DV-09 DAC? Dennon integrated DAC? External DAC?

First, please let me introduce myself as new to the Audiogon community.

My background,
in my previous life I was a high end Mobile Electronics Technician, I have an ear for quality audio (obviously 12 volt has it's limitations and more so very limited environment), but none the less have a high appreciation for quality sound.

My setup,
Denon AVR-1613 (integrated amp), Pioneer DV-09 (cd player), Klipsch KF-26(floorstand), KC-25(center Channel), KS-14(surround), Polk PSW-8 (sub) <--- horrendous port noise, will be replaced soon

Obviously a starter system, but outstanding for the money in my opinion. Purposed as both 5.1(obviously) as well as my 2.1 music rig.

Moving on, for the purposes of this thread, we will speak of the Dennon integrated amp, Pioneer DV-09, and Klipsch KF-26.

This entire rig is currently in storage as I am between apartment and homeowner, The Pioneer DV-09 is yet to be heard as it is soon to deliver. (previously using a samsung bluray player who knows the model) as my cd player.

That said, from what i have read i am thinking of using the DV-09 as transport only and going for an external DAC.

The Question.

My components considered, is it worth it to spring for an external DAC? If so does anyone know what wont break the bank that is of high sound quality, or am I looking for better sound in the wrong places? ($500 and under or so DAC)

Am I better off investing in a higher end integrated amp?

I am looking to eventually move into something like the Klipsch Reference RF-7ii for a dedicated 2.0 rig.

Considering the possability of a future dedicated 2.0 rig, should I head in the direction of preamp and amplifier? (which would obviously mean running DV-09 to Dennon integrated in one or the other configuration for the time being)

Assuming I don't purchase an external DAC, am I better off running the Dennon's on board DAC, or run analog to the Denon from the DV-09? Obviously I will play with both when it is all reunited in my new home.

Again, this rig may seem laughable in comparison to many of the high end compilations of this forum's community, but it is what im currently able to afford and again, in my opinion quite good for the money invested.

I look forward to your thoughts and opinions.
I would focus on putting some thought into getting the best speakers you can afford, then building up the other components to that level over time. Give thought to the speakers in terms of what direction you want to take your system (sensitivity, type of music, detail vs. warmth, etc.) I don't think sub 500 dollar dac will be a big improvement on the cd transport and you will likely move to a different dac when you start building the system. That said, if you want to focus on the dac, audio engine is a good low price one, and the schitt are well regarded if you want to use a USB. Enjoy.
Welcome! Zimmy709.
Happy to have you on-board.
The DV09 is an excellent transport. It won't play CDRs though. I would do one of the following: 1. Spring for a decent DAC. You would be hard pressed to find some other unit to beat that DV09 as a transport. 2) Purchase a Pioneer Elite BDP09. This unit has an internal DAC system that can seriously compete with the best external DACs. No kidding. I have compared it as a transport and CD player/DAC with several external DACS in the $5000 range and it is right there in sound. The BDP09 which I use as a transport only for CD playback ( I have an Audio Research DAC 8 which is excellent and don't let anyone tell you otherwise). But the BDP09 is very close as a CD player/DAC.

So, get a decent DAC for the DV09 or buy a used BDP09 and use is as a CD player. You won't regret it. Most people replace the BDP09 because as a blue ray player although it is one of the best, it loads discs slowly. Which I really can't care less about.

The DV-09 was great in its day. You really need to try both the blueray and the digital out to the denon against it. The 09 is probably 24/96 quality only. Due to the 09's age, I wouldn't spend much trying to upgrade its sound.

You really need to play all together first. If you are heading 2 channel, you may end up changing everything.

The sub is definitely undersized to handle the work for your system. Turn the volume on it down to reduce noise or just plug the port.

