Sony XA5400ES DAC Chip

Does anyone know which DAC chip (e.g., BB, Wolfson, etc.) this new CDP uses for RBCD and SACD? Can't find it in literature and seems to be a big mystery. Also, how is jitter reduction handled?

Ordered one of these almost on a lark after reading rave reviews. Find it hard to believe any component this inexpensive (paid ca. $1150 including shipping and insurance, with full Sony mfrs waranty) can be nearly as good as some of the reviews/comments say it is -- or can hold a candle to my modded CEC TL-1X/Dodson 218 with latest software upgrade combo, but I would love to be proven wrong. And if it is even close it would be quite an accomplishment.


Ag insider logo xs@2xnglazer
Check the link below. Scroll down to Cyrilmartin posts, looks like he did a bit of research.

Prepare to be amazed with this player. Just give it a looong time to break in on both SACD and redbook sections.
Thanks, M. Yikes! be careful what you ask for!

This player will exhibit changes over 500 hours from good to bad to great so be patient.
I almost sold it after 2 days
Now I say goodnight to it..
Buffalo Chips

Love Your Music!
For the incurably curious, the DAC chip is a Burr-Brown DSD 1796.

And Fishing 1716, you are right about burn in. After about 40 hrs it has gone from thin and trebly to the opposite extreme. I will give it another couple of days before installing in main rig.

I have calculated that if one bought a new component or IC's, SC's or PC's every six months until a system was complete, one would need to live until the age of 136 until everything was burned in. By which time we would have replaced the system 10 times over.

What is wrong with us? Why have no psychological studies been performed on audiophiles? Are there any special meds for us?

with regard to playback of redbook cds i believe the ess sabre dac (32 bit chip, 7 channel) is superior to any burr-brown chip. i will admit howevere, having auditioned many players/dacs using the 1792. i am not sure about the 1796. can anyone mention a brand which uses the 1796, other than the sony ?


by the way, nglazer where did you purchase the sony. the only add i see is american theater. i am not sure the warranty is valid from them .
Are there any special meds for us?
Anxiety disorder drugs?
Mr. tennis,

I did buy from American Theater. Kevin there assured me it carried full US warranty and was shipped from his retail store in Philadelphia. The unit came with a Warranty registration card.
I would double check their warranty availability claim by contacting Sony directly. When I purchased mine I did contact American Theater too, but I saw a couple of red flags and I ended up purchasing elsewhere.
I also did not purchase from American Theater.
Besides finding their attitude un appealing,their promise of Sony Warranty is untrue.
They offer some sort of in-house "service" I suspect.
They are not an Authorized Sony dealer.
I too was going to purchase from American Theater but was not convinced they were being honest about their warranty claims. I also felt that customer service was below my expectations. Let us know what you find out from Sony directly.
It took me all of about 3 minutes to decide to refrain from dealing with Am Theatre. If I want to endure poor manners and attitude I can simply call up an ex.

One of the ways a dealership can diminish MSRP is in how they buy the product from the manufactuer or in how many pieces. Length of warranty, or warranty at all, is one path to savings for the dealer. Advertising dollars, delayed billing, diminished or extended service periods all can be negotiated aspects from a resellers point of view, as are a few other facets of the buying process for resale.

As importantly as is registering online & or by mail, so is safely securing the orig packaging... especially if no Sony authorized or service center is within easy reach.

Hopefully all will be well and the CDP will be easily registered. More accurately, the product will perform trouble free throughout it's life span... minus the one year break in period of course.

500 hours does = about one years use, doesn't it?

Not if you just let it run on repeat for 2 weeks. Then you are there. I am doing a week and then will try it out in Main Rig.

I will look into this warranty issue more deeply. Have not registered product yet but I will, and see what happens. I have Kevin's representations re US warranty in writing. He was very responsive and courteous in the sales process and the CDP came when he said it would. One of my partners bought an NAD amp from him and had a good experience.

RWV... one experience is not always that of another.

I pray your exp is without issue.

