DAC recommendations

Okay. So, before this becomes the typical dac battle, let me explain what I have and what I’m looking for. My system consists of an Aric Audio Custom 300b PSET amp(almost always in class A set mode), Audio Note an-e/lx speakers, Cambridge cxn v2 streamer modified by ModWright tube dac and a Topping d90 dac. I can switch back and forth to get a tube sound from the ModWright or a more “accurate” depiction of the recording through the Topping. After a few months, I think I want something in the middle. The tube dac lacks a little clarity and the Topping is very critical of poor recordings. Both have their times when they sound better but I’m seeking a middle ground. 
Here’s what I’m looking for. I would like clarity, without being analytical. But most of all, I want natural sounding! I want a piano to sound like a piano etc…Lastly, I prefer a bit more bass and less bright sounding. Does this dac exist?

Ive looked at the Denafrips Terminator 2 and would prefer not to spend $6800. Does the Venus 2 fit? Bricasti m3? Other suggestions? I have some high quality components and would like a dac to match. Thanks in advance 


A lot of good suggestions guys. Thank you. I have some homework to do after the mornings festivities. It’s crazy when you start shopping, just how many dacs and set ups are out there. 

@earthbound - to possibly expand your options - my streamer (Lyngdorf TDAI 3400) does wireless streaming, but I was getting frequent dropouts with wireless. Like your situation, my media cabinet is about 50' from my router and a wired connection is not a practical option. So I replaced my Comcast router with an ASUS Mesh system, with one of the ASUS devices in the media cabinet connected to the Lyngdorf via ethernet. That setup has been 100% stable for almost a year now. BTW - before going with the ASUS I tried using a Netgear network extender. For whatever reason, that did not do a good job of maintaining a connection with the Comcast router.


One more from the peanut gallery

I switched from a DAC comparable to the Topping (similar price and benchmarks on ASR) to the Benchmark DAC3 - the improvement exceeded all expectations - just delightful. One of the biggest impacts I’ve heard on my system in a long time. I won’t bother with the adjectives other than “presence” and “immersion”. If my memory is correct, they have a customer-friendly return policy enabling you to try one out

The Benchmark is not MQA compatible, but of course handles hi-res. I’ve decided that I will investigate MQA the next time I upgrade my DAC (5 year cycle, thereabouts)

Let us know how the experiment comes along!

All the best to everyone on this holiday morning

I think I’m leaning towards having Santa deliver the Denafrips Terminator 2. In for a penny, in for a pound. I think I may keep my Cambridge streamer and order the Denafrips. I’ve just heard so many good things that I feel it will last to the final dirt nap! Not entirely sure yet but almost there. I think it’s got a lot of quality at a not so crazy price. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of money. Actually, it’s my summer vacation! But, I listen to hours of music everyday and that’s a wonderful vacation everyday! Plus, if you can’t treat yourself well, who will?

No brainer buy the Gustard R26 and add an external clock. The R26 is r2r which is what you need to get away from your descriptions of what you don’t like in your current set up.