I listened to the Ayre C-5xe in a dealer's showroom and found it to be an excellent machine (and it is much better than the Ayre C-7xe which I own in my second system). But for about the same amount of money, the APL 3910 with the new AKM DACs is sonically head and shoulders above the Ayre C-5xe. The APL 3910 plays CDs, SACDs, DVD-As, DVDs and can be ordered with the multi-channel option. Alex Peychev of APL HiFi uses the Denon 3910 chassis and DSP and replaces everything else according to his own design. The built-in hybrid attenuator allows me to connect my APL unit directly into my amps in my primary system. Check out the reviews of the APL Denon 3910 on couple of threads on Audiogon as well as on the APL HiFi website.
I bought into the sacd craze when it was first introduced...and over time...have been less enthralled with the results...due to limited releases pertaining to my listening habits...and the marketing debacle Sony and others have created....at any rate...the Stone releases were a relevation...but are these truly DSD recordings? SHouldn't the praise go to the remastering efforts? At any rate...sounds like you have a fair amount of cds...your collection would be best served IMHO with a hi-end dedicated player...which you have...SACD is currently pandering to the HT/Multi crowd with little fanfare...which masks the real kicker: the dramatic improvement conventional cds have made over the years....thanks...
Counter the cost of a SACD player vs. the quantity of Redbook music you could acquire. SACD holds no interest for me because I've assembled a few Redbook rigs that play music so well I have no desire to start over. Much better to hit the used CD shops and enjoy not only the music but more music.
Perhaps a TT is in your future. That is a format to consider exploring, esp. since the vinyl renaissance is well under way.
I guess the recent discussion on the Prima triggered the upgrade itch for you.
You might want to talk to Howard (Boa2). He upgraded from the Prima to a
Cap I, and finally to a Denon APL 3910. He very much liked the Prima but
thought the APL 3910 is a huge upgrade.
For me, the Prima is a keeper for now. My analog rig has to change before the
Prima in my current setup...Since I got the Prima i realized I have to get a new
phonostage, table, etc to keep up.
Good luck with the upgrade itch.
I really don't have an itch. Just wondering if I'm missing out on SACD, and if I am, is their a player that can do what the Prima can (at the least) and do SACDs equally well. Just a thought I'd throw out to the 'gon. I'm happy as a pig .. with my Prima...
Every SACD unit I've heard just adds a bass hump around the 750 to 1000 hz to my ear! Reminds me of the old Dolby on cassette tapes. It's just an opinion. It still don't touch a turntable!
It looks like I am somewhat a voice of dissension here, but I have recently had my eyes opened to the potential sound quality of SACD with the EMM Labs gear. Even though I have owned the Meitner digital gear for over a year now, I only recently got around to buying a bunch of SACDs and doing some comparative listening.
I agree that redbook CD sound can be really great, but, with orchestral music, redbook sound has always come up noticeably short of my analog front end. The sound of well engineered SACDs is, on the other hand, clearly superior to redbook CD sound in my system, and the sound quality is stunningly close to that of my analog front end.
So, after having avoided the high rez stuff for years, I have now grown very enthusiastic for the SACD format. I hope that the format manages to survive in our little audiophile niche of the market.
So, Warren, especially if your listening preferences include orchestral music, I would like to see you move ahead to experiment with the SACD format. We need all the market demand we can muster to try to keep this format alive. ;>)
APL 3910 is a great choice. The Muse Model 11 is also a very nice sounding player.
I would avoide the SACD bug if at all possible and maximize your redbook CD playback. After traveling a long, expensive, and frustrating road with SACD (as I have detailed in other threads) I just do not believe it is worth it.
I received an email on the side from fellow audiophool explaining that Peychev has a poor reputatioin for follow up service and support. Peychev, 'twas stated, appears to trash other modders and legitimate manufacturers on AA. His mod philosophy appeaers to be very ephemeral. 18 months ago he was grooving on Burr-Brown Dacs, last year Wolfon, two months ago, Crystal, and now? Yep, something new again. Then there is the ubiquitous problematics if Peychev goes out of business, leaves the country, or becomes a Moonie: where o where do I get OEM support? All that being said, I'm still, however, excited about the APL given the audiophools who have emailed me exclaiming killer praise for Peychev and his modded Denon. Well at least the sound of his mod. Peychev emailed me in a timely fashion with his price and what he does. Very clear, friendly, and low pressure. What's an audiophool to do?
(With tongue half in cheek.)...On the other hand....Although you may be safe to assume that the big corporations will not likely be big Moonie supporters, you wouldn't be so safe in assuming they won't leave you high and dry after they take your Money. Case in point: The Phillips corporation left its transport clients high and dry without any replacement parts. And this is for a transport in which a critical part has failed in a lot of the units. (If I recall correctly, the model number is 1000.) Who gets stuck supporting those clients? Surprise! It's YOUR "Might Become a Moonie" person. Alex has not given up on those clients and has gotten the bum rap because Phillips didn't have the replacement parts. It appears that a fellow audiophile (who apparently is not YOUR audiophool :-)) discovered that one of Marantz's players had an equivalent replacement part. Why did that "dependable" Phillips Corporation not inform its clients about this? Just a wild guess: They wanted those clients to buy the latest new model. They may not be Moonies, but they are into Monies....And as for your comments about Alex's upgrades: Progress is inevitable. Do you stay with Sony's original "Perfect Sound Forever" or do you move on. And if you choose to move on, do you continually replace entire components with new ones as many of the big "dependable" companies (The Monies) would like you to do, or do you just pay for the parts and labor for the upgrade as many of the modders would have you do? Each of us must make that choice based on our circumstances and preferences. Based on how you ended your last post, it appears you have not closed the door to the APL option or to other mods. If my interpretation is correct, I would suggest, that you do some more homework. And when you do, I think you will get a more balanced picture about Alex and more importantly his superb machine. Since your last post was disproportionately negative, your homework up to now may not have been a representative sample. Enjoy the journey!
good points John. I thought my post was pretty clear, however. My homework is leading me the APL way. If anything is disproptionate, it is the positive, not the negative. and that's a good thing. warren
Warrenh, your original post states that you love the sound of your current player. If that's the case, then why change? If all you want to do is add SACD capabilities to your system, then buy a separate SACD player and keep the player you love.
George, I am very happy with my Prima, but that being said, it doesn't mean that I couldn't be happier. New sacd player means new ics, new power cord, new sistrum rack. In my case that means about $2500. I love my Prima, but there is better. I would have purchased a Capitole in a jiff, back when I purchased my Prima if I had the money. Now it appears that I can have sound that is better than the Capitole MKII with sacd capability for $6k. The experience ab ing the AA vs the APL3910 has been emailed to me by said owners, who now own and love the APL. Certainly exciting these tympanics.