Outside of deep bass (a toss up), I prefer the Cary in just about every way. 2 Notes:
1) I don't want to overstate this - the differences between digital sources are certainly subtler than the differences between loudspeakers - but the Cary is rounder, fuller, and more musical to my ear. This is true with either tube or ss output selected.
2) The Cary sound changes with adjustment to the O/S and with choice of output stage. These changes are again subtle but audible. With my Verity P/E, I've used more o/s and the ss output. With the Merlins in the system, I tend to use the tube out with less (or no) o/s. The point here is that the specific character of the Cary changes with your choices and makes your question difficult to answer more specifically.
Also, for the last 6 months, I've had a QSonix server in my system -so I should qualify my statements, it's been a litle while since I've heard the Cary and considerably longer since I've had the SF in my chain. Nevertheless, I feel pretty confident in my characterization of these 2 very fine cd players.