Sony 555ES vs NC650 Sacd Player

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steven Hen, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. Steven Hen

    Steven Hen Stunt Coordinator

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    Just picked up the 555ES and wow does it blow away my old nc650 combo dvd/sacd player! I was very unhappy with the sacd sound of the nc650. In 2 ch mode, the bass was nill, in multi it was a little better but still not right. The 555 sounds awesome in 2ch and multi. I'm wondering if there might be something wrong with my 650 or is it just that bad for sacd? Anyone else have experience with the nc650?
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Steven, I doubt there is anything wrong with your 'NC650V. It is a good player given all its capabilities and the price, but it is no 'C555ES. Not even close. You are comparing a DVD/SACD/CD changer that sold for $400 when introduced versus an ES SACD/CD changer that is built like a truck and originally retailed for $1700. There is no comparison. Congrats. on picking up the 'C555ES and enjoy it! It's a killer machine, especially at today's prices.
     
  3. Steven Hen

    Steven Hen Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith, I know what you are saying. I guess I should have included that I hooked up my 775 in place of my 650 and that sounded great compared to the 650. With my NC650 there is very little bass in 2 ch and a bit better in multi. Too me the NC650 sounds bassless in 2 ch and I tried every setting I could think of. Oh well, I'm keeping it for a dvd player for now and I'll start enjoying my new 555ES for sacds.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Steven, so you have the 'NC650, 'CE775, and 'C555ES? Have you compared the 'CE775 and 'C555ES? In my experience, the 'C555ES is much better than the 'CE755, with the difference being far more significant with CDs than SACDs.
     
  5. Steven Hen

    Steven Hen Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith, yes I have those 3 players. I just picked up the 555 today so have very limited time listening to it. I originally picked up the nc650 to replace my old and tired pioneer dvd player, and I thought why not try sacd. I then added the ce775 to my second cheapo system and started wondering why sacd sounded better than my main system. So this morning I grabbed the 775 and put it into my main system and damn it sounded great compared to the 650. My 650 just sounds like dirt. Now I know it was the player's short coming so I called up my local dealer and inquired about the 555, had it home shortly there after. As of yet I have not tried any cd's in the 555, just been playing a bunch of sacds 2ch and multi. So far sacd performance seems similar between the 555 and the 775, haven't been able to disern a difference yet. Is there any truth to the break in theory?
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Steven, you sound like me with SACD players. [​IMG] Some people believe strongly in break-in. I can't really comment on it since I have never observed it. One reason I might not have observed it is due to my listening habits. It seems to me that the best, and possibly only, way to observe break-in is to listen frequently to a particular disc or small number of discs that you are very familiar with. In other words, keep familiar music in constant rotation. I don't listen to music that way. My moods change, and I am constantly listening to different discs each day. Maybe that's why I haven't observed break-in. In any event, if you do start to notice differences between the 'CE775 and 'C555ES with SACDs, let us know. I have heard significant differences during in-store demos.
     
  7. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    Yes there is a problem with the "Bass" output jack on the back of the NC650V, (as well as all their Multi-Channel combo players) it is approximately -15db relative to the other outputs. I had to crank the bass all the way up on the 650V as well as the TA-P9K bass control, and as you noted 2-Ch SACD's are nearly useless. However I'm surprised to hear the 555ES is handling the bass better, as it has the same bass management (I'm told by Sony) as all of there multi-channel SACD players, and apart from a well dampened chassis and a much better power supply the ES version is nearly identical to the 650V.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, the 'C555ES may use a better DAC than the 'NC650V. I know that the 'C555ES uses a better DAC than the 'CE775 and 'C222ES. My guess is that the DAC in the 'NC650V is the same as the one used in the 'CE775 and 'C222ES. In any event, there are many differences between the 'NC650V and 'C555ES aside from just the former unit playing DVDs.

