SACD Dominates Recommended List

Stereophile just placed 4 CD players in it's top-rated A-Plus Recommendation List. Three were SACD players: the Marantz SA-1, Sony SCD-1, and Sony 777ES. The fourth was a $15,000 Meridian.
I knopw... Long live SACD, it smokes everything else.


I think this just shows how far south stereopile has dropped. I have listened extensively to the Sony SCD-1 vs Levinson 360S/31 combo. While SACD's do sound quite good, the sony in no way compares to the levinson on 44khz discs. Period. For the 'pile to create a new class, A+, just because these units can play new formats (SACD, 24/96, etc), which represent < .1% of all recorded music, is just plain bs. The 'pile must peak the interests of readers to get people to go buy something new. This is the only way they can get people to keep reading their, sorry to say, rag. What once was a respectable, reliable source, is now nothing more than paid advertisement.
Oh you goofs!! Stereopile has to boost SACD so the format will catch on so everyone will have to buy one because its THE new format AND we'll have to replace our music libraries with SACDs. I personally give the format 5 to 6 years, by which time some other format will be announced as the latest Second Coming (no heretical insult intended) and we'll be off on the chase again. (Just as an aside - look for that new format to be chip based and require an entirely new and initially, then permanently, overpriced component, with the attendant demand that once again, you must replace your (now) SACDs.)

Or, you can come to my house and we'll whale away with the best 78's you can get for a quarter (which means pretty much all of recorded music up til 1956 or so!)

Stereophile factors in price into their recommendations. A better sounding piece could be rated lower because it costs much more. That's probably the case with the Levinson combo. As another example, Stereophile and others have concluded that Accuphase makes the best sounding SACD player. It's not on the list at all--probably because of it's $28K price. Right now, people are buying new SCD-777's under $2K, new SCD-1's under $3K, and new SA-1's under $4K. The Stereophile review of the 777 concluded that for it's price, it was a bargain even if only used as a CD transport.
Tommart. Where are people buying Marantz SA-1's under $4K?? The player retails for $7500 and average discount is 10- 20% since shopping around for one. You are saying the dealers are blowing them out at almost 50% with your forum.
As the owner of an SCD777ES I'll tell you this:
Either run with the big dogs or stay on the porch!

SACD is the best thing that's happened for audiophiles in a long time. This media is phenomenal, and finally reveals the true promice of digital. As to Redbook, it's well known that both the 777 and SCD1 need about 400 hours break-in to sound best. All you high-dollar guys who have to have "insert name" brand expensive SACD player, that's cool, you wait and it will come, but I'll have the last laugh 'cause your $12,000 player has the SAME transport as my 777.

Quit yer whining, and get on with the show. Better sell off that huge money transport/dac now, while you can still get some of your $$$ back.

I do not mean to sound harsh, but the reality is SACD is here to stay, like it or not. I've got over 30 great titles in less than 6 months and growing, and mainstream music stores such as Tower Records are setting up SACD sections in their stores as we speak.As to redbook, it reminds me of an old saying: "The king is dead, long live the king!".

Here's the problem. I have over a thousand CDs and even more vinyl albums. Most of the titles I see coming out on SACD I already have or I don't want. I can choose from many tens of thousands of used CDs or records for $5 to $10 a copy or spend $25 on a SACD of music I already have. How many copies of "Kind of Blue" do you need? I hope SACD does catch on so people dump their CDs like they did their vinyl and I can get them for a bargain at the used store.
Hello Bruce:

I feel your pain, as I have over 1200 Redbook CD's myself.
Buy the Sony, find the outboard DAC of your dreams, and have the best of both worlds. Some of today's better DAC's, like the Dodson, or the AudioNote 1.1 offer either DIY or modular upgrade paths.

Some of the SACD's I've purchased have been dupes of stuff I have on redbook, but the increase in sound quality in many cases has taken the sting out of the cost. out of Canada currently offers the best prices but has the smallest selection, but it is getting better.

