Question UHD BluRay and SACD player recommendation

jwlawler

Active Member
I have a Denon X3200W with an Atmos speaker set-up and a Samsung RU7020 55" UHD TV. I am already enjoying the system with material from Netflix and Disney but I would like the ability to play UHD discs. I don't want to break the bank so I am not expecting a high end player. I don't expect to buy many UHD discs as there are few films that I like enough to justify the extra cost.

One specific requirement is that it can play multichannel SACD discs. I have a few already but I have only heard the CD version.

I am assuming that any player will play old DVDs, non-UHD BluRays, audio BluRays and CDs.

My current player is a Panasonic BD35. I can play some regular BluRays with Atmos soundtracks using bitstream.

Being able to play HDDVDs would be nice but is probably dreamland. My old Toshiba EP35 is dying.

I have no interest in gaming.

My research so far seems to suggest that my SACD requirement limits me to Sony.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Pioneer LX500 is a superb SACD player. They are hard to come by, so if you see one jump on it. Couple showing up here:

Pioneer UDP-LX500 BluRay Player | Trade in Available | Nintronics.co.uk - Nintronics

Harrow Audio ~ Pioneer UDP-LX500 (harrowaudiohifi.co.uk)

Then you have the bigger brother the outstanding LX800 and there is one on our classifieds that's been hanging around for a bit. May be worth a cheeky offer.

(1) For Sale - Pioneer UDP-LX800 high end 4K player/SACD | AVForums

There is always the used market and the Denon DBT-3313 is also a very good player but not as good as the Pioneer. If you are happy with used this would certainly make better player than the Sony.

Denon Blu-ray DBT3313 | eBay
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
The Pioneer LX500 is a superb SACD player. They are hard to come by, so if you see one jump on it. Couple showing up here:

Pioneer UDP-LX500 BluRay Player | Trade in Available | Nintronics.co.uk - Nintronics

Harrow Audio ~ Pioneer UDP-LX500 (harrowaudiohifi.co.uk)

Then you have the bigger brother the outstanding LX800 and there is one on our classifieds that's been hanging around for a bit. May be worth a cheeky offer.

(1) For Sale - Pioneer UDP-LX800 high end 4K player/SACD | AVForums

There is always the used market and the Denon DBT-3313 is also a very good player but not as good as the Pioneer. If you are happy with used this would certainly make better player than the Sony.

Denon Blu-ray DBT3313 | eBay
Unfortunately the Denon does not satisfy @jwlawler requirement of "I would like the ability to play UHD discs". The Sony X700, X800M2 are thus the only choices reasonable priced ones available apart from the Pioneers (Sony X1000ES is way over priced for what it offers and is almost at LX500 price level).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Unfortunately the Denon does not satisfy @jwlawler requirement of "I would like the ability to play UHD discs". The Sony X700, X800M2 are thus the only choices reasonable priced ones available apart from the Pioneers (Sony X1000ES is way over priced for what it offers and is almost at LX500 price level).
Did forget that. Smitten by SACD you see. Still the Denon may be worth a punt if there's room in the rack then get a cheap 4K player?

I've got very few multi channel SACDs and most of mine are stereo and a couple simply mono and even those multi channels have a stereo DSD layer. For that reason I have two SACD players, a Pioneer LX500 and in the main stereo system a Denon DCD 2500. It's the Denon that invariably gets played.

Unfortunately it is a very bad time to go looking for multi channel players as there are so few new ones around. A Sony may be the only option for a one box solution.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
Thanks both.

I don't have a strong need for a new player at all but a fancy for UHD and SACD ability. So, one that could do both would be easier to justify.

However, since I have just taken the old HDDVD player out of the rack as it is close to useless, I have a gap. The old BluRay player could be replaced with two if the total price was right. Second hand might be the way to go.

The multi-channel aspect of the SACD player is important to me. Although I mostly listen to classical music and not a lot happens in the surround channels, they still add a noticeable atmosphere which I like. My dream is to be able to close my eyes and imagine that the performers are in the room with me. The extra channels help with that.

I have just bought an old DVD of Bach organ music with a 5.1 track. The picture quality might not be great but I am hoping that the sound is, particularly that the low organ notes will come out well with the help of my subwoofer.

In a rare case of non-classical music, I also have a DVD of Queen's greatest hits. The video quality is poor but the audio quality is very good and it makes good use of the extra channels.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member

gibbsy

Moderator
I mostly listen to classical music
Classical music has embraced multi channel SACD and it is a great way to listen to that genre. Bonus is that you don't get ripped off with pricing unlike poor saps like me who mortgage the house for one out of print rock album. Only joking, the wife is standing behind me.

As I said previously, it's a bad time to go looking for quality UD players.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member

jwlawler

Active Member
It seems that my TV does not support Dolby Vision so maybe no point in spending that extra £40.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Well to my knowledge that is the only difference, so no need to pad it out.
Not quite the 500 drops the streaming apps that the 700 has, though presumably most people should have that covered elsewhere. The 500 is purely disc based without any form of network functionality. I’ve had them both and much preferred the uncluttered interface and smaller form factor of the 500.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
Not quite the 500 drops the streaming apps that the 700 has, though presumably most people should have that covered elsewhere. The 500 is purely disc based without any form of network functionality. I’ve had them both and much preferred the uncluttered interface and smaller form factor of the 500.

