Coping in an Age of Uncertainty

there have been numerous threads here, i know, about sacd v. dvd-a, upsampling, oversampling, etc. a number of these threads have included discussions of which, if any, new digital format will replace what we now call “redbook” cd’s. i don’t wish to rehash these discussions. rather, i’d like to hear from others how they are coping with the “age of uncertainty” in the realm of digital audio. is it better to “roll the dice” and invest in sacd or dvd a? ignore the contenders for the new and get the best possible out of redbook cd’s? buy with upgradeability firmly in mind? follow another path? i don’t post this query out of mere curiosity. i really haven’t figured out what course i should follow. i’d appreciate your giving me a hand. -kelly
Boy Cornfedboy, I think you've asked the one question that's been pondering in most our minds. I'm like you, not sure what to do. Who wants to dump a lot of money into a format with limited source material, that may be bust in the near future. Not me! To date I've chosen to hang in there & see what's going to happen. The problem is...nothing is likley to happen real soon. Too bad. I wish someone would get off the pot. Of course it all comes down to MONEY.
Money aint for nothin, but your chics are free. That's for sure (Dire Straits)! I say technology is great but, at the same time what a headache.
This whole thing about SACD vs DVD Audio-24/96 is driving me crazy. I was just about to buy the new Sony 9000 SACD/DVD player but thought about it after I had a Martini (shakened not stirred please). Why the hell am I going to buy something that I have absolutely no sacds and a few thousand cds. I have a damm good digital front end now and it's paid for. I walk into all the record stores, Best Buys of the world etc, and ask if they are getting sacds or dvd audio cds and they look at me like I am a whacko trying to cause trouble for the uneducated sales person, SECURITY! I am sitting tight and waiting til the major lable companies make a big investment $$$$ and are committed in a long term. You heard it before, but these formats could turn into the next Dinosaur- Sony Beta, even though the quality was better than the standard VHS format. But if you have money to burn and want to pay $25 a pop from such a limited library, go for it and we'll have our fingers crossed for you if there is a future.
Great thread. I've made the decision to keep my current Sonic Frontiers T3/P3 combo until the whole thing gets sorted out. It's pretty close to perfect at reproducing the info on my 1,000 CDs. However, I've also decided that it is worth jumping into analog NOW. I just bought a decent analog set-up that actually cost more than the digital front end. I figure that there are enough great titles floating around and the format will not be obsolete for at least another 10-15 years. One unexpected thing that I'm learning is that some of the titles that I really want (e.g. MFSL records) are costing me twice as much as any of the new digital formats.
cornfedboy, the only way i'm gonna replace my $500 nad cd-changer is if it breaks. if/when a new format emerges w/software awailable like current redbook cd's, then isle consider an upgrade. i tried cd-players up to $3k that offered no improvements over my nad player in its current set-up, plugged into my melos preamp.

for anyone wanting to upgrade their digital format, i'd say to them: upgrade your preamp! this will improve the cd-sound more cost-effectively than getting a gnu cd-player, it will also upgrade your other sources, & ya don't have to worry about spending money on a hardware system that may become extinct in the future, & has limited software now.

regards, doug

The smart thing to do is to wait and let other people dictate which format will survive. If the history of CDs and DVDs shows anything, it will be a about 2 years before vast numbers of software titles are widely available. So, if you're smart, you have two years to do nothing. Stand along the sidelines and let the world pass you by. Alternatively, you could get involved. Make a commitment. Take a risk. Maybe, you'll make the wrong decision and get stuck with a dead format. So what! Despite 20 years of CD, vinyl playback is alive and sounding better than ever. Was I really supposed to dump my laserdiscs because DVD came along? I recently purchased a Sony SACD player along with 10 discs. The sound quality is definitely superior to standard CD playback. Why wait when you can have great sound now?
