I was planning on buying a new CD player (Rega Jupiter 2000), when I read a few reveiws of the Sony SCD-XA777ES, which used, I could buy for about the same amount as the Rega new. I currently have an extensive CD collection, but no SACDs. My question is whether I should just go ahead and buy the Sony, or whether a dedicated CD player, like the Rega (or others at its price point) are significantly better in their CD playback. Thanks. Tom
There are several threads concerning this subject on this site; simply do a search. However, (IMO) the sony will outperform the rega on redbook and the SACD play back capabilities of the sony are a plus. You could then buy a couple of hybrid discs and do your own comparison on your system.

I have a scd-1 and since purchasing it I find myself only buying SACD or Hybrids (where possible). I listen primarily to classical and some jazz, and as others have noted, the selection of SACD / Hybrids is lacking.
As was prviously stated, there a few other discussions on this.

It is a tough call, obviously only you can make the right decision for you, that said, there is nothing wrong with getting a wide range of views from others.

There are pros and cons for each.

The combo player, obviously, allows you to play two formats quite well, not the best of each, but quite well.

A dedicated player is designed to do just the one task and *should* outperform the redbook performace of the combo player at the same price point.

CD clearly has the advantage when it comes to software, availability and price, plus you already have a large collection.

In the immediate, the CD player would probably give you the most gratification, but this is my opinion; based on your current collection and availability.
For around 1600 dollars you could get a naim CD5 or a meridian 508.24 which would be better than the jupiter anyway. As for SACD, if you interested in the new format, SACD's will sound much better than redbook, but the sony is not quite as good as some CD players in this price range. In my opinion the Sony will better the Jupiter on plain CD playback, but try the merdian and naim, they are great players, even a musical fidelity player, just try it!
Give it SACD try !

I agree that the sony will outperform the rega on redbook and the SACD play back capabilities of the sony are a plus.

Buying used player means less loss $$ when you want to resale than buy the new one.

Ones you try to play on SACD,you'll just keep buying SACD in the future.

Good luck.
Hi Tom: here's a "radical alternative" if I may suggest?
Would you (or anyone for that matter) be interested in a way to make ALL your current redbook CD's sound significantly better, & simultaneously be able to enjoy a higher-resolution format, with those high-res CD's available at the same prices as redbook?
You can do so with the Pacific Microsonics 20 bit HDCD backware-compatible format. And your HDCD's will still play on a standard non-HDCD machine with better fidelity than redbook.
If you haven't heard an HDCD player yet then definitely give it a try. Comparing the same release on an older 16 bit disc against a newer HDCD release is a true revelation. HDCD also offers better software availability than SACD.
Keep it simple. Buy the Sony. You won't regret it.
Run Away from the Sony. Without spending another 1K to mod it its a sub standard redbook Player. The REGA will slay it.
Get over it people Sony is the most overhyped product in the market place.
They are putting awfull Analogue palyback in their SACD units to make SACD sound better than it is.
PERFECT sound forever. Once burned twice shy. Why would anyone belive what SONY has to say?
I have the SCD 777es which is the two channel version released earlier than the XA. The SCD was better than the CD players I had previously, but I must say from the outset I do not think CDs sound good. With that out in the open I do think SACD is a dramatic improvement over the older format. When you get to SACD you are hearing a totally different level of quality. In sound, they are much closer to the quality of vinyl. The only reason to hold back at this point is to wait out the format war with DVD-A, but I think that would be a waste of time. Go for the Sony, you'll be glad you did, it sounds like music not the AM radio sound you get from CD.
What are you talking about? The Sony ES line SACD players sound great.
I recently purchased a Sony SCD-1 and it's about the best purchase I have ever made, I still ask myself why didn't I purchase this earlier. The redbook playback is way above decent and this is coming from a previous Audio Aero Capitole MK2 owner. The SACD feature is really icing on the cake, which brings it to another level no other redbook player can touch IMHO. And with built quality no other High-End manufacture can touch within it's price range. So yes you should settle for the Sony.
From my position of limited perspective, I think Bob_bundus has hit one of the nails right on the head. I have not yet experienced SACD in my own system, but I have experienced HDCD. Some time ago I purchased a used DAC with HDCD and was amazed at the improvement over redbook CDs. The difference is a no brainer, and very apparent. You are right Bob, the library of HDCD is suprisingly large, and from my observation is growing as rapidly as either SACD or DVD-A.

