Try the April Music's DA100 DAC with SP/DIF, Toslink, and USB inputs with discrete output stage that will give you the best bang for your bucks!
Better check into a seriously good digital cable, too, or else you'll be potentially wasting your time with the DAC. On a very good system, the digital cable can have a large effect on how good the DAC sounds. As with any other part to a hi end system, the sky's the limit on such cables. I surely would not skimp on it, or else the end result of the DAC's performance may not be to your liking.
You also should determine if you want a SS DAC or tube DAC, depending on what you want improved from the sound of the Saturn.
Why would you need to improve on the Saturn? With an external DAC you won't get better, maybe just different instead. And the Saturn doesn't make for an especially great transport, so I'd consider selling the Saturn and being rid of it if you don't like it. Too expensive to justify wasting away as a transport.
What don't you like about it?
I agree with Fatelvis. Why not use the Saturn? It's like buying a Ferrari and wanting to put a Corvette engine in. The Corvette engine would kick a$$ too but why use it? The Saturn is widely recognized as a great CD player. You might as well upgrade to a Naim or Wadia otherwise I think you'd be glomming things up unnecessarily. regards, David
Thanks,Fatevis,and Wireless,for your input. I guess I'll stick with the Saturn as a stand alone. Funny thing is, I thought the Saturn would indeed make a good transport with its unique chipset. I acknowlege that a superb digital cable would be necessary to keep its clocking intact. I don't know, I thought a super DAC, maybe tubed, would improve upon Saturn's internal DAC. Also, I wanted a DAC for media-player/PC purposes.
I like Rega, I really do. But that "unique" chipset is a DVD player in disguise. "Initialising"... don't all DVD players do that? Same for the quiet scanning "feature". DVD players don't scan redbook well. And that cheap top-loading prong design is the same found in my 20 year old JVC CD "boombox" and my $10 Circuit City portable.
What's special about the Saturn is the sound. The rest is a bit hype and marketing redirection.