Recommend A New DAC Between $1000 and $2000

I am currently using an older Assemblage DAC 2.0 ( BB1702 R2R dac chip, CS8412 receiver, PMD100 filter) with many upgrade mods.  It sounds surprisingly good, but I am looking for something current and better sounding, with the following characteristics:

- Smooth, spacious, slightly warmish sound

- Smooth, non glaring, non etched higher registers (maybe sounding just a bit    rolled off, as in lacking strident edges)

- Great sound stage and depth

- Excellent resolution

- Generally natural sounding

... and at a price under $ 2000 if possible

Any ideas and / or personal experiences?

Thanks in advance!





The black ice I owned the tube gives it a warm signature but very rolled off 

the Denafrips basic Aries is much better ,the pontus2+ a excellent dac 

and the new Gustard r2r26 is excellent ,add the synergistic purple fuses it is better then my pontus2 dac   
I am saving for a true reference the T&A  200 dac ,which is exceptional .


I’m using an smsl su-9pro it’s natural sounding since you can turn off all filtering and can reach 135db which is also very nice and the price is 500 usd. 

+++ Denafrips Pontus II. I have had mine for nearly a year, and still love it. Certainly the best DAC under $2,500 IMO…..and I’ve heard a few. It has the traits you are looking for, with just a hint of warmth.

The newest Pontus II 12th Anniversary edition has even more improvements over the standard DAC…..and for $1,850

Bryston BDA-3 fits your requirements. Used should be around or slightly more than $2000’.
Chord Qutest is fantastic as well especially with the warm filter engaged.