If Conrad Johnson still made a DAC it would sound like??

Having suffered a recent round of IT layoffs I'm not sure I should even be asking this question right now, but I think I'm going to be ready to move from my Mytek to something juicy and deceptive.  Bold, soundstage and not particularly neutral when it comes to a DAC.  Old school Theta Digital sound might be what I'm looking for, but with modern USB inputs.

What DAC, from the past 5-10 years, should I listen to, in the < $3,500 range?


Linear Tube Audio is coming out with its first DAC in February. It features tubes and will be right around your price point. 


Van Alstine may be close to what you seek. Definitely not as rich as a CJ product yet way less "nails on a chalkboard" sound than many of the products out there...

If you are looking for that old school detailed but musically romantic Conrad Johnson sound as your title suggests you need to up the budget and go with an Ayon lower end model. Pure Class A triode tube output designs.  Hard to find pre-owned.  I do not know how you get from CJ sound to Theta.   Otherwise, in your budget, I second going with a Bricasti M3 SE preowned. There are a number listed on AG in your budget.  Dense, palpable image, detailed, dynamic, while at the same time not bright in a negative sense in the high frequencies.  Or better yet a preowned M1 if you up the budget.  The latter more of everything you get in the M3.