Assuming your budget isn't limited EMM Labs is a fine player, the best I've heard yet.
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Wadia 861 would work well and depending on your budget GNSC does some nice mods. If your system consists of only one source you can also run the 861 direct with no need for a preamp and it is one of the only front loaders that can compete with some of the very best single box players out there today.
Steve, what amp and speakers are in your system and what music do you favor?
Like you I wanted a more refined CDP (even though I still love my Shanling in tube output mode). I chose the Vecteur L4.2 CDP because it is so musical, built like a Swiss tank and has a DAC that more than holds its own with many outboard DACs. A better, more revealing system, especially tubed gear, shows off the L 4.2 best. See www.mutine.com.