It's a personal decision. First, your CD collection is irrelevant since a good SACD player can also be a good CD player. Second, the critical issue is the number and diversity of the program offerings that appeal to you. For me, the SACDs available represent a huge opportunity for enjoyment and, even if/when SACD disappears from the market, I will still have hundreds to enjoy in the future.
I would not personally buy an SACD player. The quality of redbook, both the disks and the players, is now very good. All high-rez formats seem to be fading, while redbook is going to be with us for a long time to come. So if I was investing in playback gear today, I'd get a top quality CD setup. In fact, that's just what I did a year and a half ago, and I have seen no reason since to second-guess the decision.
agree with gliderguider...
I also would not get a SACD player. I am upgradeing my DVD-A / CD combo player with a top of the line McIntosh MCD1000 the DVD-Audio player at least has the after life of movies that the SACD players do not. Rack space can also get tight trying to keep all these "special format" players around. I am waiting for the format war to get over then see what happens.
I have had SACD's since their inception and I thought they were wondeful until a I tried CD players from Bluenote. They have two models the Koala and the Stibbert. These units made the sweetest music I have ever experienced and that was from redbook CDs. Save your money and buy a new CD player that is light years above what has been avaialbe no matter what their price was. CD's that I found to be unlistenable sounded better than SACD's on my 5K SACD player. Avoid they hype and make every CD in collection sound better then the SACD. Don't waste your money and for a modest sum you can enjoy your entire collection like never before. Don't take just my word for, read the article in Asoulte Sounds latest issue about the Stibbert
I agree with Kal, though my feeling is that if you listen principally to pop the SACD option might be rarely used and therefor might be an unnecessary expense (classical is, fortunately for me, another story). A player like the new Cary SACD player offers outstanding redbook performance to go with its SACD performance, and if you get a cheaper SACD player, you can always use a separate DAC to maximize your redbook playback.
I wouldn't invest a lot of money in a SACD player right now. I have a Sony DVP-S9000ES for DVD/SACD, which works fine for my limited SACD library. I have a much more expensive redbook cd player, and a much larger redbook library.
In the future, as SACD dies, and software and hardware become much cheaper, I may look into scooping up one of those $10K+ MSRP SACD/CD players for 20% of list. Give it another year or two. If you buy one now, you'll be the one losing money.
That's just my $0.02
I would not personally buy a new cd player that would not play multiple formats. There are numerous threads concerning hi-rez formats on this site I would read a few before making any decision. I personally enjoy SACD (hybrids) and would not consider buying a player without the capability to play SACD's it is simply better sounding than redbook in the majority of cases IMO.
I have about 150 SACDs in my collection and enjoy them immensely. SACD done right is a great format but not all SACDs and SACD players are equal. I believe that SACD will become a niche market and we will never see huge catalogs of music available. It's really quite unfortunate because on a good player and a good recording SACDs are what this hobby is all about, the best reproduction of music possible.(IMHO) So to answer your question, yes it's worth it and I would purchase the best SACD/CD player you can afford.
there are at least a few companies who initially shied away from making their CDPs SACD-compatible but have now done so (CARY, for example). this would seem to suggest that SACD's oft-predicted demise may still be a few years off. it might not cost you any more to at least have the option of SACD, especially if you're buying a CDP now. as mentioned, you can always get better DACs later for redbook.
If you don't have a TT, I would definately get a player that does SACD or universal. Make sure it playes redbook well also, or get an outboard DAC. Some of the posts above seem as if you are choosing between redbook and SACD, but you get both. You pay a little more for the SACD, but that's your whole front end in one box. SACD (pure DSD) is better than redbook otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion. Don't bother with the SACD disks that aren't pure DSD, they aren't any better than redbook and sometimes worse.
On the other hand, if you are into vinyl (or thinking about it), it betters both redbook and SACD by losing that digital edge. And most of the jazz and classical software that you can get on SACD, you can also get on LP and much more. So the ultimate would be TT and good redbook player. It get's a little expensive to have 3 different formats, so I don't recommend all 3 formats, but that's an option and frankly once you get into vinyl, you may have a hard time justifying spending time listening to CD anyway.
I agree with Rec, the SACD sounds much better and I have gotten to enjoy the Multi-Channel feature very much. I find that on old recordings I am hearing so much more of the instruments and backing vocals when played through 5 speakers than I realized were ever on the recording. I also agree with Chuck in buying a universal player that does it all well.
I'm firmly in the cd camp. I feel that the small library and inconsistent sound quality of sacd's makes them a worthless proposition for my money. I have an excellent cd player and think that redbook replay, both in terms of hardware and software seems to be at an all time high. Also, it may be my innate cheapness, but the idea of rebuying music I already have in a new format is unappealing, especially when sacd remasters are from the same analog or pcm masters as cd's. Most new music that's truly dsd mastered isn't of much interest to me, especially at $25 a pop. Besides just think into the future as downloaders abandon cd, we'll be able to get almost anything we want in the used bins as we do with lp's today.
I can't see the point of getting into SACD now, if you only have a two-channel system. The improvement is debatable, and the selection is always going to be anemic. But if you have a 5.1 system, SACD probably offers your largest selection of uncompressed multichannel music. And excellent SACD or universal players can be had at a very low premium over CD-only machines.
People have been claiming the death of vinyl for decades. They are not claiming the end of hi-rez.
