Swap Arcam CD23 for 9000ES trans and DAC?

Hi all,

I just purchased a Sony 9000ES DVD/SACD player and am thinking about selling my newly purchased FMJ to buy an upsampling DAC. So my questions are..

1. Do you think the FMJ's transport is any better than the 9000ES's?

2. For the $1400 or so that I could get for the FMJ, could I buy a better used DAC? If so, what? I'd love the idea of an older Wadia or something with digital domain volume control, but realistically - would I be simply getting the same sound with more work? Any and all recommendations for DACs at the $1500 mark (used) would be great.

I have the 9000 and think it has an excellent transport and also excellent DAC section. When going to a 2 box setup jitter is introduced worse than staying with a 1 box unit. Try the sony as a 1 box player and if you like it, great. If you think it needs improvement, send it to Modwright. They do wonders with the 9000 and it improves the CD,SACD, and DVD performance. No added jitter with an outboard DAC. in fact the re-clock reduces jitter significantly. They even are working on a tube output for some of the sony models.
I'd second the ModWright approach. Dan just got done doing a full blown mod on my Pioneer 38A and the improvement is incredible. Dan does a lot of work on the Sony's so you might also post to his forum located at:


to get a few more opinions and some feedback on how the modifications stack up against an outboard DAC.
Twl, I take it you think the 9000ES is an excellent CDP even "as is"? I've been thinking of getting one, but the user reviews for the 9000ES as a CDP seem to vary in the extreme. Stock, what would you compare it with (i.e., Rega Planet, whatever)?

To Adam: have you compared the CD sound of the Arcam with that of the Sony?