To Be Determined

Down the Rabbit Hole of SACD Ripping and DSD Extraction

Issue 135

I’m a firm believer in fair use when it comes to audio media — if you bought it, you own it, and you’re free to do with it as you please — as long as it’s for your personal enjoyment and you’re not trying to sell it illegally for profit. Apparently the code writers/hackers in the world agree with me, and it’s really great that we can finally transcode just about any digital file type that exists to ensure compatibility with ever-evolving audio equipment. I’m departing from my usual review format to focus on a developing technology I’ve been following for several years now, which is the ripping of SACD discs and the extraction of the Direct Stream Digital (DSD) layer. I first became aware of this about three years ago, and have followed its progress with great interest, although I haven’t had the tools available to me to make this happen until just a few weeks ago. Why a nearly-dead, niche technology like SACD, you may ask — my involvement with it goes all the way back to my very first gig in audio journalism, twenty years ago at the old Audiophile Audition website.

I wrote my first piece for Audiophile Audition in 2001; the SACD format had been unceremoniously launched the year before to very little fanfare. SACD offered great promise, with many technological positives; the only real downside being the somewhat prohibitive cost of the discs and players. In the year following SACD’s release, John Sunier (the now-deceased editor at AA), offered me what would prove to be a ridiculously generous and nearly unlimited flow of SACD discs from all the major record labels. I also received discs from a multitude of smaller labels who were eager to jump on board the SACD bandwagon — and I didn’t even have an SACD player at the time. Fortunately, manufacturers and record company reps were keen to get information about the new technology out there, and were very accommodating when it came to getting hardware into the hands of reviewers.

My experience with SACD was that its playback was revelatory; no other digital disc could come close to providing the level of clarity, organic purity, and very nearly analog-like sound quality. By the time the major labels pulled the plug on the format in 2009, I had amassed a collection of over 300 titles. And I’ve added more in the decade since then, bringing me to a total of about 400 discs. I don’t play them as much as I’d like, because I’ve pretty much become a slave to the convenience of streaming digital music. I’ve purchased a number of high-res downloads — including some DSD downloads (about a dozen). However, the cost is prohibitive, so I haven’t gone all-in with DSD downloads. But having so many SACD discs on hand, I’ve always dreamed about being able to add those to my digital music library for convenient playback.

The first time I read anything online about being able to rip an SACD, it involved what appeared to be a mega-complicated process of exacting procedures, requiring very specific, no-longer-in-production equipment with very limited availability. At that point, this was limited to certain Oppo universal players and early Sony PlayStation models. And if the firmware on any of those units had been updated beyond a certain point, they would no longer perform the process, which was fairly long and involved, and apparently placed a significant strain on the lasers of the units being used for ripping. You’d read lots of threads with people literally pulling their hair out over failed ripping attempts, or over finally locating a correct Oppo or PlayStation unit, only to find that they’d been run to death ripping SACDs. Becoming an SACD-ripping early-adopter didn’t appear to be in the cards for me.

I pretty much had given up on it until about a year ago, when I stumbled onto a thread linked to the Sonore (manufacturer of Rendu streamers and associated equipment) website that referenced a program called ISO2DSD. Googling that eventually led me to the HiFi Haven website, where there’s an entire thread dedicated to ripping SACDs. Which is a tad daunting, because the thread has 140 pages of comments that range from relatively cryptic tidbits of absolutely essential information, to full blown rants detailing chaotic failures at the process. I waded through a mountain of detailed information for seemingly countless hours — even days — and eventually picked up some essential clues on how to make the process actually work. I’d recommend going ahead and registering for the site — like I did, you may find yourself occasionally stuck in the process, and have a need to reach out to anyone who might be able to provide some guidance or perhaps a clarification.

