Sounds like you need a Sony SCD-1. You'll never look back and wonder if it was the right choice. Both "redbook" CD and SACD playback are up to par with the big boys.
Although the $5k retail price might be a shock, not to worry because they sell for $3k new in the real world. At that price, most other competitors are rendered obsolete.
Nope, I'm clinging to stereo redbook. Back when home theater came out it was heralded as the salvation of the beleaguered audio retailers. But at that time home theater was anathema to two channel fans. Somewhere along the line the backwards compatibility of DVD with CD seems to have convinced alot of people that the home theater concept wasn't so bad after all. Now every other Audiogoner trumpets how great his multi-player is either right out of the box or as successfully modded to a-phile standards. And the twenty-somethings want to know what DAC's are good for. It was subtle; it appears the home theater revolution is a fait accompli. Best of luck in your search for quality.
I have a dedicated DVD-A player (Toshiba DVD which also outputs into my HT set-up by coax and to 2 chnnel with RCA) and a SACD player (Phillips 1000) into 2 channel. Also a nice CDP (Ah! Tojoeb with upsampler and all other upgrades). Cost of the whole mess was $1600 ($1000 for the Ah! alone). Not the most elegant solution but works well for me and saved a bunch of dough and avoided the jack of all trades syndrome.
I have gone with SACD. For one thing, enough titles were eventually released (or are scheduled for release) that I knew I would buy SACDs in legitimate volume (I have about 25 and counting so far, vs. maybe 200 CDs).
Also, you can listen to good quality SACD for a much smaller investment than good quality DVD-A. For SACD, two full range speakers will do it (Polk Lsi 25, in my case...very happy, by the way). But for *true* DVD-A, I would have needed FIVE full-range speakers, and I wasn't willing to make that investment. If I want DVD-A, I can always build through the Polk series by adding two Lsi 15's (still pretty close to full range) and the Lsi center channel.
I'm also happier with the broad range of SACD recordings that have been released. I don't find DVD-A to be as comprehensive, according to my personal musical tastes.
My player is a
Roksan Xerxes X/DS1.5/XPS5
w/Artemiz/Dynavector Karat Nova Ebony
thru a 47Labs Phonocube.
I'm guessing you're comparing DVD-A to SACD, trying to settle on the best new format. From what I can tell there are more SACD's out than DVD-A's, I would let the software choice dictate which I bought. Lesson learned from owning a Betamax which was technically superior to VHS but lost the noble war all the same. Personally I'm not interested in the digital format wars since I've had a high-rez format for many years, my turntable. Almost unlimited software selection at VERY reasonable prices and a LP's are a hands-on media I love. You can easily pick up a very good used analog rig for less than a SCD-1 @ $3k and buy 12 used records for every new SACD.
It appears that the equipment designers are going to solve this issue for us. The comming trend is multi-format. I was asking my local dealer about Theta's DVD-A format release and was told that Theta is waiting for the multi-format chips to mature one more generation and then would come out with DVD-A and SACD multi-format compatible equipment. This really seams like the best way to go, and I'll wait so that I can avoid this format war.
I was able to find a unit that does both hi-rez formats quite well. (Integra 8.3)
I prefer SACD, but only because of the convenience factor. (Easier to access songs w/remote) The sound is pretty much equal, if the mastering is well done. I would probably be tempted to go the SCD-1 route, but the R.E.M. and Neil young "Harvest" dvd-a titles alone keep my interest in this format. I do not do anything but two channel playback.
The Police SACD's are excellent. "Outlandos" and "Regatta" are jaw-dropping for their age. Higher sound quality than the Stones SACD's.
I backed my way in. I have a dvd changer for my HT system that displeased my wife when she wanted to rent a dvd and play it once. So I picked up a single dvd player, a Sony that has SACD capability (quite inexpensive). I now have a small SACD collection that I play on occassion through the HT system in 'music' mode (Lex DC-1). It's worth having but I don't have any interest in pursuing SACD in my main listening system. Nearly all of my music collection is unavailable on SACD and I doubt I'd want to repurchase everything anyway. Like most, I'd need a lot more reason to take it seriously at this point.
I went with SACD for one reason, the DVD player I wanted ONLY played SACD's. Of course it was a Sony and there is no way they were going to promote DVDA. I originally wanted a multi-format player but could never find one to listen to. That said, SACD's are much easier to find and sound very good! I still haven't heard DVDA so can't compare. When I heard Pink Floyd was coming out on SACD, that sealed the deal!
I have a entry level Sony DVD/SACD player that has failed to win me over to the HI-REZ camp. Yes it does sound good on SACD but given a quality recording I don't think that HI-REZ is all it's been made out to be. The Police Classics dual layer disc sounds better on my Redbook only Jolida than it does in SACD on the Sony. In fact this disc sounds better than any vinyl or digital version of it I have heard to date. I will admit I'm not hearing all that SACD can give considering the unit I'm using. I have heard some SACD stuff that sounds fine and I have heard stuff that was just average sound quality wise. The recording and mastering process seems to play a bigger part in the equation than does the playback format, IMHO.
Dautch- Not sure why you think DVD-A needs five full-range speakers and SACD does not. There should be no difference if we're talking multi-channel vs. multi-channel. In any case, all of us pretty much being audiophiles at this web site, why go full range in the back?? We should be putting our money to best use up-front. The rear surrounds will mostly contain hall ambience, crowd noise at live events, etc. Full range speakers are not required as such. AND, a center channel is NEVER required. IMHO.
Russ_1 that reminds me of Trent Reznor's quote(s) regarding the center channel.
As for high rez, I've recently adopted vinyl and will purchase an SACD probably some time this year. I do have DVD-A capability with my current DVD player. But so far I haven't been compelled to acquire any DVD-A titles.