Music through dvd player versues sacd 555es

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Tompkins, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    I had a sony sacd 555es cd player and the panasonic rp-56 dvd player. I think using anaolg outs on the sacd player was fantastic using my denon 4802 as a pre-amp for sacd playback.I connected both the sacd player and the dvd player using the digital inputs so I could compare them as transports of course using my 4802 dacs. They both sounded the same, I mean NO difference at all when used in this fashion. So I sold the 555es because I like using the digital input of the denon 4802 in pure direct mode just as much as using the analog outs of the 555es for redbook playback..Now sacd is nice but there wasnt enough titles to justify the cost especially considering the dvd player sounded as good using digital inputs.. Does anybody else have this experience are am I the only one ? Thanks

    NHT 2.9 TOWERS

    AC-2 CENTER

    McCormack dna-1

    denon 4802

    2 SVS 20-39

    Sherwood AM-9080
     
  2. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    I've compared the DACs in my CD player to the DACs in my Denon 3300. No difference that I could tell. The Denons must have pretty good DACs.
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, if you heard no difference using the 'C555ES and 'RP56 as transports and are not interested in SACD, then I suppose you did the right thing by selling the 'C555ES. However, you gave up a great component, in my opinion. I play CDs and stereo SACDs through the analog outputs on my 'C555ES to a stereo integrated that has no digital inputs. The 'C555ES sounds great and is a bargain in my opinion. The 'RP56 certainly wouldn't compete using the analog outputs, but as a transport, the 'RP56 should serve you well.

    What kind of music do you like? I ask because the SACD catalog is quite varied if you give it a good look. SACD is truly wonderful sonically, so it is a shame if there are really no titles that interest you.
     
  4. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Keith, I like everything except country,and Im not so crazy about jazz. There are probably 30-40 titles right now that I would buy. I go through equipment like milk and eggs, so Im sure I will end up with another sacd player. The player I really want is that new pioneer combo dvd audio/sacd progressive scan player, is it available yet ? DVD audio along with sacd would give me enough titles to choose from I think. For some reason I found using the 555es dacs for redbook playback a bit bright in comparision to the denons dacs, could be my other equipment but I dont think so. I didnt use the 2 channel l/r out of the 555es , I used l/r from the 5.1 outputs on the 555es instead. I dont know if that makes a difference. I then purchased a ah! tjoeb 99 tubed player and found that to dull ! I guess Im just too darn picky[​IMG] If you have any suggestions for equipment to try I open to suggestions. or maybe its the cables "rat shack specials" ? That Im using...thanks
     
  5. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    I had a couple audiophiles over Sat, and we compared my Panny RP91 and XA777ES through a Linn preamp (FT Audio as well)--->Odyssey Stratos-->Wilson Cub IIs. The difference on redbook was outstanding, and the Panny has received decent cd reviews. Everyone could tell the difference night and day. The Panny sounded flat, and soundstage was compromised. Very easy to hear. Don't know about the 555, but the 777 is for real.
     
  6. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Keith, Just curious, were you using the digital outs on the panny and sony ? because if you were using the analog outs then I would suspect you could definately here a difference between pannys dacs and sonys. If you were using your preamps dacs, could you hear the difference? Remember I was using 4802 dacs and comparing to 555es dacs and thought that was a wash..sony was a little brighter, But when sony and panny were being used as transport I couldnt hear any difference..thanks
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, I don't consider the 'C555ES to be bright in my system. It is detailed and accurate, but not bright. Some players smooth things over too much, which serves to take the edge off the CD format to a certain extent. However, information and soundstaging can be lost in the process. As a result, the music can become blurred. The 'C555ES doesn't do that. Again, I don't feel it is bright, but it is detailed. We all have a different interpretation of sound, so maybe the sound of the 'C555ES isn't for you. Your system could also be an issue, but I am not familiar enough with your components to say for sure. I have no real reason to believe that your system is problematic, but you raised it as a potential issue. It's something to consider if you found the 'C555ES to be overly bright.

