Sony cdp-CA70ES vs NAD c521i

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob Horowitz, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

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    I've been listening to a lot of CD players lately, but haven't been able to audition these two head-to-head. Any insights regarding differences in sound between the two would be appreciated.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bob, welcome to the Forum. I haven't listened to these two players side-by-side, but these two models have been discussed here lately. Do a search. By the way, I am familiar with the NAD C 521. What is the C 521i? I've never seen the 'i' before. For the money, the C 521 is a nice player, as is the Sony 'CA70ES.
     
  3. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

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    Keith, I've seen all the relevant previous posts; it's just hard to judge without actually having the units side by side. The c521i and c541i appear to replace the previous incarnations, and are advertised as adding cd-rw playback. So I'm torn: do I go for the NAD, with maybe a more cohesive sound, or the Sony ES, which seems a bit more detailed to me and has features I might occasionally use, like a headphone jack? (The changer aspect isn't a big consideration for me.) I'm really looking to improve on the sound I'm getting from my Onkyo dual tray CD recorder. Do you think these units would do the trick? Decisions decisions....
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bob, both players you are looking at are capable. I agree that the Sony 'CA70ES is detailed, but I don't feel it is harsh. You will need to listen to them side-by-side to see which one you prefer. That said, I feel either one will beat your Onkyo CD recorder. That's just a hunch I have.
     
  5. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    From NAD's Web site, it appears that the 521i is identical with the 521, with the added benefit of CD-RW playback. I've never heard the Sony, but I've lived with the 521 for over a year now and absolutely love it. It's a fantastic player for the money and a definite category killer. I picked it up after auditioning a bunch of players that retailed up to $1000. To my ears, the only obviously better machines were the Rega Planet 2000 and Arcam Alpha 9--both of which cost quite a bit more.
     
  6. peter_anderson

    peter_anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob:

    I have the CA70ES, and it is grrrrreat! (tony the tiger voice)

    I have no proof of this, but I have heard that the NAD CD players are a tad more finicky with scratched/blemished discs, whereas the Sony is fairly tolerant.

    Also, I chose the CA70ES _primarily_ because of the carousel feature and then the price. if you don't care abou the carousel feature, i would encourage you to look at the Cambridge Audio D-300SE at audioadvisor.com. it may be a bit more refined for ~$300.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Peter, NAD's previous-generation C 520 and C 540 are well known for being sensitive to scratches or dirt on CDs. I have read that the C 521 and C 541 are better in that regard.

    Sony ES CD changers are very good with scratched or dirty CDs. I once had two 'CA80ES changers, and they handled everything I threw at them with aplomb.
     
  8. Bob Horowitz

    Bob Horowitz Auditioning

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    Gentlemen, thank you for your input.

    Keith, does Sony still make a budget single disk ES model?

    Peter, do you know if your CA70ES plays CD-RWs? Does it have a peak search function?
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bob, Sony no longer makes a single-disc ES CD player at any price point. The CDP-XA20ES was discontinued last year. The only single-disc ES player that Sony makes, not counting the DVP-S9000ES DVD/SACD player, is the SCD-XA777ES SACD player, which retails for $3000 and is available for $2000 by mail. Things are a bit better overseas, as Sony also offers the SCD-XA333ES single-disc SACD player. It retails for £1200. I look at the 'XA333ES as the overseas version of our SCD-C555ES. Anyway, Sony tends to market more carousel changers in North America and more single-disc player overseas.

    I believe the 'CA70ES plays CD-RWs. I once had two 'CA80ES changers (a step-up model from the 'CA70ES), and it played CD-Rs and CD-RWs. The manual for the 'CA80ES made no mention of CD-R or CD-RW compatibility because the player came out before CD burners had become ubiquitous, but I found that it handled them just fine.
     

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