Many quality spinners available: we all know that the source sets the outcome: garbage in means garbage out.
I would look for a quality build established brand used unit first ....
REGA, NAIM, BRYSTON, CYRUS, ROKSAN, PRIMARE, DENSEN, or YBA would lead my list, with the express and distinct understanding that they ALL have their own bespoke sonic signature that may or may not mesh to your taste with the rest of your gear.
the first 3 brands arguably have both a larger brand awareness and a larger distribution channel in the US continental 48 only, (not an issue in Canada or EU or Orient....) that may influence you for arguably accelerating a quicker continental 48 resale if there is an eventual change in the offing.
Are you using the DAC within the receiver or going analog out from the DVD player?
Yes, I'm using the receiver's DAC.
Honestly, I don't think anything for $500 is going to be better than what you have now. Maybe stretch to a grand and buy a used Cambridge 840c or something like that. I happen to think the Cambridge players are very good for the money.
I just purchased a new Cambridge CXC Redbook CD transport for a headphone system new for $400.00 and am very satisfied with it check these out for a new solution as apposed to used.
To improve the sound I would look into an external dac and a low cost cd player for a digital transport. To complement your ESS dacs, look for something that has Burr Brown or AKM dacs that way you can have a variety because each has their own sound signature.
An external DAC will provide better SQ than a receiver's built-in unit. A home theater receiver contains a preamp, amp, a shared power supply, circuitry for multiple channels and functions, and oh yes, a DAC.
The design of a dedicated DAC unit is more than just a dac chip, it will provide better jitter reduction, a quality power supply, and an analogue output stage which provides tonal characteristics superior to that of a receiver.
There are multiple inputs for CD, computer audio, streaming and accepts many different sample rates. A DAC in the $500 to $1000 range would take your Yamaha DVD player to a higher level in sonics.
I agree that an external DAC would be the way to go. Use the DVD player as transport. There is a SCHiit Bitfrost w/uber analog upgrade for sale here on AG, $290 I believe. Since you don't require USB input, you could search for an older very high quality DAC which could be purchased for a fraction of the original cost.
The Schiit Uber is up for bid at $290, but would be an excellent DAC to suit your needs.http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2014/03/schiit-audio-bifrost-uber-w-gen-2-usb-dac-review/
Or one of the Schiit Bifrost models for a great price new, with return policy...http://schiit.com/products/bifrost
Thanks for all the input and advice. I just realized my Yamaha blu-ray player only has HDMI out, so I'll buy a CD player/transport and an external DAC.
For the DAC, I'm leaning towards the PS Audio Digital Link III that is for sale here for $299.00. It gets great reviews and I like the price point. I can also use it for my itunes library remotely located in a PC but wired to the system.
I am receiving a pair of B&W 801 Series 2 speakers today and am very excited. Although they probably won't offer too many differences than my 802 Series 2, it has motivated me to consider source upgrades.
I love music and high quality audio, but am and always have been on a very limited budget. I am buying equipment that I lusted for back in high school and college. My dream amp was always a big Threshold- last year I purchased a mint S500/II and it changed everything.
I know my listening environment's room size, low ceiling height , and wall to wall carpeting limits how good the sound can get, but I will try some modest upgrades.
I once owned the DL III. Good DAC for the money. However the USB input was not asynchronous. I used it with a USB/SPDIF converter. I sold it because I needed 2 coax inputs as I also wanted to include a transport.
Cambridge Audio makes a transport that seems highly regarded here on AG and retails for $500. Though I use a computer as a server most often, I am considering the purchase of one myself as I sometimes like to spin a disk. The idea of a dedicated transport, as opposed to a player, appeals to me.
I should add that I also got back into audio, putting together a new system once retired.
Yes, keep us posted. Always nice to hear feedback, once suggestions offered.
The Teac UD-501 is, IMHO, the best (used) bang-for-your-buck DAC under $500 right now.
Here’s one on USAudioMart for $375: http://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649325716-teac-ud501-dac/
I own one and it’s a stellar performer! It replaced a Schiit Bifrost.
After lots of listening and speaker positioning, I have decided to go back to my 802 Series 2 and I no longer feel the need to try to change my system to change my speakers' sound.
They just sound more balanced and natural. Also, they just aren't nearly as revealing as the 801s. Which to me, is a good thing. I enjoy all my music much more with the 802s. Music ripped into itunes nearly 10 years ago running through an inexpensive Audioengine DAC sounds wonderful. The 801s let you know the source can be better.
what about the cd player?
I have decided to keep using my Yamaha DVD player as my CD player since I'm back to using the 802's. Frankly, they sound wonderful together- there is no need to try to warm things up.
I think some isolation for the AC to your DVD player would be very worthwhile.
I bought my daughter a Marantz CD6006, running just over $500 new, and I compared it to my Sony EX player that was several thousand in price, and they sounded very similar. My feelings were a bit hurt that her $500 unit sounded almost exactly like mine! The rest of the system was exactly the same. When I bought that Marantz, I read consumer reviews on many CD players in that price range, and it had the best customer rating as well, as far as dependability and lasting past the first year. Worthy of consideration.
Wait for the new Oppo 205 ;)
DVD is a lousy transport with high jitter and harmonic distortion it's better to use dedicated CD transport without inner DAC such as the Cambridge Audio CXC or Cyrus CDt .
Mmmm, that's good to know. Now I get to buy more gear!
The correct way to go is a pure CD transport and a dedicated DAC this will give you the best sound.
itzhak1969103 posts02-17-2017 5:47amDVD
is a lousy transport with high jitter and harmonic distortion it's
better to use dedicated CD transport without inner DAC such as the
Cambridge Audio CXC or Cyrus CDt .
All very interesting except for one tiny insignificant detail...the Oppo 205 hasn't been even previewed yet, let alone released. Secondly, Dan Wright will likely offer mods for that player in future, opening up the option to take it to the next level once funds allow. Besides that, you can reduce jitter simply with a good rack and/or Stillpoints Ultra Mini's.
itzhak1969103 posts02-17-2017 7:12amThe correct way to go is a pure CD transport and a dedicated DAC this will give you the best sound.
With $400? And simply having a separate transport/dac doesn't automatically mean it is superior to a single box player. I had a $20kUS budget when I bought my cdp and went for a single box Vitus SCD-025 Mk2 over a mint 2nd hand Emm Labs transport/dac combo offered to me around the same price.
Having a separate transport and dac conceptually is the ideal, but it's not the be all and end all. It comes down to implementation. But yes, once you get up to flagship products, a separate transport and dac can get you that last 10-15% performance.
Great as always- melbguy1
If the OP can't stretch his budget a single CDP can be reasonable compromise and will be much better than using a DVD as a transport.