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New Sony $3000 SACD player


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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   Phil_DC

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Posted June 14 2003 - 08:35 AM

Sony Previews Its New Flagship $3,000 SACD Player

At the recent Home Entertainment Show in San Francisco, Sony showed its new reference standard multi-channel Super Audio CD player. The SCD-XA9000ES features a multitude of technical advancements that enable music enthusiasts to experience beautifully dynamic sound and take full advantage of the more than 800 Super Audio CD titles available in the U.S., almost half of which are multi-channel surround titles.

The SCD-XA9000ES features multi-channel management providing flexibility and performance. Multi-channel management allows for bass re-direction based on the various speaker systems available on the market today, optimizing multi-channel Super Audio CD playback. Sony has equipped the unit with a new Tri power Digital-to-Analog Converter that utilizes eighteen separate SA DAC chips, six per channel, to deliver exceptional precision and minimal noise for an elevated musical experience.

The SCD-XA9000ES is also Sony's first Super Audio CD player to offer an i.LINK® digital output, making it ideal for use with the new generation of outboard DSD converters. The i.LINK (IEEE 1394) interface has been specifically designed to support the new "5C" Digital Transmission Content Protection and is also fully compliant with the latest Super Audio CD format specifications.

ES Series Enhancements

The player's optical reading system employs a dual discrete laser pick-up mechanism, featuring two independent lasers with one optical lens to provide optimum performance for Super Audio CDs and CDs as well as CD-R/RW discs.

Power is supplied by twin R-Core power transformers mounted on rigid copper plates, one for handling the audio system, the other dedicated to the digital system, to reduce magnetic flux leakage and eliminate unwanted vibration.

Sturdy Construction and Design

In order to maintain superior audio reproduction, Sony has constructed the SCD-XA9000ES around a Frame and Beam chassis. The chassis is designed to reduce unwanted resonance and vibration, often triggered during optical pickup, which can interfere with audio reproduction.

In addition, the SCD-XA9000ES incorporates a new brushed aluminum faceplate design complementing other new ES Series components. The "cascade" design sets all the primary front panel controls at an angle to allow for easy operation. The SCD-XA9000ES will be available in the fall for about $3,000.

New Sony SACD

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Phil_DC

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Posted June 16 2003 - 12:05 AM

I wonder if Sony's iLink is compatible with Pioneer's 49TXi version of iLink?

#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Joe Cole

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Posted July 31 2003 - 10:33 AM

And new information out on this player yet? As in when it is coming to who has a review?

I guess at this price it will not be the subject of any long treads. Posted Image
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#4 of 31 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted July 31 2003 - 10:52 AM

will it make coffee?

#5 of 31 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted July 31 2003 - 01:00 PM

Chu, absolutely. Since the 'XA9000ES is a $3000 player, the coffee it produces is far richer than what you get from a budget SACD player. Posted Image
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#6 of 31 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted July 31 2003 - 03:59 PM

What? 3k without DVD-A in 03,SONY SONY SONY What are they thinkin'? They lose half the potential customers off the bat.I think Sony needs to rethink the DVD-A thing.

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted July 31 2003 - 04:24 PM

I may yet need to upgrade my caffeine IV drip!

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted August 01 2003 - 08:51 AM

Curtis said:

[quote] What? 3k without DVD-A in 03,SONY SONY SONY What are they thinkin'? They lose half the potential customers off the bat.I think Sony needs to rethink the DVD-A thing. [quote]

You know, of course, that Sony is a co-inventor of the SACD format (with Philips). Sony has invested a lot of money in SACD, so how could you expect them to support DVD-Audio, the competing hi-rez format? Besides, DVD-Audio is not exactly tearing up the pre-recorded music landscape. Sony is hardly facing an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" situation. Frankly, I think SACD is beating DVD-Audio overall.

How come Panasonic (Matsushita) hasn't incorporated SACD into it's budget DVD-Audio players? The DVD-S55S looks to be a nice player, but the universal Pioneer DVD-S563A is a better buy! Perhaps Matsushita is losing sales by not offering SACD!

