I would welcome any comparisons people have between decent mid-price stand alone DACs vs. the digital input implementation of good mid-price CD players. I have the Quad CDP2 and the Marantz Pearl Lite and have enjoyed using both with the digital inputs. However I only need one as a CD player and so will probably sell the Marantz, even though it is much newer, and buy a DAC instead.
So my question is, do the newish crop of £500ish DACs easily better the digital inputs of my Quad and Marantz players or are they only of a similar quality? The DACs I am thinking of, hopefully second hand, are the EE Minimax (first version) and the Rega DAC, although I am sure there are others I should consider. At the moment I am not into computer audio, so the main use would be with a SB Touch.
In terms of what I am hearing from the CDP2 and the Peal Lite I like the sound of both, not really feeling one is 'better'. Perhaps the Quad is a bit more punchy and dynamic sounding and the Marantz is a bit more open, but I think they are both good. So I would sell the Marantz simply because it takes up more space.
If anyone has done these sorts of comparisons I would be interested in your thoughts.