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Head-fi's Recommended Digital Sources call for nominations - Page 2

post #16 of 142
I'm a little confused as to how these recommendations for different price-categories is supposed to work. Is it:
a) recommendations for players that belongs in a certain pricerange
b) recommendations for what you think the player should be worth

I thought it was option a, but if that's so I don't understand what it means to have one player in several price-categories since it can't have several prices?
post #17 of 142
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Welly Wu
We get a lot of talk about the SONY SCD-555ES and newer NE-555ES or something like that. Those should be added under the appropriate categories in your original compilation. There should be a provision for the SACDMod version of the SCD-555ES as we have an actual review about it too.
Welly Wu, I'm sure the 555ES will be nominated. But I'd like to wait till someone who has heard it, and who has heard a few other similarly priced players, sends the nomination. Remember that's one of the criterias to gather these recommendations. There's no way to control that, but let's agree on sending a nomination only if you've heard the player, and a few other similarly priced players, representative of the same price range let's say. Also, specifying if it goes for CD, or SACD, or both, or universal, and some of the others in particular.

Originally posted by TMC
I thought it was option a, but if that's so I don't understand what it means to have one player in several price-categories since it can't have several prices?
The idea comes from 3lusiv3, and I think it makes sense. I used it in the Toshiba SD3950 case. That player costs $59.99 in Best Buy. I think it is the best CD sound I've heard not only for any CD player below $100, but also among all CD players I've heard that cost less than $200, as well as in some respects, also among players costing around $500. So despite the fact that the player belongs to only one price range, it can be a good recommendation for higher price ranges since its sound is competitive in that higher price bracket. That's the idea.
post #18 of 142
Thread Starter 
One other thing, if you see a player already in the nominations, don't hesitate to nominate it again (if you haven't nominated it already that is) if you think it is among the best in a particular price range, and again, if you've heard at least a few other representative players in that same (or higher) price range.

I will count the repeated nominations and put the counts in the heading post. The repetitions basically will mean that many headfiers agree that's a highly recommended component for a specific playback format and price-range.
post #19 of 142
I dont think you can beat the sacdmods 555es in the $1200 category for sacd or cd playback. How it compares to other more expensive digital is hard to quantify. I had a fully tricked out Perpetual Technolgies p1a digital upsampler-resolution enhancer and p3a 24/96 dac combination. This included the upgraded Monolithic Sound power supply, upgraded Revelation Audio I2S cable and an upgraded Audioquest ac15 power cord for the power supply; and upgraded Revelation Audio power cords for the p1a/p3a. This Perpetual combo is rated stereophile class A . The Perpetual units were driven by a dedicated PS Audio Lambda cd transport rated stereophile class B. Furthermore, the Perpetual units were fed by a PS Audio P300 power regenerator.

When I compared the two, the sacdmods 555es was plainly better to me. This was with cd's, let alone sacd's. I dont know if the Perpetual units are overated because they sound exceptionally good, however, the 555es had all the strengths of the p1a/p3a along with better bass, dynamics and especially a fuller, more complete tonality. I didnt keep the Perpetual units more than a couple weeks after that before I sold them. I enjoyed the Perpetual combo immensely before I heard the sacdmods 555es, but the sacdmods player just overwhelmed me. Those Perpetual units with the upgrades cost me over $2200. The cd transport was $2000 new. The sacdmods player cost me just under $1200. How can you beat the value and performance of these modded 555es players when you look at this comparison?

I also auditioned a Sony XA 777ES ($3000 retail/ $2000 Oade Brothers best price) on better equipment, in a very good sounding room and I didnt think the sound was as good as my sacdmods based setup. The 555es had more life and more refinement. I could see the sacdmods 555es competing with very good $3000 players step for step.

