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New Source acquisition - SACD Player or Turntable?


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More of a nostalgic desire to listen to media other than digital, with some flexibility as well. Like you have to get up out of the chair and put ON some music :)

 

Have looked at a few SACD sites, the titles are much the same from vendor to vendor, with little or no progress as far as adding titles. MFSL titles are from reasonable (USD30) to unbelievable. There is still a large library mainly classical which I'm not that keen on, prefer jazz, rock, ambient, lounge, however the offerings from NativeDSD, 2L, Hiresaudio, BlueCoast in DSD cover that selection adequately for me.

 

The lure of vinyl is a large source of great music, especially from Acoustic Sounds adding titles frequently and in advance of a few months. Makes you wonder why there is a lack of planned release dates for digital, especially DSD.

The downside with vinyl, if it is a new pressing, do they use the old master stampers, or do they EQ and master from a PCM source and will this be better SQ than redbook on digital? For older pressings prior to the mid 80's, this wouldn't be a problem.

 

Prices for SACD and vinyl are competitive with each other, not looking at more than USD3k5. The VPI turntables are a hot favourite, for SACD players, Accuphase, if someone has an older model to sell would be worth the interest. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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More of a nostalgic desire to listen to media other than digital, with some flexibility as well. Like you have to get up out of the chair and put ON some music :)

 

Have looked at a few SACD sites, the titles are much the same from vendor to vendor, with little or no progress as far as adding titles. MFSL titles are from reasonable (USD30) to unbelievable. There is still a large library mainly classical which I'm not that keen on, prefer jazz, rock, ambient, lounge, however the offerings from NativeDSD, 2L, Hiresaudio, BlueCoast in DSD cover that selection adequately for me.

 

The lure of vinyl is a large source of great music, especially from Acoustic Sounds adding titles frequently and in advance of a few months. Makes you wonder why there is a lack of planned release dates for digital, especially DSD.

The downside with vinyl, if it is a new pressing, do they use the old master stampers, or do they EQ and master from a PCM source and will this be better SQ than redbook on digital? For older pressings prior to the mid 80's, this wouldn't be a problem.

 

Prices for SACD and vinyl are competitive with each other, not looking at more than USD3k5. The VPI turntables are a hot favourite, for SACD players, Accuphase, if someone has an older model to sell would be worth the interest. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated.

 

The selection of music available on vinyl will far exceed the amount on SACD.

 

I had a great moment a few weeks ago where a customer needed a new cartridge on her turntable (an older Ariston). After installing cartridge I hooked it up and we proceeded to listen to a few records, nothing fancy, just an assortment of average discs, some 20-30 or so years old, some newer. All of us just loved what we heard! After listening to a steady diet of digital in different formats for so long (her turntable had needed a new cartridge for a year or so), she said it was a HUGE relief to be listening to analog again.

 

It just sounded superb; quiet surfaces, great dynamics, natural tone, super imaging.

 

You sound like a perfect candidate for a new (or used) turntable.

David

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The lure of vinyl is a large source of great music, especially from Acoustic Sounds adding titles frequently and in advance of a few months. Makes you wonder why there is a lack of planned release dates for digital, especially DSD.

The downside with vinyl, if it is a new pressing, do they use the old master stampers, or do they EQ and master from a PCM source and will this be better SQ than redbook on digital? For older pressings prior to the mid 80's, this wouldn't be a problem.

 

As far as sources for new pressings, it depends on what they are pressing. There are quite a few labels that clearly state they are using analog masters tapes when remastering an album. As as been discussed here, that can mean a lot of different things, but mainly what I take await from that is they are using analog tape in their remaster which will produce the new stampers. Analogue Productions, Music Matters, Impex, MFSL, ORG, Speakers Corner and other "audiophile" labels are pretty clear on that. If the album was digitally sourced to begin with, there is your answer. Also, for some albums the analog tapes may no longer be available, and it can be difficult to determine the source. Some folks don't see the point in buying vinyl from a digital source, and I get that. I have to say though, I had picked up a copy of Tracy Chapman's self titled album from 1988 at a used record shop. It is digitally sourced, in perfect condition and sounds incredible. Personally, if it was digitally sourced to begin with, I tend to go with a CD of it.

