Hi. I don't have first hand experience so I was refraining from answering, but since you are getting no answers, here are my 2 cents: I don't think the 390S was ever considered a true "reference" player. It was considered a very good player a while back. I did consider it. But then I learned it was prone to malfunction, which was a deal breaker for me. Later on I heard comments that the new company owning the brand wasn't being very good about servicing older Levinson units. Search around here to learn more.
I hope this helps.
I also remember that also with the 390S a few years back.
I had a 390s for a while and never fell in love with it. I felt it was a little dark sounding and lacked a certain sparkle. It could sound great rocking along to music with real drive but lacked the subtilty to engross with most other music. I heard later the guy I sold it too had problems with it which was a surpeise as it worked without fault when I had it. I heard a Luxman D06 sound sensational into a mega money Soulution/Verity setup recently fwiw.
Has anyone heard the New Mark Levinson 512 sacd player?
None of those players will sound like a LINN Akurate DS playing 24/96 or 24/192 FLAC/WAV files.
Why the fixation with Levinson? The other units in your original post are well thought of. If I were tu buy a CD player, I would probably go to an Esoteric X03, but that's me. Anyway, I have since decided to sell my CD player and focus on computer based system. It's amazing what a Squeezebox Touch + external DAC can do.
Which CD player are using?
I quit using a CD player altogether. I have (but don't use) a Rotel RCD-1082. I was thinking of upgrading, at that time I considered the 390S, but instead decided to jump into computer audio. To me it was a matter of whether computer audio had advanced enough already. I took one of the easiest/safest routes: bought a Squeezebox Touch a year ago and have not used the CD player since. Don't be deceived by the small price, it's a good unit.
My take: computer audio is evolving very fast and doesn't make sense yet to stretch much economically. Whatever you buy will be obsolete in 5 years, so don't go overboard spending there. CD, on the other hand, is becoming mature and if you want to stick with it you are probably safe buying an excellent and reliable CD player now.
Of course, that's MY take on things. I hope it helps.
I agree with Lewinskih01 for the most part... do not go crazy into a DAC setup as things will change as time goes on. What is "crazy money" to some however, may not be to others. I buy as demo or used when possible to get a better quality piece for less than retail.
You will have a tough time beating a discless systems with a decent DAC and the correct ripping/file type/bit rate.
I have compared my LINN Akurate DS to CD players at or over $10k. Add in the fact that your entire music library is at your finger tips (iPad), and any argument against going discless is just silly. If you enjoy searching through a large CD collection, loading the disc, playing the few songs on that disc you like, then unloading it, finding another disc, etc. then a DAC setup may not be for you.
The M.L. 390S was a great player, I owned a 390 then upgraded to a 390S, I've seen them for sale at very reasonable prices, don't think you could do better. They can have a slightly dark sound if not connected to the right associated gear. It's no match for the Ayre C5MP and Audio Research DAC8 that I now own, but nothing out there is, including the Linn. I also have all my music on a Mac but much prefer spinning disc's.
I have the 512 and it is fantastic! I've done blind listening tests and it is superior to the Sony SCD-XA5400ES as well as the Oppo BDP-95. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to listen to any of the players. I'm within 20 minutes of Boston, MA.
Anyone compare the 390S with the 512?
Aaronmadler, I certainly would hope so.....the 512 is a 15K player, 10x the price of the Sony and Oppo. Have you compared it to upper echelon players like the Puccini, Playback Designs, Isis, ARC, EMM, Meridian, etc?
Stop spinning a CD totally. A LINN Akurate DS will trash those players with 24/96 or 24/192 WAV/FLAC.
Lula - I have not compared the 512 with anything other than the two players that I've mentioned. I agree with you about the price differential. I am so satisfied with the sound, that I don't feel the need to try anything else.
Audiofreak,,,LOL at your last post, couldn't disagree more. Remember it's all personal perception.
Have you compared? A current version Akurate DS will beat out most CD players under $20k. If you eliminate the disc, the laser pickup, the transport and all other issues that have to do with a typical CD player, you have gained a lot in terms of sound quality.
Forget those old CD spinners. The ML is dark & grainy compared to later DACs.
I'm with audiofreak. Forget CDs & move to HD playback. With the right DAC you can have zero jitter.
How is the Sony 5400ES SACD player?
The Sony SCD-XA5400ES is an excellent player.
I auditioned the Sony5400es in my system, it was very good!