Sorry to join late, but I actually do have a suggestion - an Oppo BDP-105. It has USB input for streamed data, network connection (wired and wireless), 3 USB ports for local drives, SPDIF / Toslink, and HDMI input along with Sabre 32bit DACs and balanced outputs. So powerful and flexible that I am actually using it as my control center directly connected to amps - very minimal system.
You aren't the only one who can hear the difference between a low end CD player / AVR and a high end system, I can hear the difference too. I don't know if it is the 10x increase in power, 1/100 the distortion, the balanced connections, the better DACs, or all of these things combined but I can hear a difference. The one thing that I can actually prove is that there is a better noise floor. Full volume, disc player playing an all zero test track: System 1 - I can hear hiss from speakers at the primary listening position, System 2 - I cannot hear anything even with my ear right against the drivers.
System 1 (my garage system electronics): Sony CDP-315 CD player - analog outputs to Yamaha RX-495 2-Ch AVR - connected to my Paradigm Signature S4 speakers
System 2: (my 2-channel system) Oppo BDP-105 BD - balanced outputs to Bryston 4BSST2, connected to my Paradigm Signature S4 speakers
2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD