One Box CD Units vs Transport & DAC

As a result of various Audiogon forums, I have managed to over the last 2 years put together a respectable home theatre. Setup includes Cal Audio 2500 Gear for the DVD, Amp, & SSP. Aerial 10 fronts, Vienna Accoustics Center, Rel Sub, & Cardas Gold cableing.

Currently the Cal DVD is pulling double duty as a CD player.
I listen exclusively to Redbook material.

The question I have is regarding DAC's. Why are DAC's that are 4 to 5 years old sell at 25 to 30 percent of their original sales price while CD players in the same age range seem to be holding 50 to 60 percent of their sales price. This type of pricing disparity makes it tempting to get one of the nicer DAC's, (Classe, Wadia, Audio Research) and utilize the DVD player as the transport. Overall however if one were building a system from the ground up, would be interested in hearing opinions of a transport/DAC route versus one Box CD players. Put another way with a budget of $1,500 for used equipment, whats going to deliver the biggest bang for the buck. Thanks.
Within your budget, I would think that a DAC would be the way to go. I used a Classe' DAC-1 w/ a CAL CL-10 as a transport and liked it very much. It is very versatile, w/AES/EBU, co-ax, toslink and ST Glass inputs, balanced and RCA out. Could buy that, a de-jtter device (DIP or whatever) and some good cables for $1500. However, I eventually went for a one box (EMC1-MK2SE) but for considerably more than what I paid for the DAC-1 (about $1k). The Classe is very smooth, musical sound, maybe a little lacking in ultimate detail (course, that could have been the CAL; since its a changer maybe not the best choice for a transport).
Appreciate you taking the time to respond to my DAC question...I have seen a couple of the Classe in the $800 range and had been leaning that way. The Cal 2500 DVD player has an AES output so I am intrigued abount what the the system would sound like with the DAC incorporated into it. Why do you think that DAC's appear to depreciate quicker than single box CD units?

Thanks again.
THe reason Dacs have depreciated is because digital technology changes very quickly...the reason transports and single boxes hold value...they still can be used in some fashion...I would opt for a new single player...such as the Music Hall...vs. monkeying with cables and older DACS...but hey...thats just me...happy new years
A dac will need a digital cable and a second power cord which will drive up the total cost. Also with the new need for a SACD or DVD player a single unit will leave space for the second player. I feel this is why dac's prices are lower than a cd player.
IMP, Phasecorrect's analysis is "correct". the Classe' is a 20 bit unit and I do not believe that it oversamples, not a 24/96 or 24/192. If your pre handles and passes a balanced signal, the Classe' might be the way to go. There is also a Muse Model 2 up for sale right now at $500.
i agree with phasecorrect.

there has been a quantam leep in digital technology. there are some great one boxes that are cheaper than older dacs and sound better.

btw, the muse up for sale does not have balanced input.

good luck !!!