The XA-20ES is remarkable CD player that was priced at an unbelievable $700 when it first launched. Its more expensive sibling, the XA-7ES, which it shared pretty much the same internal circuitry, was a $3000 CD player. So, where did SONY cut the corners to bring the price down? A full copper shield for one, less damping in the chassis, no XLR output and a Toslink digital output instead of a coaxial. But let’s focus on the XA-20ES. It has a fixed laser mechanism which slides out with the metal CD drawer. To play your disc, they would need to be secured with an aluminum puck. And that to us, is the most impressive thing about this CD player – a really good CD transport mechanism. Translating that to music, the XA-20ES sounded much more than its asking price. There was a quality “feel” on the overall music, very precise with musical notes well placed and the sound stage nicely layered. This is one CD player that does not sound like any other CD player in the $700 range or the $350 asking price here. The top side has some minor scratch marks but face plate and rest of the case is nice and clean.
Well made and executed, this is a CD player that was designed to be impressed. Lots of positive reviews everywhere on the internet!