CD vs CD/SACD Player – Tube-based or Not

Some of you might have read my previous threads asking for recommendations on CD/SACD player. That was roughly 6 months ago when I first started building my hi-fi system.

Now that I’ve settled on the back end of my system, I’ll finally select my digital source. My system consists of the following:

Harbeth C7-es3 on Sound Anchor (3-posts) speaker stands

Pass Labs XA30.5 – Power amp

Ayre K-1xe - Pre-amp

CD player – a modest 15-year old Philips CD player(the weakest link which I need to upgrade)

I want to get a CD or CD/SACD player that matches my system in terms of synergies, quality and performance. While I’ve done a lot of readings/research, it’s hard to narrow down on my selections before some fundamental questions are answered.

1. CD player vs CD/SACD player: my preference for music are vocal, some pop, classical (symphony, chamber), some rock, blue. I know the selection of musice in SACD is somehow limited.

2. Tube-based vs Solid State CD player: would my system benefit from tube-based CD player since both my pre- and power-amps are solid state? What’s the advantage and disadvantage of tube-based player? What’s the difference in sound?

3. So many choice in my price range (mostly used):

Ayon CD-5, CD-2s,
Ayre C-7eMP, Ayre C-5eMP,
Audio Research CD-7,
Esoteric SA-50, X-05, X 03se, K-07;
Luxman D06,
SONY 5400ES, Sony 5400ES modified by Modwright (with tube output),
Oppo 95/105 modified by Modwright (with tube output).

4. I want to get a player with solid transport, digital output, balanced output(preferred); dynamic/solid bass, extended treble and most importantly fuller mid-range with great, accurate, lush presentation for vocal recordings.

What’re your recommendations and why? Thanks.
The new Yamaha CD-S3000 looks VERY impressive, check out this thread on AA:

Get a good quality well designed tubed player and you will be happy with the sound .