DAC or Upgrade my Pioneer Elite 38A

I've been using a Pioneer Elite 38A DVD player
as my CDP, and decided to upgrade to either a
Cary 303/200 or Meridian 508.24.
Should I spend the $2000 for a good used unit,
or could I achieve a quality side step by spending
$600-$1000 for a good use DAC?
Thanks in advance for any comments or opinions.
I would go with either of the one box players you mention over pairing an expensive dac with the Pioneer, which won't make for such a hot transport with most dacs. Been there, done that.