Originally Posted by swanlee
I know the PS3 plays SACD but I would not use that as a replacement for my pioneer 49AI Elite player plus it would leave my 50 DVD-A's useless.
I've heard the PS3 in stores and they are loud, much louder than my 360. I also question the cd audio quality of the PS3.
I want a BLU-RAY player that delivers high end quality CD/SACD/DVD-A, playback
I'm happy with the 360 and the HD-DVD add-on and do not want another game console. I would not use the 360 for my primary mode of audio playback either.
I'm looking for a high end replacement to my Pioneer Elite CD/SACD/DVD-A players that plays BLU-RAY as well but is considered great quality on the audio playback side.
I had similar concerns as yours. I had a Meridian 598 DVD-A player and Meridian 861V4 Processor which (to put it politely) would stomp a Lexicon/Pioneer setup on DVD-A (no extra a to d and d to a conversion that your setup would require). I decided to test the DTS tracks on the same DVD-A's as the MLP's. They sound just as good. Really, I tested every DVD-A I had, I have about 15 or so. Every nuance was captured, the instrument placement was identical, the bass was identical. I did this before I purchased the PS3, because like you I had cabinet limitations and personally would love a single player that does all. So I sold the Meridian player and bought the PS3. However, the PS3 is not a great CD player. Not because it sounds bad, because I refuse to use the TV to listen to navigate CD's. I also don't care for slot type loading mechanisms.
So I purchased Squeeze Box for playing CD's. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread. To be honest I get more out of it than the PS3 (which I do enjoy). Since getting the Squeeze Box I may not even pursue the SACD capabilities of the PS3 (requires an HDMI card from Meridian which I suspect will cost more than $2,000). I have put ALL my DVD-A's (DTS or AC3 form), CD's, Music DVD's, DTS CD's on the SqueezeBox. I enjoy my music more than I ever have. I just let it sit on Random the whole weekend, you may not even know what music you have.
I reserve the PS3 for DVD, Blu-Ray and occasional games (which I also never considered before) and the SqueezeBox for all music. If you can't rip it, I won't buy it.
SqueezeBox is cheap and doesn't take much room either.
P.S. I'm not sure if all DVD-A's support DVD mode (598 does and Panasonic BD does) but if you can try switching it to DVD mode and listen to the DTS tracks I'll bet the sound even better on your setup because you'll cut out the D to A and A to D. Of course not all DVD-A have DTS but many do. The AC3 is very very good too.