Review: Sony SCD-XA5400ES CD Player

Category: Digital

I love natural recordings that capture the full acoustic envelope of the performances. The Shostakovich Sonatas performed by Ax and YYMa comes to mind...the Sony portrays the entire event in such an unforced and natural manner that it triggers ones acoustic memory into believing it is real. A player that offers no tone color or openness would be my worst nightmare. I replaced my BAT VK D5 24 bit CDP and was amazed at how much resolution and color was lost on the older design. The Sony re-creates the space, music and acoustic tones with overtones so completely that you start to smile and realize that you have been given a great gift...a peak into the performance as it occured at the recording session. My opinion of the Sony applies as much for the redbook section as it does for the SACD section. This player will become a classic product for digital playback....much better it does not get! It's a keeper at any price,,,for $1500 USD it is a freakin steal. This is Sony's best effort to date and manages to break new ground in the digital domain:)

Associated gear
Wilson Sophia speakers
Krell 400xi amp
Harmonic Tech Cables
MIT Oracle AC 2 power cord

Similar products
Sony SCD-1
Sony SCD-XA9000ES
Sony SCD-XA777ES
Levinson 39, 390S, 360S
Wadia 851
Krell SACD Standard
BAT VK D524bit
Post removed 
Disbeliever--as Dan Wright of ModWright accurately states on his website, tubes are best for amplifying voltage and SS devices work best for amplifying current, hence why he uses both in his mods for this player.
Pitch Noise !!!!!

I was enjoying the 5400ES this afternoon at a moderate listening level and all of the sudden I jumped on my feet when I heard this loud Pitch noise coming from the speakers and music just stopped. I immediately thought it was a electric failure (blackout) and that the noise was caused by the alarm on my computer UPS, but it was not! Every component was on (powered) and the display on the 5400ES was showing "Please Wait" during that period of annoying Pitch noise sound. It only lasted 10 - 15 seconds and after the noise was gone the display showed "reading" and afterwards the CD tracks were displayed. I hit play on the remote and it started playing track 1, music OK. Three (3) hours has passed since the reported incident and everything still normal.

The player is almost 150 hrs and being in brake-in constantly 24-7.

Here is a link, check it out just to have an idea of the type of sound that came from the speakers.

Have anyone else experienced this?