To me the best allocation of resources would be to buy a high quality DAC, this would improve the quality of the 588 and give you the flexibility to listen to files and other sources through it.
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I have thought about buying a DAC, but I am somewhat confused about if it is necessary to couple that with an expensive transport once the Meridian dies.
I agree the warranty should be longer; if I buy the Esoteric, and it packs up after 13 months, I would find it difficult to buy another one, financially speaking.
68pete: did you compare the K03x with the K05x? If so, did you notice a huge improvement?
I am reluctant to consider the Meridian as I would also be paying for a pre-amp.
REGA ISIS valve spinner...
Rega has two bespoke matched serial number transports specifically set aside for each unit sold.... No worries here.
it also has a direct USB input into its high-end DAC that is controllable from tthe remote so you can play all your digital downloads stored on external hard drives ... Nice touch ...
Google the reviews .... a $12000 MSRP Goliath killer of units at more than double cost ...Actually try to audition it and then stand back ....
I would recommend a DAC. Bricasti is very high end and they take very good care of their customers, meaning very very inexpensive upgrades as well as service. Use your Meridian as a transport. They work you way into a storage/server, on which you record your CD's. So put all your music on a hard drive.
I too only play RB CDs, and have an Esoteric K-07 CDP. I have now moved to a server based system and use my K-07 as a transport. Sadly it has not seen much action since the conversion, I would sell it,but there is no market for high quality CDP without taking a bath. My suggestion would be look at something downstream in both the Moon and Esoteric lines...like the Moon 260D or the discontinued Teac Distinction series. Both are excellent transports that most likely will be used occasioning and at a much lower price point. Good luck in your search!