Beautiful Sony SCD-XA5400ES CD/SACD player in excellent condition. Works perfectly and comes with remote and original box. Looks like new. I will include a spare laser should you ever need one.
I am an authorized dealer for Legacy Speakers, Oracle, PS Audio, Canary Audio, Auralic, Resonessence, NAT Audio, Verastarr cables and Triangle Art. Paypal or CC adds 2.9%, Midwest Audio, Mishawaka, Indiana.
Will consider trades.
Sony's Technical Background paper spends a lot of words on SACD processing but says little about the player's CD processing, except to describe an 8x-oversampling filter and a noise shaper that result in a 2.8224MHz signal-sampling frequency—the same as that of DSD. "In this way, the SA-DAC presents both CD and SACD signals to the final converter stage in the identical 1-bit/64fs form." The explanation, presumably translated from Japanese, is not entirely clear, but if Sony is implying that CDs played on the SCD-XA5400ES should sound pretty close to SACDs, I think they have a good case.
I connected the SCD-XA5400ES via its XLR or RCA outputs to the Parasound P7 for stereo in my main system, and thought the Sony a revelation with regular CDs. The differences between the two-channel SACD and CD tracks of many discs disappeared, and better CD recordings were revealed as sounding detailed, spacious, and luscious. Among the ones I sampled, I particularly enjoyed the open acoustic, low-frequency richness, and bass impact of Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony's new recording of Bruckner's Symphony 4 (CD, TSO Live TSO-0608). The legendary Marc Aubort is listed as the engineer, so this recording's general excellence is not too surprising—but even so, the transparency and dynamic range were outstanding for the "Red Book" standard. Another was a collection of early symphonic works by Rachmaninoff performed by Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic (CD, Chandos CHAN 10475)—the SCD-XA5400ES illuminated Chandos's typically warm, reverberant acoustic with stunning new clarity. (If you appreciate, with good humor, the blaze of youthful impetuosity that is Rachmaninoff's Symphony 1, Noseda's reading is brilliant.)
There was good news with SACDs, too. Compared to the SCD-XA9000ES, which I've kept as a reference and which outweighs the SCD-XA5400ES by 36 to 22 lbs, it was a clear victory for the newcomer. Coupled with the top-to-bottom clarity and detail shared by both players, the SCD-XA5400ES was definitely smoother, especially in the treble, and much more satisfying for long listening sessions. The older player almost seemed to be saying, "This is what's on the disc, like it or not"; the new one, "This is what's on the disc. Isn't it glorious?"
But enough of things analog and stereo. It was the SCD-XA5400ES's multichannel digital output via HDMI that caught my attention when I first saw it at the CEDIA Expo last September. The Sony and the Integra DTC-9.8 preamp/processor shook hands in comradely fashion, as indicated by the stable HDMI display on the former and the DSD display on the latter, and that's all it took. Shouldn't multichannel digital audio connections have been this simple from the beginning?
Through the Integra, the Sony sounded as good as the best SACD and CD sound I have heard from my multichannel system. It wasn't consistently better, but I suspect that the DTC-9.8's analog stages might have been the limiting factor here. I very slightly preferred the SCD-XA5400ES to either of the Oppo players on hand, and, without question, to using the Denon DVD-3910 player via the Integra's analog inputs.
My final thoughts on the capabilities of the SCD-XA5400ES will have to wait until I can hear it in a more resolving system. So consider this the first of two reports. Very soon I expect to receive an Anthem Statement D2v processor for my Connecticut system, and a Meridian HD621 HDMI switcher for the Manhattan system. Both should permit me to come to a more subtle and determinate assessment of the SCD-XA5400ES's performance via HDMI than I can right now. Let's just say that, for the moment, I have yet to hear a better SACD/CD player.