dedicated cd player or dvd-cd

I have a new harman kardon 38 dvd - cd player
using only for audio. sounds bright, a bit thin.
seem to get more bass from an adcom tuner FM?

can I expect much improvement from a audio/ cd only player.
NAD,or recomendations? probably used to start.

Van Alstyne transendance preamp,
Sunfire symphonic reference amp,
Vandersteen 2cis
California Audio Labs CL-15 sounds wonderful, rich, and organic, although it's missing some of the high frequency sparkle. Sony PS1, if you can get over the flimsy and cheap looking case, can bring wonders for mere $50 or less. Or if your budget allows, Sony XA5400ES at ~$1300 is probably at the top of the price/performance curve, before the heavy downslope diminishing return kicks in.
The only DVD/CD player I've experienced that did both well is Arcam. There obviously may be others which do both well. I found DVD players to sound agressive and grainy with a high sizzle factor compared to dedicated CD players.

Considering your considerable investment in 2 channel gear, I would suggest a dedicated CD player.
I love my Muse model 9 sig3 DVD and CD both sound amazing and the picture is superb. You could probably pick one up for under $1000.
What is your budget?
My Marantz DVD player does pretty well. Running it 2 -channel via external stereo tube DAC drastically changes the sound in a way that will appeal more to tube lovers.

For multi-channel A/V however, the tube DAC I am using will not support other digital formats beyond 2 channel stereo that are multi-channel digital formats out of the DVD player player however. There may be other external DACs that do, not sure about that.
What tube dacs do you folks recommend ?
I can recommend the mhdt Paradisea and vouch for many of the good things others have said about it if you do a google search on it.
Who sells the Paradisea ?
If it is 'new' perhaps it needs some time - say 100-200 hours. CD players can sound quite different once they've been played a bit; usually it is a noticeable improvement with brightness diminishing and a more fully formed body of music emerging, including improved bass. Can't hurt to run it 24/7 for a week or so and see what happens.

Also, try placing it on some brass footers like Mapleshade footers or the footers offered by Herbies Audio Labs. These, too, usually bring a noticeable improvement.

So, time and tweaking may be your first step before replacing it.
You'll find mhdt DACs listed on ebay by the maker. They are made in Taiwan I believe, and seem to have a lot of satisfied US customers.

I picked up both my Paradisea (tube) and Constantine (SS equivalent) second hand here on Agon.
Im not familiar with DACs,
will a better quality cd player do away with the need for one
or will it make any cd player sound better.

CD players have DACs in them. You can upgrade the entire player or use an external DAC and just use the player as a controller and transport. Upgrading the player is easier but may cost more to get to a certain quality of sound. A good external DAC that is jitter resistant can probably get you there for less. AN external tube DAC is a way to introduce the benefits of tube sound for minimal cost. I think a good tube DAC (under $1000, not necessarily expensive) is a very practical solution for those that would like their digital sources to sound more like their analog sources.