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  Sony SCD-XA5400ES-Best SACD for under $10,000
This Sony player supplanted my Ayre C5-XE 3, which I still have, months ago. I paid $6000 for the Ayre after determining that it was the best-sounding unit for under $10,000. The Sony blows it away!!!
A unit costing $1500 besting all others under $10,000? That is exactly what it does!
For reference, I am using Audio Research electronics and Vandersteen speakers and subwoofers (about $30,000); a similar system has repeatedly been lauded as "best of show" at CES, so we are NOT talking second-rate stuff here.
This Sony is the only SACD/Cd player I have EVER heard that puts a classical piano live in my living room; nothing I ever had before even comes close.
This unit is a small miracle. I would have gladly paid $8000 for it, but if they want to give the thing away for $1500, who am I to argue?
This unit is going to send the engineers at Audio Research, Luxman, Esoteric, and Ayre back to the drawing board; their current units at 4 to 5 times the price are not even close. Some engineer at Sony is a freaking genius!!!
Wa6itd  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (251-313 of 313)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

05-25-11   I use a pair of jenna labs symphony for me they get the tone ...   Mystang

05-26-11   I finally finished the comparison of the playback designs cd ...   Jwm

05-26-11   Anyone use either of the harmonic technology magic 1 or 2 ca ...   Dfk0

05-27-11   Dfk0 i am using the ht magic cables with the modwright vers ...   Goose

06-02-11   Goose,mystang, thanks for the input. i just purchased an h ...   Dfk0

06-02-11   Dfk0 i am using the ht magic link 2 cable(s) between 5400es ...   Podeschi

06-03-11: Airfla
My ModWright XA-5400ES replaced a ModWright 9100ES. The 5400 is, IMO, a significant upgrade - much wider soundstage, better resolution and clarity, more open highs without a trace of etch.

FWIW, I am using a pair of Audience e version Power Chords for both the ModWright 5400 player and the PS 9.0 power supply. Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II XLR connect SACD player and preamp while Harmonic Technology Magic 2 XLR join preamp and power amp. I am very happy with the above combination. I also opted for Dan's new umbilical.

Airfla  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-06-11   A few months later and i am still amazed at how incredible t ...   Podeschi

07-06-11   Podeschi, i agree with you completely. i too own an analog r ...   Rfogel8

07-07-11   Hey rfogel8 i see you own and appreciate the triplanar arm. ...   Podeschi

07-08-11   Rfogel8, what kind of music do you listen to? i am curious ...   Paulfolbrecht

07-08-11   Podeschi, i'm not familiar with the 208 but knowing ralph is ...   Rfogel8

07-09-11   Paulfolbrecht, i listen to most types of music but i'm not i ...   Rfogel8

07-10-11: Paulfolbrecht
Thanks for the feedback. I used NOS 6SN7s but not the better cord. Perhaps my specific favorite recordings are just better on vinyl.

P.S. My listed system here is very out of date. I still have my Audio Note DAC, though. I had a hard time deciding if I liked the MW Sony or AN DAC better on redbook. Good SACDs edged out the best redbook which were invariably XRCDs on both. Also the MW as transport into the AN DAC was substantially better than the Mac Mini I was using (and am still using).

Good jazz SACDs are just so rare. I take it you're listening to mostly redbook in that genre. XRCD?

Paulfolbrecht  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

08-13-11   According to stereophile's kal rubinson the new oppo bdp-95 ...   Audioholik

08-13-11   As far as modded players are concerned, i suggest that dan w ...   Mrtennis

08-13-11: Paulfolbrecht
Audioholik, did Kal compare the 5400 and Oppo on both redbook and SACD?

Funny - I had that issue and threw it out without reading the article.

Paulfolbrecht  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

08-14-11: Rfogel8
Audioholik, don't take this the wrong way but there are thousands of pieces of audio gear for sale on this website(and others), purchased by lemmings who believe everything they read in the audio rags.

