To add DAC or replace CDP?

My system consists of VPI Aries, Pass Xono, Sonic Frontiers Line 3SE, Pass X600, and Sonus Faber Amati. When CD format war began two years ago, I bought a Sony SCD-777ES to replace my ARC CD2. Overall, I am happy with the sound on both red book and SACD. I know there are better sounding red book player or DAC out there, but I can't decide the sensible things to do to get better CD sound. CDP or DAC that I am considering are AA Capitole, AA Prima, Audiomeca Mephisto, Electrocompanient EMC-1, and ECD-1.

Since I want to keep my analog setup despite my small record collections, I will continue to keep a pre amp in the loop. Will I lose the benefit of AA Capitole's variable output by inserting an active pre amp in between? Also, I already invested in some SACD software, it make sense to keep my SACD player. Will adding a DAC be better than adding a CDP? Ideally, I will love to have less boxes, but Accuphase is a little beyond my reach right now and two boxes will have to do.

I listen mostly to classical, some jazz, and I love full body sound.

Without having heard it, there are supposed to be some killer mods for the 777ES, which will improve both CD and SACD performance. Run a search here and you should find some good leads to people who have had it done, and the suppliers. This would obviate the need for extra ICs, potential de-jitter device, etc. If you go the CDP/DAC route, you will end up with three or four boxes for your digital front end, instead of one. Just my 0.02.
give up SACD for now. Try Electrocompaniet EMC1UP.......and compare to your analog system. See how far they are.
Stay with SACD...especially for jazz/classical interests....
What power cords do you have in your system?

I am using Cardas Golden Cross for pre and power, but Audio Magic for Sony. All interconnects are AQ Diamond X3.
I second Swampwalker on this one: try modding the item you have before dishing out for new h/ware. You may be pleasantly surprised, and you'll have left over cash to invest in music!
Seems you have a fine transport, and get an additional benefit of 2 channel sacd, so I wouldn't replace the whole unit. A DAC might be a wise place to put your $$...if a mod doesn't float yer boat. Check the thread, Best DAC for under $2000. Bel Canto, Kora, Music Fidelity, SF, Chord are some named there.
I would suggest trying a different AC cord on the Sony. My favorite is the Omega Mikro LCX active AC cord. But a Omega Mikro passive cord for 50% of the price of the OM active will probably make your CDP sound A LOT better. Omega Mikro (which is distributed by Walker Audio) cords have had a dramatic impact on my system.


Hi David!
The Audiomeca Mephisto is the way i would go - if i could afford it! Get it and forget CD Players untill you can spend muuuch more money...or perhaps you will not need to change it. Audiomeca gear is wonderfull and unique in the digital "world".