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<$500 SACD playback - New player or PS3 & Schiit Loki

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have amassed enough SACDs that I'm looking to upgrade my system. Currently I'm using the analog outs on a Sony Blu-ray player. I was thinking about buying an Oppo BDP-103, then it occurred to me I could buy a PS3 (with the right firmware) to rip my collection and a Schiit Loki for the same price. Has anyone used the Loki and how does it compare to a dedicated player?

The Oppo seems to be the only player for under $500 dollars with good reviews and a good reputation for customer service. I'm hesitant to buy used because I've never been too hip on used electronics. I have found a PS3 with a 90 day full warranty and 1 year on labor for $300. Are there any other options I'm overlooking? I'm only looking for SACD playback. I don't care if it can play CDs, DVD-A, or movies. $500 is the most I'm willing to spend.
Edited by Radioking59 - 10/30/13 at 5:26pm
post #2 of 17

Does the Sony Blu-ray player have any digital outputs? USB, optical, coaxial

What currently are the Sony analog outputs connected to?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
It has coax, but it is limited to 16/44 for SACD playback from what I've read. I have it connected directly to my amp.

Another option is to extract high res PCM from the HDMI output with a de-embedder, but I would like to remove PCM from the equation completely.
Edited by Radioking59 - 10/30/13 at 11:30pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking59 View Post

It has coax, but it is limited to 16/44 for SACD playback from what I've read. I have it connected directly to my amp.

Another option is to extract high res PCM from the HDMI output with a de-embedder, but I would like to remove PCM from the equation completely.


What is the make and model of the Sony Blu-ray player?

post #5 of 17

I was once hard up for SACD stuff, in some ways I still am but the realization of superbly mastered redbook can be >>> the high res stuff.

 

IMO you're on the right track sticking with a reasonable budget but here's the thing.  Most CDP's these days don't tend to last - it's usually the lasers that go bad actually.

 

These days I recommend buying as cheaply as possible with the expectation that you may have to repair or replace something in the player if you plan to keep it long term.  Finding a local repair shop that doesn't overcharge is probably a good idea.

 

I use a Sony xa5400es in my best setup and it has not let me down yet, honestly it sounds just about as good as my Perfectwave mk2.  Used price I think they are closer to $900 though from what I have seen.  If I had to do it again I would probably go the Oppo route because they seem to be regularly updating their products, Sony on the other hand not so much.

 

I also found the analog out of my Ps3 to be less than stellar.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


What is the make and model of the Sony Blu-ray player?

 

BDP-S390

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post
 

I was once hard up for SACD stuff, in some ways I still am but the realization of superbly mastered redbook can be >>> the high res stuff.

 

IMO you're on the right track sticking with a reasonable budget but here's the thing.  Most CDP's these days don't tend to last - it's usually the lasers that go bad actually.

 

These days I recommend buying as cheaply as possible with the expectation that you may have to repair or replace something in the player if you plan to keep it long term.  Finding a local repair shop that doesn't overcharge is probably a good idea.

 

I use a Sony xa5400es in my best setup and it has not let me down yet, honestly it sounds just about as good as my Perfectwave mk2.  Used price I think they are closer to $900 though from what I have seen.  If I had to do it again I would probably go the Oppo route because they seem to be regularly updating their products, Sony on the other hand not so much.

 

I also found the analog out of my Ps3 to be less than stellar.

 

I realize redbook is good enough, but I have a source for SACDs and can get the out of print ones for less than $10 usually. I now have around 70 of them and plan on buying quite a few more new releases from Mofi, Audio Fidelity, and Analogue Productions in the future. I listen to them quite often so that's why I want to upgrade.

 

The lasers going bad on players is why I want to stay away from used. I have no intention of using the PS3 for playback.  I will only use it for ripping the DSD files from the SACDs. That is why I will buy the Schiit Loki DSD DAC also. The only reason I'm considering the PS3 is that it has a new laser and comes with a warranty.

 

I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on the PS3/Loki combo.  I figure that most of the price on the Oppo is based on features I won't use.

post #7 of 17

Source for cheap SACD's!?  DO TELL :)

 

What I was trying to get at was, since the players are mechanical in nature - moving parts- they will go bad just a matter of when rather than if.  Sony in particular if you read up on warranty service it's all over the board so better to take matters in your own hand either DIY or a local tech.  The new stuff is kinda built cheaper but the old stuff, even if well built, is just getting older by the day.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post
 

Source for cheap SACD's!?  DO TELL :)

 

What I was trying to get at was, since the players are mechanical in nature - moving parts- they will go bad just a matter of when rather than if.  Sony in particular if you read up on warranty service it's all over the board so better to take matters in your own hand either DIY or a local tech.  The new stuff is kinda built cheaper but the old stuff, even if well built, is just getting older by the day.

 

Not a chance I'm sharing that. It's online, that's as much as I'm going to say. I've been doing it for a couple of years now and I'm the only one who seems to have figured it out. The PS3 warranty is through the person who is "refurbishing" it.  It is an early model PS3, which are the only ones that can rip SACDs.


Edited by Radioking59 - 10/31/13 at 12:04pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking59 View Post

It has coax, but it is limited to 16/44 for SACD playback from what I've read. I have it connected directly to my amp.