If SACD format is going to be sucessful long term for the masses, a few things have to be accomplished and supported.
1) The recording labels should make all the SACDs hybrid format. This would allow anyone to start purchasing them.
2) Prices on the SACDs have to be in the $15 range.
3) The machines have to be priced below the magic price point of $399 (just like DVD machines and there success story).
4) Wider distribution of outlets means, more backing of recording labels = more titles. It's a numbers game.And the Sonys & Philips of the world care about one thing and that's moving a whole lot of boxes.
5) Forget about DVD audio. SACD is superior when it comes to sound. DVD should should stay within forum there best at and that's video.
(This is what I see looking in from outside and just an opinion).
Having owned a Sony SCD-1, I did not find the sound to be
much better than a good MFSL cd or any other well recorded
I sent it back because it did not sound as good (in cd mode) as a very
good standard cd player.
My Cary 300 sounds so much better than the Sony did.
But to be fair...I did not have many sacd's to
really hear what they could sound like compared to titles
I have on CD.
And for the most part (again with limited sacd's)I thought
cd's sounded as good or better.
Maybe I'll give it a try as soon as they have at least
20 SACD's that I want to buy.
I don't know about you guys but I'm in no rush to buy these first generation players. I didn't rush to buy the first generation DVD players either and don't think I missed much by not purchasing early. However, I believe that Sony-Europe is releasing a new version of the 777es player. I believe it might be a multi-channel player that goes for close or about the same of the original player. I understand that in order for the format to take off we must show early support for it but I've never been that kind of buyer and I'm not going to start now. Besides, I'm happy with my Redbook CD performance right now and don't have the uncontrollable urge to upgrade.
1. Right now, Sony is the only label producing SACD-only discs. I hope Sony soon stops this practice.
2. A recent article in a German magazine stated that Sony will soon lower Software prices and begin producing only multi-layer discs. Hope the article is accurate.
3. The SCD-333ES can now be bought mail order for under $800, and Sony has announced a $300 (list)CD/SACD and a $400 (list) CD/SACD player to be released this summer. Also, two models of Sony's Dream system will have SACD. I bet before Christmas, several of Sony's DVD players will have the SACD option. In addtion, we'll see SACD models from Phillips, Marantz, Pioneer, and Sharp. In addition, several High-end manufacturers are developing SACD players. Accupahose has a $28K model.
4. We'll see wider distribution once the $300-400 players hit the market.
5. Sony says it's not competing with DVD-Audio. SACD is a better CD, not a better VCR. No menus or video required. Most players have been CD/SACD only.
Several people have mentioned in the SACD forum on that they have purchased the Marantz for around $4,000. Log into the Forum, search on Marantz and you might be able to find a past message and email the author. You can also check Check the reviews of the Marantz and many people mention where they purchased their player and for how much. By the way, Marantz supposed to come out with about a $3,000 (list)CD/SACD player any day now.
i have to agree with some posters on some things and others and other things. as an owner of a 777, i have heard the new audiophile sound. my system cost me about 6000 and i have sound that rivals many systems regardless of price. true, an ultra high expensive levinson trans/dac combo will sound better than redbook on 777 and will come close to sacd (but not reach it). associated ocmponents make a difference too. if you're running an sacd on nad gear (no offense to nad owners) it defintiely will not sound as good as sacd on classe/bel canto/levinson/what other respectable high end names you can think of. lets just say if you can afford a levinson trans/dac, chances are you're running some pretty high quality downstream equipment as well. also mentioned above was the long break in time on these players. i actually heard the unit transform at about 375 and it is gradually but diminishingly getting better reaching its full potential proabbly in another 100 hours. i have also heard increased everything using a power plant with the unit, which i suggest to anyone who has one. further, regarding first generation player comment, the 777, scd-1, sa-1 are indeed first generation but were designed to keep up with time for awhile due tot he fact that these players were designed to show off all that sacd can do. true there will be improvements and parts quality could sure be upgraded but newer players will only gain in the area of better opamps (or none at all), better digital filters, and better quality parts but for the most part retaining an almost identical dsd sound with respectable company sonic signatures (sony will sound like sony stuff, levinson like levinson stuff) when dvd came out i bougth the pioneer dvd-525. a first generation player. this unit is still sold, and is one of the better dvd players out there (especially after mods) even though it diesn't have all the fancy dancy features that the new ones have. and speaking fo mods, if you ever frequent the audioasylum site a few have begun to mod their sacd players and one member who has