I think the Marantz looks pretty good. Did you see this recent post about it being on-sale for $3K? Just checked, still in stock. Below is the direct link to the SA-KI Ruby SACD/CD player.
Sony SCD-777ES, Oppo UPD-205 or Marantz SA-KI Ruby
I have a Sony SCD-777ES with Kern modes and a super clock. Run it these days only for CD with an External Oppo Sonica DAC. Also have the Oppo UDP-205. I am interested to get something better. Will spend up to $ 5,000. Could be new or used. Could also be an upgrade. The Marantz SA-KI Ruby seems a nice choice. But I am open to something else. What is my reference to match - Oracle Delphi with ET-2 tone arm and a Cello Miyabi cartridge. I want a SACD/CD rig that sounds as good as my vinyl rig. Neither Sony nor Oppo can do that. Thank you.
I hear you. I have made do with an Oppo 105 to which I upgraded the OEM power supply, the IEC, and a jumper to bypass the 110/220 switch. My intent was to simplify my digital playback, it CAN sound pretty good with SACDs, but many of them just aren't ALL THAT. I've been binge listening over the last 2 weeks , the recordings are sonically, all over the place
I do/did have a Marantz HD CD-1 that I use as a transport for redbook into my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5, a significant upgrade to the 105, but the magnetic clamp started scratching, and likely beyond repair: a new drive system is $150 + shipping. I decided it was time to get a dedicated transport: a slightly used Audiolab 6000 CDT should be here tomorrow. But, if $3000 was spending money I would get the Technics SL C 700: HTH
The new Luxman units are something I would consider if and when my Vaccum State 5+ modded Sony SCD-1 dies. The Sony is still sounding great. Not as resolving as the newest DAC’s but it is close, and the sound is incredible.
Luxman D-03X CD Player (soundstageultra.com)
Luxman D-10X CD/SACD Player and DAC - The Absolute Sound
My UDP-205 is the Modwright customized version with a separate single-tube power supply and twin-tube audio output. I'm happy as can be with it but haven't listened to the other players mentioned.
This may be a stupid question: have you made the appropriate adjustments in the Audio Processing Setup and the Speaker Configuration, as found in the User Manual?
If the answer is no, then you haven't really experienced the sound it's capable of delivering.
There is even a Crossover frequency Bass Management adjustment for all speakers that I find can make a difference from one recording to another. The default is 80Hz.
I too, have a 105. Mine is moded with Furutec IEC with solid silver tail to the board, 110/220 jumper to bypass the switch, and replaced the OEM PS with a linear power supply. These significantly improved the sound, but the transport really holds the 105 back. This is on my next replacement list hth
Thank you for the comments. I am not going Marantz SA-KI Ruby based on above. As you have pointed out there are other choices. Marantz Holy Grail is the SA-10, not the Ruby. The $ 1,000 discount may be due to move units sitting in boxes. I have not decided on my next step.
Your comments and input were superb.