BAT, Ayre, Meridian just off the top of my head (used under your budget)
13 responses Add your response
A Wadia 830 can sometimes be found in your price range, but keep a sharp eye out because they usually sell about 4 seconds after they are listed.
Also, if you are looking for true balanced design, be sure to read the fine print in the owners manual or research the product on the internet. AES/EBU XLR terminals does not necessarily imply a balanced circuit. Some put them there for convenience only, and they are unbalanced.
(Sorry if you knew all that already)
You could get a pro player or recorder (HHB, Tascam,Otari etc.) and upgrade it later with a better clock and converters like Apogee BigBen (clock)and Mini DAC which works on any sample-rate up to 192kHz.
It'll go over your budget but you don't have to buy it all at once and the DAC will be future-proof for quite some time.