Sony SCD-C 555ES

Just purchased this used, set it up and am disappointed in the performance, both redbook and SACD. Compared to my Cal Audio CL 10 - it has little soundstage, no depth or width, and seems quite bright. I expected this on redbook performance, but it doesn't change much on SACD.
I'm going to assume that the previous owner slimply didn't play it enough to break it in.
If I decide to allow it to run for another 100-150 hours do I have to turn on all my equipment or can I just leave the Sony on alone. Does break-in require your whole sysytem to be on?
Hello Not sure of the brake in question but I also bought a scd c555es and was disappointed with it. I returned it under the 90 days and got the money back. I thought it was me everyone at the store said it was.
I also bought it and sold it within a week. It sounded worse than my Kenwood 200cd changer. Vocal through this player sounds as hard as a brick. How this player got stereophile class A is beyond any human logic.
I would let it break - in more.

While I don't own a 555, I do own a 333, and it errs exactly on the opposite side of bright. It is full bodied, rich, and features strong bass, but not harsh highs. Its weaknesses are that in resolution, clarity, detail, and most of all, speed.

And, as yours is mulitchannel, are you sure the player is set up correctly? I have seen many a multichannel player(especially, Marantz) sound pretty bad when playing through the incorrect(and default) mode.
It sounds like the 555 owners who didnt like it either.
1) didnt allow long enough break in.
2) have something in their systems that isnt integrating well with their 555 (cables)?
3) Confuse brightness with clarity.
I have heard the 555 extensively and its a killer SACD/CD player!
Make sure if you are playing 2 ch. its not in multichannel..huge difference.
LONG burn in time,especially SACD mode.
Many have found MIT interconnects to work well with the SCD line.
This is strange. While I own a 222es, it is anything but bright and offers a great soundstage. A good friend of mine purchased one used here on Audiogon and when it arrived, he called me over for a listen. It sounded horrible. Bright, edgy, and just not pleasing. This was a used unit so it had to be broken in so I do not know what the reason was. He ended up selling the thing but I still have mine and love it. Strange!

Actually Trelja makes some excellent points ... as usual.

If you are using your SCD C 555 ES in 2 channel mode, you should be connecting the player using the two channel outputs on the far left side of the back panel.

Also, the default settings for which layer on a SACD disc to read are factory set to multi-channel. Refer to page 13 of the user's manual on how to use the "AMS" switch to advance to the "M/2CH SELECT" function and select the proper layer.

I have owned the 555 for more than 2 years now and it has never sounded bright ... even out of the box. I have had it paired originally with an ADCOM 545 power amp; a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated amp; and now a NAD 320 BEE integrated amp and it has always sounded rich and full bodied.

Regards, Rich
The_kid- Because your friend bought it used doesnt mean it was broken in properly.
These units need hundreds of hours before they open up and show their stuff.
Many sell gear before its properly burned in because they dont like the sound and dont realize the importance of a long break in.
First of all, i thank everyone who has offered their advice/opinion. I checked my interconnects twice and they are properly hooked up. My system is strictly 2 channel. Let me add to my original post what components i'm presently using:
Parasound 2200 II amp
Adcom gtp 750 Preamp
Parasound line filter
Interconnects are Mapleshade Cryo'd Ribbon
Speakerwire is LAT 1000
PSB Gold speakers

I may change off on my interconnects, but, you know, the Mapleshades have always given whatever system i had a wonderfully large and deep sound stage and added half an octave to my bass. Anyway i'll try something else - but i'm still going to ride it out - each time i was about to give up waiting for interconnects or speaker wire to burn in the sound suddenly "blossomed". i simply cannot believe that the Sony 555 SACD sounds markedly inferior to redbook as played on my Cal Audio changer.
Thank you all again for your interest.

Good point but I forgot to mention, the unit was over a year old and had plenty of use. My friend kept it for about 3 weeks and things did not improve. I have to assume it was broken in.

Dan-To answer your question about break in.
You need to have the SACD player playing music or a burn in track.If you can,just put the player on repeat and let it go at very low volume for a couple of weeks.You can also listen to it during this time! :~)
You have to do this for SACD mode AND CD mode.
I 'think' the SACD mode takes longer than the CD mode.
I think it has a lot to do with the source material rather than the player. It is a well-known fact even among SACD enthusiasts that there are many SACDs out there that sounds like crap. Fortunately, there are more and more SACDs that really show off their edge over CDs. Try some SACD samplers like Opus3, Concord Jazz Sampler, classical recordings with very little noice such as Dvorak Slavonic Dances or something conducted by Szell who's usually pretty well-recorded. Yo Yo Ma Solo and Bernstein conducts discs should have plenty of body. The 555ES is a great player but it's also an accurate player. If the source and room are bright there's nothing that the 555ES will do to lessen that.
Howie - thanks, i'll take this into consideration and try what you suggest. my system and room, however, have never been anything but "un-bright" - the only times i've experienced brightness at all was when interconnects or speaker wire was still burning in. what i'm getting with the 555es is very similar - and a flat sound stage.
as for the source material - so far my selections have been, i think, fairly decent. james taylor's "hourglass" (noy hybrid), allison krauss and norah jones. each of these artists has released beautifully produced redbook counterparts that throw a wide and deep soundstage with my old cal audio CL-10.
i'm going to see if my patience can outlast this break in period. and i will experiment with other interconnects.

