DAC suggestions for a reasonably modest system

I have two systems currently fed by a SMSL SU-9n via Y splitter.  It's time to add a new/used DAC and get rid of the Y splitter.  New DAC will feed a VTL TL-2.5 + VTL Stereo 90 or a couple of different vintage SS amps (Sony TAN-8250 or Luxman 5M21), and just for fun, maybe a couple of Dyna Mk VI, running Magnepan 3.6R.  The SMSL does a great job overall, but seems to be a better fit with the ARC SP3a1 + SET or SEP amp into Altecs.  For those of you that have had the SMSL or similar level DACs in a similar system to mine and have moved up the chain, what gave you a nice step change?  The Maggies, however imperfect, are delightfully revealing and prior DAC changes were definitely more apparent with them.  Budget is $1000-1500, and I have no issue with buying used good quality stuff.  None of my system is less than 20 years old except the DACs.  


I simply did not know what I was missing until I stepped up to a r2r. Suggest Pontus 

If you can stretch to $1,850 you can get a new Denafrips Pontus II 12th. If not then you can get a used Pontus II for about $1,300. The Denafrips products all have upgradeable firmware that is released free of charge, so updates are released once or twice a year. The Pontus is one of those rare products that performs way above it's price point. I'm heading into 3 years with mine, and never thought it was the weak link in my system.

As Soix mentioned, you can get even more performance from a Pontus (or several other R2R DACs with I2S inputs) by adding a DDC like the Denafrips Iris and going I2S out to the DAC. The Iris can be found used for about $350.

A used Pontus II DAC and used Iris DDC is about $1,650 for the pair, and is still a killer combination

@pickindoug i use the smsl su9 in my most-listened to system and i really like it--i will admit that my buddy's chord hugo 2 (which you can find used for around a grand) was better--i also heard a topping d90 in the same system and it was really good--wholly uncolored and less forward than the smsl.

Can't do much wrong with a musical fidelity v90 dac. Can still be had for about $299. I love mine.

I second the Musical Fidelity Dac.  I use the nu-vista.  Not as revealing as some, but sweeter than most.  It's one you don't get tired of.