There are a few dac/amps out there that can do the he4 justice to full ability and best pairing, so buy a dac and spend on an amp. Schiit Lyr, Project Ember, or EF5 come to mind. If you want solid state with a great dac, look for an Audio-GD and go balanced. Soundstage and bass greatly improves balanced, although this could be the product of the amp/dac design on the Audio-GD.
There's a sketchy Audio-GD in the fs threads for $500. Sketchy because it's advertised as one model but face plate says otherwise, one pic of the inside will easily show what it is though. Balanced cable will run you $80 for a quality one although Mshenay has one fs I believe..
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 5/3/14 at 11:23am