Cheap SACD Player

Matthew Anker

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Messages
62
There's not a damn thing wrong with that player. Crutchfield claims that Sony is discontinuing it (finished production run), but my dealer says otherwise. It is an excellent player, and is way better than the other budget SACD alternative (the DVP-NS500V). The CE775 originally sold for $350, and is worth that price in my book! If it also interests you, the CE775 is pretty much the same as the C222ES.
The other nice thing about it is that it can be upgraded from mid-fi to hi-fi at a later time. The best advice I have is "Just buy one and try it."
-Matthew Anker
www.SACDmods.com
 

Camp

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 3, 1999
Messages
2,301
Thanks Matthew!

I might just give it a try. I've been disappointed with the releases on DVD-A and want to give SACD a try.

The other nice thing about it is that it can be upgraded from mid-fi to hi-fi at a later time
Can you expand on that a bit more? How exactly can you upgrade this unit? Is the processor replaceable or something?
 

Patrick R. Sklenar

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 25, 2000
Messages
330
Camp,
I bought the CE775 a week ago last friday. I'm slowly pulling together a system upstairs for primarily music and I was looking for a CD player ... this seemed to offer good "bang for the buck" since it gave me not only a 5 CD changer, but SACD for a very reasonable price. After a week of listening to it ... I like it!

Right now I've got it connected via stereo out into the Left & Right jacks of the 5.1 analog inputs on my Outlaw 1050. I've got to pick up a TOSLink cable so I can comapre DACs on redbook, but even in this config, it sounds nice. Haven't decided if I'll try Matt's modifications or not yet. Funds are a tad tight. But if, when I do have the money, he's still offering the Mod and the reviews are positive ... I'll probably go for it.
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Matthew, have you ever compared the innards of the 'CE775 and Sony DVP-NC650V DVD/SACD changer? If so, what did you find. I would assume the 'NC650V is much like the 'NS500V, meaning that the 'CE775 would be superior. Just curious.

By the way, I just noticed that Crutchfield has pulled the 'NC650V off of its web site. The 'CE775 still is not up. Perhaps both players are gone.
 

Matthew Anker

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Messages
62
I haven't compared the two yet. I may buy a service manual once I get the NS500V modifications developed. I hope the 650V is a little better than the NS500V.

This will probably get me excommunicated around here, but I'm going to say it anyway. "Switching power supplies and video circuits poison your sound!"

1. Most low price DVD players have switchers. Switchers are noisey, make lousy DC, and can't regulate voltage very well.

2. Video circuits run at a different clock frequency from the audio DACs. The clock divider chips adulterate your clock signal, causing a lot of jitter.

The moral of the story is "If your priority is audio buy a good SACD player and a cheap DVD player. If your priority is video, buy a good DVD player."

I can get CE775s from this guy here. He tends to sell through eBay. You can get CE775s and other models from him for street price. mailto:[email protected]
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
The moral of the story is "If your priority is audio buy a good SACD player and a cheap DVD player. If your priority is video, buy a good DVD player."
Dan Wright, who also does mods, generally likes some of the stock Pioneer DVD units and so offers mods for them. He recently posted a statement on his forum at Harmonic Discord that "... the stock DV-47A is excellent and I am very excited about its mod potential." He will be offering mods for this in the near future. Obviously, there is room for improvement from his perspective.
FWIW.
Doug
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Doug, I'm sure the '47A with Dan Wright mods would be a wonderful machine. Dan Wright has an excellent reputation, and I'm sure he will do an excellent job here. If the stock player were cheaper, I would consider having one modded myself. I figure the player with mods will run you around $1200-1500, possibly more. I'm not going to invest that much in another player, but I would like to see what Dan Wright pulls off with the '47A.
Unfortunately, I doubt Dan Wright will do anything for the overall build quality of the '47A, which is poor for a $1000 player.
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
Keith,

I hear you on all points. It's a helluva price to pay for a unit that 1) may not produce the level of audio quality that one wants, and 2) does not have a build quality that reflects the price (looks like the same build quality as my $200 DVD player). I also agree that paying this price makes it harder to roll out another 4 or 5 bills for mods. I think I would rather pay the $1500 to get a superb SACD / DVD-A / DVD-V player all around from the get-go (maybe the Marantz 8300 or something further down the road?).

Since I'm having reservations about the 47A, and I still think I'd like both SACD and DVD-A (for the combined # of titles), I was actually thinking of picking up the CE775 at Circuit City (apparently can return for full refund) and comparing it to the '555ES. I'm not sure that my hearing will discern much of a difference for SACD (don't care about redbook for these units). Hopefully, the feature set for the 775 will be comparable to the 555; haven't found an on-line manual.

If I don't perceive a distracting difference between the 2 units SACD-wise, then the extra $400 I would save can go towards a not-very-expensive DVD-A player. At that point, I'd probably sacrifice multichannel on the SACD side of the house to reduce the cable mess. Maybe down the road I can go for a combined player that doesn't have some of the apparent compromises that the 47A has. (Also, I may want to reserve some money for the Ah! 4000 mods. I may get more bang for the buck in redbook improvement than I would get from all these hi res formats).

