No. You can buy a $39 multi-function player with a cheapshit transport.
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it depends...and these types of transports can get pricey. The Esoteric and dCS transports are likely amongst the best at a cost. Esoteric seems to be one of the few that (used) to make SACD and DVD transports
Also some drives just read the disc into memory..so the transport can be more of a computer grade...
I guess the real question is what are you trying to accomplish? Better sound quality? If so...what's the rest of your digital front end?
I think it depends on the maker of the CDP or SACD/DVD player. The Pioneer Elite DV09 and the Pioneer PD-D9 J SACD players were well built transports that when I used with an outboard DAC made good music in my systems. When I had a Marantz CD 5003 or an Emotiva ERC-1 and used them as transports to an outboard DAC they held up to the Pioneer SACD and DVD players I had. The only time I had a problem with a DVD or CD transport was when I was using a Memorex DVD player from RadioShack that had a uber thin disc tray.
IIRC, the Lexicon RT-20 uses a transport made by Pioneer. I had several of the "elite" players over the years and their transports and laser systems were always top of the line and made for great listening and viewing.
I doubt that Lexicon made anything in the player it was more than likely a rebadged unit from another manufacturer in a Lexicon chassis. It did receive good reviews back when it was introduced.
I am sure your transport is just fine to get started with a different dac...I wouldn't worry about this right now...pick the best dac you can...technology is changing fast...can likely pick up some that were "the best" just 1-3 years ago for less than 1/2 off list (or more)
I loved my Wilson's just a killer great speaker. The Rockports go in a little different direction...and are harder to drive...but they have their rewards to!