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The DAC inside marantz CD 6004 is excellent. I have been using it for the past 8 years. The lens mechanism is not so great though. I'm not sure you'll get a better performance from a 10-12K DACYeah its powered by a ROTEL-RA 1520 amp with chord interconnects and the speaker being FOCAL-CHORUS 706V,in any case if you guys feel adding an external DAC will improve the sound quality my budget would be between 10 ~ 12k.