both a wadia 2?x player and a 777 said after he replaced some parts with better quality parts the redbook performance went from average for $1500 range to almost equalling his wadia (beating it in some respects) with the wadia barely edging it out overall. sorry if this post seems slanderous to opposer of the new format, but many of you put down a format that you have never heard or can not afford, or if this is not the case you are probably the kind who is so prided on the nameplate your equipment bares that you psyche yourself into thinking you have sound that cannot be bettered. everyones mileage will vary, the ultimate notion is that sacd is defintiely a step up from cd and finally answers the lp vs. cd question (for the most part). sure replacing redbooks with sacds of the same kind might sound rediculous but hook up a dac to your 777 or whatever sacd player you have and you have a very nice (and i mean very nice and very well built) transport to feed your dac to listen to your redbook cds. many people over at the sylum have been using dodson or audio note with great results. so again don't knock something that you wouldn't buy for whatever reason you come up with. just because you wouldn't buy it doesn't mean that it doesn't sound better or perform better. it just means that your content with waht you have and that to YOU (and your budget) the sound could only be better by ultra expensive gear. if this is so, then you have reached what all of us crazy philes try to do for years, and that is enjoy the music, i know i sure am.
Audioasylum's URL is and not
I also checked with There's no one there that mentioned buying a Marantz for $4,000. I have seen several messages in the past two months about people buying or thinking about buying a Marantz for around $4,000.
Tommart, you will not be able to get the Marantz SA-1 for $4000 or less here in the United States. The dealer's invoice price is about $4150 to $4200. A while ago an Audiogon member TopKatt posted a question in the forum about whether to get a Marantz SA-1 or a Sony SCD-1. I e-mailed him regarding the name of that dealer. He told me that he is getting the Marantz for $4100 from a personal friend of his who is a Marantz dealer. His friend sold that to him as a favor. He declined to reveal to me the name of that dealer. I saw a couple people selling their Marantz SA-1 for $4500 to $4800 in this website.
Sony has a history of coming out with great technology that eventually dies, because they do not like to share it. For example think Betamax. Apple made the same mistake with the McIntosh operating system and lost a 10 year head start they had over Microsoft.
Both companies also have had some pretty stellar successes, does no one remember those?
I know more than a few people who have owned SACD players and ended up selling them. They did this after they raved about them and tried to get everyone else to buy one. As for me, i'll wait it out until they have a disc or two that i'd like to own available on SACD. Right now, i find the choices pretty limited. Sean
Sugarbrie, You got a good point, but.....
I would not use Microsoft as an example of someone who shares technology with others. It was IBM who created the IBM-PC and opened it to third parties and beat Apple. Intel and Microsoft keep the technology to themseleves as any user of Linux, OS/2, Java, AMD, and Cyrix will attest. Sony is following the Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple models -- unfortunately.
As has already been said, the only people who profit from the experience of others are biographers. That notwithstanding, here is my experience. I got a 777es as a birthday present( OK, to myself, but that's irrelevent), on A'gon, for what I consider a great deal. I hooked it up and thought it sounded very good, red book and SACD.In fact, it sounded as good as my then digital configuration of Theta Jade to dCS Delius/Purcell 24/192 upsampled. So, I used the Sony as a transport to the dCS, and with the flip of a switch could A/B the Sony redbook with the dCS upsampled.I did this over a Fri-Sun, with a couple of buddies, blindly. We each thought the Sony not only sounded as good, but actually better than the upsampled 12K worth of dCS gear. On redbook. The SACD was even better, not as good as vinyl IMOP, although I know there are those that would argue. I knew the SACD would be good, I'd heard it before, but the early critiques of the redbook playback of these units I find completely unfounded. Now, there may be better sounding units out there, I've not heard the Dodson or Entec # Cruncher, but I've heard the top end ML, Wadia and some others, and I just don't hear them as being any better. Forget that the unit is a steal, particularly on A'gon, where units are going for $1500-1600 lately. The fact is, it sounds phenomenal, and not just SACD. To me it was a no brainer: 1 piece, 1 PC, 0 Digi cable, tank build quality unit that sounds AT LEAST as good as 15K of transport/upsampler/DAC, or the latter. I sold the dCS, and the 777 is being modified as we speak by Richard Smith at Audience. Total price for what I paid for the unit and modification will be right around what a decent transport alone cost. Although not ubiquitous, there are bargains in this hobby, my experience is that this is one of them. Period. And I mean bargain, not trade-off . You may or may not agree, but that's my story and I'm stickin to it! Thanx to the above posts, I always learn something on this site. Happy listening.

