Nobody wants to chime in? OK, how about any suggestions on the Wyred 4 Sound STI-500? Any thoughts on this one?
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I had a similar challenge only reversed a few years ago when I upgraded to an Integra Pre-Pro from a Rotel surround sound receiver. The Integra only decodes DSD from SACDs through one of its HDMI inputs. So I had to then upgrade to an OPPO BD-103 and invest in an AQ HDMI IC. I listen to mostly multi-channel SACDs. Are you listening to multi-channel or two channel SACDs?
I was using an NAD T-535 universal player for my SACDs but could no longer. I still have the NAD unit and now use it to play just standard CDs. I suspect that any new SACD players (probably most likely universal Blu-ray players or higher end reference players) are only going to send out its DSD through HDMI. Now the challenge for you is to indentify new SACD players that output its DSD via analog and not just HDMI and also play SACD/FLAC files and not just discs. (I just took a quick look at the Marantz UD7007 for you but only through HDMI). I'm not familiar with how well HDMI to analog SACD converters work. My gut tells me this would not be your best & final solution. You always seem to lose something when using converters. You may want to consider changing the integrated amp end of your new build. Just my two cents. P.S. I'm thinking of selling my T-535 which would resolve part of your issue with playing SACDs through analog outputs. It doesn't have any inputs (USB) for playing music files.
I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head!
Currently I am not playing any SACD files. I am playing 2 channel DSD via thumb drive & network and this is what I am hoping to continue to do in addition to a good SACD player. My system will be 2 channel only. So I am looking for a unit which will play SACD AND DSD. The DSD via thumb drive or via network connection.
I agree that any converter will probably reduce output quality. Thus my dilemma. I appreciate your offer and agree that your NAD player would indeed solve 1/2 of my quest. But I think I need to continue my research and find a total solution to my problem as I am trying to keep the total number of separate components down as much as possible.
Thanks very much for your response.
I love my Oppo but can't say it's the best for a thumb drive or network. You definitely want a monitor attached to really play from those sources. You would be best served to have 2 boxes, not one. A used Oppo 95 should be better for audio than the 103 for not much more money. For the network, you will be much better served with a laptop or tablet running JRiver and either streaming or attached to the Oppo.