Right now my setup consists of a Sony xa5400es , bryston bp26 preamp and a pair of bryston 7bsst2 driving the latest B&W 800 diamonds. The sound is simply spectacular.
I don't know if the Sony is the best under 4 grand but I know at a msrp of $1500 it is a no brainer...
I recently acquired Sony XA 5400 ES CD player, previously owned Jolida JD 100, as far as CD playback is concerned its really an improvedment, but when I compared same CD and SACD using either Hybrid SACD or CD and SACD, CD sounds way better than SACD, here are some of the SACD/CDs I tried
O Brother Where are THOU ? (differet CD and SACD)
The look of Love (Hybrid)
Sacred Love (Hybrid)
CD playpack is louder and clear with more depth as opposed to SACD
Just wondering whether anyone else has the same experience or is it just me and my CD player (It has just 30-40 hours of playtime) on it.
The best always depends on what sound signature you fancy. Sony has a certain house sound that appeals to some and repels others. I'm of the latter, so I'd have to say no to your question.
Listener111, I'd suggest not judging the sound until you have at least 200 hours on the unit.
BTW, did your Jolida run the stock tubes and power cord or were they upgraded? The reason I ask is that the stock tubes are terrible and the PC isn't much better. Changing them can net major improvements.
Thanks Merganser, Joild is modified ny parts connection and I have changed the tube not exactly sure what so I have in there now (RCA 5751) as I tried number of then and settled on current one for last 3-4 years.
Agree with your comment on the power cord, the improvement was huge when I changed the PC from stock to signal, never experienced that kind of improvement after chaning anythig else (Jolida 1301 ->> odyssey stratos --> Odyseey Stratos extreme)
Is it the best in its price range , no . Is it very good , yes .
Not sure whether you are talking about power cord or CD player .. the reason I am asking as if its PC then I would like to know what's the best in its price range as I am thinking of changing Zu Birth on my power amp and pre to something different.
as a cd player or sacd player, what do you prefer and why ? and, what do you think are the "weaknesses" of the sony.
i have heard that it may be a bit thin sounding.
First let me say that the 5400 is an excellent machine . The posters question was, is there a better player under $4000 . I think there is , ( in my opinion). I won't comment on which ones I like , as I know it will bring on an onslaught of angry Audiogoner's . As far as your second question , yes I did find it a little bit thin . In fact most Sony CD players Iv'e owned had that feel , Iv'e heard players with more bass slam too . But overall its a fine player . I did not mean to offend anyone . Its only my two cents worth , and weather my opinion is worth that much is debatable . Happy listening .
Does your XA5400ES sound thin compared to what other CD player? I can't imagine anyone describing XA5400ES to sound thin, although I can understand the incorrect generalization that Sony CD players could all sound thin.
No thinness in my Sony 5400 either, with a robust yet integrated and articulate bass, especially with a good powercord. I use Shunyata Python CX and will try soon Anaconda CX and Furutech Powerflux. Using these cords there is no turning back to the stock cord. IMO of course.
Marantz players (SA11) have better timbre and more body at least on SACD.
thinness and other audiophile terms are both quantitative and qualittative.
that is the perception of thinness is a threshold variable and then there is the degree of thinness once one perceives it.
i don't believe that thinness or other similar variables are relative to the sound of other components.
thus when someone useses the term it is often based upon exceeding a level of treble response that has been exceeded independent of other components.
thus, if i walk into a room the judgments i make about a stereo system are not relative to other stereo systems but rather a comment on a particular stereo system, which depends upon one's criteria of judgment.
i think you may be commenting upon the quantitative aspect rather than the qualitive aspect which is inherent to the component in question.
i don't think the term was used in the comparative sense.
i apologize for being so didactic but i have observed occasional lapses in communication because there is a difference in orientation between one speaker and another , where one's basisis is qualittative (e.g., he/she is thin) or he /she is thin relative to someone else.
You simply spent way too much effort trying to appear intelligent.You would have made a lousy teacher. You could have just said; "IN MY SUBJECTIVE OPINION".
Now wasn't that much easier and everybody(and I do mean everybody) understood it.
Besides, unless you are running controlled experiments for a living there are simply way way too many variables for any audiophile to claim otherwise.
So remember; when you are thinking along those lines there is no need to type up such a long winded explanation which is full of holes.
Instead, just say " in my opinion" and your ass is covered. That one's free....
I wonder the same thing about the Sony 5400ES player I own as to what it would take to better the Sony. I wish I could just compare different players in my system. I know the Sony keeps up with my improving and maturing sytem. I do not feel like it is the week link in my stereo system. I may be crazy but I am currently using an Elrod power cord and a pair of Purist Dominus Praesto interconnects. This is the best sound I have heard from the Sony. The bass is much fuller and the midrange is very nice. The treble seems now to float in the air. I am liking what I hear very much.
perhaps your experience with the sony is due in part to the cables you have mentioned that are part of your stereo system.
take the sony and place it in another stero system, and the impression of another listener may be different from yours.
from the posts i have read on the virtues of the sony, i discern differences of opinion--obviously different ears and different stereo systems.
i am considering the sony but wwill not be able to audition it before buying, so if i decide to purchase , i will try to pay as little as possible, so that i would minimize my loss, if i sold it.
i think the sony scd 1 and the second of sony's sacd player, retailing at $3500, would be competitive with the current sony, especially playing redbook.
the marantz 11 series and 7 series has also been mentioned as worthy competitirs of the sony. the more expensive marantz exceeds $4000, as does the ayre c5 xe.
I own the Sony. If your budget extends to 4k, you should be able to do a lot better
My XA5400ES outputs via HDMI to a Cary Cinema 11a. A well recorded CD or SACD sounds superb, smooth yet detailed with nice frequency extension, and a DSD surround can sound glorious. The Arts recording of Corelli violin sonatas is a case in point. So I don't care if it's the best; it's the best I've heard.
what sacd players do you prefer to the sony, and for what reasons ?
I have the Sony and an EMM CDSA. The CDSA has more resolution and really shows the character of each musical component.
That said, unlike some other players I have owned (from Accuphase and Meridian), the Sony does have nice sense of reality, showing the form, size, and boundaries of the musical elements, and really steers clear of the digital sins, like glare and ringing or buzz on vocals. It is smooth and pleasant with enough reach and palpable-soundingness to do the job. The EMM just seems to expose more texture, even more than analog, but that is an EMM hallmark, at least in my experience. The Sony is both more liquid with less grain and even more detailed than my old Accuphase 75V.
Stealth Indra ICs really help, and a Telwire power cord.
Ha! the Indras, even used, cost twice as much as the player.
What a crazy hobby.
So then if one has $1500-$2000 to spend and there are players that better the 5400 for under $4000(new??)--- what used players under $2000 should be considered?
IMO, the Doge6 is far superior to the Sony on CD playback. I've owned them both, so I feel I have a valid point of reference. The Doge6 has a much more expansive soundstage and depth, and portrays acoustic instruments more realistically. Personally, I would rather listen to a CD on the Doge6 than an SACD on the Sony. That said, the Sony is still a very fine player for a street price of $1200 or so. Built very well and you get the multi-channel HDMI functions and SACD if you need them.