Shopping for a DAC seems to be the most difficult part of my upgrade process. There are just too many options at too many price points and too little consensus. My budget for a DAC depends on the price of the integrated with which I will pair it. If I buy, for example, a $4900 NAIM SuperNait2, I'll have less for the DAC; the opposite would be true if I buy the NAIM XS2 for $2400, etc.
What am I look for?
-a DAC that will pair with a stereo integrated attached to my Dynaudio Focus 160 stand-mounts
-Slightly more warmer sound than technical/clinical or neutral
-A wider sound-stage
-Retention of details
-a pre-amp / headphone amp is not a priority
-DSD/DXD is optional (future-proofing not a bad thing but may not be necessary)
-Bang-for-buck and value proposition is important for me
-I feel as if DACs are evolving every few months and should receive less investment as say compared to an integrated or amp that may last a decade or more
With this in mind, can you all comment on the list of DACs below?
$700: Arcam irDAC
$850: Resonessence Labs Concero HD vs. TEAC UD-501 (Both offer DSD)
$1249: Anedio D2 ($999 if refurbed)
$1795: Chord QuteHD (DSD) DAC
$2400: NAIM DAC V1 vs. Bryston BDA-2