I had lent the player to a friend before I even brought it home (I bought it for the secondary basement system and was getting stuff finished and organized down there). He had an almost $4k CD player only. He not only like the SACD, while there were positives and negatives, he thought overall the 2000ES might be a hair better on CDs than his player. He sold it and bought an XA-9000ES. Before I stuck it in the basement system, I did detailed comparisons with it in my main system (on 2-channel SACD mainly). I had friend bring over his Marantz 8260 and I have a Modwright XA-777ES in the system as well. The main system also includes a Bryston SP 1.7 pre/pro, a Bryston 14BSST (for the left and right), Thiel 7.2s for the left and right with 2 Rel Storm III subs crossed over at 22HZ. The 2000ES was certainly no embarrassment and did some things better than the 8260 (the 2000ES was a bit more polite and smoother on the top end). It is a good value at its price point.