Need a DAC Recommendation.

Im retired and can only spend $1200 to $1500 on a DAC. What would you recommend? I assume I will be in the Used market.  Thanks!
No need to buy used! The best DAC for under $1K is the new Topping D90SE - $899! Lookout all you four and five-figure DACs!
Get the schiit Yggdrasil GS for 1600$ ..  You won’t be disappointed, but thrilled.
I don’t know what the current new sticker price, but look into the Mytek Liberty 
Right at your budget limit, but study up, as I see R2R as the future for a typical 20th century chip dacs
In that price range, look at MHDT Labs lineup.  I have the Orchid. 

I also owned the Mytek Liberty.  It didn't stay in my possession for long, too "digital" / analytical for my tastes.  The Orchid is much closer to the sound of analog.  A friend has the Topping D90 and it sounds great in his system.  The Schiit Bifrost 2 is an affordable option, but it also had a little too much "edge" for me and didn't stay long.  The same friend mentioned previously that has the D90 also had the Bifrost 2 and ended up keeping the D90. 

Knowing what type of sound you're hoping to achieve would be helpful. These little boxes don't all sound the same.  
The Parasound Zdac were really amazing.  I believe they are discontinued, but if you can listen to them without preconceptions, you'd be well rewarded and save money for other things. :)
I love my $1100 MHDT Orchid and I had Grannyring update it. It’s now stunning and we’re at the $1500 total or so.

Other DAC choices for me in this range would include Audio G-D, Denafrips, Soekris.
agree the original Zdac was quite good typically under $200 now, , and also for a lower price a new Denafrips Ares ll at a little under $800 - the price on their website is Singapore dollars...
The Gustard X26 Pro is compared to the new Topping D90SE in the Topping review linked below. The Gustard was favored. Try out the Gustard on the 30 day home trial., I sold an almost $3K tube DAC that people here love after I compared it with the Gustard X26 Pro.

The One to Beat: Gustard X26 PRO DAC Review (

Topping D90SE DAC Review - A New Benchmark (

Knowing what type of sound you're hoping to achieve would be helpful. These little boxes don't all sound the same.  
The Gustard has a bit more range in sound that a lot of DACs in this price range with NOS/OS mode and 3 custom filters.

BTW - the way DACs are sounding today I am starting to think $1500 is my upper limit for NEW DACs.

Schiit Gungnir multibit. It is an inexpensive version of the Yggi. Outstanding sound for the money. I bought one during research for a friend.. he got the Yggi… which sometimes you can get an unboxed Yggi at the Schiit sight. The Yggi is a bit more refined… but you get most of the sound with the Gungnir… Go find some reviews on the Gungnir and Yggi… you’ll see how amazing for the money the Schiit stuff is. 
Thanks for all the Input. 
Any thoughts on PS Audio NuWave or Stellar Gain Cell DAC?

Thanks Again!
Wadia di122 over on Ebay for <$1K.  It's a good implementation of Sabre ES9016S.

Mcintosh shelved the line but support is available via 3rd party.
Black Ice Audio Glass FX DAC. It’s on sale for $699 right now over at Underwood HiFi.
Read the reviews.
@rsa   Really best to choose from Gustard, Denafrips, MHDT or Audio Mirror Tubadour, new or used.
An Ayre Codex will give the Schiit Yggy a run for the money, plus you can get one for less than $1K.
I owned both, but have moved to the Ayre Qb-9 Twenty.
I have the RME adi-2 and MHDT Orchid and enjoy both but very different. I added the Teddy Pardue psu to the RME and added better caps and 6sn7 and 6922 tube adapters to th MHDT.

