What DAC to buy?

Under $1000.

I’ve been out of the DAC buying mode for 5 years. My Project Pre Box S2 sounded good enough. It seems to be dying...something in the output stage is scratchy and distorted sounding. Time to move on. I can buy something of equal or better sound quality, but I don’t have an audiophile system, so I doubt I’d get the full value out of a high end DAC.

Make a suggestion...lets keep it under $1000.

Here’s some specifics. I don’t need a combination DAC + Preamp. My Adcom GFP 750 pre got a refresh with Nicholson capacitors a couple years ago, its fine for me, even if its old school. I stream in CD quality...I gave Tidal a try, MQA sounded good to me, but plenty of CD recordings in the last 30 years are also pretty good, so, I don’t need to do MQA moving forward. So I stream via Amazon music for the most part, occasionally movies, and occasionally use my old CDs. That’s it. I don’t need upsampling, I don’t need any features really, no headphone option needed..just accurate sound, a USB port and a digital audio port. Maybe a Schitt Modi Plus?

I also have an Adcom 565 GMA amp that I refreshed with new capacitors and Tyler Acoustic speakers. Let me know your thoughts. I stream through a PC, not MAC. Don't even need bluetooth functionality in the DAC.  Many thanks.


Denafrips Ares or RME adi2, Ares has a little better soundstage but RME is on the warm side, very transparent and a Swiss Army knife dac. I borrowed the Ares from a friend and owned the RME for a while. Between the 2 I would have to go RME for long term. The Pontus is a different story. 

Thanks everyone who's commented so far. Sounds like Denafips and Toppings have support here, so I'll look into them a bit. I hadn't thought of it, but I suppose I can look into streamers (and stop using the PC + Dac approach) as has been suggested. I'll leave the thread up for a couple more days. 

you would be better off having your CDP upgraded then to buy a $1K DAC.  You would get much better sound.