I had pondered this question for three years, waiting for one of the new formats to become dominant. I had an older CD player, one that worked fine(until recently), but left me wanting more sonically. I went back and forth so many times, I was totally confused. Finally, I decided that SACD and DVD-A were moving at a snail's pace. And that neither would be replacing CD in the next year, or more... So, I decided to buy a better CD player. I saw one that I wanted, but my girlfriend insisted on buying me one as a Christmas gift. The one I wanted was $1200. There was no way I was going to let her spend that much money. I then auditioned all the sub-$1000 price category. I found two that I thought were worthwhile. I bought the one that had a 24 bit DAC(192 kHz). The Cambridge D500 SE. As it is a $450 player, I will not feel as if I threw money down a hole should one of the new formats take control in the next couple years. And, it is still up in the air whether either will displace CD(see Sam Tellig's article in the February Stereophile). I more or less agree with Sam. I also went to my local record stores to check out exactly where SACD/DVD-A were, in the "real world". To say that they yet to make an impact was a supreme understatement. The stories I could give you... Put it this way, neither is even known(literally) to people outside of our world. I am happy I got a great sounding, cheap player. If you are of the opinion that our solace will be found in upsampling(and that our players will ultimately become transports), then my smile may never stop growing. The music I want is only on CD(even NEW releases). If one of the new formats becomes dominant, of course I will welcome it. Until then, I will simply sit back and enjoy my system.
Those who sit back and wait are voting for cd sound forever in one form or mp3,dvd-a ect.I was watching The Eagles Hell Freezes Over last night and thinking to my self.This five channel for music sound is not acurate,and as far as the video for music thing,this is not a good thing and just takes up space that could be used for better sound.Video is great for movies,but i think most would agree has no place in audio.I do not beleive there will ever be any realistic sounding 5.1 channel music.So knowing this and hearing opinions on sacd quality being better than dvd-a by people who own both,i will never own a dvd-a player.So if you are to lazy for vinyl like me and want better than[cd sound forever]the choice is a simple one and this is why i bought the9000es sacd/dvd/cd player.Do you want music videos[dvd-a]The hassles of vinyl,the inferior sound of cd or mp3? or do you want the better than cd sound music lovers have been waiting for almost twenty years for[sacd] If you sit back and wait your voting,you obviously just do not realize it.The music industry is waiting on you to decide before they jump in with more mainstream releases.If you keep waiting you will get some form of inferior sound that is a given.So sit back if you want but if you do they will decide for you.
I have been watching these threads for a while and have decided to buy a 9000es. It's worth the money as a dvd player so it's no loss if the format dies. Sony has shown it's serious about sacd with the introduction of the new less expensive players. If a few thousand titles are released in the next two years, and more are released as backwards compatable in the next year, I think sacd will become the format of choice.
Hey Cornfedboy,
I've been following many of your responses to various threads and it appears to me that you've got one hell of a system. It's reassuring to know that you, too, are having difficulty deciding what future digital format to chase after. I have a pretty decent system and I keep questioning how can I get the most bang for the buck. I'm sure that I can some improvement by upgrading my Wadia 850. I've not heard SACD or DVD-A, but based on what has been written, either format should offer more than what we already have. What I'll probably do is buy as inexpensive a player as I can, buy a few outstanding discs, and if I feel that there's enough difference to warrant further investment, then I'll proceed with caution. A couple of years isn't really too long to get a pretty good idea what format will ultimately win out. Maybe we all should get together as a group and take a shot at one format or the other. Maybe one of the manufacturers could offer a real deal on a player to the members of Audiogon and help us along. If you look at the state of the cellular phone wars today, who in their right mind would pay a lot for a phone. The service is where all the money is, they'll give you the damn phone just to sell you their minutes. Just dreaming I guess!!
What I decided to do? Get the most out of my still growing CD collection. First, hundreds of CDs are out of catalog and most likely will not be reissued, whatever the new format. Second, till now 99.99% of new music (being Jazz, Classical, Rock,...) are issued on CDs. Third, the CD has arroved at maturity with better recording, better digital transfer, and better CD Player. One experience you should try: get a Linn Ikemi home for a will not be able to live with your current CD player. When will I go "New Format" (I think DVD and SACD are just a transitory stage that will not last before the next more promising non-technical digital: everything will be on high-speed memory chips and we will save transport part of current players)? When the catalog of this new format will be substantial and when 99% of new releases will be in that new format. I think the new war between SACD and DVD will leave many victims, SACD AND DVD among them. So thank you and see you in 5 years!
