I'd go for the auction. Bidding wars can drive price higher than you'd think.
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A new DAC may help, but IMHO, your Marantz may be the problem with your 2CH enjoyment. The 8802 is about as good of a pre as any receiver can be, but still not a match for a good dedicated pre. I know you said you do not want to mess with tubes, I get that, been there, but I caved. I run a 6SN7 tube pre with a SS amp and the sound from the dedicated pre is in a completely different league compared to my Marantz receiver. Liquidity, soundstage, and that bit of warmth all on a new level. I lost some of the one box convenience, but it is about the sound so I do not miss it at all. The receiver has been working at TV duty only for a good long while now. Also lots of good SS Pre's out there too.