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Finally... My review of the Sony D-EJ1000! (Sort of...)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I bought a Sony D-EJ1000 at Tweeter after my last player, a Panasonic SL-CT470, began to show signs of wear and tear (the lid has developed a gap big enough to shut down the player unexpectedly, especially when moving about). I had considered a Panasonic SL-CT790 and a Sony D-EJ855, as well - but I ruled out the Panasonic for having no line-out at all whatsoever, and its only audio output (the headphone-out) turned out to use the same really crappy, lifeless-sounding op-amp that the other Panasonic SL-CTn9n models use. Also, the lid on the Panasonics shares the same crappy hinge design (the spring is exposed when the lid is open, it's located in the vicinity of the lid-activated switch, and it tends to push upwards on the lid). And I would have been quite satisfied with a D-EJ855, whose lid is translucent and is made of a relatively soft plastic (and thus more impact-resistant than the PCDP I eventually chose, the D-EJ1000).

Here is my review of the Sony D-EJ1000, with some references to my other Sony PCDP (D-EJ721) and my rickety Panasonic SL-CT470:

The Sony D-EJ1000 won me over with its very slim design, a cast-metal lid, a backlit LCD remote (the LCD remote that comes with the D-EJ855 isn't backlit), and a nifty charging stand (the D-EJ855 lacks any provision whatsoever for a charging stand). It has the same switchable G-Protection as its predecessor, the D-EJ925 (which means that "1" is off, "2" is on - and there is still some skip protection even with the switch at the "1" position). It claims to read CD-R and CD-RW discs, as well. And in typical slim-Sony tradition, the body of the D-EJ1000 lacks a display and secondary controls [it does have the basic playback controls, as well as an LED that informs you that either the internal NH-14WM batteries are charging or the controls on the unit are locked (the Hold function)]. Maximum battery life is a claimed 41 hours with only the internal NiMH rechargeable batteries, or 115 hours with the internal rechargeable batteries plus two AA alkaline batteries placed in their external AA battery case. The supplied carrying pouch is designed to hold both the PCDP and the battery case at the same time, and is a big improvement over the "neveready" case that came with last year's D-EJ925, 825 and 72x series.

So much for the features, but how does the D-EJ1000 perform? Well, forget about using Japanese-designed earbuds with it; the headphone op-amp can't deliver enough current to drive those 16-ohm earbuds to anything above a midrange volume setting (you'll get clipping distortion above an 18/30 setting). And despite a rating of 5mW per channel at 16 ohms, the headphone op-amp really performs best with headphones with impedance rating between 32 and 120 ohms. And Sony seems to have set a higher gain with the D-EJ1000's headphone op-amp than it did with the op-amp of previous G-Protection Sony CD players; the D-EJ1000 seemed louder than my year-old D-EJ721 at any given volume control setting, though its maximum usable loudness still isn't quite as high as that of my Panasonic SL-CT470.

The sound quality from the D-EJ1000 is pretty much the same somewhat soft-edged (laid-back) sound as that of other Sony CD Walkman players. The extremities of the frequency spectrum are a bit recessed; the Panasonic SL-CT470's sound, by comparison, is more "forward" in its presentation (but one that may be a bit fatiguing to some listeners). Still, the D-EJ1000's sound quality is better than the flat, lifeless sound of the newest Panasonic portable CD players.

I tried the D-EJ1000's G-Protection feature, and so far it hasn't skipped on me. And I am unable to report on its battery life; my player's internal NiMH batteries are still running on their first charge.

Overall, the Sony D-EJ1000 is worth a listen. Is it really worth its $200 list price (in the U.S.)? It depends on which features are most important to you.

OTHER SONY CD WALKMAN PLAYERS (U.S.-MARKET) INTRODUCED IN 2002:
Besides the D-EJ1000 ($200) and the D-EJ855 ($150) that I mentioned in my review, the only new G-Protection Sony CD Walkman players marketed in the U.S. so far are the Sports model, the D-SJ301 ($100), several other Sports models (price not known at this point), the D-EJ758CK ($100) and the D-EJ756CK ($80). (It turned out that Sony is no longer replacing the D-EJ72x series or its D-EJ62x series without a car kit with a successor model; if you want to spend less than $100 on a Sony CD Walkman, you'll either have to settle for a Sports model, a model with a car kit or a model with the far less effective ESP MAX.)
post #2 of 9
Nice review!

But, Eagle Driver,

Did you happen to listen to the line-out? (You'll probably need an amp to do that) How does it sound in comparison to the D-EJ925 (didn't you used to have that one?)?

