Transport/Dac 101

Excuse me in advance for my complete lack of understanding in this matter. Right now I have a JVC DVD feeding into an MSB Link DAC 3 with no upgrades. I like what the MSB dous for the sound of the cheap JVD player and hey it's paid for. I am thinking about one of the universal players in the $300 to $500. My question is, when using an outboard DAC, isn't it pointless to buy a more expensive transport, since you are bypassing the units' internal cuircuits anyway? I don't get this whole jitter thing. And in the end, as always, I'm looking for the best bang-for-the-buck.
I primarily listen to Prog rock full volume. Your input as always is sincerely appreciated. Thank you, Matt.....
Since you already have a DAC, you should look for a stand-alone transport that just spins the disc and sends a digital signal to an out board DAC (such as yours). There are 74 transport listed here at Audiogon right now, many of which are in your price range.

A good transport is just as important (and some feel even more important) as a DAC. All transports can read a CD with 100% accuracy, but only a good one will ensure the accurate timing of sending those bits to the DAC (jitter). I had a MSB Link DAC III driven by a Denon CD player, and there was a huge improvment when I bought a Theta Data Basic II.
go with the transport,i have a cec and a pioneer dvd hooked to a modded msb and there is huge diff,meridian is a great one to get the 500,about 500.00 on here. get the msb to take balanced thru there net work card you wont look back,i also upgrade the power supply on msb,dan wright modded the msb and ,i keep it over the plat,series msb has.dan also sales the monolithic power supply for it,,but a transport ,vs player will bwe huge upgrade with what you have
I suggest you consider a Sony DVP-S7700 as it makes an excellent CD transport as well as a damned good DVD player. The secret is it has a dedicated laser pickup for the CD and another for the DVD. Stock it is very good; with minor mods (clock upgrade mostly) better.

Used about 250 w/box. You have to spend a lot more to improve on this. As for DACs it is hard to beat the entry level Audio Note DAC 1x and 1x Signature for very good and listenable sound. A new Audio Note 1x Dac is 1500; the Signature version is 2000. I just bought the used DAC 1x Signature Mk II posted on audiogon. I used an original DAC 1 Signature for ten years with no problems and it sounded very good; only moved it along to get some money out of it before it became too old and became worth almost nothing.

If you want a nice sounding CD player and don't care about being able to play CDR discs (this one will only do store bought discs) look no further than a CEC TL51 cd player; about 1600 new. Their tl51x transport goes for just under 1300.
I would try a better digital IC first before the transport. I tired six different transports and the bette digital cable made the best improvement. Many dealers on Agon offer free in home trail periods.

Happy Listening.