SACD/DVD-A player


Active Member
Not sure whether this should be here or in the dvd section...

I'm interested picking up a player to play my SACDs (stereo and multi-channel) and DVD-A disc and would also like it to be a good CD player also - so looking for a few suggestions please :D

After many searches I'm not sure the best thing to look for - perhaps an older top end universal DVD player (am happy to buy secondhand :)). Looking at a number of the more hi-fi based players they don't seem to do DVD-A and a number are just stereo SACD and would like multi-channel

The current Oppo blu-ray player gets some great reviews but I don't really need a blu-ray player as we use our PS3 for that so if I can save some money to put towards a few more discs that would be better :smashin:
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Distinguished Member
The cheapest way to get both multichannel SACD and DVD-A if the Oppo BDP-95 is over budget, is to pick up a legacy high end universal DVD player. Since such a player can't play BD, the price such a device can fetch is quite reasonable. Two obvious UK recommendations are the Arcam DV139 and the Linn Unidisk.
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Active Member
Thanks for the response Mark; I did find the Arcam DV139 on my searches last night - looks like a nice player and after having a few nice Arcam CD players in my past I could be tempted

Though possibly at around £500 a little more than I was hoping to spend, and the Linn one seems like it would probably be even more :) - also I don't know if my current setup would get the most out of these...

Any suggestions on something for around the £200 mark; how are the older Denon 3930 players and their older generations?


Distinguished Member
The Denon DVD-3930[CI] will be fine: it has 5.1 analogue out, and your Yamaha RX_V3900 has 7.1 analogue in.


Novice Member
The Cambridge Audio DV99 also does SACD and DVD-A, will output DSD and PCM over HDMI and is reasonable (but not excellent) for CD playback.

You'd probably only find one secondhand though. RS did have some for clearance at very cheap (about £30) prices but they all seem to have gone.

The CA is better than the cheaper Pioneers in my opinion.


Active Member
Thanks for the recommendations - a large selection to try and find some reviews of :)

Seems like there are quite a few issues with regards the Cambridge Audio going wrong - so may prefer to go for an older Oppo 980H maybe as that does DSD for SACD

Anyone thoughts over using HDMI or analogue out?

Out of the recommendations can anyone comment on the audio capabilities specifically?

Thanks again :)


Distinguished Member
With HDMI, performance is dependent on your receiver. You will also need to check that the player supports multichannel SACD over HDMI as not all players do.

As is logical, those legacy universal players with the best audio performance and greatest reliability are those that manage to fetch the highest price, whereas those with lesser performance have trouble fetching more than a few pounds, as illustrated in post #5. That's why you found the Arcam DV-139 at ca £500. In the end, you'll get what you pay for.
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With older universal players, many won't have HDMI out, so stereo or 5.1 analogue output will be your only option. None will output SACD or DVD-A over SPDIF. Redbook CD's yes, but nothing hi-res.

Those that do have HDMI output, only the posher, more recent ones will output the SACD's DSD stream over HDMI (this was added in HDMI v1.2. Older, less posh models will convert to PCM first, then output that over HDMI. That said, cheaper player that output to 5.1 analogue, usually convert to DSD to PCM internally, then chuck it through their standard DAC's for the analogue out... DVD-A discs are in PCM, so much of this is moot for them.

Thing is, only the posher receiver/surround processors can decode a DSD stream from HDMI. Can't see any mention of it on the spec's for your Yammy. Still HDMI PCM may still be better than 5.1 analogue output, as you'll be able to use the bass management/speaker setup from your Yammy, rather than rely on what the player can do. Your Yammy may have better DAC section that cheaper players too.


Active Member
Thanks for the extra info Mark&Arfa - more reading to do (that's all part of the fun when you want something new :))

Looks like my Yamaha 3900 should support DSD over HDMI from a couple of pages I found on a google search; though whether that's something I need :) - though that was something I noted the Oppo 980H does support

From a few reviews and threads I don't know if the Denon's are worth persuing as it sounds like quite a few have laser issues

I'll take a look and see what turns up on the classifieds and the bay - but any more recommendations are welcome :)


Distinguished Member
Your Yamaha fully supports multichannel DSD over HDMI; full details on the support and options available can be found in the manual.

