Sub $1000 DAC with AKM chip


I don’t wish to start a heated debate but I’m looking for a DAC for my daughters system. Does anyone have a recommendation for an under $1000 DAC that uses an AKM chip? I have a Topping D90 with AKM that I like. It’s not my endgame DAC but it is substantially better than many I have tried before. I know that many like ESS, Burr Brown, Wolfson etc, but I would prefer to just hear opinions about AKM and I’d also like to stay away from a discussion about streamers (I’m also considering a Bluesound Node)…Hell, I might even get her an Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt since she is so iPhone-centric. She recently voiced her dissatisfaction with low fidelity and wants to hear music from better equipment so I’m giving her one of my integrated tube amps and a set of speakers. I don’t want to go nuts on this since she may ultimately find that hifi is not really as appealing as she imagined.

thanks all for your replies 


She has a pretty wide range of tastes with music. Pretty much easier to say what she’s not into.. (country/western and classical)

Pick up a RME it has bass and treble knobs also a eq and different filters. I’m sure she’s not picky on soundstage. If you do pick up one get the one with bass and treble buttons on the remote.

I have to agree with the comments on an AKM DAC with a tube amplifier..You'll likely end up in the old Conrad Johnson Syrup bottle..
 Some excellent sounding SABRE DACS from Topping,SMSL & a few others that escape my aged & damaged brain..

Wow, I’ve got the AKM Topping paired with a Marantz Model 8. I wonder if I’d get something better out of a DAC with an ESS chip for my own setup…

Here’s a used topping d90 mqa for $550

Chord Qutest is around $1200 used and is an amazing value. It utilizes FPGA chipset custom designed and programmed by Rob Watts. The Qutest is a much better DAC than the cold and lifeless but great measuring Topping. 
I don’t understand why you are so fixated on dac chips. That’s not everything by any means. But…whatever.