Quest for an external Dac has resulted in me way down the rabbit hole

Hi audio wizards!  I’ve read several articles and reviews about the benefits of a good quality external DAC, and the potential for “real” improvements in musical quality in a current system. I do believe my system might be in line .  I currently have a Rotel 955 CD player I like, a nodeii and a Creek evo 100 integrated amp.  The Ohm 1000 speakers sound a little lean in the top end although I do like them overall.  At this point I’ve been looking for a Dac that would bring a little more “spring and liven up my system”.  However, the more I research, the more confused I get.  I’ve been to a couple higher end stereo stores and I seem to just get the “party line”.  I live in Denver Colorado, and although I like the PS Audio line I can’t afford them.  If any one has any advice for me on a good quality external     
Dac model for under $1000 (new or used) I could sure use the help! Thank you



Some good choices for consideration but the issue is that you may get one of these good ones and then decide it's not altogether impressive with your current system.

IMHO, that's the risk you take with your existing setup. I would suggest a RME ADI-DAC 2 which is available reconditioned or nearly new at your price point.

It is so flexible and brings so much more to the table than the others. You may land up making changes in other components but you will keep the RME.

Currently, I run it in a full-range system with rebuilt monoblock tube amps. It's a great match and no need for a preamp; the RME is a great product and great value.

Best of luck in your selection and happy listening. 

+1 for Denafrips, Alvin at Vinshine Audio is a pleasure to deal with, excellent customer service. As with any system, it's a balancing act to find components that complement each other so Benchmark may be good in one system whereas a Denafrips may be better in another.

I have a Denafrips Terminator Plus and it is amazing.  Before that I had a Wyred 4 Sound DAC2 DSD SE and an upgraded Schitt Yggdrasil.  The W4S was much better with more meat that the Yggrrasil.  You can pick one up for less than 1000.