Getting back into audio and need advice....

After a bunch of time I'm getting my system back up and running. I've got a Sony CDP modded by Modwright and a Bel Canto DAC1 with a Cardas connect. My question is this; will a 1k CD player these days have a better DAC and Transport than what I have now?
Probably not. I'd stick with what you have there.
Ncarv, how high would I have to go to surpass what I have now?
I haven't heard Bel Canto DAC1, but I used to own Bel Canto PL-1A and currently own Linn Unidisk. I've recently purchased Sony XA5400ES, and I am amazed how much more detail Sony can bring out of redbook CD. MSRP $1500 and a little over $1000 on eBay.
I'm not sure how old your Sony/Modwright CDP is, but I recommend putting your 1K into upgrading your DAC, because although transports haven't improved that much, DAC's have.

I would sell your DAC1 for a few hundred bucks and then try to buy a used Bel Canto DAC3 for around $1550, it is way better than the DAC1. I was using an un-modded Sony 9000ES Transport and a Bel Canto DAC3 with great results. I do like Sony transports, especially the heavier ES Series.
The market seems incredibly poor in the sub 1k class. I am contemplating what I would do if I lose my CDP. In my mind I would like to stay with CD and Vinyl although my new yet to be set up monster computer beckons. The Phillips and Sony transports fail almost like clockwork and the players I own or have owned never were a big enough investment or one that I had to have, in order to justify the investment in the replacement of a transport mechanism of uncertain warranty. I have been told Sony mechanisms are more reliable than Phillips but that Sony no longer makes them or hasn't since 5 years ago. I find this incredible because it implies that all sony transport OEM are NOS. Phillips keeps turning out the same POS. I think I will go for a player that has engineered it's own transports and is likely to keep on supporting them. The next step up to the customized transpoort is at the 5K level which is way beyond what my sorry behind can afford. The good news is that Esoteric for one has put out a 3K single box transport. Which is silly since these transports always have a dac dangling off them somehow and do function as a CD player I understand.
The good universal is where most people seem to be heading, including however the interface Dac preamp head amp of there choice from a dedicted server wich started life as a MP3 player that got modded until it cost as much as the servers that McIntosh sells but is far more difficult to manage.
If you read that run on I apologize. Here is what should have been written.
Sony XA5400ES will amaze you and re-invigorate your love of music...get it while you can before they take it off market!
Keep your transport and upgrade your DAC. Down the road we will all likely end up using files on computer as source, and the DAC will be major contributor to sound quality. High $ one piece cdp is a waste of money, if you ever decide to sell it, you'll get killed on depreciation. Performance/price based a used modded dac might be best of all.

Much is archived on this topic...
I agree with Richlane and Sbank - get Bel Canto DAC3 and sell your current DAC, modded Sony CDP and Cardas cable. It might pay for the difference and you probably don't need it since DAC3 is jitter rejecting. DAC3 sounds, according to reviews, a little better than Benchmark DAC1 (that I have) but costs twice more. Listen to both - Benchmark has 30 day free lease and Bel Canto might have similar program.
The new Mcintosh SACD/CD player uses the same approach as the Sony XA5400ES for about $6500....get the Sony (1 box), a great power cord and IC and laugh at the rest:O )