Note that I greatly enjoy DVD-Audio, but I call 'em as I see 'em. Posted Image
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#9 of 31 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted August 02 2003 - 02:07 AM

Just sayin' Sony needs to get over SACD(I understand its their baby) only mentality,its not any better than dvd-a to me(imho).It don't bother me if Sony never incorperates dvd-a,I don't own stock.It does seem kinda crazy to act like dvd-a don't exist,Sony has no ability to play a new and growing format(at 3k)?I own 20 dvd-a's and about 10 sacd's,sacd has nothing on dvd a to my ears.Sony would sell more units if they offered both,its hard to dispute,isn't it?I suppose they think if they don't look it will go away,NOT.

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted August 02 2003 - 02:34 AM

Curtis, DVD-Audio is a great format, but again, Sony has a vested interest in SACD. At the $3000 price point, I have no doubt that Sony will sell it's fair share of players to audiophiles, many of whom prefer SACD over DVD-Audio anyway. Besides, the 'XA9000ES will most definitely be a quality CD player, which is still a draw to audiophiles. Would the inclusion of DVD-Audio help sales? Perhaps, but the point is moot. Sony has a lot invested in SACD, so no one should expect them to include DVD-Audio in any components. No one should be surprised by the lack of DVD-Audio, so why complain?

I still haven't gotten a reply to this countering statement:

[quote] How come Panasonic (Matsushita) hasn't incorporated SACD into it's budget DVD-Audio players? The DVD-S55S looks to be a nice player, but the universal Pioneer DVD-S563A is a better buy! Perhaps Matsushita is losing sales by not offering SACD! [quote]
Let's remember that Matsushita was the first to launch DVD-Audio players and is clearly in bed with DVD-Audio. Why is no one clammering for Matsushita to offer SACD in its budget players? Sony is just a big target that everyone immediately jumps on.
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#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 02 2003 - 03:25 AM

I wonder if history will repeat itself...Panasonic=VHS, Sony=Betamax?

#12 of 31 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted August 03 2003 - 02:40 AM

Keith,when Panasonic charges 3k for a 03 or later dvd-a player I will be the first to ask,WHY NO SACD?It is possible since SO many co's now offer multi players at 1.5k or less(Maybe Panasonic based)they feel no big loss.Do you claim Sony will never include dvd-a?Again,not that I care but if I were a Sony fan they would be losing me to Denon,Marantz and an ever growing list of multi player makers.I just ask WHY,should a company not try to meet the needs of consumers?If their sacd is clearly superior what are they afraid of?I am not really trying to argue it just seems crazy to act like dvd-a don't exist(from Sony's point of view).Oh well,I'm just a consumer(with $ Sony won't get),what do I know.

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted August 03 2003 - 06:04 AM

Curtis, more money usually gets you a better audio component, but does not always get you more features. There are a number of high-end audio companies still making very expensive players that do nothing but play CDs. The goal of these companies is to make a first-rate CD player, and they very often accomplish their goal. It would be great if such players handled SACD and DVD-Audio, but they are still quality audio components, and people buy them because of the quality offered. Not everyone buying high-end audio components is wowed by features. Sony must know that the 'XA9000ES will sell well, as they know there is a demand for a quality CD/SACD player. It's previous high-end CD/SACD players have garnered high praise in the audio press and have been good sellers.

Price should not alone dictate features. If Pioneer can make a universal player for $179, then why can't Matsushita? Why isn't Matsushita competing with Pioneer? Why isn't JVC? Why isn't Kenwood? Why isn't any other DVD-Audio backer. They just aren't. Why isn't Sony backing DVD-Audio? Besides the vested interest in SACD, Sony apparently doesn't need to.

[quote] If their sacd is clearly superior what are they afraid of? [quote]

Well, I didn't say that SACD is clearly superior, but of course Sony thinks it is. Given that premise, why should Sony offer a format it doesn't believe in? Furthermore, given that Sony co-invented the SACD format and only released it to the world a few short years ago, how would it look if they jumped over to DVD-Audio? Yes, they might please some consumers who want both formats, but people would certainly question Sony's commitment to SACD. It is too early for Sony to give people cause to question its commitment to its own format. The format is not well enough established for Sony to entertain other hi-rez formats. Remember that marketing is very much posturing.