The process of ripping SACDs has gotten significantly easier over the last couple of years. I guess there are folks out there with lots of time on their hands, the ability to write sophisticated programs that have seriously simplified the process, and the time to test a ridiculous variety of players to confirm whether they will actually work with the programs. The very first step can be found on the HiFi Haven website, on page 1 of the thread, midway down the page, where there’s a comprehensive listing of player models that will work for SACD ripping. These are all currently Blu-ray players (that support SACD playback) that incorporate a MediaTek chipset that’s needed to make ripping possible. The MediaTek chipset was introduced in 2010, and was commonly used in the players listed below from 2012 through 2017. That list currently includes:

Sony brand compatible Blu-ray players:

BDP-S390 (also sold as BX39 in some markets)

BDP-S490

BDP-S590 (also sold as BX59 in some markets)

BDV-E190

BDP-S4100

BDP-S5100 (also sold as BX510 in some markets)

BDP-S6200* (also sold as BX620 in some markets, requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript sacd_extract_6200 version)

BDP-S7200* (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript sacd_extract_6200 version)

BDP-S790* (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript version/S790 variant)

BDP-A6000* (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript sacd_extract_6200 version)

BDV-NF720 (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript sacd_extract_6200 version)

BDP-S6500* (also sold as BX650 in some markets, requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript version/S6700 variant developed June 2020)

BDP-S6700 (not recommended, only certain early production is compatible)

UHP-H1 (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript version/S6700 variant developed Jun. 2020)

Pioneer brand compatible Blu-ray players:

BDP-80FD

BDP-160

BDP-170

MCS-FS232 * (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript version S6200/7200 variant)

Oppo brand compatible Blu-ray players:

BDP-103 and 103D

BDP-105 and 105D

Cambridge brand compatible Blu-ray players:

Azur 752BD

CXU

Arcam brand compatible Blu-ray & CD/SACD players:

FMJ UDP411

FMJ CDS27

Primare brand compatible Blu-ray player:

BD32 MkII

Electrocompaniet brand compatible Blu-ray player:

EMP3

Denon brand compatible Blu-ray player:

DBT-3313UD and 3313UDCI* (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript version/S790 variant)

MSB Technology brand compatible Blu-ray players:

Universal Media Transport V

Signature UMT V

Yamaha brand compatible Blu-ray Player:

BD-S677

Marantz brand compatible Blu-ray player:

UD7007* (requires Sony ARMv7 AutoScript version/S790 variant)

I’m pretty certain few (if any) of the player models listed are in current production, and some of the Sony models sold for less than $100 USD when brand new at stores like Target, Costco, and WalMart. A number of them can be found online at sites like eBay for around $50 or less, and numerous posters have detailed finding one of the player models at thrift stores like Goodwill. I bookmarked the model listing page on my cell phone and started a casual search for one of the players; I often frequent thrift stores looking for cheap CDs, and virtually every one I go into regularly has a half-dozen or so Blu-ray players priced anywhere from $10 to $20. From all accounts on the HiFi Haven SACD ripping thread, one of the players that’s most commonly available and used for ripping is the Sony BDP-S5100 (also sold as BX510 in some markets). I decided to forego the online search for one of the players, choosing instead to trust dumb luck in finding a functioning unit in a thrift store.

My frequent thrift store searches were unsuccessful over a period of about a year, until a couple of weeks ago, when I found a very clean Sony BX510 player at a Goodwill for $11. Woo hoo! I have a personal theory that a lot of disc players donated to Goodwills and the like were probably only used for DVD or Blu-ray playback, and probably not subjected to extreme usage or abuse, meaning that the SACD drive function is more than likely pretty pristine. The BX510 I scored came without a remote; being able to access the player’s setup menu is essential to getting the ripping process to properly function. Luckily, I happened to have a newer model Sony Blu-ray player (purchased at WalMart for about $50) in my living room, and its remote worked perfectly with the BX510. Barring all else, working remotes can be gotten from Amazon for less than $10.

You’ll need to connect the player to a monitor or TV, and you’ll need the remote to make a few basic settings on the player’s on-screen setup menu. 1) Go to the Audio Settings tab, and turn the DSD Output Mode to “Off.” 2) Then go to the BD/DVD Viewing Settings tab and set the BD Internet Connection to “Do Not Allow.” 3) Go to the Music Settings tab and set the Super Audio CD Playback Layer to “SACD.” 4) Go to the System Settings tab and set the Quick Start Mode to “On.” I also set the System Software Auto Update to “Off,” even though the current conventional logic is that it’s no longer critical to the machine’s ability to rip SACDs. 5) Finally, you’ll need to go to the Network Settings tab and choose between “Wired” or “Wireless” — once again, the original thought process with SACD ripping was that wireless wasn’t feasible because of the huge data transfer going on, but recent experiences have shown that not to be the case. I’ve actually had good success with a wireless connection, so whichever path you choose should work for you.

