I have many multichannel SACD’s so I was intrigued by the Player’s instructions on playing these disks. I’ve tried many multichannel players, starting with Sony, several Lexicon’s and each of the Oppos’ (including the 203) and ending up with an Ayre DX-5 (upgraded). The Ayre was the best, but, when comparing the Memory Player with 2 channel SACD’s to the same disks in the Ayre, the Memory Player was notably clearer--especially in the mid-bass--and offered a deeper soundstage. Adding a Directstream Jr to play the Center and Sub channels made a much larger difference. For example:
· Percussion instruments are much clearer, and in orchestra recordings, properly placed and sized. Solo voices with orchestra were precisely placed—almost like looking down the singer’s throat.
· String sections are now truly sections, occupying the full space between the center and main speakers. On Hovhannes Mysterious Mountain (Telarc), a work I know well, I noticed for the first time that the violins are separated.
· On complex recordings, all the instruments are clearer. On the Sonoma brass and organ disk (Sony) I could hear the organ contribution even when the brass were letting loose.
· Bass was more tuneful and better balanced. Telarc bass drums did not stick out but instead were a rock-solid foundation. String basses on jazz recordings were clear up and down the scale.
· Instrument levels were broader—softs nearly inaudible and louds really loud and uncongested.
Overall, I’d say the biggest differences were in clarity, transient response, and better depth. Definitely worth investigating, especially if you have a unused equipment to trade-in.