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post #421 of 442 Old 03-12-2014, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bwv1080 View Post

I kept going back and forth between my 5400ES and Oppo 105, but now that I've upgraded my speakers from Martin Logan to DALI, I hear greater detail and depth from the Sony. I listen to it via HDMI since I'm a confirmed multi-channel enthusiast!

I have always thought that the Sony XA-5400ES offered greater delails than the Oppo 95/105 through their respective analog outs which is why I returned the Oppo before the 30 day trial period. I thought the high frequencied from the Sony were more detailed. The Oppo, however, was operationally better than the Sony for whatever thats worth.
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post #422 of 442 Old 03-12-2014, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

I have always thought that the Sony XA-5400ES offered greater delails than the Oppo 95/105 through their respective analog outs which is why I returned the Oppo before the 30 day trial period. I thought the high frequencied from the Sony were more detailed. The Oppo, however, was operationally better than the Sony for whatever thats worth.

Yeah, I like the Oppo's faster load and search times, plus remembering where one left off playing back a disc is nice. The Sony scores in overall sound and an easier to read display.

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post #423 of 442 Old 03-12-2014, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post


I have always thought that the Sony XA-5400ES offered greater delails than the Oppo 95/105 through their respective analog outs which is why I returned the Oppo before the 30 day trial period. I thought the high frequencied from the Sony were more detailed. The Oppo, however, was operationally better than the Sony for whatever thats worth.

I didn't realize you also tried the Oppo 105.  How long after you returned the 95 did you get the 105, and could you compare the two by memory?  

 

Earlier in this thread, it was revealed that a major magazine compared the Oppo 95 and Sony, and the Oppo came out ahead but at the end of the day you must go with your preferences.  My one critique of Sony is their hit and miss approach to high end audio.  Most of their efforts go to mass market electronic gadgets when they could do so much better.

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post #424 of 442 Old 03-13-2014, 09:20 AM
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After reading raves about the new remastering of Kind of Blue, I stepped up to the $35 cost of an SACD -- it seems they all come from Japan. I’ve played the recording on both the Oppo 105 and Sony 5400ES. It’s very good on the Oppo, but the sense of being there is palpable on the Sony. I’ve read that Sony uses different processing for SACD than Oppo, and maybe that’s why this disc sounds so much better in stereo on the Sony than in 5,1 on the Oppo.

On reflection, I realized that there are at least two difference between the Oppo and Sony playing an SACD disc. (1) The Oppo converts DSD to LPCM to do processing, e.g., speaker configuration and bass management, for analog, whereas with the Sony DSD goes directly to analog. The Sony does not do analog surround, and is switched to give stereo priority in any case. (2) I have the Oppo set to cross to subs at 50 Hz, whereas the Sony sends full range to my KEF 107/2s. I have not noticed a difference in sound when the Oppo converts DSD to LPCM, but DSD is said to be Sony’s trick pony. OTOH, the Oppo - Sony difference is quite subtle with CDs. The Sony does not process HDCD (mostly Reference recordings) so those discs sound substantially superior played by the Oppo which does process HDCD.

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post #425 of 442 Old 03-13-2014, 07:17 PM
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You can compare data, features and techniques until your brain literally goes numb, and by the sound of it that would take you an awfully long time!(these days mine would go numb after a few minutes I'm sure)  At the end of the day, buy the one you like better.  We both made the right choice.

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post #426 of 442 Old 03-14-2014, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post

I didn't realize you also tried the Oppo 105.  How long after you returned the 95 did you get the 105, and could you compare the two by memory?  

Earlier in this thread, it was revealed that a major magazine compared the Oppo 95 and Sony, and the Oppo came out ahead but at the end of the day you must go with your preferences.  My one critique of Sony is their hit and miss approach to high end audio.  Most of their efforts go to mass market electronic gadgets when they could do so much better.

I kept the Oppo BDP-95 for about 20 to 25 days before I returned it. I did not try the BDP-105 because they are sonically the same with both using the same D/A converter. While some prefer the Oppo over the Sony, at the end of the day you have to go by your own ears. My ears tell me the Sony sounded better with the Oppo sounding too warm for me and it truncated the high frequencies. I guess it depends on the rest of your gear, but I simply could not get use to the Oppo sound. Sony's ES line is a cut above its regular gear. In every other way except sound, I thought the Oppo was better.
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post #427 of 442 Old 03-18-2014, 06:16 PM
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I'm faced with a dilemma. The Oppo 105 is set to do SACD PCM surround in analog, the Sony XA5400ES does DSD stereo. With some SACDs, Oppo's surround is important, with others Sony's DSD is the clear winner. I was surprised that the organ pedal notes are so much more fully realized in the SACD of the Saint-Saens 3rd with Munch and the BSO were when played on the Sony. Stereo from both players go through a Parasound JC-2 analog preamp.

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post #428 of 442 Old 03-19-2014, 08:30 PM
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You know you're listening to two different mixes right? I wouldn't attribute the bulk of the difference to the player hardware.

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post #429 of 442 Old 03-20-2014, 12:16 AM
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I didn't think i implied the differences in sonics were due to hardware. I can set the Oppo 105 to output DSD, and even curtail it to stereo, if I'm willing to give up the management functions the Oppo provides. I intended to compare the virtues I perceive of surround LPCM and stereo DSD. I was surprised by the LF extension of DSD.