Which upgrade are you doing at Audience? The $1640 Cabledriver upgrade or the $450 upgrade? These prices do not include the their cord. Thanks
Mikeg- I'm doin the whole enchilado, including Cabledriver, sans cords. I may audition the Powerchord and see, I'd be surprised(pleasantly) if it bests what I already have, but I'm open to that possibility. I must say my interaction with Richard at Audience has been nothing less than pleasant and informitive, and best yet, a no BS approach. I'll hopefully have the unit in a couple of weeks, thats where the rubber meets the road, so we'll see. Mark
Great post Mes, thank-you for sharing your results. I agree that in audio there are a few great changes that come as a real bargain. IMO SACD players are an amazing value. It's exciting to think of where this technology will lead over the next years. For now again IMO spending more than the price of a SACD player on digital is foolish, and not at least trying SACD is even more foolish.
Twenty years ago the introduction of the CD was a distinct step backward as far as sound reproduction was concerned. Fortunately, within the last few years the CD format has sufficiently advanced to the point where it produces high quality playback. Compare that to SACD, which in its initial rollout is clearly head and shoulders above the "mature" CD format. If it's this good in its infancy, then imagine to what sound level it will mature? In this modern age, no format will last forever. In the future music delivery formats will probably last no more than 5-10 years before the manufacturers effectively stop supporting the format. My advice is not to get hung up on the equipment (which includes the little silver discs), but to instead keep moving forward towards the music. Rather than the small, incremental changes afforded by upsampling and expensive cables, the SACD represents great leap forward in sound reproduction.
I have to disagree with you Onhwy61 about the introduction of CD's. When they came out in the 80's, they were vastly superior in quality to the typical (although not high end) TT setup. For 98% of the consumers, it was not only technically and audibly superior, but it offered convenience unparalleled in the vinyl world. And within a couple of years of its introduction, machines could be had for $300, a price that nearly matched its TT equivalents. Its no leap to figure out why it displaced TT's so quickly.

