Stupid DAC question

I am currently using an old Denon DCD620 cdp and want to upgrade. I have discovered way more info that my feeble brain can comprehend. Thus I seek wisdom from the audiophiliacs on this forum. I was considering using the MSB Link Dac 3 as an upgrade but found out that I need a digital output which the Denon cdp does not have (stone age cdp, I know). Would I be better off buying an inexpensive cdp and a Link Dac 3 or just buying a good cdp such as a Rega Planet 2000 AND will I notice an apreciable difference from the ancient Denon (some say a cd player is a cd player and there isn't much real difference in quality of sound). Sorry for being so long winded.
I would recommend upgrading your CDP to something better first. You could either buy an inexpensive Pioneer CD/DVD player for < $200 that would sound fairly good and give you a digital out from which you could add a DAC.

Secondly, you could buy a good CDP like the Planet or Rotel and YES, you would hear an improvement. I am assuming that the rest of your system is up to it in terms of being relatively musical. You would have to have really bad ears to not hear the difference between the newer mid-fi equipment and the older Denon.

In the budget range you are talking about, these are good options. If you are willing to spend a bit more $, you might consider the Sony 333ES SACD player ($600) or the Sony 9000ES CD/SACD/DVD player ($1200).

I also offer mods to a number of products, for more information you can check out my web page My intention in responding to your post was to answer your question, not solicit my services ;).

Good luck and take care,

Dan W.
There is a $79 Aiwa Player that makes a great transport for a Link DAC. Recommended by the Chicago Audio Society and by Stan Warren. Available at Best Buy and places like Crutchfield.
Go for the Rega and then be able to upgrade even further later. The transport is very good and will serve well later with an external DAC. Keep it simple.
Anyone who is considering upgrade of his/her front end must listen to SACD/CD Players. For example, Sony 333e (retail $1,200) can be bought new for $600. I never heard Dan W upgrades, I am sure that they are very good, but I heard that Richard Kern ( does with his mod - its unbeliveble!. In a few days, new Sony multichannel, mutidisc SACD/CD will be coming; street price is about $300. I had IAWA/Link III both modified by Stan Warren - very goos sound but you can't even compare it to SACD. Additionally there are about 450 SACD titles, so choice is here. At any rate, the best luck. Simon
Thank you all very much. I think I am getting addicted to this Hi Fi business, wish the mrs. shared my enthusiasm.
The SACD question will linger until it joins the format graveyard along with Elcassette, DCC, DAT prerecorded, laser disc, Beta and 8-track. 450 titles is not even close to what I have in my personal CD collection. The software people are NOT on board and the format will die with that alone.

Logic carries little weight, marketing is everything. SACD will die and clear the way for even more research to extend the performance and longevity of the lowly CD.
Did your psychic give you that information Roen? Maybe you could provide us with the winning lottery numbers and some good stocks to buy.
Am reminded of a Woody Allen routine where he and and Diane Keaton are at their respective shrinks discussing the frequency of their intimate encounters: he says hardly ever, only a couple/few times a week; she says way too often, a couple/few times a week.

As to the orig question, try an HDCD compatible Rotel 991, and if the urge to upgrade still lingers, mod it with an LCAudio clock and stick it on a Black Diamond carbon fiber shelf.

For no_money: the answer is none. Wait till after the impeachment before buying any securities.

Watching the power meter spin backwards,

I second the recommendation on the 5 disc aiwa player. I am currently driving my highly modified msb dac with this cheapo player. Its hard to believe, but it is realy a great match for this dac. Make sure that you use the optical out though. The input reciever to the delta sigma 24 bit dac in the msb is very immune to jitter, so the optical actualy sounds better than the electrical output. (Maybe msb's choice of their input reciever is the reason that the Aiwa sounds so damn good, I don't care.) All I know is that I made a bundle selling my $3000 transport, which was slightly inferior sounding to the Awia! Note: Best Buy sells the Awia player. I suggest you try it out for 30 days. If you don't like it, you can return it for a refund. Try that with a high end transport, yea right!
Ehider: What digital cable do you use and is it one of the TOS link ones? I have only used the coaxial input on my DAC and do not have any experience with the optical input. Oh, and which model Aiwa do you have? I seem to recall the numbers 35 and 37, but am not certain if they both sound the same as the first that I read about (Chicago Audiophile Society) was the 35, I think. I am also guessing that it would work well with the Bel Canto 1.1 DAC.