If you want to go direct to your amp you shorten the list quite abit. Anyone else who cares to add to this list feel free. Direct to amp you have the following choices:
I have auditioned the Miles, it does not throw as deep of soundstage as their dac's do. The Miles is certainly not warm. I've had great warm - musical results through my pass labs x-1. Two other options,
Mark Levinson 39 – original version very musical and gooey - less detail.
Pass Labs DAC-1 – more detail and still very musical.
Best of luck
A lower cost, lower performance, but still quite good (former Stereophile Class B) alternative would be the Denon DCD-1650AR. Two sets of single ended outputs: one fixed, the other controled by an analog front panel volume control. I have one and am quite pleased with it. It's not a Theta or a RA but you might want to give it a listen.
You can't control the denon's volume by remote. I owned it but did not hear a big difference over my old player so i sold it. It is made really well and works so smoothly that i loved it just for those reasons. The theta i owned as well. I always wanted a RA cd 55 instead but could never afford one. I would take the RA CD 50 over it. I compared the theta to my mark levinson 37, 36, 380 combo running directly into my plinius and the levinson was much better. So i sold that too. BTW i would really look into the CAL CL 15 that i think would sound great running direct even though it has a digital volume control. I owned this player as well but i never took out of the box and never really heard it, but its supposed to be great. Come to think of it if you can find a used cal cl 15 for around 700.00 i would get that until the digital wars are over or until you can afford a cd 55 or 39 or wadia 830 or something. I think the CAL would be basically a sonic equal to the theta, but not the RA CD 50. These are just my oppions as i have never AB'd these players. - Ian