Is Sony XA9000es superior to Esoteric DV 50s?

Comparing CD sound. Musicality, dyamics, soundstage and detail.
For what it's worth, in the Stereophile recommended compents the XA9000ES is rated A+, the Esoteric SA-60, presumably better than the DV-50 for audio, is rated A. As they say, that knowledged and $5 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

A friend has the Sony, my dad the Esoteric, I think Esoteric is superior but they are in dif systems.
I don't think the XA-9000ES is that good. I have one. I found its CD playback rather unmusical. I don't understand why Stereophile rated it A+.

Never heard the Esoteric. Don't know how it sound.
>>I don't understand why Stereophile rated it A+.<<

Isn't everything in Stereophile Class A?

Maybe they should have degrees of Class A such as A++, A+, A-, and A--

It would be much easier for the consumer to make decisions.
The Stereophile A+ rating for digital devices is based on the device's SACD or DVD-A (or both) playback. It does not apply to its CD playback. Look at their A, B, C, etc categories for relative CD ratings.
Stereophile specifically rates SACD players on the high-res performance (read the intro), so the ratings can be consistent with the Esoteric having the best CD playback.

That said, I don't put much value in their ratings. Treat the list as a list of components that they have tested (or tried) which doesn't completely suck.
Chadnliz, appreciate your response. Any chance you've had an opportunity to swap the players within one system to better identify sound differencs?
If you remember the review of the XA9000ES, you will remember that it got it's A+ rating because of:

1) SACD playback quality was exceptional
2) The best available and most flexible multi-channel adjustment capabilities and bass management (in the analog domain).
3) iLink

Now, if items 2 and 3 mean nothing to you, then you might not want this particular machine.

Having said that, I own the XA9000ES. AND I don't use iLink or Multi-channel. However, I have owned other SACD players and this is the only player that has FLAWLESSLY played all my SACDs. Every other player has had one or more problems with SACD playback. One player had so many problems that I detailed all the problems and sold it on auction for $1500 less than I paid...

The DV-60 is almost assuredly (I only heard it once) better sounding in red book, and may even be better in SACD, but the XA9000ES is the only audio component in my system that I would not consider upgrading.

No, we are in different states so that isnt easy to do, I know the Esoteric is across the board a better sounding player, while the Sony is great at SACD it is average or slightly above for red-book....thats my opinion.
I'd take Esoteric DV-60 (or SA-60 if you don't care about video) anytime over XA9000ES. The Sony sounds clinical, IMO, and the transport inside is not even remotely close to the VOSP transport in the DV-60.

The DV-50 was somewhat Pioneer based (transport and DSP), sounded nice too, but I think the new SA/DV-60 are more desirable.

Better yet, you might want to save for the new Esoteric X-05.

Thanks Alex. I haven't heard of many complaints about the XA9000ES transport or anything else, seems reliable. I have found isolation and conditioning a great benefit. Any chance you used them with the Sony? Could you comment on the differences in detail & transparency, dynamics & bass between it & the 60 for Redbook CD replay? Is it possible the 9000 has the potential to sound as good in a different system as the 60 does in yours?
Is the X-05 replacing the SA-60? What are the advantages of one over the other considering how close in price range they are going to be?
No. Its not a case of one model replacing another. This is a case of different target markets. The SA-60 supports multichannel DVD-A and SACD in addition to CD. The X-05 is a stereo only (SACD/CD) playback device.
To the original poster, I do not know about the DV-50 but the DV-60 is superior to the XA-9000ES in all those parameters.

I liked the DV-60 for SACD playback only.
I have not heard the Sony XA-9000ES nor DV-50S for comparison.

Reviving an old thread here. Anyone have an extra Remote Control for this player?


Happy Listening!