SACD- Is it the DAC or the Transport ?

Is there any part of a "current" DAC or Transport that is usable with the SACD format. ...or is does the SACD format require both DAC AND transport to be "SACD"? I'm thinking about buying a new outboard DAC but don't want to shut myself out from SACD, which is definitly MUCH BETTER than regular CD. Any suggestions on which route to take? Thanks!
Hi John, If SACD does become a commercially viable alternative, manufacturers will provide SACD/DVD-A compatible transports/DACs. However, that has yet to be proven. If you already have a large CD library, why not look toward getting the most out of your current format? The Electrocompaniet CD player or current Goldmund separates, and I'm sure others as well, will give you vastly improved performance. Let the marketplace battle out the format wars, meanwhile the price will continue to drop on the format that will eventually dominate. Personally, I don't believe either will make any serious inroads into the "real" marketplace, where MP-3 is embraced and CD provides "perfect sound for ever". However, if you must follow after SACD now, at least look into the upgradeability of the DACs to the SACD and/or DVD-A standard. Several manufacturers are already claiming this about their DACs. Goodluck.
Both the DAC and transport have to be upgraded to embrace all formats. Like you, I have been in the same quandary. I have over 3500 CDs. My solution has been the purchase of the dCS Delius (DAC) and Purcell (upsampler) - a very costly outlay! I believe dCS and other manufacturers will be producing a transport soon which will be able to play all the formats. dCS have mentioned that their DACs will play all formats and are upgradeable at no extra cost (simply by downloading the new software over the internet) - sounds like star wars! This is one company that seems to have lead the field in the technology and ease of upgrade-ability. Goldmund, mbl, Levinson, etc are excellent products, but are not cheap, generally, and it may still be quite awhile before they produce gear which is compatible with all the formats. People who own these products at present may find that they are not modifiable in the future, or upgradeablity will involve quite a sum ($). As far as I know, they do not produce upsampling devices which I feel are so important if one wishes to extract everything from one's current CD collection. Will be glad to hear other views.
SACD uses different type of laser in the transport to read the 1s and 0s in the recorded medium. Regular cd's uses red laser while SACD uses blue laser which is able to read much smaller pits and depths. So for SACD players that are able to play both regular and SACD, they are equip with both types of laser. SACD uses a different DAC to convert the digital signal to analog.
Look at an Audio Logic 2400 DAC - it is guaranteed to be SACD compatible (will need a transport to send it a digital bitstream) and sounds marvelous today!!
Accuphase makes a dac which will play both formats, also there DP75V is able to take a DSD stream and convert it to analog. Sharp makes an integrated amp that can read a DSD bit stream, also Accuphase makes a DSD transport. Perpertual technologies is promising DSD decoding in there soon to be released DAC Dodson is promising DSD compat..., the net net is there are options available if you don't want to go with the Sony.