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How do I do stereo SACD?

 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-06
I'll start my question with that ominous setup: what I want to do is very simple. Here is the question. I would like to play CD and SACD through a stereo setup. What models should I consider for an integrated amplifier and SACD/ CD player? For speakers there are lots of options - not an issue. I don't need video, and I'm befuddled that what I want does not seem easy to get. I want midrange equipment ($1500 for each of the player and integrated amp, give or take 50%). What options are there?
 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-06
Hate to answer my own post, but perhaps my initial question is too broad for anyone to answer. Further research, especially on this forum, has turned up some useful answers for me. Perhaps someone could confirm this information.
The player "everyone" seems to like is the Denon DVD-2910. So, I looked over the specs and went as far as downloading the manual. I noticed that if coupled with a stereo integrated amp it can mix multi-SACD channels (if present) down to 2 analog outputs. Perhaps that's obvious but I assume that's the mode employed by most of the audiophiles on the forum?
Another question - Is anyone simultaneously connecting this player to 5.1 for HT and stereo for audio?
Intriguingly this player can also be run in a "pure audio" mode which shuts down the video circuitry I guess. That's probably how I would use it, but the manual is mum on the advantages of this mode. Is this a tacit admission that the video circuitry creates noise on the audio side? Or is there some other advantage?
If I do select this player, how good is plain CD?
And in relation to my original question, as Denon Canada does not seem to have a good mid-price integrated amp, what would be a suitable coupling. NAD is often mentioned (C320BEE), and my local dealer is big on Arcam.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2510
Registered: Dec-04
Henry, the 'pure audio' is bypassing the dac's in the Denon and your cdp should be in analog to use the cdp's DAC's.

All good names you mention, although the Arcam tends to be a big bloated on price.
I checked out the 300 last year and stepped back.

You might consider the Denon or similar, with mono amps for fronts when playing stereo.

What are your speakers and taste in music?
I have a suggestion depending on your selections.

 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-06
Thanks for your help, Nuck. If you can bear with me, could you expand 'cdp' and 'dac'? I could guess but don't want to embarass myself.

My listening inside (as opposed to in the car) is all classical. For my new audio setup I'll be listening to quite a bit of choral and orchestral but also chamber and piano. I don't listen to much choral and orchestral in the house at the present time because it just doesn't sound good on the boombox I use. Also choral music suffers greatly on CD; I'm hoping SACD will be better.

Speakers - I've been auditioning 'totem's and am sold on them. The question is which one? Perhaps Rainmakers - they struck me as clearer than the small towers like the STTAF which I found bottom-heavy. I've been told ARROs are extremely clear.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1379
Registered: Oct-04
Henry: If I may step in to reinforce what Nuck has already said, please.

I, too, listen mainly to classical - with some jazz. After going round and round on the amp - I finally got a fine deal on a NAD - and love its warmth and accurate sound. I think it's one of the best for classical.

As to CD/SACD players - HAH! Have I ever been going round and round on THAT! See the "Teaching an old dogs new tricks" thread under Home Audio, and you'll quickly see what I mean.

Anyway - most of those on the Forum who are more educated than I am say the Denon 2910 is not much good for CD playback.

After much searching, and thanks to Art in Oregon and many others, I'm settling on Cambridge Audio. For me, that means a universal player - the DVD89. If you don't want video, just CD playback, that opens another door entirely.

I know that Nuck and others may challenge my comments here, but if I were you I'd think seriously about the Cambridge - also Pioneer Elite - and a player called the Integra DPS 6.5.

Don't know what's readily available in Canada, so I must defer to Nuck on those points.

Right now I'm running a NAD 763, B&W 705 mains with a 12" Mordaunt Short sub and some el-cheapo surrounds. (we usually kick off the surrounds for stereo, only using them for DVD movies) My current CD/SACD player - a Yamaha 5770 - is slowly dying, thus my search for a better player within my self-imposed budget.

As to hooking up 5.1 and digital out - yep - most of us hook everything up - then select which output to use as we go along. Digital for DVDs and some "regular" CDs - the 5.1 for SACD. SACD, By the way, will ONLY play through the 5.1 - unless the disc is a "hybrid," with several layers, both regular CD and SACD, on one disc. IF you get SACDs - you will quickly see/hear the difference in overall sound quality - and your choral works will really zing! But one note of warning: not all SACDs are equal. Some have much better sonics than others.

Just my humble opinion, sir - so good luck!
 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-06
Thanks, Larry. I will track those 3 players down, and book up on them. This is great advice- much better than combing over all those web pages.
I had the idea that SACD could be mixed down to 2 channel stereo, and that, in fact, many SACDs only carried 2 channels. I'm referring to the SACD layer, not the CD layer on the hybrid. My intention was to just get 2 speakers initially, and not worry about video or the 5.1 audio. But your statement that SACD will only play through the 5.1 has me concerned. I thought I had read that the Denon player could mix SACD to 2 channel analog output. In any case, does that mean you've got 5 really good speakers in order to play SACD? I'm not that enamoured with surround sound; I'd rather invest the equivalent amount of money in 2 really good speakers if I can. If money was no object I might have a different idea.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2522
Registered: Dec-04
And if money were no object, then of my aunt had balls, she could be my uncle.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2523
Registered: Dec-04
henry, 2 channel is available on most recordings.

