CD vs CD/SACD Player – Tube-based or Not

Some of you might have read my previous threads asking for recommendations on CD/SACD player. That was roughly 6 months ago when I first started building my hi-fi system.
Now that I’ve settled on the back end of my system, I’ll finally select my digital source. My system consists of the following:

Harbeth C7-es3 on Sound Anchor (3-posts) speaker stands

Pass Labs XA30.5 – Power amp

Ayre K-1xe - Pre-amp

CD player – a modest 15-year old Philips CD player(the weakest link which I need to upgrade)

I want to get a CD or CD/SACD player that matches my system in terms of synergies, quality and performance. While I’ve done a lot of readings/research, it’s hard to narrow down on my selections before some fundamental questions are answered.

1. CD player vs CD/SACD player: my preference for music are vocal, some pop, classical (symphony, chamber), some rock, blue. I know the selection of musice in SACD is somehow limited.

2. Tube-based vs Solid State CD player: would my system benefit from tube-based CD player since both my pre- and power-amps are solid state? What’s the advantage and disadvantage of tube-based player? What’s the difference in sound?

3. So many choice in my price range (mostly used):

Ayon CD-5, CD-2s

Ayre C-7eMP, Ayre C-5eMP

Audio Research CD-7

BAK 51

Esoteric SA-50, X-05, X 03se, K-07

Luxman D06
SONY 5400ES, Sony 5400ES modified by Modwright (with tube output),

Oppo 95/105 modified by Modwright (with tube output)

4. I want to get a player with solid transport, digital output, balanced output(preferred); dynamic/solid bass, extended treble and most importantly fuller mid-range with great, accurate, lush presentation for vocal recordings.

What’re your recommendations and why? Thanks.
I was going to recommend the Marantz SA-15S2b SACD player but the ones you mention are quite a bit more costly so it might be a step down for you. It fits your criteria as I like and want what you want and I feel I'm getting it. For me, it's the best thing to happen to me in a long while. The Marantz SA-11S3 could be the answer and although new, it would come in at around the prices of the Esoteric gear, used and it's gotten some great, though limited press.

As to whether to go CDP or SACD/CD player, go for the latter. I play almost entirely CDs and it's the way to go.

All the best,
You have too many variables!
From what I know, SACD technology has not changed a lot. It is still at 100hz, while cd players are easily at 24/192.
So, a high end older SACD would be fine, you have to use analog outputs on it any way. On the other hand, a new tube based cd could be tremendous.

What would I do in your shoes? Buy a really nice several year old SACD player for a really good price. Then, get a much newer tube based DAC to run the digital cd outputs to. You now have two completely different players with only 1 transport.

This is where you can save a small fortune on buying a modded SACD player...
Elevik - no matter how you slice and dice the byte stream in the player the CD only contains 2 channels of 16 bit audio sampled at 44.1 khz each.
I would suggest adding the Prima Luna CD player to your list.
I loved mine and regret selling it for a VSE modified SONY 5400ES.
I cannot hear the difference between redbook and SACD.
A good friend(gon member Jwm) had the Playback Design MPS-5 in his system a couple of years ago. I heard it many times with a variety of music. It was good sounding.Jwm`s Modwright-Oppo 105 is better souding across the board! more nautural,better tone,texture and timbre with excellent dynamics and resolution.The MPS-5 by comparison is not bad at all but is more analytical,lean and less organic.Acoustic instruments sound fuller,fleshed out and realistic via the Modwright. Jwm has a very high quality system(believe me)and differences are easy to discern.Higher cost is not 'always' a predictor of superior sound, it wasn`t in this particular case.