Sony CDP-XA1ES CD Players

3.81/5 (32 Reviews) MSRP : $350.00


Product Description

CD player w/ 45 bit internal processing


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Reviews 1 - 5 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jerry Gennaro a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2001

Bottom Line:   
These are some comments offered on the Sony XA1ES long after it was returned to the store from which it was purchased. [Another good reason for shopping at a reputable dealer. In this case, Sound City in NJ were helpful in arranging an
exchange.] I can't even be positive of the year in which
that unit was manufactured.

The motivation for purchasing this unit was a need for a
CD player with optical output to match a MiniDisc recorder
with only an optical input. [Wisely, Sony have now included
a coax input with their more expensive MD recorders.]

From the minute I started using the unit, I was put off
by a sound that I characterized as "steely." It lacked
the neutrality that I was used to with the Magnavox/Philips
multi-bit, oversampled unit or the somewhat warmer sound produced by the multi-bit, analog filtered Denon.

Before the first week was out, the unit "ate" a CD. The
CD stayed behind in the machine when the tray opened.

So, the combination of mechanical problem and disappointing
sonics prompted a quick return.

I've developed a prejudice based on limited experience that multi-bit DACs (the Denon 1800, the Magnavox 650, and an
older Technics 18-bit unit) sound better than these
bit-stream models (Technics 770; Sony XA1ES). Does anyone
know of any publications that have commented on this or
know of any multi-bit machines still being produced that
should be considered as replacements for my 14 to 16 year old units?
finally

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gerald a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I've used this thing for over three years. It's been perfectly reliable and has not eaten any disks. Had some speaker problems and didn't realize it. Thought it was the CD player and went out auditioning Arcam Alphas and Rotel 971. Took the Sony along so I could compare. It came off just fine against the more pricey competition. Made me realize it wasn't the CD. Found a rubbing voice coil on a midrange. After getting the speakers re-organized, the Sony really impressed me. Smooth, clean highs, solid low end and a lot of air and space in the soundfield. Very nice imaging and a good sense of depth. I find the controls and display very convenient. I judge naturalness principally on piano and male and female vocals. The live sounds we hear most often. THe XA1ES does a nice job on piano and vocals. Handclaps and cymbals are also tough tests, and they come off very well, too.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   B & B




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