Thread: Sony debuts $1,500 SACD player with HDMI output

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Post by The Seventh Taylor October 9, 2008 (41 of 290)
Thanks for posting that.

The article states "Sony's iLink did not deal directly with DSD, but a PCM (and inevitably degraded) representation of it."

That's nonsense, isn't it?

Post by andrewb October 9, 2008 (42 of 290)
The Seventh Taylor said:

Thanks for posting that.

The article states "Sony's iLink did not deal directly with DSD, but a PCM (and inevitably degraded) representation of it."

That's nonsense, isn't it?

Yes, it is nonsense. The reviewer, Alvin Gold, must have got confused with other players. The XA9000ES specification, in it's manual, lists the i.Link outputs as either DSD(PLAIN) (for SACDs) or PCM (for RBCDs).

The review article was not very informative about how the listening was done, it makes vague reference to use of a STR-DA2400ES amplifier, but obviously the XA9000ES, used for comparison, could not be used via its i.Link connection with this amplifier. Presumably the comparison was done using the analogue phono outputs on both players.

Nothing was said about any audible difference between the HDMI output and the two analogue outputs on the XA5400ES, or was this not tested?
The review gives the impression, like so many other Hi-Fi reviews, of being done from a few quick listens followed by the hammering out of a few hundred words giving cursory opinions and worthless or redundant information.

Hopefully we will see a more substantial, detailed and useful review from another source, perhaps Stereophile.

Post by Windsurfer October 9, 2008 (43 of 290)
andrewb:

I agree with everything you said above except:

"Hopefully we will see a more substantial, detailed and useful review from another source, perhaps Stereophile."

"Stereophile" ???? That will be the day! I simply cannot contain my contempt for "Stereophile". I think they are dedicated to the service of purveyors of expensive STEREO equipment with small lip service in the form of a small quarterly column from Kalman Rubinson dedicated to "surround sound" which as I see it, is the only thing in the magazine dedicated to the "service of music".

First, their music reviews are almost non-existent, second their columnists are almost frothing at the mouth with disdain for sacd and especially for surround - as per Sam Tellig: "I am a two channel sort of guy" from a review of an expensive Musical Fidelity piece.

I am currently a subscriber but that won't last!

Bruce

Post by andrewb October 9, 2008 (44 of 290)
Windsurfer said:
...

"Stereophile" ???? That will be the day! I simply cannot contain my contempt for "Stereophile". I think they are dedicated to the service of purveyors of expensive STEREO equipment with small lip service in the form of a small quarterly column from Kalman Rubinson dedicated to "surround sound" which as I see it, is the only thing in the magazine dedicated to the "service of music".

First, their music reviews are almost non-existent, second their columnists are almost frothing at the mouth with disdain for sacd and especially for surround - as per Sam Tellig: "I am a two channel sort of guy" from a review of an expensive Musical Fidelity piece.

I am currently a subscriber but that won't last!

You are probably right in most or all of what you say, I have never been a subscriber and so am not so familiar with the magazine as yourself, all my knowledge about Stereophile is from the reviews on their web site. There was a very good review about the XA9000ES when it first came out and as you say the Kalman Rubinson column is worthwhile.
Problem is that there does not seem to be a wholly reliable source for equipment reviews anywhere.

Post by Windsurfer October 9, 2008 (45 of 290)
andrewb said:
There was a very good review about the XA9000ES when it first came out and as you say the Kalman Rubinson column is worthwhile.

Yes - despite my angry blather, the truth is that I decided to get my XA9000ES on the basis of the review you cite!

Still !

It really is a shame that there is no unbiased (that I have found) source of reviews of equipment out there - and it is a terrible shame that Stereophile just will not live up to its potential for music lovers.

Hi Fi News and Record Review was just such a magazine once, many many MANY years ago. Under John Atkinson's tenure there some things got even better while others declined. But when he left, it went to hell in a handbasket. I had expected his leadership at Stereophile to result in a much better magazine than it has.

Post by trntbl October 10, 2008 (46 of 290)
soundboy said:

Read the first professional review....

http://www.techradar.com/products/audio-visual/hi-fi-and-audio/cd-players-recorders/sony-scd-xa400es-465933/review?artc_pg=1

Did they listen to this player in stereo only? I couldn´t find any reference to multichannel performance. Not very professional, me thinks.

kristian

Post by el audiofilo October 11, 2008 (47 of 290)
trntbl said:

Did they listen to this player in stereo only? I couldn´t find any reference to multichannel performance. Not very professional, me thinks.

kristian

Many people (as for example even some stereophile mag reviewers) are agree that the last Sony top sacd player (SCD-XA9000ES, $3000) sounds almost as natural, analog and realistic as the ten-times-more-expensive dCS sacd combo (that even mastering engineers agree that is the world best digital audio player sistem)
Because the new Sony SCD-XA5400ES has balanced XLR analog outputs, their audio analog board and discrete components must be more professional (far better) than the XA9000ES. At only $1500 the SCD-XA5400ES would sound as good as the $30000 dCS sacd combo !!!!! I can´t wait for buy the new Sony, guy

Post by el audiofilo October 11, 2008 (48 of 290)
pelley said:

Evidently it's Japan-only for now, but with a U.S. release planned.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/27/sony-debuts-1-500-sacd-player-with-hdmi-output/

Many people (as for example even some stereophile mag reviewers) are agree that the last Sony top sacd player (SCD-XA9000ES, $3000) sounds almost as natural, analog and realistic as the ten-times-more-expensive dCS sacd combo (that even mastering engineers agree that is the world best digital audio player sistem)
Because the new Sony SCD-XA5400ES has balanced XLR analog outputs, their audio analog board and discrete components must be more professional (far better) than the XA9000ES. At only $1500 the SCD-XA5400ES would sound as good as the $30000 dCS sacd combo !!!!! I can´t wait for buy the new Sony, guy

Post by MNSACD October 11, 2008 (49 of 290)
el audiofilo said:

Many people (as for example even some stereophile mag reviewers) are agree that the last Sony top sacd player (SCD-XA9000ES, $3000) sounds almost as natural, analog and realistic as the ten-times-more-expensive dCS sacd combo (that even mastering engineers agree that is the world best digital audio player sistem)
Because the new Sony SCD-XA5400ES has balanced XLR analog outputs, their audio analog board and discrete components must be more professional (far better) than the XA9000ES. At only $1500 the SCD-XA5400ES would sound as good as the $30000 dCS sacd combo !!!!! I can´t wait for buy the new Sony, guy

And.........now up on US Sonystyle. Still says backordered but it's there.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665537319

MNSACD

Post by rammiepie October 11, 2008 (50 of 290)
With the purchase of this unit, according to the Sony Gift store, they will also ship the unit for free and offer a $150 Sony Gift credit. It also outputs Multi-channel Direct Stream Digital via HDMI...but the only question...into what.....their Sony receiver? This unit is surely ahead of any rational technology, at the moment, because there is not a high end component out there accepting HDMI save for the receivers on the market which are geared towards Blu-Ray's True HD and DTS Master Audio codecs. And when will Sony start delivering a new batch of SACDs (could we hope for DXD mastering) to herald the arrival of this new flagship player???????????????

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