Here is another battleship CD player from SONY that is given a brand new lease of life with a new laser assembly. Just recently installed to the tune of $750, this player will last for many more years to come. A major difference between this CD player and the others is that the laser assembly is installed in the solid drawer and slides in and out with it. A CD puck is placed on top the CD to hold it down as the drawer slides back in. This was a very clever solution to extracting the best out of top loading design CD players by engineering it into a drawer and thus resolving the problem of using a “top loader design” CD player in a rack. With a top loader CD player, the only place it will sit on the rack is the top shelf. But if you have a turntable, than that becomes a problem. So with the CDP-XA7ES, you get the best of a top loading design but yet can place the player on any shelf in your rack.
The sound on the CDP-XA7ES is simply exquisite. Finely detailed, smooth and transparent, this player will easily rival both the SCD-777ES and SCD-1 when it comes to redbook CD playback. As a transport, it will not under distinguish itself when paired to DACs costing up to $5,000 because that is how good the transport is. If you choose to do that, you will get a top notch combo for under $6,500.
Cosmetically it is in fair shape. Faceplate is nice and clean. Some scuff marks on the top cover with a few small areas that were touched up by a sharpie and a minor corner ding in the rear. Remote control is included. Will be double boxed for secure shipping.