Sony SCD-333ES CD Players

SCD-333ES

5 Disc SACD player

User Reviews (67)

Showing 1-10 of 67  
MikeG   AudioPhile [Dec 23, 2004]
Strength:

Great sound

Weakness:

Reliability and Sony's poor response to a legitimate warranty issue

The reliabilty of this unit has been nothing short of abysmal. It has been in and out of the shop constantly since new with problems related to reading of discs and endless cycling in random play mode. To make matters worse, Sony Canada has performed a series of botched fixes that actually made the situation worse and now refuses to honour the warranty or even return emails. In short this product is is a complete piece of garbage and Sony's attitude toward customer relations is about the same. I will never buy another Sony product again.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha CDC 775 (great product!)
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Gill   AudioPhile [Jun 04, 2002]
Strength:

Good definition, wide response. Smooth and relatively free from grain. Very easy to use.n

Weakness:

Perhaps a little slow from CD to CD, but nothing too troublesome. Software may not support some hybrid SACDs, all of mine work.p

A very niice carousel player, well made with excellent fit and finish. This was a big improvement over the NAD 515, which was a highly-rated grain-free unit as well. Very good with redbook CDs; excellent with SACDs. Also a good platform for upgrades as well. Better than many units costing more than $1000.e

Similar Products Used: NAD 515, Some old Kenwood. @
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
SteveE   Audio Enthusiast [May 20, 2002]
Strength:

My living room is alive with the sound of music! Great bang for my buck, but I wouldn''t/couldn''t have paid the original retail.

Weakness:

I have to walk 10 feet to hear it, but it''s worth the walk.

I decided last week (after some quirkiness with my HK DVD5) that I wanted a good dedicated CD player to maximize my musical enjoyment. I was considering the NAD C541 which I auditioned in the store and was very impressed with. I was also considering the Cambridge Audio D500 SE which I have not auditioned. I actually visited Tweeter to look at entertainment centers and CD racks, but I caught wind of Miles Davis on an SACD demo. The player that was going at the time was the 555ES, but at $7xx was a little out of the budget picture, and I was skeptical that Sony could play redbook CDs like the NAD. Nevertheless, I was tempted by the way the separation in SACD was so good that you could literally hear the order in which Herbie was laying his fingers down comping behind Miles solo on So What. I noticed the 333ES piece in the corner with no price tag underneath. I went home, read the glowing reviews here and returned to Tweeter with a few CDs to listen to this close-out floor model. I was stunned. I had to audition it at home. I''ve only had about 3 hours total devoted to listening so far, but it smokes what I''m used to whether I''m playing regular 16-bit discs, 24-bit discs, 20-bit discs, or the SACD sampler included in the box. Saxophones from the Dirty Dozen to George Coleman on the RVG Maiden Voyage sound far more three dimensional than I''ve EVER heard before. The sound of pianos and guitars is so spatious you think your head is in the sound hole of the guitar or right in front of the piano. There''s more bass than I''m used to, but it is detailed bass. On Miles live recording My Funny Valentine Plus Four, Ron Carter''s bass has more texture, for example. Anyone who says this player is harsh makes me wonder what cables they are using. If anything, it MIGHT lack edge where edge is required, but it is hard for me to judge that since edgey music generally wouldn''t be my thing anyway. Ergonomically, one complaint...you can''t power it down from the remote. Oh well...I''ll gladly walk the 10 feet to turn this on or off...I suppose I could put it on a switchable outlet of my NAD receiver too if that started to bother me. Since I did no side-by-side comparison, I can''t say how it would come out against an NAD CD player or the Cambridge. I''m statisfied enough to avoid the hassle of bringing those home and taking them back to "be sure."

Similar Products Used: HK DVD5 (does that really count?), HK FL8400 with Audio Alchemy outboard DAC. I''m done with Harman Kardon, though...hopefully Sony ES will hold-up better for me with the longer warranty.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Theo   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 10, 2002]
Strength:

Build quality, 5 play, SACD/cd/cd-r, price, transparency, & overall sound quality.

Weakness:

slow shuffle play

This being my 1st audiophile quality cd player[Stereophile B], I am very impressed.Open soundstage and very transparent,tight bass and wonderfully clear mids and highs. SACD is a significant evolution in sound enhancement,and yet redbook cd''s sound excellent on this player also.I highly recommend the sony scd 333es,it sounds great. Current system: Jolida JD1501 Sony C333es NAD 4155 Wharfedale Emerald 97 JPS Labs/DH Labs

Similar Products Used: inexpensive workhorse Technics
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ronny   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 12, 2002]
Strength:

Wide frequency response, well made.

Weakness:

Takes forever to load, noisy mechanism, limited SACD titles.

I''m very impressed with this machine since I''ve dumped my digital amp and gone back to analogue. Even with conventional cd''s it still sounds smoother and more detailed especially at the high frequency levels. Some of my old rock cd''s however sound crappy in the lower regions. Like the previous review I''m a little ticked with the SACD software. I recall Sony telling us that they were bringing out 4 new titles every month but where are they ? Also the ones on the market currently are mostly remastered from 40 year old recordings. This may appeal to a few people but hardly to the masses. So for $400 I''ll keep this as a somewhat expensive regular cd player.

