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).
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