Looking to get the best out of Redbook Cd listening with Dac a d Transport under 5K?

Hi guys! Ex Audiophile out of touch for many years now! Looking to purchase Dac and Transport to listen to my large Cd collection! Not sure where to go! Thanks Larry
Using Bluesound Node2i + RME ADI-2 DAC FS + MF M6si amp
and an old CD player with digital output to the DAC
Rather inexpensive, comparatively but I listen to Qobuz streaming, CDs and FLAC files

The DAC is the heart of this system. I need only one audio interconnect (balanced) to the amp.
Great sound w/o spending money on expensive transports or cables -- highly recommended!
Just reading lots of reviews! Bryston player and Hegel etc. Lots of good reviews! Continueing to learn! Great advice on taking my time!
Get the Jay’s Audio CDT-2 Mk.2 transport and a Denafrips Venus or Pontus Dac. Use a good Hdmi cable for the the i2s input and you’ll be very happy with the results!
For a transport/streamer I’d recommend an Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 with external power supply because it does four things that could be of benefit to you. It’s a very good streamer, has a built-in CD drive with internal storage, a transport, and a DAC all in one. So in theory (read on) it can do everything you’re looking for in one box and can be had new for $2000 with the external power supply that significantly improves performance so not really optional IMHO (although you could add it later).  With its CD drive and internal storage the Zen Mini makes it child’s play to rip all your CDs and have access to all of your music at your fingertips via the Innuos app. How nice would that be versus messing with a traditional CD transport with no ability to search, shuffle, or create your own playlists, not to mention having to get up to pick out and change CDs? But not only that, you’ll now also be able to stream from an online subscription service (I recommend Qobuz hi-res subscription for $15/mo. that I’m thrilled with) and have an almost unlimited selection of high-quality, new music also at your fingertips. As a recent streaming convert I’m finding so much awesome new (to me) music on Qobuz I can’t find time to play it all — a high quality problem that has me enjoying music more than I have in years, and I barely play my own CDs anymore.

So now you’ve got all your music along with a world of streamed music literally at your fingertips, and at this point you could then just hook the Zen’s analog output (using its internal DAC) to your preamp and be completely done. Couldn’t really be simpler. But at your budget I’d upgrade to a better DAC, if not immediately definitely down the road a little. Given your sound preferences and budget I’d recommend a used Bel Canto DAC3.7 with VBL power supply as it provides tons of refined upper-end detail but still with plenty of natural tonality, excellent bass, and a deep, holographic soundstage. There’s one available on US Audio Mart now for $2500, which is a good price given it retailed for $6000 and incorporates technology from their upscale Black line.  If it doesn’t work for you, you could likely sell it at little/no loss so a very low-risk option. 

Another good DAC option would be a Schiit Yggdrasil, which is an R2R DAC that I’ve not heard personally but from what I’ve read seems to mesh well with what you’re looking for and can be had new for $2500.  And I believe Schiit May offer a trial period so it’s also a low-risk option. 

Just a few other options for you to research/ponder, and best of luck in your search.
goldenears19 OP
Looking to get the best out of Redbook Cd listening with Dac a d Transport under 5K?

Get a Cambridge CXC transport, for $500 and spend $4.5K on a good discrete R2R Multibit Dac like a used MSB, new Halo Spring or Denafrips Terminator the best way to convert PCM CD Redbook 16/44 24/96 and DXD

Cheers George