It would seem that the press is treating HDCD as yesterdays news. Yes there is a "new" format war going on but let's not forget the "marketing track record" of the owner of HDCD technology. Are there any volunteers on this forum who want to actively bet against the record of Microsoft?

No, I am not trying to say that MS's product record is pristine (I do computer support, I know better). I am saying that their marketing batting average is pretty good.
Buy an inexpensive SACD player from Sony ($200-$300), and a good used DAC ($500 or so). You'll get the facility and quality from SACD, and excellent redbook from the DAC.
I agree with Natalie. I have yet to hear an unmodified Sony SACD player that has sounded any better than mediocre on redbook CD. There is something amiss with either Sony's DAC and/or output stage. This will draw jeers from all you Sony fans out there, but in my opinion, the $198 Apex DVD player sounds noticeably more musical on CD playback than the SCD 777es. Just my 2 cents. Unless you are bypassing a preamp and going direct from whatever digital source you have, don't worry about having one player. Get what makes your CDs sound the best to you right now and worry about SACD if and when you feel you must have it.

I had own SCD777ES and SCD1 and i heard them played very good on the Redbook. Please don't make him confused if you never own/HEARD the Sony in your system !!

I know many people are racist about new format/SACD. Peace.
Bob-bundus and Jeffcott bring up very good points. HDCD is slightly better than CD, but there are about 6000 HDCD titles (some have don't have the HDCD logo) and with Microsoft behind HDCD I think it's safe to say more will be comming. As for the SACD vs. DVDA a few new universal players might be on the market before years end.
Why does everyone suggest that SACD playback quality is gonna be the same from every other player. SACD playback quality is just as depend on the Machines as RedBook CD Players are. A high-end SACD player will sound much better on SACD and CD then one from your local Best Buys.
I recently bought a sony es777 used,and promptly shipped it to Richard Kern at Audiomod. He installed all new vishay resistors,super clock and superclock power supply with new blackgate caps on the audio board.I am pretty much an analog listener and only listened to digtal in an informal or a background type of setting,but after playing the Sony with the mods it floored me,after about 200 hrs of burn it got better still!The point Im trying to make is you can have sacd and state of the art cd playback right now.So I find myself listening to cd and sacd about as much as vinyl.Analog still has more air and richness but it is not night and day as it was before,and that goes for cd as well as sacd.Anyway that is another alternative to consider,Im into the Sony for 3500.00 and I couldnt be happier,just some food for thought Enjoy!
I was not going to buy, convinced it was just another gimmick. Wrong! I bought a Sony SACD player today and WOW!, even on "redbook" CDs it sings. The SACD is just a side benefit, and those, well, they are are good, if not better, than the vinyl I play on my LP12. This is good stuff folks. One owes to oneself to give it a listen. I agree with the gentleman who said once your hear it, you will keep buying SACDs in the future.
Thanks for all the input. I think I am going to go with the Sony.
Before buying, I suggest you visit and read about his modifications and comments on the Sony's. Also, I don't know about the 777es, but the 222 and 555 are being sold new for $400 and $600, respectively, with rites of return. I have found that the 555 is a very good cd transport (for a changer) which may be a consideration if you don't like its redbook performance.
There really is no contest between the XA777ES and any Rega player. In fact, at new or used prices, the XA777ES is the best player available under +3K. IF you manage to find an Audio Aero, Mephisto II, or EMC-1 MkII at or around the 3K range go for it, otherwise any other player you buy will be matched by the XA777ES and/or beat severely.

Keep in mind, the XA777ES is NOT a "show boat" type player like the early SCD-1, 777ES units which tend to have a more flashy outward sonic signature. I believe Sony did this to (over) emphasize the differences between its SACD format and regular CD to the general public...

The XA777ES is more subtle, sensuous, relaxed and convincing. SACD is less dramatic sounding - CD is better sounding. Actually the XA77ES makes CD's sound very, very good and near to SACD quality.

