I got one and it does sound great on cd's and sacd's. Unfortunately, it won't play HDCD's... And they call it "universal"!
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Actually is will play CDs which have been encoded with HDCD, as any CD player does; it just won't decode them as HDCD with the extended frequency response and other advances. But if you have SACD capability, why bother with a software patch for CDs? HDCD doesn't come close to the sound quality of SACD! But even when playing normal CDs, the sound quality is exceptional.
The reason it now sells for $999 at Audio Advisor is that the player is probably being discontinued by Parasound. It came to market too late, just as DVD-video was being replaced by Blu-ray, DVD-Audio was dead, and SACD is hanging-on as a niche product. If you can find another audio disc player that offers as much for a thousand dollars more, let me know. The sound quality on both CD and SACD is excellent. The image it presents is wide, deep, and detailed. The bass is extended, and the top end is liquid. When using the balanced XLR outputs, the sonics reveal a clarity I can't get from my $3000 Sony XA777ES. At $999 it's a bargain.