What's your budget? I have something in mind but it is pretty expensive- though it would do what you are looking for.
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Tireguy -- I bet you're thinking of a modded Philips (as in the Meitner combo)!!
Jafox, in the present state of digital, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high in trying to smoke your Clearaudio ref set-up. Maybe a J Allaerts or a VdenHul Colibri cartridge???
On topic, it would make more financial sense to acquire an integrated SACD/CD player or, indeed, just acquire a reasonably priced sacd cdp and mod it. IF you're INTERESTED in the sacd s/ware available. If NOT, why not just stay with what you have for now. Cheers
I recommend an SACD player which has a particularly good transport section. The original Sony SCD-1 had a transport section which beat my Levinson easily, and the friend who bought it from me says he would place it between the two CEC's in quality--both of which he has--which is a very nice neighborhood. I never cared for the Sony's CD playback, but since you have an external DAC that doesn't matter. On SACD it was very good. My Classe Omega, which replaced the Sony in my system, uses the same transport as the SCD-1, and I can't imagine replacing it (for now, anyway). There are still plenty of SCD-1's around.
Mgottlieb, "there are still plenty of SCD-1's around". True, this is still a current model avalible from Sony.
I agree with your comments on the transport. If I was looking for an SACD player to replace my SCD-1 I would want the ability to send the information from the transport to an outside DAC. Does Omega allow for SACD to be exported? With the Sony only redbook information can be exported, and with the newest DAC products on the market encoding SACD this is a drawback to some of the existing players.
Jafox, in answer to your question. I would look for something that does play SACD and allows for exporting to an outside DAC.(given your past intrest in DAC's) I've been saying for three years now that SACD is the future, to the point I believe people no longer listen. In my opinion SACD is here, if not it will be years before it dies and during that time you can enjoy both the new and old formats. How can it be a mistake to buy a SACD capable machine? Good luck and welcome to the 21st century.
As a happy owner of an Sony SCD-1 cdp, I believe one would be hard-pressed to find a better cdp for redbook or sacd formats anywhere near this price range.
I would not hesitate to buy the SCD-1 again. But not necessarily because of it's SACD playback.
I am of the camp that ultimately, it is the quality of the recording that counts, regardless of format.
With that said, I would recommend shopping for the best redbook cdp for a given budget. And if the one found happened to play SACD, I'd consider that a freebie or benefit. But I would not consider it mandatory on my checklist.
Hey, thank you for many valuable tips here. I am trying to move myself into the 21st century and yet my LP playback system seems to continue to trounce all that the 21st century digital world has brought to us. And with the recent acquisition of a Versa Dynamics 2 to shootout with my Clearaudio, I will be playing with LPs a lot more than I have been lately. With that said, I think the SCD-1 sounds like a mighty fine option if it indeed is a great transport and opens the door to some incredible recordings coming out on SACD. I just don't want multiple transports here. It's already bad enough with a HT system that has VHS, Laserdisc and now DVDs. All these formats are an absolute pain ... there's hardware everywhere!
One thing I forgot to mention is that I just got a Genesis Time Lens and put it in the system. But I have not gone back to remove it and hear what it does or does not do. So I am eager to improve redbook CD playback. But I have focused much of my attention to LPs.
The Manley DAC truly is THAT good and I suspect no single player unit can match it but auditions have proved me wrong over and over. So I do want (need) a unit to output redbook digital to the Manley. We all will worry about external DACs for multi-channel SACD / DVDA at a later time.
As for budget, well for me it is often all over the place. I am willing to pay what it takes to move up significantly, but like the PS Audio xTream Statement Power Cord audition recently pointed out to me, you can get an incredible product without having to pay 3-4x the price of the competition. So Tireguy, pass on to me your ideas so I can at least look into this. And Chelillingworth, I know nothing of the products you mentioned so I too would like to reaserch these.
Thank you very much to all.