 

I know that Blue Note is essentially reissuing their entire classic jazz catalog for the 75th anniversary, and trying to do it at a price that is affordable for most folks. The source for these LP's that are out right now for about $20 is hi-res digital done by Bernie Grundman. I picked up a copy of Van Morrison's Moondance, remastered by Kevin Gray/Steve Hoffman the other day. This was analog sourced, released by Warner Bros./Rhino and it sounds fantastic. If you are interested in vinyl, you can find a lot of this information over at the Hoffman Forums. I played my copy of Steely Dan's Can't Buy A Thrill last night, a second pressing from 1972. The entire first side is dead quiet as far as surface noise goes, sounds incredible. The second side is not as quiet, but it sounds wonderful. Vinyl is far from perfect, but what is? It's really nice to have both. :)

MacBook Pro (2011) -> PureMusic 1.8 -> USB -> Burson Audio HA-160D -> Audez\'e LCD-2[br]Macbook Pro (2011) -> PureMusic 1.8 -> USB -> Burson Audio HA-160D -> Emotiva UPA-2 -> Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1\'s

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I would go with vinyl. There are millions of old records out there. Of every type.

SACD is more difficult. With a lot of work the DSD can be extracted. But it is pirating.

I was very glad to sell my Marantz SACD player. The sound quality did not match my computer audio system.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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More of a nostalgic desire to listen to media other than digital, with some flexibility as well. Like you have to get up out of the chair and put ON some music :)

 

Have looked at a few SACD sites, the titles are much the same from vendor to vendor, with little or no progress as far as adding titles. MFSL titles are from reasonable (USD30) to unbelievable. There is still a large library mainly classical which I'm not that keen on, prefer jazz, rock, ambient, lounge, however the offerings from NativeDSD, 2L, Hiresaudio, BlueCoast in DSD cover that selection adequately for me.

 

The lure of vinyl is a large source of great music, especially from Acoustic Sounds adding titles frequently and in advance of a few months. Makes you wonder why there is a lack of planned release dates for digital, especially DSD.

The downside with vinyl, if it is a new pressing, do they use the old master stampers, or do they EQ and master from a PCM source and will this be better SQ than redbook on digital? For older pressings prior to the mid 80's, this wouldn't be a problem.

 

Prices for SACD and vinyl are competitive with each other, not looking at more than USD3k5. The VPI turntables are a hot favourite, for SACD players, Accuphase, if someone has an older model to sell would be worth the interest. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated.

 

 

As someone who has both and enjoys both, I'd have to say that as an either/or proposition, you're probably better-off going with a decent turntable rig. I get new SACDs often and have hundreds, but there are lots more records available going back decades in every genre available. As an example, I was looking through records in a thrift store over the weekend, and ran across an LP copy of 'The Twist' by Chubby Checker! Not that I had any interest in it, but it did remind me of the thousands of LPs that were pressed over the years of music performances that have never been released and likely never will be released even on Red Book, much less SACD. So, there are treasures out there to be had (I suspect that somewhere, there is a collector who would give his eye-teeth for that copy of 'The Twist'). Besides, looking for treasures in used record bins is fun!

 

One bit of caution, however. Along with that turntable, budget enough to get the best record cleaning machine that you can afford. You'll need it. It's de riguer!

George

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More of a nostalgic desire to listen to media other than digital, with some flexibility as well. Like you have to get up out of the chair and put ON some music :)

 

Have looked at a few SACD sites, the titles are much the same from vendor to vendor, with little or no progress as far as adding titles. MFSL titles are from reasonable (USD30) to unbelievable. There is still a large library mainly classical which I'm not that keen on, prefer jazz, rock, ambient, lounge, however the offerings from NativeDSD, 2L, Hiresaudio, BlueCoast in DSD cover that selection adequately for me.

 

The lure of vinyl is a large source of great music, especially from Acoustic Sounds adding titles frequently and in advance of a few months. Makes you wonder why there is a lack of planned release dates for digital, especially DSD.

The downside with vinyl, if it is a new pressing, do they use the old master stampers, or do they EQ and master from a PCM source and will this be better SQ than redbook on digital? For older pressings prior to the mid 80's, this wouldn't be a problem.

 

Prices for SACD and vinyl are competitive with each other, not looking at more than USD3k5. The VPI turntables are a hot favourite, for SACD players, Accuphase, if someone has an older model to sell would be worth the interest. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated.

