Sony CDP-CX90ES CD Players

CDP-CX90ES

User Reviews (27)

Showing 1-10 of 27  
terryme1   Audio Enthusiast [May 19, 2009]

I purchased the Sony CPD-CX90ES ($1100) and CPD-CX70ES ($750) new back in about 1999. These units still play great music and have handled the CDs with very few problems all these years. I do have two issues with these units. One RCA output went out on one of the units. This led me to switch from analog out to digital out and use the DAC in my Receiver (Denon AVR5800). It turns out the DAC in the Receiver greatly improved the music quality. I must now switch Receiver inputs depending on which CD Jukebox is playing. There is a problem with the video display output of the CX90ES. The back ground now strobes many colors and sometimes is monochromatic. This is annoying but not too bad. I also have a Sony DVP-CX850D 200 disc DVD player. I only use it as a single DVD player. It often mishandled the DVDs and would rub one against all the others. This ruined several DVDs. My point is the Sony CD ES units work as Jukeboxes better than Sony's DVD units. I love the sound from these units and will keep them as long as they still work. I do want to create a computer system with large hard drives in order to have easy access to my large collection of CDs (>>1000). They have been stored in the garage for too long. I am curious how this Computer System will compare to these Units as a Music source. I will keep you posted.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
safeharbor   AudioPhile [Jun 02, 2007]
Strength:

Smooth and articulate.

Instills confidence in CDs if you are strictly an analog junkie. CDs can sound good!

Obviously less harsh than the CDP-CX205 unit, which was not all bad.

Convenience and Fun of the Jukebox.

CD Text Programming Feature

Weakness:

Cabinet is a bit large, but expected to accomodate 200 CDs. Feels a bit cheesy when you first lift it up...feeling goes away once you hook it up and listen to it.

After owning a Sony CDP-CX205 for many years, I decided to purchase this ES model when I saw it at Goodwill for a decent price. I have been reasonably satisfied with the CDP-CX205 over the years (bought it brand new years and years ago...), but always wondered if the ES series of components manufactured by Sony really lived up to the hype and higher cost. The CDP-CX205 has been a reliable unit, producing above average sound from an extremely convenient jukebox machine. I was hoping that the CDP-CX90ES would not only offer the reliability, but also better sound. Guess what?!! It REALLY does. I have BOTH players hooked up to my Nakamichi PA-7 Stasis Power Amp, Rotel Preamp, and Canton speakers. Last night, I put on some reference material and played songs on the 205, then on the 90ES. Each and every time, the 90ES simply blew away the 205! The sound was much smoother, and sounded more like a good analog setup. Not surprising you say? Let me remind you, that the 205 actually sounded quite good with most CDs in my eclectic collection. There is a very noticeable difference in sound quality between these two units, and I will be transferring most of my highest quality material over to the ES. If you are looking for a better multi-disc jukebox changer, check out the 90Es from Sony.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: CDP-CX205 200 CD Jukebox Changer

Many other single disc CD players
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
threetriodes   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 12, 2005]
Strength:

CD Text display, 200 discs, plays CD-Rs, makes a great transport.

Weakness:

Big, cheap box. Chassis depth may be an issue. Built-in DAC sounds very poor for a unit that retailed for $1100.