The market decides. For myself, I heard a Diana Krall CD and then listened to the same on SACD. There was no contest; context, texture, content it was all so much more that for me SACD was a no brainer. Not to say that at times I do not have a brain. I am willing to listen to what I like and live within my budget. I also have a vinyl setup and CD's are good but there is better.
used video laserdisks became now cheaper than cassettes and descent ld player is available free at driveway dumps or pennies at garage sale...
that's approximately when i'll enjoy sacd...
To me, vinyl seems to be a more "immortal" medium... but what do I know.
This previous thread lends a tangent worthy of exploring.
As well some of us recently discussed in a thread the idea of vinyl collecting fading away, again. All this conjecture. The music industry needs a format or three to make profits. SACD sounds more like vinyl or if you will, real acoustic music being played by real musicians IMHO than most redbook CD's. I believe it will stick around. Purchasing a unidisc(k) player at this time sounds like the way to go. Happy Listening!
Kops, I thinks I will enjoy SACD for onother 10 years
at least.SACD can stop, and die now.I will still
continue to play SACD and enjoy it.I agree I will
not buy a new player, because I have a very good one.
YES ITS WORTH IT.
I think it depends in large part on the kind of music you listen to. Classical has done well on SACD. In fact, BMG has done the world a huge favor by rereleasing many of the most famous Living Stereo recordings on SACD--and at $11.99/disc to boot (even cheaper if you buy the sets). I have a number of the original LP's, and a number of the Classic LP reissues, of these recordings, and I have to say that the SACD (at least on a good player--I use a Sony SCD-1) equals or betters any of them. On the other hand, if I was into rock n' roll (which I'm not), I probably wouldn't bother, since much of the sound of rock n' roll is manufactured anyway.
I have 6K cds and at one time or another have had a dCS stack, Audiomeca and Audio Aero digital equipment. CD can sound wonderful but my 3K Marantz SACD player playing SACDs for the most part out performed all 3 playback systems(the dSC was redbook only) so I highly recommend a SACD palyer. Yes the catalog is limited but there is great jazz available as well as a wealth of classical titles. Anyone who loves music should at least give SACD a listen in a good system.
I have an SACD player already. If I were replacing it today, it would not be another SACD. My redbook library is much larger and will continue on that way. My money today would go in the best redbook player that I could afford.
To me SACD sounds significantly better than redbook CD. The sound quality improvement available with SACD can be very significant with acoustic music and particularly with orchestral music. As long as the current breadth of the available SACD catalog is acceptable to you (I expect the format to continue to be an audiophile niche market for the foreseeable future), I personally think a universal player that handles both formats is a smart buy.
If i were shopping for a "cost no object" cd player.I would get i would get the cary 306 sacd player.IMO..it has the best redbook i have heard plus SACD playback,which is superior to redbook.Also, the cary has inputs which will allow you to play music downloaded from your computer and run it thru the DAC in the cary.
Put together a decent analog frontend and you have all the formats covered.
My redbook library is significantly bigger than my SACD library, but I'm still glad I have a SACD player. I love the format. I'm disappointed that more experimental music is unavailable on SACD but that would change if more people supported it. As far as the titles available, that's growing too. I'm in the process of buying up all the Can releases on SACD that have been remastered. Those are out on Spoon Records, so if Sony and Phillips abandon it, maybe some smaller labels will continue on with it. Robert8409, which marantz player do you have?
Thanks guys and keep it up.
Today I have a Sony 999es for dvd/sacd use and I am not so thrilled against my Audiomeca MephistoII cdplayer. MephistoII pleases me the most.
My first objective is always redbook cd since my 2500 cds and then to check the sacd possibility.
So I stay as I am and maybe in the future I'll see the Reimyo (as better cd as possible) vs Emmlabs (as best cd&sacd as possible) scenario.
I'm leaning towards gettin' Can-SACD player dude!
Washline, I have the Marantz SA-14v2, excellent SACD reproduction and very good Redbook playback but I only use it for SACD.
SACDs CAN sound much better than many/most RedBookers, BUT this isn't always true. I've got a Shanling and I'm still happy with it after 6 months, but I'm NOT overjoyed with the quality of many of the SACDs I've purchased. Too, I'm not exactly thrilled by the limited selection and the higher prices attached to SACDs. Regardless, I intend to keep my player for at least another 6 months, after which ... I don't know.
I like email@example.com 's idea. I use XM radio all the time and being able to plug digital it into the Cary 306 CD/SACD/DAC eliminates the need for a very high quility DAC, you end up with all the media from one unit. Then as he said all you need it a really good analog front end.
I think there is an issue missing here- speaker quality. I have found that SACD sounds beter than mid to lower end two channel speakers. Higher priced/quality speakers in two channel boadcast more seperation while maintaining good detail and, to me at least, launches the two channel beyond the multi channel. So: SACD should be concidered based on what your componant budget is to get the best sound for the dollar. Others may disagree but this is what I have found.
Marakanetz, you should definitely check out Can on SACD. Worth the trouble IMO. I'm also keen on the Pink Floyd DSOTM SACD as well. I don't listen to rock much anymore, but these are well worth it.
Only Pabelson and Theo mentioned it, but if you have a 5 Ch. system, - especially 5 identical speakers set up the way SACD recommends - it is truely worth it. Many of the SACDs that are hybrid (2 Ch/5 Ch) are amazing in 5 Ch compared to the 2 Ch version (like Bigg's Bach at Freiburg and Vaughn William's Sea Symphony just to name a couple). That said, if I just had a 2 Ch system I'd probably still buy something like the Ayre CX-5. The good SACD players really do make a case for SACD over CD, but the 5 Ch is really the bonus for me.