I have the sony XA777 in my system, the redbook play on this player is very good, but not up with the very best. Could you beat it for $1500 with a redbook player, I think so if you look real hard. In my system it sounds just right for me and I am more than happy with it's redbook play, has a nice laid back sound but not lacking in detail at all. The bass is very good and the soundstage is just right. You need to use it's two channel analog outs for the best two channel sound (2 channel direct mode) in this mode it uses 3 dac's per channel. It will not glaze over a bad sounding cd like a lot of players will so if you have a lot of these I would look else were, maybe a tube player. I don't have Aragon amps but I do have krell which I think are not to far off from aragon in sound if that helps. I use a passive pre with mine.
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