you indicated that you had checked your interconnects and that your system is strictly 2 channel. However, as Rar1 pointed out, you ALSO must reconfigure your player. Simply using the 2 channel outputs does not mean the player is reading the 2 channel SACD layer.
The final insult !! - i just did an a/b with my harman kardon RECORDER !! and the HK won by a mile. i am now certain that the 555 needs breaking in.
you know, one thing bothers me ........... we pay exorbitant amounts of money for that simple pleasure of approaching realism in recorded sound .......... but we are required to wait with saintly patience for the breaking in of new equipment. i can't speak for others, but the more i pay the quicker my patience wears thin. should the manufacturer or can the manufacturer shorten or eliminate this burn in period ??
Dan-Give it some time and let us know the outcome.
all is well. the main problem was something that happened once before, awhile ago. there's a little toggle on the back of my amp which, when in the up position, turns my amp mono. i quickly put it in the down position. still not quite there - the clincher was "rarl"'s advice regarding sacd multi/2ch choices on the ams knob.
track #4 on "new favorite" by allison krauss really did me in.
thanks to all and don't forget the little toggles. dan
Dan-So how does it sound???
Pinpoint accuracy, super-defined soundstage, of course, and details heard for the first time. most impressed with what it did with a track on allison krauss' "new favorite" - the whole band was blastin' and i could hear each and every instrument more "there" than ever before and a large, "visual" soundstage.
then i tested redbook on it with a joan baez track that, to me, blurrs the distinction between "live or memorex ?" ..... that being "diamonds and rust"- a crystal clear acoustic guitar and ms baez's incredibly powerful voice.
i think i must expand my horizons - but i'm really hooked on female voice. thanks - all you guys did it, made me think and look and remember what happened years ago, and advised me on how to operate this new changer.
I can't believe that you got 18 responses and not one person mentioned . I own the 555ES myself and I'm also not pleased with it's stock sound. Kinda harsh and cold. I'm about to have this player modded by Matthew Anker of . From what I've read, these mods transform this player into a totally different player. It puts it on the level of the Carys and Arcams. You can go to site and take a look at the upgrades.

Also, you should go to . It's actually a headphone enthusiast website but the guys there know just as much about 2 channel stereo anyone. There's a really good review there about the modded 555es. Apparently quite a few guys over there have done it and they all say that the modded player is in another league compared to the un-modded player. Here's a link to the review that sold me.

Before you decide to give up on this player,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I BEG YOU,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,PLEASE READ THIS REVIEW. Also, check out SACDmods site.

Good luck.

When the SCD-C 555ES first came out , it was an $1800 machine. With all due respect to the modification minded community ... for that kind of scratch, changing the sonic character of a unit should not be the first line of defense ... especially when the unit has a reputation for sounding a certain way. Pull the mod trigger, if your goal is to get a $1800 unit to sound like a $4000 unit with $750 worth of mods. But if your goal is to get the unit to sound the way that it is purported to sound, keep the mod gun holstered. In the case of the SCD-C 555ES, SONY has a ton of information in the user's manual that is not intuitive with just a cursory examination of the unit's controls. And to Dan, I'm glad that it all worked out in the end.

Regards, Rich
Congratulations! The Audiogoners again to the rescue. Yes, this should be a fine sounding player, especially on SACD. I think that with good source material and a mid level or better system, this player doing the SACD thing should flat out make some really good sound.

Enjoy it!
Now that the thing is singing i'm going to look at other sacd source material, as Howie suggested. any ideas besides opus or concord samplers ?
Will mods for mods be next?
With the 555,I would leave well enough alone.

Now that you're singing try the following on SACD...

1. Mark O'Connor "In Full Swing"
2. Bob Dylan "Blood on the Tracks"
3. Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed"
4. The Thorns "The Thorns"
5. Blood Sweat & Tears "Blood Sweat & Tears (2nd album)"

and on redbook CD ...

1. Le Violon Vagabond - Graf Mourja & Nathalia Gous
2. Round About Monteverdi - Richie Beirach
3. Brahms Piano Quartet #1 - Agerich

Regards, Rich
i owned a 555 and it takes at least 30 plus days to break in.

it is not a bad player but it simply isnt that involving. went with the marantz sa-8260.

good luck...