Marantz SA8260

I own a slightly older, cheaper Marantz DVD player. It was recommended to me by a dealer who pointed out the special way they handle the output stage, it's called HDAM, or something like that.
I listen primarily to redbook CD's so my next player would need to perform well with regard to regular CD's.
For the money, the SA8260 seems to be a great player for the money. But does it's strength lie primarily in SACD playback, or does CD's sound equally as good through this player?
For those of you with some experience with this Marantz player, and other high quality digital sources, should I counsider buying one. I can't demo the unit. I have no local dealer. I'm primarily a speaker oriented guy. I've built some in the past with mixed success. When it comes to reaping the rewards of upgrading audio gear, speakers, in my experience, yield the most noticeable improvements.
With that said, I'd like to upgrade my digital source. I've already bought a Rogue 99 pre amp mated with a Parasound A21. I like the mix of tubed pre and SS power. Yes, I realise that my amp really isn't in the same league as my pre amp.
Thinking of the future though, what the kids are listening to these days is downloadable music, MP3. The future of hi-rez digital is compromised by this fact, since record companies won't produce much more hi-rez software if the money/demand isn't there.
So, with Stereophile's granting the 8290 a class A, and good reviews elsewhere, I'm thinking that this unit might be the best bang for the buck. What do you guys who've listened to this player with CD's think?
I found the 8260 a nice enough player playing primarily redbood cd. Musical and warm, but not the most resolution and detail. Now, as to whether you can do better at that price point, hard to say. If you are going to purchase the 8260 I would be very suspect of older used units as they have transport problems, the new players don't have these problems. If you are willing to look at used and/or seperate DAC there are tons of alternatives.
Only in Class A for SACD. Also, this unit has been plagued by "read" problems.
I purchased this player about two years ago and the reading problems were small, but the major issue I had was with the sound. The sound was soupy, and in short a major disappointment. The unit now sounds best on a shelf in my basement. Do yourself a favor and try to but a Sony inexpensive player as a transport and a decent DAC. This is a better bang for your dollar and perhaps you can avoid making the same mistake as I did by figuring for Class A
Stereophile and $1000.00 how wrong can I go? Well it seemed logical at the time, but not today. I now take Stereophile reviews with a grain of salt.
I went down to my local dealer last Saturday to buy an 8260, they had a demo and they were selling it for $799, what a deal I thought to myself. I listened to Dylans Blood on the Tracks in red book and then on SACD. I could'nt tell the difference and I have to agree with Kjl it sounded soupy. Like there was a blanket over the musicians. The salesman basically talked me out of the deal, which was'nt to hard after what I heard. He told me that Sony was no longer making SACD transports and he thought the format would be dead in 2 to 3 years. He felt sticking with what I had and buying well produced red book CD's was the way to go. I agree... so much for "A" ratings being bought with out a demo listen.
Sony is still making SACD transports as they release new SACD players all the time, eh?
i use a gutwire G clef power cord for my sa8260. it sounds
pretty good on redbook if the cd recording is good. the sacd is more fleshed out. many party friends and audiophiles are satisfied with the music. breaking in is a must and i never turn off the unit. class a or c is not relevant. it is a matter of taste and synergy. the cambridge 640v2 cd player is a good choice for redbook cds
it is a pretty good play for the money that responds well to tweeks (isolation, platform, pc - btw which almost cost as much as the player)...the redbook from this player is really, really good at any pricepoint..

there is a reliability issue with the transport on some of these units..btw, there have been 2 main board changes (the first version which ran really hot was the best sounding imo..)

would suggest a aa prima all in one or a used electro dac with a cheapie multiformat transport if relability is a factor....
Stereophile rating was based on its primary playback medium, which is SACD. I heard this player in my friend's system for a long enough time to judge it. Its redbook performace, although not that bad, is very far from class A performance. I would recommend you keep your dvd player and use it as a transport for a dac such as Bel Canto DAC2, which sounds smoother and way less digital than the SA8260. Another point to mention, which was already said in this and other posts, is that the player frequently encounters reading problems. It does not read some CD-Rs and less than perfect condition originals.
An external dac should give you more bang for your buck.
If you are determined to go with a single box player, consider Meredian 508.24 or Audio Research CD2. These are in a totally different league than the SA8260 sonically. Their redbook performance probably even exceeds SA8260 SACD performance. Good luck.
The 8260 is not nearly as bad as some here seem to think it is. Given its price, a lot of people are putting it into systems that are - shall we say - typical of that price range. The components downstream are compromising the sound of the 8260.
In 2005, I had the use of a friend's 8260 for several weeks on loan while he was looking for an all-new upgraded system. I then sold it for him on an audio website. I had it installed in a system that was way above its pricep oint, and it sounded far better than I had expected. I'm used to listening to CD players worth 8,000.00 and up, and I can say that the 8260 did not send me running out of the room. It did not do anything unpleasant, it was very good in SACD and better in redbook than many of the mutli-players (and mod'ed players) that everybody drools over around these parts.

It was a 2002 player, the same batch that a lot of people complained had disc reading errors. It had worked perfectly for the owner, and it worked pefectly for me. Although there may have been some bad ones, I am convinced that many of the complainers had not read the manual, specifically how to load a CD. If you just drop a disc in and press the drawer close or Play button, you've screwed-up! You have to tell the 8260 what format and/or layer you want to listen-to, be it SACD Multi, SACD Stereo or CD. When you push the appropriate button, the drawer closes and plays without a hitch. I think this is preferable to a player that defaults to a particular layer. (like going to multi when you only have a two channel system!!)
The 8260 is a great value at Retail, and a "steal" at used prices. Consider that the same model has been around now for what - four years? That says something about its popularity and quality, in a business where companies routinely change their models every year!