Okay, so now that you have your player set up, there are a couple of other considerations that need to be made. First of all, you need to download the latest version of JavaOS for your computer’s OS; the ripping program is based on Java, and requires a minimum of Java Version 8 to function properly. Most computers use Java to assist or manage a variety of functions, but you do need to confirm that you at least have Java Version 8 running.

The biggest advance in SACD ripping came with the introduction of the SACD Extract GUI software in 2018. The software will work in Windows, Mac, or Linux environments; when you click on the link, it takes you to page 15 on the HiFi Haven SACD ripping page. In the post, you’ll see two buttons marked “Spoiler: AMD/Intel” and “Spoiler: Raspberry PI”; click on the one that pertains to your computer system processor setup, and opening them will reveal the download links that match your OS. Download the .zip file, extract it, and place it not buried too deeply on your system hard drive; for example, if using a Mac, place it in the Application folder. With Windows, place the file somewhere on your “C” drive, like in the Program Files folder.

The download package includes a number of files, but only two require any attention from you; the one named “SACDExtractGUI” is the actual application and visual interface that you launch every time you rip an SACD. The second file you need to be concerned with is one that’s named “SACD_Extract”; this is an executable program that governs the ripping process on your computer. No installation is necessary of any of the executable (.exe) files; they automatically run when the program is launched. All the software here is open source, which means that many developers are making regular improvements; one just happened recently that has fixed some problem issues I had with certain discs not ripping. This tends to be a problem most often with classical SACDs, where the metadata character string for a particular file exceeds 256 characters — it happens a lot more often than you might imagine, and the ripping software originally couldn’t process files that exceeded that limitation. Fortunately, there’s a fix; go to page 142 of the HiFi Haven thread; midway down, click on the link EuFlo’s GitHub repository, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Choose the -99 link that matches your operating system. Extract the files, then delete the “SACD_Extract” file from your existing software folder and replace it with the new one you just downloaded. So far, everything I’ve ripped has worked perfectly with the new executable file.

 

The last physical thing you need is a USB flash drive; preferably at least 4 GB, though the files you’ll be loading to it are fairly small. The flash drive should be formatted as FAT 32 (MS-DOS) or NTFS, with Master Boot Record (MBR) chosen as the partition scheme. This part is VERY IMPORTANT to the overall success of the process. I’m running Windows 10, and I’m not completely certain that it will allow you to format a flash drive using MBR — I wasn’t able to get any of this working properly until I used a Mac to format the flash drive as MS-DOS and MBR, and now it works with both Macs and Windows. After formatting your flash drive, go to page 2 of the HiFi Haven thread; midway down the page, there’s a reference to an AutoScript download. You’ll need to pick the link that pertains to your particular Blu-ray player manufacturer, and then extract the folder to a safe place on your hard drive. The folder will be named “AutoScript”; without opening the folder, copy it to your flash drive. Don’t open the folder under any circumstances — doing so could inadvertently alter the files within, causing them to function improperly, or not at all.

So, that’s everything you need; a functioning BD player properly set up, a properly formatted flash drive loaded with the AutoScript program, and the SACDExtractGUI program with the latest .exe update loaded onto your computer. I’ve done this on both Mac and Windows, and there’s one key setup difference. Windows applications and programs are automatically executable files upon opening, but that’s not necessarily true with Mac and Linux OS. The “SACD_Extract” file — which is the actual program that runs the process — has to be made a Unix executable file for Mac and Linux. Go again to page 15 on the HiFi Haven SACD ripping thread, to the same post that has the “Spoiler” links to the specific OS program files, and there are detailed instructions to easily make “SACD_Extract” an executable file using the Terminal function. I can’t honestly comment on Linux, but I know for a fact that it works with Macs.

All Blu-ray players have a USB port on the back panel, and some have one on the front panel as well; for some reason, the program seems to work more effortlessly when you insert the USB flash drive with AutoScript into the rear panel USB port (yeah, it’s much less convenient — sorry!). Connect the Blu-ray player to your network (if hard-wired) with the flash drive inserted, then power it on. It doesn’t need to be attached to a monitor, but you need to be able to determine the network address of the player. Since most networks tend to re-assign IP addresses with some frequency, it can be a bit of a task to keep up with your player’s current IP address. A handy smartphone app is FING, which will scan your network and identify your player’s IP address for you — it’s super-simple to use.