The 9000ES is a joke by comparison.
I compared the Sony SCD-C555ES SACD changer (now discontinued but still selling for $600 new) to my Rega Planet. The Sony, on redbook CD playback, had a more transparent/open soundstage and had a more musical/rythmic presentation. The first five seconds of the first song of the first SACD I ever played on the Sony was an amazing revelation. SACD is a huge step forward in progress over redbook.
Bufus only besause of the lousy Analog section Sony Purposly builds into these units. They are messing with you. Not a fair and equall comparison.
Natalie is simply incorrect in his/her assesment of the sony players. The redbook quality of the sony players (scd-1/scd777es/xa777es) is extremely good and the sacd is simply outstanding.
I recently moved from a Denon HDCD for Redbook and a 9000es for SACD to a new XA777es. BIG...BIG...BIG...difference. At less than $2000, what a deal. This format is only going to get better. With the Rolling Stones reissues in SACD, the Beatles and Sinatra can't be far behind.
I don't know if this means anything, but I sold my MSD Gold Link & Powerbase because my DVP-9000ES blew them away. In certain price ranges, Sony arguably makes the best sounding CD (and SACD) players on the market.

Go with your ears and what sounds best to you. Good luck.
Czbbcl your wrong. My facyts come 1 from what i have jheard and 2 from reviews.
Go to Read the reviews and what many people have to say.
Get over the blind loyalty to SONY it is grossly misplaced
I don't know what your smoking. Take a trip over to and do some reading. Call Rick and tell him Sony sucks. This guy is well respected in the bussines of modifing high,low,and medium grade players. You have not a clue what you are talking about. On his advice I bought a DVP9000ES and am waiting for his mod. to come out.
Natalie and others, may I suggest to you the Hi Rez forum of There are tons of this kind of discussion on Sony SACD players there.
SACD is a gamble at this point. Sony is the only major record label supporting the format and they won't even supply a large enough inventory of sacds to justify the purchase. I have heard cds through the Sony 777 and Marantz SA-1 and was not impressed. You can do much more justice to your cd collection with a good dedicated cd player. I'm also curious how folks honestly think sacd compares to well recorded cds like xrcd, chesky, audioquest, etc.
I agree with Tonyp54,get a good hi-end cd player ,it'll last for years,do justice to your redbooks and you'll never be in a state of constant "wanting or anxiety"about the next new Sacd release. With all the software available now you'll be focusing on enjoying the music you have and and can purchase NOW, and not in some proposed hybrid disc future!I was not impressed with the Phillips Sacd player vs, my ARC CD3 in an a/b demo. My cd3 was just as good if not better than the Phillips playing Sacd and cd's IMHO. For more info on Sacd and what it doesn't do right go to:
Natalie, your idea that Sony puts a lousy analog section for redbook doesn't make sense with what I've heard with my own two ears. You see, I think the Rega Planet sounds great, especially for its price. Now, the Sony, which costs less than the Rega, sounds BETTER than the Rega on redbook playback. If you start from that point and then realize that the SACD playback sounds even better, there's really nothing to complain about for someone who wants to buy in this price range, $600. In my opinion, the SCD-C555ES deserves a class "A" rating for SACD and probably for redbook also, at least an A- or B+.

Natalie, in another post, I asked you which Sony you had purchased. You never did say???????
bufus, sorry I hear what your saying. Your a blind follower of Sony. Shame buy sound not a name.
Why does Sony not send thier best gear to North AMerica?

From the Bound For Sound Report.
" It seems that my review of the Sony XA777ES SACD last month has ruffled some feathers. And so it should have.
Suprisingly, very few of the correspondence questioned my findings regarding the sound of the 777. Instead, what I have been told over and over again by readers and manufactures worlwide is that the analog section in the 777 is terrible and in serious ned of modification. Of course, two of those recomendatios where from people who modify the units as thier business. But the complaints of inferior build quality in the analog section came from other sectors as well,including Marc Yun of these august pages"

This taken from Issue 145 of Bound For Sound.

This says a whole lot.

The further down the Sony Food chain you come the worse it gets.

Bufus the Model # is not important. Its the point.

