Sony ES CD Player Cult--which sound best

There seems to be a cult for the big Sony machines, especially the 77ES, 777ES, 779ES, X707ES, & XA7. The SACD models start after these. Some say the 77 & 779, for example, sound better than the XA7. Others say that's absolute nonsense. Since the X707 is an improved 779, I would think it would be the best for those who think the older ones were better. The XA7 & the SACD players that follow it have the stationery laser mechanism. Is it problematic? It sounds kind of weird to me & I wonder if it will prove to be problem prone or wear out early. Sony Groupies, answer & be counted!!!
Never had a problem with my SCD-1. The unit is one of the best bargains on the market. I do think the output stage could stand a little beefing up, which I am currently addressing. Take a look at Classe's new SACD-1 player, it uses the same mechanism as the SCD-1 but the retail is 12K. The Accuphase combo uses the Sony SCD-1 Mech and its retial is 28K (for the combo trans/dac). Also I believe Wadia is working on a ref transport (SACD) using the Sony mech, rumored to retial for 17k. The bottom line is that if this transport were prone to problems I don't think such entities as the aforementioned would partake of the drive.
Apparently my finger are dyslexic and can't correctly spell RETAIL. Sorry.

My favorite is the 608es which is now 12 yrs. old and has over 6500 hrs on it without any break-downs, talk about reliability! This player has extremely extended and defined bass, excellent pace and rythm. It is lacking somewhat in the area of "air" and transparency which is only obvious in a high resolution system. I also have a 77es which is better in some ways, ie in the areas of transparency but overall not quite as musical. The build quality on the 77es is very impressive with the I-beam frame, high quality boards, and copper plated chassis. It too has been perfectly reliable. I auditioned one of the later Sony's with the fixed laser in both my systems and found it was not an improvement in either case. I don't recall the model number but it was the second to the top.
I used the XA7 for awhile, first as a CD player and then as a transport. It's a great transport for the money on the used market when placed on a good isolation platform! Built-in DAC is a little too cool and sterile for my taste though. Just MHO.
I can't say about those Sony CD players, but I can say my 777ES SACD makes for a much better transport than my Sony 7000 DVD player.
have been using 77es for ten years. mounted on zoethecus stand it is killer. play trough tube preamp and 300b mono amps. bliss.later models do not sound different enough to bother about. feel no need to upgrade. spending my time collecting fast disappearing vinyl.
Can the SACD-1 be used to drive power amps directly? If so, has anyone tried it? How does it sound?
I've used the 707 for the past four years. While the build quality is outstanding, the sonics are by today's standards only good. Used stand alone it has a pleasant sound -- warm bass, clear midrange, but not particularly open highs. It clouds over some of the differences between good recordings. That said at current prices ($400-600), it's a great value. I've recently replaced the 707 with a Sony SACD, but I'm going to hold onto the 707 for a second system. It's a long term keeper product. If anyone knows of someone doing "upgrade" mods to this unit, please reply.
Onhwy61, is your 707 the 707esd (older) or the X707, which is 6 years newer.????? Just curious.
I have the X707ES.
I have the xa7es and I'm pretty happy with it. I think my friends levinson 36 is better, but not by much. One thing I really like about the xa7 is that it has balanced, fixed rca AND variable rca. When used in a preampless system, you are seeing enormous value for money. It also drives a passive preamp nicely (no big surprise). Another nice feature is the high quality headphone output. I love the ergonomics with the way-fast one-touch track selection, audible in-track fast-forward & reverse, & build quality from hell. Some day I will probably buy a 777 or an SCD-1. I might still hang onto this player though. It's just so useful.....