Then navigate to the location of the SACDExtractGUI program and double-click to open it; first of all, at the very top of the page and under “Program,” you’ll need to navigate to the location of the “SACD_Extract” executable file. There’s a test button and a prompt below will confirm that it’s working properly. Just below that, click the “Server” button, then enter the IP address of your Blu-ray player; the port will always be “2002,” and you can ping it and test it to make certain that you’re connected and the port is accessible. This program will work for extracting both the Stereo and Multichannel layers of an SACD, but be forewarned — that’s a ton of data, and ripping the entire contents of an SACD can easily run in the 4-plus GB range. For that matter, the stereo DSD files are very commonly 1 GB to 2-plus GB, so prepare yourself mentally for the long haul if ripping multichannel. In my experience, a typical stereo DSD extraction takes about 10 minutes or so.

The program offers multiple choices for ripping; you can rip the contents of the SACD to an ISO file — which is strictly for archival purposes, and can’t be played back without extracting the DSD files from it. Your other two choices are ripping as DSD Storage Facility (DSF) or DSD Interchange File Format (DFF). The difference is that ripping as DSF allows for the inclusion of metadata, and DFF does not, so if music library organization is important to you, DSF ripping is the only logical choice. So depending on what you want to extract, check “DSF” and Stereo and/or Multichannel. You might want to do a test rip; some DACs tend to insert a “pop” between DSD tracks. So you might want to also check the “Padding-less DSF” box, which tends to eliminate any problems of that sort. I’ve used it with all my rips, and haven’t noticed any issues of any sort.

The last thing you need to do is to navigate to your storage location, or wherever you plan on placing the ripped files for the short term. If you don’t browse to create a path for the Output Directory, the program will automatically place your ripped files into individual folders within the folder where the program is located on your hard drive. Just make certain that you have plenty of storage space available; I’ve ripped over 150 SACDs so far (in less than five days!), and ripping only the Stereo layers has already totaled almost 350 GB. I then transfer the files to another SSD that’s network-connected — surprisingly, the large files copy across my wired network very quickly. I then wipe them from my computer’s hard drive — at one point recently, I came within 1 GB of maxing out my computer’s M2 SSD drive, which wouldn’t have been good. And of course, you need to have some storage redundancy, just in case disaster happens and you lose a hard drive. You don’t want to have to go through this process again!

This surely goes without saying, but the ripping process is fairly labor-intensive for your computer. Not only is the laser drive of your Blu-ray player placed under a fair amount of stress, but it’s also helpful if your computer has a fairly robust processor with multiple cores, utilizes a solid-state drive, and is equipped with plenty of RAM. I’m using a fairly fast Intel Core i5, quad-core processor with an M2 SSD boot drive and 8 GB of RAM. It makes the process fairly effortless, but when an SACD rip is underway, my computer’s fan runs almost constantly and there’s a lot of buzzing and clicking — it’s obviously a pretty involved process.

By this point, if everything is a go, you’ll need to turn on the BD player again; because of the AutoScript on the inserted flash drive, the disc drawer should automatically open (I’ve noticed that it sometimes goes through this motion a couple of times — nothing to be worried about). Insert your chosen SACD, press the close button, and wait for the disc to load and show you the total disc playback time on the player’s display. If at any point, “WAIT” shows up in the display, something has gone wrong. But if the timing shows up okay, then touch the power button to power the machine down; when the machine display goes blank and the unit shuts down, remove the flash drive from the back of the machine. Then click the “Run” button on the SACDExtractGUI program; within a few seconds, the program should start, and you’ll see the disc ripping in the GUI display on your desktop.