The RME has nice big bass very transparent without being analytical and a lot of features. The Orchid is more analog not as transparent but very enjoyable. There both great but I tend to listen to the RME more but the Orchid is great with acoustic jazz and blues and images very well.
Lots of excellent options in that price range.  What sound characteristics are most important to you?  That’ll largely dictate which DAC might be best. 
I have had the Audio mirror, Aurender N10, sw1x Dac, and just recently a Chord TT2 in my system. I also have an RME ADI2 Dac Fs. For me the RME has the best sounds at about$1200.  I am also using a CXN v2 for streaming and the built-in Dac is actually pretty good all for$1099. I also added the Teddy Pardo PS to the RME, it's not going anywhere soon.
If you could save just a few hundred more I have owned many very good dacs ,look up Underwood Wally 
his new line ,I am currently running in one I bought 
Audio GD  R8 MK2 dac .it is a non oversampling dac and built like a Tank ,just compare with anything under $2500 it has very big dynamics and control but still very warm and natural with excellent 
grip on the performance.It is very special ,it weighs 25 lbs from the 3 R core transformers and over 30,000 uf in filter capacitance it just came out end of April ,it’s well worth the extra  few hundred bucks I am 63 and have heard most everything out there .
Give Walter at call asking $1995 delivered see what he can do I guarantee this R2R dac won’t  disappoint .
Nice to see I'm not the only one that finds the RME great bang for buck and a keeper. I tried the Chord Qutest it was nice but found it a little bass shy and hifi sounding. One thing I enjoy with RME is the balanced output along with rca output. 

I run a Audience au24 se balanced to one input on pre and a Acoustic Zen silver ref 2 rca to another input on preamp and can switch inputs on the fly to adjust to the sonic quality of recording. The AZ comes across a little softer. I run all settings on RME flat. 

As small as it is it responds very well to footers. 
Get the Denafrips Pontus ii 
Excellent Dac. I have Pontus with Iris DDC and using is2 connection.
Hard to go wrong these days.  Features like usb input, balanced outputs, linear power supply, volume control options are probably what set apart dacs in this price range.
Another vote for MHDT Orchid. Plus you can do a bit of tube rolling if you desire.
Border Patrol SE. Can get one used for $850. Sound wonderful and I may have one for sale. 
We tried the Topping D90 against the SMSL M400 both in the same price range and preferred and bought the SMSL M400.  The Topping was a bit forward and bright for our taste, while the SMSL was just right.  Not as good as my Chord Hugo TT2 but much closer than I had ever expected for seven times less money.  Best DAC I've ever heard under $1000 although I'd admit I've not heard the R2R examples.
Happy listening!
I would put my money down on a Gustard X26 Pro. Easily beats the Topping everyone is so fond of, is built like a tank, has lots of settings and beats many much more expensive DACS on SQ. Extremely well designed.

I would buy it new.

And I would not spend much more than this considering DACs now-a-days have improved so much so that I would rather wait for a new technology before venturing any more money on one.
After much research, I think I'm about to pull the trigger on a Musical Paradise DAC.

Audio gd. Their DACs punch way above their weight class. I didn’t believe it until I actually heard it. There are a couple between $1-2k that would make you fall in love. Someone previously mentioned the R8. It’s a $5k unit all day going for under $2k. The R7 put my PS Audio out to pasture by a mile. Wally at Underwood HiFi carries the line now. Give him a shout. He’ll do whatever he can to stretch your dollars. 
RME ADI 2 DAC fs with Teddy Pardo PS/SR Orange. Great combo and the better the cables you throw on it, the more you will be rewarded. Can’t imagine spending more… I’m sure they get better but we’re cutting hairs for very little if any gain.
Just got a Denafrips Ares II. Its really good, a wonderful source for any digital system.
Just another shout for Denafrips, all the Denafrips DACs are excellent, the Terminator Plus tops the range and that’s a dream piece of kit. 
Chord qutest or mojo... Chord do their own DAC chip it is the closest I can get my streaming to my $4k vinyl rig plus it allows USB, bnc coax and optical inputs... It also has further filters to subtly adjust the sound if your set up to analytical for your taste. 
Surprised no one mentions a Border Patrol. The lowest tier model is @ $1075. It's an R2R dac based on a Philips chip with either USB or coax @ the price. I own one and it sounds great.
Save your money and get a used ps audio DS jr dac, it will blow these mentioned dacs away in sq and in features. For example: do the other dacs above have an Ethernet connection? Fpga based? I2s input? (I2s and Ethernet are the best inputs to use on a dac), free firmware upstages that provide new features and sounds better, MQA support, up samples to dsd? Most of these other dacs mentioned above don’t provide even 1 of these features let alone all of them. You can get a used jr for around $2400
FYI, the Border Patrol's tube is not part of a buffered output, but part of the the signal path. That might help differentiate it from other tube DACs.
For clarification: The tube in the Border Patrol is part of the power supply, not the audio signal path.