Sony SCD-C555ES and SACD...WOW!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe Wong, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    Hi folks,

    Received my 555es today, and went out to Tower to get Michael Jackson's Thriller and Billy Joel's The Stranger SACDs. The counter guy asked if I had an SACD player, and whether I thought there was a difference. I told him I had only just gotten the player.

    The 555es came from JandR double boxed ($627 delivered). Set it up with my system of 4 x Rocket 750s + 200 centre, Outlaw 1050 5.1 ch direct and 2 x SVS 20-39CS+ subs (though I switched the subs off). The 555es has a nice, solid build quality, which makes my Panasonic RP-91 DVD player look extremely lightweight.

    Put Norah Jones' Come Away With Me CD, the Thriller and The Stranger SACDs in. I love Norah's voice, and the CD playback of the 555es through the analog output is excellent, better (if not by a large margin) than the combo of RP-91 via coax digital out to Outlaw 1050.

    Next was the stereo DSD mix of Thriller. Sounded like it was recorded yesterday, though a noticeable echo in my listening room caused by a volume ceiling (something I hope to fix by moving my system into a future finished basement) detracted from the experience somewhat.

    But the revelation was the Stranger multi-channel mix. Just The Way You Are was astonishing...it felt like I was in some late-night jazz/coffee lounge, listening to Billy...the ambience was there, and my wife, who is not into the fidelity side of things, said it was wonderful.

    I thought the mix for She's Always A Woman was good, but a bit too loud in the surrounds, drowning the vocals in the centre. For comparison, we brought out Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volume I to compare the same two songs. The CD sounded pretty good played through the 555es, but there was a definite improvement in richness, and in the vocals from the SACD. Billy's voice sounded smoother, less harsh, warmer - all the usual terms. I'm hooked.

    I know there aren't too many titles out there yet...but bring them on. I'm also eager to try the Eagles' Hotel California DVD-A. Even if neither format takes off, I know I have an excellent CD player in the 555es, and am looking forward to re-listen to some of my CD collection.

    Joe
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe, congratulations on the purchase and welcome to the wonderful world of the 'C555ES and SACD! If you are looking for suggestions of SACDs, post a question on the Music Area board. If you like the Rolling Stones, definitely pick up the new version of Hot Rocks 1964-1971, which is an SACD/CD hybrid.
     
  3. Robert McDonald

    Robert McDonald Stunt Coordinator

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    Welcome to the club! Run out and get James Taylor's Hourglass (and thanks AGAIN KeithH for your advice when I was shopping---loving my 555ES purchased in large part due to your advice).
     
  4. WarrenCo

    WarrenCo Agent

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    Hey Joe,
    You have good taste. I have the RP-91 and expect delivery of my 555 from J & R today[​IMG] Please post your thoughts on "Hotel California". It's one of my favorites.
    Best Wishes
    Warren
     
  5. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Joe,

    Congrats on the 555ES. I also have an RP91 with a 555ES and Hotel California is an excellent DVD-A. I don't have many SACD's though. Hot Rocks is high on the list.
     
  6. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Joe,
    We have the same players! Ain't that cute?

    I freakin' love that freakin' CD player.

    I have read conflicting things on the Billy Joel SACD. I have only listened to Scenes From An Italian Restaurant on the sampler disc that came with the player and wasn't particularly impressed. I'm still on the fence about getting that disc.
     
  7. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  8. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    I have the RP91 and Hotel California on DVD-A. This is one of the better titles that I have because it really shows what the format can do. Sound quality is top notch especially when listening to the Advanced Resolution surround mix. Now I've got that SACD itch to scratch. [​IMG]
    Lin
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Robert,
    Glad to hear you are enjoying the 'C555ES. I'm pleased that I could help you out.
    Right on with the James Taylor Hourglass SACD. I bought that disc many, many months ago, but I still get goosebumps every time I hear "Gaia". It's a beautiful song, and the sound quality on SACD is a shining star for the format. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Mike,
    I have all the Billy Joel SACDs (just the stereo versions of 52nd Street). In my opinion, the sound quality of the 52nd Street, The Stranger, and An Innocent Man SACDs are noticeably better than what the remastered CDs offer. The SACDs provide more depth, and Billy Joel's vocals are more three-dimensional. However, the SACDs are not among the best I own. My guess is that poor masters are to blame.
    All,
    Anyone who has a DVD-Audio player should grab Hotel California. It's phenomenal! The recording certainly isn't the best out there, but it still sounds great on DVD-Audio. I've posted this before, but I'll do it again: I have compared the 24/192 stereo track off the DVD-Audio disc on my Technics DVD-A10 to the DCC gold CD on my Sony SCD-777ES. The DVD-Audio track is much better. On its own, the DCC gold CD on the '777ES sounds very pleasing, but when compared to the DVD-Audio disc on the much less expensive 'A10, there is no comparison. [​IMG]
     