I've watched this development with interest as well. The initial CD players were beyond horrible and took many years of refinement and hard work for the better audio manufacturers (re. niche) to make them listenable. Still not analog, but tolerable. The inital CDP's were Philips and Sony, the two culprits behind the Red Book spec. Read through the spec, it was outdated on it's intitial release. To go buy a SACD or DVD-A player at a high price now from the mass-market guys may leave you wondering why you spent the cash today, when over the next few years some truly high quality players will emerge and justify the price. Having spent $1000 on a first-generation CDP to play both CD's available on the market at the time, I consider patience a necessary virtue today. In the meantime, cue up some good vinyl and enjoy watching the format wars! Jeff
I just went for improving the sound of standard CD playback within my budget. I have only used CD as a source for the past year, so it is all pretty new to me. My "big" investment was a used Bel Canto DAC which I run from a CAL player. I buy most of our CD's on the used market (just picked up seven today) and will continue to fill our music library in this manner. If I were paying list price for CD's we would probably only own 10%, if that, of what we have accumulated in the past eight months. In the same vein we also have well over 200 feet of book shelves in our apartment (filled mostly with books purchased on the used market). We do not have a lot of main stream "hits" in our music library, but we do have a wide selection of interesting music to chose from. I would love to have the option of playing the SACD disks that I hear sound wonderful (I have only auditioned the first top loading model that was available in my area and did not care for the sound in either format, though I don't beleive that it was properly run in). I have yet to see any feedback as to the new players sounding as good as or better than my CAL/Bel Canto combo when performing standard CD playback, which is why these players do not interest me. To be honest I really can't stand the sound of most CD players anyway, with the exception of a small handfull of them, my combo included. The part of the unit that plays movies/vidios is also of zero interest to me unless it would assist in playing a musical format in the future. If a reasonably priced multi player unit came out that sounded as good as or better than (to me) a Theta Miles, Resolution Audio CD50 or Linn Numerik (for example) when playing back standard CD's, plus sound super with SACD, then it would interest me.
You have stated in other threads that you have quit an investment in HI-FI. Buy a used Sony 777 or Sony SCD-1 for between $1500 to $2700. The music that is available on SACD sound much better than CD's. If SACD doesn't survive sell the SACD player for what ever you can get, but enjoy the SACD while you can. Maybe with your vast connections you can pursued the music companies to stick with SACD.
I've pretty much been a vinyl guy and ignored digital playback for quite a while. However, there is such a vast library of great music on CD and so much more being produced (and reproduced) every day, that I finally broke down and sought out the best CD playback I could find without being completely insane about it. That happened to be the Ayre D-1, which is awfully expensive but does a tremendous job of CD playback and has the added benefits of DVD-A playback (better still) and terrific DVD video. (although I don't take advantage of that capability).

I'm happy. SACD is probably better and may win the next format war, but I must say that, in my experience, CD playback through SACD players is mediocre at best compared to most of the really good CD only players out there. Moreover, it will be many, many, many years before the library of SACD goods will be large enough to "open up" your collection of music the way my excellent CD/DVD player has opened up mine.

If one must have SACD, maybe the answer is to combine a SACD player with a good external DAC that will raise the level of the CD playback. I've decided not to bother but rather to get the best CD playback I can justify and then sit back and enjoy my record collection and some of the many genuinely wonderful CDs now being made until the next format becomes so dominant that I need it to get the music I want. In other words, my advice would be to wait for the music to dictate what you need. I went to CD because there was just too much music I couldn't get unless I did so.
There is no format war among audiophiles sacd is the clear cut winner and there is no debate about it check out you will not find a sole on earth who says dvd-a is better so like i said a vote to sit on the fence on this issue is a vote for whatever crap format the industry decides. Anybody who sits on the fence has no right to complain in the future about quality of whatever format we end up with.
I believe that all of the formats will win, and I will replace my D/A and purchase a multi-format CD player. Sony will release SACD and other manufacters will choose DVD-A or SACD. Those who have purchased a SACD player will in the future purchase a DVD-A and have both machines. I will wait for one player that will read all of the formats.
