Sony DVP-NC650V vs CE775 vs 222ES for SACD/CD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gil D, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    I am considering upgrading my Sony CE775 SACD changer. Initially I was thinking of the 222ES but just noticed the NC650 combo CD/SACD/DVD changer that also plays CD-R. With the NC650V it would seem that I could combine my DVD player & CD changer and get the benefit of freeing up cabinet space and also adding the dvd changer capability. Progressive video isn't a requirement, but acceptable downcoversion for 4:3 display is.
    How do these three changers compare as far as audio quality? My impression is that for sacd playback that the 775 isn't that far behind the 333ES unit but redbook CDs were better on the 333ES. Haven't had a chance to really evaluate the 222ES or NC650.
    Also, how might the DVD video quality of the 650 compare to my Pioneer DV-404.
    Thanks.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Gil, I'll give you my impressions of these players, mostly based on what I have read. First, let me start of by saying that I was in a similiar boat as you recently. I never bought the 'CE775, but for many months, I was considering the purchase of a multi-channel SACD changer. At the same time, I wanted a quality CD changer. I quickly dismissed the 'CE775 because I was not impressed with the build quality. Also, I had read many reviews stating that CD playback on the 'CE775 was so-so, which is what I expected from a non-ES product from Sony (no offense).
    I then briefly considered replacing my Sony DVP-C670D DVD changer with the 'NC650V to kill two birds with one stone, as you are considering. However, the presence of video circuitry in a budget product made me leery of how good an audio component the 'NC650V is. Recall that I was looking for a good CD changer too. I had no reason to expect the 'NC650V to be a better CD changer than the 'CE775. On the DVD side, the Sony DVP-NC600 DVD changer (no SACD capability) has few features than my 'C670D, and I wasn't sure if the 'NC650V also offers fewer features. Besides, I have been extremely pleased with the 'C670D and couldn't see giving it up. I will say that the 'NC650V feels like a more solid component than the 'CE775, but still, the 'NC650V wasn't for me.
    For many months, I awaited the release of the 'C222ES. When Sony announced its release earlier in the year, its only multi-channel SACD changer from the ES line was the SCD-C555ES, which retailed for $1700 back then. I looked at the 'C222ES as a much cheaper way to get ES quality, and I expected the 'C222ES to be much better than the 'CE775. In viewing the 'C222ES at Tweeter a few times over the last month, the external build quality is considerably better than that of the 'CE775. However, it's been said on a couple occasions by Ric Schultz, a guru of component innards, over on Audio Asylum that the 'C222ES is quite similar to the 'CE775 internally. He has said that the two players use the same inexpensive transport mechanism and the same Burr-Brown DACs. However, he did say that the 'C222ES has a slightly larger power supply. In addition, the 'C222ES offers gold-plated RCA outputs and a coaxial digital output, which the 'CE775 does not offer. He also said the analog output stage of the 'C222ES is better than that of the 'CE775. Still, I didn't take Ric Schultz's comments as a ringing endorsement for the 'C222ES given that it is over twice the price of the 'CE775.
    In the end, I went with the 'C555ES. Sony dropped the retail price about a month ago to $1200, and I bought it from OneCall (authorized dealer) a few weeks ago for $824 delivered. Ric Schultz said upon inspecting the inside of the 'C555ES that it uses better Burr-Brown DACs than the 'CE775 and 'C222ES, has two large power supplies (one for the analog section and one for the digital section), a better analog output stage than the two cheaper models, and a much better transport. Also, if you go to Tweeter, you will see that the external build quality of the 'C555ES is noticeably better than that of the 'C222ES. As an example, the 'C555ES weighs 24 lbs., 5 oz., while the 'C222ES weighs around 16 lbs. Anyway, go to Tweeter and tap the sides of the 'C555ES and 'C222ES to observe the relative build quality.
    I have been extremely pleased with the 'C555ES. It is an excellent component in CD, stereo SACD, and multi-channel SACD mode. You might consider stretching your budget to get the 'C555ES if you are at all interested in the 'C222ES. The best price I have seen on the 'C222ES from an authorized dealer is $600 delivered from Oade Bros. They sell the 'C555ES for $800 delivered. At $200 more than the 'C222ES, the 'C555ES is a steal in my opinion. I know two other members of the HTF who bought the 'C555ES around the same time I did, and both are very happy with their purchase as well.
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  3. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Keith,
    I don't care if the connectors are gold plated but an improved analog output stage and lower power supply noise are more interesting, as long as the improvement is audible of course.
    I guess if I sold my CE775 I could spring for an ES unit perhaps even the 555es at onecall. But I have been impressed with the 775 so far and not sure if the ES is really worth the $. The ES units also lack fast forward/reverse buttons on the front panel which seems odd.
    If the NC650 is equal to the 775 for sacd and a step up for CD then I'd give it a try. I also thought I saw that the video circuitry could be turned off for audio only on this unit.
    Has anyone else have experience with or done some comparisons between some of these changers that can offer there opinion?
     
  4. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    I own both the CE7775 and the C333ES, and I have to say that the C333ES takes the cake in both SACD and CD performance overall. I only bought the CE775 for SACD multichannel playback, and have been very satisfied, even though it's sound quality is no where near that which I experience with the 333ES in stereo.
    So my suggestion is that if you are truly serious about overall sound quality for SACD, you should upgrade, as Keith indicated, to the C555ES. It has many of the better quality components internally, and is probably closer to what I hear with the C333ES (it could even be better) than what you and I hear from the CE775.
    I am not saying that the CE775 is a poor performer, but if you are going to "upgrade" you should get something better, and it would seem that to merely move to the DVP-NC650V would be a lateral move instead of an upward move.
     

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