After making a few disappointing purchases, the average 'phile begins to realize that most of those Bozos reviewing all that expensive equipment can't hear, have bad taste or more likely, rarely give bad reviews for fear of losing those advertising dollars manufacturers spend in their magazine.

I'm guessing the Oppo 95 does sound better on redbook than the Sony but I'd be surprised if the Sony isn't better on SACD. Then again, it does all boil down to personal taste.

Rfogel8  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

08-14-11: Mitch2
Rfogel8, I agree that many of us have "a few disappointing purchases," and that leads us to start listening and judging for ourselves. I will not go down the "advertising dollars for reviews" road, although I do believe the magazines can play their favorites by giving more coverage to those mfgs who support them with advertising. That's the way the world turns.

What amazes me is the number of times I read reviews where the reviewer has inappropriate supporting equipment, or a lack of relevant experience with equipment similar to, and competitive against, the piece being reviewed.

Regarding the Sony vs. Oppo, IMO SACD is going to become less relevant as more hi-rez software becomes available on-line. Therefore, if the sonics are close between the two, IMO the ability to play burned hi-rez DVD discs and also Blu-ray movies means the Oppo wins. I am really interested in how close a modded Oppo can come to a good player like the Ayre C-5xeMP and/or to a good computer set-up with an upper level DAC from Wavelength, Empirical Audio or equivalent. The Oppo (perhaps modded) seems like a good "last player" for many as they transition to computer audio.

Mitch2  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

08-27-11   Mitch2...hi-rez streaming will never surpass the best of wha ...   Audiozen

01-07-12   Anybody here compared the modwright sony to the vse sony? co ...   Regismc

02-08-12: Wig

Had my MW 5400 modded with Bybee Musicrails and Audio Magic Gen ZX and the sound is "UNBELIEVABLE"! You can litterly walk into the soundstage and touch the performers, you get the musicians are in your room type of feeling. More to follow but if you don't have this upgrade I recommend you consider this. I rate this upgrade over any tweaks or component changes I have ever conducted. You will be blown away!

Wig  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-08-12   I have the bybee upgrade and it is good. but if you want an ...   Zmanastronomy

02-09-12   Hi i was wondering if anyone found the bass on the scd-5400 ...   Fc911c

02-10-12   Fc the bass in my system became very bloated,bland,muddy...c ...   Mcpherson

02-10-12   Hi mcpherson cd is connected to an emotiva usp-1, to the li ...   Fc911c

02-11-12   Yep. i was...well i am shocked at the difference the thor ta ...   Mcpherson

02-12-12   "gotta say i am enjoying music again more than obsessin ...   Fc911c

02-13-12   I have been enjoying the sony 5400 for almost 2yrs now mated ...   Blueskiespbd

02-13-12   Fc911c email me at   Jwm

02-13-12   It is no better than any other player. just hyped more. ...   Rok2id

02-13-12   Did your conclusion come from comparison or are you just tir ...   Mcpherson

02-13-12   It is no better than any other player. just hyped more. i th ...   Wig

02-13-12   "did your conclusion come from comparison or are you ju ...   Rok2id

02-13-12   Wig sounds like you got a little stirred up!   Mcpherson

02-13-12   Not stirred at all, just wanted to give my opinion on the pl ...   Wig

02-13-12: Tuffy72561
I also like using the super black hole with my Sony 5400. I would highly recommend putting the HiFi Tuning supreme fuses in your Sony... and preamp for that matter. I first put 2 0.8 amp slow blow small fuses in the Sony ( big improvement ) and after 4 weeks decided to get one for my int. amp now after another 5 weeks I cannot believe how wonderful even a regular CD sounds like. These fuses do need at least 80 hours of play-time to breakin. Note, I also put Xtreme cables quicksilver gold on the ends of the fuses and this also is said take 3 weeks to break in at about 80% level.I have no doubt that the quicksilver gold is enhancing the fuses effect. I had also put an Audio Prism Ground Control ( RCA) on the Sony and it was very worthwhile teak, but not on the order of improvement as the fuses and at higher cost.

