SACD of Classical Music

I am swimming against the tide I know but I am trying to fill in some gaps in my Classical collection and buying CDs. Picking up from a another thread on the Forum I find that I have managed to choose two CDs that are classed as SACDs and rather expensive. Still, I want them.

Question. Can a CDS3 play SACDs.

Thanks in advance for your time and expertise.


No, it will only play the CD layer. Only SACD licenced universal players (such as Oppo, and others) can see the SACD layer.

My CD555 plays the CD layer only, not the SACD. However it plays HDCD layers on a CD/HDCD disc .Never got a complete answer for this apparent anomaly from Salisbury. Any ideas Richard? Is this part of a licencing agreement?

It plays normal red book CD’s and HDCD encoded discs. HDCD’s were a higher bit rate that the stnd CD 16-bit, It show as 24-bit but I believe they are or play as 20-bit

Question: how does dbpoweramp treat SACD?
I bought this at the weekend, as an aside not realising that it was Advent based, ripped it to my NAS but am not sure if I’m listening to SACD or CD.

You can only rip a “hybrid” SACD with dBpoweramp, these have two layers, DSD & CD. dBpoweramp only rips the CD layer. So your album is a hybrid SACD.

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Thanks for the explanation Mike-B

So if I understand you correctly Nick the medium (CD) has two layers imprinted on it. One layer is standard Red book information and the other layer is SACD. The CDS3 will read the Red Book layer and ignore the SACD.

Cheers, Steve2

Steve…you are correct when referencing a “Hybrid SACD”. A Hybrid SACD contains both a DSD layer and a PCM layer (i.e. standard Red Book). The CDS3 will be able to read the PCM layer but not the DSD layer.

In addition to Hybrid SACDs there are single layer (and dual layer) SACDs that only contain DSD content, these discs can not be read by the CDS3. So if you are buying SACDs for the CDS3 just make sure they are Hybrid SACDs and you should be OK.

Cheers Jack for clearing up my confusion. It is much appreciated. I shall proceed with the purchases.

Cheers, Steve2

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