I wouldn't bother. There are too few HDCDs to justify the expense as far as I am concerned.
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I use an external DAC (Musical Fidelity X-DAC/HDCD) for all my CDs. It is relatively inexpensive ($150-$200) here on audiogon, though seen only every few months. In my experience, HDCDs sound better, but they also sound better even WITHOUT a HDCD decoder. Perhaps it is because the engineers who want to use HDCD for a better sound also pay attention to other aspects of recording that contribute to better sound overall, even without HDCD. My suggestion is find an external DAC with HDCD and listen, enjoy and if you don't notice a difference, sell it. That's the joy of audiogon!
I have a HDCD CDP, Music Hall, and love the HDCD playback. Besides a one-box, you could go the route of a DAC, such as MSB (under $500). They offer a self-install card, I think around $200. If you were going to stay at the level of a Planet though, and not upgrade, I think cost wise a one-box would make the best sense unless you could get a MF X-DAC w/HDCD for the minimal cost noted above.
How can you tell if a CD is an HDCD? For example, I looked at the list on the microsoft website and the new Dixie Chicks "Home" CD is supposed to be an HDCD recording. When I got it home, the HDCD indicator on my dac (Parasound DAC2000) did not light up. There was also nothing on the CD that said it was an HDCD. I own over 200 CD's and none are on the Pacific Micro (Microsoft) website! How can you tell if a CD is an HDCD if they aren't going to put the symbol on the jewel case?
Unsound wrote "Kr4, there are over 6000 HDCD's" (out of how many CDs there are, I wonder) and cannot dispute the statement. What I can say is that, aside from CDs from Reference Recordings and a few other audiophile labels that I have and enjoy, the HDCD lights never go on with 98% of the CDs I have. (98% is just an estimate.)
Effectively, for me, there are too few to justify buying something specifically for the HDCD function although it might be a component factor in a decision.
HDCD is a great format with PLENTY of material out there. It costs the same as redbook but sounds SO MUCH better on any decent system that anyone can tell the difference immediately, even the uninitiated. HDCD just smokes out redbook & doesn't cost $25ea. like SACD's do. Don't let the naysayers talk you out of this; it's a real treat.
An external DAC with HDCD compatiblity is the only way that you can decode them w/playing on your Rega, but now you're needing another good AC cord & a good digital interconnect too, so the one-box approach makes sense IMO.
So what players? There are many avaliable; the Musical Fidelity suggestion above is a good one. Cary's are great if you have deeper pockets. Mark Levinson I *think* can decode HDCD? Myself I use an EAD (Enlightened Audio Designs) Ultradisc 2000 machine which sounds & looks beautiful. If fact I have two & am probably going to sell one; if you want a good deal then email me. Matty's Music Hall player is in the very affordable range, but I've never heard one. The Musical Fidelity NuVista 3DCD is hard to find & is fairly expensive, but may even outrun the Cary's to a critical ear.
For a definitive list of all HDCDs, you may try www.hdcd.com which has them sorted by genre. Looks like there's way more than 6,000 out there. Strangely the country albums are almost always HDCD!
I have a NAD 5411, nothing special, but the when the HDCD lights up the difference is very tangible.