Which SACD player? £3k budget

I’ve been wanting a cd/sacd player for a while and think it’s time I got one. Budget is around £3k. Will only buy brand new. It will be for 2ch playing only.

So far I’ve narrowed it down to:

Technics SL G700M2
Marantz SA 12SE
Pioneer PD 70AE

Any advice on which one to go for?

Which of those does your local dealer have for you to try? I think you might be overlooking the Denon DCD-1700NE an higher too. If you use it as a transport only into your NDX2, you don’t necessarily need to think about more than the quality of the mech and the output. And the Denon mechs are very good.

You won’t get sacd playback if you use the digital out, it will just be redbook that goes for every cd player

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I keep looking at the UDP players as they have HDMI audio output. Wonder if that would output the full SACD sample rate to a suitable pre/dac?

Sacd is a different protocol and has a different licence to it.
You find that they either have to use the analogue out from the cd player, so therefore use the built in dac in the player or use there own dac with the correct software to do the sacd unfold.
Using a cd transport only will require the manufacturer’s own dac to work.
It’s a pain but that’s how it is. I would have like a cheap sacd transport to run into my dCS vivaldi dac, but the only one’s that work with it are the dCS transports. The same goes for the teac, and the esoteric transports as i was looking at them as well.

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Maybe that was the reason for popularity of SACD ripping, for which apparently some incarnations of the Sony Playstation games console were good, though that was a few years ago and I don’t know what might be the up to date choice.

Why not the equivalent Denon, the Technics (lovely machine ) is a streamer also , I don’t think the Pioneer is a current model .

Pioneer and Okyno have had a torrid time

IF the OP is contemplating a digital SACD stream, I seam to recall that some of the OPPO players could use their HDMI output to send a digital SACD/DSD stream - a modification may have been required. PS Audio use I2S which utilise HDMI type connectors. How easy this is to do I have no idea. I might be wrong but I don’t think that any Naim DAC/streamer would work this way though.

IMO I would just get a good stand alone SACD player and use its internal conversion for SACD. One could try the digital out into a Naim streamer for PCM - if nothing else it would give a different sound signature and you have flexibility: SACD through the player, red book CD/PCM through the player’s DAC or through an external converter.

As a stand-alone player, the Marantz premium series have always tempted me if I were in the market for an SACD player. Rather confusingly with the Premium series, the higher the number, lower the range, e.g. SA-7 is the highest, then 10, then 11, etc. 15 is the lowest - this also goes with the matching PM amplifiers too.

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I have an OPPO 203, and it does output the SACD stream on the HDMI. In my case it goes into a Yamaha AV receiver that is licenced to decode the SACD, so can either listen to the 2-channel or where an SACD has it, the multichannel output. This is in my “AV” room.

In my music setup of have a Marantz SA12 SE as my disk spinner, which is one down from the current top model, the SA-10. And as mentioned, the digital outputs will only output the stereo standard CD layer if present on the disk (if its a CD or hybrid SACD).

For £3K you might be able to pick up a 2nd hand SA-10, or should be able to get a mildly discounted new SA12. One advantage of the Marantz SACD players are the 3 current models (SA-10, SA-12, SACD 30n) all use Marantz own metal SACD drive mech, so are not so exposed to a third party ceasing manufacture of the drive for spares.

I cant comment on the other brands as never tried them.

Oh and for ripping i use an old cheap sony bluray player, that allows booting from its USB of a small code routine that puts the dormant player into server mode on the LAN. Then windows based software to control and rip the DSD files to my PC, and then copied up to my Naim Core, so that i can stream the DSD files from the Core when i want to.

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DENON a110 sacd player

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Not keen on that one Im afraid. The Denon look wont suit my setup either.

You’re not spoiled for choice on a budget there’s some great scads players but they’re all expensive. There are some available but I’d want to hear them before I’d purchase anything.

There’s good cd transports and players at reasonable prices. My choice would be the Hegel Viking but even it’s $8k here.

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You may need to experiment. The Denon’s sound quite nice with Naim but if they don’t suit the aesthetic there are others. But therein lies a bit of risk. Luxman make superb SACD players and as the have digital input, they can also be used as a DAC for a atreaming transport. But a) they cost a lot more than 3 grand, and b) I don’t think Naim is a natural sonic partner. The point being, similar risks exist with the other options. So I’d ask for a dem with a Naim amp if you can.

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I think you are right there and I’ll need to contact a few dealersin and around Cheshire to see if I can get a comparison between the Technics and the Marantz.

I looked at quite a few offerings from other brands but like you say the price of the other ones I liked was waay beyond what I am prepared to pay. So these two players met the happy medium criteria.

I have heard good things about both and also like the looks of them. The Technics does have the XLR outputs which Marantz doesn’t

I’m guessing Technics don’t use their own drive?

Just throwing a sanity check comment out there, how many SACD discs do you have and can you not just find DSD downloads for them online for less than the cost of a player? You do have a very high end source already after all.

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Not sure what sanity check you feel you are offering here.

You appeared unaware that SACDs cannot be played in a transport with another DAC so you may want to impart your wisdom elsewhere.

Yup I’m a retard. Consider me gone.

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Myself and my friend tried my sa-14s1 via BNC cable to NDX2 at my place and to our surprise the sa-14s1 sounded better directly into the naim thru RCA cables :thinking:.

Looking at this in a bit more detail, my thoughts are:

The Technics, with its built-in streaming, is a similar product to the Marantz SACD-30N which has a similar RRP - deals look possible on both. You already have a very accomplished streamer but do either offer facilities (such as MQA) that you do not currently have? I’m sure they are both excellent machines. The Technics offers XLR out but will up you utilise this? My Arcam D33 DAC has XLRs but I’ve never had a pre-amp that can use them - does your NAC 282? My understanding is that unless you live in a very high noise environment, have very long cable runs (e.g. to active speakers) or have amplifiers that are truly balanced all the way through their architecture then they are not necessary.

The Marantz SA-12SE is clearly different - a very good standalone player with a more focused remit. Having said that, you could access its internal DAC and the player will decode DSD files from a computer ‘up to DSD 11.2’ and will also up-convert PCM files to DSD using proprietary conversion technology.

Clearly, listening to the players in your system is the best option but this is not always possible. FYI Peter Tyson stock both Marantz models and the Technics (and Naim) - they could be worth contacting. Regarding the Pioneer, is it available in the UK? A lot of ‘Japanese’ manufacturers produce SACD players but don’t offer them in Europe - you may be able to find one but what would repair/technical support look like?

Companies such as McIntosh also produce SACD players but at a higher price. Finally, an alternative at a much lower price - an Arcam CDS50 which RRP at £800 and are available for less.

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