Philips 1000 vs 963 for 2 channel. Which one ?

i am in between a phillips 963 and the philips 1000.

from what i have gathtered the 1000 is a better built machine despite a noisy drawer.

how do the two compare on redbook ? the unit would be only for 2 channel playback.

i have heard the 963 and it is a great sounding unit but the construction leaves little to be desired.

any input would be appreciated.

thanks !!

I would like to know too!!
The sacd 1000 is much heavy, due to a thick bottom metal plate and the torroidal power supply, but that is it's only perceived advantage built quality wise. The 963's face plate looks nicer, with cool blue leds and not so el cheapo buttons[hard to belive that philips had the gutts to ask 2000 bucks for a machine built like this one]. The cd tray in sacd 1000 belongs in a 40 bucks craposonic cdp...the one in 963 without being a miracle of precision is an improvement. Sacd 1000's transport made a lot of strangely grinding noises, including a loud click every 2-3s on cd and sacd playback [ not normal, repaired by philips] while the 963 has a fait click on cd play...

sound wise: At sacd playback, the 1000 wins not by a large margin as it had a touch more air, better bass and a relaxing laid back presentation.For redbooks cds, the 963 is quite better as it sounds richer and less digital, mostly on new records where its upsamplig [ absent on sacd 1000] makes a difference. If you need just a sacd, try the 1000, but as a hybrid player, I'll take the 963-available for $360 NIB. You did not ask, but the 963 is a superior dvd player also. Both players had Virtual Dynamics cryoed PC and were somehow broken in_963 has 50 hours, 1000 way more.
thanks for the comeback. are there any onther caveats on the 1000 that one should be aware of ?


Philips doesn't have any part for the 1000. So if it breaks down you have a boat anchor.. Some people with warranty have had their money refunded but.... without warranty !?!?
I just got my check in the mail today from my refund. I sent mine in for service on 4/22 & never heard back until today. I guess they don't have any parts?!?
"Both players had Virtual Dynamics cryoed PC and were somehow broken in_963 has 50 hours, 1000 way more. "

Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you could explain this statement to me. I am not familiar with some of the terms you have used. Thanks for your time. Jason
Philips SACD 1000(I still own but will be selling) is not that great a CD player. It has a smooth coherent presentation but lacks transparency and speed. It can be a bottleneck for certain systems. The SACD is a step below the sony 999es (i also own) but still good. It is great as a mod platform because of built. 963 is better on redbook due to upsampling and it's a better DVD player with the Faroudja chip.
I suggest 9000ed or 999es for a music weighted sys..
I sold my 9000es to buy the 963...the 963 offers superior cd/sacd and video.

There are many current and previous owners of both the 1000 and 963 at and all seem to prefer the 963 in all playback modes including sacd.
No comparison should be done until at least 150 hours of sacd playback imho.
A lot of 1000 owners paid 4-500.00 for there player new, but the 9000 es went from 12-1500.00 new and is inferior to the 963 in all respects except build quality.
I thought the 963 to be a lightly polished turd sonically. No bass, lacks prat, upsampling was gimmicky and synthetic sounding, build quality not something I could live with. Great for the $360? Sure, nothing to brag about in the grand scheme of things, however. The SACD1000 isn't a gem either, redbook can be summed up in one word: Blah. Very uninvolving, boring, even in my system although SACD was much, much better. I would give both machines a C+ rating. SACD/CD machines from Marantz I feel walk all over the Philips and Sony offerings on all fronts. It stumps me that people get excited about products from sony and philips when a company like Marantz is making machines that are of consistent higher quality yet never get any press for whatever reason.

If you have to have a DVD/SACD/CD player with a focus on 2ch music, go for a Sony 9000ES with an external dac, it makes a much better transport then the 999es, and from the horses mouth, is a better transport then the PS Audio Lambda dedicated transports. Just my experience, others experiences clearly vary....
Anytime a 500.00 list player stomps all over a 1500.00 player it deserves an A+ period.
My sota speakers that replaced my Thiel 3.6's reveal that the 963sa is a steal.
Does Marantz have a player for anywhere near 500.00 list that can touch the 963sa......not even close.

