Which hi-end Sony SACD player to buy?

There are 3 that I have been looking at-the SCD-1, the 777-ES 2 channel and the XA-777ES. I know the XA is multi-channel, so this one may be out because I am dedicated to 2 channel. But for the life of me I cannot tell the differences between the 3 just by reading the availible audio reviews and I need to narrow this choice down soon. Also, who would you trust to do audio modifications on any of these models? Thanks in advance.
I bought the XA-777ES even tho I had no plans to go multichannel because I liked the following things about the unit. It plays CDRs and CD-RWs. Its loading time is MUCH faster than the other two. It's a front-loader rather than a top-loader. Its technology is later-generation than the others. The reviews said it was at least as good-sounding with both CDs (it uses six parallel DACs for CD playback) and SACD. It came with a 5-year warranty. And then, since I could, I tried a sort of interim/bastardized multichannel arrangement and got hooked. I think it's a great machine. Good luck, Dave
berzin..if you aren't constrained by $ then the scd-1 is the only one to buy...especially if 2-channel is what you want. i had one and had it fully modded by richard kern and it was outstanding.i have since sold it and have bought another that just arrived 2 days ago and plan on modding it again.it is an outstanding cdp/sacd player.the 777es,although very good,is not as good as the scd-1,imo.
Disclaimer...I am a Xindak dealer.

Hello...Anyone considering a new SACD player should add the new Xindak SCD-2 to their list of must audition. I only bring this up because I don't think many people have even heard of this brand and it should NOT be overlooked. Stunning performance (SACD AND CD) and build quality for the price.

You can contact us directly or see our webpage for details.

Best Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio

Agreed, when I get one it will be SCD-1. (which will play CD-R's too, not sure on CD-RW, but since I Dont' have any I dont' really care). You can also still buy them new from oade.com (and others) with factory 5 year warranty.

The SCD-1 is a great player! How much do you want to spend though? You can get the SCD 777es for about 1G. I have this one and have been very happy with it, but it's not as good as the SCD-1
Forget the superior sonics of the SCD-1. Buy it only for it's looks and battleship build quality.

Hey, if today's postings at audioasylum are accurate...don't buy any sacd...a guy there said he talked to sony and they are dropping sacd in six months.. I do not know how to evaluate the post--whether it is true, false or what. I hope it's false. I have a cheap sony sacd and love it....
Why would they drop it in "six months"? If they were going to drop it, I would think they would just pull the plug, why wait six months.
That's a load of BS. (SACD done in 6 mos.). Just look at the reasoning:

1) Why would sony tell someone individually and not make an announcement?
2) Why would they make an announcement anyway? Good way to kill remaining sales of any product in the distribution chain (they sure as hell don't want that to happen). Would also kill sales of discs (again big investment on their part).
3) when has Sony ever backed down in format wars? They never gave up with Beta - it's still the preferred format for serious video tape (e.g. broadcast quality... Superbeta, etc.) and always was. How about MD? If there's a useless Sony format out there its' MD. Still, they support and promote it.

Read between the lines ... of course that posting is BS. the HiRez forum is notorious for battles between the SACD and DVDA camps.

I am hoping its BS too. Just thought it should be mentioned here. If anyone has solid info one way or the other, I'd like to know.
I second the mods & the scd-1. I bought calloway's old fully hotrodded Richard Kern Audiomod scd-1. This thing transformed my system. The soundstage became HUGE and airy. I've never heard anything like it for digital playback. I sold my lessor modified scd-1 to a local friend who had been using a wadia 850. He's happy.

I've put this player head to head against quite a few players & it almost always wins by a fairly strong margin. The Marantz SA-1 was in the ballpark & the Audio Aero was a pretty even match. Some would prefer the AA's tube harmonics to the sony's airiness and detail. Both are superb players.

To do it again, I think I would just buy another scd-1. I like it's battleship build quality verses the newer xa. My only gripes are the size, toploading mechanism, and SLOWWWW load times. I actually keep another phillips cdr/Cal audio cd playeback system for when I want to flip through cd's.

For mods:
www.audiomod.com (richard kern)
www.modwright.com (dan wright)

Both of these guys have top shelf reputations. They both live here in Portland.