Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista vs. ARC CD 3

Hi everybody,

I was wondering if anybody has compared these two units in redbook mode. I would like to try SACD, but, as my collection is 99.99% redbook, if I make a change, I would like it to also be an "upgrade" in redbook playback as well.

Also, to throw in one more complication, I am using an all Audio Research system in balanced mode, so the Tri-Vista would mean running a SE input into the pre amp which will then output a balanced signal to my XLR only amps. So, the second part of the equation would be possible degradation of the sound due to not really having a balanced signal? I suppose my ARC preamp would be generating a "psudo" balanced output? I do not have my pre amp's schematic, so I do not know how this is done, I know that my existing CD player uses a DAC chip that has an inverted output, so it is truely a balanced player.

If there is another SACD player in this price range I should consider, please let me know, if I do make a change, I want to have SACD capabilty as well. Also, I would like to keep my pre-amp in the system, so more expensive units that go direct to the amps would not be considered.


I've auditioned both players in my system, and bought neither; however, if my choice were between these two and my focus was 99.99% Redbook, I would get the ARC. The TriVista is an excellent SACD player and a very, very good Redbook player. The ARC is an excellent Redbook player.

The TriVista occasionally sounded a bit congested with massed strings on CD, and was a touch muddy-sounding in the bass (again, CD). The ARC was none of these things, and its strong, taut bass was its strongest point.

I don't think SE vs. balanced would be a huge issue; really all you're missing is some gain. If you had the choice with the player you decided to get, continuing to go all balanced would be better, but shouldn't be the deciding factor.

Thank you for your post. I was curious, which player did you end up with?

I ended up with a Sony SCD-1 for use as an SACD player and Redbook transport. I bought a Mark Levinson No. 360S DAC for Redbook. The Sony is an excellent SACD player and is a great transport, but its Redbook playback is mediocre. The Levinson DAC in combination makes Redbook sound better than anything else I've heard under $20,000.