Disc format types

Compact discs come in many formats.



Gold CD

Hybrid SACD

Bluray Audio

DVD Audio


and of coarse regular PCM CD.

So what gives, which ones are worth investing in? SACD is obvious.

All of ‘em! But seriously … my first pick is SACD, mainly because I think they sound better and because I have a DMP. Regular vs. Hybrid SACD is, to me, a non-issue. Most SACD are a hybrid, i.e., they have two or more versions. Most commonly a 2 channel SACD and CD version, but multi-channel SACD is very common too.

As for all the CD variants, I’ve purchased quite a few K2/Gold/XRCD (of varying labels) and while they are slightly (for me that’s very slightly) better sounding, they are quite a bit more expensive. I usually get them when they go on sale, but then I do that for all my music! (I’m a cheapskate).

Now, Bluray and DVD-A are another story. They can sound as good as an SACD, they are high resolution PCM after all, but playing is more of an issue. A good DVD or Bluray player is almost a necessity (there are/were some audiophile players that really were universal, but sounded like it) since they require a video monitor to manipulate the “Play” menu; an OPPO is an excellent choice. A disappointment to many here was the DMP has difficulty (I’m being nice) playing Bluray and DVD-A, so that option is not on the table, at least in the near term.

I too have a DSMP. I use it for SACD and CD only ( because that’s all it will really play ). I have an Oppo UDP-205. I really have not played anything in it other than movies. I am so thrilled with my DSMP performance for music discs that I just have not explored much with the Oppo. I am sure it will not be as impressive!

I hope maybe PSA will find a way to play blueray audio discs without the video? But I would not want that if there was ANY degree of audio loss from where we are now with the player. So that must be that hang up maybe?

I thought it was interesting that the Oppo UDP-205 was used as a DAC and Pre for this review of the M700’s. https://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/1138-ps-audio-stellar-m700-mono-power-amplifiers

Well Oppo supplied the disc drives for the DSMP that PSA uses. So I am not surprised. Oppo is a great unit for the money.

Getting the DMP to play Blu-ray is a very remote possibility. The root of the problem is most (almost all?) Blu-ray require a video screen to select play options. Paul has said “no video output will be used with the DMP”, so you can’t play most discs. The only possible solution I can think of is there are “special” buttons on Blu-ray player remotes that supposedly are quick access to certain functions. I read somewhere that one of the buttons could select the layer you wanted to listen to, e.g. stereo or multi-channel. There still wouldn’t be a way to change tracks, but at least more discs could potentially be played. I recommend no one assume this will happen, the chances are very slim.