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Small Form Factor Sacd System


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#1 kiwimeat

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:29 AM

Having effectively conceded defeat for control of the HT room with its decent audio to the kids, I'm looking for a solution for my home office that can playback multi-channel SACD.

Recently, I've got the 2 released Pink Floyd immersion sets but haven't listened to most of the content because of the HT room access. These and a number of other SACD and multi-channel audio discs are awaiting my listening pleasure.

Looking for either a Micro/Mini system or small form factor/low profile separates with:-
SACD playback (ideally DSD)
Network playback of FLAC format
Optional - BD & DVD (including DVD-A)
Multi-channel 5.1 (can start as 2.0)
Headphone support

Currently I listen to music via Sonos - which is good - but I would love to be able to listen to my SACD (and smaller number of music DVD and BD) collection.

The cheap option would be to go for a Sony BD HTIAB as several of them support SACD but I was ideally after better quality than that.

I haven't been able to find anything that fits the bill so far. Most micro-systems don't support SACD and even the BD ones I have found (Denon, Marantz,) don't have SACD support.

One option so far is a Marantz low-profile AV receiver (doesn't support DSD but does support multi-channel PCM) and a SACD player (DVD or BD) that supports DSD to PCM conversion over HDMI. Plus speakers to match.

Seeking advice, and suggestions from the forum.

#2 :)

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:25 AM

no mention of price/budget.

my suggestion, try not to get an all in one, instead go for this as the heart

the new cambridge 551r
http://www.cambridge...ary.php?PID=897
http://www.audiotren...amp;itemId=1227

and couple with cheapy sony BD player
http://www.sony.com....roduct/bdp-s380

or if budget permits the CA651BD
http://www.cambridge...niversal Player
http://www.audiotren...u...&itemId=647

really I personally would say trying to do multichannel sacd in a home office well is going to cost a fair bit and perhaps overkill ? youd need a 5.1 speaker set to match ? eg focal sib cub or something of that ilk ? or kef setup. all costly.

be easier cheaper to buy a second hand 2ch sacd player buy a budget 2ch integrated and a couple of nice second hand speakers and for the money I'd say better sound quality cheaper than anything multichannel for the money :)

this for instance,
http://www.dtvforum....showtopic=96448
add this if hasnt gone to ebay already,
http://www.dtvforum....showtopic=96238

#3 kiwimeat

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:35 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Budget = whatever is necessary but practically $2-4K maximum but as usual ideally less.

The new Cambridge Audio low profile AVR looks nice and it would nicely compliment the CA Minx speakers I am considering.

As for the multi-channel aspect - I plan use the solution to replace my current 5.1 PC speaker system as well (taking optical out from PC sound card).

Second hand is also a consideration.

Still researching................

#4 kiwimeat

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 01:00 PM

Found a Pioneer PDX-Z9 advertised on Ebay.

Only found one review in English - What Hi-Fi - so hardly the most definitive source of information and balance.

The size and basic features are right. A few limitations, but paired with a good pair of 4ohm speakers this could be worth a shot.

Also looking at the Paradigm MilleniaOne™ speakers.

Edited by kiwimeat, 31 December 2011 - 02:26 PM.


#5 cwt

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 06:30 PM

If looking at pioneer kiwi and 5.1 ? have a look at the new pio 140 universal [sort of -_- ] You will have to convert your dvd-a's to flac and use an external hd/ network though . More left for the avr/speakers can only be good ..

You have to add a extension tag apparently for flacs to work but ;info at avs pio thread ; this may also apply to the z9 ? .

#6 vidiot

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:27 AM

Also looking at the Paradigm MilleniaOne™ speakers.


I've been looking at these too. They must have advertised recently in The Perfect Vision, where they were nominated editors choice for best compact solution.

Thanks (guys) for the heads up re the new CA receiver.

I had been thinking about splurging on a b&w pv1 to go with the paradigms.

#7 kiwimeat

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:52 PM

Bit of an update....

After some research and a couple of store visits, this is what I am leaning towards as a solution.
  • Marantz NR1402 AVR (don't need the bells and whistles of the NR1602)
  • Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 600 speakers (the Paradigm Millena One speakers are too much for a less than 10m2 room, and would be more than twice the price of the choosen speakers - especially once you add a sub).
  • Sony 32EX550 LCD wall mounted - not 3D!
  • SACD source will be my previously retired Oppo 980H DVD until I decided which BD player to purchase.
  • Movies will come via output from PC until I decide on BD Player.
BD players under consideration:-
Oppo BDP-83 (from my media room, and replace that with BDP-93)
Marantz UD5005 or possibly UD7006
Maybe one of the Cambridge Audio
Or perhaps a cheaper Sony or Pioneer which also has SACD support.
More research to do here...............

#8 perthpete

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

Not meaning to be unfriendly ... but how long will the kids stay in control of the HT room? I mean do you want to invest in a temporary setup for SACD quality?

