Sony SCD-XA777ES

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Panayotis Melas, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. Panayotis Melas

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    I happened to get hands on this baby very recently, just a few days ago. It is still lying in its box, waiting me to implement the dedicated Home Theater space that I am building.
    I have read all (All? Well, almost, all) the reviews, but I need to know how it performs as a CD Player.
    I happen to own an M-Audio Pro external DAC (the Super DAC 2496), combined with an Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro32 jitter reduction unit.
    Anyone that has heard this player, as a stand alone CD player or as a transport, or both? And what do you think if it is used as a transport with the above combination?
    Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Panayotis, I have used the 'XA777ES, and it is an excellent CD player when using its DACs or when using it as a transport. You should realize, however, that you will have to compare its performance via the analog and digital outputs in your system to see which works best. Note that you have to use the analog outputs to play SACDs.
     
  3. Panayotis Melas

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    Thank you, Keith

    I intend to do so. Another factor, that I did not mentioned in the thread, is that The SONY will be connected to my DENON AVC-A1SE (upgraded version), which is the European DENON AVR-5800, but without the tuner. And as the 5800, this one has been upgraded with DENON's new card and software, to match the AVR-5803/AVC-A1SR capabilities.

    This A/V amplifier is used as an A/V pre-amp and control center, with a Hafler XL-600 (modified by Musical Concepts) and an Anthem MCA-5, both as the final amplification stages.

    What I intend to do is an A/B/C comparison between:
    (A) SONY's analog stereo output
    (B) Sony's 1st digital output feeding the M-Audio/Audio Alchemy combination and
    (C)Sony's 2nd digital output feeding one of the DENON digital inputs

    I promise to report on this, soon.

    Meanwhile, any opinion will be higly appreciated.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Panayotis said:

     
  5. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    How much are the 777's going for in the US?

    I need some negotiating ammo if I'm going to start looking at these here in Canada.

    Thanks,
    Craig.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Craig, discount mail-order dealers such as Oade Bros., J&R Music World, and OneCall have been selling the 'XA777ES for around $2000. Oade Bros. typically leads the way in discounts, but J&R and OneCall will often match their price. Note that all three are authorized Sony dealers. I've ordered from all three and have never had a problem.
    I hate to say it, but I would be very surprised if you could get such a significant discount on the 'XA777ES in Canada. Many members of this forum from Canada have complained about high prices on Sony ES SACD players north of the border. References to high prices have been made especially with respect to the 'C555ES, but I would not expect things to be different with the 'XA777ES. Of course, I would love to be proven wrong. [​IMG]
     
  7. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    I dunno Keith. I'll have to look into it. We had deep discounts here too. Like the 775 (?) SACD changer was about $300CDN once the prices dropped. And it started off at something like $800-900.
    My dealer where I've bought everything in the past 5 years is an ES dealer. I'll see how desperate he is... [​IMG]
    But I'd still like to know what new Sony ES stuff is coming.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Craig, as I had said, it's the ES SACD players that don't seem to be discounted in Canada. While the 'C555ES changer has been $600 USD here in the States for months, some folks in Canada have said that dealers are still charging the original retail price or very close to it. I know that players like the 'CE775 and 'XE670 have been discounted significantly in Canada.
    You said:
     
  9. Panayotis Melas

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    Hi guys,

    For your information, the new models in the QS series of SONY SACD players, now in the market (but very recently, just about 1 month ago, if not less), here in Europe, are:

    (1) The SCD-XB780, replacing the SCD-XB770, basically the same player, changing only the design and perhaps some electronics of minor importance

    and the

    (2) The SCD-XE670, replacing the SCD-XB670, with the same philosophy.

    In the ES series, the SCD-XA777ES and the SCD-333ES are still in the market. The SCSD-555ES changer seems to be had withdrawn.

    Also, talking about prices, I checked yesterday in a shop and the street price, with full cash payment, is almost the same as the retail one, i.e. 3,875 EURO (more or less $ 3,950 US).

    So, you guys at the other end of the Atlantic, consider yourselves luckier than us, here.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Panayotis said:
     
  11. Panayotis Melas

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    Hi Keith,

    I read with great interest your equipment list. Among the items I saw, the two Radio Shack 15-1952 Audio/Video Selectors, used to switch between multi-channel DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD for the single set of 5.1-channel inputs on your Sony STR-V444ES receiver, draw my attention.

    Will you tell me how they perform, if there is any signal degradation and what is their cost?

    And why do you need two, instead of one? As I read the list, I presumed that this kind of Selectors (you can call them Switchers, as well) should accept (at least) two multichannel inputs and export them (selectively) to one multichannel output. Am I correct or wrong.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Panayotis, the Radio Shack switch boxes work very well, especially considering how inexpensive they are. I have detected no signal degradation with them. When I bought them a little over a year ago, they were only $15 USD each, and someone here recently said he found them for just $13 USD each. In the US, they are available at any Radio Shack store. Alternatively, they can be purchased on www.radioshack.com . Do you have Radio Shack in Greece? If not, you may be able to have radioshack.com ship them to you. Note that these are passive devices, so there is no power cord. So, no voltage conversion to be worried about.
    Regarding the need for two of these switch boxes, they are not made for switching of 5.1 sources. Rather, they are made for switching stereo sources that may contain video. So, they can switch between stereo audio components, TVs, VCRs, etc. One of these switch boxes has two inputs and one output. Each input or output has left and right audio RCA jacks (red and white) and a composite video jack (yellow). The video jack can be used for an audio channel just fine. So, each input or output can only handle half of the channels of a 5.1 set-up. This is why you need two of these boxes.
    If you do a search here for '15-1952', you will see how people here, including I, are using them. Then if you have any other questions, let me know.
     
  13. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    As to the units CD performance, it replaced a Camelot Morganna and Wadia 850 in my system. I found it to be a better overall performer on redbook than the other 2 players: better low end and more transparent than the Morganna, not much discernible difference with the 850.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe, it's great that you found the 'XA777ES to compete favorably with the Wadia. I'm sure many audiophiles would not accept your position based on one four-letter word that the 'XA777ES bears -- Sony. That's O.K., though. Sony has done a real bang-up job with its SACD players. [​IMG]
     
  15. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    Keith,
    I agree that "Sony has done a real bang-up job with its SACD players". I have the 9000ES and am amazed with it's CD/SACD sound quality. I've done A/B comparisons with the internal Sony DACs vs my Lexicon MC-12 (redbook only, of course). Differences are subtle, but I believe I prefer the Sony (in "audio direct" mode with the Lex in "analog bypass"). It's too bad I can't use a subwoofer in that mode.

    Since most SACDs seem to be coming out multi-channel these days, I'd like to get a multichannel player. Is there an equivalent (or better) Sony multi-channel SACD/DVD machine out there?
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dave, another interesting comparison that show the quality of a Sony SACD player. [​IMG] My brother has the 'S9000ES, and he and I have both been very impressed with it.
    Sony recently released the DVP-NS999ES DVD/SACD player to replace the 'S9000ES. It is a single-disc progressive-scan player that plays multi-channel SACD tracks. I have not used it, so I can't say how it performs relative to the 'S9000ES. I have read that the 'NS999ES gives a better picture, but I have not read anything about relative sound quality. The 'NS999ES is not built nearly as well as the 'S9000ES. For one thing, the weight of the 'NS999ES is about half of that for the 'S9000ES (ca. 14 lbs. versus 27 lbs.). Also, the 'NS999ES does not have the copper-shielded chassis. Still, you might look at the 'NS999ES, as it may be a good performer.
     

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