As I noted above, if you’re only ripping the stereo layer of an SACD, it usually takes about ten minutes or so, and that’s for a hard-wired or wireless connection. And you don’t need to reinsert the USB flash drive with every rip; once inserted, it’s usually good for six or eight SACD rips. My experience is that the program tends to “lose its mind” after about six or eight rips, and the process is very specific to get back on track. If you go through the normal process and “WAIT” appears in the BD player display, a reboot of the player is required, and this can only be accomplished by physically power-cycling the unit by unplugging it from the power source and then re-plugging it. At that point, you also need to re-insert the flash drive; it’s basically just like starting over again, and the process has to be exact every time. 1) Unplug the BD player from the power source, 2) re-insert the flash drive, 3) re-plug the BD player to the power source, 4) insert the SACD, 5) power down the BD player after the total time shows up on the display, 6) remove the flash drive from the rear of the player, and 7) press the “Run” button on the extraction program. Follow these steps, and it works really effortlessly, and once you get the drill down, every single time.

It probably took me ten days to figure out how to get the very first SACD to rip; it was pretty much a combination of small errors and poor sequencing of events on my part. Probably the biggest hurdle for me was the whole “power cycling the BD player by unplugging it and replugging it” thing, which seemed really counterintuitive to me. And getting the flash drive with the AutoScript program properly formatted — this is vitally important. Also, if you’ve been ripping with a wired connection, and then decide to try wireless — the setup will revert to the wired IP address, which will have to be changed manually on the ripping program GUI. It really, really helps if your internet download speed is fairly fast; mine is only about 30 Mbps, and it works well with most everything, but don’t try running multiple devices simultaneously — your wife or significant other will end up getting kicked off the Wi-Fi signal, and if your situation is anything like mine, all hell will break loose!

I mentioned earlier that choosing to rip to DSF files is a great choice because it allows for adding metadata and images to the files. It’s a bit more difficult than editing the metadata with FLACs and other digital media, but I’ve found a really great freeware program, MP3tag, which works pretty effortlessly with DSF files. But it’s a little bit of a learning curve! So far, after about 160 ripped SACDs, I’ve pretty much discovered that you generally get most of the necessary metadata as part of the rip process, but it may need a little tweaking here and there. Some of the fields come up with incorrect or marginally correct information, but I’ve decided that having access to the music is the most important thing here, and if the metadata is less than perfect, I can live with that. You’ll definitely want to add album artwork to the files, and I’ve discovered by trial and error over a period of several years that after you drag the DSF files into MP3tag’s file name window, you need to use your cursor to highlight all the file names before you make any batch alterations to the tags. For example, when adding album artwork, you simply drag it into the artwork window (with all the tracks highlighted), then go to the top of the frame and click on the “Save” icon (it’s a floppy disk). Just keep the file names highlighted throughout the editing process, then click Save; that guarantees that everything is retained in your tagged information.

While there’s a lot of really great information at the HiFi Haven SACD ripping thread, it’s kind of pieced together in a patchwork manner, and takes a fair amount of dedication and desire to get things working. That said, I now feel pretty much like an expert of sorts at this — and it’s really gratifying to simply click a button and get really great DSD playback from my digital library without all the fuss. The sound quality is every bit as great as from a spinning disc — it’s darn near intoxicating! I’ve been listening to a ton of music that I don’t listen to as often as I should because of the added convenience factor, and I still stand by my previous declaration — DSD to me sounds so very much closer to analog than anything else out there.

Thanks to Mikey Fresh and everyone over at the HiFi Haven website for their dedication and perseverance in making this technology much more manageable for those of us who weren’t born computer geniuses. Oh, and in the three weeks since I spotted my working BD player at a Goodwill for $11, I’ve seen a couple more at about the same price, and they’re all over the internet. If you have any interest in this at all, have a fairly large library of SACDs and would like to try ripping them, it might be prudent to pick up a player or three just to have on hand. I know I will!

 

Header image: MSB Technology Universal Media Transport V.

24 comments on “Down the Rabbit Hole of SACD Ripping and DSD Extraction”

  1. There is also Sonore’s iso2dsd program which does the same thing, and I have been using that goer maybe two years. Besides ripping SACD, it also converts SACD iso files into individual DSD track. I tried your recommended program back then, but couldn’t get it to work. I have read that the EXTRACT program is faster than mine, but not as easy to use. I can’t verify that, though. But iso2dsd is fast enough for me, ripping SACDs faster than I can rip CDs. I recommend trying both programs, and go with whichever works best for you. In either case, good ripping.

