Rated 5 out of 5 by AudioRich Audiophile CD player that is best in class
Some of the best rated CD players, according to audio magazines, can cost upwards of $5,000 or more. Who has that kind of money to spend today? After researching CD players for a long long time I came across two great reviews of the 5400 that recommended the product very highly. I changed my Marantz 503 for this model and the change in sound was immediate to notice.
The first CD that I put on was Charles Mingus Ah-Um on SACD. Although recorded a long long time ago the music sounded vibrant and fresh but I also noticed that the it was softer more like an analog recording. Next on the play list was Stevie Ray's "Couldn't Stand the Weather" also on SACD. While most would think that a trio power groups sound could not get better they should take a listen to this CD. I heard things that I had never heard before and again there was great depth and dynamic range.
I highly recommend this CD player it's a great model and is a value at this price. I would easily stack this up against a Marantz Reference series or the Ayre 5 which is $6K
February 25, 2009
Rated 5 out of 5 by LiteJazz Another Audio Piece Of Sony History
The SCD XA5400ES is without question, another piece of Sony history, taking it's place right along side of the Sony SCD-1, ultimate SACD player.
Many people have debated which unit is better, and it appears the 5400ES wins because of HDMI and much newer, better chip sets. I have both the SCD-1 as well as the silver 9000ES, both are wonderful machines. The SCD XA5400ES stands as the last and possibly the finest SACD machine Sony Corporation ever made. The 5400 is the player of choice for extreme mods, and not much of anything can stand next to it, and certainly no where near it's price point, and then there is Sony's eye for detail, cosmetically one of the most desirable SACD players to just look at! What makes me feel so good about this player is as of this writing, there are only (4) 5400ES machines left in the Sony system, after they are sold, there are no more to be had anywhere, and I am just so fortunate to have been able to find one, and it should arrive in the next few days, can't wait!
Happy listening, LiteJazz53
July 2, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by ColorPointCatLover Impressive in Every Way
When I first hear SACD sound back in 2001, I was immediately struck with its sense of realism and warmth. Every iteration of technology advance in the improvement of SACD sound serves to reaffirm and strengthen that initial impression. This new player is a joy to hear and use. Setup could not be simpler, the construction, fit and finish are superb, and the sound is such that it is easy to forget that one is listening to recorded - as opposed to live - music. Highly recommended!
April 19, 2009
Rated 5 out of 5 by KEVINKKJ Giant Killer
I purchased the 9000 version (previous model) in 2004. Although the 5400 is not as mechanically solid as the 9000, it is a superb SACD player/DAC and additionally oversamples 16-bit 44.1kHz CD to DSD like 2.8Msps 1-bit so that CD's sound almost as good as SACD. It is superbly well constructed with a smooth transport and looks great. It gives high-end audiophile player/DAC's a very good run for the money; typically such may cost 2 or even 3 times more. This new model has relpaced the iLink IEEE 1394 port with HDMI, which is more accepted.
January 17, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by NJmusiclover A Great Player
I purchased the SCD-XA5400ES about a year ago from the Sony Store sight, or should I say, sound unheard. It was based on extensive research including professional reviews (Stereo Review) and actual owner/user reviews. Based on all the positive feedback, my decision paid off. Just for some background info, I have an older ADCOM amplifier and ADCOM preamp/tuner unit. Mostly, however, I find myself listening through headphones (an old Sony pair). My musical tastes are varied, including classic rock, pop, classical and jazz. This Sony unit handles everything extremely well. I've heard music/instruments 'for the first time' with both SACDs and CDs. The Beatles remastered CDs sound especially great. I've been collecting the Rolling Stones SACD collection and even some of the very early recordings sound terrific. Everything is reproduced as if you were there. Clean lows, mids and highs. For the money, you can't go wrong with this player. One of the recordings that brings me back almost 40 years is the Who's Quadraphenia on SHM.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. And as has been reported, the player gets better with age as it burns in. I highly recommend this player. You can't go wrong. Sony seems to be making a genuine concerted effort to reestablish itself in the high-end audio market. This SACD player certainly helps that cause.
November 12, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by sandiegodom Amazingly Articulate. Perfection!
While doing initial research on SACD players I had read several reviews of this unit and thought that perhaps the writers had sprinkled a bit too many superlatives upon it. So when I settled on purchasing it and connected it to the STR-DA5800 I was truly not prepared for the experience.
From CDs created using older analog masters all the way to full digital recordings, I was astonished to be hearing sounds and subtleties that I had never heard before! In many ways it was like listening to these discs new again. Not only does this unit reveal nuances about a vocalist or instrument that you'd never heard before, everything seems tight, real and solid. I know these terms are very subjective but when you listen to this player you will know what I mean. The words to describe the sumptuous reconstruction of the digital data on-disc requires someone with a vocabulary more expressive than mine.
SACDs of course sound phenomenal with the added dimension of surround processing. Have fun with these. But what this unit does for your plain old 15 year old, red book CDs will make you want to listen to them all over again. It is a clear testament to the advantage of inventing a format and then re-inventing by crafting the SCD-XA5400ES.
What Sony has done here is both remarkable and marvelous.
November 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by ccjetliner anything more is a waste of money....
I've had the CDP-X779ES, X707ES, and the XA7ES, all word class players. you get performance way off the scale for the money with any TOP OF THE LINE Sony ES player. They just do it. No question.
June 27, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Boyet Best sounding CD/SACD player I have ever heard
This is an excellent sounding CD/SACD player. If you are looking for the best sounding player at this price, then this is it, however, I have encountered some old red book CD that the player have a hard time reading. A bad recording will sound bad as it enhances also the bad part of the recording. This player does not fix the sound, it shows the true content of the CD
May 3, 2014