Best natural, musical DAC under $3K?

I've been using a Oppo HA-1 headphone amp/DAC in my system and for $1200 no doubt it's an excellent value in the Oppo tradition. As a DAC it had good detail, handled complex passages well, but sounded a bit staged and unnatural to my ears especially in the upper registers.

Of course I'd have to up quite a bit in price, but for under $3K what's your recommendation for "natural" "correct" "organic" "musical" DAC that would do at least partial justice to my just in Verity Parsifal speakers?

So far my top three contenders are:

1) Chord Hugo
2) Wyred4Sound SE
3) Cary Audio 100-T

Any clear choice here? Am I missing something obvious?

Try Ayre QB9. It is one of the best sounding DAC under 5K range. The current DSD version is beyond 3K price range. but the original QB9 is around 2K used and you can also choose to upgrade to DSD version with 500USD later on.
How do you define "natural" "correct" "organic" "musical"? Also, what's your preamp?
Do yourself a huge favor and look into an audio note kit's everything you describe. You can have one built for you for about half your budget!
Do you only do cd's or do you want to do hi-rez also
For cd only an Audio Note Kit 2.1 dac can't be beat. For Hi rez I use a Mytek 192 stereo dac. Also lately I have been listening to a Schiit Loki dac streaming from my laptop thru Jriver 19 which converts everything to DSD. The Loki does DSD only and at $149 is amazing
My vote is definitely for the Hugo.

I have tried out many different DAC's over the past years and found the QuteEX to be by far the best. The Hugo is based on the QuteEX plus adds the portability and headphone amp. Pretty super deal.
For 3.5K Wavelength Cosecant is fantastic ! Would fit well with your criterion of musical, correct, low level detail yet full and rich sound. Similar to Parsifal characteristics.
Preamp is Cary SLP98 tube. Using Cary SS amp. I do a lot of Spotify streaming through the iPad.
Why not a PS Audio PWD MkII. With their new DSD model, the MkII's are available used for an attratctive orice, and it is a top notch, highly versatile DAC.

The PS Audio PWD MK11 can be bought for under $3K.
I just got one from Underwood HiFi here on Audiogon.
The DSD is over the $3k tho...
Hey Larrybou, assuming you don't need a built-in preamp or DSD, if I was going again with your budget I'd look at:
Aqua La Voce S2
Metrum Hex
Audial Model S / Model S USB

There is a Bel Canto 3.5 VBS for sale in your price range. I had the 3.0 VBS in my system and it exhibits all the characteristics you listed in spades and I believe would work superbly with your Parsifals. The 3.5 VBS has been reviewed against some of the best DACs extant and more than held its own, and I'd recommend jumping on this without hesitation. Best of luck in whatever you end up with.
I ended up purchasing the Wadia Intuition 01. Fully integrated unit with DAC, preamp, and 200 watt amp. Originally $7500 but I paid much less. Was either going to get active speakers and a DAC or all in one electronics plus passives. The deal on the Wadia was too good to pass up.

It sounded fantastic in the showroom with some high end Sonus Fabers. There's a similar all in one Nuforce just released called the Nuprime which is getting rave reviews from a couple of early adopters for under $2500.