Jab,there are all ready multi players and this is a reveiw from one the pioneer ax10. The wadia 860 cd player just blew away the pioneer player, outperforming it in every way on all material EXCEPT SACD[QUOTE UNQUOTE]This is a reveiw from check it out, like i said sacd is the clear winner.They say in a reveiw of a dvd-a only player in the same issue that it sounded simply terrible ,worse than redbook.
Just for fun, go to a store with a 30-day return policy and buy a S9000ES. Compare the CD and DVD sound with what you got right now. You also get a SACD sampler disc free so you can listen to SACD right away even though the sampler is not the best SACD recordings. None of the selections were originally recorded in DSD. The good thing is that you probably have some of the samplers on CD or vinyl.

The S9000ES was one of 3 players I bought on trial. I was not surprised by SACD, but was shocked by the improvement in CD and DVD sound. I kept the S9000ES. The other two went back. I received a thank you note from the salesman about 33 days after my purchase.
Hi Kelly; I suspect you already know my position on this interesting topic. IMO, CD is going to be the dominent music format for at least several more years, and I already have about 1000 CDs. Also, I am nearly 58 years old with a history of early hearing loss in my ancestry. To that end, last summer I seriously upgraded my CD transport to Levinson 37 and DAC to Levinson 360S-- I want the "good sound" NOW. However, as a sort of hedge against future formats, the 360S DAC is fully upgradable and already decodes 24/96 discs-- haven't seen any though! Generally speaking, I think CD quality has improved (matured) significantly in the last 5 years, and quite frankly my system is sounding great, so I have little interest in SACD or DVD. As some have observed above, I've seen absolutely no evidence that either of the "new formats" is going to catch on with the general population anytime soon. Cheers. Craig.
We live in a relativly high tech world and there is always something new around the corner. Recently we have had all the new cd formats and video formats as well. DVD and high definition television. I have come to the conclusiion that I rather be using these technologies then waiting for what one will be dominant. It may not be the smartest money wise but I justify it by saying that there wouldnt be new products if people like us didnt buy them. Im sure in the long run I may end up with the equvalent of a couple of beta machines but I will end up getting more enjoyment out of my system.
One reason I decided to get the 9000es is that I was buying a handfull of cds the other day and and was wondering how long it will be before the same titles are available on sacd. Like everyone on this site I own a lot of music on cd that I will use for a long time, but should I still be buying cds with this clearly better format emerging?
Nice thread Kelly, I know you don't need my ideas on the topic of wich format, but let me tell you why I chose SACD. I watched for three years as the talk of a "new" format bounced around in Stereophile. I held off upgrading my digitial front end in anticapation of the new digital! Last year my cd player being five years old was in my opinion dated in it's advancement so I decided it was time to move. I chose to go with SACD for the sole reason that I could continue to use and grow my "redbook" cd collection, but I could also get the benifits of the latest technology (digitial filters) and start a collection of SACD. My choice became fairly obviouse to me, for $3000 I could buy the SCD-1 wich I understood to be within the same ballpark as an upsampled $15,000 system with standard cds. With SACD the sound was reported to be better and DVD-A had another stumble getting out of the blocks. To me DVD-A was dead when it's codes were broken, and deader still when the watermark issue came to light. Upsampling is very exciting and I believe will remain a viable option. But with a system one fifth the cost achieving about the same level of proformance what was my choice? I think you face a different possition than alot of us Kelly. Your base point is a system most of us will only read about, so moving to SACD may not have the same impact as it did on my system.
The one thing I wouldn't do is sit and wait, listening to the old playback technology for the next two, three, four ... years and not getting the best proformance possible during that time! (for me, being told I had a 1% chance of still being alive today, two or three years is too long to wait. Fact is we only have today, enjoy!)Your options I would think are a digitial to digitial upsampler to at least get the best from your existing library and wait, or wait through the summer when some of the big boys come out with there machines that may provide for upgrading.
