How to improve on the 2 ch in my 5.1 set up?

I need help to enhance my 2 channel audio performance. Currently my set up is as follows;

Front: Jm Lab 1028 Be
Center: CC1008be
Rear: Emotiva ERC-1
Source: PS3
Pro: Anthem D2V
Amp: Anthem A2+A5
Sub: will be upgrading to Sunfire HRS 10 or two HRS 8.

I was thinking of getting a Mcintosh C2200 or C2300 tube preamp and either Oppo 95 or Esoteric X-05 for music. Both C2200 & C2300 have the HT bypass as I do not have extra space for separate 2 channel set up.

Please give advices especially from those with similar set up and managed to have a decent 2 channel audio performance.
I think the problem is with your source. You should be looking at a much, much better CD player - up in the $2-3k range at least.
I would buy the Oppo 95 and use it's analog outs into a 2 channel preamp with a processor bypass. Maybe something like a Parasound JC2. That should give you a dramatic improvement.
CJ preamps also have theater bypass. The ACT 2 is very linear, less golden than Mcintosh as i understand. The newer generation ET5, ET3 are apparently close to the new flagship GAT which i have heard recently (and am blown away at how good it is.) Equally linear, but with just that touch of ultra natural tonality that is magical.

Agree that much comes with improving source...but your goal seems to be to upgrade both...preamps also make a big difference. have heard X-01SE...extremely good...quite linear, disciplined. a possibly good match with tube pre.
Thanks everyone for the advices!! I agree that the source is the issue here and would also like to know if the emphasis be on the preamp or cdp in order for me to allocate my budget? Also will a decent tube CD player alone like Cary 303/300 alone do the trick?
Hi Dtan,

i'll share my own personal philosophy. i try my best to upgrade rarely...probably once/10 years if i can make it. Recently it has been a bit more often...but only because some once in a lifetime type opportunities came my way (twice actually)...;)

in which case, i have put a fair amount of money into my preamp...because i intend to keep it for years...and also into a DAC (but not the transport).

Many people would say i have sacrified by going on the cheap with the transport (they are right)...but i prefer to know i have a great DAC and pre which i intend to keep for years to come...and i can always upgrade Transports or Servers...whenever that technology stabilizes a bit or at least gets to a point where i make a quantum leap and leave it for a while.

in your case, i think the sources you have mentioned are all exceptional and should hold you for quite a while...Cary, Oppo 95 and Esoteric X-05. If you can allocate the rest to a pre...i would do it. I would even recommend the Oppo 95 (which gives you long-term sustainability because its got blu-ray and video capability for whenver you choose to upgrade your audio source)...and i think its cheaper...which again means more saved, or more into your pre.

just my own personal philosophy. good luck and pls keep us posted.
Your anthem processor is no slouch. I'd be inclined to go the source route alone. Whether you get a modern dac and a transport, or something like the Cary (which is a very nice piece) is up to you. Personally, I'd be inclined to go the Cary route just to keep things simple. If you add a 2 channel pre-amp your system is going to get much more complicated.

Agree a good pre-amp is a must, but I think in your situation you really need to spend a decent amount on the source first.
A classic solution is adding a tube preamp with a HT pass through. You hook it between the Surround Processor Amp and the Surround Amp. I have a Audio Research LS 16 tube preamp between my Sunfire HT processor and amps. The addition smooths out the digital harshness (AKA "glare") of my CD music sources and surprisingly adds a deeper and more realistic soundstage for DVD soundtracks. Many preamps with HT pass through features are available but I recommend a tube version because it's a big enough difference in sound to warrent the effort. Also, this might help your digital source situation (to a small degree) if you stay with the PS3. If you decide not to upgrade the PS3 try a new DAC (again tube) or, as the others suggested, a new digital source. Happy listening.
Add a real two channel preamp that has home-theater bypass and it will make a world of difference (use good interconnects too). I like the PS3 for movies but I remember is sucked when I tried if for music but in all fairness I only messed with it for a few minutes.
I will go with a decent cd player- 2nd hand Cary or Oppo 95 to keep the set up simple and see for any improvement from the 2 channel analogue first before I start adding a tube amp. Why do i need an extra DAC if the D2v already has one internally?

Hope this route should work for me and not having to spend more money!!! Missus has had enough of my constant HT / audio system expansion. All you advices have been very useful and helpful to my decision making process. Thank you!!
Good luck!!! Go with 2nd Cary if you care about sound only...and go with 60 dollar dVD or blu-ray for video...or if you want extremely high quality audio and also blu-ray/video, go with Oppo.