Help with decision on selling Sony SCD-1

I've owned the SCD-1 for a couple of years (purchased it used) and have been very happy with how it sounds. However, I don't own but around 20 SACDs, and it's hard to imagine buying many more. Thus, my primary concern is redbook sound.

On the other hand, I've been buying more and more vinyl of late and am thinking about upgrading my turntable rig (NAD-33 and Ortofon OM 20).

It strikes me that if I sold the SCD-1, I could buy a less expensive CD player and have a decent amount of cash left over to invest in my vinyl rig.

The question is whether or not I really can improve upon the redbook sound of the SCD-1 for considerably less money?

I have been told by some the that even the Oppo 971 sounds better than the SCD-1 on redbook, whereas others have said the SCD-1 can't be beat without spending considerably more money.

I'd be interested to hear from folks who have owned the SCD-1 and sold it for something less expensive, as well as others who may some knowledge on this issue. Thanks.
I've owned (and still do) multiple redbook CDP's. I can assure you they all sound different (assuming you are listening for them of course - big differences to me may be insignificant to you). I've little doubt that there is a difference with the Sony's as well.

So, when you ask for comments/recommendations about another CDP, what sonic considerations are important for you to maintain if you like the Sony, or change if you don't. I've seen the Sony's asking price on A'Gon has dropped to less than 2k. Its hard to find a 'good' CDP for less than 1K. Depending on how flush you are this might not be a big enuf difference. But, if you could net 1K from a sale, I'd bet you can improve on Sony's redbook sound (but not build quality) and get a nice simeple TT/Arm.

That said, from my personal preference, I would ditch the Sony and invest any savings you might obtain in some good vinyl playback.
I have a modified SCD-777ES. It is by far the best red book player I have had. I would modify your SCD-1 and you get almost vinyl preformance out of redbook.
You can sell your SCD-1 for around $2k and buy a 777ES for $1k and you'll have the exact same sound minus the XLR ability and $1000 to spend on the ladies...or audio if that's your bag

I had a 777es and it blew my CEC belt drive out of the rack on redbook
They no longer make the sled motor for the SCD-1 so I would sell asap.Check AA under SACD area for more info.They are scrambling around trying to get extra motor's to no avail.There will soon be a glut of them for sale like the Phillips-1000.JD
Have you considered a DAC to upgrade the sound of the redbook? I ask this as I'm having similar thoughts about my DVP-9000es. Like you I have very few SACDs. But I like the Sony transport.
The idea of selling it just because no spare parts are available is silly.
The usual lifespan of Sony laser assy is several 100,000 hours of play time.
I have owned many Sony uper end players and never had a failure until my ES89 5 disc, playing non-stop for many years, had a problem with the dats cable connecting the sled to the board failed. That was 15 hrs a day EVERY day for eight years at least....
Aside from viability, (I own a SCD777ES) the transport of the SCD-1 is as good a redbook as you can get for anywhere near the price.
(I bought mine just for Redbook, and plan on keeping it until i die.. )
You will not do better for the money. I hope there gets to be a glut on the market so I can buy another one cheap. I will also keep mine until the bitter end. My scd-1 is a fully modified unit and it is simply stunning in its presentation. It easily competes and betters players costing several thousands more than I paid for it including the mods.

The SCD-1/777ES moving platter transport is a different animal than other Sonys. Based on dialogue with several modders plus my own experience modding & maintaining the SCD-1: (1) The transport needs cleaning & lubrication every few years, lest excessive drag cause the sled motor to fail and spindle bearings to wear out prematurely; (2) most faulty sled motors can be restored to normal operation by spraying deoxit into the (removed) sled motor housing; (3) the lasers do occasionally fail; and (4) with modifications these players deliver both RBCD & SACD close to SOTA. In unmodified form this CDP is just an average RBCD performer by current high-end standards. After modification its RBCD performance surpasses the stock player's SACD by a large margin.
Thanks for the replies so far, folks. I agree with Elizabeth that this sled motor issue seems to be much ado over nothing. I have read the "sky is falling" thread over at AA, but I've not gleaned that an epidemic of failing sled motors exists amongst SCD-1 owners.

My gut instinct has been to hold onto the unit, and I'm still feeling that way. Even so, I'm certainly open to hearing from former owners who were blown away by something considerably less expensive.

