sony xa5400es or marantz sa15s2?


i'm before purchasing a cdp... i've heard so many good reviews of this sony, and of marantz cdps (none of sa15s2 though). did anyone listen to these two (or former marantz sa15s1 or any similar)? i would be greatful to get any comment to help my decision.
crimhead
I had the Marantz Pearl SACD Player for 2 weeks.It sounded warm & dark to me.I was unable to enjoy the music.
I now have XA5400es and it does everything right.The balance,colors & musicallity all strike a chord.
I am very satisfied with it.SACD's & regular cd's sound equally good

AP
I chose the Marantz 15s2 and have been happy with it. Haven't heard the Sony but they have a great reputation.

I don't think one is necessarily better than the other but one will balance out "your" system better to suit your taste. It will be hard for any of us to know which one that will be. Good luck.
I would say from my exposure to both that the Sony is better regardless of system.
Fishing716, no argument, just food for thought:

What if someones system was on the bright side and they were looking to tone it down? You or I might change speakers or amps but if a person doesn't want to do that and just wants a new cd player, would the Marantz be a better call?

BTW, I haven't heard the Pearl but many have reported, like you, that it is on the dark side. I have the 15s2 and 11s2 in 2 of my systems and don't find either too dark for me.
I don't think "toneing" it down with a marantz will work.
It's not very musical regardless of dark or bright
I would say from my exposure to both that the Sony is better regardless of system.

Bold statement.Have you heard every system that these players have been used in? Just curious.
I am a musician over 35 years
My ears are very trained
I trust my assessment
I have no experience with the Marantz but for a msrp of $1500 the Sony is an absolute steal imo. My most recent players have been Esoterix XO-3 se, bryston bcd-1, simaudio moon eclipse and MF A5.The Sony doesn't quite have the razor sharp imaging of some of these but is more holographic,more real sounding. Also, tonally it is better than any of these imo( atleast in my system).
A big plus to the SA-15S2 is that it has a digital input, so it can also be used as an external DAC for a music server, etc...
12-28-09: Fishing716
I am a musician over 35 years
My ears are very trained
I trust my assessment

While you may have been a musician for over 35 years and have very trained ears and trust your assessment,I ask again,have you heard every system that these players have been used in? Still curious.
I think the XA5400es is a great player especially for the price.I like it better than Marantz and offer no additional observation.
I will never stop being amused by the "experts" (self proclaimed and real) on every aspect of music. Mr. Fishing716 is a musician and this makes him a "specialist" on the sound of a component w/o taking into consideration the synergy of the rest of the system with this component. Anyway, this debate will never end become musical tastes and sound are so subjective. I have many friends that are musicians but when it comes to music of a system their opinions are as diverse (with one another) as among any of us NOT musically trained. I figure if they are all musicians how come they can not agree on the sound of a system? Go figure...
The Sony is a very good player. I have not heard the Marantz.
So which did you buy, Crimhead?
although perhaps tangential to the thread. i spoke to dan wright about the sony before purchasing one of his modded players.

he suggested that the sony, un modded is a bit thin sounding, and after installing his mods, thought the oppos wer a bit warmer.

i owned a marantz player, the 11s1, it is not current. i was disappointed, so i lent it to a friend. we both agreed that that player was cold sounding and lacking in body.

remember, the marantz is solid state. what solid state player has body , warmth, bloom and is forgiving of poor quality cds.

after the purpose of listening is to enjoy the experience, not analyze the recording.