I’m getting excellent results using a OPPO BDT-101IC as my transport into an Ayre Codex DAC. I started with an old Sony DVD player back from the early 2000s that was made in Japan. The old player has character and the sound is decent but it lacks the ability to pick up any real details. It is fun to listen though, better than half the player I auditioned. My goal was to spend less than $500 dollars on a CD player/transport. I first tired the Okyno C-7030 and it wasn’t good at all, I returned it after one day. Then, I moved over to using a dedicated transport from Cambridge Audio CXC. The CXC sounded great, but it was a one trick pony and only played Redbook CDs. Also, there was no built-in DAC.
I never really considered OPPO as an option, since the only model I considered was the OPPO-105 which is about $1300 dollar, but when I saw the BDT-101IC Blu-ray transport player on their website, I decided to give it try (about $400 dollars for the two channel stereo model). It doesn’t have a toroidal power supply like the OPPO-105 or the ESS DAC chip, but the disc pickup mechanism are the same. It also includes an AKM DAC chip set, in case you wanted to connect it directly to your amp (a good option to have compared to the CXC), which in my view is as good as the Cirrus Logic DAC chip they put in the OPPO-103. Cheaper than the Cambridge Audio CXC and with the ability to play every disc and file types including SACD, FLAC, Blu-ray...etc, I’m very happy with this player as a transport. The added bonus is that in my view the appearance of the BDT-101IC is better than the OPPO-103 or 105. Note: If you call OPPO, you can order one directly from them, you don’t need to go to a custom installer as suggested on their website.
Sorry when on a tangent, going back to the original discussion. My advice is to try different the setups and pick the one you think sounds the best. If you are looking for a modern player as a transport and you don't want to spend to too much money, give any OPPO player a try.