Speaking of sled drive motors does anyone know if Sony is working on a replacement? It would be nice to have a spare.

To Dgarretson:

First, thanks for the additional information regarding the sled motor. Second, you commented:

"In unmodified form this CDP is just an average RBCD performer by current high-end standards"

When you say "high-end standards" I'm curious to get some clarification or qualification. The opinions as to what is high-end are all over the map. Some have said their $39 Toshiba 3990 qualifies; yet others might say one has to spend thousands of dollars to achieve this.

Do you believe that I can spend $1000 (or less) to equal or improve upon the RBCD performance of the Sony SCD-1? Would you be willing to share suggestions in this regard?

Thanks for the interesting discussion.
I have a 777 and recently installed a Superclock 4 and it made a huge difference. A couple of friends heard the difference and since then I have modified three of my friend's 777 players. The cost of the Superclock is about $300 and the improvement it gives is much more than a cable upgrade.
I think it's the best bang for the buck modification for the SCD1/777. It's a pretty simple procedure if you are hany with a soldering iron.

My point about the SCD-1's RBCD performance was drawn from comparison of a stock SCD-1 to my mid-90s era Theta Pro Gen 5a DAC and PSAudio Lambda II transport. The Theta/PS Audio combo is pretty long-in-the-tooth, but still betters the stock Sony's RBCD. For about $1K you can move the Sony way ahead with an SC4 & some op amp/resistor/cap replacements or power mods by someone like Reference Audio Mods or Richard Kern. Or if you can live with just RCA outputs, for $1500 you can do a replacement FET analog output stage with clock from VSE/Allen Wright. Alternatively, you could keep the Sony stock as a transport and go with a top-quality $1500 DAC like the battery-operated Altmann Attraction.

In a new player $1K or less, I'd be tempted to try the no-budget Oppo with some mods by Reference Audio Mods, or perhaps the Rega that won recent praise in Stereophile.

I guess the key point I was hoping make in this thread is that I'd like to upgrade my vinyl setup, say spending around $800-$1000. The funds left over from the sale of the SCD-1 (say another $800-$1000) would be spent on a replacement RBCD set up. Again, I'm not looking to invest an additional $1000 on my digital rig, but rather replace it (if possible) with something equally enjoyable, but less expensive.

The question remains, then, can I replace the SCD-1 for, let's say, $1000 and still be happy with the sound?

Thanks again for the input, folks--I appreciate it.
I would stay away from getting the SCD-1/777es modded. Sony does not have anymore Main Board for the SCD-1/777es in production. If you get it modded, you are at a very high risk of throwing it away if something happens to the main board. Here's a direct quote of what Audiomod have to say:

"You were told that the Black Gate cap mods to the Main Board would not be reinstalled because these
boards are no longer available and I did not want to take any risk in damaging the board. Eric was told this as well as you.

Richard Kern
The sky is falling!..I would stay away of getting the Sony modded especially to the main board....The main board is no longer available. The only way to get it fix, is to buy another 777es and/or SCD-1 and swap out the parts.

Here's a direct quote from what Audiomod has to say about it:

"You were told that the Black Gate cap mods to the Main Board would not be reinstalled because these
boards are no longer available and I did not want to take any risk in damaging the board. Eric was told this as well as you.

Richard Kern
I've owned the sony scd-1 and purchased a moon eclipse.They arrived almost at the same time.Before either machine even arrived I considered having the sony modded as I had heard how great it was modded. After comparing the two machines one thing became obvious.The eclipse was so much better in every aspect that I immediately put the sony for sale.It played in my system for only a few hours.The redbook on the sony really isn't very good.The sony has great bass control but man is it suffers from a bad case of digititis.
On the other hand I heard a realatively cheap Jolida and was very impressed.For the money I thought it was a great machine and much more listenable than the sony.
A well-modded SCD-1/777ES bears no sonic resemblance to the stock player.
I agreed with Dgarretson. I had a chance to compare the Oppo DV-981 to the Richard Kern Modded 777es and the modded made the Oppo sound like a cheap $10 walmart radio. However, the Oppo 981 has a very nice 1080P upconvert video which I like a lot. But sonically, it is no contest to the Modded 777es.