DAC Choices - $5,000 to $7,000

What are the current top DAC choices in the approximately $5-$7K price range (new or used) that I should look at as possible upgrades to my current Metrum Adagio?  Having an on-board volume control is not a factor as I can operate my system either way.   If I wanted to spend more I would look at Totaldac, Rockna Wavedream Signature, or one of the other top-end contenders, but I selected the price range to achieve a sound quality that is consistent with the rest of my system and because I don't want to spend more due to the still evolving nature of digital technology.  I do like the more natural sound (to my ears) of NOS R2R DACs.  So far, I have considered the three below, but none seem to be a slam-dunk upgrade from the Adagio, which still sounds pretty good in my system.  The decision is complicated by having to "buy to try" so that I can hear one in my system.  Maybe now is not the time for an upgrade.  Any thoughts?

  • Denafrips Terminator w/DSP board - Reportedly has the full body/dense tone type of sound I like, but also has a high'ish output impedance 
  • Holo May KTE - Reportedly measures great for an R2R DAC and has strong reviews 
  • Rockna Wavelight - Some reviewers like it but others put it in the middle of the pack for the price
There is only one reason anything is so expensive...it is worth it.  And that is for the listener to decide.  
@fastfreight - I’ve been looking at both the PS Audio DirectStream DAC and the Auralic Vega G2. Could you elaborate on their differences and why you preferred the Auaralic?
I went from a Benchmark DAC2 to the Terminator.  Running it from a new HP laptop over Curious USB and added the USBe-Perfect coming out of laptop.  Seemed to take three weeks to settle in, but I'm very content now going all-streaming.  Quite involving.

Has anyone added a Denafrips Iris or Gaia to a Terminator that they already had? I'm tempted by the new Hermes but not sure there's any problem to fix. Anyone been amazed or disappointed?

One thought, if you go Terminator-plus, you can run a very good clock out of the T-plus back to any of their digital converters and have an end-game digital path. Terminator-plus with the clock driving Iris might be better than Terminator with Gaia for about same cost.
@electroslacker - I think my next step is to add the Gaia to my Terminator, although I agree that using a Terminator+ with an Iris would likely be a good solution.

I've got my old preamp (Parasound JC2-BP) for sale. As soon as that's gone, I'll order the Gaia.