A reasonably priced DAC upgrade from Schiit Gumby

Hello everyone. Looking for a reasonably priced DAC upgrade from the schiit Gumby I have now. Which I absolutely love but feel could be a bit more open. Source is Oppo 105. Amplification is Schiit Ragnarok 2. Speakers are Reference 3A de capos. The Schiit Gungnir does NOT have the upgrade.


I had the Denafrips Aries 2 and liked it, but it was a bit too, well, digital for me. So I guess I’m looking for a warmer sound. I use CDs maybe 5% of the time and Tidal max for the rest. 


I tried the Gumby and returned it. The relay clicking between tracks when streaming drove me nuts. I ended up with a Denafrips Pontus II. I know you didn’t like the Ares, but to my ears, the Pontus II with updated firmware sounds very natural and not digital. Note that I use mostly the I2S over HDMI input, but the coax input sounds great, too. Under $1800 USD. I think it’s a bargain, built like a tank, and my version isn’t as upgraded as the current one.

I’d send it in for the multi bi upgrade. It’s much smoother and has a more 3D presentation. I loved mine when I had it. Took a much more expensive DAC to out perform it for musicality.  Chord would be my next suggestion. That’s where I ended up. 

@gemoody Interesting idea. I'm hesitant insofar as adding another element into the signal path. 

@glennewdick Yes - that's def. an option

This Pontus ll would be worth a try I’d think.  If it doesn’t provide meaningful improvements you can just turn around and sell it for little/no loss.


+1 on the multibit upgrade, it was a significant improvement for my system.