A few months ago, I would have never considered a changer. With audio products running from "consumer" to "high-end", changers tend to be solidly on the "consumer" end of the scale. My main CD player is a Sony CDP-XA7ES. This is the best redbook player Sony ever built. It sold for $3,000 new, so if I sound a bit jaded, this is what I'm used to. After buying an iPod (something to listen to at work), I started thinking about a changer. It's kind of nice to be able to choose from a variety of music by just pushing a few buttons. I was putting together a system for my bedroom, and thought it might be nice to be able to listen to music all night long as well. A changer started sounding better all the time. After some research, it seemed like the CDP-CX90ES was a pretty nice unit. I saw several references to this being Sony's best changer, so I thought I'd give one a try. A little surfing on eBay turned up a unit being advertised as "mint-less than 50 hours". Apparently lacking a digital camera, the seller had only a small stock photo - a costly mistake on his part. I was the only bidder, and picked it up for $200. Upon removing it from the box, I was amazed at just how deep this unit is. Keep this in mind, as chances are good that it won't fit in many racks due to it's depth. At least not without a large degree of "hangover". The chassis is not quite as sturdy as I'd expect for a unit that retailed for $1100. Pick one of these up blindfolded, and you could easily mistake it for a cheap microwave oven. You could stand on the XA7ES. So off to my trusty Macintosh (computer) to burn some CDs. One of the best features about this unit is "CD Text". None of the commercial CDs I own have this encoding on them - BUT - Adaptec Toast (my CD burning software) supports it. Just click the little "Enable CD Text" button, and your copies get title and track information automatically added to them. The CX90ES has a PS/2 keyboard port, which allows you to manually enter this information, but letting the machine read it right off your discs is a lot easier. This information scrolls across the display, which I can easily read from across the room (with my glasses on). I have not tried it, but the CX90ES also has a composite video output, so you can display this information on your television. Don't have a television with a composite video input? Just swipe the little modulator box off your kid's Nintendo, and you'll be in business. Now for the important part - the sound. IMHO, the built-in 20-bit DAC sounds HORRIBLE. I'm no golden-ear audiophile. I can't "hear" power cords, or the difference between a CD and a CD-R. But I do know what a cheap CD player sounds like, and in it's stock form, the CX90ES has this sound in spades. Overly bright, and as dry as the Mojave desert. Loaded with .AIFF (native CD audio format) files, my iPod is a better sounding source than this changer! Thankfully, Sony included a fiber optic digital output in the form of a Toslink connector (sorry, no coaxial digital). I picked up an Audio Alchemy "Ultra DAC" on Audiogon for $250. This is an older 18-bit DAC, but it makes music in a big way. Actually, it's 2 units - the first unit reduces jitter by reclocking the digital signal (like most good DACs now do) with the second unit being the DAC itself. In todays world, this is far from state-of-the-art, but the sonic improvement is just amazing. Smooth. Make that SMOOTH. This eliminated the harsh, dry sound, and it's almost as good as the factory DAC in my XA7ES (a bit rolled-off on the highs, and a little less detail, but still quite beautiful to listen to). If you honestly think this is a good sounding unit with the built-in DAC, you really should consider a cheap experiment. Go get a copy of "Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits". Janis has a voice which really brings out the shortcomings of digital. Now go beg, borrow, or steal a decent external DAC. You really won't believe the difference. So for $450 total (counting the DAC) I'm very pleased with both the convenience and the sound.

Similar Products Used: Sony CDP-XA7ES
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Chapel54   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 21, 2003]
Strength:

The sound is fantastic. Very flexible storage, easy to use.

Weakness:

Very bulky.

Beats the heck out of all the other CD players I've had. Found it at a garage sale priced at $100, offered $75. Came with remote and owners manual. I really wasn't sure what I was getting til I came home and hooked it up to my Sony STR-D515 just to try it. Wow! Worked perfectly form the getgo. Still has old owners programming. Can't wait to hook it up to my MAC MA6100. Sounds crisper than my Rotel, light years better than the Aiwa. Nice bass, clear highs. Wife hasn't seen me this excited about a new toy before.

Similar Products Used: Aiwa cheapo 5 disk, Rotel RCD-865X, Nak.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Henry   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 15, 2000]
Strength:

Clean Sound, high s/n ratio and 200 CD capacity

Weakness:

At this point, the fact that it is discontinued. But, that helped get a good price.

Just got this unit a couple of weeks ago at Good Guys. It has been discontinued but, the reviews and specs look so good that I had to look it over. I found 2 demo units and was able to work out a pretty good deal. With the service warranty, I should be good for 7 years. The sound is much cleaner than my old unit and being able to put in all our CDs will be great. Gradually getting all of the information into the memory. Since I just recently got the 555 ES receiver, this will be a good compliment to the system.

Similar Products Used: Sony CDP-C425 Carousel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill   Audio Enthusiast [May 09, 2000]
Strength:

Good sound, solid construction, on-screen display.

Weakness:

No coax output.

Get em while they last. I just picked mine up for $650 on clearance. Sounds great, especially when hooked up optically to a receiver with superior dacs. The on screen display is a must have, it makes access to your entire collection 10x easier. I don't think I could ever live without it now. Mines hooked up to the sony 777es and they sound awesome together.

Similar Products Used: other sony, pioneer, aiwa.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
christopher handley   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 06, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound, video output, disk naming, built very well, this is the best cd player I've ever heard.

Weakness:

None.

I just bought this changer yesterday after reading the reviews of it here, it was hard as hell to find and I had to call about 20 places to find it. I got it for only $300 new from a sony dealer. I love this changer, it sounds great, it has good features and the monitor output is great. The aluminum front panel and the construction is very nice too. I'm very happy with it and I highly recommend it.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sean   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 18, 2000]
Strength:

The ease of access to my entire collection is unbeatable. The sound quality aint bad either.

