buy upsample processor or new CD player? Or ... ?

I guess I'm working on an entry-level system, and am looking for bang-for-the-buck options to compliment my cd sound. What I'm working with: Vandersteen 2ce signatures, Sony 79es 5-disc changer, Denon 3802 reciever. I'll be able to shop for cable this summer, but right now I have MIT T-2 speaker cables and Coincident ICs. I just read about the GW Labs DSP upsampler in Bound for Sound, and for $399 it sounds like an interesting way to get more out of my non-SACD/non-DVDa CD collection. I think my CD player needs to be upgraded as well, but I can only afford to do one or the other. I am considering either a used Rega Planet or a used AH! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 if I can find a good price. I'm especially interested in feedback from anyone with the GW DSP or something comparable. I just wanted to hear what the better options would be. As I see it, the GW is an intriguing but unconfirmed step up that my current CD player might not do justice. Thanks in advance for your advice; I'm just starting out and have had really kind input here on Audiogon so far.
Hey, if you are going to spend 399 on an upsampler, you might as well just get the Bel Canto DAC-1 for $499 for sale here on Audiogon. That should help make your system more musical.
I'm having the GW Labs DSP at home right now "for a try". Unfortunately, it doesn't work properly with my Perpetual Technology DAC P3A when the GW Labs is on the 96 mode... However I know this is an excellent product, but remember it has to be used with a DAC. GW Labs will have a tube DAC on the market at the end of 2002.
I would suggest that you use the GW with the MSB Link III : it's an excellent combination (both available from Audio Advisor with the 30-day money back...)
Thanks for responding. I'm still learning about DACs, and have never used one. I'm pretty sure that the Denon 3802 has built-in DACs for some (if not all) connections. Why couldn't I just connect the GW Labs upsampler to one of these connections via coaxial? The denon website for the 3802 says: "Analog Devices 24 bit, 96 kHz high resolution DACs on all eight channels • Real 24 bit, 96 kHz Digital Interface Receiver." Please someone help clarify, if you don't mind.

Again, would the difference in using an Upsampler and/or DAC be more significant sonically than what I would recieve if I upgraded my CD player? Or about the same? Or is this answer too system-dependent to tell? I also hear that the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb will be soon offered with an upsampler upgrade, so that might be an option.

Thanks again for your input.
Steve, the Bel Canto DAC-1 at $499 upsamples. And believe me, the DAC inside this thing sounds much better than any Japanese made stuff including the Denon. The only difference between the DAC-1 and the DAC-1.1 is a slightly modified power supply, which only yields a minor increase in sound quality. So for $499 you're getting an upsampler and a great sounding DAC. You WILL hear the difference after adding some half decent speaker cables.
Before you do anything, you should replace your speaker cables. I've heard MITs with Vandys before and I think it's a horrible combination. A few feet of Kimber 8TC would not expensive and yield you some excellent results. I would try to take the Sony cd player out of the mix and go for something that is better sonically as a transport and a DAC. The Njoe Tjoeb 4000 has some impressive reviews, but it is not as proven as the Rega planet. I think you should listen to both and see what works with your system.

I've heard the Bel Canto DAC 1 and the 1.1 in my system, and I agree, the 1.1 to my ears was only a minor improvement in certain areas. However, either one with a nice power cord and interconnects was a MAJOR improvement over the low dollar digital equipment I've used. Better than a Rega or comparably priced Arcam etc, I don't know but I suspect so. Plus you can hook it up to your DVD player and you've got a one box movie/music machine with very respectable sound. OK, two boxes.

I noticed that $500 DAC 1 too, and said to myself, that thing's gonna last about 30 seconds...

It's my humble opinion that upsampling is the ticket to an extended life span for 16/44 material. It remains to be seen whether or not it's going to be implemented in more mass market products (like the Denon and I think Onkyo has some upsampling receivers too). I sure hope so.
a ~$130 art di/o w/~$5 upgraded powersupply will be equal or better than any cd player or dac up to $3k, imo. spend another $100-$200 on it to have it tweeked, & it gets even better...

doug s.
check out the evs millenium or the new universal player mods of evs

see the reviews of the evs at

$1050 and it's brought realism to my digital front end