway, don't be angry with me for that. I plead ignorance of the law.
As far as equating SQ with $$ spent, I definitely DO NOT believe that SQ equates with $$ spent-- just the opposite. OK, not the complete opposite, because there's obviously some correlation between price and quality, or else market prices would be purely random, which they obviously are not -- -- for example, a $50 wine is more likely to be tastier than a $10 wine. however, just because you spend $50, it doesn't mean it's better than the one for $10, or $15, whatever -- just more likely to be better. I also believe that audio, like wine, has a steeply declining law of diminishing returns past a certain point. I think this is a respectable position. However, I will henceforth ban myself from further comments on your posts if you feel otherwise, as I have no desire to vex or irritate you or any of the folks who post here.
What is the definition of reference level?
I have an OPPO player. It's a BDP 103. I can appreciate that a player with better and more DACs and more expensive to design and make output stages would produce audible improvements in SQ. However, you don't need $10k to get there.
Power cords: my system gets its AC power from a gazillion miles of wiring that I have no control over. Why would I think that the last three to five feet of it would make a remarkable impact on SQ? If I had audible noise in my system due to a noisy ac supply, I would consider a power conditioner, but I don't have that problem.
Interconnects: I believe in using decently made, reasonably priced ones. I believe that if you are going to spend lavishly, put the money in your speakers or the room. I have no doubts that you can hear what the $ bring you.
Speaker cables: See above
I apologize, I didn't understand that in your post #132 that you were responding to thegage's comments in addition to mine. In re reading our posts, it seems that we agree more than we disagree. Again, sorry.
I am also in the market for an SACD player in this price range. I like my OPPO-103 but I am wondering if I can do better.
Anyone interested in this thread would probably appreciate reading:
Sony SCD XA5400ES SACD/CD Player
You can buy them new on Ebay. Personally I will probably stay away from the Sony because it can not program track order, and the customer service sounds useless, although the red book performance seems to be best.
No one has mentioned the Marantz SA-14S1. It's a little above the price point, but who stay within budget? Has anyone compared it to the SA8005? I wonder if its notably better, or basically the same SQ as the SA8005.
There was discussion of the two Marantz players you mentioned in another thread recently. I was wondering the same as you, how they compared, and another member posted pictures that showed they most likely use the same transport. I have researched both players however and have never read any comments from someone that has actually listened to both and compared the sound quality.
Today I received a "closeout sale" email from Music Direct, they have the SA8005 for $900! I'm trying to decide if I should jump on it or wait - any speculation as to whether Marantz is discontinuing the line altogether, or perhaps about to release an upgraded model?
I have no idea of what Marantz is planning to do, but it's going to be hard to beat that player for less than $1000. However, if your budget affords something better, I'd look around a little. I have the 8004, which is basically the same. It's very good, but the players in the $2,500 - $3000 range are definitely better.
Marantz is coming out with the PM8006 and ND8006. The ND8006 is a CD/Network player that does not support SACD, but does support non-disc DSD playback.
I am very tempted at that price. I was contemplating the refurbished Oppo 205 at under $1,100.
For redbook, the Marantz wins hands down IMO. For SACD, the Oppo struck me as more dynamic and detailed. I'm not too impressed with the SACD playback on the Marantz. It's average at best for a $1,200 player. For redbook, the Marantz is exceptional by any measure, if what you want is musicality and convincing definition and detail.
I paid mine even less and I really like it
Just sold my Oppo 205, found redbook sound very inferior to my Sony XA5400ES
Unless you prefer the sound, as many do, of another player. Oppo is indeed one way, but it's not the only way.
Stereophile review Kal says for long term listening he preferred 205 with the ExaSound 38 dac for Subtle, Spacious & Smoothness. thats another $3400.
You are quoting out of context. He also goes on to say, in the same sentence, that he could make as good a case for the Oppo 205 with its sound quality. Feel free to quote the guy, but try and do it fairly.
Separate names with a comma.