When I put the Sony DVD/SACD in my two main system, it was nothing short of brutal. You could not listen to it.
Considering I am using a 5 year old NAK Music bank Changer I did expect the Sony should be better. But to really get a feel for how bad the Sony is its worse than my Ten Year Old Marantz LV-510 LD player.

Sony told us 20 years ago perfect sound forever. They lied. They are doing it again. Dont be a sheep and blindly loyal to a company who thinks North Americans are Second class and sends us thier B stock Product. Even the ES line is not up to par with what they MFG for the Asian market.
What Sony player did you have? Did it have a couple of weeks of solid run time before you sat down to listen to it?
Not a blind follower of Sony.
your responses are always neat because they start off with dramatic but FALSE assumptions. actually I am not a blind follower of Sony. I don't really even like the concept of Sony. I was really suprised that they even have competing products. Everything is crap to me unless proven otherwise by my own ears. I don't like Sony televisions, they are overpriced and inferior. I have never owned anything Sony except a cassette walkman and DAT walkman.

Let's see, if the model number, which you refuse to give, doesn't matter, that means that its only the brand name that matters. So, if its Sony, it sucks? And there is no gain in sound quality wether you spend $200 or $5000? You know that is wrong. If you told me the model number at this point, I wouldn't believe you anyway. And since you can't make a point without a model number, your whole argument is wasted and useless now. You gotta love Audiogon threads!!!!!
My .02 cents, from over the past month or so. I have used the Meridian 508.24 for over 4 years, I purchased a Sony SCD-1 a month or so ago; this is built like a tank as has been stated in many places I have read. As far the player itself, I didn't really like using it, as to the performance, I found it quite close to the 508.24 on Redbook CD's in my system; I had loaned each player to a friend and he thought there was no comparison, the 508 easily. We have totally differnce speaker setups, tradition box vs. planers; this would be my guess why there was such a difference on his system vs. mine.

I only aquired two SACD's, neither of which I had on CD, but they didn't set any new standard for me in audio playback, it could be I didn't have two good examples. (Dave Brubeck and SRV) My friend has the same Brubeck disk and we did feel the SACD version sounded better when each were played on the SCD-1.

I recently purchased the Electrocompaniet EMC1-UP, this has set a new standard in audio playback for me! I am amazed when listening to my music through this player and that with all the CD's I already own and are readily available.

I do not doubt the potential of the new formats, but with the introduction of some of the latest CD players, they have raised the level of Redbook up a whole new level.

If I had the three players in front of me and had to rate in order of my choise, it would be as is listed below , and my choices would be without hesitation.

1. EMC1-UP
2. 508.24
3. SCD-1

Don't put too much stock in what NataLIE says or misspells. He was never said a good word about anything but is convinced of his own golden ears. I have had many good (not great) CD players in the last fifteen years and the Sony sounds better than my Nakamichi, Philips, or California Audio Labs. I have compared my Sony SCD 777es to CD players that cost 3 to 4 times what the Sony did and it faired very well my comparison.
The only thing that NataLIE has ever said that I could stoop to agree with is that Sony keeps their better products for their own asian market.
Nrchy do you discount what the reviewrs found in Bound For Sound.
Gp to the site www.boundforsound.
The only Audio Mag Left worth reading.
The Player DVPNS900V was a fllor model with many weeks of break in. I also put in on 24/7 play for a week.
I wanted it to be good. Its for a HT set up in the basement and would also like to get decent redbook. I was shocked. Literally shocked at how bad it soinded doing regular VD's.
I had borrowed a friends Hitachi P250u DVD player for a while. I found it ok to listen to it did not get on my nerves.
Well the Sony is painful to listen to in RedBook and Watching DVD concert Video's.