Similar Products Used: NAD C370 intergrated Amp Gershman RX-20 speakers
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
Huntman   AudioPhile [Feb 08, 2002]
Strength:

very musical

Weakness:

does not support software

I have enjoyed this player for over a year. I never thought that I would own a CD changer because I have more purist ideas in the past. I actually find the changing mechanism much quieter that I had anticipated. After the unit was broken in I found it to be very musical and satisfying. I have not felt a need for an upgrade. My previous player was the original Magnavox CDB 650 which I modded in "91. In total I used it for 12 years. The Sony sounded better at Redbook CD and SACD did not disappoint me in any way. BUT...software is another concern we don''t talk about enough when rating hardware. In May I went to the Stereophile show at the Hilton and bought several "hybrid" discs that are illeged to play on all CD players and also contain a SACD layer. These discs, at about $25 each, have given the SCD C333es fits. They don''t just cause it to fail repeatedly at reading the TOC, some are never read and therefore not even the CD layer can be played. Believe me, I am not amused. My dealer has been helpful and had really tried to get an answer out of his Sony rep. but to no avail. And reading these reviews makes it clear to me that Sony has dumped this product at close out prices and moved on to try to convince us all of the value of multi-channel. That is so like a mogul. I feel we have all been somewhat used inspite of the otherwise great qualities of this player. Buyer beware.

Similar Products Used: Magnavox CDB-650, Modified(Euphonic Technology)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Steve   Audiophile [Jan 30, 2002]
Strength:

Price, build quality, strong SACD player, respectable redbook cd player; carousel?

Weakness:

attached power cord; carousel?

The Sony 333es is an absolutely excellent value, especially at the price I paid but even if it were twice-thrice as much. For redbook cd playback: wide, deep soundstage, substantial and clean bass, warm and clear mid-range, non-shrill high frequencies. SACD a tremendous addition and option. I burned the unit in for 150 hours (for each laser) and was very impressed with the improvement in all facets of sound. As with most sensitive audio equipment, strongest with acoustic music -- jazz, classical, folk-rock, alternative -- and perhaps too revealing for badly recorded rock etc.

This unit was clearly stronger in redbook cd playback than the Cambridge, Parasound, and Rotel, and it compared favorably (I actually preferred it) to the Arcam and Rega. Throw in the price, build quality, SACD and possibly the carousel (vibrations bad, ease of playback good) and it was a no-brainer going for the Sony 333. Would I prefer the Sony SCD-1? Of course. But the extra $4500 or so in my pocket feels pretty good :-)

Other equipment:
Creek 5350se integrated amplifier
Spendor LS 3/5A speakers
assorted cables, interconnects, vibration dampening tweaks

Similar Products Used: Cambridge 500se, Parasound 1000, Rotel 975, Arcam 72, Rega Planet 2000, Sony SCD-1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe Schimo   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 03, 2001]
Strength:

incredible sound

Weakness:

unable to turn on/off unit with remote

I'll echo what other reviewers have said about giving it an adequate break-in period. It does sound better now than 3 months ago.

Best feaures - I'm listening to the player now as I write this review. It sounds terrific! Yes, SACD sound great, but you expect it to sound great because it's a better format. What impressed me the most is the sound of the regular CD's. Attached to the DA777ES and played through B&W 601speakers, this player really shines.

Worst features - The absence of a power button on the remote (ie you have to push the power on/off manually on the unit) is quite irritating. I get around this by plugging the power into the back of the receiver. The carousel mechanism is also a bit loud when it changes discs.

For anyone buying a SACD player now, this player deserves a serious look. Yes, the SCD-1 and SCD-777ES are better, but they are also far more expensive.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
charlie mathews   Audio Enthusiast [May 22, 2001]
Strength:

Hey dont even mess around ...get this SACD player before it oges away. It is a killer....leave it on for ever and enjoy the tunes..Oh...one thing call Oade brothers they are the ones that sell this monster for $550 oh my...and I paid $800...who cares its great!!!

Weakness:

once and awhile there are some individual players that have some product defects....but what the heck Oade bothers is the place to go!!!

Hey run ...dont...walk to Oade Brothers for this Sacd-Cd player....and then when you think you are in audio heaven....call the king...Rick (aka ricardo)at tweak audio. com and ask him to transform your little it.se bitsy...SACD player into a
....GIANT KILLER!!!! HMMmmm...maybe I had too much wine before I wrote this!! Any way a have great time with your new SACD 333 palyer...oh! I forgot one thing! everything I've told you refers to just the plain old ordinary red..book CD playing capacity of the 333. The SACD capacity is phenomenal....Enjoy!!

Similar Products Used: pioneer 525 dvd, EAD 7000 series 11...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
James   Audiophile [May 23, 2001]
Strength:

ES Build Quality(23 lbs.)
Spectacular SACD Sound as well as Excellent CD sound

This player offers almost unbelievable value. The CD electronics have the same 24 bit DAC as the 777ES and sound great. Playing SACDs has been nothing short of a revelation. There is a naturalness and sense of ease in listening to SACDs that is highly addictive. ES products are well made and the 333ES is no exception.

Like others here, I found Oade Brothers to offer the best price and to be nice people too. Paying $550 for an item which sounds incredible feels like the bargain of a lifetime.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 67  

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