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SACD player reliability


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I need to replace my Marantz SA KI Pearl. Looking at forums about reliability, and knowing that bad news gets passed on more often than good, I am looking at brands in the $4-7K range. Yamaha, Marantz, Denon and Audio Aero seem to come up the most for read errors or transport failures. I can't afford Esoteric as new. Any ideas or comments about repairability would be welcome. My Pearl display is dead and the unit will not play SACDs. All my local techs have passed on due to age and no one is stepping into the breach. I bought two spare laser assemblies for my Rotel 991 AE but of course it has never failed!

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4 hours ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

 

SACD player reliability

Looking at forums about reliability, and knowing that bad news gets passed on more often than good

They got a real bad rap when MF had their Tri-Vista SACD player that was impossible to fix because of the Phillips Furore (200 odd leg chipset) that was doomed like a cancer from the day it was switched on.

 

PhillipsSACDdrivecontrolchip.jpg.e1d6673bf42e647c41e3122568c29e7c.jpg

 

Also many others had problems with that same chipset including Philips. Ones that didn't use it had problems also but more with laser and such. Suggest a Sony based player and make sure you can get laser/mechs for it easily.

 

Cheers George

 

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5 hours ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

 

 

I need to replace my Marantz SA KI Pearl. Looking at forums about reliability, and knowing that bad news gets passed on more often than good, I am looking at brands in the $4-7K range. Yamaha, Marantz, Denon and Audio Aero seem to come up the most for read errors or transport failures. I can't afford Esoteric as new. Any ideas or comments about repairability would be welcome. My Pearl display is dead and the unit will not play SACDs. All my local techs have passed on due to age and no one is stepping into the breach. I bought two spare laser assemblies for my Rotel 991 AE but of course it has never failed!

 

Were you using the internal DAC or an external DAC?
If you were using an external DAC, then one of the decent universal players would probably serve just as well as an SACD transport.

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I’ve owned a few sacd players Sony, Luxman and marantz and oppo many years….

 

no reports for any issues here 

 

I’d suggest you bummed out with yours ? 


two players I had issues with after about decade of ownership … nad master series sacd player and musical fidelity cd player in both cases they needed a new rubber belt … just age …

 

very happy with my marantz ki ruby which I understand is same transport and like as the flag ship model above …

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2 minutes ago, surprisetech said:

 

Doesn't play SACD disks (And yet it supports DSD via USB!)

have to go model up I believe and prices of luxman have spiralled up to esoteric dare i say  :D 

around $15k ! 

https://clefhifi.com.au/home/6027-luxman-d-07x-sacd-player-coming-soon.html

 

be looking at 2nd hand and rare as hens teeth sold my d-06 recently, if can find one be a nice player for money...

 

 

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If one wants a newer SACD transport that is maybe more reliable, the newer "PS Audio Perfect Wave SACD Transport" would be the way to go, it's also what's called a "memory CD player", reads the CD disc stores it onto memory chips and reads/sends the digital stream from there to your dac a few seconds later, which  Paul McGowan says removes all jitter etc etc B.S. also uses linear power supplies with galvanic isolation,

https://www.psaudio.com/products/perfectwave-sacd-transport

http://tinyurl.com/283sz3g4  

Cheers George

 

Edited by georgehifi
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14 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

f one wants a newer transport that is maybe more reliable, the newer "PS Audio Perfect Wave SACD Transport" would be the way to go, it's also a "memory CD player", reads the CD disc stores it onto memory chips and reads/sends the digital stream from there to your dac, which  Paul McGowan says removes all jitter etc etc B.S.

https://www.psaudio.com/products/perfectwave-sacd-transport

 

it uses the same marantz SACDM3 transport drive as marantz does in their SA-10 and ki ruby sacd players. marantz sell it as a OEM transport to likes of ps audio that need a transport . 

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I can 100% recommend a used Luxman D-08u, built like a tank and joy to use and listen to. 

They do come up used every now and then and would probably sit at the top of your budget.

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8 hours ago, georgehifi said:

If one wants a newer SACD transport that is maybe more reliable, the newer "PS Audio Perfect Wave SACD Transport" would be the way to go, it's also what's called a "memory CD player", reads the CD disc stores it onto memory chips and reads/sends the digital stream from there to your dac a few seconds later, which  Paul McGowan says removes all jitter etc etc B.S. also uses linear power supplies with galvanic isolation,

https://www.psaudio.com/products/perfectwave-sacd-transport

http://tinyurl.com/283sz3g4  

Cheers George

 

I was using the Pearl for SACD and its digital out into a Berkeley Alpha DAC for CD and HDCD. So I would not have SACD capability with the PS Audio transport.. I have an OPPO 203 but I do not consider its SACD capability as sufficient. Thanks for the thought though.

