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You can actually get the 7701 for about 299us at J&R, I believe but check out the reviews at AA first....maybe early quality problems with some of the units....this will probably be corrected....but yes, the launch has begun....Even the SonyDVP-ns500v is a dvd/cd/sacd player at 299.99US....no dvd-a..surprise, surprise.....but the cost of sacd software is holding me back and hey,,,I'm broke....
Definitely agree with steering clear of the early models - waiting for version 2.0 of anything is a good idea. I'm sure most on this forum will also want to wait for a higher-end version from somebody besides Apex to appear as well. I just thought it was great to see such a beast appear - I think it bodes well for the hi-rez future, especially since it's in a $349 player. -Kirk
I was visiting an audiophile friend last night and we were discussing how it would be very possible that even on the high end players there may be some comprimise made. That is to say if a good player does it all, there has to be a weakness, be it SACD, DVD-a or redbook cd's. What good is a high end multi-format player if it sacrafices performance at the expense of an additional format(which you may not use!). Some food for thought
Would someone like to describe a set of technical reasons as to why a universal player necessarily implies a sacrifice? Its true that a number of designers have said this, but most have vested interests in one hi-rez format over the other.
Specifically, the loaders (== disc drive hardware) can be built to handle all 3 formats and can certainly be custom-built to high tolerances if required by a high-end manufacturer. The processing software is just a matter of chips and memory so no real problem (except for the need for dual SACD/DVD-A copy protection, but that can be handled also). Clocking has necessarily been addressed already in SACD players that handle DVD video and CD. High quality D/A conversion may be an issue, but there are more and more chips available that do both single bit and pcm processing, and in a high end player, it may be cost effective to have 2 separate d/a chips, or 2 discrete processors, if the designer prefers. Once in the analog domain, quality issues for all 3 formats are identical. Your thoughts?