 

If your DAC will play DSD, why consider an SACD player? An early model Sony PS3 with appropriate firmware will likely cost you far less (~$250 or so) and will allow you to rip any SACDs that you buy to create DSD files for playback. This solution eliminates the need for a transport, which generally is considered to produce inferior sound quality compared to reading files from a HDD. It may take you a while to find the required PS3 but it's worth the time and effort.

 

Invest in a turntable and the above approach provides the benefits of both SACD and vinyl.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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A big thank you for all opinions!

 

The correct PS3 is proving to be a real problem to obtain, I may have to contact the kind souls who can rip SACD, rather than try and find one. Bit dubious of any E-Bay sellers, unless some one can PM a recommended entity.

 

I tried the Oppo-BD95 on SACD of Shelby Lynne's "Just a little lovin", it was shite compared to a humble redbook FLAC. The real DSD files from Acoustic Sounds put the last nail in the coffin for an SACD, once bitten.

 

It looks like the turntable is the way to go, now to visit those church and school stalls for gems. Not really that keen to copy the whole library, but at least re-kindle fond memories of putting on a record. My recently passed mother in law left us some rarities on LP, so that's worth the investment already.

 

Tossing up between ClearAudio Concept, Performance DC (a little high in price) or the VPI Scout and a cleaning machine.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Buy the best TT you can afford. Dont worry that you may not have many LPs, your collection will grow. Not sure of your location but if you are in the USA I would go with the VPI otherwise the Clearaudio. They are both up to the job but exchange rates can be a killer.

MacMini 8Gb OSX > Pure Music / Bitperfect / Amarra / iTunes > Synology DS215J NAS > Schiit Wyrd > Stello U3 > Naim Uniti Atom, Harbeth P3ESR. Meier Corda Arietta Headphone Amp > Sennhieser HD650 Phones (Cardas rewire). Isol-8 Powerline Axis. Isotek GII Orion Power Conditioner. Cardas Clear USB Cable. Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable. All other cables by Mark Grant.

Vinyl still has it's place. Technics SL1200. Modified with Mike New Bearing, KAB Strobe Disable, MCRU 2 box PSU, Isonoe Feet, SME M2-9 Tonearm > Goldring 2400 >Rothwell Simplex Phonostage.

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If you don't listen to classical in multichannel, there's not much reason to get into sacd

 

 

I don't think that's true at all. I don't have multi-channel (I'm stereo only) and I get a lot of pleasure from SACD. I also have SACD copies of Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Cal Tjader, etc. and that's definitely not classical music. Pink Floyd is available on SACD, Eric Clapton, Lionel Ritchie, Marvin Gaye, The Who, George Harrison, Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, the list goes on and on. While I think what you wrote is somewhat misleading, I still say that between SACD and vinyl, I'd go vinyl.

George

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It looks like the turntable is the way to go, now to visit those church and school stalls for gems.

I'm much more critical of sound quality from my digital sources and devices than I am from my records, many of which have been played hundreds of times over the years and are simply not paragons of sonic source material. You'll find that the sound quality is a secondary consideration with most vinyl (especially if you're trolling thrift shops, which is a great place to find some amazing vinyl). Like an otherwise ordinary meal at a favorite restaurant in which you feel at home and love the staff, the overall experience is what's great.

 

Unless it's a new or pristine pressing of a well recorded performance, most records will not bowl you over with their purity, beauty, clarity, dynamic range, and overall goodness. But you won't care because you'll find yourself truly hearing the music. And for 50 cents, you can buy any record you see just because it has an interesting jacket, title, band, tune, performer etc. Some are hidden gems and you'll love 'em. Others are better suited to be coasters (cut the center part out with a hole saw on a 1/4" drill). But you can't buy a cool coaster for 50 cents.

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I just had my vintage Technics SL 1200 MK2 modified by KAB. The full monty, re-cable, new power supply, fluid damper, new feet, you name it.

 

Total was $881. I think I could spend a lot more and not be able to tell the difference.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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I just had my vintage Technics SL 1200 MK2 modified by KAB. The full monty, re-cable, new power supply, fluid damper, new feet, you name it.

 

Total was $881. I think I could spend a lot more and not be able to tell the difference.

See my sig...

MacMini 8Gb OSX > Pure Music / Bitperfect / Amarra / iTunes > Synology DS215J NAS > Schiit Wyrd > Stello U3 > Naim Uniti Atom, Harbeth P3ESR. Meier Corda Arietta Headphone Amp > Sennhieser HD650 Phones (Cardas rewire). Isol-8 Powerline Axis. Isotek GII Orion Power Conditioner. Cardas Clear USB Cable. Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable. All other cables by Mark Grant.

