Sony Xa5400 ES vs Cary CD 500 demo

Close enough in price to consider either.
Match with Cary SLI-80 F1 and Merlin VSM speakers.
Both well reviewed for their classes.
Does the Cary really exceed the Sony?
It had been written up as the best solid state up to $5-6000.
I would choose the Sony. First, I have not heard either player, and I am an analog first type of listener. That said, I have listened to two different Cary CDP's and all I can say is that Cary should stick to tubes. The Sony players that I have heard were all better than the Cary's, and I say that as the owner of a Cary SLP-98P F1 preamp.
Yes, I agree with the above post as well. I have also owned a Cary CDP-1 and a CD-308, as well as my current Sony XA5400ES. The Sony was a FAR superior sounding player all around in comparison to either of the Cary units. My CD-308 stopped funtioning after a few years, and the cost to repair it after sending it to Cary was more than the player was worth. They gave me $50 for it as a "parts" unit, which I accepted, for it was worthless to me.
I'd go w/the CD500. I owned the sli80 f-1 for 5 yrs & really enjoyed both the 306/200 & later the 303/300. I briefly tried the 308 & was greatly disappointed w/it's sound & build quality. A local buddy of mine uses the cd500 w/his sli80 & it sounds great. brand synergy can be a good thing. good luck.
also the remote for the cd500 will run your f-1 too.
I would do the 5400 and look to modwright to get the most out of the unit.
To Bigshutterbug, looks like you like the Sony. Would you know how the Sony compares to Cambridge 840C??? Does Sony only make the XA5400ES in black, never saw a silver one yet on AG.
Hey Crwindy how is the Cary doing?

Modwrights web-site pertaining to the Sony Player.

I have a highly modded Sony SCD-1 and it is a great player very comparable to the Audio Research Reference CD-7 on Redbook CD and exceeded the AR player on SACD; the AR reference CD-7 could not play SACD.

Sunnyjim, I owned the Cambridge and replaced it with the Sony 5400. The sony was much better in my system on RB, and of course also has the ability to play SACD. After owning the Sony for a year I had the ModWright mods done. The modded Sony is just wonderful.
To Brownfan: Thank you for the info. I don't want to co-opt this members thread. So let me quickly ask, how much were the Modwright upgrades, and how much did they improve the sound. A member is selling a brand new sony 5400ES,but at a premium( not used) price and like any component to be modded you got to buy it as cheaply as possible to compensate for the (often high)expense of the upgrades.
I have both CDPs now.the 5400 is smoother and has a 5 yr wrrty. My CA had issues at 3.5 yes and cost me rd trtip shipping fr HI to LA and repairs. I got the Sony as backup an d like it just as much. Seems more musical maybe slightly less bright.
I owned the cary cd-500!, not to seem negative here, just honest!, That was the worst player in my life time I ever owned, I am thankful I was able to sell it!