HDCD/SACD/CD Player recommandation?
Mar 27, 2006 at 2:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

SGI

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Hi guys,

I need some recommandation for my system.

Requirements: play Redbooks (with HDCD decoding as my receiver doesn't have HDCD Decoding and SACD.
Optionally: DVD-Video with video upconvert (since I will be buying a native 720P projector soon)


My 1st System/Setup: (which will most likely be the one playing back the SACDs)
Speaker: Swans 5.1 (L&R only - matchinging center and a pair or two Swans Dipole will most likely be added in the future)
Receiver: Boston Acoustic AVR7120 (Basically a Sherwood Newcastle R965 clone!??!??)
DVD Player: Philips DVD727 with Redbook (no HDCD Decoding) and DVD-Video support ONLY.

2nd System is a pair of Omega Super 3 matched with T-Amp - driven by my Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 Soundcard. Softwares are my CDs in APE lossless format played via winamp with ASIO plugin (to prevent windows resampling)

So far, my research (which are from reading Internet forum such as this) has lead me to:

1) Sony CE595 (it is said to be the best bargain for SACD currently available by many) with an OKAY redbook playback. But don't know if it has HDCD decoding? It doesn't have Video Playback.

2) Pioneer DV-558A - a Universal player that plays everything. Again, not sure about HDCD Decoding.

3) Samsung DVD-HD960 - Haven't read much about it except its product literature.

Which of the 3 above will provide the best matched (both sound-wise and money-wise) for my equipment? Will the Sony sound better than the other two since it doesn't have any video circuitry (which translates to less noise and all the cost in developing it goes to the Audio department) Or are there other players that I should be looking at? Thanks in advance for any inputs that you can provide.


-=SGI=-
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 4:41 AM Post #2 of 24

ilovecables

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Don't get too hung up about the HDCD, as there's not much software out there.
The best of the choices you've listed in the Samsung.
Another one to consider is the Sherwood/Newcastle SD871.
The Omega's would bring out the best of these players.
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Mar 27, 2006 at 5:45 AM Post #3 of 24

Uncle Erik

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I'll second the Samsung recommendation- it is a good unit.

The other benefit of that rig is that it's a region-free DVD player. Get one now before the MPAA bans it.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:15 AM Post #4 of 24

ddroit2005

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Me, too. I recommend the Samsung unit. It is a great player.
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Mar 27, 2006 at 1:44 PM Post #5 of 24

Old Pa

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HDCD decoding is in the CDP's DAC chip. Since Microsoft aquired Pacific Microsonics, the inventer/developer of HDCD, a complete listing of the over 5000 HDCD recordings has been more difficult to find. 5000 available titles, however, makes SACD and DVD-A look pretty puny. I would check out the current Denon universal players.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 4:18 PM Post #6 of 24

zeropoint

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I don't think the DVD-HD960 has HDCD or SACD support. The DVD-HD1080 does add SACD (and DVD-Audio) but not HDCD. When checking specs for candidates, watch out for references to HDCP, a different deast altogether. IMHO, if you want hq audio, your best bet is a player from Denon, one of the few to provide fairly consistent support for HDCD. Pioneer don't support HDCD in their players.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 4:52 PM Post #9 of 24

Alu

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I don't know what your budget is, but I'm very happy with my universal player Denon DVD-2910. Then again...for redbook I let it run into the DAC.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 5:50 PM Post #10 of 24

zeropoint

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Arainach
Reading pays off in the end.


Not this time
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Amazon are renowned for incorrect specs. Samsung's press release inidcates only the 1080 has SACD & DVD-A. Samsung don't make SACD+DVD players: they make DVD-V or universal DVD-V+DVD-A+SACD players. Sometimes specs loosely mention SACD but mean the CD layer of hybrid SACDs.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:04 PM Post #11 of 24

soundboy

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At J&R, the description for the Samsung DVD-HD1080 also mentioned SACD v2.0....

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4082131

under the general description of the player, you get the following....

