scd-c222es vs cdp-ca70es

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob Horowitz, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, so the c222es has dropped in price, and the question becomes: How is this player's performance on ordinary CDs compared to the previous generation Sony ES CD player. I'm looking for the best CD performance in this price range, without regard to SACD capability. Thanks for any insights.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, good question. I have listened to both players, but not side-by-side. It's been awhile since I listened to the 'CA70ES. My gut tells me the 'C222ES is better. Sony has done a bang-up job with its ES SACD players in the CD department. I replaced a 'CA80ES, which was a step-up model from the 'CA70ES, with a 'C555ES, and the difference was immediately obvious. The 'C555ES is a much better CD player than the 'CA80ES. Now, the 'C555ES is a better player in my experience than the 'C222ES, but the 'CA80ES was better than the 'CA70ES. Just my opinion on all of this, of course, but I feel the 'C222ES would be the way to go rather than the 'CA70ES. Tweeter has both the 'CA70ES and 'C222ES, so if you have one in your area, they would probably allow you to listen to both players. Of course, Tweeter's prices are high in comparison to J&R Music World and other mail-order dealers. Tweeter has the 'C222ES for $500, whereas J&R has it for $380. Of course, you should be able to get the 'CA70ES from J&R for under $250, which is a great price for that player. In the end, let your ears decide.
     
  3. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I made it to the local Tweeters store and listened carefully to both units; I used my own headphones and a CD I know quite well. To my ears, the c222ES is definately NOT better than the CA70ES for standard CD playback. If anything, the CA70ES was slightly better. Any difference is so small that a purchase decision between the two comes down to whether the SACD playback capability is something that's desired for the $200 difference in list price. (It's not something I want). In addition, the changer mechanism is much quieter on the CA70ES.

    Keith, I should make clear here that I can definitely discern differences in CD playback between many different players, some at the same price point. (This in light of certain interesting threads you've participated in here!)

    I'm now deciding between the CA70ES and (believe it or not) the Rotel RCD-961. I've decided against the NAD player which we had discussed in a previous thread. I'll almost certainly go for the Sony changer.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, interesting result. I wouldn't have expected it. As I said, I noticed a significant improvement in going from a 'CA80ES to the 'C555ES (with CDs), which are step-up models from the 'CA70ES and 'C222ES, respectively. The 'C555ES is a different animal from the 'C222ES, however. Anyway, seeing as you found the 'CA70ES to be a good player, grab it for $300 or less (hopefully less), unless SACD entices you. I suggest you consider SACD before pulling the trigger. Just my $0.02. If you decide to go with a Sony player, do call J&R Music World. As I said, they sell the 'C222ES for $380 (I have one coming for my second system next week) and the 'CA70ES for $250 or less.

    If I have one complaint about the Sony ES SACD changers it is that the carousel mechanisms are loud. The 'CA70ES and 'CA80ES are very quiet by comparison. I don't know what Sony is doing there. My Sony DVP-C670D carousel DVD changer is loud too. I don't like the loud thunk that the current Sony changers make when you turn them on or after the carousel completes a rotation and displays "No Disc". That said, I find my 'C333ES and 'C555ES to be quieter than the 'CE775 that I owned briefly. As I recall from my time playing in stores, the carousel in the 'C222ES sounds more like the 'CE775 than the 'C555ES.

    You said:

     
  5. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keith, the two units at Tweeter were in separate rooms, and I listened to them through their headphone jacks. After forming my impressions of the two players, I listened to the CA70ES through a Denon A/V receiver and Boston Acoustics VR950 small towers. They had a fairly nice switching system set up in that room, and I chose those speakers because I think they sound similar to what I have at home. I don't recall what the c222ES was hooked up to in the other room.

    By the way, as you suspected in an earlier thread, I found the CA70ES played my CD-R AND CD-RW without a problem. I even lifted the front of the player while it was playing a CD and it didn't even hiccup; very nice mechanism!
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, right. You did say that you used headphones in comparing the two players. Glad to hear that you found the 'CA70ES to work well with your CD-Rs and CD-RWs. That matches my experiences with the 'CA80ES. The only problem I did have with CD-Rs and CD-RWs on the 'CA80ES was with skipping forward or backward during a track. The player would skip through a track for awhile and would stop, even though I still was pressing the button on the remote. That never happened with store-bought CDs. In any event, the 'CA80ES never had problems playing CD-Rs or CD-RWs, either straight through from beginning to end or when picking a track at random.
     
  7. Nestor_Ramos

    Nestor_Ramos Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hope this doesn't complicate matters for you (though it probably will) but what are the chances the headphone jack is putting a ceiling of sorts on the players' performances? Is this an accepted way of auditioning different players? I've always been a little wary of auditioning anything with headphones that wasn't, well, headphones.

