Hi Captain,

I certainly don't want to deter you in acquiring SACD or DVD-A recordings. I have a fair number, and some have very fine sound quality, not because of the so-called "hi-rez" technical specs but due to the extra care in recording and microphone placement. (In terms of human hearing, CD is already a hi-resolution recording format.) I also have some poor-sounding SACDs and DVD-A recordings.

I would urge you to get a surround-sound receiver. With careful setup, the improvement in realism of 2-channel CD playback throught Dolby Pro Logic II, dts Neo6 or Logic 7 is really thrilling and classical stereo recordings that contain some natural hall ambience "decode" wonderfully into surround.

It's great to discover other forum members who appreciate some of the wonderful yet less well-known English composers like Bax, Walton, and Vaughn-Williams. I was just listening to Walton's Belshazzar's Feast in surround; highly recommended if you have not yet heard it. Great dynamic swings in the chorus and orchestra and it decodes into surround extremely well. It's a thrilling musical experience.

As to disc changers, none are "speedy" in terms of disc-changing so I wouldn't let that hold you back.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)