Try 3k list for sacd/cd only player that is hardly a fair comparison,but the 963sa gets a c+??????????...maybe if your deaf.
The positive press for the 963sa is well deserved as seen on every forum.
This player does 1080i also with a firmware upgrade for those that have hi def.

Btw...there are 18k players out there that make the Marantz sound like less than a turd so there fore it should get an get an F, even though it costs 6 times less right?
Ears, that has to be some of the most pathetic, illogical, irrational, ego-driven drivel I've ever seen, and one sees a lot of it on audio BBS....This is why I try to avoid reading Audio BB's, nothing but crap like this gets posted; noone can have a descenting opinion, every review has to be gushing, especially when a flavor of the month or declared "bang for buck" (hate that term) product is involved, any honest and accurate critique gets poo'd on by fanatic, mindless-drone, my dog is bigger then your dog, owners. Hey, whatever. You're right, I'm wrong, you're ears are golden, mine are tin, you're new toy syndrome holds within divine judgement, you're ego trumps my ego. Peace.
Socrates - I agree. If you want great redbok playback, use the 9000 as a transport with a good upsampling DAC. If you don't care about SACD, just buy a used Sony 7700 and get it modded.
Socrates,Whatever...comparing a 3k player to a 500.00 player and then grading the cheaper player a C+ and a polished turd....give me a are the one who has it wrong.
I had the 9000 es for two years and its sonics are severly lacking in comparison to the 963sa, and why even talk about transport wasn't part of the original question.
I can add 3-400.00 in parts to the 963sa and probably equal the 3k Marantz in sonics.
I have already done mod 1 as that is what i hear in the 963sa.....mod potential, and lots of it.

All of the positive online reviews of the 963sa....but you step in and claim it a polished turd,and insinuate everyone else is are the one being ignorant and egotistical.
I can afford a much more expensive player if I choose to,but don't like losing 50% value in a year when I can mod and get 3k sound for hundreds of dollars and even get some of it back when I decide to sell.
All the business that all the modders are getting, tells me I am not alone in this thinking.
Speakers,amps and analog preamps are were to spend money imho...not ever changing high dollar digital.

I will ask again,seeings how you want to avoid the cost issue...what player does Marantz have that compares to the 963sa that lists for anywhere near the price???....nuff said.

I personally do not care if you visit the boards any more...or less than you used to.
Who are you, that I should care?
I have been a member here for years and anytime someone compares a 500.00 player to a 3k one, and calls it a polished turd, I will have to question there reasoning,whether I own the player or not makes no difference.
You act as if people are claiming the 963sa to be a world beater in your first post, and that the almighty Socrates needs to step in and tell the world that they are wrong and that its merely a "Polished Turd"
Has anyone compared the sound of NAD C541i to the philips DV963sa?
Just a FYI,

I put up a post but hasn't hit yet, Amazon is offering the Philips 963 for $349 today only with free shipping. Link is below:

You have to add to your shopping basket to see the price.


Why did you have to 'knock me off the fence' about buying a 963sa with this amazon link!! ;O (j/k)

I just ordered it, and indeed it included free shipping through J&R - but ONLY if you buy it via Amazon and use standard shipping.

My only conundrum now is this:

I ALREADY have a nice, primary DVD/CD player - an Arcam DV-88P progressive model, that I use as my primary source for redbook AND DVD's. At least this will give me a chance to compare 44k to 192k upsampling, CD to SACD, etc. Who knows - maybe I will like the Philips more then the Arcam (though I doubt it).

Maybe a nice external DAC with Home Theater Pass-through (I'm thinking Bel Canto DAC2 or Musical Fidelity 324 ..?..?) would even the playing field for the 963, though I have seen the threads on AudioAsylum that indicate it isn't even needed....

Any opinions here would be appreciated ... Whatcha Think??

I was tempted as well. I submitted a post about the Philips at Amazon here on A'gon around 10:00 this morning, so anyone else could take advantage. Still nothing posted.

Got lost I guess,


...the 963SA has really good redbook and SACD sound, and it is surprisingly good (sonically) as a transport, clearly better than my Audiolab 8000CDM, at least with my Bel Canto DAC2, which I like a lot. The only downside is its mediocre handling convenience (at last it's a DVD player...). A funny example: In shuffle mode, in 90% of all cases the playback is happening in the same order with the same CD... :-)