The Truth of the Philips SACD1000

Okay, everyone. I just bought a SACD1000 and I was expecting it would have the ability to replace my current Digital SetUp, a Philips 921 (Transport) & a MSB Link II (DAC) as to simplify my Digital SetUp. I have burned it in for 100 hrs. My result with SIDE-BY-SIDE comparing with my Philips 921 (as a transport) and a MSB LINK II (DAC), is, the MSB totally blew the new SACD1000 away! MSB apparently produce higher resolution and more accurate Hi-Freq than SACD1000. Midrange would be warmer for the SACD1000, but the soundstage yet is more shallow and narrow than my MSB Link II; too forward, forget about the word "deep". Low-end bass would be a little bit slow and over-weight; yet doesn't even go that low, extremely low-freq disappeared! Speed-wise, the MSB is a lot faster and punchier than the SACD1000, a lot cleaner and well balance as well. The fact that it doesn't feeds PCM digital out for audio CD made me stuck from parting it with a quality out-board DAC.
As a $400.00 Stand-Alone CD Player, it would be a Class B. I don't know why the hack it was rated Class B in Stereophile, as I said, maybe the total general rating would be Class B because it's cheap price and compatibilities, but it's too far behind from MSB Link II DAC which is rated Class B also. The SACD1000, however, it's a Class C to me.
Video-wise it uses only 10bit video chip and it doesn't have Progressive Output. SIDE-BY-SIDE comparing with my Philips DVDQ50, result in lack of functions and picture resolution. The DVDQ50 apparently produce a more natural, better contrast, and higher resoltion picture. Well, you have to think about that the DVDQ50 is a Stand-Alone State-Of-Art DVD Player "ONLY". All the money you paid went to DVD, of cause it produce such a state-of-art video picture. Unlike the SACD1000, for $100 extra it went to alot of other places like SACD/DVD/CDR/CDRW compatibilty, a bigger power supply, a bigger chassis and multi-channel and a lot more component inside the unit...
I don't think any of you has done a SID-BY-SIDE comparing, what I have here will tell you how good/bad the SACD1000s sound-------Good and warm midrange with limited hi & extreme-low frequence. Sounds not as accurate and fast (at least the same class MSB Link II has done it...) Fair picture quality with lack of progreesive scan and PCM digital output will make you feel like hell from upgrading. Function-wise it would be a DVD player with very little functions. Extremely well built as in construction. Features Marantz HRAM Audio Output Module. However, as a $400.00 player, you get DVD playing, and Multi-Channel for free. So, no matter what, it's worth the price somehow.
As a excellent redbook player, I would suggest you look elsewhere. If you have a tight space or you only have a limited amount of money to spend, this would be the player for you! Single chassis, plays SACD/DVD/CDR/CDRW and produce "okay" sound from it. My personal conclusion with the SACD1000 would be:

An "Okay" DVD player with SACD Multi-Channel as an extra.

I was going to replace it with my Philips 921 (Transport) and MSB Link II (DAC), but I think I have to keep them now. I am starting to look for a Marantz SA-14, SA-8260 or maybe I will go for Sony SCD-1. I am keeping it for my secondary system. I couldn't upgrade, because of it's lack of PCM digital output for audio CDs and it's lack of progressive video out. Maybe I will sell it? To me, it's a Class C for Audio & Video and a Class B for it's value.

Many of you know that the Philips is coming out with a new SACD/DVD player called the DVD963SA. I have seen both the inside of the two units. The SACD1000 features the Marantz HRAM Module, but the DVD963SA doesn't. Both the power supply and the electronic component inside both the unit are far different. The DVD963SA looks like a cheap player (it's weight half the SACD1000), it's power transformer is the size of a thumb (Super-Tiny), no big capacitors for power storage, no Marantz HRAM module, no amazing good components inside at all. Totally a mass production DVD player. The good things could be:

**It has progressive 12bit/108Mhz
**It feed PCM out for audio CD (As I was told)
**It's video circuit can be shut off while playing audio disc, to lower interferences and dissortion
**It has a newer firmware, of cause...
**It upsamples to 24/192

If you people are waiting for a DVD963SA instead of buying the SACD1000, then I think it's wrong. Video and function wise the DVD963SA would definitely be better, but audio-wise I don't know if the DVD963SA will perform better with such a tiny power supply and lack of Marantz HRAM Module. Email me if you people are interested in further discussion with me about these units and if you have any questions. Good luck AV hunting!
MSB Link DAC II blows away new Philips SACD1000? Having
owned a Link DAC II,Link DAC III and a Full Nelson with upsampling and feed via a MSB network interface, I can only say you must have a defective SACD 1000 or it's still not broken in.

