New All in One or Just a DAC?

Well, I finally am getting somewhere on the "secondary" sytem. The Moscode 300 rebuilt by Steve Sank ( is absolutely incredible. (No malarkey - I'd put it up against ANYTHING!). The Audio Synthesis Passion V passive pre is even better than I hoped. My trusty Silverline SR-17s continue to delight. Now the problem: the cd source is a Marantz CD-67se. Not terrible, but no longer suffficient on it's own. I think I have a few choices: use the digital outs on the Marantz to a DAC with decent anti-jitter capabilities; lose the Marantz and replace with an all-in-one player device (ie YBA Complete?); or go the Stan Warren mod Aiwa/ similarly TBD modded DAC route. Cost is a factor - we want to keep it at $1000 or less, done deal. I do think 24/196 upsampling is probably a good idea, and reliability/build is important to me (I like tanks - I drive a tank, I live in a tank, my wife is a .....oops - ain't going there!). So speak to me, ye gods of audio wisdom - what do ye recommend? I currently lean towards finding a CAL Ikon MkII and looking for a MSB 1,2, or 3 for Dan Wright to make right for me, but I can be trained.

The CAL Icon MKII is a very decent player / transport but I prefer the Denon DCD-1650AR. I've had both of these in my system running as stand-alone CD players and later with the MSB Gold Link III DAC. The Denon is a current Stereophile Class-B player using 4 20-bit DACs and weighs a hefty 35 Lbs. The Icon MKII is an older design that came out in the early 90's while the Denon became available around '98 '99.

The Denon DCD-1650AR sounded more natural in my system vs the Icon MKII when used stand-alone. I just sold the Denon a couple weeks ago for $525 for a quick sale and it was in perfect condition. The Icon MKII can be found for less than $425 in perfect condition. I wouldn't pay much more for this older player. If wear and tear are a concern, I would get one that isn't too old.

This still leaves some budget left for a DAC and you can start with a basic new MSB Link DAC III or maybe a used one with Full-Nelson upgrade. This will come in at just about $1000.
Stan Warren can modify the MSB also. You could get Stan to modify a Pioneeer or Onkyo DVD Player. I have a Stan DVD in my secondary system, which also lets me watch 2 channel DVD movies when the family room is busy.
Sugar, not to change the subject but what DVD did you have Stan modify for you ? I am looking to do something very similar.

In terms of a secondary system, i would stick to the best "one box" that you can get or have modified. You might want to wait it out a bit and see what Sony does with the SACD / DVD players, as you might be able to pick one of these up for "peanuts" and then have IT modified for well under your price limit. I am already on the "waiting list" for one of these with a well known modifier. Sean
Stan can modify any Pioneer DVD Player with the Burr Brown 24/96 chip, which I believe is all of them, whether a single or mulit-disc player, except the high end ones that play DVD-A. The Onkyo is the 525 or 535.
I have a Marantz 63SE which I seriously considered replacing until I combined it with a Monarchy 18B dac and 24/96 dip. This can be done well under your budget and helped produce wonderful sound out of my old 63. Monarchy's build quality is most impressive, too. Tank like, sort of! Get two GOOD digital interconnects and away you go. You may decide against replacing that 67 after all!
For $1000 you could get the Musical Fidelity A3 CD new with 24/96 Burr Brown DACs (I have seen a few used for around $750, but they are rare). It's Stereophile Recommended "Class B" and is indeed built like a tank. I think that in this price range there is a real advantage to a one box CD player.