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    Moderated By: claudio
    Forum:  MD/CD/SACD
    Post Reply in Topic: Why are SACD's soo much better?
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    Topic Review
    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-19 19:02   

    On 2011-02-18 20:30, scott1019 wrote:
    I revised my earlier post as I too was confused at my remarks.  Yes, parts used in the NC555ES were "carried-over" into the 3100ES/9100ES.

      
    [/quote

    No problem. I confuse myself and others ALL the time with my remarks. It's cool to know that at least sometimes I'm not alone._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-14 17:32   
    Having recently purchased a few SACDs and borrowed a few from the library, I would like to learn more about this medium before making a serious commitment and getting a lot of content.

    Besides the technical reasons, is there an inherent reason why a SACD created with the same exact source material as a standard CD will have any difference in sound quality with all other things being equal?  

    -----------------
    STR-DB930, STR-GX10ES, TA-E1000ESD, TA-N110, CDP-C701ES, DVP-NC555ES, Playstation 3 (60 GB).

    [ This message was edited by: scott1019 on 2011-02-15 17:14 ]

    sterling1
    Sony Addict
    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 237
    From: Louisville, KY
     Posted: 2011-02-14 18:12   
    I've got a Sony DVP-S9000ES. I cannot hear, or distinguish SACD's from CD's of the same material. Perhaps, that's why I have not put much into building an SACD library. Today, I've succumbed to iTunes via USB from PC to Creative Sound Blaster X-FI HD to S/PDIF Toslink DVD input on my Sony TA-E9000ES. It sounds real good.

    jehill
    Sony Senior Advisor
    Joined: Mar 13, 2003
    Posts: 14283
    From: Sewell, NJ
     Posted: 2011-02-14 18:13   


    Your last statement says it all.  The current crop of Sony BD players output the SACD audio channels via the HDMI output.

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-14 18:18   

    On 2011-02-14 18:13, jehill wrote:


    Your last statement says it all.  The current crop of Sony BD players output the SACD audio channels via the HDMI output.


    This may be true, but I have yet to hear from anyone who can verify whether or not its sent via DSD or LPCM.  Since most modern receivers convert everything to LPCM anyways and aren't able to recognize DSD, isn't this a moot point?



    -----------------


    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-14 23:38   
       Great MCH SACD played thru iLink is still the best sounding audio playback I've yet to hear. IMHO if you can't hear it that way then analog outs are best if the player's quality is there. Quality SACD (2ch or mch) played from a unit with a quality build, DACs, transport, etc. is still sonically superior to all but the very, very, best RBCD. The vast majority of RBCDs are not of that high a quality. Some of the 24 bit Cds out there are closing the gap. In truth though I have a few 16 bit Japan release CDs that are on par with all but the very finest stereo SACDs I have._mykl 

    David_S
    Sony Legend
    Joined: Aug 03, 2004
    Posts: 905
    From: BC, Canada
     Posted: 2011-02-15 01:03   
    I do not have iLink capability & cannot comment on it, but I prefer the sound of some of my MCH SACDs played in 2ch mode.  It might be personal taste but it seems that some SACDs have the MCH tracks included just so the 5.1 label can be put on the cover.  You should give them a listen in both 2ch & MCH modes to see which you prefer.

    I agree with mykyll2727's statement "The vast majority of RBCDs are not of that high a quality".  The gap in sound quality between a bad RBCD & good RBCD becomes more apparent with every improvement in the audio system.


    -----------------
    TA- E77ES E80ES E1000ESD E9000ES TA- N77ES F555ES, ST-S730ES RM- AV3000 AX1400 (2)AX4000 STR- DA4ES DA3100ES (2)DA5700ES (2)GX10ES DVP- (3)NS999ES NS3100ES CX777ES CDP-X303ES, CDP-M555ES MDS-JA20ES, TC-K717ES, DTC-690

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-15 11:03   
    When listening to the same source material on both a RBCD and a SACD I can hear no difference with all other things equal.

    Only when you have a system in which DSD can be utilized will any of this extra information translate into great fidelity. Even then you are at the mercy of the design constraints of the equipment.

