Upgrading a CD/SACD player with integral DAC

I’ve described my system on site before and it was pointed out the CD/SACD player was the weak link in the system. I’m not in disagreement, and would like to start researching an upgrade that would be commensurate with the rest of the system.

Here is what I have at present:

Marantz SA 8005 CD player with integral DAC
VPI Classic 2 turntable with an Ortofon 2M Black cartridge
Luxman L507 uX Mk2 Integrated Amplifier
Magico A3 speakers
Hydra Denali 6000S Power Conditioner

I have only Redbook CD’s, no SACDs but it would be nice to retain that capability. It would also be nice to retain an integral DAC, although at a higher price point maybe you would advise on getting a separate DAC. I’d rather avoid doing that if possible, as that would mean having to add more cables that would detract from the overall budget. But let me know what you think on that score. I have no plans to add any other components, or to stream music, so that doesn’t need to enter the equation. I listen to mostly fifties jazz and Rock ’n Roll and R&B, among other things, if that is at all relevant. I want to buy new, and not Chinese manufactured products.

So what CD players would you recommend looking into that would be similar in quality to the rest of the system. And what if any sonic improvements might I look forward to with your recommended upgrade. I purposely did not mention price point as I don’t know what price point would put the CD player into the performance range of the rest of the system components. You were all were very helpful to me choosing the rest of the system components, especially the amp and speakers. So I’d appreciate, and am looking forward to your recommendations and guidance on this selection. If there’s any more information you need, please let me know. Thanks


@dprincipato — the Schiit Modi is their $99 entry-level DAC.  My advice — if the Modi was the equal or slightly better than your Yammy, don’t listen to any of their better DACs or you’ll never like listening to your Yamaha ever again once you hear what’s possible.  It ain’t a subtle difference. 

@skyscraper — I took a deeper look and I think you’re leaving a lot of performance on the table — especially considering the quality of the rest of your rig — fronting your digital music with a $1000 CD player.  I’d strongly suggest doing an in-home trial of a good DAC just to see what you may be missing.  Here’s one potential option — Hifi Heaven offers a return policy if you buy a DAC from them, so other than maybe a little shipping cost there’s no risk to you.  You should try a Metrum Onyx R2R NOS DAC and prepare to have your world rocked.  My bet is you won’t return it.  Just something to noodle over during the holidays. 
You’re no doubt right soix2. I did purchase the Marantz SA8005 for my old system. It’s the last holdover.

I have read some good things about the R2R DACs, but am really hesitant to buy a DAC as a separate. The extra cables to connect it in would have to be expensive and a complete waste of money when you don’t need them with an integrated CD player/DAC. That being said I would like to hear what that Metro Onyx R2R sounds like.

I’ll check if the local dealers in town have anything decent DACsI could demo. Unfortunately locally there isn’t much in the way of high end equipment. One dealer does have some used equipment, so there is at least a possibilty of him having a decent used DAC.

Dave, thanks for getting back to me on the balanced output connections. I’ve been meaning to learn about them.

As a Marantz fanboy, I have to pile on.  I went through a series of Marantz cd players, starting with the CD5004, then upgrading to the SA-8004, then an SA-14s1 and finally landing on the SA-11s3.  This unit is from their Reference line with a copper cladded case, balanced inputs and a built in DAC.  No question there were meaningful sonic improvements moving to the 11s3.  I actually own two, both bought gently used and paid around $1,800 each.  They come up occasionally for sale but seem to go quickly.
Thanks for your recommendation of the Marantz SA-11S3, stjm. I looked it up and read an Absolute Sound review of this player. The reviewer seemed to like it as much as you. I'd be interested in what differentiated the different Marantz CD players sound for you as you upgraded. 

Happy New Year!  Which spinners are on your short-list?
Happy Listening!