Sony Europe Announce i.LINK SACD Components

Sony Europe has revealed the inclusion of a Firewire (IEEE-1394) digital interface as part of their 9000ES series of components, announced in Berlin last week. Both the flagship TA-DA9000ES multi-channel digital amplifier and SCD-XA9000ES SACD player will be equipped with an i.LINK digital terminal, Sony’s trade name for the IEEE-1394 transmission interface.

Following the lead of Pioneer and Denon, the new digital link will allow the transmission of ‘raw’ DSD data from Sony player to receiver, but unlike the solutions from the aforementioned companies, is devalued somewhat by its incompatibility with high-resolution PCM, from DVD-Audio discs for example.

The following information supplied by Sony:

Sony Europe has announced the introduction of a new range of top level hi-fi components created to illustrate the outstanding potential that new generation digital formats offer to home entertainment users prepared to invest in the very best equipment. Designated 9000 Series, the new family includes Sony’s flagship multi-channel digital amplifier (TA-DA9000ES), together with the SCD-XA9000ES Super Audio CD player and the 1000W power-rated SA-WX900 Subwoofer.


“New digital formats such as DVD-Video and Super Audio CD are revolutionising home entertainment. From an audio perspective, they offer a surround sound experience that is so lifelike that you could be there on the movie set or in the recording studio”

, commented Jeffry van Ede, Director, Sony Home Audio Video Europe.

The 9000 Series is the result of a major development programme and demonstrates just what can be achieved with this new technology. Super Audio CD is fantastic and the way these components exploit that potential is truly staggering”.


At the heart of this new Sony component range is the TA-DA9000ES digital multi-channel amplifier, provided with seven independent channels of amplification, each with a power output of 200W. The amplifier is fitted with an i.LINK (IEEE-1394) interface, which provides a very high quality single cable connection to the similarly i.LINK enabled SCD-XA9000ES multi-channel Super Audio CD player. This provides a high quality connection capable of supporting Super Audio CD’s Direct Stream Digital (DSD) signals. The TA-DA9000ES is also equipped to decode Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24 used on DVD-Video as well as Dolby Pro Logic II.

Flagship Super Audio CD player
The SCD-XA9000ES player represents the state-of-the-art in multi-channel and stereo Super Audio CD, as well as conventional CD playback technology. Presented in the characteristic Sony ES (Extremely High Standard) family style, this new player incorporates a tri-powered D/A Converter system. This feature enables the reproduction of the wide frequency range associated with Super Audio CD but with significantly lower noise levels, making it technically the best Super Audio CD player for multi-channel sound.

When combined with the new digital amplifier utilising i.LINK connectivity, these components achieve new levels of sonic purity and multi-channel integrity. To overcome any placement or speaker configuration issues in home playback, Sony has integrated its Multi-Channel Speaker Management System. Also, thanks to a new dual laser pick-up, developed to read the different Super Audio CD and CD layers, CD-R and CD-RW can also be played back.

The ES range specification includes gold-plated line-out terminals and a dedicated headphone jack. A dual R-core transformer takes care of the separate power supply requirements of the audio and digital circuits. The output specification includes one optical and one coaxial digital output as well as a 5.1 multi-channel analogue output. The infrared remote control with number keypad gives direct access to individual music tracks. Super Audio CD and CD Text conveniently deliver information on the current track on an FL (dot matrix) display.

Extreme sub-woofer performance
The third component of the new Sony 9000 Series caters for the user who requires the very best performance throughout the audio spectrum, from extremely high definition tweeters to ground shaking bass performance. The new top-grade Sony SA-WX900 subwoofer speaker supplies an immense 1000W power output via two 300mm bass units. These are controlled by a dedicated 1000W digital amplifier designed to ensure the ultimate bass performance for every type of music from reggae to the emotion of the most complex orchestral works. The SA-WX900 features a subwoofer input via RCA connection and speaker in/output terminals.

The TA-DA9000ES and SCD-XA9000ES will be available throughout Europe from October 2003, and the SA-WX900 from August 2003.