    I have yet to hear a SACD that sounds bad, and I agree that most RBCDs sound bad, but there are some that sound every bit as good as a SACD. It all depends on who did the mastering.

    mhedges
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Mar 04, 2003
    Posts: 737
    From: Greensboro, NC
     Posted: 2011-02-15 14:27   

    On 2011-02-14 17:32, scott1019 wrote:

    Unless the processor being used is able to receive the DSD signal via i.Link or HDMi,  you are still at the mercy of the bandwidth of a standard Toslink.  




    I don't want to beat a dead horse but SACD does NOT use Toslink or digital coax.  In fact, virtually all SACD players have no digital output while playing SACD.

    If you want real SACD you have to use the players analog outs, or iLink if your player/receiver has it.

    Mark

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-15 17:07   
    I didn't mean to be misleading.  What I meant to say is that without a receiver able to utilize DSD via i.Link or HDMi, the rest of the information provided to the receiver is worthless since it will be compressed at the same rate as a signal coming from a Toslink.. .

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-15 18:47   

    On 2011-02-15 17:07, scott1019 wrote:
    I didn't mean to be misleading.  What I meant to say is that without a receiver able to utilize DSD via i.Link or HDMi, the rest of the information provided to the receiver is worthless since it will be compressed at the same rate as a signal coming from a Toslink.. .


    If I understand you correctly I think I may understand your difficulty differentiateing between the two. If SACD is not being played thru analog outs, iLink (or some version of it), or HDMI then what you're getting played is the CD layer not the SACD layer._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-15 19:14   
    Yes, I understand this, but few receivers have the capability of receiving the DSD signal via HDMi or I.Link and the end result is no different than sending a RBCD's 44.1 kHz, 16-bit PCM via Toslink.   Granted the sampling rate will be higher, closer to what DVD-audio is, but for 2 channel playback I cannot see the benefit since the "extra" information will not have any audible difference.   

    I understand SACDs application for multi-channel recordings, but even then how is it better than DVD-audio since the original DSD track is converted to LPCM at some point in the processing.  Analog outs are still the best way to go since the processor knows what to do with them and doesn't convert it or compress it.  However, to my understanding most processors/receivers A/D/A convert which reduces the fidelity as well.

    Its my understanding that the DSD HDMi and I.Link feed is compressed and converted into LPCM and then undergoes a D/A conversion in the receiver's processor and that only a few receiver/processors are able to receive DSD directly.  Only the 7100ES and 9000ES are able to do this from Sony to my knowledge, since there is no D/A converting or compression until the amp gets to the output stage.

    I am sure there are other receiver/processors that can receive the DSD signal, but there aren't many that I'm aware of.

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-15 19:25   
     When I began putting together my present main/reference system together, back when I first joined this site nearly 7yrs ago, it's setup was optimised for MCH SACD playback. I used nine SS-K90EDs to make full use of my STR-DA9000ES' playback abilities. The sound on great MCH SACD was awesome. Unfortunately I became quite disenchanted with mch SACD as I found that there just wasn't enough material of my liking out there. It was just too impractical for me to have such an elaborate and inconvienent setup dedicated to something that I devoted so little of my listening time to. I have since reconfigured my system and simplified it. It is now 7ch, I replaced the ctr channel K90 with a SS-CNK10ED and mch playback is geared toward movies. My mains are maximized for stereo music. 

     IMHO where SCAD truly shines is in great mch playback. But there in lies it's inherent problem. It takes space and money to really do it right. Not many people have the resources for it. It's a niche market. A rich niche too.

     I still love 2ch SACD as overall it's quality is better than RBCD, but it still requires a greater expense, in general, (some RBCD playback can be astronomically expensive) over RBCD playback. Given that RBCD continues to close the SQ gap with SACD I ponder SACD's future._mykl

    sterling1
    Sony Addict
    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 237
    From: Louisville, KY
     Posted: 2011-02-15 19:46   
    I'm looking forward to hooking up my TA-P9000ES to the OPPO 95 when it hits the street. That will be multi-channel SACD the way it was meant to be.

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-15 22:11   

    On 2011-02-15 19:46, sterling1 wrote:
    I'm looking forward to hooking up my TA-P9000ES to the OPPO 95 when it hits the street. That will be multi-channel SACD the way it was meant to be.


    It should sound awesome. Be sure to keep us posted._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-16 07:24   
    I bet that would be great. My i.Link equipped Pioneer ELITE 59AVi coupled to my Pioneer ELITE 55TXi has yielded the best result for all possible forms of media. The 59AVi is a notch above any of the Oppo DVD players especially on the audio side. The 55TXi has a robust amplifier and I am quite pleased with it. A notch above most of the 2002 and newer Sony ES receivers.