For the rest of the lower price adiophiles, I just don't see how waiting is helping you. For the price of a good standard cd player, you could have an SACD that improves over standard "redbook cd" playback, allows for the choice of SACD and improved the DVD playback (9000es). By the time something actually happens, the system you'll be listening to will be 5,8,12 ... years old based on a technology pushing 30 years.
That was my thinking, no debates or defence from me, I promise. I'm just sharing how I aproached it, it worked for me. J.D.
I'm with Garfish. I have decided to keep my Mark Levinson 37 transport and upgrade the 36 DAC to a Dodson 217 MkIID DAC (there was no comparison between the two DACS and upgrading the M-L 36 to a 360S would have cost a lot). I am not worried about upgrading to SACD or DVDA at this time, and I have much of what I like on about 1000 redbook CDs and many of these will not come out in the new formats in the near future. In the meantime, I have returned to listening to records (which I prefer). One of the real benefits of the format war has been the renewed interest in analog. There is some wonderful analog equipment out there: it is nearly as quiet as CDs and sounds much better.
If you saw the thread on my just arrived Stan Warren modified DVD player, my thinking was to give it at try. I am still breaking it in, but sounds good so far. I do not know if it will best my limited edition Rotel RCD-990, but it should be better than my old Cambridge Audio CD4 Player in my den/home office. I have a television in there as well, and now will have a second place to play DVD movies in that room if that is where it ends up if the Rotel 990 still sounds better. So at the very worst, this Stan Warren machine is a great sounding DVD player. Not much of a gamble for a little money.
No new format will succeed if everybody chooses to wait and see what happens. I recommend Art Dudley's editorial in the January/February 2001 Listener, in which he draws a comparison to the electric car. Yes, yes, I know, you don't want to spend your hard-earned money on something without a clear future. But as many here have told us, you can enjoy SACD for a pretty small investment (about what some of us might spend on one or a couple of pairs of interconnects). And you don't have to use it as your main CD playback.
New formats won't succeed until they're in mass market players that sell to the general public. Remember the Macintosh operating system appeared 8 years before Windows, but lost out because Apple would not share it. The same thing happened to Betamax. Sony would not share it, so they ended up competing with the whole world.
I think this whole thread is why the Sony 9000ES is such a compelling product. The only thing it doesn't play is DVD-A (but it will play the 2 channel 24/96 disks which ARE part of the DVD-A spec)& SACD 6 channel (which I bet we will NEVER see). It plays everything else, is inexpensive by high end standards, has high end sound (especially after break-in) and build quality written all over it, plus it's a great DVD player. Damned good value and it's readily available. Why wait?
It would be a mistake to buy into a new format right now on the expectation that someday "everything" will be available on it. The odds of that happening are long. But given that most of the new machines on the market handle CDs pretty well, it's not as big a risk as buying CD in Year 1. Most of us have hundreds or thousands of CDs, and we're unlikely to have more than a few dozen SACDs or DVD-As in the near future. So the question we must each ask is, am I willing to pay the price for that few dozen recordings?

As for SACD vs. DVD-A, there are lots of opinions out there, but no one has done a true apples-to-apples comparison (because you'd have to create the software expressly for the test). Technologically, it's beginning to look like DVD-A has the edge, although that's not always the deciding factor.
Article from the most recent Positive Feedback Magazine stating that the war is over.
If you decided not to read the above article, let me reprint an excerpt:

If you read of, or hear people that say, "SACD is no big deal," you MUST immediately ask yourself if they are deaf,
if they have a mediocre audio system, or if they have hidden agendas. Only these reasons could explain why
anyone wouldn’t be absolutely shocked by the beauty of SACD music.
