At what point is an external D/A converter warranted or beneficial

Over the years and after multiple "upgrades" I've become disillusioned with digital audio reproduction. As my systems improved in quality/resolution, the digital audio quality has equally deteriorated to where most listening is now done in analog. This makes my CD collection of in excess of 1000 titles pretty much useless. My digital D/A conversion knowledge is pretty much limited to whatever is done by the internal D/A converter of the equipment. That being a Lexicon MC12B processor and Oppo BDP103. As my choices of ICs went from basics to high quality resolution improved with a marked decline in digital SQ. I'm at a point where any Redbook CD presents a harsh, edgy, shrilly, bright, name it what you want, upper frequency. Changing ICs back to basic cables attenuates this along with resolution of the music played. You might say I'm at a loss. Do I live with less resolution or the digital limitations. I do not have this issue playing analog media. Would an external D/A converter be beneficial or a waste of money? 
Systems are: B&W 803D2 and surrounds,  Lexicon MC12B, Oppo BDP 103, AQ Columbia ICs XLR & RCA,  AQ Digital ICs,  Tara Labs speaker cables,  Rogue Pharaoh, VPI Prime . Analog front end shares the L/R front speaker and input from the Oppo. 
Is there such a thing as an external D/A converter for a H/T setup as the Lexicon processor is the oldest piece in the chain with most likely the weakest D/A converter. But how would that connect to avoid the internal processing.
Any suggestions or recommendations?


Showing 1 response by bigkidz

If I was in your shoes, I would go to my local audio dealer and see what he or she offers for digital playback.  A buddy of mine recently took home an Electrocompeniet CDP and he was very please with it after multiple CDP attempts.  External DACs can help but you have to try to find what works in your system.  AC filtering is a must that is why the components I build and repair all get chokes to filter the AC.  BUT I am speaking strictly 2 channel.

Happy Listening.