Sony XA7ES is this still a top notch player?

Im looking for the best bang for the buck.
Correct me if Im wrong,but wasnt the design from the XA7EC incorporated into the Sony SCD-1's redbook mode?
If this is true,it would appear the XA7EC can still hold its own.
My budget is ~$700 used.
I am also considering the Marantz 8260 but I have mostly given up on SACD as the titles being released are very far form what I listen to.
I feel I should just settle on a very good 2 channel CD player and let the big companies continue to churn out multi-channel,multiformat units..this 'aint for me.
Thanks for any info.
I did own from new the XA7ES for 6 years,(Excellent PRAT). I used the RCA out, and found it more musical than the XLR. It is the best bang for the buck. I loved it. I would recommend to get the power cord changed ,so you can put on a seperate PC. This will take you to a totally new level, " WOW". I would recommend either the Kubala-Sosna (Emotion) or for less $$$ Harmonix PC Master. I did this and trust me, you are only app 20% below all top of the range CDP.Yes I auditioned the Sony SACD CD1 to slow loading, a real pain, Linn CD12 better but not worth the price differenced. Wadia 861 ,I personally thought it was lacking speed.Mark Levinson 2 piece, I liked it - very expensive. Audio Aero MK11 if you got the cash, use copper IC's cables with this cdp.
For the $$$ -Bar None *** I would go for the XA7ES all the way. 35 Lbs of pure class A. Also Try some black racing cones # 3 under it it also improves detail, don't worry about the bass, it got it all.
I have now just swithed over to Ed Meitner New DCC2/Philips 1000 SACD CDP. Very happy
XA7ES is a great player, no doubt. The SCD1 is better (I have both) but it's a lot more $ too. IMHO, forget all the silly tweaks above (incl. power cord), and if you want to adjust the sound, just get an outboard DAC. Something like the RAKK DAC would be my recommendation. Still, the internal DAC is very nice in XA7ES. Note the XA7ES has a true differential balanced output, none of the current sony players do that (incl. SCD-1 - it derives the balanced out from some chips at the end of the signal chain).

Please remember the life expectancy of that player.
How old are they?
If the player is ten years old... how long can you reasonably expent it to last?
I mean if you bought onr new and still had it, I would say yeah, keep it. But to buy one used that may have had three or four owners already... and run for several thousand hours...
Just a caution. Buying a beautiful used $700 CD player and then having it fail is not a pretty thought.
CHeck out the new rotel 1072....
The upper model Sony units provide an excellent platform to build upon in terms of modifications. As mentioned though, these units are getting up in age and you may want to secure some of the basic parts should you choose to invest in such a unit. Sean
Thanks all.
You have a good point Elizabeth.I hadnt thought of the age issue.
With so many vintage amps,preamps,speakers and 10 years and older CD players still going strong is this something to be OVERLY concerned about??
I guess this issue could have a thread all its own concerning the life span of a digital player.
Anyone else have a different point of view?
Thanks Phase,I'll look into the Rotel.
Rock fool, everything with mechanical parts will, sooner or later, need some repairs. Amps hardly use mechanical parts, so will age better, but one of the first things to go are the mechanical volume pot's. As for speakers, chances are the unit's itself will dry out. And for cd-players: the transport is vulnerable, as is the lens from the laser and the laser unit itself. But it depends on the way the player is used: has it played a lot? Was the owner a smoker (that might pollute the lens)? So it could be a risk buying an older player, but then again, you can save a lot of money. IMHO I would listen (if possible), and if it sounds OK, I would take the risk.

PS Phase is right, the Rotel is a cracking player.....
Satch-Thanks for your response.
I have some 14 year old Thiels that I took to the Thiel factory last year for a physical and they tested as good as new.
No sign at all of the surrounds drying out.
The caps and resistors are still fine also.

My first CD player,a cheap $89 Sharp I bought in 1988 is still going strong.My nephew has had it for at least 10 years and uses it constantly.
This past summer I bought my daughter a Technics CD player at a yard sale and it is very quiet and functions 100%. This massive player must be circa late 80's or older.
Lots of vintage preamps,tuners,turntables out there also trouble free.I wouldnt consider the Sony player exactly vintage either.
I would hope a semi-modern or built today $$CD player would last as long as the $89 Sharp I bought in '88.
Sure,it may be a risk buying a 8 year old CD player.Its possible to get a lemon or a abused player but I trust AudiogoN members with excellent feedback.
Im sure not going to be stocking up on replacement parts prior to buying one,if I do.


Despite your name, I'm don't think you're a fool :). As I wrote, I would probably buy an older player as well, and no, I wouldn't buy a pile of replacement parts either.
Actually I use a cheap sony, which is some 10 years old, in my secondary system, and apart from cleaning the lens a couple of years ago, it works brilliantly. So I imagine a much better Sony would last much longer.....
I have the same question six years later. Would the XA7ES still be considered good? Would it hold up against newer universal players?