Tuffy72561  (Answers | This Thread)

02-13-12   Wig i don't think i saw where you reported back to us on ho ...   Tuffy72561

02-13-12   I knew i was missing something. no doubt the the supreme fus ...   Wig

02-15-12   Wig are the fuse upgrades something that can be done to the ...   Mcpherson

02-15-12   Mcpherson, that's correct(2)800ma slow blow with arrows poi ...   Wig

02-15-12   Small or large fuses for the 5400??   Fc911c

02-15-12   The sony scd-xa5400es uses 2 small slow blow 800ma fuses.   Tuffy72561

02-16-12   I confirmed with modwright ...pair of 800ma 5x 20 (smaller s ...   Podeschi

02-16-12   Podeschi thanks for the +1 on the thor preamp a while back. ...   Mcpherson

02-18-12   Wig, how could you tell that they are slow-blow? modwright ...   Podeschi

02-18-12   Podeschi, have you removed the existing fuse on the modwrig ...   Goose

02-18-12   I have stickers labeled on my circuit board showing t800 mal ...   Wig

02-18-12   I haven't opened up my 5400 case yet. dan at modwright said ...   Podeschi

02-19-12: Brownsfan
I also asked Dan about this a while ago. He offered guidance on the fuse for the power supply but did not know the proper fuse value for the player per se. I also have not yet removed the cover to see for myself, but I will eventually want to replace the fuses with the new audio magic liquid air fuses. Good of Dan to have someone look into this.

It seems unusual for a front end unit to use slow-blow fuses.

Brownsfan  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-19-12   So has anyone put an upgraded fuse in the ps of the mw 5400? ...   Rhyno

02-19-12   Yep; the 5400es is 2 t800 and the power supply is a 1.5/6 ma ...   Wig

02-19-12: Brownsfan
Rhyno, I just put one of the new Audio Magic Liquid Air Fuses in my PS for the MW 5400 about 2 weeks ago. It did not make a huge difference over the stock fuse in my estimation. It seemed to impart a bit of an improvement in dynamics, but did not make a huge difference. I got more bang out of replacing the stock fuses in my Cary 500 MB amps and in my Magnepan 3.7's than I did on the power supply for the ModWright. I have yet to replace the stock fuses in the player, but I do plan on doing that at some point.
Brownsfan  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-19-12   I use hi-fi supreme fuses with great success in all of my co ...   Wig

02-20-12   Dan at modwright had his exceptional tech look into an actua ...   Podeschi

02-21-12   Mine can with a 1.5 mal should i replace it with a 3 mal?   Wig

02-21-12   Just heard from modwright. newer units do take the 1.5 amp f ...   Podeschi

02-21-12   Thanks!   Wig

03-19-12: Podeschi
Current audiogon ad by modwright stating it is their best digital offering. For price of a good interconnect they do a mod that is out of this workd good!

ModWright Sony XA-5400ES Truth Mods
Our best digital offering, period! Also the best and last CD/SACD player that Sony will produce! THIS AD IS FOR A MODIFICATION ONLY. CUSTOMER MUST SUPPLY SONY XA-5400ES PLAYER. 120V OR 220V PLAYERS MAY BOTH BE MODIFIED. Price: $1995 (modification only). Customer Feedback: "Big, open, spacious soundstage. Exceptional layering front to back with palpable images(I mean...

Podeschi  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-24-12: Dmaic
Hes back and currently selling on this site as rick_owens

Dmaic  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-03-15   Old thread but i listened to my modwright 5400 this weekend. ...   Podeschi

03-29-15   I had a modwright oppo 105, and the new elyse dac blows it a ...   Talk2me

03-30-15   Talk2me, how would you describe the differences between the ...   Wig

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