Oade doesn't carry the 555ES should I even bother checking out he 222ES?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by james e m, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Th title pretty much says it all. I was leaning towards the 555ES but when I contacted Oade they said they were out for good and there were no replacments on the horizon. Is the 222ES worth looking into? My only real concern is just stereo cd playback, SACD is just a bonus. Are there any other cd players I should check out?
    Thanks...
    James
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    James, you probably know my thoughts on this subject by now, but in case not, I'll share them anyway. [​IMG] While the 'C222ES is no 'C555ES, the former is a very capable CD player for the money. However, if you are really keen on getting a 'C555ES, check brick and mortar dealers. They might still have stock, though you might have to pay retail. The 'C555ES is getting tough to find. Even a Tweeter store I was in the other day, which always had the 'C555ES at full retail, no longer has it. Much to my surprise, they have the 'XA777ES.
    Are you locked into a changer? If not, there are single-disc CD players (no SACD) priced comparably to the 'C222ES to consider. Consider the following:
    * Cambridge Audio D300SE
    * NAD C 521i
    Other CD changers to consider, though I doubt they are as good as the 'C222ES, are the Marantz CC4300, Denon DCM-370 (being replaced by the '380), NAD 523, and Sony CDP-CA70ES.
    If you are interested in single-disc player price comparably to the 'C555ES (or at least priced more than the 'C222ES), consider these models:
    * NAD C 541i
    * Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 (see www.upscaleaudio.com)
    * Heart CD5000 and CD6000 (see www.fsaudioweb.com)
    * Arcam DiVA CD62T, CD72T, and CD82
    * Rega Planet 2000
    * Cambridge Audio D500SE
    There is always the used market to consider too (eBay, Audiogon, etc.).
     
  3. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    Check out Audiogon. They had a used 555es for sale in the classifieds today. Also, check out the Goodguys. I just got one there last week. I was able to get them down to $650.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Pamela, Good Guys is not a national chain, and I am almost certain that James does not have one available to him in Michigan. [​IMG]
     
  5. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Pamela...
    Thank you for the tip, but Keith is right, we don't have Good Guys up here.
    Keith,
    Thank you for the over abundance of information, you are always very, very helpful and I appreciate that. I may hold my breath for about a month to see what $500-$600 range cd changers come out. Thanks for listing all those other options, I'm going to do my research. I was hoping Marantz would come up with some competition for the 555ES but no luck as of yet. [​IMG]
    James
     
  6. Jose T

    Jose T Stunt Coordinator

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    I picked one up a few weeks ago at expressaudiovideo.com for a great price. Call or write them for current pricing. I also have the 775 but this unit is the real deal. I enjoy the SACD foramt the only drawback is the remote(minor)since there is no on/off control.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jose,

    I assume you are talking about the 'C555ES. Is that correct?


    James,

    No problem. Let us know how things go.
     
  8. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    James,

    You don't mention your other equipment, but unless you have a flagship receiver (or separates) with fantastic speakers and an ear to match, the 222ES would probably do quite nicely. While I don't consider myself an 'audiophile,' I was able to tell the sound quality difference between a Marantz CC3000 changer and the Sony 'C222ES quite readily. The 222ES SACD playback is a bonus, as you mention.
     
  9. Jose T

    Jose T Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith H,

    Your correct as I was referring to the 555 ES SACD player. I have the enrty level unit 775 and just pick up the 555 ES as indicated in my previous post. This unit is solidly bulit and has the 5 year ES warranty. REmote is the biggest drawback as you know since their all the same on these Sony models 777, 222es and 555es.
     
  10. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    James, I've got the C555ES, and would definitely recommend it. However, it's my understanding that the Philips SACD-1000 is being reduced to $399 (only at Tweeter?). This is a very high quality, SACD/DVD player that originally retailed for $2000. Is it as good as the C555ES for SACD/CD playback? Dunno. But at that price, it's worth a listen IMO.
     
  11. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    If it matters I have the:
    Sony DA5ES
    2 Paradigm Studio 100s
    4 Studio 20s
    1 Studio CC

    and soon I will have the Outlaw 770 to power the speakers.

    Is the 222ES older than the 555ES? What are the differences between the players?
    James
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jose,

    Thanks. The remote for the Sony SACD players is nothing special, but the buttons are laid out well.