    The Pioneer Elite DV-47A is supposed to be out by the end of this month. At least that's what I heard from people who attended the CES last month.
     
  8. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    KeithH,I can certainly agree with you about the cd format, and like you said everybodies hearing is different. I think the 555es is a great piece of gear,VERY much so for sacd "which is amazing". It is very detailed and dynamic, but I just wanted to point out that if used as a transport only,,there isnt really any difference, at least in my modest system. If people are using a high quality pre with good dacs and are interested mostly in redbook playback then I would suggest to compare before buying...thanks
     
  9. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I have a similiar experience to John's. I had the Sony 333es 2 channel sacd, panasonic rp91, and onkyo 989. On redbook, the Onkyo's dacs were at least as good as the Sony's. And as transports, the Sony and Panasonic sound basically the same.

    Since I wasn't crazy about the SACD titles, I sold the Sony.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, one other point about your observations with transports. The truth is, I wouldn't expect the Panasonic DVD-RP56 as a $230 DVD player to be a very good CD transport relative to high-end CD players and dedicated transports. However, as a changer, I wouldn't expect the Sony 'C555ES to be a great transport either, again, relative to high-end transports, which are almost always single-disc players. I use the Sony 'C333ES stereo SACD changer in my second system, and I once asked people on Audio Asylum how the 'C333ES performs as a transport. Like the 'C555ES, the 'C333ES sounds great using the analog outputs. Anyway, there are a lot of people on Audio Asylum with more experience using transports than I, so I wanted to know what they thought of the 'C333ES in that role. Most everyone came back saying the 'C333ES was nothing special as a transport. So, although the 'C555ES is considerably more expensive than the 'RP56, it may not be a very good transport. Changers usually aren't thought of as good transports. The strengths of the 'C555ES lie in build quality and sound quality with CDs and SACDs using the analog outputs. The 'C555ES has quality DACs and a good analog output stage.
     
  11. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I found a night and day difference going digital out to a B&K 307 from an RP-91 vs. going analog out from my 555ES to my B&K.. The 555ES changer is the best cd player i've ever heard or owned period. (and i ain't heard 'em all, thats for sure!, lol..) I'm not giv'n up this CD/SACD changer for nutt'n! [​IMG]
     
  12. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Chip, I think the b&k is known for being extremly warm, correct? Im glad you heard a night/day difference and prefered the sony over the b&k. I will venture to say that some people would prefer the b&k over the sony, but Im not surprised that you heard a different tonal quality.
    I will take this one step further, as I can stand the heat[​IMG] I purchased the cheaper sony 775 sacd player prior to the 555es. Now I know it weighs about as much as a roll of teepee and has about three dollars worth of parts in it but SOUNDWISE on SACD it was excellant-very close to the 555es. I have already stated that I prefer the 4802s dacs for redbook playback-very close. So if I were buying a sacd player today, I would purchase the 300.00 sony 775 and take the 500.00 and spend it on other equipment ventures..
     
  13. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    "Chip, I think the b&k is known for being extremly warm, correct?"

    Well not really.. warm yes, "extremely warm" no. I'd say it's very revealing and articulate. I prefer warm over bright. Owning an Integra receiver as well, i think i run the gammet. The B&K is arguably the closest you'd get to seperates in a receiver. My speakers are also very revealing. (PSB Stratus line)It was so obvious, it smacked me in the face.

    I'd say your findings are more the exception than the rule. But that's what makes tastes in different gear different. Enjoy..
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, a number of people on Audio Asylum have expressed pleasure and surprise with the sound quality of SACDs on the Sony 'CE775 as well as Sony's budget DVD players (DVP-NS500V and 'NC650V). However, it is CD playback that lets down the 'CE775, even for $350. Those were my conclusions too in limited, and admittedly less than ideal listening to the 'CE775 in stores. The 'C555ES definitely outperforms the 'CE775 with both CDs and SACDs (it ought to given the difference in price), but a larger difference is observed with CDs.
     
