A New Twist on the Usual DAC Question

I have been searching the archives for DAC questions but here is a different one:

What DAC do you think represents the best VALUE?

By value, I dont mean the cheapest, "under $1000" etc, but what DAC gives the best ratio of

1) highest % of "state of the art" performance per dollar
2) greatest musical enjoyment

3) For the candidates you propose, could you also mention the types of inputs, please?

Ideally, I would like to use the DAC with at least a PC and a redbook player, and may also use an SACD.

Dont know if this is possible, but in any case, look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions.
Think at that price (and even higher) you may have problems finding SACD.Thiunk that may folks will reccomend at this price Perpetual DAC and it's PS.Think you can get them upgrated from a number of sources but underwood wally say's hjis have been approved by manufacturer and won't void warranty.Not sure if you ned Toslink or other types of inputs but again at the price you may be limited.I expoect down line fire wire or HDMI (though this may just be video stadard now)expect some sort of "fast" transfer will be come standardbut no new standard has become ubiquitous beyond optical and stanbdard RCA digital out.
if I'm not mistaken, there's no such thing as a DAC for SACD (in fact, the conspiracy theorists among us think that SACD was an attempt on the part of the record companies to save themselves from copying and piracy).
The Kora Hermes is a great buy 3995.00 Retail Can be had used at 1-1.5K
thanks so far

but when searching the archives, I would have sworn I read a couple of threads talking about Sony SCD-1 out into another DAC...

Maybe that was just for redbook?
The SCD-1 can output a 44.1 datastream when playing a CD, but has no digital output from SACD. Meitner Labs, Accuphase, and Sony have all implemented proprietary encrypted digital links for passing DSD data from SACD.
The Best DAC I have heard and felt was the most "Analog" is the McIntosh MDA1000, you can get it for 5-6k used 7k new. Stereophile has a nice review on it and I think some of the reviewers use it as there reference DAC. As far a value I think you get a great piece of equipment and thats where the value is. It also has a variable out so you may not need a preamp unless you have a TT so that ads to the value.

I imagine the Benchmark is up there when it comes to value.
For value: (oldie but damn goodie): MacCormack DAC-1 (upgraded by SMC)
I have recently been using the Classe DAC-1 with a great deal of pleasure. It is the best DAC I have ever owned, and while I am sure that there are many out there that are better, I think that it will have a place in my system for awhile. It has balanced, two coax and one optical digital input.
You can absolutly do SACD and have a dac, but you need extra cables...

Get a decent but not rediculously expensive CDP with SACD capability and run the analog into your Aux input, and Simply get a Sweet DAC which will hold its value for redbook, and you can very simply put the analog cables from the DAC right into your CD input, and still use the same CD input with the same set of cables to just change the input on the DAC when you need to run a hard drive computer source or whatever... This is the most versitile, and capable way to get it all and not loose a ton if you decide to sell something..

If you invest in a single player and upgrade I can tell you that all these big dog players are going to probably drop to about half value again in the next 2 years, because MASS storage redbook media is rapidly taking over and quite frankly some of the software and media units being sold today can compete with sending 1's and Zero's just as good or better(even in the jitter domain) Vs. some of the top transports today..

Of course this would give you capability to switch between the redbook and SACD layer on a hybrid on the fly and you might find that a Good dac will sound better than the decent SACD player. But truth is important :)
The Benchmark Dac is a lot of bang for the buck $975. New. It has XLR, BNC, Toslink, RCA inputs. Outputs are XLR bal., or RCA. also has a very nice headphone amp for 2 built in. It can be used with a preamp or without as it has a gain dial, I find it better this way in my system.