    James,

    The 'C555ES is older than the 'C222ES. The 'C555ES came out in April 2001 and was Sony's first multi-channel SACD player. The 'C222ES came out around October 2001. Don't assume, however, that the 'C555ES is outdated. It uses better DACs than the 'C222ES and has better power supplies. The 'C555ES is also built better. While the 'C222ES weighs in at around 16 lbs., the 'C555ES weighs around 24 lbs. The 'C555ES is the better-sounding component, but the 'C222ES is still good for the money.
     
  13. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Our 222ES just arrived last night. We only have a few SACDs, so we listened to those and then to some CDs. I was very impressed by how well this unit plays redbook CDs. We played some of the remastered Dire Straits, a Sony Classical John Williams guitar CD. All with Super Bit Mapping (SBM) Both sounded far better than when played in our standard Sony CD changer or the Tosh 4800 DVD player. I did run the 2 channel analog to the reciever so that I could get the bass redirection benefit of the 444ES A/V receiver for CD playback. Don't let your receiver do the PCM decode, it is not nearly as nice.
     
  14. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Supporting Actor

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  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Yeah, wouldn't you want to use the digital output to get the bass redirection on the receiver? To get bass redirection via the analog outputs, you would have to disengage the receiver's analog bypass mode, which is not desirable. You don't want to have the receiver perform A/D and D/A conversions to do the bass redirection.
     
  16. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Alright, I'm starting to figure this thing out.

    For 2 channel SACDs, I can set the 222 to output stereo + sub-woofer. This goes into the 5.1 direct input of the 444es and is not processed. This sounds really great and has plenty of low bass.

    For CDs, there is no way to redirect bass within the 222 and all you get is stereo on both the 5.1 and 2 channel outputs. In my opinion, DA Decoding in the 222 sounds far better than in the 444, even with the loss of the sub-woofer.

    Luckily, my mains go down to about 40Hz so CDs still sound very good with no DSP provided LFE redirection from the receiver.

    Andy
     
  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Andrew, you are right. However... (sorry!) [​IMG]
    I'm convinced - and I'm not the only one - that the onboard bass management of even the best Sony players (I have a C555ES) degrades the hi-res signal. Although my speakers aren't full-range all-around (my mains only hit 38Hz before beginning to roll off), I found it preferable to send a "direct" signal rather than employing any of the bass management (in two channel or multichannel modes). I'm unable to give you a technical explanation for this, but I'm fairly certain that my ears aren't lying to me (believe me: I so wanted the onboard bass management to work). And, yes, I did level match when doing this comparison, as engaging the onboard bass management reduces the volume of the signal. I compensated for this using a Radio Shack analog SPL meter to ensure equal levels when A-B'ing.
    I've since added an Outlaw ICBM-1 to my system, and this has resolved all my bass issues without any noticeable degradation of sound quality. And the ICBM will also allow you to use a sub with two channel sources (SACDS and regular Red Book CDs) without degradation and at practically any crossover you'd prefer (60, 80, 100, 120Hz).
    The one final "dirty little secret" (or "unfortunate surprise") is the discovery that speaker placement for multichannel playback is of utmost importance. There is no way of performing time alignment between channels; that is, there are no delay settings which you can employ. Ergo, you must have each speaker equidistant to the listening position (or within a fairly small margin, say less than a foot's difference in a usual setup - perhaps a bit larger discrepancy in a very large room). One is also unable to set the levels of the individual channels, so placement is important for this reason, as well. The onboard bass management of the Sonys does allow for level setting in multichannel mode, but again, at the cost of signal degradation.
     
  18. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, that looks like a really cool device! And I really needed to spend a few more $$$ on another set of cables anyway.... :)

    Andy
     
  19. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    You can get "B-stock" Outlaw ICBM-1s for $199 (I can't find a single blemish on mine). And it'll actually do quite a bit more than I mentioned in my last post ("normal" or "special" low-pass filter slopes, integrating stereo subs, "recombining" bass into the main speakers to reinforce sub, etc.). And if you have a pre-pro/amp combo, you can insert it in-between those two components and likely have much greater flexibility for bass management than your system currently provides (and you can use the delay and levels settings for DVDs, and still bypass all bass management to the ICBM).

    It's a very nifty little box.
     
  20. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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