CD/SACD Player. I know there are many threads but I still would like help.


I'm fairly new to this insanity so please talk slowly. Haha.

My system is-  Bel Canto Pre2
                        Parasound JC-1 Mono Amps
                        Exogal Comet with Power supply
                        Arcam FMJ CD 23
                        Panamax 5500 regenerator
                        Usher 8571 Diamond speakers


   This is a 2 channel music only system. I am happy with the Arcam cd player but i would like to play SACD also. If I change players i would probably want a substantial upgrade but i'd rather not put a dollar amount to it. I have a good DAC so what direction should i go in?  Help please. Mike Houstina
bubba12
The Exogal Comet is a well reviewed DAC so one less expensive way to go is to try various cabling between your CDP and DAC. If you're still not satisfied, try a different transport as well. There are some dedicated ones out there leaving it all to how you want to marry it to the DAC. That way, if you ever want to dip your toes in PC waters, you still have your DAC.

As a last resort, a Marantz Reference SACD player is a very musically satisfying choice. That's my 2cents.

All the best,
Nonoise

I already listen to Macbook connected to the system also. I guess what I'm missing is SACD playback ability. It might be a lot of money for the ability to play SACD. The Marantz seem to be highly regarded. I'm pretty happy with the Arcam. I guess SACD might not be worth the cash. Thanks.
 

Since SACD is not reliant on the newest technology, 100 bit rate, you don't need the newest player.  A used high end unit such as sony es, pioneer elite, oppo and more should sound as good as a newer unit by the same company.  For 2 channel keep using your really nice DAC.
I have had the Arcam FMJ 23 decent player I now have the Usher 8571 also, very good speaker, I do wish I had the JC-1 monos!


There is a nice Marantz SA11-2 for sale here on audiogon, very nice player and check this one out,  I'd buy it if I didn't have a good player already the Marantz KI Pearl Limited Edition:   http://analogshop.com/index.php/demo-used
I will check out the Marantz. I just received the Ushers a couple days ago. So far I like them. I haven't had a lot of listening time. I'm starting to doubt whether I need a SACD player. Maybe I'll live without SACD. I don't have that many. 

       Thanks, 
.                   Mike Houstina

Just wondering if you realize that a SACD player will not output its digital DSD stream for conversion into a standalone DAC - you must use the DAC inside the player to listen to them. Unless you can extract the digital stream from the SACD and load it onto a server to play it, you will not be able to use the Exogal when playing SACD's.

Will other members please chime on this?

if you are happy with what you have, and just want to try SACD, I agree with elevick that you should try an older, less expensive player...then if you get hooked on SACD you will have a decision to make. The Lexicon RT-20 plays great SACD, and they are currently inexpensive
@seasoned. I did not know that. Thanks for that information. Maybe the SACD is not going to be of great importance to me. i guess I could have it hooked into the preamp but it seems like a lot of money and trouble for the few SACD's I've acquired. Thanks, Mike Houstina

Mike-
I like those Arcam FMJ cd players as well.
I guess I'm going to stick with the Arcam and live without SACD. 

Your Arcam has the same "Ring Dacs" that $12k DCs Elgar had.  It is hard to beat it.  
The source is just that...the start of it all!  Almost all sources suffer from inadequate power supplies.  They also do not process the delicate signal with proper non-destructive signal paths.  The source is where the magic begins...a Krell Cipher for example delivers the music intact and unadulterated.  It also requires a great PC AND IC's which can equal the cost of the player.  It all depends on how much you desire the best sound possible.  Only you can decide....but seriously, this MacBook streaming crap should be for background party music only!
i respect that opinion but truthfully I can't tell the difference between the files through my DAC and the CD player. I listen to a lot of hard rock and maybe it's less picky.
dave_b

which cabling are you using w/ your Krell?
What other gear rounds out your system?

Happy Listening!
Using MIT Oracle 3.5 Prolines wt Magnum M1.3 Biwire's, an Oracle ACII PC for my Krell Vanguard and aTransparent MM2 PC for the Cipher.  Both fed through a Transparent Iso Duo Powerbank.  I also Have an REL S2 SUB with Speakon connection and an MIT Magnum ACII PC.  Speakers are Resolution 2's by Krell.  The vanguard replaced my Krell 300Cx and Phantom II.....the new Krell stuff is just so musical and alive sounding!  The integrated actually sounds better than when I had the Evo 402/202 combo....it had more slam but was not as musical sounding.
Outstanding! dave_b

I have always wanted to demo MIT cable systems. It is good to learn that MIT and Krell are a sonic match.

