Fantastic Sony ES SACD quality, 5.1-channel surround sound, and 5-disc carousel convenience meet in this changer! Just imagine; soul-stirring musical performances reproduced with exceptional accuracy, delivered to your ears from all angles via six discrete channels of ultra-high-resolution audio! Built-in multi-channel DSP for bass redirection and channel level adjustment lets you tailor the SACD output to your specific 5.1-channel speaker system.
The SCD-C222ES uses 3 advanced Super Audio D/A converters for multi-channel SACD playback. The audiophile-pleasing result of all this processing power is multi-channel sound that's breathtakingly pristine and dynamic. One of these high-end converters also handles two-channel playback, stereo SACDs sound phenomenal, and your regular CDs come to life with extraordinary detail.
I had been contemplating joining the SACD revolution for about a year, but noticed that most of the players available these days were combo low end CD\SCD\DVD models and I wasn't about to drop 3k on no kinda of player!. I started searching google for a stand alone SACD player and came upon 2 mid-high end models, the Sony SCD-555ES and SCD-222ES which seem to be discontined, but I stumnbled upon the last one in stock at a local a/v store in the Wash DC area. Connected to my current system, the rumors I've heard about SACD are true! I don't know how they did it, but I find myself listening long hours to many of my old cd's and multichannel SACD disks sound incredible on my exclusive Sony setup.
OK so SACD is the closest thing yet to vinyl repro, even close to the original analogue tapes in some cases. I'd have to agree with that providing all sources are created equal.(which they're not!)Simply musical player, of course it's not perfect,mine clunks when it changes discs too, but man, for this kind of $$$ I'd challenge anyone to show me a CD player (particularly 5 disc) that is noticeably more efficient than this SCD C222ES. Sounds better each time I play it, although a little thin on redbook cds'.
Normally I'd wait longer than a month before posting a review, but since this player is about to be discontinued, I thought I'd get my thoughts down for those considering a purchase.
I never set out to get an SACD player, since the format's future is still murky. My primary consideration was good CD playback. For years I was satisfied with an old Philips CD player and then using my Toshiba DVD player for CD, until my roommate added her old 5-disc Sony to my system. Her player was purchased in 1989, so it was not much newer than my Philips, but I started using the Sony due to the convenience of the carousel changer.
After listening to it for a few weeks I went back to the Philips and Toshiba, and let me tell you there was a definite difference. The Sony sounded more refined and full, making the others sound sterile and flat in comparison. This prompted me to search for a changer of my own, so I bought a Marantz CC-3000 to match my SR6200 receiver. Big mistake. While the Marantz looked great and had a very fast and quiet changer, it didn't sound much better than the Toshiba DVD unit. Even switching to Coax and using the 6200's DACs didn't improve things by much (don't let anyone tell you that "digital is digital" - the quality of the player transport DOES make a difference in the sound). I made up my mind to return the Marantz and get a Sony.
Unfortunately, Sony CD changer model selection is pretty poor in Canada, with only low-end and high-end available, so I had to look to the US for a decent unit in my price range. The SCD-C222ES was priced right, had good reviews, and plays multi-channel SACDs as a bonus. Before being recently discontinued in Canada, it retailed for $1099 CDN ($725 US) - a blatant rip-off compared to the $500 US retail (less via mail order). Even with the exchange rate, taxes and brokerage fee, I paid about $725 CDN to my door - a fair price for this excellent machine.
The build quality is better than the Marantz, but this is to be expected, given the Sony’s higher retail price. It has a very nice, uncluttered front panel, and gold-plated output jacks at rear. The display is very neat and legible, with CD text display on those rare discs that have the title and track text incorporated.
Now for a review of the sound: for regular CD playback using the Analogue outputs, even better than the older Sony described above. The soundstage is deeper, the quiet passages more silent, and soft instruments can be heard far more easily. I have not compared the Digital out yet, but I would not be surprised if my mid-range receiver DACs were inferior to the purpose-built Sony's.
I have only one SACD so far (Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith) and it sounds even better, especially in multi channel, for a very realistic “you are there” experience.
The only real problem I have with this player is the noisy changer - it is slow and loud, making shuffle play more distracting than it should be. If Marantz can put a faster, quieter one in a player that costs less than half as much, why can't Sony?
One minor gripe is the bass management for multi-channel SACDs – it is fairly primitive, with a cross over fixed at 120Hz. Not a huge problem, but not state of the art flexibility either. Some have said that with SACD bass management engaged (as opposed to running 5-ch. “Direct” mode), the sound quality is compromised somewhat, but I can’t confirm this without more testing. Others have said they run in “Direct” mode even with small surround speakers with good results, indicating that not a lot of bass is sent to the surround speakers anyway.
It doesn’t look like Sony is replacing this player with a newer model, only introducing DVD/SACD combo players. Which means you will either pay more for your SACD player to get DVD Video, or (if you don’t get a high-end model) a cheaper do-it-all machine that lacks in sound quality.
Verdict – if you want a good sounding CD changer with multi-channel SACD as a bonus, get an SCD-C222ES before they’re gone. While it may have been slightly over priced when introduced, it is a bargain now.
I bought sony c222es Jan/20/01 the sound is great depending on how good the sacd disc is.I have the Pioneer Elite DV38A DVD auido player the same holds true for DVD auido disc's.I listened to the more pricy players the sony 333ES 555ES and the 777ES I could not hear any real diffrent or better sound from the other players to spend more money.
I bought this player after first trying out the $300 NS500V DVD and SACD player, which I found to be kind of bright in SACD playback. (with nothing to compare it to at the time, however.) I was also disappointed with the plasticy-ness of the 500V, and wanted something that looked worthy to share rack space with my Sony STR-DA777ES receiver (not that I think it’s hi-end or anything). I also bought an Onkyo 555 DVD-V only player to replace the video functions of the 500V. Was it worth it? Well, the 222ES and the Onkyo certainly look better than the 500V, but performance-wise, I don’t think the “upgrade” was worth the additional $800 I spent.
The 222ES does not sound bright on my system, which is a plus, but it did not include the same demo disc as the 500V, so I have nothing to directly compare it with (the 222ES did not come with any demo disc at all, to be precise). The 222ES also uncovered a major flaw in my system, which is hampering my ability to be really enthusiastic about this player. I discovered that the subwoofer test tone, through the 5.1 jacks of my receiver, is attenuated by more than 20 dB compared with the other 5 channels, requiring me to max-out the player’s sub/front balance slider (which actually reduces the output of the front channels, requiring a very high volume setting on my receiver to compensate) and to crank up my subwoofers’ volume controls to nearly maximum. Scary! After finding that this problem does not exist when connected to my Outlaw receiver (in the bedroom), I assumed the problem was isolated to my Sony receiver’s 5.1 inputs, although I did not recall having this problem with the 500V. So I have no idea what’s wrong, but it almost seems to be some sort of incompatibility between the SACD subwoofer output and my receiver’s inputs. Perhaps an impedance mismatch? I don’t know – but the bottom line is that I was unable to use the bass management features of this player. I ended up getting around this the hard way ($$$$$), by upgrading my front speakers to full-range NHT 2.5i’s, which I was in the process of doing anyway. If I hadn’t done that, I would essentially have been unable to use this player with my system. But like I said, it worked fine with my Outlaw, so this may not apply to anyone other than 777ES owners, or maybe to just me.
Other than that, the sound is fine. SACD can be pretty great at times