would the Sony SCD 5400 Ex make a good transport?

I recently acquired a Sony SCD 5400 hoping it would be an upgrade from my Rega Apollo. While there is much to admire in terms of resolution and PRAT I find the sound has a lot of the digital glare/hardness; strings are quite steely which is tiring. Was wondering if this could be corrected with a (better?)DAC using the Sony as a transport. Or is it better to look for another player. The Sony costs as much as I want to pay for a CD player
Well, plenty of accolades for the Sony. So i do not know if a DAC woould be an answer.
Sonys are usually decent transports, annd i own four Sonys i use three five disc players as transports, a 333, 555 and 9 ES, plus a SCD777ES which i use stand-alone.
You problem could be solved some other way. I do not think your going to find a DAC as a real solution.
Give it a chance to "settle-in" in your system. I have not found the Sony to be Bright or edgy. You may consider a power cable or IC swap.
What amp are you using?
Amp is a Plinius 8200-not the least bit bright.BTW the Rega apollo is quite different in sound,not the least bit hard/edgy.But it is no match for the Sony in speed, resolution and bass clarity.
I've heard the sony in my system and a freinds. The speed and dynamic's of the 5400 can give the illusion of being edgy. There is a long break in on the sony so let it play 24/7 for a week or so. If it still doesn't smooth out for you, Then it's not ever going to be right for your listening taste.
It is a great cd player, but I went with the NAD C-565BEE and it sounds like there is a tube upgrade already in it. But it still has plenty of detail.
Hope this helps your journey.
I currently own a Sony 5400, and find it's sonics to be hard to beat in it's price range. I don't find it to be harsh sounding in my current system at all. I recently purchased a DAC that has been reviewed to be tops in it's price range as well ($1,200), and found the Sony's analog outs out-performed the DAC. As far as the 5400 being a good transport, I would not recommend it over other far more affordable players as a transport. I have tried the 5400 as a transport with two different DACs in my system, and did not find it to sound any better (or worse) than some other players/transports that cost FAR less than the 5400. There are far better transports to be had in the $1,000 range than the Sony, if you have found a DAC that out-performs the 5400.
I have the 5400 modified by Dan Wright at ModWright. I never heard the stock 5400, but can tell you my ModWright 5400 competes with my 20k vinyl rig and does not sound edgy or bright in the least. He has a new mod coming up that will allow you to run the 5400 as a DAC with a digital input. I can't imagine getting a better cd/sacd player for under 10k.
Podeschi I owned the Playback Designs 7 cd player that retails for 15,000.00. The Sony Modright 5400 easily beat the PD and is 5 times less costly.
Sorry called the PD 5 player.
Am playing the Sony through (XRCDs, CDs and SACDs...prefer sonics in that order) my new VAC gear. I have to believe the Modwright Sony is the most value for the buck I've ever received from a piece of audio gear. Amazing how good this sounds -- non-digital, on par with vinyl for the most part (better dynamics, not quite the full smooth organic warmth tho that my Benz/Graham/Clearaudio/Herron give me).
Darrin you need to change tubes in the Sony and power supply to get its full potential. If you are looking for a more organic sound I would recommend the Sylvania 5692 made in the 50's, also RCA 6SN7 GTB. I would change the rectifier tube to a Mullard 5AR4. I would also buy 6SN7 Tungsol Black Plate just to have a very nuetral tube, expect to pay 500 a pair. I would also get the Tungsol made in the 60's these are cheaper and also sound good. You need to replace both power cords and I recommend the Coincident power cords which are great on the Sony. I would also fool around with interconnects on the Sony the Siltech sound is nice and full for example. I compared the modright Sony to the Playback Design model 5 (15,0000) and the Sony beat it. You will also want to change the 6SN7 in the VAC amp and if you have their preamp you will want to change those as well.
Jwm, thanks for the sound counsel. Do you recommend any place in particular to buy the tubes for the Sony? I auditioned power cords on the sony transport and power supply and went with audience e powerchords. I am pretty happy with harmonic technology magic link 2 xlr on sony to pre but will look for a siltech to compare. I just took delivery of the vac 300.1 amp and renaissance mk 3 preamp so pls let me know more specifics on tube upgrades there (type and where to buy) if you dont mind. I will find a way to repay the favor. Many thanks in advance. I just bought silkworm+ to connect vac amp and pre.

Have you compared the Sylvanias and Tung-Sol to the Sophia Electric or Black Treasures? Just curious how the best NOS compare to the supposedly best new age tubes.

Podeschi you are in for a treat with the VAC gear. Sound improves as you put hours on them. I guarantee you will be buying a second Phi 300.1 for monoblocks in the future. I bought my tubes from a local guy that turned out to be a jerk. I have a few great people to buy from. Andy at Vintage Tube Services in Grand Rapids, MI.
No, but I doubt any new tube made today will compare with a new old stock tube from the 50-60's.
Thanks, JWM. I specifically picked the 300.1 so i could pick up a second in a year or two.
Thanks, JWM. I specifically picked the 300.1 so i could pick up a second in a year or two.
I tried it as a transport. Didn't hold a candle to my CEC TL-1x, nor did it even match my old Toshiba 9200 DVD/CD Player, which BTW is a darn good transport. For what you can get one for used, it is a steal.

I owned a CEC TL-1 for many years(JWM still owns one) and I'm of the opinion that it's one of the best transports ever made. No big surprise the Sony "didn't hold a candle" to it. Most other dedicated transports didn't hold a candle to it!

The Sony is fine as a one box player, particularly if you own many SACD's, but it really doesn't work very well as a dedicated transport nor have any of the earlier ES models I've tried.

I finally got to hear the difference of NOS 6sn7 tube rolling in the VAC. Just inserting one pair of Sylvania Chrome Tops in the outside slots on the 300.1 gave more punch and weight. Now I'm weighing if I should do the NOS hunt (RCA vt231, KenRad vt231, RCA grey glass 6sn7, etc) mixing and matching, or simplify and just buy a couple of pairs of Sophia 6sn7s for Modwright and VAC gear??? Any advice?