If you have $500 to spend or $5000, the best route is to listen to as much as possible first and see what you want most that you are missing. Then come back to the forum. However, since you are already set up for theater, why not keep it running but improve the amp and/or speakers. The denon should have preamp outputs?
i'd venture that your denon avr is the weak link--it's a modest piece which likely won't sound as good for 2ch. as stated above, the dv09 was a totl player in its day, with a high quality dac, and (if you don't need to play cdrs) should still sound good. for your $500 i'd opt for a nice integrated (e.g. cambridge, used arcam or rega). you don't need a lot of power with your klipsches. i don't think your denon has preouts, so adding a power amp isn't an option.
Thank you all so much for your feedback, I will try to reply to all without this being a jumbled mess... or missing anything.
I honestly doubt the speakers will be changing any time soon, (unless I find a deal that I cannot pass up) with the exception of the sub, which I have had torn apart and put back together numerous times, I had tried blocking the port, but being a low power 8" with the box size required for a ported enclosure it was awful, just muddy nothingness. I went back to open ports, added polyfill, and lowered the gain on it, fired the port at the corner of the room (port extension) and it helped tremendously but just about anything I can buy would be better, OR I may keep it alive and ditch the Polk sorry enclosure and build my own. I have a tremendous amount of experience with custom mobile audio box building, I'm 100% positive that I can do a better job than polk did (obviously polk had economy in mind) if I can get ahold of the specs for this old sub/ amp combo, even the enclosure is pretty solid its just a terrible port design, two small tubes, derived from one side of the driver, and the bevel transition is too sharp. That’s another project all together though.
Back to the Klipsch, they do more than I could ask of them as far as the floor standing towers go, I know that sounds ridiculous but I have listened extensively to Klipsch RF-62ii running on Marantz integrated amp and Bluray gear, and Bowers and Wilkins (DM603 I believe) running on Dennon integrated amp and I honestly don’t remember what was being used as a transport. Both owners are friends of mine, and while they were very good, I didn't want to jump up and go buy a set over mine. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to a different set of speakers, But I have been quite impressed with these modest Klipsch towers, and I very much enjoy the horn loaded sound. I have demoed every speaker that the audio shop near me had to offer up to the price of the Klipsch rf-62ii reference which my friend purchased that day, of the lot, Klipsch was the hands down winner over the Definitive , Paradigm , Focal, and Bowers and Wilkins, of similar price. While the power handling and sensitivity are not as impressive as the reference, you can’t beat these things with a stick for the price. So all that rambling aside, Yes, better speakers will yield a better sound, but for now I will rock these, and that said maybe I should wait to move much farther until I can afford some Messiah-esque speakers.
As for the DV-09, it was really purchased for future use as a transport only, so what I am reading hear matches up with all other reviews on that unit, It is an outstanding transport, with lackluster DAC capabilities, (from what I am hearing) the on board Legato Link is worthless, but it remains to be heard by me. The unit’s incapability to play DC-R’s is a moot point to me. I will have to look into the BDP09, I hadn’t considered that, I’m a bit of a sucker for the nostalgic look and build quality of the dv-09. I had looked extensively into the PD-91 and PD-93, but they are not only hard to come by especially in good working order, but sell for a pretty penny considering their age.
The Dennon, I believe is a serious weak point, when really pumping, it has shut down on me numerous times. It is underpowered for the Klipsch, 75 watts RMS output to the Klipsch rated 100watt RMS. Now I am not one to just blare music, I am more for quality than quantity, but there is something to be said about the height of the solo in Stairway to heaven (and the like) that gets me every time. Haha moving on The Denon has no preamp outputs.
So, all things considered, I really need to get this rig back up and running, see where we stand between the digital and analog output of the DV-09 and possibly go for a higher end integrated amp with a reputable onboard DAC, We’ll just have to wait and see.
In other news, I have heard good things about the Theta Preamp/DAC’s and it seems that you can come across some decently priced $500 or so second hand Casablanca i and ii, and Casa Nova units, which are expandable. What is your opinion on these? But I like the idea of USB compatibility as well... that’s where the newer Audio Engine, Cambridge, and similar come in. (any opinions on the Cambridge DAC Magic units?)
Also, I will have to look into the above mentioned Cambridge, Arcam and Rega integrated amps.
I am very open minded and considering all options at this point.
Again thank you all for your time and consideration. I welcome any and all additional feedback, opinions, call me an idiot... tell it like it is, haha like I said I’m open.
The bottle of wine and ebay got me again. I shot a seller an offer i thought he would never go for on a Theta Casa Nova......... oops

he acdepted.

I guess I'm the proud new owner of a Theta Casa Nova. End DAC/Preamp discussion.

Amplifier suggestions anyone?
Thank you for the warm welcome.

Pulled the trigger on an amp as well, Jaton Operetta 5 channel. I have heard very good things about them from the few that have heard these amps.
get a very good pair of speaker wires, work on upgrading power cords you being in car audio, you will have fun building your on power cords a lot of diy on line .get some very good interconnects also diy is a great way to go. get that system maxed out ,and when you do change speakers you will hear the differ