Chris, I believe you will get a greater bang for your sonic buck by using your Sony as a transport and getting a DAC. In your budget range see if you could get either a used/demo Benchmark or Bel Canto 2. They are both outstanding, I prefer the Bel Canto because I find it as detailed as the Benchmark but warmer with more liquidity to my ear's. It's personnal taste/system synergy which is really the final criteria in the long run, so your ear's have to decide which "flavor" you like best.
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