    1. I also tried Sonore’s ISO2DSD program, but ultimately have found the SACDExtractGUI to be a tad more intuitive and much quicker. Once I got the drill down, I could rip SACDs at a pace of about 7-10 minutes each, depending on the length of the SACD. I think that with the latest iteration of software updates to the SACD Extract.exe file, it’s definitely improved the program’s overall functionality. The great thing is that I now can easily listen to the discs I’ve ripped (200+ at this point), and in DSD, rather than the PCM rips of their CD layers I previously mostly listened to. And many of the discs I’ve ripped were single layer, with no CD layer. And with the improvements to my current streaming setup, I can play DSD files as effortlessly as PCM. It’s a win-win!

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Great article that I wouldn’t have expected here (due to the care taken in the forum not to have anyone posting instructions 😉 )

    I still use such an old PlayStation (just for test purposes). The process is easy once it was acquired (already Bios flashed by someone who knows what he does)

    1. Yeah, but finding an old PlayStation or Oppo that was capable of running the previous adventures in SACD ripping was a complete crapshoot, and the newer setup uses a much wider variety of affordable machines that will rip the SACD layer. Since I stumbled onto my $11 Goodwill find, I’ve already seen several others in the same price range, and while I’m tempted to pick up another (or two) for posterity, by the time I’m finished ripping my entire library of SACDs — it won’t be something that I have a regular need for. But it’s been great to be able to digitize over 200 discs so far!

      I understand the stance of the forum, as part of PS’s stock and trade is selling equipment that will process DSD files effortlessly. That’s great for those who can afford that level of disc playback and DAC equipment, but at my relatively meager position in the food chain, I’m perfectly happy with the sound quality of my Stellar Gain Cell DAC, which will handle up to DSD 128. I’m pretty blown away by the sound quality!

      My biggest problem now is that I’ll rapidly run out of storage space for all the DSD files, which average about 2 GB or larger each — I didn’t really calculate that they’d take up quite so much room!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. I don’t yet own a BD and or SACD player.
    But I do have a small collection of SACD’s.
    I can play them on my computer using both Foobar2000 and Resonic Bada.
    I have also, a DVD drive, and a BD drive on my computer.
    My question is, how do you rip DSD files from any SACD using anyone of these drives on my computer?
    And also, I am a blind man that’s also using Windows10 right along with JAWS 2021.
    That Pease of software, takes the text that pops upon the screen, and converts it in to speech.
    This is how us blind people run our computers.
    My other question is, is the SACD ripping software screen reader friendly?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. I don’t know that it’s possible to rip an SACD from just any BD drive — in order for the SACDExtractGUI system to work properly, it requires a BD player that has the particular MediaTek chipset from the list of players shown in my article. As far as I can tell, no BD drives were among those players, which were consumer-level BD players that weren’t really designed for use with computer setups.

      I don’t know where you’re located, but in the US, there’s a relative abundance of inexpensive BD players to be had for as little as $10 USD — I’ve wanted to add a BD drive to my computer set up for years, but bristled at the cost — I guess I’m just a cheapskate! But even with a cheap BD player, the SACDExtractGUI software was relatively easy to use — once I’d gotten the process down. It’s mainly just following the order of the steps involved. The program’s display on your desktop could be a bit more helpful to the process, but it at least does let you know that the files are ripping and what their progress is.

      Thanks for reading!

      1. Good afternoon Mr. Gibbs!
        Sense you asked, I’m down here in Lake City Florida.
        I acquired my whole computer setup from the Division Of Blind Services of Florida.
        I’ve had this system for almost two years.
        The drive that came with my computer, was a read only DVD rom drive.
        But when I discovered that, I removed the drive, and dug up an old DVD rom drive that could both read and write to either DVD and or CD.
        I got it to play my SACD’s in Foobar2000.
        Then right at the top of last month, the state got me a USB BD drive that can read and write to CD DVD and BD discs.
        That also can play my SACD’s too.
        But I also figured out how to convert wave files to DSD.
        But I would like to be able to rip my SACD’s just so that I can listen to them on my new iPhone when I get it.
        And as for universal players, Aupo Digital made them pretty much blind user friendly.
        They put talking menus on those.
        But when they got out of the business of making those, the blind user friendly thing went away.
        I’ve contacted other companies, and asked them that question.
        They all told me no.
        Right now, I’m looking at a Marantz SACD30-M SACD player.
        But this player also doubles as a preamp.
        But I don’t know as of yet, if it will do that.