    You said:

     
  9. Steven Hen

    Steven Hen Stunt Coordinator

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  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Steven, I do not use the Outlaw ICBM for multi-channel SACD or DVD-Audio. One of my 'C555ES changers is split between my main stereo system for playback of CDs and stereo SACDs (via the stereo analog outputs) and my home-theater system for playback of multi-channel SACDs (via the 5.1-channel outputs). I just use the 'C555ES as is with multi-channel SACDs. Let me add that I do not have full-range speakers in my home-theater system, but I like what I hear.
     
  11. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Please take the following as my own personal experience and not a generalization to all of you who have purchased the 555es.

    I have not heard the 650 but recently owned the 555 es. I thought redbook playback would be better, but my musical fidelity cd player was superior. Furthermore, my dacs on MY EAD 8000 did a better job converting the signal from the digital coax than the DACs on my 555es through the analog bypass. Bottom line, as a redbook transport I was hoping for more.

    As far as SACD is concerned, I do appreciate the resolution of the format in general. However,I can not tell enough dif. from one SACD player to the next to justify the massive cost dif. between the 777,555,222,775. Am I by myself on this point or has anyone else come to a similar conclusion.

    BTW, I did return the 555es and have not replaced it yet. Maybe I was just expecting too much from this component.
     
  12. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    Joey,
    I have read that the Sony ES players (9000, 555, 333, 777) need OVER 400 hours burn in on both SACD and CD. So a total of 800 hours.
    I have read that these players OPEN up to a great degree. So much so that it was considered to compete at a reference level with multi-kilo buck cdps. SACD....well that's another league altogether.
    Some professional magazine reviewers have admitted the same as writing off the ES line in redbook b/c they did not realize the EXTENSIVE break-in time required. Once they corrected the break-in bias, they were amazed at the level of playback.
    As for myself, I'm buying the 9000es for HT (or maybe the upcoming new model) and the Oade Bros. modded 555 for the computer room.
     
  13. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    that sounds reasonable. I used my 555 ES for about 30 hours not over the 40 you mentioned. I may give it a go again later on.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joey, I have not observed break-in on my SACD players, but many others have. People on the Hi-Rez Highway board on www.audioasylum.com talk about it all the time. I feel the 'C555ES is an excellent CD player, but some CD players are better. You are comparing the 'C555ES to some nice components. Still, you might want to give the 'C555ES another try to see if it breaks in.
    I have found that SACDs sound very good on all of Sony's players. However, on a good system, I can hear differences between models. On my home system, the '777ES (not 'XA777ES) is better with SACDs than the 'C555ES. The 'C555ES is very good, but the '777ES is on another level.
     
  15. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    In the same price range ($500-$700 right now) what might be a better CD player than the C555ES? Must be a changer, SACD desirable but not strictly required. A friend asked for a recommendation in that price range.

    My gut reflex was to recommend the C555ES, and it still sounds like a good choice, just thought I'd see if there was anything notable that folks like better for similar price.
     
  16. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    Based on this same research, I have concluded that the Sony 555es is the best cd changer and plays redbook that puts $1000 cdps to shame.

    An Oade bros mod for $177 will have it sounding almost like an 777es--a machine who's sacd is unparalleled and rebook that's true reference.
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Neil, there aren't too many CD changers in the $500-700 price range these days. Once you get above $300, you mostly see single-disc players. That said, Rotel recently made a carousel changer. The model number might be the RCC-855. I believe it sold for around $700. I'm not sure if it is still available. Otherwise, you don't have many options without consideration of DVD changers. Personally, I would get a 'C555ES.
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Neil, I just checked www.rotel.com , and no CD changers are currently in production.
     
  19. Emil Stoica

    Emil Stoica Second Unit

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    Well I just took delivery of a 555es today. I already have a XA-777ES and a 9000ES. I got the 555es to replace a CE775. There is just something about SACD players that makes you feel compeled to own many variations of them. I have been playing discs on the 555es all day today. So far, I am very impressed. ALthough it is not as good as the 777es, I can hear a great advantage over my previous CE775. For the price right now, I do not see how you can go wrong with the 555es.
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Emil said:
     

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