    The NC555ES changer I just sold was the only player to give it a run for its money for SACD playback via its analog outs, and I liked the 5-disk changer, but the poor video playback sealed the deal for me, so I sold it. Also, I do not have an extensive SACD collection, so it makes no sense having a 5-disk changer.

    I having a bit of seller's remorse and would like to get my hands on a SACDmods NC555ES one-day to compare.


    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-17 01:37   
     scott1019_If you're interested in one of Matt's Sony units, for sound quality and since the video of the NC555ES is moot to you, I'd advise one his other Sony units. For a changer it would be his SCD-C555ES(his personal reference for many years), for a single disc unit it would be his DVP-NS9100ES which he felt was the best sounding Sony unit that he ever made. It was a more expensive mod but he offered balanced outs on it. I originally bought my 9100 with the intention of having him mod it because of that and my previous experience with him. But after I had the unit for awhile decided agaist it because of the 9100s excrutiateingly slow, at least to me, response to commands. That with it being a single disc player I knew I wouldn't be happy with it as my reference unit. Thus my decision on a SCD-XA9000ES. I conceded XLRs for iLink. Someday though I would love to have a great silver player with XLRs.  

      Once in a blue moon his units show up on Audiogon. BTW the last seller that I saw there for one of Matt's 9100s claimed that he had owned both Matt's and a Modwright 9100 and that Matt's unit was sonically on par. Quite a statement considering the sonic excellence of the Modwright unit. But then he was selling his afterall and it could've been just hype. But I do know of one owner of Matt's 9100 and he adores it. I sincerely doubt you'd be disappointed with the SQ of any of his units. When it comes to SACD changers his are certainly among the very best.

       When you're ready I'd suggest looking to Agon and probably posting an ad there for one if one's not available at the time._mykl

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-17 01:50   

    On 2011-02-15 01:03, David_S wrote:
    .  It might be personal taste but it seems that some SACDs have the MCH tracks included just so the 5.1 label can be put on the cover.  


      I agree that too often some mch SACD use the extra channels for "tricks" ( this seems to be esp. true of rock titles) rather than to create the ambiance of the live experience which is where I feel mch SACD is at it's best. The better classical mch SACD seem to get this right much more often and it creates a wonderfully immersive experience. Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms is one of the notable exceptions of rock titles._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-17 06:49   
    Before Matt got sent out to duty in the Navy he spoke very highly of the NC555ES as well.

    I will have to look into the XA9000ES, its not a model I'm too familiar with.

    [ This message was edited by: scott1019 on 2011-02-18 20:26 ]

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-18 20:30   
    I revised my earlier post as I too was confused at my remarks. Yes, parts used in the NC555ES were "carried-over" into the 3100ES/9100ES.

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-17 23:05   
     The DVP-NC555ES was made in 2003. The SCD XA-9000ES was Sony's flagship SACD player of the same year. With a MSRP of $3000 it was meant to be the mate and sonic match to the $4500 STR-DA9000ES. Hence the iLink connection. 

     I don't see how the NC555ES could have been assembled from parts from the 3100ES and 9100ES since they weren't produced until two years later._mykl 

    David_S
    Sony Legend
    Joined: Aug 03, 2004
    Posts: 905
    From: BC, Canada
     Posted: 2011-02-17 23:58   
    The transport assembly is new for the 3100ES & the 9100ES uses the exact same transport assembly.


    -----------------
    TA- E77ES E80ES E1000ESD E9000ES TA- N77ES F555ES, ST-S730ES RM- AV3000 AX1400 (2)AX4000 STR- DA4ES DA3100ES (2)DA5700ES (2)GX10ES DVP- (3)NS999ES NS3100ES CX777ES CDP-X303ES, CDP-M555ES MDS-JA20ES, TC-K717ES, DTC-690

    dontsleep33
    Sonyphile
    Joined: May 03, 2008
    Posts: 742
    From: MG,Brazil
     Posted: 2011-02-18 00:04   

    On 2011-02-15 01:03, David_S wrote:


    I agree with mykyll2727's statement "The vast majority of RBCDs are not of that high a quality".  The gap in sound quality between a bad RBCD & good RBCD becomes more apparent with every improvement in the audio system.


