Second System: Add DAC to Marantz CD Changer?

I'm sitting here musing my audio options for my second system, which consists of a Classe 101 integrated amp, a Marantz CC4000SE 5-disk changer, and Linn Tukan speakers. I just recently purchased the kit components to make some VanHaus power cords, and will swap out the cord on the Classe and maybe open up the Marantz and replace its cord.

Wondering what else can I do to make a significant improvement in the sound? This is a CD based system, and will not have analog. Say I'm willing to invest b/t $500-$750 in it. Would it make sense to purchase a DAC for this CD changer? Would it offer substantial improvements - a smoother midrange and upper end? If so, what DAC would fall into this price range (with cable)?

Thanks for any ideas. Just musing here.
I'm using the same changer and wondering the same thing. Be sure and post what you end up doing. . .
For a $500 budget, a DAC will do much more for you than trying to get another CD player.
For used, $500 will get you many things, including a Bel Canto DAC-1. I am sure others will have DAC recommendations also. I think a used "Full Nelson" MSB Link DAC is in that range, and a Gold Link DAC.
Anyone know anything about the Audio Note DAC Kit 1.1. Should be relatively low budget? Or how about the Theta DS Pro Basic II? Thanks again. Peter

I have just ordered a set of Channel Islands VDA-1/VAC-1. I am currently using a Meridian 563. I will compare after the new DAC arrives.

The VDA-1 is 350 new. VAC-1 is a powersupply upgrade for 160.
suggest you to get Parasound Dac 1600, best with John Wright recommended modifying kit.
I own a Marantz CD67SE and IMHO it's a lousy transport, but a reasonable CD player.

The root of the problem is that Marantz players have very high jitter on their digital signal (both internally and externally). This is apparently what gives them that smooth sound, but it also means that if you attach an external DAC that does not have built-in reclocking the sound will be little different ... because the limiting factor is the signal jitter, and NOT the Marantz built in DAC or analogue output stage.
This is exactly what I heard when I connected a Monarchy 22A to my CD67SE ... no change.
I also own a Mission PCM 7000 ... an ancient player but a good one in its day. Adding the Monarchy 22A to the Mission made a significant improvement, presumably because of the very old DAC technology in the Mission, but with a lower inherent jitter on its digital output.
I think external DACs are very transport dependant, especially when the DACs do not reclock the signal (the Bel Canto does reclock, I believe). Adding DACs to a mid-price CD player is a bit of a crapshoot in my experience.

So, in summary I think you may end up wasting your money adding a DAC, because the DAC is not the weakest link in the Marantz changer, its the jitter in the datastrea. I think you'd be better off either having a clock upgrade on the Marantz, or just selling it and buying a better CD player. If you're desperate to get an external DAC make sure it is a reclocking DAC or budget for a jitter reduction device such as a Monarchy DIP, or Audio alchemy DTI. I have used the DIP to very good effect in my system.
What about a Bel Canto DAC2? I think that has reclocking? Would that be transparent to the type/quality of transport?
No DACs are immune to a bad transport, but I have heard that the Bel Canto DACs are better than most, due to the reclocking ... so yes, I'd give it a try. I have never myself heard a Bel Canto DAC, but they seem to be favorably reviewed.