Reference grade one-box SACD player

LDA -- Thu, 06/02/2011 - 02:55

Hi all;
I am looking for a reference grade one-box SACD player (under 10000$) with several digital inputs, preferably including asynchronous USB. I know that a similar topic was discussed before but I just wanted to create a fresh one considering the rapid developement in this technological area. .
Following list comes to my mind:
- Cary 306 Pro
- Cary 303T Pro
- EMM CDSA (no digital input)
- Esoteric SA-50
- Esoteric X-05
- Esoteric K-03 (actually over the budget)

I would appreciate your experiences.

Thank you.
Ps: Listen to Classics 70%, Jazz 25% (Female/Male vocals, symphonic jazz) and Folk.

Cam -- Mon, 07/04/2011 - 19:52

Too bad Marantz hasn't caught up to others in terms of offering digital inputs - their SA-7S1 SACD player is an awesome machine in other respects.
Sorry I can't add to your great list!  I guess there's not too many options with both SACD capability and digital input capability.
Looking forward to hearing from others on this topic!

JLeeMD -- Tue, 07/05/2011 - 20:05

I too was also looking for a reference grade CD/SACD player with digital inputs.  I thought my Esoteric X-05 was as good as one-box players got and was looking only because a unit with digital inputs would allow me to access hi-rez downloads.  I was surprised to find that a local custom home theater dealer had the Mark Levinson No. 512 sitting in their showroom.  I took it home for a demo mainly out of curiosity.  Surprise!  The No. 512 was a BIG step up from the X-05.  So...I bought the No. 512 despite the fact it had no digital inputs.  Oh well, the high-rez catalog is still rather small at this time anyways...

LDA -- Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:19

Thank you for your responses guys. Jleemd; congratulations on your new player. I 'm sure it is definitely great! But I like the idea being able to download CD's, high res file directly from HDtracks etc.. To tell the truth, I dont have a great number of SACD's. Maybe this property should not be a must, but yet, considering the price range, I always conclude that getting a complete player (SACD/CD/digital in, even HDCD) is the best option. In this case, I think the best is 306 pro but not sure about its tonal balance which sometimes stated as "in-your-face" or slightly bright etc... Helas, my dealer does not have it on the shelf and Im afraid I have to order it without a demo. This, ofcourse, does not sound good at all ...

JLeeMD -- Fri, 07/08/2011 - 14:04

Ayre DX-5 at $10k...does it all at reference-grade level.

ElvisisBack -- Thu, 07/14/2011 - 19:21

30 years in audio the Marantz SA7-S1 is the most natural and enjoyable unit I have owned. Forget the myth about vinyl being better with well recorded discs the Marantz is just superb, and best of all the built quality is just outstanding, better than many units at 3 times its asking price.


Cam -- Mon, 09/26/2011 - 21:16

Has anyone heard the Ayre DX-5?  Although it plays video disks as well, it's rumored to be better than the C5-xemp.
From the Ayre website:
"The Ayre DX-5 A/V Engine serves as the central source component for your system. It plays back virtually all digital formats, both video and audio, and it also provides a connection to provide the full advantages of computer-based audio playback. Thanks to its advanced technological features the DX-5 will extract the full measure of performance from all digital video and audio formats, maximizing your enjoyment both now and into the future. "

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