Sony's best dedicated cdp before sacd...

What was Sonys top of the line player before the Sacd craze?
I think it was the XA7ES. If you look at Sony's history, you'll see a numerical pattern:
All these were the top CDP's at thier inroduction.
XA7ES.. I still kick myself for selling mine. An excellent CDP.

But I wouldn't be surprised if their absolute top-of-the-line redbook cdp is the SCD-1.

It was the CDP-XA7ES, but it is not as desirable as the CDP-X707ES and CDP-X779ES. The XA7ES has a really cheap and unreliable transport (built around $15 laser pick up) which is not even close to the one found in X707ES/779ES as used also in the top Accuphase CD players/transports. The only other transports to compare are the legendary "swing arm" by Philips and "VRDS" by Teac.

You can forget about "belt driven's" and "stable platters" with confidence.

Interesting point, Stehno!
I bought the SCD777ES (notice the "7"s) just for the redbook play.
$1,700 as a demo, (last one in my area!) and am happy happy happy.
Heh. XA7Es seems like a pretty damn robust transport to me.

That said, the SCD-1 is better on redbook. I have both.

The JDM-market only top of the line units were the CDP-R10 and DAC (or DAS?)-R10. Transport/DAC, used a clocklink setup. Rather rare, and still commands fairly high $. There was also a lesser -R1 version of the same idea. Both pairs were japan-market only.

I've had my XA7ES on 24/7, (unless I'm out of state),
for about 5 years.
My SCD-777ES is in the box, waiting to be sent in for repairs.
You tell me which player is more "robust".