Will Sony ever offer DVD-Audio? Perhaps. I could see it happening, but not yet. It's just too early. In time, if SACD either becomes a staple in the recorded music business, hits the wall as a niche format, or dies by the wayside, then Sony could integrate DVD-Audio into its components. For now, I think Sony is still fully committed to growing SACD and will do nothing to contribute to a stunting of that growth.

Never is a long time. There was a time when many people, myself included, thought that Sony would never offer a consumer CD recording deck due to its investment in minidisc. Well, over time, minidisc sales slipped, and of course, minidisc never caught on as a mainstream format, especially in the US. Couple that with the rapid growth of the CD burner market, and Sony changed its course. Sony still sells minidisc players, but now has a couple hi-fi CD recorders on its product range. Perhaps the same will happen with DVD-Audio, but again, not yet.
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#14 of 31 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted August 03 2003 - 04:19 PM

Keith,I just looked at your equipment list,I must say your faith in Sony is evident.You do make some good points,some not quite as good,but a good case anywho.As you may know Pioneer and many others are/have been based on Panasonic dvd players.P.S. did Sony have anything to do with DAT?

#15 of 31 OFFLINE   Ian Lascell

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Posted August 22 2003 - 06:36 AM

Curtis, I don't think Sony had you in mind when they announced this product. Universal players are convenient and are a good introduction to the new higher resolution formats. They represent a good value. I would stick to one of them for the time being if I were you. But for those who are sold on SACD, and there are quite a few, this player looks awesome. Personally, if I am going to pay $3000 for an SACD player, I don't want any extra DVD-A crap mucking things up. Each "universal" feature you add compromises the others a bit. Thats why I don't expect to ever see any truly high end universal players. Because the companies that are in the business of selling to audiophiles don't want to compromise the sound of their products by including as many consumer-level features as they can possibly fit in a box. I guess I wouldn't be that surprised if Sony started to include DVD-A in their budget players, if they decided thats what the masses wanted. But they already know they will not sell their $3000 ES player to the masses. So it makes no sense for them to cater to the lowest common denominator with it.
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#16 of 31 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted August 22 2003 - 09:32 AM

Wow Ian,which"masses"own the Linn $11,000 offering or the Belo Canto about 10k or MSB about 8k or Luxman about 7k or on and on? Of course you may not consider these any comparison for SONY.I was surprised to see thet BB,CC did not have any of these MASS players on sale.Yeah,I got sony Ilink on my computer,can't plug my 1394 fire wire in it,thanks again SONY.Also something about SOY and audiophile in the same sentence is strange considering THEY are the MASS MARKET KING without any doubt,although I conceed they do make some good products.When that 3k SONY sells for about $500 next year maybe I'll try it,prolly not.

#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Tony Casler

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Posted August 22 2003 - 03:30 PM

Sony did not invent the 4 pin connector, they just gave it the name iLink, just like Apple decided to name the 6 pin connector Firewire. The two are fully compatible, both are part of the IEEE 1394 standard, and there are plenty of 6 pin to 4 pin cables available. I am not a big fan of Sony, mainly do to the piss poor build quality of their game consoles, but I will give them props for the ES line, they make some nice gear. Your comments about the Linn, etc. high end gear are just ignorant, they are obviously not intended for the BB/CC crowds.
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#18 of 31 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted August 22 2003 - 07:54 PM

[quote] Sony did not invent the 4 pin connector, they just gave it the name iLink, just like Apple decided to name the 6 pin connector Firewire.
[quote]
When it comes to FireWire, I believe that Apple invented considerably more than the connector.

#19 of 31 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted August 22 2003 - 11:55 PM

Ian stated"I never expect to see high end uni players"my response was,well what the heck is a 11k LINN ETC..?No they don't sell at bb,cc, that was the point Mr obvious.They ARE high end uni players,not made for the "masses",they DO exist already.Its best to not take things out of context.As for 4 pin,6pin,I just wanted to plug in my Panasonic dv camera into my Sony computer.I aready got my hands full since I am the lowest common denominator.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted August 23 2003 - 03:10 AM

Curtis, no need to get hot under the collar with Sony, they're only protecting their baby Posted Image

Ian,
[quote] Thats why I don't expect to ever see any truly high end universal players. [quote] The previous link to universal players must've slid off the radar... DVD-A.DK list of Universal players
>
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