I play 2 ch on dvd's most of the time, 2ch only for cd's on the cdp.

CD Player, Rotel 1072, stereo only.
DAC's are digital to analog converters, included in players and good pre/amps.
You can choose which converters to run, via input and amp status.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 3253
Registered: Feb-05
Henry, most SACD's are have a multi channel SACD layer, 2 channel SACD layer, and a 2 channel CD layer. Hence the hybrid. I listen to SACD exclusively in 2 channel. Haven't found multi channel gear that I can afford that matches the 2 channel.

The Cambridge will be my odds on bet as best buy in a universal. It will not likely outperform the Denon DVD2910 or the Integra for DVD or SACD playback but will more than likely be head and shoulders above them for redbook playback. No guarantees just intuition having listened to Cambridge.

BTW Larry, called another dealer friend in Eugene who says that he will be picking up the Cambridge brand soon.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2530
Registered: Dec-04
Folks, please ignore my post 3 up(if you have not already).
It got here via somewhere else, not sure why.
Apologies.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 5
Registered: May-06
No offence taken, Nuck. Conversely, if your uncle lost the family jewels, he could be your aunt, and possibly sing Gluck's Orfeo, but I digress.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2532
Registered: Dec-04
hehe.

Henry, with a good Polish name like that you might be living around London/Lucan/Strathroy?
 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 6
Registered: May-06
Actually, it's mostly Dutch living around Strathroy, and although my last name is Dutch not Polish, we don't live there. We're closer to Kitchener-Waterloo, but there are tons of Dutch folks in the London area. Not that it matters, but any name ending in 'stra', like Hofstra (an American university), Dykstra, Keegstra (infamous Dutch-Canadian) originates from Friesland in the Netherlands. A northern area of hardy fishermen who still promulgate their own language (Frisian), culture and cows (Holstein-Frisian). In case you wanted to know.

NAD has a really interesting amp and player - M3 player and M55 amp. Any idea on price? Also I find the NAD web material seems to relate more to my interests. With what I've heard here, I'll probably visit the local NAD dealer, and see what he has.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2545
Registered: Dec-04
Henry, the Polish bit is an old joke.
Immegrant wise.
Mrs Nuck's family is all second generation, direct from Holland in 46, landed in Halifax, came to Lucan.
The finest group ever, and a great addition to the Great Canadian Landscape.

I love this place!
 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 7
Registered: May-06
I know that joke. Had I known you were a soul brother I would have seen the irony in your comment, but with e-mail you can't always be sure.
A Chilliwack fan, eh!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2566
Registered: Dec-04
Lonesome Mary, lights in the Valley and Soul Sausage!
Nice post Henry, Mrs Nuck figgured your post put you in the same ballpark as me for humour, then rolled her eyes.
Welcome.
 

New member
Username: Roboss

Fresno, CA USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-06
I have a modified Denon 3910 that has great redbook playback and outstanding SACD playback. Check out www.hotrodaudiomods.com or www.aplhifi.com to learn more about the possibilities with the 3910. I listen to about ten universal player in my system before making a decision to go with the modified Denon. Also, your pre-amp makes a huge impact on how each player sounds. Good luck.
 

New member
Username: Davie

Alexandria, VA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-06
If you haven't made your mind up on the Totems you might want to give a listen to the Veritas. I own the 2.3i floorstanders and I couldn't be happier. When I was comparing speakers at the local dealers I too listened to the Totems, several of them, as well as Paradigms and some others. I found the Totems were too bright for my ears - they have a distinctly colored sound that was pleasing to me at first but I found them to be fatiguing after a while. I came back to the Veritas because of the truer response over the full range of frequencies. Of course the Totems are wonderful sounding, if that is what you're looking for.
 

New member
Username: Slofstra

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 8
Registered: May-06
In case anyone is wondering how this ended up, I'll add this belated post. I purchased a few SACDs and took them to a local audio dealer in Waterloo, Ontario. He convinced me (rather my own ears did) that a higher end single CD player playing CD would sound better than a multi-format DVD/ SACD/ CD player playing SACD. Of course, my test was not definitive regarding the SACD format itself. But I became convinced that within my budget constraints straight stereo CD would provide the best sound for the classical listening I like to do. I subsequently purchased an Arcam mid-range amp (A85), a CD73 player and just recently acquired the speakers (Totem Arros). When the library in our condo is finished I'll post again, indicating how everything sounds. Right now the speakers are still in the burn-in stage.
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