Thinking about getting a CD/SACD transport

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by heathen, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've got a Parasound P6 and am happy with the DAC in that, and I've been ripping all my CDs to a computer and playing them over my home network. I'm considering getting a CD/SACD transport, though, so I can get more SACDs and play the occasional CD (I actually don't currently have any ability to play CDs through my stereo system. What should I be looking to spend for a good CD/SACD transport? I don't need anything crazy, just something that will do the job competently. Also, any specific recommendations?
  2. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    About the only true SACD transport which one can buy is the PS Audio Memory player. But don't let this discourage you.

    A number of cheap Sony and Pioneer BluRay players will play SACDs. And using these, in combination with an HDMI de-embedder will allow you to play SACDs as high-res PCM which you can send to your DAC.

    The downside to this approach is that you are converting your SACDs to PCM. But this is a cheap approach which works for the most part.
    heathen likes this.
  3. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Would it be better to buy a SACD player with built-in DAC, then, in order to avoid the conversion to PCM when playing SACDs?
  4. Dougr33

    Dougr33 Forum Resident

    Twin Cities, MN
    Well, the SACD 'player' you buy will have a DAC, so it can output analogue sound to your system. You were asking about a 'transport' though, ostensibly to get the data off the SACD disc to be decoded by a better DAC than in a cheap CD/SACD player. The PS Audio route is probably fantastic but expensive. Many probably buy the best sounding SACD player they want to spend money on, and use its analogue outs for the SACDs and the digital out into the your P6 for CD playback
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    warp2600 likes this.
  5. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    The answer depends upon what your goal is, and how much you like the sound of your Parasound DAC.

    If you just want really good sound, and no hassles, then go out and buy one of the more-recent higher-quality Marantz SACD players. But don't expect to sent its SACD output to your DAC. Ever.

    There are ways to get true DSD out of a bluray player which can play SACDs. But its tricky, to do and most DACs will not accept DSD via inputs other than their USB input. So I'm not sure if the explanation of how to do this is even worth having since your Parasound may not even have inputs which are compatible with any of these alternate forms of DSD streams.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  6. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Given that you have ripped a chunk of your CD collection, and are playing files over a network, I suggest you look to buy one (or more) of the cheap Pioneer or Sony players that enable SACD ripping. Some models are listed towards the end of the first post in this thread:

    SACD Ripping using an Oppo or Pioneer? Yes, it's true!

    Someone may have a fuller list.

    If you wanted a player to do double duty as player and ripper, you should probably look for a used Oppo 105 or Oppo 105D.

    Unfortunately, all the players that use the necessary MediTek chip that allows ripping are out of production, so you will have to look to the used market. The Sony and Pioneer players were not expensive new (around $200 for the most expensive, as I recall), so you should be able to find one (or more) without spending crazy money. In this way you can rip your SACDs, and use the digital out of the player for the occasional CD (until you have ripped all those via your computer).

    This will give you the most freedom regarding DACs, and ensure that you can play your SACD files far into the future.

    The Oppo players were $1k to $1.5k, and may still command a premium given that Oppo has gotten out of the audio market.
    heathen and Bill Mac like this.
  7. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    FWIW: The Oppo 103 works well in this capacity as well, and is a lot cheaper. But it doesn't sound quite as good as does the 105.
  8. BrokenByAudio

    BrokenByAudio Forum Resident

    PSAudio has apparently discontinued making their Directstream player as it was built around some components from Oppo.
  9. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    These use one of the best Pro CD drives
    StreamUnlimited's CD mechanism CD–Pro 8 and Blue Tiger CD-84 servo system.
    Pro-Ject declares that the top-loading CD Box RS2 T “takes playing standard Red Book Audio CDs to perfection.”
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    CD Box RS2 T – Pro-Ject Audio Systems

    clhboa likes this.
  10. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital

    I'm pretty sure you will not find any worthwhile SACD transports for a reasonable amount of money. The PS Audio Direct Stream Memory Player would have been a good choice, however they are no longer offering these players with the Oppo Transport as they want to have plenty of repair parts to service the memory players out in the field now. The beauty of the Direct Stream is that it passed the DSD signal unchanged right to the Direct Stream DAC, full SACD, nothing lost or converted to PCM. Another great choice would be a one box player, which would take care of all conversions to the final analog outputs. The Marantz model SA8005 would get the job done for you, and you get a full function DAC when you buy the player, great deal, and exactly how I would stay in the SACD camp, and make no mistake, SACD is GREAT, I have many discs and love them! Thje SA8005 can be had for about $900.00, and my suggestion, GO GET ONE! :righton:

    Marantz Model #SA8005
    Featuring the reference-class high current CS4398 D/A converter, the SA8005 can accept a wide range of digital audio source types, including Super Audio CD Direct Stream Digital content at 2.8 and 5.6 MHz, along with linear PCM up to 24 bits and 192 kHz. The analog audio sections feature HDAM technologies for the purest audio reproduction. The DAC section features dual clock synchronization for optimum signal decoding, and can also decode MP3 and WMA digital audio formats.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019

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