I question whether SACD, or any other high end audio format provides the same kind of draw for the mass market. I'm not sure that those same 98% will benefit from the improved audio quality, and the format itself really offers nothing more. My guess is that with multi-thousand dollar machines, people in general won't be flocking to it.

As an audiophile product, SACD may have some legs, but this isn't a very large market overall. As a consumer format right now, DVD offers quite a bit more to the consumer than either CD or SACD. I'm putting my money on it gaining momentum as we head down the road.

Personally, I'm a bit torn about supporting SACD. Its a good audio format and I'd love to see the high end spectrum leap forward to this degree. But as mentioned in a prior post, Sony has a habit of keeping their technology close to the vest, and I don't really relish an all Sony audio world. Nor do I relish owning a music collection with a half dozen different formats (and the machines to accommodate them). For me, its a wait and see game with a willingness to comprise some audio quality for convenience, content selection, and reasonably priced equipment.

Cheers... Ken
Ken, the cassette was the dominate recorded music format at the time of the CD's intro. Regardless, a multi-format future is all but inevitable. However, how different is that from today? I use vinyl, CD, SACD, cassette, FM radio and open reel tape in my current setup. My HT system has cable, Laserdisc, VCR, cable radio, DVD and CD. Multi-formats is annoying, but unless you're one of those people with their CD player plugged directly into a power amp, it's really not that big a deal.
I want to agree with and reiterate Ken's excellent first paragraph above. CD offered quantum improvements for the mainstream music listener, the likes of which we will not see again. Sonics aside, the covenience, ease of use, and longer playing time made it a slam dunk to succeed, plus it sounded better to most people in their systems, much better. By comparison (not in absolute terms),SACD and DVD-A offer neglible improvements,except perhaps for multi-channel.

I bought an SACD player and I'm rooting for it all the way, but I think the real problem is not Sony but the fact that most people will not find the benefits of it sufficiently compelling to make the change. On the other hand,if we see a flood of hybrid disks at CD prices, we might have something. Will that ever happen?

Maybe if Sony et al positions things properly (not likely), there will be a larger interest in our hobby. The average Joe may want to impress his friends with how he can take full advantage of the SACD's sonic qualities. Who knows it may be the next big screen TV. I'm not saying I necissarily like this proposed future but there may be a chance for education here. Or not!

I feel that most of us are waiting for exactly just what you say, a volume/choice of SACD source material (software). I myself have an outboard DAC that I enjoy the sound of, so standard CD playback is not a concern as long as the SACD player works well as a transport. I many business applications you have to spend money to make money. In this case it entails producing software in abundance in order to attract clientele to the hardware. I am not in a position to finance Sony/Marantz in this endeavor. They are the big boys and should be able to handle it on their own.
SACD's biggest threat is to vinyl.
For a little over $1,000, one can purchase a SACD player that approaches the sound of $10K vinyl systems (TT, pre-preamp, cartridge). SACD gives 3 times the playing time, no pops, no need to flip, can use in your car, multichannel, etc.

Vinyl will not die overnight. I'm not going to get rid of my vinyl, but may never buy another record. My two boys will never buy vinyl.

The CD with its circa 1980 technology will last for at least another 10 years, but will be attacked from all fronts: MP3, Windows Media, SACD, DVD-V, DVD-A, and mini-discs to mention the major ones. It's popularity is on decline.

CD supporters remind me of DOS supporters. "Why should I buy Windows? It costs more, I have all this DOS software, and I really can't see a big improvement. It's only Microsoft trying to make more money."

The CD will decline in popularity--every format does. Each of us needs to decide when and which new format to hitch to. Many people will wait until the last minute. Many people are still using DOS and OS/2.
Nicely stated both Onwhy61 and Ken. I agree to keep moving forward and support progress. I also agree that the sound quality to the average person is not great enough for the masses to support the technology outright. What I'm hoping is the trend seen here on Audiogon of people purchasing the SACD machine for the improved DVD video, join that with the "latest" cd player and as stated often bring the price to $15.00 at Best buy and I think there is strong potential. The marketers of SACD, Sony/Phillips had better get to work though. The window of opportunity is open but for how long? And if the software manufacturers think one or two disks per label per month is going to attract flies, well then I understand why I'm not in marketing.
I love my SACD player on "redbook cds, on SACD I find it amazing, so I'm a huge supporter, I just wish they would speed up the software so this thing grows.
I reckon the evolution of source components is likely to be broader than is suggested here. I believe the plum that the likes of Sony, Microsoft etc are after is the open standards set-top box - the network computer in the home that will be as ubiquitous as the TV and which will be part of the digital TV you buy in a few years time. Rupert Murdoch is losing millions a month on his various Digital Broadcast Satellite ventures and is lumbered with truck-rolls and funding set-top boxes that obsolete quickly. The economics say a player that can deliver pay TV to an open standards set-top box that is already present in the home will do better. TiVO and Replay TV tried to get there and failed and Playstation 2 is a poor attempt. What makes it really hard is the lack of a standard for the middleware layer. What did it for the PC was IBM and what can do it for the set-top box is Microsoft, and the X-box. It may be a few years away, but companies like Sony and Microsoft will try to find that device that people will buy in large numbers that allows them to play DVDs on the TV, CDs, SACD perhaps, play games on the TV, surf the net on the TV, play games over the net on the TV, and whatever - that also includes the bit extra that will allow reception of Digital Broadcast Satellite and Video on Demand and interactive TV over say DSL. If they can get something like this to sell like hot cakes, then they will own something valuable. It may be the middleware standard (like owning DOS was valuable to Microsoft in the last two decades), or it may be owning some patents on some valuable parts that need to be in the overall equation. If Sony can make a big thing of SACD so that it needs to be in the package then the royalties will flow. They will obviously want the Playstation standard to be in there too. So how do they make sure SACD is in it? One way is make sure it is in Playstation 3, win this race with Playstation 3 and license it as a package. Another is to make a lot of consumer buzz about it so that having the SACD feature in the package can be a differentiator from say Microsoft's set-top box play. I am not sure I understand all of the possibilities here, and I am not sure SACD is a major part of this picture for Sony, but I wouldn't mind betting that it does fit in this picture. And I reckon that this is what is being raced for - not us audiophiles. But some market acceptance and hype from us wouldn't hurt.
SACD is a success. It will survive.
The only question is to degree. Is it going to stay a niche audiophile product, or will it move into the main stream?

