The Pioneer DV-578A will do SACD and DVD audio and video plus much more for $129. I believe Audio Advisor sells these units.
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I think that at your price range, the Pioneer suggested in the other posts would be good. Another advantage of the Pioneer is that it does both SACD and DVD-A. Many other brands do one but not both. Sony, for instance, will do SACD, but not DVD-A. And many of the budget audiophile brands do DVD-A, but not SACD. My own feeling is that SACD has an edge in long-term market acceptance, but then again, manufacturers don't typically ask for my opinion!It's a good hedge to get a player that can do both.
I understand what you are saying. I am very particular with my equipment, but my budget now does not allow me to get exactly what I want. Someday I am sure I will have a very high quality DVD player, SACD Player, ect. that does what it is built to do at a top quality basis. However for now, I am sure the Pioneer would work. One last option I have for now is to use my current cheap dvd player and get a SACD/DVD-A player exclusive to only playing those, if anyone thinks I would hear a difference. Any opinions accepted!
I have had both the Sony NS755 and the Philips DVD963SA.
The Sony was better for SACD but waaay worse for CD than the Philips...probably due to the upsampling of the Philips for CD's...granted...these are just budget players that as Sedona Says will get you 80% of the companies "flagship" players. How much is that extra 20% worth? How good is the rest of your system?
As your primary concern appears to be SACD, I would go for the Sony...they can be found for just 200-250 new at the bigbox retailers.
just my 2c
Take a look at www.tweakaudio.com. There's a $100 Toshiba universal player that Ric Schultz does mods on for upwards to $300. I am currently using a stock Panasonic S47S with good success, but it does not play SACD. Some of the budget-class components of today easily outperform the once audiophile-class components of yesteryear. For example, the Philips SA1000 was a leader in its day, but is probably equalled or bettered by current budget models.