Thanks for the links! I've been looking for a while and it's always helpful to have more input. I never mentioned it, but I already have a cd player and a DAC with volume, both Emotiva models. Some have found the XDA-1 to be overly bright when connected straight to an amp, but my concern is the thing sounds sterile which maybe is kind of the same thing.
I've tried it with a pre amp, but this reduced its sounstage somewhat. In considering some kind of improvement, Oppo 95 has been compared directly to the Emotiva ERC-1 and XDA-1 combo, and the 95 was clearly superior in some threads I've read, so I'd be willing to give it a try out. I could always send it back if I don't have this result. Still pondering the Wyred DAC 2 though.