    This should go in the other thread, but, uh, Jaleel has sunk his claws into that one, so I'll post it here:

    Incidently, I went to Good Guys today and they set up a side by side comparison between the 775 and 222ES Sony SACD carousels in a small, quiet, enclosed room. Associated equipment was a Parasound pre-amp and stereo amp and the 4-driver Energy Veritas towers. On the Dave Brubeck SACD, the differences between the two players was subtle -- a slight edge to the 222 which resolved details in the drum kit a little better and separated the instruments a little more. On CD -- the first Beachwood Sparks album (these guys are great, by the way, if anybody's looking for a new band to get into) -- the same differences were there, but were more apparent. This was closely level-matched, btw. The end-result was that I was more impressed by the step up between these two players than I thought I would be.

    My girlfriend, after listening along with me but without discussing it, rolled her eyes and said "well now we HAVE to get the big one," (meaning the ES). My-hand-on-a-bible, that was the first thing out of her mouth. Pretty hilarious. I think she's a keeper -- but am I talking about the girl or the CD player?

    Nestor
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nestor, I have never compared players using headphones, but I have come across many people who have. A former colleague of mine believed that was the best way to audition CD players. I wonder if the headphone pre-amps in these players are representative of the true sound quality they offer. Maybe the headphone pre-amp in the 'C222ES sucks and does not accurately represent what the player is capable of. I have no idea, but I suppose it is possible.
    As for comparing the 'CE775 and 'C222ES, I have read comments from many people on Audio Asylum stating that the 'CE775 is especially lacking as a CD player. I have found that to be the case as well. The same goes for the Sony DVP-NS500V DVD/SACD player. SACDs sound quite good on the 'CE775 for the money, but CDs are another story entirely.
    Both the 'C222ES and your girlfriend are keepers. [​IMG] My girlfriend is very supportive of my interest in audio, and she appreciates what draws me to the hobby. She is great.
     
  9. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,687
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    I was thinking along the same lines as Nestor. If the two players don't have the exact same headphone circuits, which they might, wouldn't that ruin the comparrison. Furthermore, do headphone jacks sound like digital or analog outputs? They must have different characteristics. Damn it's hard to compare stuff.... Best wishes!
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,886
    Likes Received:
    850
    Location:
    Michigan
    Nestor,

    Thanks for the comparison between the CE775 and 222ES. This is exactly what I have been looking for, and all hope seemed lost in the other thread -- thanks to Jaleel.

    I was also thinking the same thing regarding the use of headphones to test player performance. I would imagine that one place a manufacturer would cut corners on a less expensive player would be in the headphone pre-amp. Most people would probably never know the difference (I know I wouldn't, because I never use headphones with my main system).
     
  11. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keith:

    You mentioned transport noise on the 555ES. Is this only during disc changing or also while playing a disc? I am concerned only about the latter.

    How audible is the mechanism when playing a disc? Same question about the 777ES. I listen to a lot of classical music, and obtrusive motor noise can be a problem during quiet passages.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alex, I have found Sony's SACD players to be dead quiet when playing discs, and this includes the 'CE775. Now, I don't sit right in front of the players during use, but when sitting 6 to 8 feet away from the players, I hear no transport noise. With the changers, I was referring to noises that the carousels make when you turn the players on. For example, if you turn the player on with no discs loaded, the player will first make a loud "thunk". The noise is a bit annoying at first, but that is the way these players were designed. Then the carousel will rotate as the player searches for discs. When the carousel completes its rotation, the player will make a similar thunk sound as it displays "No Disc".
     
  13. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keith:

    Thanks again. I was hoping the noise was only during various cycling modes and not during actual play. That's great news.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alex, no problem. I don't think you will have a problem with a Sony SACD changer.
     
  15. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see this thread has evolved nicely! About auditioning players through their headphone jacks: I thought that might get a rise out of someone! I like doing this for several reasons:

    1. I can walk in and audition without any setup hassles.

    2. I can also form some impressions that I can take with me. (i.e. I can audition components in different shops and have some basis of comparison by removing speakers, amps, and rooms from the equation.) (I know about issues involving short audio memory, A/B switching, and blind testing; I'd prefer we leave those particular questions to the zealots elsewhwere.)

    3. I've found that the differences I heard between two players (denon 370 and Sony CA70ES) from their headphone jacks were the same differences I heard when comparing them through a reciever/speaker combo.

    I agree that unless one plans to listen only through the headphone jacks it's not the best way to compare. But I still feel that the main difference to be considered between these two particular players (C222ES and CA70ES) is the SACD capability vs price difference. I also think that if the C222ES were to have an inferior headphone amp (a big if) as well as a clunkier carousel mechanism (my observation) than the CA70ES, well, that may be telling us something.
     

Share This Page