Frankly, all Sony needs to do is release all new material in hybrid SACD and reduce the price so that the street price is about $15. This is very reasonable. HMV already sells Sony SACDS for $18.42 (no tax or shipping if you buy 4), and Elusive Disc has a special this week for $18 Sony SACDs.

Recently, Virgin Records (Oldfield's Tubular Bells) and EMI Records (Europeon pop singer Sarah) released their first SACDs. The software is improving. Also take a look at Sony's Upcoming SACD release listing ( In the past it typically contained 2 or 3 items. It now has about 8-10.
I think the market has moved on from where it was in the 80s. I think it is more prepared to be sold on a new technology because it is simply the next step. The whole PC thing changed this. If I feel compelled to invest in a new piece of exciting gear that that does lots of things like I outlined above, would I risk buying the one that does not play SACD, even if I am not sure that I value the quality difference? I think Sony's strategy is a little flawed, but they have good reasons to persevere and I now reckon they have a good chance of success with SACD.
This is an interesting thread. I have a 777 machine, and I come to SACD as a vinyl lover who increasinly became impatient with hasseling lps. I didn't own many CDs because I never liked the sound. I was playing them through a Wadia 860, so I felt like I gave them a good hearing. I sold the 860 to buy the 777 so I never had the opportunity to compare the two directly, but I feel that now that I have maximized to my satisfaction the performance of the 777 that the redbook reproduction is as good as I have experienced. But my experience is limited. I think the performance of the 777 is very high which makes it sensitive to power and interconnects. Connecting it with Shunyata King Cobra to a PS Audio P-300 and Acoustic Zen Silver Ref. to a Joule Electra LA-100 III improves its performance tremendously. It is kind of goofy to spend so much on tweaks, but I trusted my ears.
When I first got the 777 I immediately got something from the sound of SACD I hadn't from CD : a relaxation and freedom from fatigue quite similar to what I felt when listening to analogue. I think SACD may be more interesting to audiophiles who have come to it from vinyl as their primary listening source rather than CD.
SACD is not vinyl and if I were less patient and willing to spend more money I would still be pursuing vinyl. I still think at this time it is the ultimate for realism in reproduction. But for me, SACD is very exciting. The titles being issued may not all have the incredible transparency of a pure DSD recording, but I feel very connected to the performance and like I am hearing what is on the master tape (which of course I have no way of knowing). There is great resolution and for instance people have criticized the sound of the Billy Holiday release, but the sound of her voice on the acapella track is absolutely mesmerizing and fascinating. Yea, the sound of the strings is screwed up, but a vitality comes through that isn't there with redbook.
Whether SACD succeeds or not I still have these recordings to play with this exceptional fidelity. I believe if I owned 1000 CDs, I too would be wishing for continued development of their reproduction. It may happen. I think you could make a lot of money if you came up with something that made audiophiles forget vinyl and SACD. But from what I understand, there are just inherent limitations that make this unlikely.
Whether Sony has taken the right approach to marketing time will tell. Top down seems to make the most sense to me and it appeals to my purest sensibility. Perhaps they are trying to increase the price people will pay for a music release? If this doesn't work maybe they will come down in price. What we do know is that they have come up with a better way to record and archive music. I love the potential of it as someone else said, wait till more talented engineers and music lovers work with it.
I agree with Stereophile's rating of the 777 and their opinion of SACD. This is no deception on their part.
The Absolute Sound says they will place more emphasis on reviewing SACD hardware and software.

