Upgrade from BluNode 2i with a new DAC or Integrated Streamer DAC?

I have owned the Blue Node 2i for a few years.  I would like to upgrade for ~ $1000 - $2000.  Would you recommend something like the NAD C 658 or a similar priced used piece or just spend the money on a better DAC and stick with the Blue Node as the streamer?  Likewise for the money used vs new.  I have a vintage system with Magnapan 3.1s which are powered by Emotiva XPA Gen 3s and Mark Levinson 26 preamp.  Had to replace the Mark Levinson dual Monos amp a few years ago and refurbished the Maggies.  I’m confused by the jitter issues of connecting two devices which would be either coax or Toslink as a potential negative to just putting the money into the DAC.


Sois:  Thanks for that article.  The head to head was helpful.  Ahh, the subtleties of taste highlight how even the engineering of electronics at some point is an art.  The rate of development in that art is more than a bit mind boggling.  While I keep waiting for what’s next, I keep eyeing both the limitations of my bank account as well as the clock on what’s left of my own listening experience which is pushing me to decide.  

From my watching of the Denafrips DAC world, the Venus doesn't pop up on the used market very often and the used prices reflect that.  The Ares and Pontus show up more often with the Pontus II models (and even some of the 12th) beginning to come down in used prices. 

Used fer sure.  A used Pontus with a used Iris DDC would still be in your price range and be pretty killer and is a combo that some even prefer to the Venus.  That’s what I’d do.

Thanks all.  Went for the Pontus II 12th new after all.  The used Matrix Audio X Sabre PRO I was looking at had been through two owners making me wonder if it was somehow less satisfying.  Some other genrally favorable reviews implied that a bit as well.  My Maggies have always highlighted the detail at the expense of dynamics to a degree so I am hoping this will bring out the strength in detail of the old maggies.  No opportunity here to audition in home with my own system.  Also newer technical advancements seem to still be coming along at a brisk pace.  Warranties and a reputable dealership seemed worth the couple of hundred $$ saved going to ebay.  Decent quality shielded power cord, balanced XLRs and and digital RCA connector exhausted the budget for now.  Maybe the Iris or something to clean up power from the wall later.  I am anxious to hear how this one piece changes things.  I really appreciate the input.  Give me some time to break in the DAC and I'll post again in month.