Sony SCD-C555ES good for redbook?

I have read a lot about the Sony 333ES and of course the 777es but not much on AG about the 555. I recently saw that Stereophile gave it an A rating as a recommended component. I am interested in getting some feedback from someone who actually has heard or owns the unit. Thanks for your time! Tony
I like it alot. I am running it with the TAP9000ES Analog Multichannel preamp and a Adcom power amp and Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II speakers. Tried a few mid priced interconnects, and settled on Nordost Solar Wind. Oddly enough the first thing I noticed on the unit was very clean bass response. My Patricia Barber CD's sounded great, the bass lines were clear and clean, and the music has nice timing and pace.

Bad recordings, well, they sound bad. Early '80's rock CD's are wretched, but that is normal, bright recordings can get a little harsh.

I have about 20 of the JVC XRCD's which all sound fabulous on this player. Nice black noise floor, great imaging, and realistic attack and decays on the accoustic instruments.
I'm torn between the XRCD's and the SACD's I don't hear too much between them. The SACD's seem a little quieter and have a tiny bit smoother high end. Both have great bass with this player.

As far as the SACD's go, the rock discs I've picked up have been disappointing, but the Jazz and classical have been great, but it is all old catalog except for the Yo-Yo Ma Solo, which I loved.

Enough audiophile review crap, It's cheap, I paid about $900 at Tweeter on sale and I think I got the TAP 9000 for $450ish from Oade Bros. (Oade was even better on the 555). It's easy to use and very hefty, but if you want multichannel, get ready for a lot of interconnects.

I love it

Like the unit a lot. I use it with ADCOM AMP/PREAMP/TUNER equipment circa 1990; AR-302 speakers; and IXOS cables & IXOS speaker wire. SACD best sounds from Louis Armstrong Fats and Blood Sweat & Tears. Redbook equally good. Clean, clear, deep, musical all around sound. Purchased the 555, because the 333 was discontinued.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm considering taking the plunge into SACD but also would like a better sound from CD. I currently use a Pioneer DVD/LD as a transport with an Audio Alchemy DTI-PRO32 and a Parasound DAC1000 (20 bit Burr Brown PCM63(?) chips). I enjoy the sound a lot as an overall presentation but would like to get a little better resolution. The Stereophile recommended list has this model as "A" but for the SACD sound only. Not being the ultimate fan of 50's jazz and classical, I would probably not use ths SACD capability that much NOW. Now if I could pick up some Pink Floyd or Moody Blues in SACD, buying the player would be a no-brainer! Tony
Your limited in the SACD's that you can buy. Music Direct (the web-site is not, but it is either amusicdirect or musicdirecta) is the most complete source, as it is mostly SONY/Columbia & Chesky pushing out SACD's. So, Santana's Abraxas in SACD is the closest so far to 70's prog rock. I am happy with the Sony's playback of redbbok CD's and that was the primary reason for buying it.
Thanks for the website link. It was Now a whole new dilemma. SACD releases outnumber DVD-A by almost 2:1. Unfortunately, I just wrote down the SACD titles I would want to own and there's only 7. For kicks, I wrote down the DVD-A titles I'd be interested in owning and there are 11 of those! 7 titles out of 300+ releases is a pretty low %. I sure hope Sony gets their act together soon because at this rate I may be buying in to DVD-A. At least there seems to be more software I'd like to own in that format. But I digress...better left for another thread! Thanks again! Tony
Hi Tony,

One thing you might consider is to buy the 555 and have it modded by someone like Stan Warren, Dan Wright, or Ric Scultz. Once they get done with it you'll have a pretty damn decent CD player as well. For more details on the mods go to Ric's website at This may be the cheapest way to get the best of both worlds. Best of luck.

