Help a vinyl-phile with a digital upgrade

I find I listen to vinyl around 90% of the time. Not only do I prefer the sound of vinyl over digital, I love the whole experience of collecting records, looking at the album jackets, etc.

I still have about 500 cds that are neglected due partly to the fact that my digital front end just doesn't cut it anymore. I have a California Audio Lab DX-1 player that's over 10 years old. So I'm thinking of the following upgrades.

1. Use the DX-1 as a transport and get a DAC. The Bel Canto DAC2 sounds like it meets my sonic criteria and the Benchmark DAC seems like a no lose option with the money-back guarantee.

2. Replace the DX-1 with a new used cdp, possibly the Jolida 100 or the Cairn Fog.

Which option will provide the most significant improvement? Are there other options I should be considering for around a grand?

Thanks for any insights you can provide.

I have the Cairn Fog (with upsampler) and like it very much. Make sure you have balanced inputs if you consider the Fog.
How about a Marantz 8260? Then you also get the option of SACD. I think they can still be had new for around a grand.
Read the latest Stereophile with review? or show comment on replacement for Jupiter Cd player... Something about Sony no longer making the servo mech for the laser and the company has been serching for replacement, found one and it is a whole noe ballgame. far better.
(I have forgotten who made the Jupiter CD player.. anyway that soounds like the sort of thing to wait for.
Sound promising.. (maybe Rega? made the Jupiter CD player?)
The question is not what will be the greatest "improvement", but which player or dac will be consonant with the analog sources that you prefer. Elizabeth is correct. In one word, Rega.
I was in a similar position until I heard a BAT CD player, but I could not afford the $6000.00 asking price. I went about looking and found the Arcam FMJ33 CD player. On more than one occasion I went to take an album off my TT and was shocked to see it was not moving, oh it's a CD playing. I have heard other CD players that are more detailed, or have bigger base, higher highs etc. But the Arcam is blessed with playing very musically with deep and large sound stage. I am very happy with it. I used to be 90%vinyl 10%CD now I am about 50-50
Hey, thanks for all the good leads. I do remember listening to Arcam and Rega cd players and noticing their undigital-like sound. I haven't yet had the pleasure of listening to the Marantz 8260 or Cairn cdps but have heard a lot of good things about them.
Davt, that's enough of a recommendation to make me want to go listen to an Arcam.
Marantz SA8260 does not sound analog to me. Benchmark DAC1 in my system prooved to be very digital sounding. After about 30 minutes of listenning I would not want to play another CD. The unit I kept was the Bel Canto DAC2. I use Sony S7700 as a transport hooked up to Bel Canto DAC2 with WireWorld SuperNova 5 optical cable. I find the sound of this combo to be detailed yet very smooth through my B&W N803 speakers, which show immediately if the component is bright. Bel Canto DAC2 could be tried out for 30 days. Your player would work fine as a transport to give you an idea of what the dac sounds like. Give Audio Advisor a call regarding the Bel Canto. What's the worst that will happen? You loose money shipping it back if you find it's not for you. Good luck.

About a month ago I Sold my Jolida JD 100 after I bought a Cairn Fog with upsampler. Just last week I recieved a used Arcam FMJ CD 33.

Try to keep it short.

In my system the Cairn was better than the Jolida at capturing detail and timing. The Cairn also had sweeter highs and seemed smoother, easier to listen to than the Jolida.

The Arcam has a larger soundstage and more depth. Bolder bass lines and a more foward presentation than the Cairn. Also seems more detailed. Fantastic.

The Cairn however has sweeter highs, a better sence of timing and is even a bit smoother sounding. Very refined.. My wife likes it better than the Arcam.

Right now I can't make up my mind between the Cairn or the Arcam.

If you have speakers with agressive highs I would lean toward the Cairn because of its wonderful handling in this area , very sweet, smooth yet detailed.
If you need a little more bass impact want more depth and boldness and don't have an over agressive mid and treble ( or bad acoustics ) then maybe the Arcam is for you.