after reading all these posts, i am disappointed in my fellow audiophiles. as someone mentioned above, there is no format war between audiophiles, sacd is the clear winner, however in the mainstream, dvd-a may have a lead in the sense that dvd (as a format) is already such a success that its music counterpart already has all that advertising support behind it. also, neither format will prevail if we all sit on the fence and wait for others to dictate what happens. you think you are the only ones who are sitting ont he fence? the reference that someone made to sacd:betamax is erroneous as well. beta is still used in many studios professionally and then transferred to vhs and sacd has many licensed supporters of which they have "shared" their technology. for the price you can buy an sacd player at ($1000-2000) what can you lose? true the redbook playback does not exceed that of a wadia 860 or a naim cdx (comes awful close) but look at what people are comparing it to; megabuck top of the line transport/dac combos that easily exceed the price of the 9000 or 777. and if you don't like the sound of the internal sony dac for redbook, use the digital out to a dac of your choice. if the format war decides in favor of something other than sacd, not only do you have a killer 60lb (777) or 30lb (9000) machine that plays cd's (777/9000) excellently for its price, you also have the benefit of getting sacd (777/9000) and unequalled dvd playback (9000). not to mention that wahtever format wins the other will not vanish into oblivion it will simply exist at a lower marketed level. i have a 777 and have not looked back since. iam overly impressed with the performance i have received from it and whether or not sacd rules top dog i will continue to enjoy it until its time to update to a new player in 5 or so years just like we all do with almost all of our equipment. btw i bought my 777 from oade bros. for $1500 including shipping.

sony scd-777es
silver audio silver bullets 6.0 (wbt topline)
evs ultimate attenuators (vishay resistors)
Bel canto evo 200.2 monoblocks
tekline tl 650 speaker cable
various diy power cords
magnepan IIIa's
ps audio p300
I got a DVD-A only 'cuz it wuz cheap with a nice analog output and it iz muh first DVD player. I don't care if DVD-a ever gets in, but I got me one jus' in case!!! Now if'n SONY REALLY wants to start SACD to git' rolling make ALL Sony product CD, as SACD's, and sell 'em at CD prices. So all new releases from Sony would be for regular CD players but also play the SACD for the high enders. Then and only then will Sony get an edge in the market. Once ordinary folks HAVE 60/75 titles that they bought as "CDs" and happen to also be SACD.....
DVD-A who knows???? the producers can't engineer a two channel item very well.... How are the gonna make 5.1 sound good???? (except as a "wow 'em" disc with no real quality) Ditto for SACD multi channel.
I second Tmartinjn copy of the quotes in Positive Feedback Magazine. If you cannot hear the difference between CD and SACD you should not spend serious money on HiFI equipment.
The magazine review states it as plainly as it should be stated.
I bought a Sony 777es player to use as a stand alone for SACD and as a transport for my Perpetual Technologies P1 & P3 boxes (along with the upgraded power supply). PT boxes are shockingly good. I have never heard regular cd's sound so analog. No digital edge whatsoever. I now have the best of both worlds.
All that is required for triumph of evil is for enough good men to do nothing[quoted from positive feedback]I will add and women to this.Anyhow it also say,s that all audiophiles and music lovers should be supporting both analog and sacd so there for i am as guilty as all the rest of you sitting on the fence as i listen to sacd and ignore vinyl.
SACD is great and the 777ES is actually pretty good on regular cd as well.
I have been wrestlingwith this issue myself. I recently purchased a 65 inch 16x9 HD ready TV. On DVD playback my Panasonic didn't look too good. I needed progressive scan so I was in a Circut City & they had a demo JVC Xv-723 for$450 so it was a no brainer. Where else can you get what is essentially line doubling for that price? As a DVD Player it works great but it also had DVD A so I am able to play around with that too. In CD playback it leaves a lot to be desired. In DVD A it is Interesting enough if the format takes off I will buy something a little more serious. I have also looked at the Sony units. Thanks to my job I know what it takes to make a product. Only a corporation the size of of a Sony could sell something with the build quality of the DVP-S9000Es for a list price of $1500. I am in the process of purchasing one not so much for the SACD playback but more so the reference DVD playback. So when all is said I will have spent $1500 or $1600 & have a DVD A player SACD& DVD video with progessive scan. I have an extensive collection in CD's & records so in the near future I might invest in an upsampler but I want to see what comes out in the next few months before I do anything because UP& Oversampling is provided by just a few companies at this time. Meanwhile I can spend some time evaluating DVD A & SACD.
none of the sony (or other) sacd players even come close to my wadia 850 on redbooks. so i should go out and buy a player that plays maybe 200 discs, with about 10 titles i want in sacd, that can't touch my 850 on normal cds, that needs a preamp, that the software costs a premium......HELLO! the problem is not the formats, its the companies and their financial motivations. which never seem to be in the end users best interest. i'll stict w/ my wadia for awhile.