Doug
 

AaronD

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
234
The only single disc non-dvd player SACD budget player out there is still only available in canada, ehh? I've got a second system that I'd be just happy putting a single disc player in. But, I'd rather not waste my money on a 500v.

I've already got a ce775 in my main system.

-Aaron
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Aaron asked:

The only single disc non-dvd player SACD budget player out there is still only available in canada, ehh?
That is correct. The Sony SCD-XE670 is available in Canada (and Europe), but not in the US. It's a real bummer that Sony never gave us the 'XE670 here in the States. I read on Audio Asylum that Sony will be replacing the 'XE670 with the 'XE680 this year. The individual who posted this information is in Europe, but I assume the 'XE680 would be available at least in Canada. Maybe Sony will sell it in the US.

Doug,

I understand your dilemma, and if I were in your shoes, I would be hesitant about going for the '47A. The Marantz DV-8300 will supposedly run about $2000, but it could very well be worth the money. Marantz's SACD player have all gotten high marks. Marantz makes quality audio components, period.

Your interest in the Sony 'CE775 perplexes me. Don't you still have a 'C555ES? Why would you get a 'CE775? What am I missing? As far as features go, I believe the 'CE775 offers everything the 'C555ES does, except that the 'C555ES has coaxial and optical digital outputs, while the 'CE775 only has an optical digital output.

Given the quality of your system, I am quite confident that you would find the 'C555ES to beat the 'CE775 with both SACDs and CDs. I prefer the 'C555ES with CDs to my Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 (with Siemens 7308 tubes). The Ah! sounds very good, but with some discs, it is harsher than the 'C555ES. Overall, I feel the 'C555ES is more dynamic and lively than the Ah!. However, I am considering Dan Wright's mods for the Ah! to bring it to the next level (and possibly beyond).

If you still have the 'C555ES for SACD, you might want to get a quality DVD-Audio player. Have you considered the Panasonic DVD-RP91 or Denon DVD-1600? Both sell for around $500. For more money ($1200), you could go with the Denon DVD-3800. It has the chroma bug, but I have read that it is not severe. Just another way to play it.
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
Keith,

Your interest in the Sony 'CE775 perplexes me. Don't you still have a 'C555ES? Why would you get a 'CE775? What am I missing? As far as features go, I believe the 'CE775 offers everything the 'C555ES does, except that the 'C555ES has coaxial and optical digital outputs, while the 'CE775 only has an optical digital output.

Given the quality of your system, I am quite confident that you would find the 'C555ES to beat the 'CE775 with both SACDs and CDs. I prefer the 'C555ES with CDs to my Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 (with Siemens 7308 tubes).
Yes, I have the C555ES, but I can return it for a full refund. Since I can pick up the CE775 for $400 or so less than I paid for the C555ES and return it for a full refund as well, it seems like a good idea to really check to see if I notice a non-negligible difference in SACD performance. In my redbook testing of the C555ES, Ah! (Amperex 7308 tubes), and a Pioneer DVD player I have, the differences between the Pioneer and the other 2 are not as great as I had expected. Also, the Ah! and C555ES were neck and neck on redbook thus far (I'd like to do some further testing here).

If I factor in the small number of SACDs that interest me and the fact that most are of the rock genre, I don't think I'll be getting many SACDs that push the envelope quality-wise. All this leads me to think that the CE775 might be adequate for my needs, at least for a while until I go with a combined unit down the road. I also don't think I have very good hearing, and I have had some problems with one of my ears as well, so maybe I just don't discriminate subtle differences in sound/music as well as many other folks.

BTW, I am considering a new DVD player for DVD-A purposes in the $500 range. I have the added bonus of moving the existing player into the family room for the kids' use (with no sound system).

Doug
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
Keith,
You're giving up too easily to convince me not to downgrade
. Thus, I had to play devil's advocate to myself. I probably won't bother with the CE775. I could end up with one of these units longer than expected, so I'll stick with the higher quality one. Even if I found out the 555ES was only marginally better in SACD sound, it has a better warranty and appears more substantial. Another thing is that I probably shouldn't be cashing in any chips with my dealer by returning something this "insignificant" (price-wise). I want to keep my options open for getting a good deal on a bigger ticket item down the road (he does give good deals) and keep the door open for a generous return policy that I may really need. I'm definitely not stuck with the 555ES.
Doug
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Doug, see, I was testing you. You came to the right conclusion on your own. I wanted to see if you could do it.
Seriously, on your system, I feel the 'C555ES would be significantly better than the 'CE775. They are completely different under the hood. That said, you would probably find the difference to be greater with CDs. For some reason, Sony's budget SACD players ('NS500V and 'NC650V too) are particularly lacking with CDs. SACDs sound surprisingly good. Still, the 'C555ES is better.
You said:
Another thing is that I probably shouldn't be cashing in any chips with my dealer by returning something this "insignificant" (price-wise). I want to keep my options open for getting a good deal on a bigger ticket item down the road (he does give good deals) and keep the door open for a generous return policy that I may really need. I'm definitely not stuck with the 555ES.
Absolutely.
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Matthew, remember some people, myself included, consider the 'CE775 to be lacking with CDs. Everything is relative. I still say the 'CE775 is a good deal at $180, but not at $350. At $180, it's a good player, but it is not a miracle worker.
 

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