Anyone compared the Cary 303-200 CDP with the Ayre C-5xe? Also C-5xe transport failures?

So, I've had a Cary 303-200 CDP for ages & have been extremely happy with it--one of those components that I've never really thought about upgrading, except maybe to get an SACD player, or universal player. I have a lot of the 24/96 discs on Chesky & Classic that I play on an old Pioneer DV-525 DVD player--& they sound pretty amazing on that cheap player. Maybe one option would be to get a DAC for the Pioneer? But then still no SACD capability, but I have only 6 or 8 SACD's.

I've been intrigued by the Ayre C-5xe for 2-3 years now. I've read all the reviews, & discussions here & on other audio sites. There's a silver one for sale now for a fair price that looks beautiful, & the seller seems good from the messages we've exchanged. I've also emailed someone at Ayre who's been very helpful.

But here's the thing: They no longer have any of the Pioneer transports for the C-5xe in case one fails. The guy at Ayre said the transports commonly last for 7-10 years, & this particular unit was mfg. in 2007. The only way is to buy a used Pioneer DV-45A & take the transport from that (& how old would that be)? Or, the lasers seem to be available, but then you need to send the unit back to Ayre to perform a full calibration on the laser again.

There are probably guys here that all that wouldn't faze them. But it's making me a bit nervous about making a $2000+ purchase. Another, cheaper idea is just to buy an old Pioneer DV-45A--they're supposed to sound very good on SACD & 24/96 discs, & maybe get a DAC. And still play CD's on my great sounding Cary CDP.

Any thoughts? TIA

Rest of my system: Bryston B100-SST int. amp, Totem Mani 2 Sig. speakers, quality cables & IC's, etc.

I cannot think of a single good reason to purchase a 13 year-old player with an obsolete transport unless you’re getting it for a couple hundred bucks. I am also a big fan of the Classic 24/96 format, BTW. Cary made some very nice CD players and if you’re happy with it, just leave it alone until it fails. As you are describing the sound of your 24/96 discs as "pretty amazing", I would leave that alone as well. The Music Room is selling a Lexicon universal player for about $400, which may be a better choice if you have the urge to fool around with something new. 
chayro, you may be right--or at least that's one way to look at it. I've just had an urge to get a C-5xe for some time, & they don't seem to come up for sale very often. Also the one I'm considering has the mp upgrade already. 

I was hoping that maybe some C-5xe owners would respond. But I suppose I could research affordable SACD players to play my small number of SACD's, & keep the Cary. I owned a Sony 9000-es for SACD & DVD's for years, but it failed.....
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@steveaudio The part you will need is a traverse mechanism Pioneer VXX2782.A google search found 3 in stock at ?? the photo for their part 274/725 for $35 looks correct. I have no idea if they are legit. If you can get the part, Ayre can perform a repair when needed. I highly recommend the C5xe with the MP update.

steveaudio OP Anyone compared the Cary 303-200 CDP

An extremely good RedBook spinner, the Cary uses the best R2R dac "chip" made PCM1704 and one of the best filters the Pacific Microsonics PMD200 HDCD filter chip, with a very good Philips transport laser/mech.

2 x PCM1704 – PMD200 - VAM1202

I did a very good mod here on DiyAudio if your able, to this players I/V (current to voltage stage conversion) using tripple stacked AD825's half way through the topic I sart stacking them with great results.

Cheers George

oldears, I hear you about the C5xe with the MP update (altho I've never actually heard one). The unit I've been considering--the seller lowered his price to $2100. Which I could totally afford.

georgehifi, good to hear your comments about the Cary 303-200. I'm listening to it right now, & it sounds beautiful (Nanci Griffith). I don't know if the C5xe would sound better on Redbook CD's (?).

I'm growing tiresome of the sound of my 24/96 discs on the Pioneer DV-525 DVD player. Maybe with a good DAC?

In the meantime I made an impulse purchase on Feebay of a mint condition looking Pioneer DV-45A for $75. Plays SACD's & 24/96 discs. Who knows? If I don't like it I can probably sell it for that much. Or if I buy the Ayre, I'll have a "donor unit" in case the transport fails.

cheers, steve

georgehifi, good to hear your comments about the Cary 303-200. I’m listening to it right now, & it sounds beautiful (Nanci Griffith). I don’t know if the C5xe would sound better on Redbook CD’s (?).
I’m sure it would be the Cary playing PCM, (especially after I/V mods were done to it.)
Also the Cary as you know is a PCM1704 R2R 24bit Mulitibit dac unit, Burr Brown ceased the manufacture of this the last R2R chip because way too expensive to make with all the resistor laser trimming that they needed, hence far cheaper to produce Delta Sigma.
Where the Ayre is a hi-brid of sorts that used the PCM1792 4bit and the Delta Sigma combined, they found it was better to do that than straight Delta Sigma (1-bit, Bitstream, Single Bit).

I’m growing tiresome of the sound of my 24/96 discs on the Pioneer DV-525 DVD player. Maybe with a good DAC?
Reason they say for this is 24/96 PCM is played "bit perfect" on R2R Multibit dacs, where it is only a "facsimile" with massive noise when replayed through a DSD (Delta Sigma) dac

Cheers George
My C-5xeMP has played without fault for years.  I had been using a Sony 5400ES and an Esoteric before the Ayre won me over.  I use balanced connection to a preamp, currently an Ayre A7e integrated.  Although I now mostly listen to Roon files via ethernet to a QX-5/20 or Blue-rays played using a DX-5 DSD, the C-5 still sounds superb in the living room setup.