I also bought this Sony, which was my first purchase of any audio component in the last 15 years or so.
Prior to the Sony, which I bought without listening, I heard a lot of other players, mostly in unfamiliar dealer systems.
Although some of them were quite good, including Audio Research cd8, with an excellent staging, lovely dynamics and good tonality, albeit a little dark-sounding, more of the mega-dollar players, up to 25k, were not that convincing at all, particular for the amount of money, so I was very pleased to read the laudatory revieuw of Dave_B (thank you Dave) and others of a player in the 1500 dollar area, which beats or is equal to other players costing 6 or more times than the Sony 5400, according to some of the revieuwers.
And yes, just cold out of the box, the Sony was already very good, although too harsh in the heights, without too much focus and lacking openness. After 200 hours or so burning in, the sound is already clearly improving on all parameters, specially neutrality, openness, timbre and focus, in a way, that I barely can't stop listening to my familiar cd's (mostly Redbook at this moment). Just passing the 316 hour mark the improvement is still going on and I expect to reach the 400 hour mark in a few days.
Better than this player is unanswerable possible, but at a cost!
Next upgrade will be the stock powercord. Some candidates for replacement are Lessloss dfpc Signature, Shunyata Python CX or King Cobra CX or Acoustic Zen Absolute.
And yes, I read about Dave_B's Transparent powerlink MM.
Any thoughts about these in combination with Sony 5400 are welcome.
Thanks in advance,