Sony Previews Its New Flagship $3,000 SACD Player 
Home Theater News Audio Sources News
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Tuesday, 10 June 2003

At the recent Home Entertainment Show in San Francisco, Sony showed its new reference standard multi-channel Super Audio CD player. The SCD-XA9000ES features a multitude of technical advancements that enable music enthusiasts to experience beautifully dynamic sound and take full advantage of the more than 800 Super Audio CD titles available in the U.S., almost half of which are multi-channel surround titles.

The SCD-XA9000ES features multi-channel management providing flexibility and performance. Multi-channel management allows for bass re-direction based on the various speaker systems available on the market today, optimizing multi-channel Super Audio CD playback. Sony has equipped the unit with a new Tri power Digital-to-Analog Converter that utilizes eighteen separate SA DAC chips, six per channel, to deliver exceptional precision and minimal noise for an elevated musical experience.

The SCD-XA9000ES is also Sony's first Super Audio CD player to offer an i.LINK® digital output, making it ideal for use with the new generation of outboard DSD converters. The i.LINK (IEEE 1394) interface has been specifically designed to support the new "5C" Digital Transmission Content Protection and is also fully compliant with the latest Super Audio CD format specifications.

ES Series Enhancements

The player's optical reading system employs a dual discrete laser pick-up mechanism, featuring two independent lasers with one optical lens to provide optimum performance for Super Audio CDs and CDs as well as CD-R/RW discs.

Power is supplied by twin R-Core power transformers mounted on rigid copper plates, one for handling the audio system, the other dedicated to the digital system, to reduce magnetic flux leakage and eliminate unwanted vibration.

Sturdy Construction and Design

In order to maintain superior audio reproduction, Sony has constructed the SCD-XA9000ES around a Frame and Beam chassis. The chassis is designed to reduce unwanted resonance and vibration, often triggered during optical pickup, which can interfere with audio reproduction.

In addition, the SCD-XA9000ES incorporates a new brushed aluminum faceplate design complementing other new ES Series components. The "cascade" design sets all the primary front panel controls at an angle to allow for easy operation. The SCD-XA9000ES will be available in the fall for about $3,000.

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