I thought I would show everyone an excerpt of the other article that made me give this particular amp-sacd player combo this much importance.
This is from Michael Fremer's Stereophile article, the main selling point being this combinations ability to closely approximate analog sources.
"So much for LP. What about SACD? The Sharp takes the SACD bitstream directly in and amplifies it in the digital domain, so you'd expect the sound to be amazingly pure and transparent.
It was. I auditioned all the SACDs I could get my hands on, including Mobile Fidelity's hybrid of Duke Ellington's Blues In Orbit, and Sony's discs of Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain and Kind of Blue. The results were transcendent. I've heard SACD criticized for being too airy and open—as if that was an artifact of the process and not part of the recording. I don't know if I can agree with that after this audition, in which I A/B'd the Classic LP and Sony SACD of Sketches of Spain. Yes, both were digitized—one before being etched in polycarbonate, one in the SM-SX100—but even taking that into account, they sounded remarkably similar.
In the end, I preferred the SACD to the LP—it was slightly quieter, purer, more three-dimensional. In fact, it was the best playback of Sketches I've heard. I turned the lights out and listened all the way through without growing bored. The amp's rendering of the castanets was absolutely riveting. "