dac or sacd?


I feel like buying a new toy. Would u get a dac or sacd player first?
monterey
Depends on what you already have.

Kal
You can also get a CD/SACD player with digital inputs that will allow you to access the unit's DAC to use with a PC or music server.
with a dac you might have more options because sacds are a bit expensive and not all titles are available. saying that i have both so don,t pay attention to this advice, haha
SACD is only ubiquitous in the classical music realm. There are very few titles in other music genres. So if you're a classical guy, go SACD. Any SACD player will play CDs, so you are set there. BUT - to properly play SACD you need a decent multi-channel system, i.e. a 5.1 channel home theater system.
While I am definitely committed to multichannel, it is plain wrong to say that you need a decent, or any, multichannel system to "properly" play SACD. All SACDs have a dedicated stereo DSD track and will play "properly" on any stereo system.

Kal
SACD is only ubiquitous in the classical music realm. There are very few titles in other music genres.
Wrong.

BUT - to properly play SACD you need a decent multi-channel system, i.e. a 5.1 channel home theater system.

Wrong again.

*none* of the music I listen to is widely available on SACD. I've looked. So before diving in, do some research and see what's out there.

Isn't SACD mixed into multiple channels, why not take advantage of the engineer's intent and play it the way it was mixed? Seems to take maximum advantage of the medium to me.
*none* of the music I listen to is widely available on SACD. I've looked. So before diving in, do some research and see what's out there.

Here's the research:

Pop/Rock: 546 titles (http://www.sa-cd.net/titles/3/0/date/5/1)
Jazz: 1127 titles (http://www.sa-cd.net/titles/2/0/date/5/1)
Blues: 77 titles (http://www.sa-cd.net/titles/9/0/date/5/1)
Classical: 4443 titles (http://www.sa-cd.net/titles/1/0/date/5/1)
All Genres: 7212 titles (http://www.sa-cd.net/titles/0/0/date/5/1)

Not exactly a dearth of options outside of the Classical realm but certainly Classical is just over 60% of the titles. The sa-cs.net site is the definitive resource for those interested in SACDs and for each title listed provides link(s) to vendors where you can purchase that title. Enjoy.
Nothing beats a refurb sony 595 for $60 from sonystyle. It is a sacd unit with a great optical out.
go with the dac. if you rip music to a music server, or have a decent cd transport, a dac is necessary for very good sound.
most of the very good sacd players are 2 channel, not multi-channel. plus, i used to have a multi-channel sacd player and IMO, all of the multi-channel sacd's that i purchased were mixed terrible. For example, there were drums in the rear speakers, sax in the left surround, etc...
i did like the multi-channel DSOTM just because i can hear the cash register in each of the speakers and it would circle the room. if they would just mix the multi-channel to hear what you would hear in a concert hall instead of all the gimmicks, i think multi-channel would have taken off more mainstream. i still have a sacd player but it is only 2 channel.
OK - I stand corrected RE: SACD multi-channel. Can we get the OP a recommendation on a SACD player that has digital inputs? 2 birds. 1 stone. I'd be interested to know as well.
The sad truth is that SACD IS all but dead for anything but jazz or classical. It is true that their is a decent amount of stuff out there in other genres but most of it is OOP and brings really high prices on the used market.

If you have the itch then I would recommend a DAC and whatever else you need to get a computer / ipod setup to be as good as it can be. That is the future of music.

If you still really want SACD then Marantz makes several SACD players that have digital ins.

Mark
Rbstehno wrote:
.....IMO, all of the multi-channel sacd's that i purchased were mixed terrible. For example, there were drums in the rear speakers, sax in the left surround, etc...
i did like the multi-channel DSOTM just because i can hear the cash register in each of the speakers and it would circle the room. if they would just mix the multi-channel to hear what you would hear in a concert hall instead of all the gimmicks, i think multi-channel would have taken off more mainstream.
That's why it has been modestly viable in classical where the majority of recordings are as you, and I, would wish. It is unfortunate that the pop/rock producers lacked sufficient consideration and artistic responsibility.

Kal
CD/SACD players with digital inputs:

Esoteric SA-50
Esoteric K-03/K-01
Ayre DX-5
Playback Design MPS-5 (MPD-5 for DAC only)
MCIntosh MCD-500
McIntosh MCD-1100
Cary 303T Pro
Cary 306 Pro
dCS Puccini
Add

Wadia 781i
Marantz SA-15s2
Luxman D-5
Thanks guys, i went and bought a benchmark DAC1. Can't wait til it arrives!
Good choice. Enjoy.
Also add:

Wadia 581i
Cary 306SACD (non-Pro)