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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas_Berg, Jan 13, 2002.
anyone have any thoughts/opinions on this new SACD player? how far "below" the '555ES is it?
Thomas, I have read nothing but praise about the performance of the 'C222ES with both CDs and SACDs. Build quality certainly isn't up to par with the 'C555ES. Unfortunately, I haven't heard the 'C222ES and 'C555ES side-by-side. I heard the 'C222ES at Tweeter once in a B&K/Vienna Acoustics set-up and was thoroughly unimpressed. However, that could have been a result of the pre-amp/power amp and/or speakers used (i.e., poor components or lack of system synergy). I didn't pursue the 'C222ES too seriously when the 'C555ES became available for $800 by mail. As I'm sure you know, brick-and-mortar stores sell the 'C222ES for $800 (full retail).
Let me share a couple of tidbits regarding the performance of the 'C222ES and 'C555ES I picked up on Audio Asylum. They are interesting, but take them with a grain of salt. An Inmate there named 'detayls' claims to own both the 'C222ES and 'C333ES, the latter only playing CDs and stereo SACDs. detayls claims that the 'C222ES is better in stereo mode than the 'C333ES. That surprised me a bit. Also, an Inmate named 'michi' has compared the 'C333ES and 'C555ES in terms of the sound quality and the relative quality of internal parts, and has claimed that the 'C333ES is the better stereo player. She claims that the 'C555ES uses smaller capacitors since there are more channels to be concerned with (multi-channel vs. stereo) and that these smaller capacitors render the 'C555ES inferior in stereo mode. If we consider detayls' and michi's comments, can we assume that the 'C222ES is better than the 'C555ES? I highly doubt it. The three players weren't compared side-by-side in one system. Even if they had been, we would only be reading an opinion. The point of all of this is to be careful in reading opinions on one player being better than another.
I own the 'C333ES and 'C555ES, but have not compared them side-by-side, as they are in different systems and I haven't felt like dragging one player to the other system. All I can say is that I am extremely pleased with the 'C555ES in every respect. Still, you owe it to yourself to audition the 'C222ES and 'C555ES and decide if the 'C555ES is worth the extra cash to you. Just remember that you can get the 'C555ES from Oade Bros., OneCall, or J&R Music World for around $800. Best of luck.
anyone else? is build quality the only stepdown fron the '555?
I can only put in my .02 in support of the 555ES. I've had it for a little over two weeks right now. Very basic 2-channel system (waiting for Outlaw 950 for multichannel capability) with a 50 watt Harman Kardon receiver paired with Paradigm Reference 40 speakers.
SACD on the 555 is amazing. I only have three titles plus the samplers included with the player. Michael Jackson's Thriller, Billy Joel's 52nd Street and Dave Brubeck's Time Out. Thriller, especially sounds amazing. I compared my roommates Redbook to the SACD and it's completely different. The 555 is EXTREMELY detailed. The sound is tight and very clear. Soundstage and imaging are right on. The thing is built like a tank. At first I thought the player was a bit "bright" with my system, but after swapping out the stock cables with Outlaw Audio interconnects, the highs have been tamed and the sound is very balanced, very neutral now. The Dave Brubeck SACD is a delight and I'm finding myself listening to it in full at least once a day.
I really couldn't be happier with this player at this time and my evaluations are still ongoing. As for Redbook playback, it's the best player I've owned by far. That's not saying much as my other players are far inferior to this one, but that takes nothing away from the 555. It's got a great "meaty" sound on music with good low end and lets the mids and hi's sparkle on other stuff. I actually think Redbook playback is where this unit shines.
Thomas, for more info. on the differences between the 'C222ES and 'C555ES, go to the Hi-Rez Highway board on Audio Asylum (www.audioasylum.com) and search for posts by Ric Schultz. In case you are not aware, Ric is very well known for modifying audio components by upgrading various parts. Based on his experience in the field, he often posts good information on the parts (ID and quality) used in various components. He has posted information on the internal parts used in the 'C222ES and the 'C555ES and has said that the 'C555ES is much better on the inside. Surprisingly, he said the 'C222ES is very similar to the 'CE775 internally. I found that to be disappointing. Overall, Ric said the 'C555ES has better power supplies (two for the 'C555ES and one for the 'C222ES), better capacitors, better DACs, and a better transport.