Sony SCD C555ES 5 Disc SACD CD Player Multiple CD Players

SCD C555ES 5 Disc SACD CD Player

Revolutionary Super Audio CD meets 5.1-channel surround sound in this groundbreaking Sony! SACD's dynamics are thrilling, shifting effortlessly from breathy nuances to thunderous crescendos. And the SCD-C555ES's multichannel capability completely envelops you in the experience; you hear it from all angles via six discrete channels of ultra-high-resolution audio!

The SCD-C555ES also plays stereo SACDs and standard CDs with audiophile precision. Its multi-level Super Audio D/A converter contains a super-high-frequency DSD filter for SACD's, 1-bit Direct Stream Digital signal, and a separate filter optimized for standard CDs, ensuring fantastic sound for all your discs. Load this changer with any combination of SACDs and CDs, and you're off to spectacular new audio realms!


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User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
David K Nakamura   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 2003]
Strength:

good sound quality (but is it Stereophile Class A like they say it is?), good build quality, quiet, fast operation, sumptuous control feel, value and features for the money

Weakness:

stock, stick type remote is not so good, hard on/off power switch does not allow remote powering on/off. Also, the front drawer mechanism is overly complex IMO.

I got a smokin' deal on ebay for this deck. Overall, I really like it a lot. It sounds great, especially with SACDs. I don't like the fact that many of the discs aren't hybrids, so it means owning 2 copies in many cases. Also, A-B'ing copies of Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' SACD version versus the newly remastered bitmapped redbook CD revealed that there is not much difference at all between a very well-mastered standard CD versus an SACD. Noise floor was pretty similar. The SACD played at a noticeably lower output level, necessitating volume adjustment. This CD player is packed with features and full interconnectivity on the back panel. I listen to CDs and SACDs exclusively in 2-channel mode. Remote is a stock stick type, and only OK. I don't like the fact that the power switch is a hard on/off type, not controllable by remote control. Makes switching to a universal remote a pain. Also, the motorized front door over the CD drawer, while nice looking, seems superfluous to me-- just another motor and mechanism to break, adding complexity without bottom line sound value. Still, this sucker is built like a tank and is physically huge, even for a 5 disc changer. For the price I paid, it's a freakin' steal.

Similar Products Used: many, many CD players, including a Marantz CDR500, various Sony changers, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sslabs   AudioPhile [Aug 25, 2003]
Strength:

This is the best 5 disc DEDICATED SACD machine around period. And I don't see anything coming out from Sony in the near future. Let's take a look around. Sony's C222ES is good, but seems like a glorified SCD-CE775, The flagship XA777ES still fetches $1500 to $2000, yes it sounds better, but it's a single disc and costs a ton more. Anything even coming close to the C555ES like Marantz is usually a single disc, or a universal type player (not dedicated). Sony announced the new flagship XA9000ES, but made no mention of any other decks. Philips, yeah right, they have some really good SACD/DVD decks, but nothing dedicated. I WISH Yamaha would make a really good dedicated 5 disc SACD player, but alas that's a dream at the moment.

Weakness:

Remote, it's not back-lit, or universal remote. The AC cord is NOT detachable. Disc changing is slow, scan forward TOO Slow on SACDs. No scan forward button on the front of the machine. Also, still loud (for ES) when changing discs. Headphone section, people NEVER mention it. Better than mass-fi gear. It sounds smooth and rich, any attempt to drive phones, and it gets rough around edges. Headphone amp plugged into 2 channel RCA out back would be a good idea. I ran into a problem, and I'll share it with any current or future owners. Two weeks after getting my deck, I thought I got a bum deal. It wouldn't play CDRs at first, it would skip, and stop playing. Soon CDs and SACD would not play. I wanted to start with the simple things, so I wanted to deal with possible dust on the lens. I didn't trust a disc/lens cleaner so I opened the unit, I got in from the bottom and having owned CD players since 1986 I've NEVER had to clean a lens, that is until now. The outer lens was covered with a fine white dust. I cleaned the lens, and put everything back together, problem solved. I took pictures of my removal, and I'm putting together a form e-mail for anyone having this problem.