The high-end opens up after break-in. The bass on the MSB DACs is impressive, but not very accurate. I find no lack of deep bass and the midbass performance is outstanding.

I didn't buy it as a transport,a video player or because of a magazine rating. After reviewing the circuit diagramsand speaking with some folks that have done some mods, I think it has great potential.
Just for starters, everyone using one of these players should have the filter switch in the back set to position 3 ( 50 KHz ). This extends the extreme top end performance of this unit as there is a measurable slope above 10 KHz if running in filter 1 or 2 ( 40 KHz ) mode. You should also be running the left and right outputs from the top row of the multi-channel jacks, NOT the "standard" left and right stereo output jacks. Using what one would normally think of as being the "normal 2 channel jacks" introduces increased high frequency filtering into the circuit. This eats up the top octave of treble and minimize what "air" the 1000 is capable of. As such, avoid those jacks for anything but a feed into your TV set, etc... Just doing those two things and putting a decent power cord onto the unit lets it perform reasonably well.

Don't get me wrong as i'm not saying that this is an "end all" piece in terms of the search for digital performance goes. Not by any means. As compared to an MSB though, this unit kills the MSB on extreme bottom end oomph and definition, has a far more liquid sounding midrange with greater body and warmth and lacks the upper mid / lower treble glare that i've noticed on most stock DAC II's and III's. The high end is not as pronounced on the SACD 1000 as it is on the MSB, but i think the 1000 sounds a little more natural and not quite as brittle as the MSB does way up top.

With some modifications done to the existing circuitry, i have no doubt in my mind that this unit could be quite good. When my brother first listened to it, he asked if i was running an external DAC. I responded that i was running the player by itself in stock form. I then asked him why he wanted to know and his response was that the naturalness of presentation and ability to retrieve detail with no lack of grain or glare was quite good, especially for a brand new player with very limited time on it. As such, he had initially thought i was running a DAC. Needless to say, he was pretty impressed with how this thing sounded.

I'm currently using Magnan IV interconnects ( haven't swapped them out yet ) to feed the signal from the 1000 to my Pre / Pro. I just switched from a TG Audio HSRi Generation II power cord to a CVH model ( Version II i think ) to see how that works out. I'll use that one for a while and then i'm going to try a cheaper Cardas power cord that i have just to see how that does a little later. I've also taken the factory feet off and am using three Mod Squad Soft Shoes for footers. I'm going to try this out, then try some Tiptoes and then try a combo of Soft Shoes and Tiptoes.

Other than that, keep in mind that these units are NOT grounded via the the three pin IEC jack. While it does accept a standard power cord, there is no internal grounding to the plug on the chassis. If you want to ground this unit, you have to ground the chassis. This is mentioned in the manual. As i mentioned above, READ YOUR MANUAL if you want to know how to obtain good results from this unit. Sean
MSB Link DAC II blew away the Philips SACD 1000? that is really funny to me, like somebody mentioned above you may have a broken unit or you're not using the multi channel outputs. What is the rest of your system again?
I have the SACD 1000 on my hometheater rig and to say the least I'm pretty happy with it both SACD and redbook.
It's not in the same league as my EMC 1 on my stereo rig but it's not bad for the price it's going lately, and it's definitely better than the MSB Link DAC III with upsampling.
With it's video I can't comment as I have mine running thru a Quadscan ELite HD outputting 720p, now that is awesome but probably belongs to a different thread.
Okay, I have the filter on "Normal". One thing though, I have a Marantz PM-17 Integrated in my Secondary System (NOT Super Audio Version) and a pair of B&W speakers. Both the amp & the speakers ONLY goes up to 20Khz max. If I pop the filter to position 3 "FULL RANGE-NO FILTER", are my tweeters gonna be fried as what Philips saids in the Manual? Or my Marantz is gonns burn out because it cant handle the heavy EXTREME-HIGH-FREQ signal? PLease advise. After an answer was given by someone who tried it, I will burn it in for another 400 hrs, wat for my new review!
Sean seems to be "the MAN" as far as I can tell here so please keep posting your observations as you uncover them. I too plunged forward with the 399 - Tweeter 1000 giveaway and find ; redbook is only acceptable , video is horrible but sacd is wonderful . The unit has only 375 hours real-time break-in so I am premature on final conclusions. I would assume MOST people would default to the stereo outs on the bottom so the confusion is understandable but you should ALWAYS take a moment to read a manual. I am craving concrete reports on anyone doing the mod to this unit and doing a side by side comparison. Its 2100 00 and that puts my cost at about a used sac-1 . Hummmmmmm. Not an easy choice.