The 2000 Products of the Year Digital

Digital Source of 2000

Sony SCD-1 Super Audio CD player (review) ($5000; reviewed by Jonathan Scull & Michael Fremer, Vol.22 No.11, November 1999)

Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):
Accuphase DP-75V CD player (review) ($11,000; reviewed by Jonathan Scull, Vol.23 No.7, July 2000)
Arcam FMJ CD23 CD player (review) ($1999; reviewed by Lonnie Brownell, Vol.23 No.7, July 2000)
Burmester Reference Line 969 CD transport & 970 DAC ($60,500; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.22 No.12, December 1999)
California Audio Labs Sigma II D/A processor ($750; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.23 No.7, July 2000)
Marantz SA-1 Super Audio CD player (review) ($7500; reviewed by Jonathan Scull, Vol.23 No.9, September 2000)
Mark Levinson No.30.6 Reference D/A processor (review) ($16,950; reviewed by John Atkinson, Vol.22 Nos.10 & 11, October & November 1999)
Meridian Reference 800 DVD/CD player (review) ($15,245-$16,145, depending on options; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.23 No.2, February 2000)
Meridian Reference 861 digital surround controller (review) ($11,615-$19,080, depending on options; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.23 No.2, February 2000)
MSB LinkDAC III Full Nelson D/A processor with Power Base (review) ($1382; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson & Robert Deutsch, Vol.23 Nos.9 & 12, September & December 2000)
Oracle CD player ($8950; reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.23 No.10, October 2000)

scd1pic1.jpgThat Sony's first Super Audio CD player would win the Digital category was a no-brainer. Whatever technical concerns might exist about the DSD encoding used on SACD (see David Rich's article in the November 2000 Stereophile), there is no doubt that the new digital medium's intrinsic quality is in a different class from CD. Even Stereophile's LP maven, Michael Fremer, was led to conclude that SACD sounds "pretty much like analog minus vinyl's deficiencies." By spearheading the Super Audio CD launch with a two-channel audiophile player that also makes CDs sound as about as good as they can get, and by working hard with record companies to get a reasonably large number of software titles available on SACD—about 160 in fall 2000—Sony stands a good chance of gaining the strategic advantage over the competing DVD-Audio medium.

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