Sony CDP-XA1ES CD Players

3.76/5 (34 Reviews) MSRP : $350.00


Product Description

CD player w/ 45 bit internal processing


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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by bluecrab222 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2015

Bottom Line:   
This is an edit of my recent review of the Sony CDP-XA1ES. In it, where I refer to the CDP-XA70ES and the CDP-XA7ES, what I really meant were the CDP-CA70ES and CDP-CA7ES. The CA designation indicates a Changer. Sorry; I didn't see any way to edit the original review.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bluecrab22 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2015

Bottom Line:   
I bought this XA1ES a few months ago on Ebay for 60 USD. I also have its higher-level cousin, the CDP-XA20ES, recently was also using a CDP-XA70ES, and prior to the 70ES, had a CDP-XA7ES. All of these share the common lineage of Sony's 8505 series DAC (8505, 8505AQ, 8505BQ). One thing you can count on from all of them is strong bass response...important to me.

The CDP-XA1ES does not disappoint in that regard, although it has something called an "Advanced Pulse DAC." This might be some kind of hybrid pulse DAC by another name. In any case, the player has the sound I associate with its 8505* cousins: good detail and as I noted, strong low end. I really have no complaints with the sound quality of the XA1ES.

So far, it has eaten no discs, as some users have reported. It has played back without fault every commercial pre-recorded CD I have put in it. However, it sometimes has issues with home-recorded (Commercial CD copied to Consumer/Computer blank CD). On these kinds of CDs, it sometimes repeats some number of seconds of what it just played. In the worst cases of this, I have had to hit FF to get the player to advance. It seems to me like this problem exists more with computer-burned CDs than with CD-R burned ones.

I know it isn't the discs themselves,because I did some tests of the problem CDs on the XA20ES, which resulted in uninterrupted playback. So it's either this particular player or it's something that might happen to all XA1ESs. For all that, I like its sound better than that of the Marantz CD-5001 that it replaced, and for that matter, probably better than the audiophile Onkyo DX-7555 (if only because the XA1ES emphasizes bass more).

The remote is simple and easy to use, although it neither powers on/off the player nor opens/closes the tray.

For 60 USD or less, I think it's a pretty good deal, if that's what you can afford. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably consider spending a bit more money. However, for my basement system, the XA1ES is a reasonable fit.

It's not one of those "built like a tank units," being plastic, but that's OK with me. All in all, I'd recommend this unit with the caution about the CD-R issues I have experienced. These were made around 1995, so they seem to be internally pretty rugged 20 years later. Finally, it's sound far exceeds that of my CDP-XE500, although you would expect that difference between Sony XA and XE.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by alphanathan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I write this in response to the complaints about the Sony cdp-xa1es eating a lot of discs. I have had his problem on and off, and I understand that users would feel cheated that any cd player would damage discs.(more during the emergency removal, I suspect, than the getting stuck in the first place.)
After I got disgusted with the problem only happening on CERTAIN discs, I set about finding out why,analytically. I observed the operation while the unit was open, using a bad cd, and pulling it with my hand, ect.
I came to the conclusion that the part that drops down, that little spindle, (I don't know what it is called), was grazing the label side of SOME discs, and the drag was enough to pull these up the slope of the tray.
I removed the spindle, and looking closely a it, the center "socket" had a dent/bend in the plastic. Apparantly, some cds have a tiny burr on the edge of the hole, and it would get caught.
Granted, perhaps some of the cds have a slightly larger diameter, and sit higher in the tray, but the solution for me was to CAREFULLY shave a bit off of the center. No problem since.
I think that maybe, the store demos (many were sold that way) got rough treatment in the store, and the part malfunctioned.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:   audio breakthroughs



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by zivayalon a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2002

Bottom Line:   
For it's price it's the best that money can get with very clear and deep sound.
I've experienced no technical difficulties using it for over than a year, it'll play any CD-R and even badly scratched cd's without nodding.

Though comparing it to my Sony PS-LX5 turntable, showed me that the crystal clear and deep sound reproduction can't cover up for the seriously lack of resolution and some what slow response time.

Unfortunately since the $$$ isn't at my pocket and I can't afford one of those $1000+ cd players. I'll have to stick to this one and to the old vinyl.

My verdict if you'd like to get a good sound for your money and don't have too much to spend, go with it! you can't find any better for this sum.
If you are more interested in music than crystal clear sound, brush the dust off of your good-old turntable or get one for $40 (Vinyls are so cheap these days, belive you'll thanks me for this tip).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   www.world-exchange.c



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gerald Crum a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is a 3 year follow up to my original review. The fact I still have it speaks volumes in its favor. For a while it was a love/hate relationship, until: 1) I got an NAD C350 with its easy to drive inputs, and 2) I found the Sony demands short, low capacitance cables. I am currently using a 1/2 meter 25 pico Farad cable I built myself. These two changes made a magical difference in the Sony. The XE-500 needs the same kind of cable, by the way. Now, the two players are very natural sounding with accurate instrumental and vocal timbre, fine detail, excellent imaging, and no trace of edginess or grit.

Given that this is now a discontinued model, and therefore, discounted, it is a best buy. It also outperformed both the Rotel 971 and the Arcam 7SE; both of which I found to be colored. Making this a Giant killer.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   B&B Appliance




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