Sony 555ES Receives Class A Designation!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Scoggins, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Friends,
    It's almost October and you know what that means: The Stereophile Recommended Components list is out.
    One big surprise: the Sony SCD-555ES receives the coveted Class A ranking (player priced at $800). This amidst several super expensive multi-kilo buck CD players such as the Oracle CD2500 at $9845 and the Linn CD12 at $20,000.
    Not too shabby. At least Stereophile thinks this player deserves a top rating.
    Also, the XA777ES received the highest rating of A+. Along with the Accuphase at $16.5K, Meridian at $17-19K, and Classe Omega at $12K.
    For those of you wanting to get into SACD, audition the 555ES and see if it works for you.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lee, thanks for the info. The 'C555ES was reviewed by Stereophile awhile ago. Did it not receive a Class A rating in the April Recommended Components list? Also, does Stereophile rank SACD player performance among SACD players only or do they rate the CD performance of SACD players against all CD players? In other words, is the 'C555ES a Class-A component among just the small group of SACD players available or is it a Class-A CD player among all currently-available CD players Stereophile has reviewed? If it is the latter, that is certainly saying a lot about the 'C555ES. I have no doubt that the 'C555ES is a Class-A component among SACD players. Regardless, Stereophile has ranked all of the Sony ES SACD players highly in its Recommended Components lists.
     
  3. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    The 555ES was rated Class A in Stereophile's April 2002 edition and the 777ES was rated Class A+. They recently created the SACD, DVD-A, & CD Player group so I'm a little unclear on exactly what the Class A rating means for the 555ES. I would guess that it is based on it's combined performance of SACD's and CD's but either way it bodes very well for this unit considering the group of players that it has been grouped with. I really gotta get one of these. Does anyone know if Sony has truly retired the 555ES with NO plans of replacing it.

    Thanx,
    Lin
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  5. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    Did the Sony 222es receive any sort of mention or ranking for the poorer folks out there? [​IMG]
    Aaron
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lin,

    From what I have read and been told by dealers, the 'C555ES has been discontinued. Sony has not yet announced a replacement. John Kotches recently said that Sony could announce some new SACD players at CEDIA, which is coming up. We shall see. Given the low price of the 'C555ES now ($600 by mail), grab one before they are gone.

    Thanks for the information regarding Stereophile's April Recommended Components list.


    Lee said:

     
  7. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee,

    Thanks...Good info.

    I am waiting for my mag. in the mail but cant wait that long to see how the ranked dif. components.

    Do you know if there is a link on line to view thier picks and rankings. I did not have any luck.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joey, I have never seen Stereophile's Recommended Lists on its web site.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  10. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    The review can be accessed from Stereophiles website. I ran a search on C555es and was able to find the original article/ review.

    Jim
     
  11. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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    Did Stereophile rate the 555ES as Class A based on its SACD or regular 2 channel CD performance?
     
  12. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    I fear that it is a combination of both which is misleading. Someone who has a large CD collection may buy this unit based on its rating thinking it is the best CD player for them when in reality the Class A rating was largely due to its SACD playback. Now, don't get me wrong because I'm sure this unit is a fabulous CD player but can it really compete with a $20k Linn or even the $5k Music Fidelity Nu-Vista 3D.

    I just reviewed the actual review of the 555ES and I could not find anywhere that it was given a Class A rating in the article. Oh well, I guess it fell into that category when final analysis was done for the Recommended Components issue.

    Lin
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lin, Stereophile does not assign a Class designation at the time a component is reviewed. The Class designation is only assigned in the Recommended Components lists, which come out every April and October.

    I certainly would not expect the 'C555ES to compete with the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 3D or Linn Sondek CD12, but the 'C555ES is an excellent player in its price range (including its original retail price of $1700).
     
  14. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    That is the way it usually works, very sledom do they designate a specific rating. Usually just "reccommened". The 555es must be there for sacd only.

    -rob
     
  15. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I am looking for a SACD player and an upgrade to my current cd player. I have been looking at the Sony ES and Marantz players so far. I have a hard time believing that the Sony 555ES will be as good as my Denon DCD-1290. As far as the standard cd section is concerned. The Denon DCD-1290 has dual 20 bit D/A's and has been a very good cd player. My goal now however is to have SACD playback capability. And to upgrade to a better CD player overall. And although I am not doubting that the 555ES is a good player. IMHO do not beleive that the 5 disc transports are as good as the single drawer transports. I am leaning towards a stand alone deck. Because I feel that a model with both DVD/DVD-A and SACD capabilities. Will have to compromise quality somewhere in order to acomidate the two major formats plus reading red book cd's. I guess I feel if I am going to spend the money on upgrading. I might as well move up from what I have now, instead of just settling for the same quality I have now. The 9000ES dvd/sacd sounded good as well but I feel I can do better. And I felt the 9000ES was not supperior to my current 1290 Denon. I hope to be able to ear the Marantz models soon. And I will also be looking for the Sony ES SACD/CD model above the 555ES.
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dave, I don't know how the 'C555ES compares to the Denon '1290, but why don't you just compare them? I know you have been looking for an SACD player for awhile now. If you don't want to buy a 'C555ES by mail for experimentation, why not head over to Good Guys, Ultimate Electronics, or whatever is in your area and take one home? You have nothing to lose and possibly everything to gain.
     
  17. WarrenCo

    WarrenCo Agent

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    Dave,

    I think Keith has a good suggestion. I have had the 555 for about a week and I am blown away by both its SACD and CD performance. And it was less than $600. Don't let the low price fool you. I consider the rest of my system to be pretty high-end and the sony fits right in with my Integra Research RDC-7 PRe, Sunfire Signature Series amps 2 channel and 5 channel, Aerial Acoustic 10t's front and side, Aerial CC5 and SR3's, Rel Stadium III sub, Panasonic RP-91 etc.

    Best Wishes

    Warren
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Warren said:
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  20. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Hello Keith & Warren
    Under normal circumstances your advice would work out very nicely. I do not think Good Guys has a policy of taking something back just because you do not like it? And I am sure that they will not let me just take one home to try out. I am unaware of any store in my area that will let my do that. I looking at different models just not for there d/a's. But am looking for improved transports, d/a and bet dampening against skiping. I have always prefered single drawer models. Over multi cd models because the transports in the single drawer to my knowledge. Seem to be much better than the multi disc units. I think its really cool that the 555ES has worked so well for you. It is a nice unit but I would like alittle better. I am striving to make my system the best it can be for the money I can afford to put into it. Also not verymany people seem to have SACD's hooked up so I can demo them. The 555ES seems to be the best unit they have on display. I wish they would have a better single drawer unit on display. Many of the stores do not have the Marantz on display but they all can order them. I like to hear something first before I buy it. It sounds like you guys have a really nice system [​IMG] . Thanks for the advice[​IMG]
     

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