Wadia verses Meridian verses a Digital Server

I am hoping to better the sound of Redbook CD's. My question, is there a Wadia or Meridian (or other favorite) DAC or player that has significantly made listening to redbook CD's more enjoyable to you personally?

Or, is it about time to go with a computer based digital server such as a MacMini with something like a Emprical Audio Off-Ramp directly to my Proceeds' DAC's?

I have a OPPO 981HD player used as a analog multi-channel player and digital transport using Mogami Golds into a Proceed AVP2 +6, matching AMP 5, and on to a relatively unknown set of speakers - Yamaha TX-1 powered Organ Cathedral Monitors crossed over at 50Hz with a SVS Ultra 13. Overall, very smooth, nice sound without any overbearing digital fatique.

I REALLY like HDCD's sound, most noteably Reference Recordings, most DVD-A and SACD sounds, and many redbook recordings. However, many redbook CD's suffer from various recording issues. I enjoy many musical styles, with emotionally charged, full-range classical performances being my favorite.

I read Wadia and Meridian processes redbook CD's in a different way. Can you recommend Wadia or Meridian DAC's or "CD players with digital INPUTS" that specifically and significantly improves the performance of redbook CD's at $2,000 or thereabouts, or possibly less?

I included CD players with digital INPUTs, should the transport go bad with no support. The DAC's/processor can continue to be used with a separate transport.

I can connect the DAC/Player directly into my mains/sub, or, directly to the Proceeds' DAC's.

Budget - up to about $2,000 and more if I choose a computer based digital server.

Your forums have made a huge improvement in my home's audio system. Thanks very much
Get a DAC1 from a guitar or pro music store on loaner and check it out. If you don' t hear an improvement take it back and you haven't spent a dime. Jitter is a funny thing and so hard to say whether what you already have is good enough. (FWIW you seem happy so why mess with a good thing)
I'll check if DAC1's are at a local shop. I am happy with my "good thing" and certainly would like to add more goodness. I read that initially CD recordings got off to a bad start and Wadia in particular, developed a different computer program to process Red Book signals to help make up for the lack of fuller resolution.

Meridian, I have read, is chosen to be used at shows by more companies as the digital front end than any other brand.

And, computer based front ends are getting alot of attention - and advertising promotion dollars.

After much reading, this is the purpose for my post. I was considering one of those two for Red Book CD's. Although music through the Proceed does sound very, very nice, especially in 2-Channel and a proprietory L/R Surround mode, HDCD's definately have a better sound quality. I was hoping Wadia or Meridian may help deliver better musical processing to Red Book CD's.

Berkeley alpha dac with lynx aes card in a pc running media monkey is the best I've heard. Total cost around 6500.

Berkeley alpha dac with lynx aes card in a pc running media monkey is the best I've heard. Total cost around 6500.

I'm looking over this combination. Thank you for a great recommendation.
As an aside I did extensive listening to all the major software products out there to listen to PC music. Media Monkey was among the poorer ones, maybe because I could not get the ASIO drivers working, but I did not like the sound at all. Jriver was far superior to everytyhing I tried, the ASIO works like a charm and the whole platform seems more developed and has more flexibility.
Acurus: Thanks. I've heard comments before about ASIO. It may be your ASIO drivers conflicting with the other install or ASIO may not be set inside Windows just right.

Obviously, I'm looking at a possible Wadia DAC or player just for redbook CD's, so we both share similiar high expectations on a computer front end server. IOW's - Proven superior technology, well worth the time and effort. I'm looking over sections of www.computeraudiophile.com to get a clearer picture of the best way to do this. I'm still reading...

I know new technology often takes time to figure out correctly and you're way ahead of me. I have a Sony Blu-Ray laptop as my main computer and may go with a dedicated laptop for music. If I go Mini-Mac it will be my first Apple.