You'd better buy better headphones.
Maybe a set of Sennheiser HD600's or HD650's. FWIW, I use 650's.
I would like to hear your thoughts (pro or con) about the addition.
From your list, my opinion, you already have a pretty good system and to improve, you're going have to replace the whole system as your existing system becomes the weak link or a bottle neck when compared to better gear such as your DAC choice. Maybe the more experienced can weigh in on the bottle neck issue.
My opinion, a better set of cans is always a good thing. As I'm sure you know, there's a boatload of headphone choices in the $400.00 to $1,000.00 range and one over the other is more a personal choice thingy over an empirical choice thingy.
What's your budget?
Myself? For the bookshelf, I have on order a used Burson HA-160 and on the wish list is a combo Blu-ray/DVD/SACD/CD NuForce OPPO BDP-83SE player. It seems the OPPO deck has a between tracks snap/crackle/pop issue and there's some DVD freezing issues to be checked into before I buy. Currently, got nothing on the DAC radar as the ASUS, Xonar STX is suppose to have a killer DAC.
I'd definitely check out better cans and get them broke in before adding more electronics. This based upon your current equipment list. Have you checked out a broken in set of HD650's on your rig yet?
What do the reviews say, SA8003 vs SA8004 vs PS Audio Digital Link III DAC. Is the DAC you're checking out, better then the one onboard the SA8003? Would you be better served by upgrading to the SA8004? Is a dedicated DAC going give you better sound quality over the SACD players? Have you checked out Audio-gd DAC's? Can you find some sort of shoot-out between dedicated DAC's vs SACD player DAC's?
(Ya gotta love more questions to asked question.)
FWIW, I've purchased a lot of Marantz gear in the past. As good as Marantz is, I see Marantz in the light of SONY; excellent gear but retail (cost cutting when manufactured) just the same. I have a tendency to want to go towards gear that's based upon discrete as opposed to gear that's based on SS or IC's. I'm also inclined to want to go to smaller (boutique/personal touch) companies such as Audio-gd and Burson vs SONY or Marantz. For me, technical issues aside, the NuForce, upgraded OPPO BDP-83SE Blu-ray player, for the price, hits the middle ground smartly. But that's a personal opinion.
O-kay, rambling and incomplete as my ideas and comments might be, those are my thoughts.
Edited by beeman458 - 9/12/10 at 9:52am