Since HDMI 1.2 is the minimal level needed, older players can't stream DSD over HDMI. The main advantage of streaming DSD over HDMI is that it enables multichannel SACD replay from more budget level players. Such players can omit mulitchannel analogue output and DSD processing (e.g. bass management, channel mixing), deferring it to the sink. Sony's SCD-XA5400ES SACD/CD player is an example of such a product, but since it doesn't do DVD-A, it isn't relevant to you.


Don't the really cheap Sony bluray players also do DSD over HDMI? Ones like the BDP-S370? But yeah, no DVD-A support.


Don't the really cheap Sony bluray players also do DSD over HDMI? Ones like the BDP-S370? But yeah, no DVD-A support.

SACD Players with Pure DSD Digital Output

  • Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD [HDMI]
  • Cambridge Audio DVD99 [clone of Oppo DV-980H] [HDMI]
  • Denon DVD-2930 [DENON Link]
  • Denon DVD-2930CI [DENON Link]
  • Denon DVD-3910 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394, DENON Link]
  • Denon DVD-3930 [DENON Link]
  • Denon DVD-3930CI [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394, DENON Link]]
  • Denon DVD-5900 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394, DENON Link]
  • Denon DVD-5910 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394, DENON Link]
  • Denon DVD-A11 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394, DENON Link]
  • Esoteric SA-60 [i.LINK]
  • Integra DPS-6.9 [HDMI]
  • Marantz DV9600 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Onkyo DV-SP506 [HDMI]
  • Oppo DV-980H [HDMI]
  • Oppo BDP-80 [HDMI]
  • Oppo BDP-83 [HDMI]
  • Oppo BDP-83SE [HDMI]
  • Philips DVP5996K [HDMI]
  • Pioneer DV-47Ai [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394] [definitely pure DSD over i.LINK]
  • Pioneer DV-48AV [HDMI]
  • Pioneer DV-49AV [HDMI]
  • Pioneer DV-58AV [HDMI]
  • Pioneer DV-59AVi [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394] [warning: there is rumor that this [and possibly other other the early i.LINK Pioneer players] actually converts to PCM before outputting through i.LINK. the only way to confirm is an owner of this player seeing what their connected i.LINK receiver says.]
  • Pioneer DV-79AVi [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Pioneer DV-600AV [HDMI]
  • Pioneer DV-610 [clone of Oppo DV-980H] [HDMI]
  • Pioneer DV-757Ai [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Pioneer DV-868AVi [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Pioneer DV-989 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394] [definitely pure DSD over i.LINK]
  • Pioneer DV-S969AVi [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Sony DVP-NS9100ES [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Sony SCD-XA5400ES [HDMI]
  • Sony SCD-XA9000ES [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]
  • Yamaha DVD-S2500 [i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394]

Unsure - Haven't Been Able to Confirm Whether it Offers Pure DSD Digital Output

  • Yamaha DV-S5860 [it has i.LINK output but can't find any info on whether it *does DSD* through that i.LINK output!]

Just a Random Accumulative List of SACD Players which are Confirmed to NOT Have a Digital DSD Output Option (in case you're wondering)

  • Denon DVD-1940CI [Despite having DENON Link, it doesn't allow DSD bitstream output]
  • Denon DVD-2200 [only DSD->analog output]
  • Denon DVD-2900 [only DSD->analog output]
  • Denon DVD-2930 [only HDMI 1.1]
  • Denon DVD-3930 [only HDMI 1.1]
  • Marantz DV7001 [only HDMI 1.1]
  • Marantz DV8400 [only analog]
  • Marantz DV9500 [only HDMI 1.0 or 1.1]
  • Pioneer DV-696 [only HDMI 1.1]
  • Pioneer DV-46AV [HDMI 1.2, but still doesn't support DSD over HDMI - this was one of the first HDMI 1.2 disc players, if not the first one, give it some pity]


List of SACD Players with Pure DSD Digital Output - SurroundSound | Google Groups

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