Sony Legacy SACD Players - SCD-1, 777ES, XA-777ES

I am currently in the newbie market for a very good-to-great SACD player and was wondering if anyone could give me feedback on the differences between these three heralded Sony SACD legacy players, all obsolete now:

1. Sony SCD-1 - original two channel from 2000, balanced inputs
2. Sony 777ES - two channel from 2001, w/o balanced inputs
3. Sony XA-777ES - multi-channel player

I was wondering not only about their sonic differences, but if there were any reliability or usability issues between the three players. From what I have seen here on Agon, these can be had on the used market for less than $2,200. Has anyone heard all three of these?

Also, is there anything on the market today that competes with these legacy players, for less money new? Opinions? Thanks.
All of the Sony players you've mentioned have reliability issues - some more, some less. From you list (and if it's a must) I'd go for the SCD-777ES. It is the same machine as SCD-1 less the Balanced output. Since the Balanced output is derived from Single Ended using two Op Amps in the SCD-1, I wouldn't say it is that desirable.

The SCD-1 is a classic player and is holding its value very well and is an excellent player to boot. I have one and enjoy it very much. I do not think there are any reliability issues with any of the Sony players you mention. The SCD-1 is the most desirable and will be the one that retains its value the best as it was a statement piece. Nothing competes at their price level. Just my thoughts!
So help you God!

SCD-1,no question.Gary.
Hey Guys,

You are right that the SCD-1 holds it value very well. It is also a very good transport (great build quality) and that's what it does best. None of the Sony players are great redbook (cd) players...very average as they are all voiced to be bright on the top end, are extremely detailed and the mid-range is very clear but has no musicality or depth. The bass is very good. On SACD they are very good, on cd they are very uninvolving and lack emotion. They do some technical things right but in the end are just not musical. Like listening to music in a vacuum.

The soundstage is wide but lacks depth and height...and every one of them benefits immensely from an after market power cord...moreso than other players I've owned (and I've owned a lot).

Doonie, by the way no matter what the other guys responses are you should take APLHIFI's comments VERY SERIOUSLY. He is a professional audio engineer and has many years of experience tearing apart existing players and upgrading them. He currently makes one of the best cd players on the market based on a total re-design of the Denon 3910. He's done the same for Marantz, Sony and Pioneer players. Check out his website

He's seen the inside of them all. He has a lot of customer's and testimonials on Audiogon from people who have bought his equipment and are VERY HAPPY. He has been inside the SCD-1, seen the schematics, analog boards, circuit design, etc. If he says the balanced outputs are derived from the op amps of the single ended (rca outputs) that is NOT GOOD. Trust me. These guys are giving you their listening opinions. APL is giving you the FACTS.

As a newbie I just want to make sure you get correct information. If you don't believe my comments about the cd playback of all three units...just start a new thread and ask people what are their impressions of cd playback on the three players. You will find a clear majority agree with me. These threads have been run before and I've seen the responses.

You will find Audiogon is full of people who are stubborn about their equipment (they've invested big money so have a need to justify their purchase), those who have read too many reviews and think they know it all and those who will give you opinions that have no technical merit.

Good luck with your search and enjoy the music!

Thanks for all the responses, much appreciated.

Do all these players have the same DAC chip? What are the differences between the DAC's? What about the new model - the Sony XA-9000 ES - anybody AB' one of these to those mentioned. Thanks again.
Are there still people on this planet that are unaware of reliabilty issues in just about everything Sony makes. IMO. Talk about a vaccuum, cause thats the only way you wouldn't know. I have avoided any Sony purchases for close to 15 years. Well, there was that clock radio for my daughter.

We need to be more respectful of peoples opinions and that is what this person was asking for. I stand by my original comment that nothing competes with the SCD-1 at this price level. As a stock machine it is very good on both redbook and SACD; modded it is excellent on both. I would suggest that Donnie do a search on this site and he will garner more information than he needs to make an INTELLIGENT decision. I wish you all well and HAPPY LISTENING.

Well, i don't share the point of view that Sony "disc machines" of any kind have a reliability issue. Especially hard to take serious anyones honest opinion that have "...avoided any Sony purchase in close to 15 years...".
IMHO Sony is as good as it get's regarding reliability.
Alex speaks from just a little experience as he was a high level engineer with Sony for about 8 years..I would think over that time frame, Alex would have a just a bit of knowledge. Makes sense, no?

Are your comments limited to just the Stock Sony units or do you feel this is the case with modded unit too?

>The soundstage is wide but lacks depth and height...and every one of them >benefits immensely from an after market power cord...moreso than other >players I've owned (and I've owned a lot).

My comments are strictly limited to the stock units. Its my understanding that the modded units take a huge leap in performance. Dan Wright and Richard Kern (two separate individuals) have received a lot of great praise on Audiogon for their modifications on Sony players.

I have owned many Sony products over the years and I
have repaired Sony CD players for 20 years and Sony
SACD players for 5 years. They have a better track record
for reliability then a lot of brands. No brand is 100%
perfect. Perfection in Audio does not exist.
Don't be fooled by those who think it does.
Their just trying to sell you something.
I don't own a Sony player but have in the past...never had a problem with any of them that I can remember. The last Sony I owned was the XA-777es, very well built and worked like a charm.

You guys may me thinking of Philips?, I recall reading not much good press on that brand very often in the past.

I own a Sony ES CD changer from 1991. I still use it, and it sounds really, really music.
So there you gooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have owned several Sony CD players, changers, and SACD/CD players and changers over many years. I have NEVER had any reliability issues with any of them! They are the most reliable brand I have ever owned by far.
You guys can say what you want about the reliability of Sony cdp's. I never commented about reliability issues on Sony's. But I definitely stand by my comments that stock Sony cdp's are average at best on redbook. Especially when compared against other high end players. And that goes for any and all of the high end models! Check out comments on audioreview and audiogon.

Czbbcl, So there you goooooooo!!

I've recently gone from a Tube staged Metronome, to the xa-777es and I am floored by the smooth musicality of both redbook and sacd playback. I believe their is an anti sony bias because of the pedstrian end of their product line. These top of the table units are true class a units.