Since when price is relevant in the choice of a DAC?
Honestly the Metrum is the DAC that will stay in my mind as the most special DAC ever.
Could well be because it was my first step in the >$1000 range (this includes the Stello U3), but honestly I didn't get that so easy on the ear sound from even the SA-2, which is a NOS DAC too.
The quad is the purest I've heard and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up buying the HEX and step out of head-fi...
I have been eyeballing a HEX too, but I am having trouble resisting the temptation to get a TeraDak Chameleon and mod the heck out of it. I guess that's in my blood lol