Ayre CX-7e comparison to Sony SCD-xa5400es

Has anyone heard both on redbook? Could you compare and comment?
I recently purchased a 5400 and I am very please. I've never heard the Ayre. I did read the review of the Ayre in Sound Stage which was very favorable. Would the $1800 more that the Ayre cost provide that much difference? Only by auditioning each of these units in your system could that ever be determined. Dealer demo's would never tell since they are not your 'chain'. I suggest you buy the Sony, get a dealer to loan you the Ayre and then compare. It is easy to return the Sony should your 'shootout' tell you the Arye is $1800 better.
The strength of the Sony XA5400ES is in its SACD performance on both Stereo & Multi-channel which is excellent and I doubt if the Ayre can match it. I do not find it as good as my modified Marantz CD94 for RB CD but many will find it very acceptable as can be seen from comments on various Forums
I purchased both models and have lived with both and compared them side by side. I prefer the Sony in all aspects, however the Ayre is a superb player in it's own right.

On Ray Brown's Moonlight Serenade the "Pluck" on his bass strings are definitely sharper and cleaner on the Sony.
I recently had my CX7e upgraded to the MP. As good as the standard "e" was, the MP upgrade takes this player to a whole different level. I would even go so far as to say (gulp) that it's now a fair match against my vinyl rig. I never thought digital could match vinyl, given the same mastering in both formats. Now I'm coming to the conclusion that that it very well may be a toss up.

BTW - the CX7 does not play SACD, that's the CX5.
Buconero117 - In a previous post, I recall you stating that you didn't care for the 5400 and returned it to Sony. Now you bought another one?