Oppo DV-980H DVD Player.
You should be able to find this player for under $200 easily. Knock on wood.
Actually, I have heard the older Oppo DVD players and they really don’t make a good digital transport. The audio from the digital coax output of the older Opp’s were bright/harsh. I have also heard older Pioneer BluRay players having this problem.
Maybe try a newer Oppo 103 used? I also have used new Sony BluRay players that make an excellent digital transport (i.e. taking audio from digital coax output or even HDMI output). These are any of the Sony blu ray players from the last 3-4 years, and they are extremely cheap!
The DV980H was originally $169.00 usd. I have one. Only has optical output. No digital Coax out. For fun I ran it through an Emotiva Stealth dc 1 with a Kimber optical cord and the Oppo's CD section still sounded better alone. Good little player, for the $.
But I dont like the way DVD rom transports spool and read CD's. I feel its better to have a dual laser machine or have a CD player performing transport duties.
Interesting find! Here's an interesting thread I found on the Rega:
It's interesting that you brought that up. I actually used to have the Pioneer BDP-05FD. I actually found that it wasn't good as a digital transport at all. It produced a very bright/harsh sound when using the digial coax output (much like the earlier Oppo players). Though, I was not able to test sound through HDMI.
See if you can get a hold of an Onkyo DV-SP1000 player or it's sibling Integra DPS-10.5. The build quality is impeccable and possesses one of the smoothest tray mechanisms I have ever had the pleasure of demoing/owning. I still own the Integra DPS-10.5 but have owned another one and the DV-SP1000.
These were mfr'd around 2005 so they are a bit scarce. Used prices are closer to $300.00 than $200.00. There is one Onkyo and one Integra for sale on Ebay right now but neither has a remote. There is a remote for sale in a seperate ad.
The link shows a photo of the guts.