Does anyone have any of these machines? Would you recommend them?
I'm not sure what DAC the HK uses, but the Cambridge Audio and Oppo Digital models use the same DAC, so given that fact, is there any reason to spend an extra $100 on the Cambridge? Are there factors besides the DAC that affect the audio quality to an appreciable degree or is it just a question of additional features and/or brand-related premiums?
Are there any other brands or models you'd recommend in this price range?
I wonder about the same thing. I do not have an HDTV, nor DVI/HDMI, nor even a progressive scan TV. Just a plain old 4x3 RPTV. I wonder if I should buy a used (older) universal player that used to be at the top of the heap instead of one of the new inexpensive universal players that are promoted on the basis of their video capabilities (HDMI, upscaling, etc) rather than for good sound.
I wonder... for us that don't care for fancy video and want to try the high-res format in music, perhaps a (non-video playing) SACD player is the way to go? Since it completely lacks any video processing, it's not there to muck up the sound, right?
The Sony SCD-CE595 SACD/CD changer (I can't believe I'm saying Sony!) retails for only US$150 and C$270 (Why the huge markup in Canada again!), yet received at least one "good" review:
I wrote wonder if I should buy a used (older) universal player that used to be at the top of the heap instead of one of the new inexpensive universal players that are promoted on the basis of their video capabilities (HDMI, upscaling, etc) rather than for good sound.
The Pioneer Elite DV-45a is $330 at etronics.com. Was it ever considered an adequate SACD/DVDA player?
I also see that the Oppo is available in Canada for C$167, which is a remarquably low overhead.
Leaning towards that Philips 963 SA now myself. Most reviews seem very favorable and compare the SACD output to much more expensive units. In contrast, very few favorable comments are ever posted about SACD output of very inexpensive player (such as the Oppo 970HD); people seem to have a hard time telling the difference between CD and SACD output on those units.
I might have tried the Sony CD/SACD changer if I could stand to deal with 3 units for CD, DVD and SACD. But I'm trying to trim that down to 2 and recycle my old DVD player elsewhere in the house.
I like it so far. It may be a little better than my Rotel RCD-02 for redbook, and I wasn't expecting to use it for that. This is my first weekend with it, so I still need more time.
I'm going to have to run through the recommended SACD titles now. I only have two. I like Diana Krall "Girl in the other room" better in 2-channel because I don't want to be "on" the stage to listen. I also have a fantastic drum hydrid daisk, and it sounds fantastic in 5.1. Neither of the two disk use the center channel much (fine with me!). Is this the norm?
Too bad you didn't give the Oppo a listen. I think you would of been impressed. I'va had the Philips 962Sa(not much difference from the 63), and I find the SACD on the Oppo far superior in dynamics and detail. I'm not saying the oppo is better for you....but so far I am very impressed....not to mention the DVD side of the oppo blows the Philips away.