In my opinion, the sound of the line-out is what really matters if you plan to get an amp down the road!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
The Quality Guru,

The D-EJ925 that I used to have, I took back to the store. The spindle motor failed after just a few hours of use - and the store didn't have any replacement D-EJ925 in stock, nor did it plan to carry any high-end PCDPs at all after the last D-EJ925 was sold (only low-end ones). As for its sound, (remember that I didn't use the line-out, and I don't have a good amp - all of the amps that I currently own actually sound worse than some of the headphone-outs of PCDPs) the D-EJ925 was actually weaker than even my D-EJ721.
post #4 of 9

EJ1000 All metal body?

Hi,

Is the EJ1000 all metal or just the lid - like the 925? I held one the other day and thought it had a metal back but Sony's site and your review have only mentioned the lid being metal.

If it is half plastic and it does not work too well with earbuds then I think I'll hang on to my 925.

Seems to be the main theme with the high end Sony units these days - all style and no substance!
post #5 of 9
It is just the lid that is made of the magnesium alloy, the base is made of plastic...

The line out is better than that of my D777, much more neutral with a quite impressive soundstage... it imo is no different to that of my E905

Sony V6 is great with this player, and can be played at a volume of 25/30 without too much sign of stress (and... with the V6 being efficient anyway ~ that is probably louder than most mortals would like!)

I agree with Eagle that their appears to be a lot of gain on this unit, it sounds equally as loud as my 10mw E905/D777

Setting 2 on the G-Shock switch to my ears introduces static, and other high frequency artefacts to the sound... but if you're that busy to NEED setting 2, you probably wouldn't notice it.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
neb, the only other alternative for a headphone op-amp would be for it to work great with earbuds, but require an external and expensive headphone amp just to drive any muff-type headphones (even the cheap mini-supraural ones), because the internal op-amp would be extremely feeble. And when the op-amp is equalized to sound great with earbuds, you'll find that it will sound extremely boomy and muddy with even mid-size headphones!

Oh, I forgot to tell you Head-Fiers that with this year's brand-new line of Sony CD Walkman players, you'll will have to spend at least $150 for a PCDP just to get an optical-out. That's becaust the $100 D-EJ721 (which had an optical-out) has recently been discontinued, with no successor model. That ********* Sony screwed us up again for deciding to market only Sports models with G-Protection (which have no line-out at all), those CD Walkmans with G-Protection and a car kit (which have an analog line-out but no optical-out) and those CD Walkmans with the inferior ESP MAX (which have no line-out at all, and for which you'll have to pay extra for an AC wall-wart adaptor) for anything less than $150 in the U.S.!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
And another thing, neb:

Of the three major brands of earbuds (Panasonic, Sennheiser and Sony), the Sennheiser ones give the Sony D-EJ1000 PCDP much less trouble than either the Panasonic or the Sony ones - the D-EJ1000 distorts only at maximum volume settings when used with the Sennheiser earbuds, while the D-EJ1000 distorts above 18/30 when used with Panasonic and Sony earbuds. Perhaps this is because the Sennheiser earbuds have a 32-ohm impedance (versus a headphone-amp-straining 16 ohms for the Panasonic and Sony earbuds).

In addition, the D-EJ1000 actually delivers much less usable power into a 16-ohm load than it does into a 32-ohm load.

Oh, well... Maybe it's time to plug in Grado SR-60 or SR-80 headphones with a RatShack right-angle adapter into the D-EJ1000's remote.
post #8 of 9
I have to agree with your assessment of the headphone out, Eagledriver. I have the 955, which I believe has the same or similar headphone out as your 1000. I was really baffled because it sounds terrible with my Sony 888 earbuds--it sounds incredibly congested and muffled in the mids. This is very strange because my older EJ01 pairs really well with those earbuds. On the other hand, the 955 works great with my Etymotic 4p and even with the 4s adapter. The Sennheiser earbuds sound good too.

I initially thought this was really strange, because out of a headphone amp the 955 sounds considerably leaner in the mids than the EJ01. I thought that pairing it with the 888s, which has a very lush midrange, would even out the sound. Instead, the midrange is really terrible.
post #9 of 9
I just got a Sony Ej-1000. I compared it to my Pana 570. The Sony sounded better in the midrange, overall it just sounded better. The remote is kinda cool. Hope it lasts. This is from the line out using a Headroom Cosmic and Ety 4P/adapter cable. I ended up getting the Sony because my wife ended up with store credit at electronic store and well you know...
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