Sony 444es, Sony 222es and more questions with SACD

Shane Martin

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Sep 26, 1999
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My birthday is in early May and I mentioned that I had heard about a couple SACD's hoping to drop the hint that I wanted an SACD player for my birthday. Well apparantly she got the hint and I'm doing some research to present the financial end of this deal to her to clinch it


My current setup involves:
Sony 444es Reciever with 1 analog 5.1 input
Sony 7es cd player hooked up via optical
Sony 530d dvd player via coaxial digital
Phillips Tivo/DSS setup via optical
Pioneer 604 Laserdisc player via coaxial

I was thinking about the players and saw it appears to be that the Sony 222es sacd changer is down to $499 MSRP now or atleast that Crutchfield has it for that price. I've emailed OADE about one and will find out tomorrow I'd imagine. I've also seen then on Ebay for $250-$300.

So a couple questions:
I would assume I need 6 analog intereconnects for 2 and 5.1 channel listing correct or do I need 8 total if I want to do both?

Does anyone know if there is any bass management on the analog 5.1 input of the 444es? I assume NO. Do I really need it? My mains play down to 22 as it is. They are going to be replaced this year(I hope) so this MIGHT be a problem later. I do have a very capable subwoofer.

Does the 222ES have any promo SACD's in the box?

Should the 222es be a better redbook player than my 7es? If so I guess I can sell it as it still has part of the warranty left(I think) and has very little use. I think I coudld get about $100-150. Maybe not.

Anyone owned both the 7(0) or 8(0) es and the 222es and could tell how much taller it is or are they the same?

Thanks for the help in advance.
 

Dan Joy

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Dec 8, 2001
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758
Shane,

I have the 222ES with the DA5ES here in Tulsa area.

Should the 222es be a better redbook player than my 7es?
I do not have the 7ES but my 222ES and DA5ES are oh so close with a slight edge to the DA5ES.
Hope this helps. You are welcome to come on over and check it out if you want(might cost ya some beers!).
 

KeithH

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Mar 28, 2000
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Shane, I'd take Dan up on his offer.
The 'V444ES does not have bass management on the 5.1-channel inputs (few receivers do). However, the 'C222ES performs bass management, so you could set it on the 'C222ES. You can't adjust the crossover frequency, but you can set the speaker configuration. Given that your mains are rated down to 22 Hz, you probably won't need to adjust the bass management, though. Just set the 'C222ES to multi-channel direct.

You can use six RCA cables to handle stereo and multi-channel SACD. Stereo SACD tracks will be played through the front and left jacks of the 5.1-channel outputs. Of course, you run a digital cable to play CDs, but try the analog outputs. By the way, the 'V444ES has analog bypass on the 5.1-channel inputs by default.

I had a 'C222ES in my second system for a little while last year, but unfortunately, the carousel drawer was not behaving. I ended up exchanging it for a 'C555ES. However, I found the 'C222ES to be an excellent audio component for the money. I also had the Sony 'CA80ES at one time, and the 'C222ES is a bit taller.
 

Dan Joy

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Dec 8, 2001
Messages
758
However, the 'C222ES performs bass management, so you could set it on the 'C222ES. You can't adjust the crossover frequency, but you can set the speaker configuration. Given that your mains are rated down to 22 Hz, you probably won't need to adjust the bass management, though. Just set the 'C222ES to multi-channel direct.
I call this bass MISmanagement! Multidirect IMHO is the ONLY way to go on the 222ES. I hear a tinty hollow upper in small speaker settings. Large plus sub is tolerable. My mains only go to 35Hz but I have no complaints
 

Rich Malloy

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Apr 9, 2000
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3,998
Does anyone know if there is any bass management on the analog 5.1 input of the 444es? I assume NO. Do I really need it? My mains play down to 22 as it is.
I'm not sure about your receiver, but I have the C555ES, and I believe the onboard bass management is identical to the 222ES.

I don't use it. Not only is the crossover point wholly inapt for my system (approx. 120Hz), but engaging the circuitry causes a noticeable, rather large drop in sound quality. My mains only go down to 35Hz before starting to roll off, but more importantly, my rear and center channels are only comfortable down to around 50Hz. Even so, I found the "Multichannel Direct" mode to be superior to every bass management option, even though I'd occasionally bottom out my center channel (Krall's "Look of Love", Beck's "Sea Change", Bowie's "Heathen" all had bass issues). Still, the sound was far better than with the bass management engaged.

I ended up buying a b-stock Outlaw ICBM-1 for $199, and it solved all my bass management woes. For music, I run my mains full-range (no sub), and have the bass redirected from my rears and center to the main channels. My center is crossed over at 80Hz and my rears at 60Hz. Much better than my DTS/DD bass management, because my receiver doesn't allow me to set different crossovers for different channels (so I have everything crossed at 80Hz for movies).

One consideration that might not have crossed your mind for hi-res, multichannel music: time alignment. Since you can't set delays, you must position your speakers equidistant from the listening position. I've found that it doesn't have to be exact, but the closer you get to identical distances, the better. This is particularly true for highly aggressive mixes of very rhythmic material... for example, Herbie Hancock's "Head Hunters" requires perfect time alignment, or it will sound echoey.
 

KeithH

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Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Dan and Rich, although the my front and rear speakers (Energy e:XL 16) only go down to 50 Hz), I use multi-channel direct on my 'C555ES. I have no complaints with this setting. I simply wanted to avoid extraneous processing.
 

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