Philips SACD1000 SACD/DVD-Video player Measurements part 2

This is shown for both settings of the Filter switch—the ultrasonic noise with the wider, "50kHz" setting peaks at -50dB at 80kHz, but then starts to rise again just before the 200kHz upper limit of the Audio Precision System One. The "40kHz" filter setting drops the 80kHz peak by about 5dB, but the higher-frequency rise is still apparent, albeit at a lower level. If you're at all in doubt about your preamplifier's or amplifier's ability to cope with relatively high levels of RF noise, be sure to set the SACD1000's filter to "40kHz."

Assessed using CD data, the SACD1000 offered low linearity error down to -110dBFS (fig.6), with noise then dominating the measured level, much as it did with the Naim CD5 player (also reviewed in this issue). Nevertheless, the reproduction of an undithered 1kHz tone at -90.31dBFS (fig.7) was essentially perfect. Repeating this measurement using a dithered 1kHz tone at -90dB gave a waveform largely obscured by the signal's high-frequency noise content (fig.8), although, as shown in fig.4, the SACD's dynamic range is actually greater at lower frequencies.

Fig.6 Philips SACD1000, right-channel departure from linearity, 16-bit CD data (2dB/vertical div.).

Fig.7 Philips SACD1000, waveform of undithered 1kHz sinewave at -90.31dBFS, 16-bit CD data.

Fig.8 Philips SACD1000, waveform of dithered 1kHz sinewave at -90.31dBFS, DSD SACD data.

The SACD1000's analog output stage is bombproof, with very low levels of harmonic (fig.9) and intermodulation (fig.10) distortion. Error correction was also excellent; the player didn't skip until the Pierre Verany test CD's track 34, which has 2mm gaps in its data spiral.

Fig.9 Philips SACD1000, CD data, spectrum of 50Hz sinewave, DC-1kHz, at 0dBFS into 100k ohms (linear frequency scale).

Fig.10 Philips SACD1000, CD data, HF intermodulation spectrum, DC-24kHz, 19+20kHz at 0dBFS into 100k ohms (linear frequency scale).

Because the SACD1000 has a dual-wavelength laser pickup, I could assess its word-clock jitter using the Miller Audio Research Jitter Analyzer. (The analytic data for this test are stored on a CD-R with inherently low time-base error.) The results of this test are shown in fig.11: a high-resolution FFT-derived spectrum of the player's analog noise floor for 3.5kHz to either side of the 11.025kHz test tone. The peak-peak jitter level was a superbly low 160 picoseconds, with all the data-related sidebands in this graph (red numeric markers) at or below -120dBFS. The highest-level sidebands lie at ±497Hz (purple "3"), but I have no idea what they are due to.

Fig.11 Philips SACD1000, CD data, 44.1kHz sampling, high-resolution jitter spectrum of analog output signal (11.025kHz at -6dBFS with LSB toggled at 229Hz). Center frequency of trace, 11.025kHz; frequency range, ±3.5kHz.

Overall, this is excellent measured performance for a $1999 CD player, let alone one that also plays DVD-Video discs and two-channel and multichannel SACDs. On the evidence of a product like Philips' SACD1000, it's hard to believe that digital playback is anything other than a "solved problem," at least when it comes to engineering.—John Atkinson

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