  10. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    Happy to join the club! Seems like a lot of people have the RP-91 and 555ES!

    Questions:

    1. Anyone got both DVD-A and SACD 5.1 analog out to their pre-amp / receiver and how? Using the Sony TA-P9000ES or the Radio Shack switcher method?

    2. Would it be better to use digital out or the analog out on the 555ES for CD playback?

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe asked:

     
  12. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    Thanks Keith.

    One of the inputs on the RS switcher seems to be for video signals...it will also take an audio signal?

    Joe
     
  13. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  14. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    Thanks Doug.

    Another question: for CDs, using the 2 ch analog out, this would be the same as sending full range signals to the amp (akin to setting front L/R speakers as LARGE), correct (no bass management)?

    Joe
     
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe that is correct. The 'C555ES offers some bass management for stereo playback, as I recall, but that would only be when you are using the 5.1-channel outputs. I haven't played around with bass management on the 'C555ES much. I use the stereo analog outputs exclusively for playback of stereo material and the 5.1-channel outputs exclusively for playback of multi-channel material in multi-channel direct mode. In any event, think of the stereo analog outputs on the 'C555ES like those on any CD player -- no bass management.
     
  16. Don Bingaman

    Don Bingaman Extra

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    Hey Joe,

    I picked up a C555ES a couple weeks ago, and I agree, it sounds awesome. My suggestion for enjoying the best of multi-channel SACD AND DVD-Audio is to get an SCD-C555ES, a good DVD-A player, (I've got a Pioneer Elite DV-38a), AND a Sony P9000ES analog preamp that accepts two multi-channel sources. The P9000ES has a companion piece, the E9000ES which does the digital thing, (which connects thru a 3rd set of inputs), but most decent DVD-A players now do their own Dolby Digital / DTS decoding and output thru the analog jacks, so the E9000ES is an option you only need for cable / satellite decoding. Works like a champ, and doesn't cost much more than a so-called universal player. (Let's face it - mfg.s or either in one camp or the other - at least right now. NOBODY is going to build a better-sounding SACD player than Sony !!)
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Don said:

     
  18. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I am trying to remember if it was the 555ES that a salesman was showing me. I was not very interested in it only because, I am not convinced the transports are compareable to the sinble draw units. I am looking to get into SACD and am looking at Sony ES and Marantz. I am currently using a Denon DCD-1290 that utilizes dual 20 bit D/A's. It is a nice cd player but I figure that my next CD player needs to surrpass the Denon for standard CD's. I believe the 222ES and the 555ES where the only two units that my local dealer had. My goal is to run a seperate SACD from my DVD player. My concerns are that the SACD section will be no as good as a stand alone player. Little by little I am trying to get my system closer to being a audiophile set up. I am under the impression that single draw units have better transports. And I feel it would be a step back to go to a 5 disc unit. I realize that the 555ES has good sound but it has to be better than that. Any suggestions would be apreciated.
     
  19. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    "Happy to join the club! Seems like a lot of people have the RP-91 and 555ES!"
    Count me in for both players as well! [​IMG] Although i don't have my RP91 here (it's at my girlfriend's house), my triple 5 has been a sweet addition to my rig..
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    It's an 'RP91/'C555ES lovefest! I feel left out since I don't have an 'RP91. However, I do have the Technics DVD-A10, which was the predecessor to the 'RP91. Does that count? I want to be part of the crowd! [​IMG]
    Chip,
    So you have no DVD-Audio capability at present? I guess you are using the 'S9000ES for DVDs.
     

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