I also want to mention the sacdmods 963sa. This player is extremely good and rivals the sacdmods 555es for about 2/3rds the price. I dont see what is going to compete with this player at that price point. Again, where this player falls in the pecking order is hard to establish but it has to be one of the top options in the $600-1200 price range. The regular 963sa is mediocre from my auditions, but once its modded with a zap filter output stage; it is transformed. Unfortunately, I am the only one who currently has one of the modded 963sa's so I am the only one who can currently comment. In the meanwhile, if you cant find a 555es, and feel you can trust my comparisons and conclusions, the 963sa is a splendid alternative. Gradofan is supposed to be coming down to hear my setup soon, and he owns a stock 963sa, so hopefully you can hear an informed second opinion as to the quality of the sacdmods 963sa over the stock unit.
post #20 of 142
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sacdlover, wow it will take me quite a few minutes to update the recommendations with such a detailed posting Keep them coming guys!
post #21 of 142
Here's some more opinions I have about the Denon DVD 2900 and Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi:

Denon DVD 2900:
Awesome video playback
Decent Red Book CD playback but not worth the $1000 USD MSRP
Excellent DVD-AUDIO playback worth its asking price
SACD is slightly better than Red Book but not worth the $1000 USD MSRP

Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi:
Film-like DVD-Video playback via component video
HDTV resolution with DVD-Video upscaling via HDMI / DVI (HDCP)
Red Book CD playback far better than even the NAD C541i HDCD; worth the $1600 USD MSRP with HiBit / Legato PRO enabled
DVD-AUDIO = 3D, ultra resolution, like you're there on stage with the musicians jamming; worth the MSRP
SACD = smooth, relaxing, natural; leaps and bounds better than Denon DVD 2900 and worth the MSRP

Build quality is very good. No need for cheap tweaks to control vibration.

I hate to put more work on your shoulders but you're going to need to update this thread all over again once I post here with my thoughts on the ModWright Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi in early June 2004.
post #22 of 142
I will nominate the Ayre CX-7 in the 2000 dollar range for pure CD playback. It's pretty awesome. I liked the Cary better though it can be had for about 2700-3300 used, and 5000 MSRP. I will not nominate it though, since I own it. Carlo's Audionote player is excellent, but it is modded. Most of the other players I have heard are not as good (including much of the Arcam line, the Krell SACD standard and their 8000 dollar DVD player).
post #23 of 142
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by stuartr
I will not nominate it though, since I own it.
Ah Stuart, even if you own it you can nominate it. The note about that was just to prevent people from thinking they should just nominate the equipment they own (e.g. the recommended list is not compiled from asking "what's your source"). But if you've heard other players in the price range of your Cary and you think the Cary is among the best to recommend in that price range, then please do nominate it.

Also, if you are nominating Carlo's Audionote player, what model is it, and what mods does it have?
post #24 of 142
It is the audioNote 2.1x w/ Superclock II. It retails for 1500 USD.
post #25 of 142
Thread Starter 
Do you know more or less the price of that superclock mod?
post #26 of 142
not a clue in the world.
post #27 of 142
Thread Starter 
Here I came with a little difficulty with the price ranges. Stuartr you indicate the modded Audionote to you sounded better than for instance the Krell SACD standard, which retails for $4000. So I added the $3000 - $4000 price range in CD's to put this modded Audionote there.

Sacdlover, question for you. I'm not sure if I should stretch the ranking of the modded 555es up there too. Not sure if you said the $3000 mark as a precise upper bound, or whether the sacdmods 555es might be competitive also in the $3000-$4000 range.

Headfiers in general, if you see anything questionable, or something that might need any kind of revision/correction, please don't hesitate to point it out.
post #28 of 142
Why not put the NAD C541i HDCD and newer NAD C542 HDCD players in the under $500 USD and $600 USD MSRP Red Book CD player category? They're terrific bargains for the beautiful sound they produce.
post #29 of 142
Thread Starter 
Welly are you nominating them, or just suggesting someone should nominate them? Remember, nominate only if you've heard them, + also you should have compared with at least a few other players in that same price range, and in your opinion your submission stands out as among the best in its price range or even higher.
post #30 of 142
Well, I did not compare these players head to head, I just remember liking the audionote more than I liked the Krell, that does not mean that the Krell is overall worse than the audionote.
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