Good Universal Player with Balanced Outs

I have been looking around for a while but I haven't seen any Universal players in the 2-5K range (roughly) that have balanced outs, at least one firewire port and are currently available. Can you suggest anything that would?

I tend to keep my equipment for a long time and I would like to get a player that I can be happy with for a number of years. Are the universal players at that stage yet or do they need a few more generations to improve their handling of the high-res formats and get most of what is possible out of SACD and DVD-Audio?
Don't forget the Denon 5900, which will be out very soon. For more details, do a search on the "Hi Rez Highway" at
I have auditioned both the Linn Unidisk 1.1 and the Esoteric DV-50. Both have XLR balanced outputs. I bought the DV-50. The DV-50 outperforms the Linn at half the price ($5500.00), and the Linn I have listened to has a number of tracking problems including refusal to recognize discs, skipping etc. I previously owned the Sony SCD 777ES, and the Esoteric DV-50 outperforms the Sony on redbook CD's as well as the high resolution formats.
Thanks for the feeedback! A lot of options for me to explore which is exactly what I was hoping for!


Can you tell me definitively if the DV-50 has IEEE-1394 output, i.e. firewire?
Gpalmer, I am in the same boat with you ,only choice at this
price range is Consonance Reference SACD 2,0 player from
Opera audio ( has balanced outs,tube output
and volume control too I think,but the only problem its photo
looks like a modified cheap Sony Sacd player 970or770..? dont know.
Hope this helps
Another alternative is to run the digital output of your ModWrighted Pioneer 38a into a Benchmark DAC-1($850.Retail).

The DAC-1 has balanced outputs and can be connected directly to a power amp and has an excellent built-in head
phone amp.