My statements above indicate my own exp with AHT and my buying exp from major manufactuers as a former buyer for a multi store retail chain.

I perhaps do listen less now than in the past... maybe a couple nights per week to pure 2 ch. Maybe one night a week or less on the main HT rig using the projector. Now all is via a server and HDD based music. The BDP 83 only does DVDs when I'm entertaining. When I had a Sony CDP, 2-3 hrs per day was the maximum I'd use mine. Usually it would be much less... around 6-10 hrs per week.... not inclusive of any static warming up periods.

6 hrs per week x 52 = 312 per yr.

there are 168 hrs in one week. My one year use of my old Sony 777 equates to less time than two weeks constant running/burning in.... and I've read a few notes saying additional time is necessary for the 5400 to setttle in fully.

Nothing wrong with that at all... just placing the time frame for burn in into another perspective. It is what it is and there's no getting around the need for it either.... especially when one considers the motor & laser (s) assembly is a comsumable non forever item.

It is refreshing to hear all the positive accounts for this latest offering's performance at virtually half the price of Sony's former (777) unit though, for those who still require a RB/SACD single box option.

Good luck
In my case 95% of the break in happened in the first 48 hours. After a couple of days the sound was liquid, smooth and satisfying. As far as the warranty, I have never had any problem with any Sony products, and I've owned many. The build quality of XA5400ES is much higher than the average. I imagine vast majority of the owners won't need any warranty service in their life time. Don't worry too much about the warranty that you may never need.


Sony does make very durable goods. Long lasting and trouble free.... mostly. Selling them I never had an out of the box failure provided there was no evidence of shipping damages.

In 10 years of owning an ES line HT reciever, I had to replace the main chip @ $125, and I replaced a motor + double laser assemb, on a SCD xa777es after six years or so @ $300.

I did manage to break a DVD/VCR combo unit once. I had to both drop it 3-4ft. off a shelf onto the carpeted floor, and kick the open DVD tray, snapping off the tray cover plate.... and it still worked on the VCR side. Only after spilling a soda on the remote and disabling some of the buttons did I finally stop using it. It's only manual op now.

My 61 in. RP still works fine and it's 8 years old. Same thing for my 400 CDP mega box at about the same age. Although neither gets daily use, both work fine when needed.

The only gripe I have if it is justifiable would be the local Sony consumer center will only service those Sony items they sell. Buy the exact same model they sell, elsewhere and they'll turn you away flat, if ANY service is required. An 'authorized' service center is then required, but in my area there is one of those too, a bit further away.

Consequently, Sony items remain attractive to me if some need arises and both the budget and fit are in line.
I would be extremely cautious dealing with American Theater. There are lots of negative posts on AA about them. As far as know, they are not authorized dealers for some of the electronics they sell, including Marantz.
I recommend Crutchfield or a power seller on Ebay
As Neal Glazer can confirm thru his expeience AMERICAN THEATER drops ships & Invoices from Sony AUTHORIZED retail showroom & the player IS covered by the FULL Sony manufacture warranty Five Year Warranty.
As far as Our customer service goes I will simply let our feedback be a testimony of the level of service we provide.
Therefore when someone says they had a bad experience with rude service from AT we are a bunch of liars


Maybe they feel 'attitude' and good manners, don't count.... just numbers.
I carry no brief for American Theater but do not like to see a responsible vendor maligned, and can only repeat that Kevin was as courteous and responsive as could be; the Sony CDP was delivered when promised; it was brand new and in perfect condition; and when I registered the unit on Sony's website AT came up on the popup menu of retailers. My partner and friend bought a NAD amplifier from AT a few years ago and had an equally satisfying experience. Enough said.

Like Neal, I too had a good interaction with American Theater. I found them to be polite and very helpful
Maybe because they're selling the product for $400 under sticker, they don't have time to sit around listening to everyone's bullshit. That's what you pay the extra $400 for to a full-price dealer.
I bought mine from AT . They were pleasant, professional and with on time delivery.What more can you ask?
so nglazer - how does it sound now?