No detents on my sample. OTOH, I always use the remote control for track selection.
I have only ever used the AMS knob for navigating the menu in test mode on my XA777ES. Haven't even tried it on my 5400.
I also just use the remote. Mainly I just press "Play" on the remote. Aside from the sound, the things I like on the 5400 remote are the open/close of the drawer, and the display off button.
It is sad to note that this machine is not available in Australia. Don't know what Sony is doing down under, but not making the 5400 available to audiophiles down there is a big bummer.
I never use the control for selecting tracks, but I just rotated the knob without turning the unit on and noticed subtle but definite detents. As an aside, the 5400ES is very responsive to the Logitech Harmony One universal remote I use, much more so than the DVP-S900ES it replaced. Perhaps it was the download to accommodate the new unit. The sound quality of the 5400ES really is grand. I prefer analog XLR for both CDs and SACDs with the 5400ES, whereas I preferred digital coax to my Proceed PDSD for CDs with the 9000ES.
Are most people running the SCD-XA5400ES single ended or balanced? Is the unit fully balanced. Mine is real new and I am trying to sort it out but it seems to sound better single ended. I don't have matching cables both XLR and RCA. I have the unit connected both balanced and single at the same time. Would this have effect the Sony unit on the sound?
I was looking into "fully balanced" while searching for an amp. I doubt the Sony is fully balanced. My Parasound A21 has balanced connection, but it is not "fully balanced". Units cost almost twice for fully balanced configs.
Also you are right about the XLR level outs on this Sony. Sony's spec mention that the RCA and XLR both output 2V. This is something I did not like about this player. Nothing to do with sound quality, but it would probably help in a passive config.
There are two replaceable fuses. Looking at the service manual I have here:
F001 1-532-501-33 FUSE (T800mA/250V) (US, CND)
F002 1-532-501-33 FUSE (T800mA/250V) (US, CND)
T means slow blow.
I am also thinking of trying after-market fuses. Probably HiFi Tuning SilverStars. The small 5 X 20mm, 1 amp slow blow would work.