sony xa 777es how good?

I had been contemplating buying an fmj23, jupiter,
or cd5,or possibly a used arc cd2 or 508.24.In the
mail comes the Absolute sound with the stones releases
so naturally I begin to think about sacd. After much research this 777 player is compared with ml 39's Wadia
850's and other gear that I would have considered superior
to the levels of an fmj. To further complicate things
the prices for the sony are down to about $1700 new or cheaper than an fmj. My question is:is the sony in redbook
that good so it is a no-brainer to get the sony as the sacd
is thrown in for free or is my research of base?
Final thought: Why does it seem to be compared in redbook
with very high end gear and not in it's own price range?

Thanks for any input.

Current system is B60 and Dunlavy SClll's.
I've only had one high end player in my system--the sony XA777--but I like it a lot for redbook. Some audiophile friends have heard my system and they were also very impressed.

FWIW not only TAS but also Stereophile rates it highly for redbook.
The sony is an sacd player so I think you would have to say that it is the red book play that is thrown in for free. When I bought my player I wanted something that was top notch on sacd and at least very good on red book. The sony has more than fit the bill. The red book sound took a while to break in, I would say at least 100 hours and I guess the best words for its sound are laid back and very smooth, very detailed like the 508.24 is but not sounding the same at all. I think if I had the 508.24 I would like it better on some music and not as good on other. When I bought mine I almost bought the 508.24 and had a hard time with it but I wanted an sacd player so I bought the sony. I think the 508 is a little better threw the mids but not as good at the very bottom, at least on my system. Its not really fair to judge it on sacd with any red book player on the market because none of them will play sacds. I will say that all sacds are not recorded with the same care and quality just like every format but when you get one that is your system goes to a whole nother plane that red book can not compete with, IMHO.
I have experience with the CD players you mention, and I own an XA-777ES. The Sony player is the equal or superior to all that you mention. I think that the Arcam FMJ player is really quite disappointing. I A-B'ed The CD23 against a Linn Genki, and the Linn absolutely smoked it. The Jupiter is probably the closest to the XA-777 for redbook. The Sony is a bit warmer in character on redbook than the Jupiter.
Where can you find a NEW xa777es for $1700? Anyone know if Sony is coming out with the next gen. of sacd's anytime soon?
try oade brothers on the www.
Have anyone tried to compare XA-77ES to EMC-1 MKII? Please advised !
I have not compared my EMC-1 MK II to any SACD player myself, but this reviewer did compared it to the Sony SCD-1, I can't say I totally agree with him but this is just something to think about.
Thanks for all the feedback.
My thoughts based on the responses
would be that the sony is comparable
at with a 508.24, arc cd2 which either seem
to sell around $1600 used. I think
the sony at $1700 new with a 5 year
warranty makes more sense. I'll see
if I can get a nice christmas present
from the wife. If SACD fails how is
the transport section of the sony?

Thanks, Attila
First rate.