Is it worth buying an SACD player?

I looked around and it seems there is enough SACD content to justify the investigation. I have a DVD player at the moment that plays SACD and bought a used Miles Davis SACD to check it out, it sounds great but, I can't really test the difference between a "regular CD" and the SACD. The other issue is that the DVD player doesn't access the "higher end sampling" through the analog connections, My 2-channel preamp has no digital input (Rogue Audio Perseus) so maybe without the digital input my question is moot. Any ideas/thoughts?
If your DVD player can play the SACD but (1) you cannot hear a difference between "regular CD" and SACD and (2) your player doesn't access the "higher end sampling," it is likely you are only hearing the RedBook (CD) layer of a hybrid SACD. Thus, you are still only listening to a CD.

So, you do need a real SACD player to appreciate what the medium can do. There are many options and, for the most part, all will output analog audio from the SACD layer and almost all SACDs have a dedicated 2-channel track on them.

Specific recommendations? Too many options but they start at about $100 and go everywhere.

Is it worth it? Well, again, that depends on whether you have or will buy enough SACDs to justify the purchase. Go to and see what there is that appeals to me. If so, don't wait as you are coming very late to the party.

Kal (who is now hoarding SACDs and players)
No. Wait until the SACD masters are issued on blu-ray.
Buconero117 wrote:
No. Wait until the SACD masters are issued on blu-ray.

Depends on how patient or old you are. I don't see a comparable level of purely musical releases to happen for quite a few years.

I sold my SACD player and sometimes I regret it. When I play an album I used to listen to in SA, it just doesn't sound as good anymore. SACD is really a wonderful format and I will probably get another SACD player down the road since new ones are still coming out.

I think it interesting that Sony has yet to offer a Blue Ray player with SACD decoding. That makes me wonder about the future of SACD.
Sony does offer an Blue Ray Player with SACD decoding. It's the PS3 (except the 40 GB version). But Sony has abandonded the music side of SACD.

I have about 200 SACDs and DVD Audio discs (DVD Audio is closer to death's door than SACD, but they are both destined for extinction.) That said, there are a few niche labels which continue to offer new SACD material and there is a good assortment of SACD and DVD Audio discs available used. I have no regrets about having purchased the hardware and software and would do so now despite the doomsday future of the formats.

As for sound quality, both formats are superior, in my opinion, to LP and redbook CD. I have a number of discs in SACD or DVD Audio and LP and/or redbook CD versions. In all cases, the SACDs and DVD A discs are remarkably better.

BTW, SACD and DVD A are generally accessed by analogue, not digital connection. The Sony ES-XA9000 and some Denon players have proprietary digital out connections which work only with their high-end receivers/preamps. The standard Coax and optical digital connections do not transmit any SACD or DVD A signals. Therefore, unless you're intending to spend thousands, you needn't worry about analogue connection; it's the only way to go. I wonder if you simply haven't discovered that your current player can play SACD material. Some SACDs are multi-layer discs; they have five-channel and/or two-channel SACD layers as well as standard Redbook CD layers. You have to choose which layer to listen to. If your DVD player has the SACD logo on it, it definitely plays at least the two-channel SACD layers as well as the Redbood CD layers.
I think it interesting that Sony has yet to offer a Blue Ray player with SACD decoding. That makes me wonder about the future of SACD.
Yes but they introduced two new SACD players at CEDIA.

BTW, SACD and DVD A are generally accessed by analogue, not digital connection.
Until recently when DSD via HDMI has become common.


Pioneer kept making a couple of Laser Disc players for a few years after the obvious demise of that format too.
OK, maybe it sounds like I know what I'm talking about in my original query, I don't!
But FYI, I'm using a tube pre-amp Rogue Perseus in to the tube Rogue Monoblock 150's driving Magneplanar 1.6 QR's.
I reread the manual and this is what it says, and I don't know if makes a difference. And I may have misinterpretted the value of such, since I don't really know what "LPCM rate" means--

Credit Camridge Audio DVD99 player user manual
"48K-supported by most equipment
96K-Allows a higher sampling rate and frequency response. It can result in higher audio quality. Ensure that the receiver/amplifier can support it.
192K--Allows the highest sampling rate and frequency response. It can result in the best audio quality. Ensure that the receiver/amplifier can support it."

That said, I could not adjust the LPCM to anything other than 48K after setting it to read the SACD's as stereo. I assumed, possibly in error, that I may not be getting any better sound than a regular CD?

Just FYI, this DVD player does have digital (Toslink) and coax audio outputs. HDMI and composite video too. The manual says it supports full 7.1 surround too and multi-channel audio. The complete manual is available online at the Cambridge Audio web page if anyone is interested.

I bought this because it also has a USB interface I (and the dealer) thought could be used to access my external HDD with my catalog of uncompressed music on. (like my PS3 can, yes I bought the 40 gig stupid Yes!)) But it can't, go figure. But it does play SACD/DVD Audio and the CD player is way better than the average Best Buy/Circuit City stuff. So, I'm considering keeping it, if it can really play SACD level sound through my 2-channel system, which ain't too shabby. If not, I can take it back and look for something that can play SACD, you guys confirmed my suspicion that it would be worth while.
OK. It can play SACD via the analog outputs and via HDMI. It is never available via coax or toslink.

I suspect that the LPCM setting is irrelevant to SACD since (1) DSD is not PCM and (2) none of those values represent the sample rate for DSD. (DSD, btw, is the common data format for SACD.)

Since most SACDs are hybrids, you should be able to compare SACD with the CD layer on the same disc.

Kal, thanks so much!
If I get your drift correctly; those LPCM settings have nothing to do with the SACD quality, and it (SACD) should work fine through my analogs, GREAT!
However the SACD I bought, Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" says right on the CD, "For Use with SACD Players only".
It doesn't seem to be a hybrid, it's marked as a 1997 print, if that means anything.
Again thanks!
I just might keep this thing!
I'll go buy another SACD, a hybrid this time and play with the settings (play SACD or as CD) to see what differences I hear.
Many of the early Sony SACDs were single-layer, that is, SACD only.

Go to and look at the SACD collection. Does owning a good bit of that float your boat? If so, then get a player and start buying software while you still can. If anything is reissued on Blu-ray it'll be the same ole stuff and I doubt that it'll sound better, in two-channel.

If you want to go multi-channel, then it's a whole different story. When I've heard multi-channel I've been unimpressed. It always seems contrived to me. Some like it, so it's a personal thing.

I really doubt that two-channel Blu-ray is going to sonically beat two-channel SACD. With a great player, the two-channel SACDs are my favorite format vs. CD and LP. (I buy a lot of all three, but I lean toward SACD when given a choice).

Go to for a more comprehensive listing.

I decided to keep the DVD99 because of the SACD. I did get the Music server /CD player operating again. It does have a better redbook CD player than the DVD99 though. Plus being able to hit random play of 3500 tracks is a great way to watch football!
I ordered up four SACD's from Amazon, a couple hybrids and the pure SACD 30th anniv edition of Dark Side of the Moon. Now I'm looking into replacing my old Denon 1800AVR with something with new HDMI technology! I gotta hear that in 5.1!
There seems to be more DVD Audios on Amazon than SACD's though. Now I have to check out those too!
Why didn't this stuff catch on? It's prety awesome!
I'm thinking Sony STRDG720 7.1 Audio Video Receiver at around $250.
There is a similar priced/speced Onkyo, but only has 2 HDMI's in.
Question though, Do most current (or at least the 2 I'm considering) AV receivers still have pre-out for the front 2 speakers so I can send them to my 2 channel system? I couldn't tell from the ads/specs listed.