Pioneer has one coming out for $1199 check the show reports at sounstage and enjoythemusic
Looks to be a great player
Looks to be a great player
Apex supposedly had one coming out for 399 or so - I haven't heard if that happened and of course the quality of Apex may also be questioned. The Pioneer unit looks like it has potential since they have been down this road before with the combo in the 5k venue. The new unit does multichannel Sacd and the former model did only 2 channel SACD. I think it was the AX10.
I doubt you will find a 2-channel "audio only" DVD-A and SACD player in the near future. The push for this type of "universal player" seems to be one that will play ALL discs, including DVD-A, DVD-V, CD, SACD, etc (maybe mp3, VCD, HDCD, etc). So you will most likey have no choice to buy a DVD-A player, that ALSO playes DVD-V.
Although, a 2channel-only DVD-A/SACD player without video or DVD-V would have its merits in the hi-end crowd. Maybe Accuphase will make one?
As a final note, some players with have some sort of "video-defeat" mode, to take the extra circuits out of the signal path for audio-only playback. Maybe you'll have to settle on that?
I agree with Aroc. One word of caution that I didn't see mentioned above--the Pioneer universal player converts SACD to PCM, which probably seriously compromises the quality of the SACD playback. The point is that this is still new technology and there will be lots of little-known bugs like this that are definitely not optimal for an audiophile-type person. Personally I'm waiting until things stabilize or at least until there's a digital connection so I can upgrade with a high-quality DAC in the future if need be. Best of luck.
I have the Apex 7701. The unit is suprisingly good on SACD, almost the equal to the Sony SCD-777ES I have. On CD, it needs help (I have a Taddeo Digital Antidote II on my Sony, may try it on this). As far as DVD-A, the only one I have is ELP "Brain Salad Surgery." I have nothing to compare it to, however, I wasn't super pleased with it in general; only a LITTLE better than the quality I got from CD, and not as good as the SACD discs I have. Again, it'd be interesting to see how it would do with the Taddeo off it, but I haven't got off my butt to swap it in yet....
I'd check the cheaper Pioneer when it's available. Sounds like it could be a nice deal.
BTW, the Apex 7701 is $300.
There is a review of the Apex unit in the Feb/March issue of Sound and Vision. It pretty much indicates that until these units come with bass management and independent level controls through the analog inputs of av receivers and processors the sound of these multichannel formats will suffer. A digital output for these formats might help out in regards to this concern. The new Pioneer receiver - the Elite VSX-49TX is also reviewed in this issue and is said to have bass management through its analog inputs. It sells for 4200.