The Jolida player sounds like a good fit, plus you can roll tubes to taste. I'm using Amperex orange globes in mine and like them quite a bit.
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at the risk of creating WERF (wife eye rolling factor) out of thin air, i would mention that the smoothest/warmest lower-priced cd player i've heard is the cute lil' sony ps1 model 1001. i find myself listening to it much more than my higher priced transport, as i listen primarily to rock of so-so recording quality and prefer its analog-like sound to hyper detail.
while i think that most people would consider it on the warm side of neutral, it is the smoothness that wins me over.
and you can usually pick one up for 20-30 bucks on E-whomustnotbenamed, so it's basically no risk. sometimes you can even get the remote with it in a package deal.
Although they cost somewhat more than $500, you may want to consider some of the tube-based Chinese-made players offered by Pacific Valve: http://www.pacificvalve.us/cdplayers.html
I have no experience with them, but fwiw their design descriptions seem to say all the right things.
If you truly have a "bright" room, a new digital player is not going to fix it. Been there, done that, didn't help. You have to somehow soften the room or adjust your listening/speaker positioning. It's amazing how even small adjustments to toe-in, listening distance, spacing of speakers, etc., can take the edge off a system.
Spend your $500 on room treatments before you buy anything else -- a few well placed acoustic panels will benefit your bright problem, and your entire system, more then another cdp IMO.
Acoustic panels are prob the most unsexy thing you can buy but the hype is true. I hung some panels in back of the speakers, put small Cathedral panels in the ceiling corners and finally put up some drapes over a window that was right next to a speaker. I did about as much as I could w/o turning my living room into a recording studio. Visually the panels match the walls and are pretty unobtrusive. Sonically the sound is more natural, focused, tame and dimensional. Money well spent.
I also have a Jolida JD-100 with Underwood Lvl 1 mods, plus add'l mods like teflon caps. It was an improvement over my prior NAD C542 cd player which was good for its price point. I have a Sonic Fronters Power 2 tube amp which is very detailed and powerfull but NOT warm. My TAD 150 Signature tube preamp and Jolida cd player help balance out the overall sound. My QUAD 22L2 speakers really 'sing' using the above set up. Best of luck.
If you can stretch your budget or buy one used, the Eastsound E5 is a stellar sounding source for the price ($800 new, $500 used). Do a search on this player on Head-fi.org and you will learn a lot about this player. Bottom line is that it is cheap because it is made in China. But I have not had any problems with reliability and have used mine pretty much every day for the last three years.
A cd player will not be the cure for your problems. Since you already have a dac, insert a digital eq/processor in the chain. You can also get a modded Behringer DEQ in your price range which can replace the digital link III. This Ikons are bright speakers, have you considered replacing those first?
You'll spend less $$ and reap greater rewards if you are able to treat your room. A cd player isn't going to do what you want if it's brightness you're looking to tame. I would venture to guess that the 'minimalist' setting you have also has a good deal of slap echo and unwanted reverberation. You absolutely have to deal with that.
Outside of that, if your speakers can handle tubes I would try a tubed amp, or maybe a tubed preamp. Either will give you more 'warmth' then a cdp. The Sony Playstation suggestion is also good. The reviews are true about that one, and you can't beat the price if you can live with using a game controller as a remote (though you can pick up a wireless one).