Yes, it will be better on regular CD's. The MSB is very good despite it's reasonable price. Owned an MSB and a Sony 777.
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I owned the MSB Link II in the past. My original transport was a "cheap" Sony DVD Player (S300D). It wasn't bad. But replacing the Sony with a used McCormack made a *big* improvement. Both in terms of soundstage and treble extension. From there I went to a Roksan Caspian CD Player. In my system it blew away the MSB/McCormack comb; I posted a review at www.audioreview.com. I am currently auditioning the MSB Link III with upsampling. For transport I am using an Aiwa XC37M CD Changer (the new model of one recommended by the Chicago Audio Society). It is still burning in so I haven't reached any conclusions yet. But I can tell you that I is quite good so far. And, as a transport I think the Aiwa is *far* superior to the Sony DVD Player (which I still own) and is cheaper at $89.
Hi Kitty. What is good about the MSB Link DAC is that it's upgradeable, it's inexpensive and that many people offer performance modifications to this unit. I wouldn't worry about SACD just yet because they barely have any titles for it at least titles that I'm interested in and you're only as good as the software that you have(what good is a computer with no software?). If you don't like the way that the MSB sounds then you can not only change digital cables but depending on what you don't like someone may offer a modification to get it closer to what you like.
Stereophile gives it their big thumbs up when decked out with all add ons. But cost is $1350. It will work better with the Monarchy DIP($250 new-$100 used) the DIP is used between the Playerand the MSB link III. It will reclock the digital stream and improve the sound. I'm getting one this month to use between my CD player and my Adcom DAC 600! I expect an improvement. Them I will get the MSB Link III with all options for its upsampling capablity.
Kitty, I would be interested in wheather any of these comments really answered your questions intent. It sounded like you wanted to know if a MSB LinkIII with upsampling would outproform the SCD-1 with redbook CD. Is that right? I assume the reason for the question is a fully loaded MSB Link III with a DVD player or a used or discounted SCD-1 are about the same cost.
I own the SCD-1 and I too would be interested in hearing from anyone who actually owns a SCD-1 player who has done comparisions to straight SCD-1 output vs. MSL Link III output.
P.S. If I misunderstood your question, sorry for the intrusion. J.D.
I have a 777 and had the MSB II. I believe 777 is almost the same as SCD-1 except that it is balanced and cheaper. (correct me if i am wrong). I thought I answered the question. Also- MSB and DVD player should be much cheaper. MSB III $399. 24/96 DVD is like $300. (if you need to spend more get the EVS II DAC, under $1050, likely better than the MSB mods). SACD is very good, but on REDBOOK my MSB II and cheap Pioneer DVD was better "in most ways". MSB has a crisper clearer sound and images a good deal better. The Sony is better in bass and ultra smooth. I can only assume the newer MSB model is better yet. Curb your curiosity and spend less. As far as music is concerned I would choose the Sony SACD player(s) only if you really, really like the available SACD software.
Kitty, I also had the Sony DVP-300 DVD player (I guess it's now the $250 Sony 360). The audio sound of CDs and DVDs on my Sony S9000ES is so much better than with some of the $600 DVD players I tried, and my own Sony 300. Both the CDs and DVDs are more dynamic and clean. Don't forget, if you play DVDs, it's just as important to have improved DVD sound. With the MSB, you would not be improving your 5.1 DD sound when playing DVDs. I think you would be better off buying the 9000 for $1,100 than spending the same amount on the MSB with all the recommended options. you would also get improved video and SACD.
I have an MSB Link dac II and use it with the Sony 9000ES.
Right now the MSB and the internal dac in the Sony are about the same. I really don't see to much advantage in an MSBII or III with out going to all the extra mods and after you add all that up you're at $1200. I think if your going to use the Sony SACD-1 or 9000ES for standard CD playback you'd be better off with a better dac ie, Muse 24/96, Dodson, Wadia, ect.
If you order it with the 24/96 unsample board you will find it adds low end heft, a cleaner mid-range and much better highs. I use it with a Marantz 63e CD changer and it put this fine player in another league altogether. A really good DAC for not much money. Its ungradable, small and does exactly what MSB says it will do. Gives you a taste of what upsampling does for regular CD's. Not as good as SACD or DVD Audio I'm told but it certainly gets you closer.