Best DAC for under $1500

Looking for a new DAC that is under $1500. Please advice.
I prefer a musical, natural, and smooth, sound with a good soundstage. The current short list consists of older Mark Levinson, Northstar, and Audio Research.

My existing system consists of magnepan speakers with a hybrid integrated amp.

Thanks in advance.
PS Audio Dac 3 modified by Cullen.

I too have maggies- 3.5Rs, biamped with active XO. 4 heads up products that have done it for me

1. Raysonic 168 CD player- killer variable tube output
2. Wyred4Sound amps
3. Morrow Audio MAP 2 power cords
4. Clear Day solid core speaker cables - shotgun silver
I had the North Star. It is a very smooth and analog sounding DAC. Works great with the matching transport.

Another option I would consider is a Monarchy M24 or NM24. The M24 is tube only and available used if you can find one. The NM24 has both tube and solid state output stages. So you can switch between the two if you like. It can also serve as a linestage preamp, although I never used mine that way.
I very much enjoyed my (formerly owned) Kora Hermes DAC. This is a tubed based DAC which provides lots of flexibility in adjusting the sound by swapping out tubes. I have owned a couple of DACs and this would be on the high side of such a list for me where I to go back to a DAC set-up.
There is a Camelot Uther DAC III for sale here for $800. It was Stereophile class A rate back in the early 2000's. Also offers great flexibility in that you do not need a preamp. Just a thought and no it is not my listing and I do not work for Camelot. I have used the Uther IV for about 6 years and have not heard anything significantly better.
The Theta Va is a winner IMHO. Very musical grain or hardness from what I could detect.
Keep your eyes peeled for a Timbre TT-1, they sometimes pop up for $6-800, I used to have one and it was a real smoothie with great detail. It also looks cool. I rather miss it. It is quite a bit older but sold for about $4K new and is well regarded. Happy listening!
If you can find Msb Platinum DAC I you get used for around $1500 the new Msb Platinum DAC iii sells for $5999
A totally different league that anything listed so far
Thanks again for all your advice.
I like to add that I am using the DAC w/ Squeezebox, not sure if that will change your recommendations.
I've been using the Benchmark DAC-1 with my Squeezebox... sounds great to me, though I haven't compared it to others. The myriad online Benchmark reviews seem to be either love it, or hate it. I've also run the Benchmark direct to amp with great results (they now sell a Pre version, with more inputs). YMMV.