CDP upgrade or even swap - what can 2-3K buy?

Audio manufacturers appear to know their market:
comparable price across brands tends to give comparable
listening auditions. (e.g. preamps don't open up and deliver
the goods for me until $2K or higher)

Question 1: What unit(s) will give me audible improvement
over my current digital front end?
>> Muse Model 2 18 bit DAC with SONY DVD as transport
>> ($2.2K new, worth $1K now); current system $11K

Question 2: Will $2-3K buy me better CD listening than it
did in 1996?

Not interested in SACD or DVDA at this time
Thanks for any guidance.
You could wait and see if you could get a killer deal on an Audio Aero Capitole MK I or save just a little bit more and you would be in a very blissful situation. You should get a substantial improvement going from old digital technology to newer. Try doing a search I am sure a digital source under 3k has been covered before it will give you a nice place to start looking(keep in mind I have NO experience with the Muse Model 2)
If you move up to the Muse Model Nine signature, or better yet replace the DAC with a Muse two ninety six and perhaps even the transport with a model eight. THe 296 is phenomenal and a big improvement over the 2. You can find them used for arounf $1300-1500.
Tireguy, I am curious. Do you use the audio aero
without a preamp?
I like my Shanling CD-T100 a lot. It's $ 2K. Check out the reviews here.

It needs a long burn in, at least 200 hours. It keeps getting better after that. Sounds best with NOS tubes.
Regarding question 2 --absolutely!!! The new Classe CDP-10 will be available shortly --about $2,000 NEW US$. Even the (just replaced) Classe CDP.3 is a fine CDP that you can find at a great deal due to its replacement.

peter jasz
Judit- I do not use a preamp, I run direct from the capitole to the amp(which if you have only one source it frees up the difference-$$- between the capitole and your other options) Regards ~Tim