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Ayre C-5xeMP & Oppo BDP-105
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post #430 of 442 Old 08-04-2014, 04:35 PM
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Looks like the XA5400ES may be discontinued again! Shows as discontinued on Sony's Website. Can anyone confirm the status of the unit's production cycle?
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post #431 of 442 Old 08-05-2014, 08:04 AM
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Looks like the XA5400ES may be discontinued again! Shows as discontinued on Sony's Website. Can anyone confirm the status of the unit's production cycle?
It had a long run, but I guess its time is up. I can confirm that it has been discontinued.
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post #432 of 442 Old 08-05-2014, 08:45 AM
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Whoa...I just hooked up my 5400 via XLR and couldn't believe how good it sounds! I definitely prefer it in that mode to my Oppo 105--just sounds more natural and detailed. This experiment has also made me reconsider the advantages of multi-channel sound. Yes, it is more spacious, and if properly done, makes one feel like he's in a concert hall (for classical music, which comprises 99% of my listening), but now I'm starting realize that the extra spaciousness often comes at the expense of details and imaging. Mind blown! I think I'll use the Sony in stereo for RBCDs and SACDs, with the Oppo reserved for movies and Blu-ray audio discs. Now, if only I could talk my wife into a new Esoteric or Krell SACD player! (I had previously scoffed at super-high end players since most are stereo only.)

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post #433 of 442 Old 08-05-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bwv1080 View Post
Whoa...I just hooked up my 5400 via XLR and couldn't believe how good it sounds! I definitely prefer it in that mode to my Oppo 105--just sounds more natural and detailed. This experiment has also made me reconsider the advantages of multi-channel sound. Yes, it is more spacious, and if properly done, makes one feel like he's in a concert hall (for classical music, which comprises 99% of my listening), but now I'm starting realize that the extra spaciousness often comes at the expense of details and imaging. Mind blown! I think I'll use the Sony in stereo for RBCDs and SACDs, with the Oppo reserved for movies and Blu-ray audio discs. Now, if only I could talk my wife into a new Esoteric or Krell SACD player! (I had previously scoffed at super-high end players since most are stereo only.)
I, too, prefer the sound of the SonyES vs. the Oppo. But, as good as you think the Sony sounds, rather than wish for a Krell or Esoteric SACD player, wish for a new processor like a Bryston SP3. It will sonically trounce both the Sony and Oppo, and you'll never again make the mistake in saying stereo better multichannel.
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post #434 of 442 Old 08-05-2014, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post
I, too, prefer the sound of the SonyES vs. the Oppo. But, as good as you think the Sony sounds, rather than wish for a Krell or Esoteric SACD player, wish for a new processor like a Bryston SP3. It will sonically trounce both the Sony and Oppo, and you'll never again make the mistake in saying stereo better multichannel.
I don't see it as a "mistake"--just an opinion!

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post #435 of 442 Old 08-07-2014, 09:13 PM
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I think most music lovers into SACDs will almost always eventually side with the Sony in this case. The XA5400ES was considered their parting gift to the audiophile community and they tuned the DSD playback with extreme care, having worked with it for so many years. It's a shame the player is now out of production but I guess time marches on.
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post #436 of 442 Old 08-08-2014, 11:14 AM
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I've replaced the Sony XA5400ES in our main setup, the equipment listed below, with an Ayre C-5xeMP, and moved the Sony to a setup comprised of Proceed PAV/PDSD, Amp 2, and KEF 102/2s, equipment I've had for decades. The sound quality of the Ayre is noticeably superior to that of the Sony for CDs, but for DSD I'm not so sure. I am sure that the pedal notes with the various discs of Saint-Saens 3rd symphony, especially the DSD remaster of the old Living Stereo with Munch and the BSO, are not as fully realized with the Ayre as with the Sony. I used balanced connections to a Parasound JC-2 for both the Ayre and Sony. The Sony really is a superb DSD player. It may get moved back, but it seems a bit obsessive to have a player for CDs (Ayre), a player for surround (Oppo), and a player for DSD (Sony).

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Ayre C-5xeMP & Oppo BDP-105
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post #437 of 442 Old 08-08-2014, 01:23 PM
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I assume that the Sony maintains DSD until the analog outs and doesn't convert to PCM first, correct?

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post #438 of 442 Old 08-08-2014, 02:04 PM
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I don't know if the Sony converts DSD to PCM for analog output, but I doubt it. I've read a claim that the Ayre does not convert DSD to PCM. Both are superb with DSD, with the Sony having bit more LF extension, the Ayre a bit tighter LF control. But that's just my observation based only on personal judgment.

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post #439 of 442 Old 08-09-2014, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bwv1080 View Post
I assume that the Sony maintains DSD until the analog outs and doesn't convert to PCM first, correct?
Correct. In fact it converts PCM to DSD when you play a CD!

SACD Players only need to convert DSD to PCM when doing bass management or other multi-channel processing. Since this model is only 2-ch analog there is no need.

Last edited by AVfile; 08-09-2014 at 08:37 AM.
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post #440 of 442 Old 08-09-2014, 08:23 AM
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Correct. In fact it converts PCM to DSD when you play a CD!

SACD Players only need to convert DSD to PCM when doing bass management or other multi-channel processing. Since this model is only 2-ch there is no need.
No, it's also a multi-channel player via HDMI.


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post #441 of 442 Old 08-09-2014, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bwv1080 View Post
No, it's also a multi-channel player via HDMI.
I know that but it's not relevant to the DAC discussion.
As for HDMI it can be set to output DSD or PCM.
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post #442 of 442 Old 08-09-2014, 08:32 AM
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I know that but it's not relevant to the DAC discussion.
I was just correcting your comment that it is only a 2-ch player!

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