After looking at many different threads on this unit. I guess if you want to go out and spend 1K to mod it go for it. For a 3 K unit it should do redbook better.
I have never listened to a DVPNS900V. I don't even know what it is, but I own the SCD 777es and it sounded good in the store and sounded better at home. I don't care what Bound for Sound or any other rags says if it contradicts what I hear. I don't have a HT set-up and really don't care about DVD at this point, but in my understanding that's not what we are talking about here. Sony XA777es vs. Rega is easy. Buy the Sony because the format is better!
Nrchy If you think its a good redbook plyaer fine. Thats great. Most people feel its below standard on redboook. I agree with them. I have yet to hear any Sony Unit do Redbook as well as any other competitor in the same price range. Nothing Sony Makes beats Rega in the same price point.
The Sony DVP-NS900V is a whole different creature than the other Sony players being discussed in this thread. For one thing, it is not an ES model. It is just a mass produced consumer product as compare to the ES model which is designed with attention to audiophile needs. Also, it is not a dedicated audio player. It is a DVD/CD/SACD player. The addition of all the video circuits/processors is a big negative for the overall audio performance. Therefore, I can see why Natalie may be unhappy with the player.
read the article thats on the net re the 777.
I note with interest that Stereophile has rated the 777 as Class A in their October 'recommended components' issue FWIW
Hey, I've been elsewhere since vinyl left center stage: Could someone take a moment to clarify what digital formats exist, what the initials stand for, and whether any of these are home-recordable? Thank you.
Why should anyone care what bound for sound say but not care what stereophile says??? NataLIE you denagrate the rags until someone agrees with you. That is hypocracy of the worst sort. Either they always suck, or they are always reliable. You can't pick and choose that way.
Kayakfit, SACD stands for Super Audio Compact Disc. It is an attempt on Sonys part to fix all the problems they started when they realeased those garbage CD players twenty years ago. DVD-A is another high resolution digital audio format that is not compatable with SACD. The sound is also much better than the garbage Redbook CDs foisted on us by innumerable companies just so they can be competetive in the market. CDs are incapable of great sound, SACD and DVD-A on the other hand are capable of good sound. That's not the same as saying they are there yet though. None of them match vinyl yet.
24 bit and higher sample rate can improve the sound than redbook CD format. Natalie, that guy in your review like the tube output stage, which has nothing to do CD or SACD. I think you are referring an improper review to justify SACD vs CD. If we put the same driver CKT and same quality DAC. 24 bit will of couse beat 18 bit! Try to hear the dynamic range of 24 bit vs. 18 bit on a symphony. If you can't hear the difference, think about your set-up if it is good enough to reflect this advantage from SACD.

If you like tube sound much like I do. Buy good tube gears or even put tube in you CD player. However, don't confuse with SACD vs. CD.

I own >800 redbook CD, still like to keep good CD player.
But will push for better technology if they can potentially be better.
Don't think your preference of one particular CD player over a SONY SACD player provide any evidence of redbook is better. Both my ears and my physics knowledge show me which one is better!

Maybe you don't like Ford make money from you.
But no reason to argue your horse runs faster than a car.
1) What?

2) I think DVD-A and SACD are fully capable of catching all of vinyl's skips, pops, scratches, hiss, and rumble.

3) zoooooowwwwwww
Nrchy, I wouldn't say CD cannot sound good, you may just not have heard it on a great CD player. We all have our opinions here, but I would not hestitate to put the a good CD player against your SACD player; I have owned the Sony SCD-1 player, it is a good player, but I am now using the EMC1-UP and there is no comparison. I want it clear that I am not bashing SACD, just making an observation.
I am not saying SACD VS Redbook VS DVD A audio.
What I am stating is that SONY ES777 is not a good redbook player and that a decent redbook player does red book better than any Sony SACD.
Nrchy Bound For Sound does not take 1 cent of Adverising money in. They do not make a magazine that for every page of add revenue it gets you get 1 page of content.
There is no bias and many MFGS wont send gear to BFS because they will poo poo bad gear.

Point is SONY make horrible sounding REDBOOK players that need 1K + of mods to sound good as red book players.

There is so much need for this service that there are a half dozen if not more companies out there who make a living out of moding Sony Gear.

Thats the point not SACD sound VS CD VS DVD A.
you hit it right on Nrchy thinks the SONY ES777 is a decent redbook player Its not Its got a Brutal Analog stage which requires a 1K plus mod to sound good.

If he where to listen to a real Cd Player
Rega Jupiter and a Planet 2000
Musical Fidelity Nu vista or even an A3CD
Anything from Linn or NAIM

Then he might know what redbook is capable of.

I have missed 20 other player that smoke the ES777 as a REDBOOK player.

+ all the DAC's that are available.