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SACD Player to replace Oppo105?


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I have an Oppo BD-95 and bought an Accuphase DP-720 SACD. The differences are vast, so is the price.


Yes, here in the UK at least, it looks like you can approx. estimate the Accuphase price by doubling the model number and adding a 0 ...


The DP550 looks like the machine for me, but £10K is way outside my budget!

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These are some DACs with DSD multichannel outputs: EMM Labs DAC 8 Mk IV $1999, exaSound Audio Design e28 8 ch DAC $3299,Mytek Digital 8x192 AD/DAC $3895, Playback Designs MPD-5 DAC $13000, Primare BD32 Mk II universal player/DAC $5355, Prism Audio ADA-8XR DSD AD/DAC $11935...



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Currently I have around 450 SACDs. Most are unavailable as high resolution downloads, or any other format with equal SQ. I did not expect my collection to grow past 200, but I have been visiting Japan every June or late August since 2006. SACDs are alive and well in Japan, and the selection is outstanding.


I had a Marantz SA-11S2 from 2009 through 2013, it was an excellent CD/SACD player, well made, and I never had a single problem with it. My daughter has the Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP and that is also an excellent CD/SACD player. Unfortunately, both are out of production now, but if you can find one used, either would be a great buy in my opinion; about $3200 for the Ayre, and less than $2500 for the Marantz. A more versatile, but more expensive, player would be the Ayre DX-5 but I’m not sure if SACD would sound any better than the C-5xeMP.


I have several friends who believe dcs is the global standard, claiming their quality leaves all other manufacturers of disc players and DACs in a state of embarrassment. Why else would their components be so expensive. I have nothing negative to say about dcs, except for the price. Used Puccini SACD/CD players from 2008 are going for around $6K to $7K. However, we are talking SACD here, and the Puccini in my opinion, when playing SADCs, is no better than the Ayre C-5xeMP at one third the price.


“If,” you can find a used Meitner EMM Labs CDSA-SE SACD player, it would also be a very good choice. The SACD sound quality is excellent. Just make sure it has the Esoteric drive, and not the Phillips drive. I have seen a 2011 unit for around $4000.


There are used Accuphase SACD players available. I have a friend who recently negotiated $5900 for a DP-700 unit in pristine condition. He drove 4.5 hours each way to get it. This is a unique player, meaning outstanding SACD performance, but don’t expect it to excel with RB-CD. The SQ of the Accuphase is a whole level beyond anything I have mentioned above, or most likely above 85% of any SACD players, even the transport is the best, and the unit weighs in at around 60 pounds.


Then again, many rant and rave about the Esoteric K-03, or the K-01. A used K-03 can be found for $4000 to $5000, double that amount for a K-01 (>$9000). I listened to a demo of a new Esoteric K-07 ($5K to $6K) and K-03 through Wilson Alexia speakers and D’Agostino components. There was no mistaking the K-03 was a superior unit.


I had the opportunity to compare the Marantz SA-7S1 with the Esoteric players. The Marantz has a distinct sound and will match up better with a highly neutral system. I also listened to the Krell Cipher which was quite nice, but connected to all Krell components with CAST cables. I did not hear the Cipher used with other systems.


I cannot offer a more detailed description on each SACD player because most of my listening sessions were performed during May, or October of 2014.


The following is just my personal opinion: I have not seen or listened to any miraculous improvements over the past 3 to 4 years with SACD players, just more convenience like the addition to utilize the player as a DAC, and some trickle down DAC technology from high end to less expensive models. I suggested used high end players from around 3 years ago (originally in the $6K to $15K price range) because they still offer superior sound quality and construction when compared to many new players under 5K. Accuphase, Ayre, Esoteric, Krell, Marantz, Meitner EMM Labs are all quality SACD players which just might outlast SACD production.


I omitted Denon players because I owned 3 during the late 1990’s. The transports failed in each one in about a year. I won’t be fooled again. Just my personal choice.


Four months ago, I listened to at least 6 new SACD players in the 7k to 25K price range prior to making a purchase for my new system. By far, in my opinion, the two best were the Accuphase DP 720, and the EMM Labs XDS1-V2. New, both are 5 times your budget; used would be greater than 3 times your budget. I went with the XDS1-V2 because I liked the way is sounded in my system.


Perhaps someday I will take on the project of downloading my SACD collection. For now, I have not advanced to the total couch potato stage in life. I can still arise and take four steps to select and insert an SACD. Anyway, I enjoy visiting the music stores in Osaka where I have met a number of audiophiles and interesting characters over the years.

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Daphne - thanks for the great reply, lots for me to think about there.


What I had hoped to find was that there was a model retailing @ c.£3k/$5k that was both the standout buy in the price range and offering a major improvement on 2 channel audio over the Oppo 105. It seems to me from your and others' posts and my research in to the market since that this may not exist -maybe the Marantz SA11S3 is closest, but I don't see rave reviews. From what I can see at new retail price, SACD players (inexactly) divide into a c.£1000 and under region headed by the Oppo, with the next real step up in SQ coming from the pack at £5k plus? Is that a fair analysis?


Having said that, a mint DP700 for $5900 at current £/$ exchange rate seems like a very good buy.

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