how much $$$ to really upgrade my DAC

Been loyal to my Monarchy M24 (upgraded Siemens tubes) + upsampling DIP for a few years now, many in fact. Nothing wrong, upgraditis hitting me. Been reading everything and the contrary about new $1,000 DAC shoebox size (Burson, Wyred, Peachtree and so on) with fancy Sabre chip yet power supply the size of cherry tomato...then I think go Weiss or Esoteric or EMM Lab and break the bank....I know there is only one way to find out but I am curious to hear what others may have done...thanks
PS: I am a PC Audio guy and haven't seen the light on my CDP for 5 years now.
If you can go for a break-the-bank solution, why not do it? If I could, I'd get a DAC which could handle 24/192 over a FireWire interface. That, along with a Mac, iTunes and Amarra Mini would make me very happy.
Look again, the W4S does not have a power supply the size of a cherry tomato, who told you that? 88Kmfd capacitance an oversized transformer and the ess 9018 saber chip. In my experience a very good product and value.
I used to own the M24 and in many ways it is a giant killer. While you can certainly find something that will outperform it you'll have to spend significantly more IMO to do so and then you might just find that you've spent 5x the cost of the M24 to attain a 5% improvement. The DAC is that good.
DACs are funny beasts in that many of the under $500 units are really quite good and it will take a sizable outlay to really better them. Think along the lines of $3-5K DACS. Many in between this range are fine units (W4S, Bryston, etc)but it takes a large $$ leap to make a major improvement. This is not a slam on the mid priced units at all, just that the technology at the lower price ranges are getting so good.
You get what you pay for. None of the cheaper dacs out perform the higher priced models especially in separation of instruments and vocals. In my experience that is where the difference begins. Some of the older Museatex Bitstream DACs still out perform all these new $1K dacs.

Happy Listening.