1080p up conversion
DCDi by Faroudja
DVD audio/SACD v2.0
5.1 channel vitual surround
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 2:27 AM Post #12 of 24

SGI

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ilovecables, thanks for the additional suggestion of the Sherwood Newcastle. It looks like an excellent unit, but I guess at its MSRP, It'll be out of my budget for now (unless I wait a bit longer and let my Amex cash reward accumulate more)
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Regarding the Omega, are you suggesting that I should use that for SACD playback instead of the Swans/BostonAcoustic/Mirage S12 Subwoofer combo? I will probably give it a try since the midrange on the Omega is so much lively. So lively that female vocals are just creepy! I just love it. I originally thought of using the SACD player with the Swans since that's in my family room where everyone can enjoy the music; and that the Swans have a delicated tweeter to take the advantage of the airy-ness nature of SACD (or so I heard/read) and the Mirage S12 Subwoofer provides the bottom end. This would give it the fullness that the Omega lacks. (but I am thinking of getting a Super tweeter and perhaps a sealed sub for my Omega setup in the future)

Old Pa, thanks for the history behind HDCD. I only knew that MS ownes it but nothing else. I have about 20 or so HDCD titles in my CD library... but I never did listen to it in its HDCD decoded form. The only time I tried it was via Windows Media Player which I only noticed subtle difference since Windows Media Player cannot bypass the dreadded upsampling of the windows mixer unlike using APE (Monkey's Audio - a lossless compression format) being played back via Winamp thru the ASIO driver. The reason why I wanted to give HDCD more chances is because of some 192kHz/24bit mastered CDs that I have (the CD is in itself the same old redbook CD - 44.1kHz/16bit - but it was processed by using a 192kHz/24bit DSP - I think XRCD2 uses simliar processing as well) I'll also look into the suggestion of Denon. How much do they go for on the street? (are we allow to discuss street price here? if not, please let me know the MSRP instead)

zeropoint, from the Spec page of samsung's website, it does show that it plays SACD. Their Manual also have a page devoted to Super Audio CD playback as well. As for the DVD-HD1080, I couldn't find any info on Samsung's website. It looks like a promising player with 1080P upconvert!!! NICE!!! Thanks for your suggestion. As for the SIGMATEK XM-400 Pro, I don't know if I should risk it dispite the fact that is is a good featured unit at a bargain price since my piority goes to sound quality which is why I wanted to hop onto the SACD bandwagon. But if you happen to find some more info about its sound quality, please let me know, I might reconsidered.
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But thank you again for the suggestions.

Thanks soundboy for the link about the HD1080. It really look promising

Uncle Erik, ddroit2005, Arainach, Alu, Thanks for posting on your opinion, it's greatly appreciated.


Sorry for sounding like I just won an Emmy and giving my Thank You speech. But I truely appreciate the feedback that you guys provided or will be providing. Again, any more suggestion, I'm all ear!
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-=SGI=-
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 9:25 AM Post #14 of 24

zeropoint

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SGI
zeropoint, from the Spec page of samsung's website, it does show that it plays SACD. Their Manual also have a page devoted to Super Audio CD playback as well. As for the DVD-HD1080, I couldn't find any info on Samsung's website. It looks like a promising player with 1080P upconvert!!! NICE!!! Thanks for your suggestion. As for the SIGMATEK XM-400 Pro, I don't know if I should risk it dispite the fact that is is a good featured unit at a bargain price since my piority goes to sound quality which is why I wanted to hop onto the SACD bandwagon. But if you happen to find some more info about its sound quality, please let me know, I might reconsidered.
smily_headphones1.gif
But thank you again for the suggestions.



Your 'spec page' link is for the 950, but you initially mentioned the 960. The former is indeed a universal player, such that the latter doesn't fully supercede it. The 1080 is more the successor, but ups the ante. True, there isn't much info, and some of it is conflicting - I don't think they're available yet. Sorry to be vague. Yes, the SIGMATEK looks interesting, but I've never heard it, so can't comment on sq. It's a bit of a gamble. Maybe you could get it modded later. Another option is a decent universal player without HDCD, then get something like a musical fidelity x-dac (outboard DAC with HDCD) on ebay - I've seen a few recently.

I just got a Yamaha DVD-S1500 on eBay, and MF X-DAC, both for less than half price, and use them with an MF X-Pre, X-Tone (also from eBay), X-10D, X-PSU, and X-CanV2. This gives me DVD-Audio, SACD, CD upsampling, and HDCD, amongst other things.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 9:24 PM Post #15 of 24

SGI

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zeropoint, you are right, I had the 960, which is yet to be released, and 950 confused. I've too much work lately.

soundboy, it sure is a small world/internet!!! hahahaa... I didn't get my Susan Wong SACD yet because my sister couldn't find it!!!! Arrrgh... So most likely I will have to source them from ebay or somewhere online (let me know if u have any good place for SACD shopping) But at least, that gives me a bit more time shopping for the "perfect" SACD player.

Does anyone know what kind of DAC is in used on the Samsung DVD-HD1080 (I'd assume it will be the same as the DVD-HD950 and the upcoming DVD-HD960) and perhaps the Denon 2900 or 2910? Thanks!!!


-=SGI=-
 

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