Sony SCD-XA5400ES-Best SACD for under $10,000
This Sony player supplanted my Ayre C5-XE 3, which I still have, months ago. I paid $6000 for the Ayre after determining that it was the best-sounding unit for under $10,000. The Sony blows it away!!!
A unit costing $1500 besting all others under $10,000? That is exactly what it does!
For reference, I am using Audio Research electronics and Vandersteen speakers and subwoofers (about $30,000); a similar system has repeatedly been lauded as "best of show" at CES, so we are NOT talking second-rate stuff here.
This Sony is the only SACD/Cd player I have EVER heard that puts a classical piano live in my living room; nothing I ever had before even comes close.
This unit is a small miracle. I would have gladly paid $8000 for it, but if they want to give the thing away for $1500, who am I to argue?
This unit is going to send the engineers at Audio Research, Luxman, Esoteric, and Ayre back to the drawing board; their current units at 4 to 5 times the price are not even close. Some engineer at Sony is a freaking genius!!!