next upgrade for cdp

So I have got my 555es sacd player. I am happy with it but planning my next upgrade. I have come up with 3 options:
1. Mod the 555es through or some other means.

2. Invest in an outboard DAC-namely bel canto or scott nixon tube+ dac. I am just wondering if I will still be able to play SACD's?

3. Sell the 555es and get a used cary 303/100 or 308?

I am looking for a slightly warmer presentation as I listen to a lot music from the 70's and 80's. Redbook for that period is a bit digital. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
I'd go for modding the CDP (though I'd carefully check out the various options, as modding SACD players is a growth industry in itself). This would improve both Redbook and SACD performance. The money you spend on a decent outboard DAC would exceed what the CDP cost, plus it wouldn't help with SACDs.

The other option is of course to sell the 555ES and buy a better quality player, whether one from Sony (SCD-777ES, SCD-XA777ES, DVD-S9000ES, etc.) or from another manufacturer (Philips, Denon, etc.). I recently bought an almost new Denon DVD-2900 and am quite pleased with the performance for the money, plus extensive mods are available (new opamps, Black Gate caps, Riken resistors, etc.). FYI, my references are my other two disc players: SCD-777ES with Allen Wright analogue output stage and stock DVP-S9000ES.

You might also want to check out a turntable to play LPs from the 60s and 70s. :-)

Happy listening!



I too have a Sony SACD C555es, a very good player with regular CD's and SACd. I just can't justify spending $16 to $20 for recordings that I could buy used for $7 Yes call me a tight wad but it all adds up.
Recently I was fortunate to find a used but perfect condition Jolida CD player right here on Agon for $650. The Jolida seems to let the music flow with less effort. Good detail..but an easy bite.
Thanks for your responses guys. Dr. Joe, I enjoyed reading your post since you own the 777es.My budget is about $650 max(for a dac or 650 plus what I get for my 555es on audiogon if I choose to sell it) so am going to sample the a couple of dacs anyway. I still have a cal audio dx-1, which I could use as a transport. Maybe I can get the best of both if eventually, I can mod the 555es down the road. The only one I found doing it at this point is
He wants $637. I just joined an audioclub here in ny so will get to sample different players, including the 777es.
will keep you posted...

Shoe-I have heard many good things about the jolida player and in fact almost bought it. I just got a great deal on the 555es and that is why I went that way. What I wanted to know from you was your opinion on the jolida's bass response. I had read somewhere that some critic said it was a bit light in that dept. Do you feel the same way?

Looking forward to hearing from the both of you.....
Go for the Cary 303/100. I replaced my Rega Planet 2000 and never looked back. Very revealing and wide soundstage. The bass extension is just amazing.