A "reference" quality (IMO) DVD/CD player does exist in the Ayre D-1, but it will cost you far, far more than $1,500.00. As with any other audio component, one has to find your own level of satisfaction and make your own judgments as to what constitutes "reference" quality and how much you are willing to pay for it. For me, the Ayre D-1 was a revelation in CD playback - on good CDs, the first to really even approach high quality vinyl playback. It is also good enough to demonstrate why 96/24 DADs (good ones) actually are better than good CDs, although the difference is not huge. Good luck on your search.
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