Originally Posted by bobpaule
For SACD, if you were to use DSD only, the humble Oppo DV-980H will serve you very well.
I have a DHC-9.9 in the basement right now and my greatest dilemma is whether to stay DSD and upgrade to the DHC-80.3 or move to player decoding and get a BDP-95. I think that the right move would be the DHC-80.3, the DTR-70.3 i put in the living room just makes me want to keep listening to classical even when streamed from a humble Roku M2000 and then all the bells and whistles
I am not totally clear on whether you use the 980 with DSD via analog or via HDMI. I do believe that bitstreaming DSD into an Integra via HDMI sounds considerably better than PCM converted by the player.
My 980 is now doing DVD-only duty in the bedroom because first a BDP-83 then a 93 displaced it. It did serve me very well, but the 83 did sound noticeably better than the 980 on SACD via HDMI. I have not done an in-depth comparison of the 83 vs. 93, but I got the 93 because of video streaming and the eSata port used with a high-capacity hard drive, but not with SACD, of course. I have not perceived a big difference on SACD between the 83 and 93, otherwise, via HDMI.
As far as analog out of a 980, 83 or 93 is concerned via pure DSD-analog, they are distinctly inferior to my ears vs. HDMI into the Integra. I have tried this. Not only that, but pure DSD allows for no Mch speaker distance correction, no bass management and no Audyssey. So, pure DSD would be a major downgrade to my sound. Even in stereo, I hear no advantage to it, only major disadvantage. I seriously doubt that the DACs's in an Oppo 95 would change that.
It's kind of crazy, in my view, to use an Integra as only an analog volume control. I doubt it is as good in that regard as a Parasound P7, which is pure analog and slightly cheaper than an 80.3. The Integras are digital controllers first and foremost, and most of their cost goes into their digital capabilities and features, like DSP and Audyssey. Analog may be decent on the Integra, but you are bypassing most of what you paid for.
I have heard other pure-DSD systems. One in Boston used an EMM Meitner player DAC - about as good as it gets - with Parasound JC-1 amps an 5 huge Sound Labs full range electrostats in a treated room. It was very good sounding, but only slightly better in a few ways than mine. I would not trade my sound for that, even ignoring the huge cost difference. The bass, in particular, was distinctly inferior to my Audyssey Pro-EQ'ed bass with XT/32. Other pure DSD systems I have heard have just not measured up. It was not close.
But, it's your choice. Personally, I think analog is a step backwards.