Sony XA 20 es,707 es
Try a California Audio Labs CL-15, I've seen them go on the used market for around $700 here on Audiogon. The factory preset output voltage is 1 volt, but you can buy software from Cal Audio to increase the voltage to 3 volts. It's a single disc player, HDCD compatable, and sounds REALLY good. I love mine. I've also have mine set up on a Symposium Ultra platform and rollerblocks, which are some tweaks I recommend checking out.
Beware that some, if not most, of the volume controls work in the digital domain. I believe this means that for every 6 db of attenuation you are losing 1 bit in resolution. Also, remember that each time you power on the cd player it will be set to full output. I have a Marantz cd67se and that is the way mine works. If anyone knows otherwise, please post.
The output voltage/ volume control on a Cal Audio CL-15 stays at whatever level it is at when it is shut down. It will start up at a full 1 volt of output ONLY if it gets unplugged. As far as the loss of resolution, I do tend to agree that the higher levels you lose a little bit, that's why I use my CL-15 with a Cary preamp. I keep the output voltage of the CDP at a level lower than full volume and use the preamp the attenuate further.
The Ah! Tjoeb 4000 is an outstanding value. Mine has completely transformed my system. Have it just about broken in now, and recently went and connected directly to my monobloc amps. This is the kind of sound I've been looking for since I started this hobby. The resolution and tonal purity improvement is truly amazing.I wish I'd bought this cdp before i bought my subwoofer becuase I honestly don't think I need the subwoofer anymore. This is the first real "Holy Cow" improvement of my audio experience. The one problem I had was a slight mismatch with input sensitivity of my monobloc amps. Min volume setting was too loud. The Ah! allows for that also though. Two very easy bridge connections are added at one of the boards, and the output voltage is adjusted. This allows me to listen at the top of the digital volume scale, so that no bits/resolution are lost. Snap-in 24/192 upsampling upgrade is available in a couple months too. Lots of fun with this unit if you like to tweak. Recommend it very highly. Kevin at Upscale Audio seems like a gent also.