Get a Sony SACD changer and you won't regret it. They are excellent red book players as well. Its looking more and more like SACD is not only here to stay but is the prefered choice among audiphiles. Check out the hi-rez forums at Audio Asylum where SACD is by far the most popular choice. Some of the biggest labels recently announced that they will be going with SACD as well.
You write that you are happy with your system's sound. So what are you asking for besides the hype which is made about new formats in the desperate need for new clients in the high end market? I had the opportunity to listen to SACD the other day. It was pretty disappointing regarding the hype we're all confronted with since the time when software was even more of ridiculous availability AND quality AND price when it comes to real music!
So get a musical life and listen to good music which your system obviously can deliver rather than have sleepless nights over a dead born "greatest thing of all times".
Best of luck!
I second that. When my cd player dies I'll probably replace it with a sacd player.....as long as its redbook playback is also very good....I do think 2002 will be the breakout year for sacd...also,I expect the software will have to drop in price to compete with cd...regards, bluenose
But where are the SACDs themselves?
If you are rich with plenty of money to spend, go for it.
If not, please stay put and see..... The last thing you want in your system is a Sony! They simply don't make serious and quality audiophile grade product.
Go and get a quality, audiophile grade LP player with good arm/cartridge and play with it. You might like it so much that you simply forget all the digital things........
Will you notice a difference with the new formats? Absolutely, althought I'd seriously suggest you wait on the new formats for several reasons. First, the amount of software available, while growing, is extremely limited and the probability that the music you want to listen to is available on the new formats is remote at best. Second, while you wait for the software to catch up with the hardware the equipment prices will drop significantly and, just as importantly, the players themselves will improve substantially(I bet within a year Sony will have a $500 SACD player out that rivals or beats the SCD-1). There are already reports that companies will be releasing DVD-A players based on the next generation chip this spring. Point is, if you buy now it is very likely you'll end up with a very overpriced yet inferior-sounding unit that nobody will want to buy when you want to upgrade(I understand performance improvements and price reductions will be ongoing, but in these first and second generation machines the curve is just too steep for me). Next, do you really want two transports to handle SACD and DVD-A when universal players will be available in the near future? Last, at present there are no digital outs for the new formats so you'll never be able to upgrade the DAC performance of your player, and your MSB will likely be upgradeable to handle these formats--wouldn't you like to have that option? You could probably make good arguments regarding each of these points, but when you put them all together it's hard(at least for me) to justify taking the plunge at this point unless curiosity has gotten the best of you and/or you have money to burn.
In response to the point made above regarding formats, it is way too premature to proclaim SACD as the choice of audiophiles. People much smarter than us are still debating which format ultimately has the best sonic potential(see Stereophile article among others) and with the watermarking issue still unsolved DVD-A hasn't even really made an appearance yet, so head-to-head comparisons are scarce to non-existant. Further, the audiophile community is way, way too small to predict or affect who will eventually win the format wars(remember Beta vs. VHS?). Ultimately the general public will decide which format is best for them(for better or worse), and economies of scale will then dictate who survives and/or thrives. Personally I hope they both survive, which will ensure competition to produce the best possible audio and video software and cheaper prices that will, in turn, benefit us all.
Either way and for what it's worth, I'm waiting on the new formats until the important issues above have been addressed. Hope you find this somewhat helpful and best of luck.
My system was almost similiar to yours. I got rid of the SF Concertinos and replaced them with Dynaudio 1.1's. THis was a big difference. I then bought a Sony 775 SACD. A decent player at less than $325 with a 3 year warranty. The Sony made another difference. These were not $$$$ upgrades and made quite a difference. So, isn't that what adiophile is about. Try as much equipment as possible before you die and enjoy it and pass on the reviews to us other audioheads.
SACD players make great redbook CD players. DVD-A is crippled by the need to connect to a TV monitor before configuring for two channel playback. Many audiophiles are not interested in being required to add a monitor to their music systems. Additionally, SACD has a true two channel mix while DVD-A mixes surround to two channels on the fly.
In summary, it seems like current SACD players sound great(and are inexpensive) while DVD-A seems to be marketed only to those who wish to add surround sound music playback to their home theater systems.
Send your MSB Link DAC to Stan Warren for modification. For a couple hundred bucks the improvement over a stock unit is amazing. Then you can wait longer for the format war to shake out.
Stan can also modify a $90 Aiwa CD changer into a killer transport for about $130.
After reading some negative postings here,concerning SACD,
I feel that you think about what happens, if all of us
think "I will wait and see what happens......". There is
a concept called 1/n, where 1 stands for the individual,and
n stands for all other people. According to the theory connected to the concept,we tend to get the illusion or misconception that what I do,buy or the way I act, doesn´t count, simply because the other people are so many.But the n consists of 1+1+1+...
Thus, the success or failure of a new audio-medium, depends
on the interaction between producers and consumers.Nobody can be forced to buy a new product, but we who bought the
new format,also supported it, and may have some credit if it
To Edle,perhapes the most effective way to refute your statement about Sony,is to ignore it!
To Soix,how can you be so sure that the performence curve
will be so steep? With multichannel SACD players now beeing (almost)compulsory,I was happy that I bought a 2-channel player,in time,because manufacturers tend to try to save some money on component quality.More components, generally speaking, means poorer quality.(BTW: Don´t know how many NE 5534 op-amps I have seen,even in expencive gear)
I have all but the muti-channel SACD - I have a great cd transport/dac for regular (Electrocompaniet-Kora Hermes DAC). I have a Sony 333 SACD changer and it is fun but most software is limited. The Sony 777 I had before had problems - the real fun is with the DVD - Audio multi channel. The Panasonic DVD H 2000 - a great DVD/CD and DVD-A player. I am not saying it is perfect but makes things so cool in the multi channel and has different software that I like to listen to and do not always have already like most SACD titles. I am sure the SACD multi channel will be as interesting. Wait a while as several companies are coming out with combo players (even in changer form )that will expand your music interest and give you more options.
I was in the same boat; trying to decide what to do....SACD
or wait it out? I just bought a Sony SCD C333ES and it
sounds great! Like you, I enjoy the convenience of a
changer, and the Sony fits the bill nicely. Better hurry,
though, the 333's are discontinued and getting hard to find.
Some quick thoughts, none of them original:
1. I guarantee that if we all wait to see which format survives, none of them will.
2. Anyone who doesn't hear the difference between SACD and CD shouldn't bother spending any more money on audio equipment.
3. SONY is an odd company. Now and again they build something special. After 700-800 hours, my SCD-1, which I use as a CD transport via its digital output, is starting to sound a whole lot like a classic. Certainly it is good enough to convince me to sell my Levinson transport, which was damned good itself. Could SONY build a better SACD player for $500 in a year or two? Maybe. But can SONY, or anyone else, build a comparable CD transport for that money? When pigs fly--build quality doesn't come cheap.
4. Universal players? They're always just around the corner. But how much compromise of quality will they involve? And for what--SACD availability is gradually getting better, but DVD-A? That's a joke,and will remain so as long as you can't even play one without a TV monitor.
Thanks to all. As usual there is some great advice. The main question was would I notice a large improvement over the system I have now with a purchase of a dvd-a or sacd. Sounds to me like my money might be better spent with perhaps a speaker upgrade. I think that I will wait for the format wars to end and just enjoy what I have!