    -----------------



    I have to disagree and say that bad cd mastering is very apparent to me even on the most entry level equipment.It's not a "fidelity" issue here.It's a technique used from the microphones all the way up to the last thing that makes a finished cd or sacd,LP orDVD-audio disc "finished" for that matter.


    -----------------


    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-18 20:10   
       I too have found that many "remastered" CDs have only had their sound levels boosted and indeed sound worse. In these instances I feel it's just a marketing scheme to get more sales. unfortunately it leaves buyers with two versions of the same CD where the new one actually has an inferior sound. But also I found some where there has been an improvement. Sometimes quite dramatically so. Difficult to know which to have (which is particularly distressing in these economic times) unless you can find some reliable reviews._Mykl

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-18 20:15   

    On 2011-02-17 23:58, David_S wrote:
    The transport assembly is new for the 3100ES & the 9100ES uses the exact same transport assembly.


    -----------------



    I'm still confused. Wouldn't it be that the 3100/9100es models were built from existing 555ES parts rather than the other way around?_mykl

    David_S
    Sony Legend
    Joined: Aug 03, 2004
    Posts: 905
    From: BC, Canada
     Posted: 2011-02-18 10:11   
    I agree with the "technique used".  I have bought some "improved" reissues of CDs that I already had.  The earlier version often sounds much better.

    Reissues usually have the average sound level boosted and are harsher to listen to.  There are exceptions to this, the exceptions are usually audiophile reissues engineered by skilled people like Hoffman.

    I have learned the hard way when it comes to buying reissues.  Now I try to restrict my purchases of reissues to high quality audiophile CDs or SACDs.  These cost more but many other reissues aren't worth the purchase.


    -----------------
    TA- E77ES E80ES E1000ESD E9000ES TA- N77ES F555ES, ST-S730ES RM- AV3000 AX1400 (2)AX4000 STR- DA4ES DA3100ES (2)DA5700ES (2)GX10ES DVP- (3)NS999ES NS3100ES CX777ES CDP-X303ES, CDP-M555ES MDS-JA20ES, TC-K717ES, DTC-690

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-19 19:56   
    I go back and revise things when i notice, but sometimes it takes you guys to remind me of my mistakes!

    OK. I am now the proud owner of a 3100ES!! I've been missing my NC555ES and the price was right.

    What multi-track SACDs will really showcase what they are capable of?

    David_S
    Sony Legend
    Joined: Aug 03, 2004
    Posts: 905
    From: BC, Canada
     Posted: 2011-02-20 00:55   

    On 2011-02-19 19:56, scott1019 wrote:
    ...
    What multi-track SACDs will really showcase what they are capable of?  

    If you like any Pink Floyd material, then Dark Side of The Moon is a must.  I read the original review for the Dark Side of The Moon SACD when it was released and said "I have to get that".  I am not dissapointed.

    I have very little classical in SACD, nothing of outstanding note.  One of the Moody Blues has a pretty good 5.1 mix, but I would have to re-listen to them in 5.1 to remember which one it is.


    -----------------
    TA- E77ES E80ES E1000ESD E9000ES TA- N77ES F555ES, ST-S730ES RM- AV3000 AX1400 (2)AX4000 STR- DA4ES DA3100ES (2)DA5700ES (2)GX10ES DVP- (3)NS999ES NS3100ES CX777ES CDP-X303ES, CDP-M555ES MDS-JA20ES, TC-K717ES, DTC-690

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-22 20:37   
     If rock is your taste and you're looking at 5.1 I agree that DSTM is awesome. I also very highly recommend Dire Straits Brothers in Arms and Steely Dan's AJA. Toto IV, Alice in Chains greatest hits are also excellent. And if you can get it (LOL) Scorpions Moment of Glory has a terrific 5.1 mix. The last new copy of it that I saw sold on eBay for > $1300.00!!!! For 5.1 jazz I strongly suggest Diana Krall's discs. They're superbly done as is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out. Norah Jones' Come Away With Me is a 5.1 reference standard, and justifibly so, for many audiophiles and reviewers. For 2ch jazz look to Patricia Barber for awesome sound quality. I know many others but at least this should give you a starting point._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-26 19:28   
    My "new" DVP-NC555ES with SACDmods is coming shortly!! I can't wait to report my findings!