Marklivia,not the 850 but 6500.00 860 is said to be bettered by sacd acording to widescreenreveiw,and i will stick with there opinion,as anyone who tells it like it is about dvd-a sounging terrible at the risk of advertising revenue has got my attention.
I had owned a Theta Data III, Genesis Digital Lens and a Theta Pro Gen Va upgraded to 96K. I also use a Sigtech DSP and a Z Systems unit. The last two years have seen VERY significant improvements in transports and DAC's. For example, the MSB Platinum is a major improvement over the Theta Pro Gen Va and the dCs is an improvement over the MSB. The dCs is also modular to handle the new formats. We listen seriously about 10 hours a week, usually 5 plus hours at a stretch. We will continue to upgrade our CD playback (and keep our vinyl rig) but I'm now only buying units that could upgrade to handle format changes.
Ears, Marklivia's point was that the SACD players do not play standard CDs as well as his Wadia. Was Widescreen Review saying that SACD playback betters the 860, or that redbook CD playbook on one of the Sonys betters the Wadia? I'm sure Marklivia will give you the former, but not the latter.
Marklivias, please except my apology,i read your post to fast and agree, on cd playback the sonys are no giant killers and surely not the equal of yours.
Yea, but as stated earlier, the 9000es cost about as much,or less then the cables most of us would run to a state of the art cd player such as the 860. You still get a great DVD player and you are supporting the format we all hope will win.(or maybe most of us) GET OFF THE FENCE OR TAKE YOUR BALL AND GO HOME!!!
i'm not on the fence, no_money - i'm squarely in the winyl camp. as for digital, as i said prior, my $500 cd-changer is no worse than cd-players up to $3k in my rig, and to spend any more than that, or to spend *anything* on a format w/little software i'm interested in, well... i yust got *no money*! ;~)
Sorry Sedond, I yust don't see winyl making a comeback. Have you had a chance to hear SACD in your system? If the rumors are true that Sony will be realeasing a player for $400.00 then it might be worth a listen at least. Just remember once you have *no money* you can't have any less.
Since the general public is buying DVD players by the millions, DVD-A has a large potential market which gives it an edge. This is why Windows won. IBM chose Microsoft DOS as its operating system. No company purchasing manager was ever fired for buying IBM. All the other computer companies either switched or died.
no_money, there is *some* winyl being currently released that i can buy - buena wista social club, & xtc's latest, to mention a couple. & the existing winyl inventory, combined w/listening to my optimised fm, gives me plenty-o-software to play with.

if/when there are decent $400 sacd cd-players awailable, i may nab one - that's yust what i'm waitin' for - along w/software to play on it. but, what i'm really waitin' for is a one-size-fits-all player. i'm turned-off by sony's 9000es not playing dvd-a. sugarbrie's last point is well-taken, at least by me...

After contimplating what direction I was going to go regarding my digital front-end, I decided to go w/ a Wadia 860x. Not only will it decode 24/96 through it digital inputs and serve as a great digital preamplifier, through Wadia's proprietary software based design will support future upgrades (I have heard that Wadia will possibly support SACD). This, coupled with the fact that it is the best redbook cd player I have heard made my decision a lot easier since I have 1000+ cd's. Personally, I believe it is still too early to tell what formats will prevail.
I agree with Sedond's point on software. Software is the whole thing. I don't mind spending money on a new player, as long as there is something available to play on it. As a question to everyone, what percentage of the music you buy would have to be on SACD or DVD-A before you make your jump to a new player? I am kind of thinking that for me it will have to be at least 20%.
There are clearly to types of people ont this particular post. Those who want to enjoy the best sound ever: one persons said if you buy the Sony SACD you will at least get a sample SACD to play with. And those you want to best enjoy their music! I belong to this second group and therefore I really do not care about DVD or SACD or XXXXCD. I just want the best for my existing stock of music!