Any new Sony "ES" DVD-V / multichannel SACD player coming soon?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Arnel Enero, Jun 29, 2002.

  1. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been hearing that the DVP 9000ES is soon being replaced. Or already was?
    If so, it better be as well-constructed and beautiful. I still can't imagine why Sony's new flagship player for multichannel SACD (SCD-XA777ES) seems much inferior in industrial design and build quality, but not necessarily in sound, than its two-channel flagship, the SCD-1. So I'm kinda expecting something like this to happen with the next "ES" DVD/multich-SACD flagship.
    Why is Sony only good at the start, then they come up with aesthetically inferior ones thereafter? Btw, I wouldn't call the latter crap because sonically they are usually still great. But still, I expect flagship products to look great. Admit it or not, to the non-audiophile wife or friends or family, looks can justify the cost. [​IMG]
    More info will be much appreciated.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Arnel, the 'XA777ES certainly isn't the looker that the SCD-1 or even the SCD-777ES are, but the 'XA777ES is still an excellent component. As for a replacement for the 'S9000ES, Sony displayed a multi-channel SACD replacement at a hi-fi show earlier this year in Italy. There was little information available then, and I've heard nothing since. For now, the 'S9000ES is still available at a significant discount. Tweeter in my area sells it for $800 new.

    Getting back to Sony's approach with SACD, they obviously pulled out all the stops with the first-generation players to get the attention of audiophiles and the audio press. Sony had to since the CD is ubiquitous. Now Sony is making an effort to get SACD to the masses. So, we see the 'CE775, 'NS500V, etc. The 'XA777ES is still a quality component, but Sony cut some corners to lower the price relative to the SCD-1. However, it is worth noting that Sony has continued to offer the '1 since the 'XA777ES was released, though it probably will be discontinued soon, if it hasn't been already. I don't expect Sony to offer components like the '1 and original '777ES again. Those players are masterpieces inside and out. However, I do expect Sony's flagship SACD players to still be excellent performers. The 'XA777ES certainly is an excellent performer.
     
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    SACD hasn't even gotten out of the starting gate (neither has DVD-Audio for that matter) and already they are dumbing down the format. Not only are the chips being used now inferior than before, but the build quality of their players too.

    What a shame!

    Dan
     
  4. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    The model shown in Italy was tentatively called a DVP-NS999ES. I haven't heard a peep about it since. Here's a (very small) picture of the unit:
    [​IMG]
    Adam
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Adam,

    Someone on Audio Asylum also reported that the new flagship DVD/SACD player would be the DVP-NS999ES. That's a cool model number. I hope that will be the model number.


    Dan,

    To each his own. Have you listened to Sony's SACD players? The SCD-CE775 at $180 certainly isn't as good as the SCD-1, but the 'CE775 is a steal. All of Sony's SACD players are bargains just as CD players. Sony is bringing us cheaper SACD players, but I would hardly say that Sony is dumbing them down. That's a harsh statement. The 'C555ES is cheaper than the '1, but the 'C555ES is hardly dumbed down. That makes it sound like a POS. Besides, Sony could not further the format with the masses by continuing to offer components like the '1. As I said, Sony continued to make the '1 after releasing the 'XA777ES, but it was high time for Sony to offer cheaper players last year, and it did.

    Why do you say that the chips are inferior? The six-DAC system in the 'XA777ES is hardly poor. None of Sony's players are using bad DACs. As far as build quality, I made a similar point already, but did you really expect Sony to offer 55-lb., bullet-proof components to the masses? No way! Sure, Sony's non-ES models aren't built great, but look at the prices. On the other hand, the 'C222ES at $325 and the 'C555ES at $550-600 are built very solid. The 'C555ES weighs 24 lbs. It's a rock! Of course, the 'XA777ES weighs 35 lbs., and the drawer mechanism is very smooth. The 'XA777ES is nothing to sneeze at.

    If the lack of software is bothering you, there is a good bit of quality software available, especially when compared to DVD-Audio. Plus, with SACDs of the Stones, The Who, and CCR coming, things are looking up.
     
  6. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    What I mean by "dumbing down" is from what I've read in multiple reviews from the audiophile press (like Stereophile and The Perfect Vision's two rags). It seems like for each model year the sound of the SACD output is getting less and less "stellar" compared to their previous efforts.

    There was an article a while back from either an earlier CES or Stereophile NYC audio show where the reporter asked Sony heads why they were not making their best DSD decoders any more to further SACD's & DSD's PR as a superior audiophile format combo, and they said it was because "Sony is not a high end company" or something to that effect.

    Perhaps if more and more companies offer SACD players and Sony/Philips starts licensing out their DSD technology (they are making a mistake by keeping it all in-house: remember Beta and to make another analogy, Apple Computers?) to other chip manufacturers then there can be more ultimate-DSD decoders made that really let the technology shine, or further refinement of DSD can be made possible.

    Dan
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dan, let's consider the type of company that Sony is. Sony develops new technology (with Philips in the case of SACD), but does not market ultra-high-end components of the types sold my Mark Levinson, Krell, Conrad-Johnson, etc. Sony did put an extra effort in developing the SCD-1 to attract audiophiles and the audio press to SACD. The CD is ubiquitous, and I doubt a $500 first-generation player that played a new 5" optical disc would have garnered much attention. Sony needed to make a statement piece, and the '1 was it (along with the '777ES). Now Sony is doing a good job to further the format by attracting more audio enthusiasts with lower-priced components. The 'C222ES and 'C555ES are not ultra-high-end components, but they are excellent values. These components and others Sony has released recently are more in keeping with Sony's tradition. They are excellent values, but not boutique-type components. Sony is leaving the boutique angle to Classe and Accuphase, which have both made SACD players priced more than $10,000. Marantz also is covering the boutique shop sector, though to a lesser degree than Classe and Accuphase.

    It is worth mentioning that Philips has taken a similar approach to Sony in marketing SACD. Most Philips audio components sold in the US are of the Best Buy/Costco type. They, frankly, are nothing special. The SACD-1000 was clearly made with a different purpose. I don't feel the '1000 is good as Sony's ES SACD players (it's certainly no SCD-1), but the '1000 is far better than the typical Philips components we see in the US. It remains to be seen whether subsequent Philips SACD players will be built to the standard of the '1000. Perhaps Philips will "dumb down" newer players.
     
  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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