DAC or new CD?

Hey. I'm trying to upgrade with very little money. I've got a 9 year old NAD 5000 cd player. I can probably afford around $800. I've heard some concerns about jitter (how big a problem is this) with an outboard DAC. I'm also suspicious of all the used Planets available out there. Which will get me the most bang for my buck DAC or new CD? Thanx
I'm assuming your NAD has a digital out. I would recommend an MSB link DAC ($349), a Monarchy DIP jitter reducer ($200)and a Canare Digiflex Gold digital cable purchased from Charlie Sprague (about $35). That will set you back about $600 and it will sound better than what you will get out of an Arcam. I did this to an 8 year old Sony carousel w/ a TosLink optical connection and was astounded at the improvement. I bought a brand new Philips CD recorder for my wife. It had a coax digital out and the improvement was even greater than the Sony. This is a low risk proposition: you can order the Link from MSBs web site (www.msbtech.com) and return it for a full refund in 30 days if you don't like it. Same deal if you get the Monarchy DIP from AudioAdvisor (www.audioadvisor.com). You could probably borrow a cable from someone or just use an analog cable to see if it works for you, but I believe you'll want to keep this stuff once you have. The items that give the greatest sonic benefit are, in order: the Link DAC the DIP the cable The improvement you'll hear is not subtle - it's like changing from mass market to high-end speakers, and its greater than changing amps (I know, I just bought $8k worth of Bryston amps and my wife is upset that it didn't make as big of an improvement as the Link). The LInk is a great little box. My wife and non-audiophile friends immediately commented on how much better the system sounded - with no A/B comparison! My wife doesn't hear the improvement from the DIP, but I do and you probably will. However, if your budget is tight, you can always add it later - the Link does a pretty good job on its own, and you'll probably want to spend a few weeks listening to it so that you'll be better able to judge the impact of the DIP and whether it's worth the extra $200 to you. Enjoy!
Check out the specials run by Audio Advisor (www.audioadvisor.com) for CEC CD Players. They are some of the best bargains you can get around your budget right now, new. Alterantively you can look at new model NAD & Rotel players for $500- $600 and invest the balance in a great pair of interconnects like the Harmonic Technologies Pro-Silway II. There has been a lot of advances in CD technology in the past 2 to 3 years. It really does'nt pay to keep anything that old & spend more money on it.
Run, don't walk to todays ads- Bel Canto DAC1 is 24/96 and upsamples. I just put this in my system 4 days ago, running it 24 hours/day to break it in. It retails for $1295, and is worth every penny- this guy is selling for $750! It sounds fantastic with Tek Line PC 12W power cord. Go to www.audiotweakers.com for that
Buy Audiolab 8000cd from www.artech-electronics.com.It is a bit over your $800.00 but should be worth it.This is a close out deal so don't think too long.After that when you can get a pair of good interconnects(I suggest Cardas).The final touch is power cord.Cheap C.E.C is a good value($300.00 new) with two year warranty but you can't really compare it to the Audiolab.
Try the MSB Link/Channel Island/Monolithic Sound HC-2 DAC , you can order it from Bill Crane (California) for $ 759.00. See the reviews from Sound Stage ( 7/99 and 9/99 ). The sound improvement is obvious in any respect you considered.If paired with a DVD capable of 24/96 signal (Pioneer DVD-525 , about $225.00 street price ) you can't go wrong. This combination overcome the jitter problem and gives even a greater performance . Good luck , Junior.