New to audio. Is there a good DAC that can produce layers of sound?


One of the Youtube audio reviews I watch as a beginner in audio system is Darko

He says during the Chord Qutest review that this DAC can produce layers of sound which is great

I kinda understand what he says because from my very first audio setup, which I returned due to awful sound of music this week, I could still feel some layers, maybe 2, from Post Malone’s song Deja Vu. Only, there were 2 clear layer, from 16bit 44.1 kHz signals from Sonos Amp, one very far back near the speaker and one right next to my ear. I thought it was amazing though. The speaker was SVS ultra bookshelf.

Now those are all returned to the seller, and I am looking for something more clear, musical, and awesome. So, the Qutest is one of the DACs I want to try.

But, if there is any DAC you, as a more experience audiophiles, would like to recommend to me for having great sound effect, could you please list some names? with brief description of the sound?

The price range I am looking for is about $1.5K or less. I prefer less. Used items included.

I am on a journey to setup an enjoyable sound system for myself and would like to see what others like.

Thanks!

K
yggy1
From personal experience: Behringer is CRAP. I went through 4 of them. Emerald Physics used to sell them with their speakers and had similar issues to mine

An excellent option is the Audio Alchemy DDP 1 + PS 5

It’s a combination preamp and dac, but doesn’t come on song without the matching PS 5, which is an outboard power supply. They don't come up for sale often, but well worth the wait. Virtually impossible to get the PS 5 separate, so not a good idea to buy the DDP-1 unless it comes with the PS 5

hth
I love my MHDT Orchid DAC, but more for it's natural presentation of music than soundstaging.  I have it set up in a small room with the speakers nearfield, so I'm not getting the best soundstage I could.  

If you don't like bright speakers, switching to Monitor Audio speakers might not be the best choice, that's one of the things they are known for.  I haven't heard the ones you're looking at, so maybe they are less bright than in the past.  If you want a set of small speakers with nice soundstage and luscious mids and detailed but not bright highs, take a look at Harbeth P3ESR or a similar BBC monitor type speaker.
"  From personal experience: Behringer is CRAP. I went through 4 of them "

The first model suicided from overheating, recent model is improved and has upgraded analog in-/outputs as well but they can still not be totally trusted. 
My second now and I`ve got a four year guarantee for a few bucks extra. Playing from youtube right now with a 3db dynamic expansion added. 

The Audio Achemy predac is good enough but even a used one cost ten times the price of a DEQ2496. 


You probably want an R2R tube-based DAC.  MHDT and Audio Mirror are two distinct possibilities; Border Patrol would be another.  Search the forum for various threads on these DACs--you'll find other relevant ones named there also.
Wow. Thank you all. This thread really helps me to find some awesome DACs. I can do my own research on google, but the names I see here are not easy to find. Also, I know there are youtubers promoting certain products and they have special interests shared with companies, but do you guys know about EISA award? One of the integrated amp has won this award, the Hegel Rost, and it seem pretty close to what I am hoping to hear from my music setups. That is "according to youtubers reviews".