used sony or modified music hall

Where is a thousand dollars best spent - a used high end Sony ES or a new , modified Music Hall. It looks like a no brainer as far a build quality, Sony. Has technolgy left the ES behind. Which ES makes the most sense. Regards
The Sony C5555ES 5 disc changer was being sold new for $600 not long ago. This changer plays both cds and sacd's (both 2 and 5 ch). I haven't heard the Music Hall, but the Sony wasn't bad sounding. Also is a decent transport for an external dac.
I actually own both a SONY SCD C555ES SACD changer (in my main system) and a Music Hall CD25 (unmodified; bedroom system). They both have very good build quality (although the SONY is positively tank-like) ... both are very good at redbook CD playback ... they both sound warm, musical, and detailed. The Music Hall gives you HDCD playback; the SONY gives you SACD playback. If you can pick up the SONY new for $600 ... go for it, it is a $1800 list unit. You would not be going wrong with the Music Hall either. Since this is all system dependent, what amp & speakers are you using? Regards, Rich
Thanks for the reply. Amplifier is Jolida 1501
tubed-hybrid, 100 WPC, with Magnaplaner 1.6QR. My Music Hall
is modified which included upgraded op amps. It does sound fantastic but I question the build quality. As for the Sony
I am leaning more toward models 7X ESD, 707ES or 777ES.
I am not interested in multi-play or SACD. My concern with the Sony is their age, technology wise. Can a machine
designed in the early 1990s with a $3000 retail keep up
todays newest designs. I am very intrigued with the bulid quality of the older ES models, but do not want to give up the sound I have now. Rich
I currently own a 608esd, x7esd, and a 779es, and all are very reliable. The 608 I purchased new and it has over 7000 hrs on it with no repairs and it functions flawlessly. The other two players I purchased used and the x7 had an inoperative drawer and a dirty headphone jack when received. The repairs ran about $115.00 which wasn't too bad. As far as sound quality, I prefer the x7 and the 608 over the 779. Any of these players will kill my Cambridge d500se which I purchased because it was light weight and "use of" requires it to be moved about and the Sony's are to heavy and bulky. I use the x7 as an alternate source in my main system with a Linn Karik/Numeric and yes it's not quite as good as the Linn but it does have a different sound that is still pleasing and it will play cd's that for some reason the Linn rejects. So, to answer your question, I would recommend the used Sony es players.
On one hand, if the modified Music Hall sounds fantastic and your only concern (theoretical) is build quality ... I would say don't change a thing. I use my Music Hall with a vintage Marantz 2216B receiver and Acoustic Research 15 speakers (placed on top of an armoire, no less) and I love its sound. The only tweak to the Music Hall was I replaced its power cord with a Cardas Twinlink (btw, Signal Cable interconnects). I actually prefer the Music Hall to a Pioneer PD65 that I use in a secondary TV room system. Its build quality seems to be heavy duty enough ... said differently, I have not read anything negative about the Music Hall's build quality. The SONY SCD 555 ES is just a different animal in terms of ruggedness. As I understand its build design and the SONY website does/did a better of explaining this, it is actually two separate mini tank units joined together to make one mother tank of a unit. The only complaint that I have read about the SONY is the occasional failure of the sled motor ... but this does not seem to be a prevalent problem. I have the SONY paired with better components (Musical Fidelity A3 amplifier; Acoustic Research 302 classic series Speakers), so the system sounds better (smoother; more detailed). If you can pick up an older, new stock or well cared for SONY SACD ES reasonably priced ... do it, because they are great machines. Otherwise, I would be tempted to stay with the Music Hall ... given how satisfied you are with it. You have it paired with some really nice and well regarded/performing equipment. Regards, Rich
i would tend to go with the music hall. the only reason i say that is i have auditioned the sony XA777ES at home and didn't like it much at all with redbook. very uninvolving and boring. bass was very lean as well. if you listen to SACD, then it's an obvious choice. i compared it to a 6 year old PS Audio transport/dac which retailed for about $1000 less. just wasn't at all impressed with the sony. i've read many other reviews saying the same. makes me wonder what people are hearing.

good luck and have fun. do you like the 1501? I really want one.. thanks..