Audio reproduction quality is the result of a system of components. Assuming one buys a top tier SACD player like the Luxman D-10x and inserts it in a system of similarly distinguished components there will be a very large improvement in quality compared to one of the less expensive disc spinners you mentioned. If you make the same comparison in a system of lower quality components you’d question why anyone would spend that much money on a high end SACD player. When I replaced my Luxman D-05 SACD player with a Luxman D-08u in my main system I was more than pleasantly surprised at how much better it sounded. When you put the D-08u in my second system that costs 1/4 as much as my main system the differences aren’t as great although you can definitely hear that it sounds better than the Arcam FMJ CD37 SACD player I use in that system. The audible improvements between a $2500-$4000 player and a $15,000-$20,000 probably aren’t proportional to the difference in cost but that’s true in pretty much every component category.
The correct answer will depend on your situation.
The 2 Sony models you mention above read the discs and send the output digitally.
The Denon can send digital audio out and also has a built in DAC that can send out an analog signal thru rca connectors.
The functionality of the Luxman is similar to that of the Denon, but also has XLR analog outputs in addition to rca outputs, plus digital outputs.
It depends on what you’re connecting the SACD player to and how you’re going to connect it.
The Denon and Luxman are more expensive for higher quality players plus a high quality DAC included in one box.
Thanks for the replies. I am 25 years old and I am new to this big audiophile family. Now I am slowly collecting the Vinyls and SACD, but I dont have any knowledge and experience yet in choosing the turntable, players, amplifier and etc. I will visit to the Audiophile store on almost every weekend and have some great conversation with the seller there. The Audio-Technica AT-LP2022 seems interesting to me, if anyone here is using this turntable or have some experience with this brand, please feel free to share with me your thoughts . Thanks
Sometimes you find a component that “punches above its weight.” I don’t know if it’s in your budget, but the Marantz SACD 30n ($3000) sounds amazing as an SACD player, a CD player, and a DAC. I’ve read more than one reviewer claiming that its sound quality is equal to $20,000+ players.
If it was my money I’d go Denon. I’m contemplating an SACD player so this isn’t just a hypothetical response.
At your age in 1986 I bought my first and only CD player, a Denon DCD1100 if I remember correctly. It gave up the ghost just a couple of years ago. The whole industry, Denon and Sony included, is very different today than 1986. Given my finances at the time both were aspirational brands. Today both are players in the budget/cheap gear game but their higher end gear is still well regarded.
As others have mentioned part of the question might be what functions do you need the player to perform. Does it need to do more than accurately read and communicate the ones and zeros? Do you need an onboard DAC or do you have an external DAC, etc.
I’m guessing Sony builds a good drive but at this price point I think there’s a lot of truth to “getting what you paid for”. I’d be concerned about durability, mechanical noise and such.
Connecting the dots I wonder if the DCD1700 uses the same transport system (motor, lens, tracking) as the Marantz 30n. IF so the Denon would provide the same quality core without the added features of the well regarded Marantz.
I also thought I’d read somewhere on this forum that the Perfect Wave SACD transport uses the Marantz transport. IF so that provides some insight into PS Audio’s opinion of Marantz component quality, and maybe Denon quality by extension.
Best of luck. Enjoy the ride!
Assuming you have the budget, I strongly advocate from personal experience investing the first time and possibly only time in the best component you can afford. I’ve been down this path many times, attempting to save money (or so I conned myself into believing) with a less expensive component. To wind up long term spending a lot more money on tweaks, etc. to make a component I had reservations about sound … maybe … as good as the more expensive piece I really wanted. Or, selling the cheaper piece (at a loss) to buy the better component I actually wanted. I adore the Luxman sound, which is classic Japanese high-end. Liquid and built to world class standards. Were it my money I’d plunk it down on the D-10X and enjoy it forever. Seriously.
Set a stretched budget and scrimp and save to get the best you can afford.
I would also add that an upgrade plan can be invaluable. Make a list of wants, needs and performance objectives, and work the plan. It is a very satisfying approach and will save you money in the long term (by helping to avoid impulse purchases and “wrong turns”).
FWIW, if you already have a transport or CD player that has a digital output, then I would set an aspirational budget to get the best, secondhand DAC you can afford.
Outside of my speakers and the room correction software offered by my preamplifier, my DAC has had the most impact on my system’s performance.