Vinyl still has it's place. Technics SL1200. Modified with Mike New Bearing, KAB Strobe Disable, MCRU 2 box PSU, Isonoe Feet, SME M2-9 Tonearm > Goldring 2400 >Rothwell Simplex Phonostage.

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Tossing up between ClearAudio Concept, Performance DC (a little high in price) or the VPI Scout and a cleaning machine.

 

I would say definitely get a cleaning machine. Also, another option instead of a new modern take on TT is a completely refurbished sprung design: http://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-turntables-for-sale/thorens-td-150-turntable-zebrawood-plinth-upgraded-rega-moth-rb-202-tonearm/

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  • 3 months later...

To draw the thread to a conclusion, I considered very valuable suggestions from fellow members about the turntable and accessories.

When looking deeper into turntables, yes a washing machine was needed, and more setup involved as well. This included levelling, which isn't too bad, the protractor, hold down weight, cabling, and a phono EQ to match my pre-amp, the shopping list was starting to get out of control.

Plus the cat would miss out on a perfect place to snooze in the winter and what would be worse be intrigued about the moving tonearm and deciding to play with it.

 

The decision favoured the SACD player. Fits in the rack, and no major accessories as with the turntable to worry about. A key feature is to play DSD_DISC, creating roll your own playlists from DSF files. This allows DSD downloads to be burned to a DVD as well as play regular CDs and SACD. An Accuphase DP-720 arrived the other day and so far DSD_DISC burned from downloaded dsf files play better on the DP-720 than from computer and MPD-3 DAC. Image breadth is the major difference, and micro details and discrimination of instruments is easier to listen to than from a download, and it's the same file.

 

This probably means there's noise or roughness in the CA playback chain to solve somewhere, or the DAC in the DP-720 (eight ESS9018) is that good by a margin that's easily discernable. The CA chain is great for sound and convenience, the DP-720 proves there's still a lot of life left in optical media reproduction and is far from dead.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say why not try both? You can buy a used Sony SACD player for about $40-50. Buy that with a few discs and you have less than $100 in it. If you don't like it, sell it for a minimal loss. As for the turntable, you really do get what you pay for but with that said vinyl is a bit of a PITA. Don't get me wrong some of us love the prep work and all but others do not. Any decent used table would allow you get a feel for it. You can buy a few records that are in really good shape in the dollar bin of your local record store. Again if you're not happy sell it. As someone previously mentioned it's hard to go wrong with VPI but they are a sizable investment for someone to tryout vinyl.

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To draw the thread to a conclusion, I considered very valuable suggestions from fellow members about the turntable and accessories.

When looking deeper into turntables, yes a washing machine was needed, and more setup involved as well. This included levelling, which isn't too bad, the protractor, hold down weight, cabling, and a phono EQ to match my pre-amp, the shopping list was starting to get out of control.

Plus the cat would miss out on a perfect place to snooze in the winter and what would be worse be intrigued about the moving tonearm and deciding to play with it.

 

The decision favoured the SACD player. Fits in the rack, and no major accessories as with the turntable to worry about. A key feature is to play DSD_DISC, creating roll your own playlists from DSF files. This allows DSD downloads to be burned to a DVD as well as play regular CDs and SACD. An Accuphase DP-720 arrived the other day and so far DSD_DISC burned from downloaded dsf files play better on the DP-720 than from computer and MPD-3 DAC. Image breadth is the major difference, and micro details and discrimination of instruments is easier to listen to than from a download, and it's the same file.

 

This probably means there's noise or roughness in the CA playback chain to solve somewhere, or the DAC in the DP-720 (eight ESS9018) is that good by a margin that's easily discernable. The CA chain is great for sound and convenience, the DP-720 proves there's still a lot of life left in optical media reproduction and is far from dead.

 

Agree.

David

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More of a nostalgic desire to listen to media other than digital, with some flexibility as well. Like you have to get up out of the chair and put ON some music :)

 

 

Not sure where you're buying your SACDs but mine are definitely all digital. I believe the phrase you needed was 'physical media', although I guess some would counter that a hard drive is also physical media - in any case, nothing beats the tactility of vinyl. i own 2 SACD-capable players and no turntable, but if it's the ritual you seek I just dont see how you can go past vinyl.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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