Thanks for the update. I don't use the apps on my X700 as I have numerous other devices which support various streaming apps. Purchased the X700 purely for it's DV capability.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
Not quite the 500 drops the streaming apps that the 700 has, though presumably most people should have that covered elsewhere. The 500 is purely disc based without any form of network functionality. I’ve had them both and much preferred the uncluttered interface and smaller form factor of the 500.

Thanks for the further information. I don't need the apps as the TV has plenty and I also have a 4K FireStick which mostly duplicates the TV. I don't need them triplicated. I don't think that my TV has DV so the 500 would seem to suit me.

I just bought my first UHD disk, Bohemian Rhapsody, as it was just £10. It came with a regular BluRay which I have just tested. It already looks good so it should be a good test of UHD. An added incentive is that the UHD has an Atmos sound track but the regular BluRay has a mere DTSHD 7.1 track.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
An added incentive is that the UHD has an Atmos sound track but the regular BluRay has a mere DTSHD 7.1 track.
The Atmos soundtrack is very very good, especially the concert scenes. If you want an Atmos soundtrack for music then Hans Zimmer Live in Prague will knock your socks off. Amazing.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
The Atmos soundtrack is very very good, especially the concert scenes. If you want an Atmos soundtrack for music then Hans Zimmer Live in Prague will knock your socks off. Amazing.

Thanks. My player is due to arrive tomorrow by 10pm. If it really arrives that late then I probably won't resist the temptation to play with it and I'll have a late night.

The picture was already very good on the BluRay so it will be interesting to see whether I will be able to see the betterness of the UHD disc.

Mostly, I am into classical music but there is not a lot to tempt me there. I am considering Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.

There are few movies that I like enough to want to buy the disc. I already have most of these on regular BluRay so justifying rebuying them in UHD may be hard.

So, I have upgraded my player for the benefit of maybe just a few UHD and SACD discs. I am using the lack of any holidays last year as an excuse for some A/V treats.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Going by that statement then the classics are well served by SACD and not as expensive as rock albums are. Worth having a look at the link below as Dutton do produce some very good sounding SACDs something that classics sound so good on.

I've just had a copy of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, a Japanese SHM SACD. drop through the letter box and had to order it from the US via Amazon. Not the most expensive SACD I've bought at £39.

Welcome to the Dutton Vocalion website
 

jwlawler

Active Member
Going by that statement then the classics are well served by SACD and not as expensive as rock albums are. Worth having a look at the link below as Dutton do produce some very good sounding SACDs something that classics sound so good on.

I've just had a copy of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, a Japanese SHM SACD. drop through the letter box and had to order it from the US via Amazon. Not the most expensive SACD I've bought at £39.

Welcome to the Dutton Vocalion website

I have one set of hybrid SACDs that I am keen try to try. I have had them for some time but only heard the CD layer: Beethoven piano sonatas. If they sound significantly better then I will look for more.

I already have a few audio only BluRays. These sound very good.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I have one set of hybrid SACDs that I am keen try to try. I have had them for some time but only heard the CD layer: Beethoven piano sonatas. If they sound significantly better then I will look for more.

I already have a few audio only BluRays. These sound very good.
I'll be surprised if you don't notice a wider and deeper soundstage with better instrument separation. If you like Art Garfunkel then Dutton produce two very good multi channel SACDs of two of his albums.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
I'll be surprised if you don't notice a wider and deeper soundstage with better instrument separation. If you like Art Garfunkel then Dutton produce two very good multi channel SACDs of two of his albums.
Do you mean the SACD layer v the CD layer? I hope that the SACD is going to sound better.

Or do you mean the SACD v the BluRay audio discs? I won't be able to do any direct comparison in these cases. The BluRays are good so if the SACDs are similar then I will be happy.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Sorry, yes SACD layer, even the stereo one on a hybrid disc. Blu ray I consider to be better than multi channel SACD because of HD audio element. Shame it's not taken off and seems to be dying the same slow death that DVD-A has. SACD for classics is alive and kicking.

Multi channel SACD players also seem to be taking a kicking yet the stereo market is full of some stunning players.
 

jwlawler

Active Member
Sorry, yes SACD layer, even the stereo one on a hybrid disc. Blu ray I consider to be better than multi channel SACD because of HD audio element. Shame it's not taken off and seems to be dying the same slow death that DVD-A has. SACD for classics is alive and kicking.

Multi channel SACD players also seem to be taking a kicking yet the stereo market is full of some stunning players.

It is a shame but people that care about quality more than quantity or convenience seem to be a small market. Once I have my player tested with the discs that I already have, I'll search for more.

It is a shame that multi-channel SACD players are hard to find as I feel that the extra channels add a lot to my enjoyment.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It is a shame that multi-channel SACD players are hard to find as I feel that the extra channels add a lot to my enjoyment.
I agree. I'm more than happy with my Pioneer LX500 but they are in very short supply because of Covid and no doubt parent company Onkyo's ongoing financial problems. With SACD only about a fifth of my collection is multi channel. Not got many blu ray audio or DVD-A. Most other discs are video concerts including the amazing Hans Zimmer Atmos disc.
 
Being able to play HDDVDs would be nice but is probably dreamland. My old Toshiba EP35 is dying.
I'm so glad I backed-up all my HD DVD movies several years ago (using a LG GGC-H20L ROM drive) because just about all of the disc's have delaminated/rotted and don't play at all now...
 

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