dCS Puccini vs EMM labs XSD1

I will be pleased to read opinions about these two players and if posible how they compares between them. Thanks
By far the best sub $20K digital source I've experienced and I've owned ML 390S and dCS P8i. Read the review in this month's S'phile. First time I agree completely. Although JA says the U clock enhances performances, I didn't hear anything sufficiently obvious to warrant an extra $5K. If, however, you have a USB connected source, that's the way to go.
I've heard the Puccini at Sound By Singer in NYC on a pricy system somprised of vtl pre-amp and VAC power amp driving MAgico Minis and using high end Nordost cables. It was quite sweet indeed! Very detailed and dynamic, yet natural and with great soundstage and imaging. It delivered some great sound with musical ease. Even classical sounded very lifelike and convincing.

The whole system probably cost over $100,000 though so one would expect outstanding results.

The only weakness was that the Magicos were perhaps not the speaker to provide the nth degree in terms of big sound, overall impact and macrodynamics, but the system sounded top rate in most every other regard and whatever it gave up in that regard was probably not very significant.

Bottom line: the Puccini was as good as I have heard, but I have heard others that also sound very good for much less perhaps.
Mapman, which are these others players that also sound very good for less money? thanks
The one that comes to mind is the Cambridge 840c which I heard on a more down to earth dealer's best system (ARC/Rogue/Magnepan/PSB)at probably about 1/4 or less the overall cost. This system was equally good but sounded much different IMO. The sound was bigger and had my toes tapping more than any other dealer system I have heard recently with both vinyl (my own Linn Axis and Denon Dl103R cart) and the Cambridge digital source.

Another I would mention was a similar very high end all mbl system. The mbl 111s were perhaps the most revealing speakers I have heard. The digital on this system sounded noticeably "thinner" particularly on classical compared to vinyl source and a modern reel to reel master recording, which blew everything away.

I had no issues with the digital on the DCS and Cambridge sourced systems. I did with the mbl. It may have been due to the exremely revelaing nature of the mbls, can't say for sure. I would have liked to hear the DCS or Cambridge in that mbl system.

I have no qualms with the digital in my home system either, but I use mostly music server and a $500 mhdt Constantine or Paradisea DACs in that. The $500 Denon player/recorder through the mhdt DACs does the job to my satisfaction as well, but I usually rip my CDS to server for ease of access these days rather than play them straight up.

Buy the Weiss Medea, it betters the puccini (IMHO) and probalby the XSD1 as well.
I have had the oportunity to compare the XSD1 to the Puccini with clock:

Redbook: in Brahms Symphony nr'1 Chicago / Barenboim

XSD1 : the lower frequencies, Cello & double bass are probably a little better defined, it's generally a darker sound than the Puccini ... much better than the former Emm Lab

SACD: Mahler 1 Tonhalle / Zinman

Puccini clearly wins, placement and outline of the musicians on the stage, better definition.

I must admitt I don't know if the EMM Lab was already burned in ...
ime, the Puccini falls noticeably short compared to the XDS1 on RBCD (no opinion on SACD as that's irrelevant to me - software selection too limited).

Also, make sure you are using the 102_002 firmware (November 2009) on the XDS1 as anything before that isn't a good indication of what the XDS1 can do.
In the Stereophile review of the Puccini this month, in a direct comparison to the Ayre C-5xe with the MP filter, it was said that there was no detectable diffence in sound quality between the two players.
Any comments on this? I might consider an Ayre CD player for my SACD's now, since it is about have the cost of the Puccini.