        1. Wow — I’m impressed with your dedication to making all this happen for you! I wish I could offer more in terms of support, but I’m really just a very small fish in a really large audiophile ocean. I wish you every kind of luck in all your endeavors!

  4. I picked a Sony BDP-390 on eBay for $30. It works great SACD Extract GUI. It took me forever to figure it out since I’m not a computer expert but with some time and perseverance it works.

    1. I’m not a computer geek by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve been dealing with streaming digital music now for about six years, and it’s required me to kind of step up my game to be able to keep things working all the time. I work with Macs at my day job, use a Windows PC at home, and I currently have a two box music server/streaming endpoint setup (Euphony Summus/Endpoint) that’s in for review and runs Linux. I’m fairly adept at both the Mac OS and Windows, but am barely function in Linux, so if the wheels ever come off the setup — like after a system or software update — it can be a bit of a challenge to get back on the rails. The SACDExtractGUI program — while undoubtedly brilliant in its execution — is kind of haphazardly presented on the HiFi Haven blog, and it takes a bit of intense study to get the extraction process completely down. It easily took me ten days before I even got the first sign of life from my Sony BX-510 BD player — I was just about convinced that it was broken or maybe even bricked. As you said, it just takes a bit of perseverance to get the system up and running, but it works perfectly when you finally get the process drill down.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Reading through the instructions on the site it seems pretty straight forward, but it took me about a week of Q&A with forum members (mostly Mikey Fresh) to help me get going. But once you get that first disc ripped, it’s kind of a brainless operation. What’s great is it will create a back-up ISO and the DSF files at the same time (if you set it up that way). The hard part is when you try to remember what you need to do a year later when you haven’t ripped any discs for that duration, and remembering what you need to do once again. To be able to do this has had me searching all over for SACD’s again as when done right, sound amazing.

    1. It’s great, isn’t it? I think the biggest obstacles for me were the getting the flash drive properly formatted, and the occasional hiccup where power-cycling the player is required. After I figured that out, it’s been pretty smooth sailing, although I still screw up the order of steps now and then; yesterday, I was ripping a stack of discs, and at one point, forgot to power down the player after inserting a disc, and then started the process with the GUI. Of course, I had to power cycle the player and reinsert the flash drive, but it was soon back to business as usual. I’m now up to about 220 discs ripped in less than 10 days, which is about half my collection. About half of those are classical SACDs — which I do really love classical music — but I’m now constantly on the hunt for hard to find pop/rock and jazz titles.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Great article Tom. I’ve been using the same program for a couple of years now. So far it’s hasn’t failed me.
    But like most people getting started with SACD rips it was a painful and frustrating experience to get it working. Like you mentioned in the article I had to parse through many, many pages of forum posts and try to piece together the vital bits of data I needed to get going. For me it was the Autoscript that proved to be the toughest part, that took many days. There were always a lot of help available in the forums though. I was using this thread in the Audiophilestyle site https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/28569-sacd-ripping-using-an-oppo-or-pioneer-yes-its-true/page/110/
    It’s nice to see your article that puts together the entire process. This should prove to be a great resource for any one wanting to try this.

    By the way, I’m using the Sony BDP-S590 which is missing on your list. I was able to buy this on eBay for $40.

    1. I just copied and pasted Mikey’s list from the HiFi Haven site post. It appears that they’re regularly finding other players that work, and Sony also marketed identical players with different model numbers for some reason — mine is a BX-510, which was also marketed as the BDP-S5100.

      And you’re right about the frustrating part; when, after about ten days I finally got a disc to rip (I was at work at my day job), I excitedly called my wife (who could care less about this sort of thing) and said, “HOLY SH*T!! I JUST GOT A DISC TO RIP!!” Her response, in her usual deadpan manner was, “That’s great darling. Now could you maybe put as much effort into winning the lottery as you do into all this audio crap?”

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Hats off to you. Great article! I too journeyed down the SACD ripping rabbit hole this past November. Devoured the stored wisdom at HiFi Haven, acquired a Sony S390 with remote off of Ebay for $30, and spent election night figuring out how to make it all work. Your article would have proved most useful. I utilize a 2014 vintage i5-4460 Windows Desktop with 12 GB of RAM for my ripping chores. Although it does not have a solid state drive, it has been very much up to the task. Also, for me the front USB port on the Sony S390 does just fine. Good to know about a version of the SACD_Extract file that gets you beyond the 256 character path name limit. I did my best to get around that by ripping to C:\X and prayed that none of the song titles I was ripping were too long.
    Thanks for putting this together.

