I know there are people out there who have a different opinion, but I give a strong yes. It is still a fine SACD player and a good if not great CD player directly, but it is a fabulous CD transport to use with an outboard DAC. It replaced a Levinson 37 in my system, and from time to time I've tried pricey transports by other high end manufacturers without ever being tempted to replace it. (And no, I don't have one for sale.)
YES! as a standard unit it's still among the best redbook players. As an SACD I think it's one of the top. If you get one and modify it to the Audiocom-UK standard it's as good as any under $20,000 unit made. If you look at the advances in cd technology over the past three years nothing has been done beyond the bar Sony set with the SD-1.
I bought mine as soon as they came out and have had years of listening to the very best digital can offer while others discuss the future of the SACD format. During that time they have lost three years speculating, while I upgraded and built a library of disks. At the same time enjoying my standard disks with the best player avalible.
I know with the upgrade you would have the best made, with the standard SCD-1 you still have a great player.
The unmodified unit is great. On redbook, I think it competes with the wadia 850 and the resolution audio cd-50. The wadia has a cleaner sounding analogue stage.
I own the scd-1 w/kern mods, and am not looking for anything else now. The combination of one box convenience, build quality, and sonics are what do it for me.
The Kern audiocom mod transforms it to one of the best cd players I've heard. It's now in the same general league as the $7000 Audio Aero Capitol 24/192 mk I, the tube output Modwright XA777, and the $12,000 dcs 192 combo. My player originally had the kern parts upgrade (around 850), and I heard it back to back with the audi aero. I thought the aero was better on redbook due to it's tube output stage and built in 192 upsampling. It was more analog sounding. The $350 superclock mod made an enourmous improvement in the scd-1. I would guess they are now about equal - or so close you shouldn't care.
If you have multiple digital sources, then a transport/dac approach might make more sense.
Unless you want multichannel disc decoding capabilities (then get the XA-777ES), the SCD-1 is well worth getting. I agree with JD and John, stock it's on a level playing field with the Wadia 850 class of player and with a top quality analog stage, power supply and clock mod (I had a tube output stage mod done for me by Jerry Ozment of Audio Logic a couple of years ago on my 777ES, which he unfortunately doesn't do anymore) it can compete with the absolute best players/transport-DAC combos available on redbook and you get SACD playback as well that will knock your socks off. While the Marantz unit is apparently good sounding, I seem to recall reading about a lot of QC problems with these units compared to the SCD-1s.
When Sony introduces a new product, the first is the greatest. All others that follow will never compare. They just whittle away at the technology until the masses all have one. So yes, the SCD-1 is a keeper.
All the responses iron my heart to die for a SCD-1.Can somesoby show the website address for modification?
The Sony is good, but the SA-14 is superior. It has a true balanced circuit and uses newer generation DACs. Unless you need multichannel, then I would seriously consider the new multichannel Marantz. Here is what an insider at Sony told me:
#2: Only the SCD-1 has balanced outputs but it sounds better, it was actually
designed, to be played through the unbalanced outputs, the RCA outputs.
Richard Kern can be found at www.audiomod.com
Dan Wright is at www.modwright.com.
Both guys do audiocom (an english company that makes the upgrades) installs, and some additional specialty stuff.
I've met both of these guys and had both of their players stomped my stock scd-1 into the ground in direct A to B tests in my system. The mods work and they are not subtle improvements. I recommend both of them equally as people whom I would trust to do the work. They are both very professional (and smart [yikes!]) people.
My player already had some kern mods done to it when I bought it, so having Richard continue with more upgrades made the most sense.
I'm listening to Art Pepper's 'the way it was' on my hot-rod scd-1 now! Superbe et Sublime! Thanks Art! Thanks Richard!
I had Richard Kern do my full Audiomod-UK modification. You can find info on that at www.audiomoduk.com
Richard is a great honest guy. I would recommend him to my mother!
If you don't need to run balanced interconnects, the Sony XA777ES comes very, very close and easily supercedes the SCD-1 performance and that of most others as well under $25.000 in my opinion (redbook and SACD) if modded by the Audience people. (3k extra). Cheers,
John 1: where did you hear a tube output stage XA777ES and did you compare it side by side with the modified SCD-1?
Also, I was told by Dan Wright that the SCD-1 does not have a true balanced output; only a board that splits the signal at the output.
I heard it in my home - Dan brought it over. I only heard it side by side with my stock SCD-1. His tube stage XA77ES was much much better than my stock scd-1. No comparison really. I can't really say if the kern scd-1 was better or worse than the modwright tube player. They are quite different. One has tube warmth, the other has solid state resolution.
I'm happy to offer up my system for a shootout. I doubt it would be conclusive given the tube vs solid state sound of each unit.
I have heard the same thing about the balanced outputs. I know that my modified sony was 'optimized' for balanced output during the upgrade - not sure what that means. I know my modified unit sounds much better on balanced than single ended. The stock unit had roughly the same sound quality on balanced vs single ended.
Has anyone compared stock SCD1 with a stock SCDXA777ES ? Also does the SCD1 have multiple cascaded DACs as does the SCDXA777ES?
The SCD1 still sets the standard in SACD playback. Newest review in Absolute sound. I tired much expensive CD players at home, Linn, Levinson and Krell Reference they all went back.
SCD1 was and is a statement product. Built like a statement product with a power supply next to none.
the scd-1 is perfect i'm using it with a theta gen va dac. the sacd is still perfect.