Sony SCD-C333ES a good buy?

I have been considering moving into the wonderful world of SACD after finding out this player can be had for only about $600 (don't ask me where =). I've read some reader-reviews in the April issue of Stereophile, and it seems that it doesn't touch the 777... but at this price, it costs less than 1/3 the cheapest new 777 I've seen online. Even though it's not the best CDP out there, is it a great buy at around $600? Right now I have a Marantz CD-6000 OSE (un-modded). Thanks in advance!

One of my partners (a non-audiophile who does appreciate good sound) bought this unit at my suggestion a little over a month ago and is raving about it. It replaced an older Phillips model. At $600, with 5-disc changer capabilities (not that many good-sounding multi-disc players at that price) and SACD, it sounds like an excellent buy.
I HIGHLY recommend you consider the Sony DVP-S9000ES. This player kicks A$@. I have one, and for the money I don't think you can beat the features. The SACD feature outperforms the 333 (after a short break-in period), and you get awesome progressive scan DVD playback as well. Granted, this is only a benefit if you have one system for both music and movies. Otherwise the 333 might be for you. I have also heard that Sony is planning to release a few more SACD players in the next few months. So you might want to hold out and see if something better pops up. Other than that, I've read the review of the 333, and it sounds like a good solid piece. Good luck with your purchase.
It seems to me that Sony has a nasty habit of replacing better older units with newer ones that have more features, prettier displays, and worse parts inside and out. Sony's recognizable brand name and market domination makes it possible to release newer units that seem like upgrades but are actually downgrades where it counts... isn't it possible that units like the SCD-777ES and the SCD-1, excellent units in terms of build quality and sound at relatively low prices, were created to make people more interested in SACD technology? I'm worried that newer units may not only cost less to buy, but much less to make as well due to cheaper parts since the arrogant Sony believes it already has a good market and the great reputation of a few discontinued units to lean on.

What about the upcoming Marantz units, the SA-12 and SA-14? I've heard they're supposed to have a relationship to the highly-acclaimed SA-1 analogous to that between the SCD-777ES and the SCD-1. Is this so? Will they be released at reasonable prices so a college student like me can buy one?
Grossdp, on your last question, I believe the SA-14 will be going for half the price of the SA-1, so that's still not affordable; don't know about the SA-12. On your first point, Sony indeed did build its two flagships better than their usual stuff (as did Marantz) to raise interest in the medium and show what it could do, now they're after the mass market, which for the most part could care less about the inner build quality. Given the buzz about the 9000ES on this site, though, it seems that they're still good sounding machines. I for one hope the medium becomes a success, and if Sony bringing out cheaper SACD players does it, great, because if the medium catches on the high end manufacturers will start putting some of their R&D money into SACD playback hardware. And we will all be better off for it, in my view.
Dan, I think the 333es is an outstanding value for $600.00. I paid $775.00 for mine in January and have been using it for about 3 months now. It replaced a Roksan Caspian CDP and easily equals, if not betters, the Roksan. I read a post at Audio Asylum where a Sony rep estimated the 333 had appx 85% of the 777's performance and a large part of the difference was in isolation and vibration control. No, the 333 will never touch the 777 but for the money who would expect it to?

Still, the 333 is no slouch. It's a very musical machine and the least expensive way I'm aware of to enjoy SACD playback. I thought I would wait out the "format wars" and initial shakeout period to subside but found out that too much time was going by while I was waiting on the sidelines. SACD playback is fabulous and deserves every accolade it is given by users on this and other forums. Some people sniff at the idea of having a changer in an audiophile system but I use this SACD player with Plinius amplification and Shahanian speakers and am pleased with the results. Definitely worth a serious consideration. Regards.
I replaced my Rotel 5-CD player with the C333ES and am very happy. If you need a multi-CD player you will be happy. It takes quite a few hours to break in though. I'm going to supplement this player with a universal player for DVD/DVD Audio and SACD multichannel later when they come out.
Yes there are better SACD players out there but are single disc players.
The 333ES is very solid player. If you can get one for $600, it's a downright steal. The build quality is not as good as the 777, but it's still built to a very high standard. Sonically, I've not made a direct comparison, but Dreamtime's post sounds credible. Just be sure to let the unit break-in.
Agree with post from Smc above. The 333 I'm using took some time to break in. I didn't make any special effort to play it non-stop or run it through any burn-in procedures but the sound definitely sweetens up and loses that initial hint of brittleness after logging some hours on it. The playback has an ease about it now that makes it more fun to listen to.
The $600 price is at J&R Music World. Their internet address is
If memory serves, I recenltly read that Sony will soon be releasing a C555ES. I can't find any info on the site. Can anyone shed any light?
Pops - check out the Crutchfield site for the new 555 sacd player - 5 disc multi-channel with bass management - some details provided but I would suggest Oade Bros. for what maybe the cheapest price...
The 333 is a stereo CD/SACD player. The C555 is a Stereo CD/multichannel SACD player.

The 333 can be bought for around $600. The C555 lists for $1700.

Where can you get a Sony SCD-C333ES for $600.00?? I just saw that VERY same player on Crutchfield's site for $799.00 earlier today, and I thought I was doing something. But if Sony is going to start producing affordable SACD players, then when are they going to start producing "single disc" players for the United States?? They have a "single disc" that I might be interested in, but unfortunately, they only produce it and sell it over in England. That player is the SCD-XB940. Has anyone heard of that player before?? I like that player. It would be the perfect compromise "niche" player for those of us who want something a little more "audiophile" than getting a changer, but who cannot afford or won't spend the money to get an SCD-1 or a SCD-777ES.

However, if Sony does not import the SCD-XB940 over here to the states, then I may have to settle for a SCD-C333ES. It may not be able to beat either the SCD-1 or the SCD-777ES in terms of build quality or sound quality. But hey, if I can get close to 85% to 90% of the sound of either SCD-1 or the SCD-777ES for a price that is either for less than "one eighth" of the price of the SCD-1 or less than "one third" of the price of the SCD-777ES, and it is rated as a Class B player in Stereophile on top of that, then who cares. That may make me put off the purchase of the Meridian 506.20 or 506.24 only temporarily (unless I audition a Rega Planet 2000 and like the sound of THAT player as well..... and in which case, I may forgo the Meridian 506.20 or 506.24 permanmently and pursue a Rega Planet 2000).

Thoughts?? Anyone??

I have checked and they do not carry this model at any price. When did you see it there? John
I couldn't find it on their site either, but I heard that you have to call them and ask for the price. Could someone please enlighten us.
The SCD 333ES is even a better buy AFTER modifications are made by Richard Kern. When compared against the 333ES's big brothers (777ES & SCD-1) the 333ES is harsh, serves up a narrow soundstage, and demonstrates a lean low-end.
If you like the convenience of a changer, that offers sound quality equiv to the very best SACD/Redbook CD, this player is a bargain and best-buy, after Richard Kern tweeks it!

I hear the 333ES is being discontinued. You may find it at In July, Sony is coming out with a C222ES, which will be stereo/multichannel and with a list price ($800) that's $400 cheaper than the 333ES list price. I have no idea if it will equal the sound of the 333ES. I also don't know if there'll be a multichannel version of the 333.

Seems that a strange time to discontinue the U.S.'s lowest priced SACD player, but there must be a reason. It only started selling around Thanksgiving. That's a very, very short time to sell/discontinue something. It wasn't the performance. It's a very good piece.
you have to call and speak with one of the reps there to order the 333es, the price was 599 something but they are at back order now and who knows thats was a few days ago, may be they discontinued the model already.