I have two suggestions.
First is the Stereovox HDXV at $100.00, it's made by Chris Sommovigo who made the Kimber D-60 ten years ago. It sounds better than the D-60, and it's $200.00 cheaper. The reviewers are praising it.
Second is the Sonoran Plateau Lambda Digital RCA at $498.00. It's shielded with micro-bearings so it rejects all outside interferences. It's 1.42 meters, which they say is the correct length for the digital signal?!?!?! All I know is that is sounds as good or a little than the Stereovox HDXV. I replaced my Stereovox HDXV because I got a deal when I rewired my entire system with the Sonoran Plateau interconects, speaker and power cords.
The Sonoran cables can be seen and ordered from www.audiopoints.com. The Stereovox (and the Acoustic Zen MC Squared along with a zillion others) may be auditioned and ordered from The Cable Company at www.fatwyre.com. They have a cable library that you may check out and audition cables and other items before commiting to buying them. You can call them a 1-800-fat-wyre and ask for John Pharo, he's a really nice and knowledgable fellow.
I have a Transparent Reference Digital cable connecting my SCD-1 with my ML No. 360S DAC. I tried several other brands/models of digital cable, and found that the Transparent cable produced the most coherent soundstage, and gave great detail without sounding analytical.
You can occasionally find them used on the 'gon for much cheaper than the retail price.
Best I have heard is the Marigo Apparition Digital cable.
Your description of what you like sounds exactly like Purist Dominus Rev. B, and there are frequently used ones on Audiogon.
I can tell you this; the gen 5a will be holding you back. It's dated. Your transport is fine.
I am using the Creative Cable Concept Silver Bullet between my scd777es and MSB Plat Plus. I have used the D60 and Orchid in the past. I found the Silver Bullet to be detailed, warm and rich. The D60 and Orchid are extremely detailed, but not as warm and had little richness. The Silver Bullet is a very "heavy" cable with a "network" box. It will need to burn in before you will enjoy it.
Don't want to fuss with anyone, but fancy digital cables are a bit of a contriversy. I'd at least try the dirt cheap hardware store variety before putting down over $20.00. If you can't tell the $20.00 cable from whatever you are using now in a blind test then you may want to spend money on improvements elsewhere.
I auditioned a well made $20 digital cable against a $300 top of the line Acoustic Zen digital cable. There was absolutely no difference.
Oh no, another "What's the best" question!!!
I've tried quite a few but 47Labs' OTA cable works best for me.
Here's from my preliminary impressions on the new VenHaus Pulsar I was sent for evaluation:
Got my Pulsar digital cable after Sean cooked it for 30 days on two separate cookers, with one week alternating cycles. One cooker was mimicking an analog signal (modded MOBIE), the other a digital RF signal. The Pulsar was used to connect my recently Dan Wright modded Parasound CBD-2000 belt driven transport using an XLO Reference 2 power cord and the Channel Islands DAC-1. A CI passive pre & Modwright modded Marchand X-over plus Ridge Street Audio MSE interconnects follow on to a Forté 4a power amp driving my Modwright Swans M-1 mini monitors and a pair of Kenwood L-07MKII monoblocks for the subs.
VenHaus has a winner!
The noise floor is unbelievably low; bass is deep and tight--very fast and articulate (or is it my transport? )--with outstandingly good HF extension w/out edge or brightness. This cable is neutral and transparent, I can attest, with no apparent colorations nor microphonics. I have been using Olga Tañón's greatest hits CD ( the undisputed queen of merengue music ) and the system is responding extremely well to such fast paced and percussion/horns rich music. I am very pleased with the results--they have surpassed my expectations. The Pulsar definitely allows one to hear subtle changes in soundstage from recording to recording, this particular CD being a greatest hits collection recorded in at least two different studios. I think a digital cable must be looked at from the perspective that it actually is a RF transmitting cable, as opposed to an analog signal interconnect. We're in a whole different ball game here, and that's what Chris has developed: an affordable, long lasting, kick ass digital/video cable.
One thing that needs mentioning is the fact that I got better results after using the demagnetizing tracks of the Sheffield/XLO Test/burn-in disc. Seems that after a full month of 24/7 cooking the digital cable needed some relief!
It's been eleven days and I decide to switch power cords: the XLO Reference 2 for an AudioPrism Super Natural 9.5 in my Modwright modified belt drive transport (this power cord is notorious for its uncanny neutrality and absence of congestion at any frequency). I replaced the Jena Labs cryo'ed Absolute Power Cord feeding my Clear Image T4 filter and plugged the XLO Reference 2, now with a Highwire Wirewrap tuning device added. The cryo'ed Absolute is feeding the Marchand electronic x-over since, unlike the XLO, does not roll off high frequencies.
The results are even better than before, my system clearly letting me hear this newest sonic presentation. I can now easily tell that the HF extension of the Pulsar is up to speed with the rest of my rig. My mini monitors use highly revealling ribbon tweeters with Neodynium magnets and they will let me know what's going on. The frequency extension at both extremes is better than excellent, I have to say. Bass is deep towards the rear wall (as it should be), punchy when the music is so and extended and linear in decay with acoustic string bass. The cable is also letting me hear low level ambient information of vocals, Afro-Caribbean percussion instruments and high frequency decay of trumpets and cymbals in the midst of fast paced, LOUD and rich music. Music and soundstage breathe effortlessly as instruments and voices fade in and out. Anyone who wants to test drive their system in this fashion should get some early Olga Tañón CDs. Her live album earned best live album in the US Grammy category--not the Latin awards!
I was a little bit concerned about how the Pulsar would actually 'sound' in my system, since all my interconnects are Midnight Silver Edition by Ridge Street Audio and the speaker wire for the Modwright Swans is a military surplus, silver plated copper wire ( Teflon insulated ). I had told Chris on the phone that since everything has a sound that I suspected that the pulsar was just a *hint* on the warm side of neutral. Given that the rest of my cabling is silver, I can sustain this with a high degree of confidence now. Does that adversely affect the clarity and sonic presentation of the silver by adding an unwanted complementary coloration in the chain? Not so as far as I can tell.