There are some good prices on new machines. Check out the Modwright circle on Audiocircle.com. There is a thread there devoted to this topic and a list of dealers.
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I am selling a 5400ES. I bought two, and I am having one modified (VSE). I have decided to keep another player, that also does Blue Ray, so I am selling one. The Manager of The Sony store told me it was out of production. About six weeks ago he was able to locate only three players in inventory in the US. It is possible that dealers and distributers have stockpiled these players, as they are highly rated, and we will be seeing them for sale for some time. Anyone who has a collection of SACD's will want to be certain that they have a good player for future use.
"You don't always get sonic improvements by spending more money". I agree with Mrtennis in this statement. Each company price their products differently whatever the reason is, may be their brand is more popular or well known..etc. Company A is aproximately 5-10K different does not mean it will sound better than Company B. For instant the Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers sound less details than Revel Salon 2. The love of music and the quest for that perfect sound never end. It's an expensive hobby.
I found this website rated all the Hifi equipments maybe it will help or use as a goby in deciding which equipment one should purchase. The website is http://www.excelia-hifi.cz/top.html Click on the top 1000
If a used DV-50 for $1500 sounds great in your system, I'm happy for you, but.... I too owned a used one back around 2005 and to my ears(and JWM's) it did sound dry, lean and analytical. When things got busy, the sound got hard and edgy. After a month or so, it ended up on the 'Gon.
After that, I sprung for a maxed out APL Denon 3910 with the AKM dacs. Big improvement but it still sounded like good digital.
These days I'm living with the Modwright/Sony 5400 and couldn't be happier; so much so, I'm about to pick up a spare laser assembly JIC. It's far and away, the best digital I've heard but it doesn't really sound like digital, other than no surface noise, tics or pops.