I purchased my C555ES used in June of 2003, the unit was made in March of 2001. Let's start with the build. This hefty unit weighs in at 25 pounds, and most of that is due to the fact that the unit has extra shielding from vibration, and things are compartmentalized. Taking off the top/side cover, you can see four main boards sitting on top of a steel case. Under that steel case is the actual changer, and off to the left in its own compartment are the R-Core transformers. Kitamura Kiden for the R-Cores (same as the UK 555ES, and XA777ES. Op amps and power supply caps are Nichicon, Nichicon 'fine gold' and Elna Silmic for those of you that ever wondered. The feet are also of the off-center design, and have large foam/rubber type pads. ALSO, unlike the C222ES, the C555ES is made in Japan. FEATURES Same as even the cheap entry level Sony SCD-CE775, in fact it shares the display unit with all the cheaper Sony decks. All the bells and Whistles like suffle play, play exchange (change out 4 while one plays) and CD text are all the same as the non-ES units. Even the bass management is the same (if memory serves), and this really isn't a bad thing, it gets the job done. However, I'm betting most audiophiles own full size speakers, and have at least good bookshelf speakers at the rear, so this is all a moot point. The C555ES can run in analog direct mode bypassing all the digital trickery for the best sound. Standard stuff around back, one optical and one coaxial digital out. One 5.1 and one 2 channel RCA out. And of course Sony's A1 II control that I have never ever used. C555ES does have a white noise test. THE SOUND With current prices I feel I should speak for the not so rich audiophiles on a budget. Bottom line: in spite of some minor complaints of others, playing some good old CDs, this deck will smoke anything coming out of the major electronics chain stores. No big surprise there. The SACD section is fantastic (for the price). I never had to deal with break-in as this unit is used. Unlike standard players, Sony rates this machine not from 20Hz to 20Khz but from 2Hz to 50Khz. Yes SACD goes out to 100k, but to keep your amp from reproducing sonics past 50K that could cause other issues, the machine cuts off at 50k for SACD. The bottom end is really rich, and detailed. Mids like vocals and piano sound fantastic. Noise floor is really low, fine decay is really very good at this price point. UPGRADES for tweakers abound. There are sites that you send your deck to, and those that supply DIY kits, so this unit has TONS of potential for those wanting near flagship sound while keeping the 5 disc feature. This machine was an okay deal at debut (MSRP of $1700.00) but now running anywhere from $500-700 used and around the $1000 dollar mark new (hard to find but still a few floating around at this writing). Used this deck is a FANTASTIC deal. At some point I will post a longer review (not possible at audioreview.com) at my music review site. Here are some pics of the inside of the C555ES. I was very annoyed that I couldn't find any pics so I've created my own. If you can't see them, it's very likely that all of you have smoked up my bandwidth. In that case e-mail me, I'll fire them off to you. I change my e-mail from time to time, my most current address can always be found here http://www.epinions.com/user-sslabs http://sslabs.homestead.com/files/C555ES_SACD_one.jpg http://sslabs.homestead.com/files/C555ES_SACD_two.jpg http://sslabs.homestead.com/files/C555ES_SACD_three.jpg http://sslabs.homestead.com/files/C555ES_SACD_four.jpg http://sslabs.homestead.com/files/C555ES_SACD_five.jpg

Similar Products Used: Sony SCD-CE775, Philips CDR870, Philips DVDQ50 as a CD player while I was waiting for my C555ES.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
George-Palo Alto   Audio Enthusiast [May 12, 2003]
Strength:

Solid unit SACD

Weakness:

Multichannel CD DAC

Outstanding audio reproduction from SACD but the DAC for CD is lacking. This was resolved by adding a external DAC and it is an excellent transport for CD. I am disappointed that multichannel is becoming such an issue with audio since it totally destroys the soundstage. I use the SACD portion in a stereo only mode and the soundstage is incredible and very defined. Closing your eyes and listing you can pick out the position of every musician and the subtle overtones seem well defined. With standard CD’s and the MSB DAC it is excellent unit and the sonic quality is outstanding although there many other units that work well as a transport for a external DAC. It is a great unit and I am pleased with my purchase. There are many other CD Players that may be a better deal but I am happy with this one. Current System Pioneer SD-643HD5 16x9 HDTV Monitor RCA DRD485RG DirecTV Tuner B&K Reference 50 Preamp/Processor B&K AV2250 Power Amplifier Sony SCD-555ES SACD Changer MSB Link DAC 3 w/HDCD upgraded & Powerbase Panasonic DVD-RP91K DVD Player DVDO iScan Pro Progressive Scan Display Interface Monster HTS-3500 Power Conditioner Paradigm Reference Studio 100 (Rosenut) Paradigm Reference Studio CC Center Channel Speaker (Black) Paradigm Reference Studio ADP Surround Speakers (Black) Sunfire TrueSub MK2 Subwoofer Marantz RC9000 Color LCD Remote Control Sennheiser HD 590 Prestige Headphones

Similar Products Used: Sony, Marantz, Creek, Others
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jamescroak   AudioPhile [Oct 16, 2002]
Strength:

Glorious Sound, multiple SACD tray without sound loss.

Weakness:

Remote doesn't have eject feature, some glare on ordinary CD, but maybe that passes as it breaks in.

I am sitting here listening to Miles Davis blow his way through the Sketches of Spain with the same goose bumps that I had when I saw him at the Quiet Knight in Chicago thirty years ago, that’s how good this Superaudio is, startling so. I never had a spare $25k or so needed for a high end turntable, arm and cartridge but now I have the same or better sound for a paltry $599. As a hardcore audiophile I can recommend this unit for any level of system and it has but twenty hours on it. If the other reviews posted here are to be believed, a long break-in period is mandatory, thus it will get only better, although I don’t know how. The CD performance is on the level of a Meridian 508.24 but a tad less than the best Accuphase or Levinson, but who cares I’m done with that format altogether. The only problem I see with Super Audio CD is the word “CD” is still in the title; they should have called it Super Audio Small Vinyl or Super Audio Flat Tape, or somesuch. I am further surprised, and impressed, that they designed an acceptable level multi-disc tray player, I was skeptical that it could have the same sound as a single play tray and a clamped disc, but there is no discernable sound loss. Most impressive feature: the tray can eject while the player is playing a SACD, allowing one to load up another batch of perfect sound forever. Finally!

Similar Products Used: Cal Audio CL-15. Playing everything through Pass Labs into Virgos.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bryanspee   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 06, 2002]
Strength:

looks good, sounds very good

Weakness:

I dont like classical music and thats what its truely made for.

I jumped into this idea because the price was right and I needed a new CD player. It has many great features, the unit is a tank, the display has everything I need and most importantly the sound is very good. I am upset with the number of SACDs available. It seems that most of the SACDs available are the ones I would never buy. Totos greatest hits, come on now-I live in NYC, we have huge Sony store and they dont even have a great selection, I'm sure they have all thats out on SACD but again its not much. I advise that you look into the available titles first before buying. Overall I do love it but they should offer a better selection of NEW music on this format.

Similar Products Used: adcom
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
craigsires   AudioPhile [Aug 21, 2002]
Strength:

Sound quality with redbook. Build quality except see below. Warranty. Flexibility.

Weakness:

The only weakness which may not be one at all is that the tray that holds the discs seems to be a little "plasticky"

I've been very happy with my C555es. I had been coveting owning it since reading the article in Stereophile a year ago. At $1700.00 MSRP though, I didn't think that it would be in my future. One year later and a call to JandR...guess what- The C555ES has been discounted to $600.00! I can do that! I havn't been disapointed for one minute in my purchase. The redbook playback is so much better than my previous CD player, (Sony S500D DVD), that it was worth it for that alone. I've just started exploring MC SACD so I don't really feel like any expert yet about my listening experiences but I will say that it sounds super.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Carl   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 04, 2002]
Strength:

Sound Style

Weakness:

Not enough SACD's out their

I went from an Adcom to the Sony 555. The sound is better, more alive. The biggest problem w/ SACD is the lack of avail. CD's. Unless you love Classical or Jazz, this format is not for you. I "like" jazz but how many $25.00 jazz Cds can a semi fan buy? You can forget about buying a SACD from a record store, most employees dont even know what they are. I have a huge Sony store on Madison Ave and I'm lucky if they have 25 different bands-and this is the Sony store! I cant believe that you cant get a new release on SACD-They have the "best of Kenny Loggins" geezz-No Dave Mathews, Bruce, the Dead but plenty of classical!!--How does Sony expect this to take off? If you like R&B or rock its a big risk becuase you'll buy the new release on regular Cd format and then months from now it will come out on SACD--If anyone knows how to get a better selection, please post it-and not sonymusic.com. Also, if you take your music to go, you can foget about it, SACD only plays on the SACD player-I understand why but its just another negitive. SACD sounds great, but if we dont see a much improved selection, we'll be over here with the mini-discs and lazer discs.

Similar Products Used: ADCOM
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 28, 2002]
Strength:

Ability to recall specific setting for each CD would have been a great feature if I was able to use it. Aesthetically pleaseing.

Weakness:

Door broke in four days. Sound was OK, but nothing special, particularly at this price point.

Four days after I purchased this unit, the door in front that opens/closes froze half-way open. The CDs would not play and the unit basically locked up. I was never able to get my CDs out and Audio King would not disassemble it for fear of losing the warranty. They sent it to a service center with promises to mail my CDs to me. I'll believe it when I see it. Before the door broke, the sound was perfectly adequate, but nothing special. I now have a Marantz CC4000OSE that doesn't have the bells and whistles of the Sony, but sounds much better at half the price. I'm sure my experiecne with the Sony was a fluke, but I have no doubt that there are better values out there.

Similar Products Used: Marantz CC4000OSE
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
tomh   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 09, 2002]
Strength:

Superb CD and SACD playback. Sound is rich with strong dynamics, great detail (low level ambience reproduction), a rich natural midrange and good bass.

Weakness:

Not as fluid in sound as the SCD777ES.

My experience with SACD includes a SCD777ES, an SCD C333ES and now the SCD C555ES. This unit needs a long burn in to develop the ful potential to its sound. Out of the box, the sound is somewhat bright and thin. If you cycle the player for hours for about 3 days, the unit will develop a rich, lush ambient sound and is competitive with other high end players. It deserves the Class A Stereophile rating. Once the unit has burned in the sound is great after about a 20 minute warm up, after powering it on.

Similar Products Used: Sony SCD777ES, an SCD C333ES
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DBerry   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 04, 2002]
Strength:

Sound, build quality

Weakness:

No off button on the remote. I have the power cord hooked up to the back of the Denon, so when it turns on, the CD player turns on.

This is a great website for reviewing products prior to purchasing. Keep up the good work! Although I purchased this product from the US, the price above is in Canadian funds and is the total (i.e. shipping, taxes, brokerage fee, etc.) price. Here in Canada, the price difference is just too great to make the purchase here. That said, this is one solid unit (24 lbs. 5 oz.). I have yet to have any problems with this unit playing Redbook, SACD, or burned CDs. The control buttons/knobs on the unit feels solid and is well thought out. One of the SACDs that came with this unit is “fully loaded”, meaning that it has a regular CD track, a SACD stereo track, and a multi-channel SACD track. Switching between the regular CD track and the SACD stereo track is quite dramatic. The sound from the SACD track, in short, just has more presence. In comparison, the CD track sounds “digital”. I will not buy Redbook CDs anymore unless it is something I really would like to have and is not available in the SACD format. It is that good. If anyone wants more information regarding this product, there is a ton of it at www.hometheaterforum.com. Just like this website, it is an outstanding source of information. My system: Denon 3802 Paradigm Studio 60v2 speakers Paradigm Studio CC speakers Mission 700 bookshelf speakers Paradigm PW-2200 subwoofer Pioneer DV-440 RCA HiFi VCR Monster and Tributary interconnects 12 gauge Home Depot speaker wire SCD-C555ES SACD player

Similar Products Used: 15 year old Yamaha CD player Pioneer DV-440 DVD player
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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