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7 hours ago, Tony B said:

I can 100% recommend a used Luxman D-08u, built like a tank and joy to use and listen to. 

They do come up used every now and then and would probably sit at the top of your budget.

There is a new-in-box Marantz SA10 on sale on Canuck Audio Mart for $6K CDN but it sounds suspicious considering the discount and it would have no warranty. On the same site there is an Esoteric K-03X for $7K CDN but it is the old chip based DAC versus the new FPGA DAC in the K-03XD. The heart wants what the heart wants. Looks like I may have to stretch my budget to not get caught with another boat anchor.

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10 hours ago, betty boop said:

I’ve owned a few sacd players Sony, Luxman and marantz and oppo many years….

 

no reports for any issues here 

 

I’d suggest you bummed out with yours ? 


two players I had issues with after about decade of ownership … nad master series sacd player and musical fidelity cd player in both cases they needed a new rubber belt … just age …

 

very happy with my marantz ki ruby which I understand is same transport and like as the flag ship model above …

Can't find a Ruby in my area and the Hoffman forums list pages of problems. However, I have a 2013 Outback which is listed as having issues but I have had none. So I am just looking for something that has generally a good rep or parts availability. In my mind, a Luxman would be more reliable than a Marantz. That impression is not based on personal experience. It is anecdotal.

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3 hours ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

So I would not have SACD capability with the PS Audio transport.

 

The "PS Audio Perfectwave SACD" transport, does output SACD. But the same to look at "PS Audio PerfectWave" (which is non sacd) does not. Look at the video I posted of the SACD model.

The PS Audio Perfect Wave SACD needs a dac that can convert SACD, otherwise yes you only get 44.1 CD from it. 

 

Cheers George 

Edited by georgehifi
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22 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

 

The "PS Audio Perfectwave SACD" transport, does output SACD. But the same to look at "PS Audio PerfectWave" (which is non sacd) does not. Look at the video I posted of the SACD model.

The PS Audio Perfect Wave SACD needs a dac that can convert SACD, otherwise yes you only get 44.1 CD from it. 

 

Cheers George 

Thanks George but I don't need two DACs for one transport. I am not giving up on my 154 HDCDs that play through my Alpha DAC. I am looking for a single box SACD player with a digital output. I looked at the PS Audio units years ago and decided that I didn't want two boxes. I ended up with two boxes anyway when I got into HDCDs. If life were only so simple. "Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in."

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3 hours ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

Can't find a Ruby in my area and the Hoffman forums list pages of problems. However, I have a 2013 Outback which is listed as having issues but I have had none. So I am just looking for something that has generally a good rep or parts availability. In my mind, a Luxman would be more reliable than a Marantz. That impression is not based on personal experience. It is anecdotal.

Can you point me to the ruby problems. Keep in mind the ruby is the sa10 without balanced stage. So anything don’t like on ruby won’t like on sa10. The psaudio as mentioned also uses the marantz sacdm3 so apply the same to that too re transport. That said even with the psaudio they say as long as there is sacd the sacdm3 will be supported as it’s Marantz flagship transport.

 

i know what saying with Luxman but they don’t come up often. I know I sold mine recently and also the. Current model if want sacd it’s in esoteric price points …

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1 hour ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

I am looking for a single box SACD player with a digital output.  I am not giving up on my 154 HDCDs that play through my Alpha DAC.

 

Ok you don't have dac that does DSD (sacd), so you just want to use the soso "bitstream dacs" that are inside a SACD players to play your SACD disc with, then use the digital output for CD to your better separate dac, understood. (not going to get the best from sacd this way)

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi
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34 minutes ago, betty boop said:

Can you point me to the ruby problems. Keep in mind the ruby is the sa10 without balanced stage. So anything don’t like on ruby won’t like on sa10. The psaudio as mentioned also uses the marantz sacdm3 so apply the same to that too re transport. That said even with the psaudio they say as long as there is sacd the sacdm3 will be supported as it’s Marantz flagship transport.

 

i know what saying with Luxman but they don’t come up often. I know I sold mine recently and also the. Current model if want sacd it’s in esoteric price points …

I don't have a Ruby I have a Pearl. My Pearl has the Underwood HiFi modifications done by Parts Connexion. It has a Dexa clock , new I/V stage and discrete analog output. It cannot be reversed to OM spec. The display is dead and it does not play SACDs anymore. I was inquiring if people have experience as to the reliability of the Ruby, SA10 or Denon A110 players. All three have been flagged for disc reading errors but there is no numbers given out as to the percentage of the production output for each. I know that the Marantz and Denon are under-the -skin sisters. There are cheaper Marantz SACD players (SA 8005) but it would not sound as good as what I have am\nd I am not going down the modification path again. This will have to be my last SACD player as I don't know when senility will set in and I want to enjoy my system to its potential until it does. Hell, maybe I'm already too late!

