Hypothetical - CD or SACD Player?

I'd like to hear some of your sentiments please. In the $1000 to $2000 price range (new or used), would my money be better spent on a CD player or an SACD player? Assume that whether or not I already have the discs to play is not an issue. Also ignore the myriad factors necessary to make a fully informed data-driven decision. I've read all the reviews I could find, but now am just looking for some good old-fashioned opining. But please, only from those who have spent some serious time listening to both formats. Thanks.
The difference between CD and SACD/DVD-A/DAD is huge in favor of the latter. Problem is that you need SOTA player to hear it. In your given price range, I'd probably go for a well done CD playback, although the CD/SACD Esoteric SA-10 would be something worth it to look at and save for, especially if you like and own SACDs.

this question cannot be answered without further input from you.

from my own experience, a vintage tube cd player is preferable to a current production sacd player. why ?

i prefer the classic tube sound, which is unattainable from any sacd player i have auditioned.
i just bought an sa- 10 and am extremly impressed. i would also reccomnd this piece of equipment
If you really are limited at $2k for a CDP and if SACD is not a priority, I think your best sound for the buck is in the redbook arena -- at least when considering new CDP prices.

But, if you are invested in SACD and you have a sufficiently resolving system, then save your pennies and keep an eye on the used market for well reviewed universals.
Hi Alex,
Thanks for your reply. Further questions - As examples, it looks like a used Sony SCD-1 can be had for around $2K, and a used Marantz SA14 for about $1K. Would you say that neither of these would be a wise choice compared to a "better" CD player? Is the SA-10 (and its price) the break point at which SACD players begin to shine?
Why not have both? A gently used Denon 5910 can be had within your budget. You could also get a modded 3910 for the same bucks.




I don't really believe one has to spend lots of money to hear the difference between SACD/DVDA and CD. Of course you can get better performance at a higher price, it's not always the case. I have a Denon 5910ci that does a great job. Although not inexpensive, it is much less so than many so called Hi-End machines.
_mike, I wouldn't vote for Sony SCD-1 or 777ES. The Marantz SA-14 would be more preferable, IMO, due to its nice transport, dual mono CS4397 Crystal (Cirrus Logic) DACs and discrete HDAM output circuits. Especially with minor clock/capacitor upgrades (I do not offer such) the SA-14 can be a really good performer.

SA-10 features dual mono configuration of the latest flagship Crystal CS4398 DACs which are much more advanced compared to the older CS4397, this applies to both CD and SACD processing. The transport, digital signal processing and power supply in the Esoteric SA-10 is also superb. So I guess that would be the price point where both CD and SACD start to shine in such a player.

If your budget tops out at $2000, and IF you can run a CD player balanced in your system, then purchase a used Ayre CX7e (be sure to get an "evolution" model). You will not miss SACD (in the sub-$2000 players). For the money in the used market, this player is hard to beat.

Good luck in your "hypothetical" quest. :-)
Thanks for your reply and the recommendation. Lots of good things written about the CX-7e. Maybe too many good things - it may be difficult to find one on the used market.
Take a look at the discussion thread called 'Why so many Cambridge 840c cd players for sale???'... Someone comments there about the CX7e against the Cambridge Audio 840c.

While I haven't heard the CX7e, I can vouch for the 840c as well - can't beat it for the $$.