I think many people assumed that as soon as DVD-A arrived, SACD would quickly die. This assumption is changing. I do not believe it's valid at all.
i really hate this rate a post thing, this is the second time now that someone has given me negative numbers just for being pasionate about a product and trying to stick up for it. its getting to the point that i don't want to contribute anynmore.
Sony needs to ramp up this whole software thing and start putting out new titles, maybe even something besides classical or jazz? They are releasing the new Aerosmith which is a good sign. Now if I can just find a local store that knows SACD is not a band.
Vintgeguru, votes mean nothing, don't worry about it. I tried to even you out though.
Sony said that the DVD & SACD formats were not rated by comparing them to the CD players. They are only rated in comparison to each other. A+ is a great rating for the SCD-1 and the 777es but they are not comparing them to the Meridian or other CD players. Regards.
If you want to hear what the SACD is capable of, get yourself a copy of the Red Rose Music SACD sampler. It is recorded directly onto DSD. It blows away any other SACD's I've heard from anything else.
Well, I did buy the Marantz SA-1 player a couple weeks ago, and it sounds wonderful. Once you hear the Red Rose or Chesky sampler sacd, you will be a believer. I am blown away
with the sound. Regular CD sound on the Marantz is better than my $10K Wadia setup. SACD will survive because it speaks for itself. They said the samething about CD in 1983.
With the Sony-Phillips 1-2 punch and software selection widening with hardware coming under the $1K. SACD is the way to go, especially if you love analog sound in a digital package.
I bought a DVD-a player 'cuz I wanted a DVD player and the Technics seemed a fair price for the near tank build at a budget price. Now I got me a SACD demo 'fer the price of a good CD transport (everyone agrees the 777 is at minimum a decent redbook transport) at 1,700 bucks. So do you think I care about the DVD-A and the SACD??? NO!!!!! When they get some music I 'wanna hear, and the prices get real... maybe I'll buy a bit 'o new software. Thats all I got to say.
And I agree that the A-10 is a wonderful player for under $400. It's Redbook play is superior to comparabilty priced DVD players.

I also agree that the 777 redbook play is superior to the S9000ES and 333ES.

I own a S9000ES, and also bought two DVD-A players during the same weekend. The S9000ES CD play was superior to DVD-A play--not to mention Redbook CD play. I returned the DVD-A players.

The S9000ES has excellent CD play. Yes, it's not as good as some $1K plus stand alone CD players, but it is clearly superior to any DVD/DVD-A player which costs $1K or less.

Also the $600 (at 333ES has excellent Redbook CD play--far superior to the Technics. Yes, the 777ES is better, but let's keep things in prespective.

Software is my second comment. I understand that you want DVD-A, because there's more software for DVD-A, than SACD. There must be 10 times the software for SACD. Also, DVD-A has had a greater precentage of "poor" recordings than SACD.

I own 3 DVD-A software titles and someday will have a universal player, but right now, SACD has the better software choices. I own about 35 SACD titles. That would not be possible with DVD-A. If I owuld have bought a DVD-A player, I probably would have bought 5 or 6 titles--and been waiting for "promises".