  15. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    KeithH, that was my conclusion as well. What Im saying is that if you get the sony 775 and hook it up with both the digital output and the analog outputs, considering the fact that your pre has good dacs, you could have close to the best of both worlds for cheaper. Good sacd playback and when used as a transport for redbook playback, that would be good as well

    I also wanted to state how I compared the 555es dacs with the 4802 and also as transports. I have 2 copies of the same cd "cranberries" I put one in the 555es and one in the panny rp56 and started them at the same time. I was able at the push of the remote to switch back and forth and yes the volume db was the same.

    When testing the digital out of the 555es with the analog out, I could also do this using the remote, but the analog out was 3 db higher then the digital, This alone could give somebody false impressions that the sony dacs were better. So what I had to due was turn down the volume on the analog output down by 3db..This was the best test I could do..
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, I agree with you regarding use of both the digital and analog outputs on the 'CE775, provided that one's pre-amp has a good DAC. Of course, it depends on the resolving power of one's system. In a higher-end system, I feel the 'CE775 would be deemed as lacking using the digital or analog outputs. Of course, with higher-end systems, many players fall into that category.

    Thanks for clarifying how you compared the 'C555ES and 'RP56. Good approach. Must have been pretty informative.
     
  17. Edward M

    Edward M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I have a Panasonic Rv-31, and a 15 year old non-ES Sony 5 disc changer feeding a digital signal to a Denon 3801. I must admit, the analog out on the 15 yo changer is horrible compared to the internal DAC of the 3801. But overall i'm disappointed with the sound of the Denon DAC.
    So...i'm also looking to purchase a Sony SCD 555ES. It will be for mostly redbook playback.
    One question. The Sony's internal bass management has a fixed crossover of 120Hz which I find high. I have Paradigm Reference 40's up front. Do most of you owners run all your speakers full range or are you happy with 120Hz?
    Also....Chip & Keith...I live in Wilmington DE, where did you guys buy your 555 player?
    Thanks!
    Ed
    [email protected]
     
  18. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    KeithH, I appreciate the cival conversation, it is informative as well. I have an observation and then a question.

    The denon 4802 which I dont claim is the end all by a long shot, has a "pure direct mode" in which the recievers 8 24 bit dacs line up onto 2 channels, thats pretty impressive-4 dacs on each channel. I would think 8 dacs would be hard to beat by 1 dac in redbook playback ? maybe Im missing something though. I understand theres more things that contribute like jitter,plate maechanism etc. but I dont believe they contribute as much to the sound perception but maybe Im wrong.

    I also stated that I had an !tjoeb 99 which was warmer and fuller then then denon but at the price of detail and bass definition.

    Have anybody did such comparisions with different cd players versues "pure direct mode" , I would love to hear your observations. Also does anybody have ideas as to a cd player that blows the socks off of the denon. I really would like to get a permanent player, or maybe just a great transport ? Lets keep this in the under 1000.00 catergory used or otherwise...thanks
     
  19. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Edward, you can purchase online from an autorized dealer like one call or Oades bros. I bought mine from one call for 785.00 shipped!

    I had the 3801 as well. My observsation was that it wouldnt get out of the way, no "pure direct mode" and I always felt that it touched the music to much. The 4802 pure mode turns off ALL video circuitry and boy does that make a difference!

    With the 555es I ran my speakers large for stereo, but mine are rated down to 29 hz, so I guess it really depends on your speakers as to what would sound better..
     
  20. Edward M

    Edward M Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    So it sounds like i'd be wasting my money on a Sony 555 for analog redbook playback unless I spend $2000+ for a better reciever/pre-pro.

    Some how I don't think the results would be that bad. I'll have to borrow one from a local shop.

    Thanks!

    Ed
     

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