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I have the Music Hall and I am very happy with it. It was an upgrade from a SONY XA1ES player. I find that it picks up details that I did not hear before and is pretty musical sounding. I find that it is not fussy with the electronics that it is paired with. It took about 50 hours or so to burn in. As another option, J&R Music (www.jandr.com) has the SONY 555 SACD ES changer (list $1700) for $600.
Hi Driver, I'm not too familair with many CDPs in that price range, so I can't speak from experience. I've heard great things about so many, and I'm pretty sure that a used Meridian, Audio Note, Cary, Resolution Audio, Muse, Theta, Arcam, etc. that originally cost thousands will sound better than a $400 Cambridge or Music Hall...even if they are a few years older. I would think that the Rega Planet and Tjoeb (with NOS tubes) should also sound better than the $400-$500 players, but I'm sure all four of Craigt's picks are great players in their price range. One things certain...they'll all sound a little different, and he'll likely prefer one over the others.