Interestingly, is there a special reason for the Transparent PC on your Cipher?  Did you consider a MIT PC ?
I have a question since you guys seem very intelligent about audio. I run my Exogal Comet through a Preamp. They don't recommend it but I listened both ways. Anyway a guy at Exogal said to set the volume at 80 instead of all the way up. Then turn the preamp up a little more. Do you guys think this makes any difference at all?
Jafant, simply trial and error...the Transparent filtering seems to work better on the Cipher and the Vanguard favors the Oracle PC.  I don't pretend to know why exactly, but they simply allow for amazingly pure and dynamic sound in that configuration.
Bubba12, perhaps by not going all out on the gain it avoids saturation of the preamp input?
Many Thanks! dave_b

system synergy comes around in many forms. Happy Listening!
Thanks Dave B. I'm new to all the terms used in this hobby. I'm slowly but surely learning. I upgraded to the Musicwave Transparent line of speaker cables since yesterday and that made a world of difference. I had the bottom Transparent line before.

Transparent and MIT really deliver a far more dynamic and tonally correct representation of the music.  They actually make it easier for the musical signal to get from one component to another without loosing it's harmonic structure and dynamic envelope. Transparent's claim to fame is the removal of noise artifacts above the range of hearing which lowers the noise floor thereby improving signal purity and contrast.  MIT also lowers the noise floor but also adds articulation poles which electrically make it easier for the signal to be transported at various frequency ranges.
Its amazing how close to the best the oppo 105 gets for a reasonable cost (IMO) It plays almost anything and you can hook up a hard drive with all your favs burned in a lossless format . Great movie playback as well.

I agree dave_b.

I have auditioned almost all of the MM2 series cables/cords to include the mighty OPUS line.  It never disappoints. Transparent is an excellent company IMO.
I think it's important to recognize sacd discs can be mastered poorly. I've heard great Sacds and poor quality versions. I've heard redbook discs that are more resolving and dynamic than Sacds I've listened to.




I've decided that my audio dollars can be used in better places.

bubba12,
Just curious. What direction are you going, if not a CD/SACD player.

I am considering the Oppo 105d + Bryston BDA-3 in a few months.
I'm going to stick with the Arcam CD player and MacBook Pro through my Exogal Comet. I'm not going to worry about SACD right now. 

Thanks! for the update -bubba12.
This is an interesting thread as I am having the same dilemma about purchasing a dedicated sacd player.  I have a decent system but not as sophisticated as the OP.  I am currently using the Oppo 105D and in a second system, the bdp-95 to listen to sacds.  I am not happy with how they sound on these universal disc players.  I have also tried a HDMI de-embedder to play them with my dac (luxman da-06, Lite On 60 modded) at 88khz 24 bit pcm.  I am torn between purchasing a dedicated sacd player (~$4000), The Bryston 3 dac ($3500), or just use the Oppo players for the discs that I do have and in the future only purchase dsd files that I can play through the USB input of my current dacs.  After ripping my cd collection onto a pc server, I have become spoiled and since then have packed away my cd collection.  I am leaning towards the third option although I often think about having a dedicated player. 
Since I listen to mostly regular Cds and files I decided to just live without SACD. I don't have unlimited funds so I'll spend that money elsewhere. 

Audioman, I recently purchased a Marantz SA-11s1 sacd player, which is an older model,to replace my Cambridge Audio CD player.This was the best improvement I've made in my system. All the cd's I have played sound much better and the first sacd I purchased (Roger Waters) is just amazing. Again, this player has been the best purchase for  sound quality that I have made. Hope this helps.
Thanks! for sharing- giantsalami

Happy Listening!
Audioman, I share your pain, which was why I started a thread about the Bryston 3 DAC .  Now that I have significantly upgraded my DAC
(Mytec Manhatten) and my red book playback via FireWire , my Oppo 105 is looking like an aging beauty queen for SACD.

Anyone own a Marantz DV-9500/9600 ?
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Interesting points, audioman2015. Sony can be secretive w/ their wares at times? I love SACD and it will continue to be around for years.
You can not go wrong with OPPO players...... they play virtually every format.   I have the 103d and it's a good value for  $600.  The 105 is even better on the audio side if your budget allows