My advice is -- don't buy a Universal Player. You will
never be satisfied with the sound. Instead, buy a
DVD player with DVD-A, like a Denon DVD 1600 or
a panasonic XP-50. These are highly rated DVD players -- they scored really high on Secrets and TAS
shoot-outs. The DVD-A playback will be just as good
as a $1,000 Universal Player. But, you can pair that with a CD/SACD player that wil get you much better CD playback than any Universal Player short of the Linn
Unidisk, which sells for $11,000.
You can get a Denon DVD 1600 for around $300 used.
Or, you can get a Panasonic XP-50 for a similar amount. Then, you can pair that with one of these
Philips 963, which you can get for around $400 used.
Sony SCD 555ES, which you can get for around $700.
Sony SCD XA777ES, which you can get for around $1,600.
Each of the SACD players, the Philips or the two
Sony will give you better sound than a 1,000 Universal Player. And, when you are ready to upgrade, each of
those units can be modified for even better sound.
Think in terms of two boxes and from $700 -- $2000
you can choose how much better sound you prefer
over a 1,000 Universal Player -- and it is relatively
future proof in the sense that when you get the itch
to spend some more $$ and upgrade, you can simply
add a Super Clock II or any other combination of mods
and improve your sound.
I just did this for my younger brother. I bought him
the Denon DVD 1600 and the Sony XA777ES. That
combo is like a two box Universal Player and it kicks
the holy crap out of my Yamaha s2300. He'll be happy
with that for a long, long time.
Don't stick yourself with a U-Player.
You pay a premium for having them cram everything
into one box and you pay a price in sound degradation.
Just my opinion.