Consumer SACD/DVD-A worth it?

Hi all,

I'm interested in getting a DVD player for movies and such, but am curious about dvd-a and sacd. I might be tempted to spend the extra cash on a pioneer dv-47a which is "universal" if it is worth it. My hunch is that even with a relatively cheap player, SACD and DVD-A will sound better than my Arcam FMJ CD23. What do you think? Will I be wasting my money - or will I actually get some good sound along with a good picture?

I went the DVD-A route about a year ago, anticipating it would be the next big thing. It hasn't quite worked out that way, but I'm still very enthusiastic about the multi-channel capabilities. I won't get into 24/96 since I doubt the resolving power of most systems (including my own) is much better than 18/19 bits. Of course, you will have to buy an outboard bass management device (I did) if you want full bass management. I've heard SACD but have not formed
an opinion. The following are a few of the discs I enjoy:
ELP (O Lucky Man), Foreigner 4(Juke Box Hero), Foreigner(Starrider), Aaron Neville(Morning Has Broken). The drawback to multi-channel DVD-A is you need a 6-channel analog input on your processor.

I looked at this and decided not to make the jump just yet. As of now, anyone who buys into either DVD/A or SACD is still an early adopter. If you want to experiment with the newest thing, go for it. But don't hold your breath waiting for the day when most new stuff comes out on these formats and the back catalog has been converted.

As for sound quality, from what I've heard (under admittedly less than ideal circumstances, since I don't have one of these at home), a well-mastered CD on your Arcam will trump a so-so mastering on even a top-of-the-line DVD/SACD player. But you should listen and decide whether the particular player you have in mind really sounds better to you.
I would highly recommend the sony DVP9000ES, it's a good DVD player, a decent CD player and a double good SACD player. The same disk, for instance, Headhunters, is night and day difference between the redbook CD and the SACD. I admit the CD player side of this machine is just average, maybe a tiny bit above average, but the Super Audio side is outstanding when comparing the two. This being a Sony product, it obviously does not play the competition, DVD-A, there are currently VERY limited titles avaliable and SACD's are more expensive than CD's. I feel the player is worth $1000 for the DVD player alone, and you can buy them brand new in the box for $1k on ebay all day long.
Agree with Bomarc. Arcam is a superb player, will easily beat most mass market players on CDs, and many current SACDs do not necessarily sound significantly better. It seems that reviewers are starting to be quite skeptical of SACD's performance - Harry Pearson, of Absolute Sound, for one; Jonathan Scull did not like the new Pioneer DV-AX10 ($5500!!)sound on SACD, preferring DVD-A.
It takes a while to collectively figure out what a format is doing, sonically, and it's not clear yet whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for SACD, in sound alone, as against DVD-A. And that's not to mention the whole question of the cost of converting recording/mastering equipment to DSD for future mass releases. In the age of MP3s' it's not going to happen. IMO.

Remember there were a LOT of people who loved CD sound when it first came out, before their ears could quite figure out what CD's actually did worse than LP...and the jury is still out about the balance of sonic advantages of each.
I personally predict that SACD will go the way of the Betamax, but will not necessarily be viewed as the superior sounding medium either (whereas Beta was clearly superior video).
OK, I'm babbling. good luck.
Sacd is worth it, period. I was a true vinyl junkie for over 20 years, and still love it. I sat out the entire life of CD because of its poor sound. However, vinyl has major problems too. Poor recordings are poor on vinyl,CD, or whatever, but great ones are great on vinyl and not on CD. The main problem with vinyl is wear. The really great recordings made in the '50's (Merc.Living Presence, RCA LSP series) have to be bought used. I had 200 of these albums that took 10 years to find. The wear was horrible and these were the best I could find in an entire USA personal tour of used record shops and swap meets. You can't get the perfect vinyl that you need to make records sound like they are capable of with a good player. Oh yeah, you'll get lucky and find some, but mostly shaved off highs and lots of pops and scratches is what you'll get. CD's just never made it because they lack the necessary information on the disc, it's as simple as that. That's why vinyl sounded better. Now SACD has got the digital thing right. Still not perfect, but way better than CD and better than the "typical" vinyl that you can really get. It is VERY close to perfect vinyl on a high end turntable. Granted, the titles are limited now, but they will increase. The reason the Pioneer player previously referred to didn't sound good is that the Pioneer reconverts the SACD to PCM before outputting to the analog stage, therefore ruining the sound. I have a Sony DVP s9000es SACD unit and it sounds great. I'm running it through an OTL tube amp and single driver speakers. For sound, value, and practicality, it beats vinyl, wipes out CD, and plays real music. Buy one now and start enjoying.
There is some discussion over at AA in the hi-rez section on the new Pioneer. Read the comments provided so far - if memory serves me right (and it rarely does...) cd is ok , dvd-a is very good but SACD is not that good. Check it out to verify for yourself...