I won't judge on the kid-control ofcourse:-), but once they will be out of the way would you be back in the HT room?

Personally I only recently started getting into SACD (got a decent receiver and player) really love the full quality and full surround from the (obvious) top-sacd's like Pink Floyd and Dire Straits ...

#9 kiwimeat

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:27 AM

I have run into a major issue - sound proofing. My office doesn't have the same level of sound proofing as the HT room. We did a test by temporarily relocating the a HTIB to my study and running it a various volume levels. Unfortunately, even at moderate levels the transient noise levels in the kitchen (directly above office) and through the open plan layout to living room and down the halls was quite high. Given that I am a bit of night-owl this may be an issue.

Now rethinking options...........................
Considering going to 2 channel SACD solution with a decent pair of headphones as an option (for late night listening)............or something else.............or maybe do nothing for a bit.............

Not meaning to be unfriendly ... but how long will the kids stay in control of the HT room? I mean do you want to invest in a temporary setup for SACD quality?

I won't judge on the kid-control ofcourse:-), but once they will be out of the way would you be back in the HT room?

Personally I only recently started getting into SACD (got a decent receiver and player) really love the full quality and full surround from the (obvious) top-sacd's like Pink Floyd and Dire Straits ...

At least 5-6 years before the youngest of my kids leaves - if not longer (depending upon Uni/living at home).

#10 perthpete

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:07 PM

interesting reading your blog .. share at least 5 of your 'interest' bullits:-) (and the workstuff re. service management:-))

#11 kiwimeat

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:27 PM

Found my solution.............Denon RCD-CX1

Had called up my local hi-fi shop shop (Living Sound) to ask if they has anything and they mentioned this unit. So I went in for a demo on Saturday.

Stereo SACD playback with support for track information (if included on disc).

Simple elegant design and good remote.

Build quality is very good - aluminium housing and the main unit is 8kg. The slim CD tray is metal (not plastic).

There is an iPod dock but it is optional and connects over analog via line-in with a dedicated remote control circuit.
There is even a phono input with switching MM/MC.
Comes complete with a decent pair of speakers SC-CX101

What's more its footprint is suitable for my home office - much more so than separates.

But most importantly is the fantastic sound quality. It sounds clean, with excellent imaging of the tracks (listening to "Have a Cigar" at the moment), and the quality is there at all listening levels (it can go fairly loud).
I played Mark Knopfler's Shangri-La (SACD) last night - the Denon really, really bought the album alive.

It's not cheap - Denon position this as an audiophile product - and I initially thought they were joking when the RRP was quoted! Turns out it wasn't a joke but based on my customer history with them and some reasoning I got their ex-demo unit with full warranty for a price I was content with.

There's not much on the Internet about them....
Review from stereophile and a couple of comments on Amazon (US).

Edited by kiwimeat, 26 February 2012 - 01:57 PM.


#12 :)

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:56 PM

wow excellent unit, yes looks like no compromise for size. did you get the speakers ? I understand theyre a cut above what your get with these kind of units too, and had mission making them for denon for a while. denon have a good rep for this kind of thing so no doubt be very happy with :)

#13 kiwimeat

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:12 PM

wow excellent unit, yes looks like no compromise for size. did you get the speakers ? I understand theyre a cut above what your get with these kind of units too, and had mission making them for denon for a while. denon have a good rep for this kind of thing so no doubt be very happy with :)

The sound quality is streets ahead of the other small form factor units (which lacked SACD anyway) and rivals the separates (unless I went big money).
Now planning to retire the Sonos S5 out of the home office and relocate the Sonos Connect and have as line in source to the Denon.

Yes I got the system with the Denon speakers - they are really quite good (a very slight warmth but I think it suits the amp) and I think there is definitely some synergy between the main unit and the speakers as well (it should be expected but often bundles don't deliver on the synergy front). The imaging is excellent with the instruments and vocals maintaining excellent separation but without losing the natural progression and harmony that is often missing from digital solutions.
I would say they are easily the equal of the Monitor Audio BX2's I was auditioning for use if I went down the separates path for my solution.

Have just run into an issue with the SACD layer on a couple of my disks not being recognised and selecting the CD layer (which still sounds excellent but I paid the extra for the SACD support). These have a Stereo SACD layer so should work. Will follow up with the store on Monday.

#14 kiwimeat

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:35 PM

Have just run into an issue with the SACD layer on a couple of my disks not being recognised and selecting the CD layer (which still sounds excellent but I paid the extra for the SACD support). These have a Stereo SACD layer so should work. Will follow up with the store on Monday.

The problem with intermittent SACD layer recognition got worse and as a result the whole laser and drive mechanism has been replaced under warranty. Now working faultlessly with SACD recognition.
Performance is very impressive, and even the wife (normally happy with iPod quality levels) has remarked on how she can hear much more in the reproduction from the Denon.