Another option is to extract high res PCM from the HDMI output with a de-embedder, but I would like to remove PCM from the equation completely.


Where did you read that the Sony's SACD is limited to 16-bit/44.1Khz?

I just download the manual and I did not see any limitation listed on the coaxial output.

 

Edit.

So far it looks like the Sony 390 can output 24-bit/96Khz of LPCM (uncompressed) digital audio thru it's S/PDIF coaxial output.

 

Audio Features

  • Audio Features Coaxial
    • Dolby Digital bit-stream out : Yes
    • LPCM 2ch (~96kHz/~24bit) out : Yes
    • DTS bit-stream out : Yes
    • DTS Neo 6 : Yes

 

http://store.sony.com/blu-ray-disc-player-zid27-BDPS390/cat-27-catid-EOL-Blu-ray-DVD-Internet-Players

 

Also there is a firmware update dated Oct. 2nd 2013

http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=BDPS390&template_id=1&region_id=1&tab=download#/downloadTab


Edited by PurpleAngel - 10/31/13 at 12:22pm
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

I don't remember exactly where I've read that about my model, but the previous year model is limited based upon this thread

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/517789/2010-model-sacd-player-from-sony-bdp-s370-bargain-of-the-century-hi-fi-world-magazine

 

The SACD output is limited due to copy protection, not a restriction on the player.  There are no players that output DSD or DSD converted to high res PCM over SPDIF for this reason.  HDMI is the only way to get either.

 

I have no way to confirm this since I don't own a DAC or receiver that displays what bit/sampling rate is being inputted.


Edited by Radioking59 - 10/31/13 at 12:56pm
post #11 of 17

Even through HDMI it gets dumb and expensive real fast... Sony HATS or Pioneer PQLS receivers are ways to turn certain SACD players into transports but you are still limited to the DAC of that particular receiver.  I can't recall the device but IIRC there's a 3rd party converter/adapter device that will supposedly let you be free to move DSD through HDMI out to a device of your choosing.

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1155206/dsd-over-hdmi-players

 

I am certain the manufacturers are not wondering why the format has a hard time getting off the ground?

 

Without getting too far into reading of the above thread, they speak so highly of the xa5400es but a secret site has revealed to me that the guts are not as impressive as the literature would have you believe.  It still does sound good to my ears however.

 

---

 

Sorry to kinda ramble in your thread :)  I think I've sold myself on the idea that the ps3 + Loki is probably the smartest move.  The trick is to not spend too much because I am certain you'll end up at a point where you really need redbook or you'll get stuck with the same old same old in music choice.


Edited by Mr.Sneis - 10/31/13 at 1:22pm
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post
 

Even through HDMI it gets dumb and expensive real fast... Sony HATS or Pioneer PQLS receivers are ways to turn certain SACD players into transports but you are still limited to the DAC of that particular receiver.  I can't recall the device but IIRC there's a 3rd party converter/adapter device that will supposedly let you be free to move DSD through HDMI out to a device of your choosing.

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1155206/dsd-over-hdmi-players

 

I am certain the manufacturers are not wondering why the format has a hard time getting off the ground?

 

Without getting too far into reading of the above thread, they speak so highly of the xa5400es but a secret site has revealed to me that the guts are not as impressive as the literature would have you believe.  It still does sound good to my ears however.

 

---

 

Sorry to kinda ramble in your thread :)  I think I've sold myself on the idea that the ps3 + Loki is probably the smartest move.  The trick is to not spend too much because I am certain you'll end up at a point where you really need redbook or you'll get stuck with the same old same old in music choice.

 

I'm not replacing redbook. I have way too much money invested in audiophile and regular CDs that are ripped to FLAC to do that. This is in addition to those. Thanks for the help.

 

I'm curious about " I can't recall the device but IIRC there's a 3rd party converter/adapter device that will supposedly let you be free to move DSD through HDMI out to a device of your choosing."

 

What does this do? My cheapo Sony Blu-ray player can send DSD and DSD converted to high res PCM over HDMI. Like I said earlier I could extract the High res PCM and send it to my DAC, but this is not ideal as it needs to be hooked up to a TV. My current setup is not near a TV.


Edited by Radioking59 - 10/31/13 at 1:39pm
post #13 of 17

Found what I was talking about the Atlona HD570 HDMI De-Embedder, after glancing maybe it's not quite DSD through HDMI but it is an interesting device.

 

I encourage you to try it out because I never got to!

 

Original post/thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/517789/2010-model-sacd-player-from-sony-bdp-s370-bargain-of-the-century-hi-fi-world-magazine/45#post_7002200

 

Review of device:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=82217.0

 

Device: 

http://www.amazon.com/Atlona-AT-HD570-HDMI-Audio-De-Embedder/dp/B002BBAA4C

 

Cheaper Alternative:

http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html


Edited by Mr.Sneis - 10/31/13 at 2:21pm
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
That's exactly what I was talking about when I said extract the high res PCM from HDMI. I was going to go that route earlier this year, but I need a TV or HDMI receiver in the equation for the "handshake" issue from what I understand.
Edited by Radioking59 - 10/31/13 at 2:21pm
post #15 of 17

Sorry I have selective hearing/reading real bad like.  Oh yeah check this one too!

 

Sony XE-800

http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=hirez&m=274323

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