    1. Hey, it was my pleasure! I’ve been wanting to do this for a couple of years now, but it just didn’t come together until the last few weeks. And obviously, I’ve gotten the hang of it — I’ve ripped over 200 SACDs in about 10 days so far. Any of the issues I had were resolved with info from the HiFi Haven — it just took a little digging through the site to get to the meat of it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read!

  8. Been doing this for a few years now–it’s well worth the effort. I don’t even have an optical player in my systems anymore. I was lucky to have purchased the Oppo BDP-105 a couple of years before hearing about this method. I keep a small-capacity USB thumb drive handy to plug into the player when needed. Simple!

    Rather than mess with that Java program, I wrote small batch files where I have integrated them into the right-click “Send-To” menu in Windows 10. I backed up my SACDs to ISO files, so I have a pair of scripts (basically just batch files at this point) that can rip the ISO to 2- or 5.1-channel FLAC, and another to rip from the BDP-105 to an ISO file. It’s as simple as right-clicking an ISO file and choosing “Send To –> ISO to 2 channel FLAC” and it’s stored in my “converted files” folder for me to tag with MP3Tag and then move over to the server.

    It’s all good! )

    1. Correction–I haven’t followed the later releases of the GUI, but I noticed an earlier reference to one that runs on Java, and there’s another that runs on .NET.

      1. Thanks, Rudy! I guess if there’s a will, there’s a way. I remember when Sony first tried to push DRM with newer CD releases (to prevent the disc from being ripped), there was a huge outcry. It only took a twelve-year-old about a week to figure out that if you held down the shift key when loading the disc, it defeated the DRM.

        There’s always a way! Thanks for reading!

  9. I eagerly followed along have thought, and then put off, trying to rip my SACD discs. I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years, but have been hesitant at jumping in. I bought a Sony BDP-S590 player a few months ago and now with the guidance presented here, I was ready to jump in.

    Tom, your step by step instructions are clear and I was able to follow along without too much difficulty. However, I ran into a jam with the SACD executable. I got an error and can’t determine why. I downloaded the zip file and then retrieved the update from the EuFlo site. Even after doing those steps several times, I still get the error that can be seen at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DjW3hyQaUzFrlarz-FYP8y0i4kgMg86L/view?usp=sharing

    Any thoughts how to resolve this?

    Thanks,

    David

    1. I see that you’re working on a Mac — the .exe file has to be made executable in order to work properly with both Mac and Linux, whereas Windows does it automatically. Go to page 15 on the Hi Fi Haven SACD ripping blog, and there’s a post midway down from Nexus3 that details how to make the .exe file executable using Terminal on your Mac. There are a couple of code lines you’ll need to enter — you can copy and paste them. Then after the process is complete, you’ll need to browse again to relink to the folder where the .exe file is located.

      Hopefully this helps — I’ve been able to rip SACDs with both Windows and Macs, so I do know that it works.

      Tom

      1. Tom,

        Thanks for the prompt reply. I worked with Apple to help me with Terminal (I’m not as conversant that far under the hood). The Apple tech was really helpful and stayed with me for my first rip attempt.

        The SACD Extractor kept stalling without ever completing. I know your guidance said it could take some time (~10 minutes) and the Apple tech left my call during the wait. But after ~30 minutes there was no further progress. See: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rOx7Km0gQOb3o4SWZ0Ru-R0J74Ic81l1/view?usp=sharing. I also restarted the process as you suggested earlier in the article.

        Should I direct any followup in a post on HiFi Haven, here, or perhaps a DM to you?

        Thanks,

        David

    1. Once I got the drill down pat, it’s definitely been worth the effort — heck, now, it’s basically effortless. And I finally get to REALLY ENJOY all the SACDs I have with the push of a button. It’s definitely an improvement.

      PS Audio gear in the Perfect Wave and Memory Player category have licensing agreements with Sony that allows them free access of the DSD layer on SACDs — so yes, you do get true DSD at that price point.

      Thanks for reading!

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