CDP would be my first move. Apollo & Cary 308T are both strong contenders.
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Both. An Oppo 980 would be a great upgrade (and it is universal) at $169 and that should give you the budget for the better speakers.
I am the camp that thinks speakers have the most influence on the sound and the Oppo is excellent for the money. I use the Oppo for SACD and the occasional CD that I haven't ripped, but my main front-end is a Mac into a Benchmark DAC.
I applaud the speaker-first camp, a good debate needs camps. Sure the speakers have an enormous effect, and there is great variation between speakers. You have to find speakers you like, not speakers that are just highly-rated. Also, speaker design is a tricky art; surprisingly few makers get it right, and not necessarily with all their models. Better to find a well-designed one and never mind whether it costs a little or a lot.
The main point of having a good source has to do with upgrading.
If you plan never to upgrade any more, don't worry about your source quality. The thing is, though, that even a cheap (but well-designed) set of speakers will reveal the quality of a good source. The same speakers, and much better ones too of course, will reveal the faults of an ordinary source, and they will do it mercilessly. So if you are planning to wait out the time you take to save for an upgrade while listening to your system (and who wouldn't?), you stand a chance to have more fun if you upgrade the source first, then the speakers.
That's the point of "source first" when you're upgrading.
The other point of "source first" is simply the same one you keep in mind when you resize a digital photo. If the original has more dots per inch than the final image, you will get a nicer-looking picture than going the other way. Thus the highest-resolution component should probably be the source.
In a mature system, the difference in resolution doesn't have to be very great, though, and that's why this point is not as critical as it is when you're planning upgrades. A system that is transitional, being enjoyed in view of future major upgrades, is more likely to have an imbalance between the quality of the components. If that is the case, keep the highest quality upstream, and upgrade from source down.
Right now, your best component is of course your amp, and you could go either way as you upgrade. If you found the speakers of your dreams right now, it would be tempting to go for them. If they really were the speakers of your dreams, at the right price, you probably should. Otherwise, though, buy the best source you can now, and do the speakers next.
You will get improvements either way by upgrading your CD player or the speakers. I guess you question lies in which upgrade will yield a bigger difference in sound improvement.
I have owned the B&W N805 and still have the CDM1SE's for my rears in HT duties. The CDM1SE's are good speakers on their own and you will definitely hear a difference in upgrading your source, but they have their limitations. As good as the CDM1SE's may be, the resolution and detail retrieval of the N805 will be a significant improvement over the CDM1SE. In comparison, the midrange is fuller and more open, highs more refined and bass goes considerably lower and more controlled. Overall the N805 is a nice step up over the CDM1SE. The 805S is a better speaker than the N805 so you can expect even greater improvements.
Having said that, you wouldn't obtain the full potential of the 805S should you decide to upgrade the speakers first. You can upgrade the CD player first, then the speakers. OR, you can upgrade the speakers first, then the CD player. Either way you get improvements. Personally if I were you, I would upgrade the speakers first, save some money and upgrade the source a few months down the road.
Thank you all for thought-full responses. Ive enjoyed reading point of view of both side.
Some further questions
Is the cdp the weakest link in the system as some of you have said? Is the current source,Toshiba sd9000 which is close or better as a cd player than very well reviewed sd9200 of 5 years of age really out of date that something like Oppo will out perform in my current system? Ive also considered adding DAC instead of replacing the cdp, but ruled out in favor of keeping the system simple.