If you do think about going to a multi player for DVD-A please keep in the back of your head that you may still need a TV or some sort of monitor to set up playback of DVD-A and such formats.
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If you only listen to two channel redbook consider a redbook player. The Edge Electronics G series Cd player is one that comes to mind as a recommendation.
As far as mods go, You can probably limit yourself only by your bank account. They have different levels of mods according to your wallet. Probably one of the first levels is to upgrade the caps, then there is the wiring, the superclock, the power supply, etc.
Try the Bladelius Freja. Plays CD, SACD and DVDA. Wisely the DVD playback was left out. You don't need a monitor to set up DVDA playback. Designed correctly - has two BB DACs for CD playback and another separate two BB DACs for native DSD recording. Fully balanced by the lead engineer for the famed Threshold company when Nelson Pass headed the company. George the US distributor for Bladelius is offering the unit for $2500 (MSRP $3000) since he has not established a dealer network yet. Review to come out on positive feedback online.
The Ayre does not do DVD video.
I am in a similar boat as you, also having a Sony SCD777ES. Although SACD and
DVD-A are not a priority for me, I do see myself adding a hard drive as a source.
(In fact, I think most of us will go that way.) So I want a player that can also
accept an external digital input and function as a DAC.