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-02-27 00:16   

    On 2011-02-26 19:28, scott1019 wrote:
    My "new" DVP-NC555ES with SACDmods is coming shortly!!  I can't wait to report my findings!


    COOL!! I love my 555ES'. Please inform us of your findings. BTW How did you come by it?

      I was going to inform you of one of Matt's modded DVP-NS999ES' is on sale on Audiogon right now for $295 (as well as a 9100ES). I think you may prefer having a 5disc changer._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-28 16:33   
    I will. A friend of mine mentioned that he was selling his and I jumped on it, especially after just selling my other one.  I'll have to look into those other players as well.

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-02-28 16:41   

    On 2011-02-27 00:16, mykyll2727 wrote:

    On 2011-02-26 19:28, scott1019 wrote:
    My "new" DVP-NC555ES with SACDmods is coming shortly!!  I can't wait to report my findings!


    COOL!! I love my 555ES'. Please inform us of your findings. BTW How did you come by it?

      I was going to inform you of one of Matt's modded DVP-NS999ES' is on sale on Audiogon right now for $295 (as well as a 9100ES). I think you may prefer having a 5disc changer._mykl


    I'm not seeing the NS999ES?


    -----------------


    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-03-09 12:37   
    SACDmods.com NC555ES evaluation.

    Not having a non-modded player here to do a comparison makes it difficult to say what the exact improvements are.

    What I notice right off the bat is that the load times have improved and it just functions better overall. This is a later unit, so perhaps there was a firmware difference.

    CD playback doesn't appear to have improved greatly, it does what it is supposed to do and has equal performance to my CDPC701ES, so much so that I have "retired" the CDPC701ES as my everyday player. I like the interface of the NC555ES better, and its more versatile.

    SACD playback is where it really shines. Using the analog outs to my DB930 receiver I notice no discernible difference between the direct analog in and my glass toslink. And my DB930 is no slouch when it comes to digital processing. Overall I am very pleased with the performance and its as if I am using a completely different player. Transients have improved and the bass response is much better than what I remember. Sounds more musical and more like a great vinyl record. The un-modded player could get a little overbearing at times.

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-03-12 22:49   
     I've never listened to a C701ES so I can't comment on it. But I was able to make direct comparisons between a stock 555ES(before I had it modded) and Matt's modded unit. I found Matt's unit to be better in all areas to varying degrees on both RBCD and SACD but it's on SACD playback where it shines the most. Because of Matt's emphasis on SACD playback it's the MCH analog outs that receive the greatest attention and improvement. If you're using the 2ch analog outs on the 555ES try using the fronts from the MCH outs (that's where the Auricaps are installed) and see if you notice any improvement. It's pretty much the opposite of my XA9000ES where the 2ch outs benefit from Sony's Tri-Dac configuration._mykl

    scott1019
    Sonyphile
    Joined: Aug 07, 2010
    Posts: 543
    From: USA>>Ohio
     Posted: 2011-03-15 23:37   
    I noticed exactly what you are talking about. SACD playback is where its at with this player. Its in reference level territory. I couldn't be happier!

    mykyll2727
    Sony Pro
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas
     Posted: 2011-03-16 19:33   
     I think all playback benefits from the master clock upgrade but Matt really placed emphasis on SACD thru the analog MCH outs. Like I said that's where he installed the Auricaps ( on the fronts). Everything sounds much better thru these than stock. It is the best sounding changer I've heard so far. Given it's performance and the price for the mod pkg I feel it can't be beat given it's final cost. I do feel it is at reference level for a DVD changer. It's in the bass that I found the most noticeable difference between it and my XA9000ES. The bass on the modded 555ES is full, forceful and expansive and somewhat richer than the 9000 but not as tight or detailed. I think a properly modded XA9000ES would be a world beater as I feel even iLink would benefit from a clock and power supply upgrade.-mykl 

    Yequan
    Sony Fan
    Joined: May 31, 2011
    Posts: 3
    From: New York
     Posted: 2011-05-31 21:21   
    This is just too unrealistic for me, there is elaboration Tera CDKey and inconvienent set specific things, I put so little time to listen to me....

    [ This message was edited by: Yequan on 2011-05-31 21:25 ]

    [ This message was edited by: Yequan on 2011-05-31 21:38 ]

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