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My 2.0 Hi rez replaced a Dodson 217MK2 and I love it. I would be interested in your comparison of the ack! to the Rega. Thanks.
I mean, I don't view this an an either/or issue. I'd like to hear what the Saturn can do on its own AND via the Ack dAck (I can run it both ways into my CJ linestage and switch with the remote). My only quibble with the Ack dAck is its bass performance. Good but not great, at least compared with my other SACD/CD sources.
I just don't think I'd go that route for $2500, not saying the Saturn isn't a great player.
I would have to ponder hard and consider my choices if it were me and the circumstances were the same to give anything logical/objective. :)
I have Rogue pre/power tube amps and the XA777ES. Initially, I'd have to look into the cost of the mods and query folks who had it done. Inmate Metralla on hi-rez forum I know did it. The selling price for the XA777ES player is $1k from what I've seen and I feel its worth more than that to me. Someone can get it modded from that point and have a great player for a very reasonable cost.
But I'm just not that thrilled about modding a 5-year-old machine that simply doesn't set my heart atwitter in its unmodded state :-)
I did as much A/Bing of players that I could that were available to me and I still went with the XA777ES for $2k back them. It was a Stereophile A+ rated player. Tbone was even impressed with it I recall from some posts he made and I really came to trusting his judgment in time.
Now perhaps it wasn't the absolute best machine for the price but it did inlude SACD for both 2 and multichannel and folks on this board really could not talk me out of it when I basically was doing the same thing you are now asking about the Saturn.
It was my main CD player (and only SACD player) for years. The fact that I liked the sound on CDs of the Ack dAck with a variety of "transports," surprised me a lot. What surprised me more was that the XA777ES wasn't the best-sounding of these transports. Then it started acting up -- refusing to recognize Hybrid CDs -- and I sent it to Sony Laredo for service last fall. Wnen it came back, I thought it sounded better than I had remembered, but I still tended to play CDs mostly through the Tascam/Ack dAck combo.
So, I figure, if the XA777ES doesn't meet its specs, it hasn't met them for a long time. It's not a bad machine at all, but the bloom is off the rose as far as I'm concerned. It may well be a "system synergy" kind of thing.
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