Codex as pre or new CD Player

I’m kind of ignorant so please pardon any stupid questions as I’m trying to avoid some of the mistakes made on earlier decisions. In essence, I recently restarted my system with a new amp and speakers. Now I have V2 CE Sig speakers powered by a Rotel 1570 Integrated. The pieces that remain of my earlier system are a Rega Apollo R CD player, and a Music Hall MMF 5.1 TT. I am loving the new Vandersteens, the sound is so much better than what I had, but I am smitten with the idea of getting closer to what I heard them do with some really nice gear.

So naturally I’m trying to figure out an upgrade path. I’m thinking in the long run of going towards an Ayre System but I can’t afford the MX-5/20 or Codex and Vx-5/20 right now. So I was wondering a few things.

One, that it might be a good idea to get an Ayre Codex and use it as the pre-amp into the Rotel integrated by removing the jumpers on the rear of the Rotel. I could still connect the Rega CDP via the optical on the Codex. I could also use the codex as DAC from a mac mini streaming or playing stored rips of my CDs. The issue would be using the TT, which would require pulling the Codex interconnects and reinstalling the jumpers to use.

I’ll do an audition before buying, but what’s your opinion on the improvement in SQ by what would be, in essence, replacing the integrated’s pre-amp with the Codex? I guess it comes down to whether the Rega Apollo is better sounding than the Rotel integrated Pre.

Which leads me to the second thing I was wondering....whether I should look at a upgrading the CD player.
I have about $3k to spend before I get the funny eyes, but I’ve already spent a bunch on my wants this year, so....unless I want new furniture to start showing up...LOL.

Third option is to wait a bit and get the new separates.

@jetson I just finished speaking to folks at Ayre as you can see in my thread about the Codex. They were quite unambiguous in stating that the Codex output could very much be fed directly into a power amplifier. 

That said, according to them, the codex was designed first as a DAC and a headphone amplifier. So the fact that it has a digital volume control and variable out does not mean it will perform the same as a high quality pre-amplifier. Adding a good preamplifier will definitely improve things, however, that does not mean that the Codex cannot be used to directly feed an amplifier.

He said that they themselves had done so many times.
Thanks badri - I'll read your thread, which I'm not sure how I missed. 

Performing as a "high quality" pre isn't exactly what I had in mind, just a "better quality" pre than the preamp portion of the Rotel. :-)

 My plan, (until something changes) is to get the Codex, then the Ayre Amp, then the Ayre pre.