I just bought an SCD-C555ES ($799 at Tweeter) and even though it isn't even broken in yet, I can tell that the redbook playback is very very good and that it will probably be deserving of its class A rating. I'm comparing to my Rega Planet. After a couple weeks of break-in, I'll know the full story. I'm very impressed with SACD so far. I started this whole multichannel adventure with a JVC DVD-AUDIO player. It never impressed me. The Steely Dan CD in my Rega was better than the Steely Dan DVD-A. Of course, its a JVC, so ???
Thanks, Bufus! I look forward to your follow-up after in runs in for a while. Tony
I have a Sony SCD-C333ES which I am very pleased with. However the redbook performance [imo] is only average. I have it hooked up to an Adcom GDA-600 and this improves the sound substantially. The definition and bass response are much improved. I am going to upgrade the Adcom as soon as I can sell it to improve it even further. I do consider the Sony a good buy however as the SACD sound is quite remarkable and I love the convenience of the 5 disc carousel and the Sony build Quality.
update: I continued to be impressed by the Sony SCD-C555ES. However, I returned it before my 30 day trial was up because it had a slight rumble/vibration/buzz in the transport while playing SACDs. It didn't always vibrate but, when it did, it was audible from my listening position.

The other reason I returned it was because the warranty card in this player was from Sony Canada and it was only for 3 years. Also, it said that you had to return it to Canada for service. Sony ES products are supposed to have a 5 year warranty in America. This makes me wonder if all of Tweeter's Sony equipment is from "Sony Canada."
Bufus - sorry to hear about the rumble. As for the warranty card being Canadian you could arrange service in the US - it doesn't have to travel to Canada for service. The ES warranty period in Canada is 3 years and in the US its 5 years (we Canucks again take it up the old wazoo once again). When I received my 333ES from Oade bros. it had both the US 5 yr card and the Canadian 3 yr card. I remitted the 3 yr card to Sony Canada.

It is very possible that the unit you auditioned was originally from Canada as due to the prohibitively high list prices here in Canada for SACD players I wouldn't doubt that Sony Canada has shipped units south of the border to reduce stock levels.
Bufus, Thanks for the update. Are you going to get another 555es? Or do you think it was a design flaw? Thanks. Tony
Now that I'm back to the Rega Planet, I can tell that the Sony had a more open soundstage, more musical presentation. The only other one they had was a display model. I may get another one from someone else. I emailed the ebay seller who had some for $549. I asked if Sony would honor the warranty if I purchased one from them. I never got a response. I don't think that was a good sign. I know some manufacturers are starting to refuse to honor warranties if you buy from unauthorized e-commerce dealers. To me, two wrongs don't make a right. They should honor the warranty if you buy the player new. It is their job to keep their stock directed to authorized dealers. After all, Sony is making the same money wether I buy it from a high end shop for full retail or on the internet for $549.
I agree with you Bufus, Sony should honor the warrenty no matter what. It's up to Sony to ensure their "dealers" honor the company's warrenty when the product is sold "as new". I hope everything works out for you. The feedback you lent regarding the comparison to the Rega is much appreciated. Tony.
I was in the market for a new cd player and was told that this player C555ES would work just fine for redbook CD's on a 2 ch system (by the Sony Rep) What do you all think, am I throwing money away as I have no wish for multichannel music.I heard alot of postive reviews about how SACD players perform very well on reg. CD's and at the price it was offered, it got me wondering
I can just say that it performs better on redbook CDs than my Rega Planet so you could immediately say it deserves a B+ or A- rating. Of course, there are so many other options. But, for its price range, $575 delivered, I don't imagine there would be many things that sound better than the SCD-C555ES. And, with this player, you can enhance your 2 channel listening pleasure with 2 channel SACDs which currently cost about $16.99, and they sound fabulous.
I bought an SCD 555 ES recently from an authorized U.S. Dealer. Sony has dropped the US warranty to three years.

Nevertheless, I like the machine. I paid $600 for it. (The store matched J&R's in-store price.) It seems well made and handles both redbook and SACD to my satisfaction. On redbook it seems a little warmer and perhaps not as defined as my 10+ year old Esoteric/Theta combination which cost 5 times more.