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3 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

 

Ok, so you just want to use the soso "bitstream dacs" that are inside a SACD players to play your SACD disc with, then use the digital output for CD to your better separate dac, understood. (not going to get the best from sacd this way)

 

Cheers George

I would not consider the output of my modified Pearl with the Cirrus Logic SACD chip to be so-so IMHO. It sounded fine to me until it died. So at least you know where my QC scores land. I can't afford the best in SACD (PlayBack Designs, Luxman D-07, Accuphase DP 770, Mark Levenson 5101 etc.) Thanks for trying to help.

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27 minutes ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

Cirrus Logic SACD chip to be so-so IMHO

 

BERKELEY AUDIO ALPHA DAC

AD1955A + SHARC ADSP-21363 – CS8416

 

You use an AD1955 dac chip which has R2R ladder dac for cd conversion in the Berkeley Audio Alpha, it has also Delta Sigma side to do sacd which should being the Berkeley be better than an sacd players internal dac .

https://www.analog.com/media/en/technical-documentation/data-sheets/AD1955.pdf

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi
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I don’t have much to offer except that I have a Denon DCD-2500NE. A few years old now, never missed a beat (pun intended), sounds fantastic. I have a McIntosh preamp and power amp, I was considering a McIntosh sacd player, but to me the Denon sounded better. I don’t know how Denon is perceived in the marketplace where you are, to me it seems to be underrated for the performance offered at the price. This model retails for around $3500.00 AU at the moment, which seems very good value to me. 

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15 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

 

BERKELEY AUDIO ALPHA DAC

AD1955A + SHARC ADSP-21363 – CS8416

 

You use an AD1955 dac chip which has R2R ladder dac for cd conversion in the Berkeley Audio Alpha, it has also Delta Sigma side to do sacd which should being the Berkeley be better than an sacd players internal dac .

https://www.analog.com/media/en/technical-documentation/data-sheets/AD1955.pdf

 

Cheers George

I don't understand what you are not getting about this. The Alpha DAC does not decode SACD and is not advertised as such. It does PCM and MQA and DSD files. So if I go with PS Audio transport, which you seem to have a Jones for, I would need a PS Audio DAC for native SACD. Now I would have two DACs because I am not giving up on HDCD. I do not want two DACs. I want a good reliable one-box SACD player with a digital out for my CD and HDCD. I am sorry if that would be beneath you but that is where I am.

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11 minutes ago, Godot said:

I don’t have much to offer except that I have a Denon DCD-2500NE. A few years old now, never missed a beat (pun intended), sounds fantastic. I have a McIntosh preamp and power amp, I was considering a McIntosh sacd player, but to me the Denon sounded better. I don’t know how Denon is perceived in the marketplace where you are, to me it seems to be underrated for the performance offered at the price. This model retails for around $3500.00 AU at the moment, which seems very good value to me. 

Thank you for sharing your experience with the Denon. I have the A110 Anniversary on my watch list.

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1 hour ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

I don't have a Ruby I have a Pearl. My Pearl has the Underwood HiFi modifications done by Parts Connexion. It has a Dexa clock , new I/V stage and discrete analog output. It cannot be reversed to OM spec. The display is dead and it does not play SACDs anymore. I was inquiring if people have experience as to the reliability of the Ruby, SA10 or Denon A110 players. All three have been flagged for disc reading errors but there is no numbers given out as to the percentage of the production output for each. I know that the Marantz and Denon are under-the -skin sisters. There are cheaper Marantz SACD players (SA 8005) but it would not sound as good as what I have am\nd I am not going down the modification path again. This will have to be my last SACD player as I don't know when senility will set in and I want to enjoy my system to its potential until it does. Hell, maybe I'm already too late!


 

I understand all that, am just responding to your prior posts where you said you saw a sa10 but wasn’t sure of authenticity of the sale, I was hence suggesting the ki ruby as it is the same player just without balanced output. 
 

I was simply asking you to point to Hoffman forums pages of problems… for my own information and to also understand what they might be. 

 

 

5 hours ago, Moon 600i V2 said:

Can't find a Ruby in my area and the Hoffman forums list pages of problems. However, I have a 2013 Outback which is listed as having issues but I have had none. So I am just looking for something that has generally a good rep or parts availability. In my mind, a Luxman would be more reliable than a Marantz. That impression is not based on personal experience. It is anecdotal.

The ruby is not related to the pearl back in 2009. It’s a much newer player. I have found a thread on the ruby on Hoffman forum it’s 89 pages … 10 pages in so far no problems only love and admiration :D  but will report if find otherwise 🙂

Edited by betty boop
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