Weakness:

expensive, discontinued.

I replaced my 5 disc carousel with this player mostly because of the track titling, a feature that is so handy, I dont think I could ever enjoy a changer without this feature. Imagine trying to find songs on one of 400 discs (I added the 70ES), including mix CD-R's, without it! No thanks. So I picked one up.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the clean sound. The signal runs through a marantz sr780, a classe ca101, to vandersteen 2ce's and a velodyne fsr15. I know that further improvements in sound could be achieved by dumping the receiver in favor of separates, and possibly by a high-end cd player (I am sure that a high-quality DVD video/DVD-A/SACD universal player may be in my distant future, but I may be too spoiled by the convenience of these units). Compared with the base sony carousel, bass was tighter and vocals cleaner. Overall system sound quality is excellent, so the sony must be doing something right.

Since my purchase, several of my buddies have added these units to their high-end systems. I know that megachangers dont get featured in stereophile too often, but give this high quality piece a chance.... if you can still find one.

Similar Products Used: pioneer elite 300 disc, yamaha 200 disc, base level sony 5 disc carousel.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Vincent   Audiophile [Mar 03, 2001]
Strength:

Acurate, good base, very listenable

Weakness:

NOT a best buy!

This is my follow up post after a month's trial. It is true that the Sony Juke Box is, like all mega changers, convenient. It is also true that the Sony Juke Box is sonically better than ALMOST any cd player under a thousand dollars. It certainly helped my stereo sound like a great hi fi system. there was great detail, down to the faintest nuances. the base was prodigious and musical. Percussion had plenty of punch and voices were accurate. Yes, the Sony Juke Box is accurate... and artificial. Those of you who value convenience over the music read no further.

Considering the musicality of the Sony 90, it is not a best buy; no, far from it. Would you believe me if I were to tell you there is another cd player, for $550, that is not only acurate, but captures the experience of being at the actual live performance that's recorded on your cd!?

Its true!...But you don’t have to take my word for it. Enter Bill Baker, founder of Response Audio. Bill has been successful in bringing world class A stereo to within easy grasp of the average audio bloke. Besides offering an acclaimed affordable amplifier and cd line, Bill has crafted cables and interconnects (Clarity) that he carefully tests against the most well known audiophile models - and then sells them to us CHEAP. Bill can be reached at home 1-888-785-9773(those are his kids you hear in the background)

Oh yes, the cd player Bill offers that blows the Sony Juke Box, and all cd players under $2000 away sonically is the Jolida tube cd player. I have had the excellent adventure of listening to my cd’s on my system using a Jolida cd player.

Wow! The sound stage was doubled over the Sony’s. Jolida’s midrange is not just accurate, it is REAL sounding, with great bodily presence. The music instruments and singers are holographic, and in their appropriate place on stage, with depth truly portrayed. Oh, and the treble is exhilarating and sooo smooth! You won’t believe your ears! Your friends will swear it sounds real! I can truthfully say the Jolida ts even better than any DVD I’ve heard!

If the Sony deserves 5 stars then the Jolida will certainly need a 100 stars! Since I don’t have that option, I generously give Sony 3 stars for value (compared with similar low fi stuff) and 3 stars for performance. Thank heavens I was fortunate to have discovered Bill Baker and Jolida in time to take my Sony back to Good Guys for a full refund.

Similar Products Used: Phillips, Onkyo, Sony90ES, Jolida tube cd player
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Vincent Bezdecheck   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 08, 2001]
Strength:

superb reading of the disc

Weakness:

big

My system was an ugly duckling and now is a swan! I had a mid fy system with a Denon 100 watt integrated, Onkyo five disc changer, and Boston Acoustics A150 speakers. I always wanted an Apogee, so I bought Apogee Stages (see reviews here). Wow! But not there yet. First to go was the amp. It didn't have the muscle needed to push these three ohm speakers. I got a Bryston preamp and a B&K dual block 4420. Wow!(see the reviews) But not there yet. There was a persistent grainy overlay to the music and the treble was shrill at 9000 Hz. This review site did not disappoint me on the other items above, so looking down the loooong line of CD player reviews, I was searching for items that had more than ten respondents and a strong bar graph. That's where you are! I lucked out and found this Sony, it was an open box return. Now my tell no lie Apogees are as sweet as sugar and smooth as silk. The base is musical, down deep, and controlled. There is no grain. Hey you guys! Hi Fi is attainable for under three thousand! Believe the reviews. The people know.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo, Phillips
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 27  

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