Best DAC for MacMini Under $1000

Currently I'm running my MacMini through a Musical Fidelity vLink and vDac - which has huge presence but also in your face harshness. I've also run MacMini via vLink to my Cambrige Audio player (with upsampling) which is like listening with a pillow over your head.

And finally, I'm running the MacMini via home network through a Bel Canto integrated with built it dac which sounds incredible, smooth, detailed, and full body to boot.

Looking for ideas on stand alone Dac $1000 or less to run between MacMini, Belles preamp and Martin Logans.

I had a chance to try a DAC3VB in my system a while back and I also thought it sounded fantastic. Since you like the sound of the DAC in your integrated so much maybe it's worth saving up for a bit for something like a used DAC3 (although I guess you'd also need a USB/SPDIF converter too if you don't have one)? That's what I'm doing anyway.

Short of that maybe something like a Metrum Octave or a Wavelength Proton? Best of luck.
Soix - thanks and if anyone else has other suggestions, ideally I'm looking for a dac I can buy hear in the U.S.
There's a used db Audio Labs Tranquility USB DAC for sale here now. No, I'm not the seller but it would be great bang for buck.
And, there a demo Ultra Fi DAC-41 up for auction with a reserve of $700. This is the next generation from designer Larry Moore.

Nothing in it, just a satisfied customer.
Schiit Gungnir. Buy it, listen in your home for 15 days, if you don't like it, you pay 5% restocking charge. $750 without USB, $850 with. I just bought one and think it's a great value.
There is a Centrance DacMini here on Agon for sale, I've used one for almost a year with my MacMini, they pair up well physically. Highly recommended.
The Arcam R-Dac is good and cheap. The Rega is better and more expensive.
I'd look for a preowned DAC3/3VB/2.5 or 1.5 if you liked the Bel Canto sound.

I like the 3.5VB II.
the metrum octave can be had just above your price point new or a bit below used (if you can find one). it's an absolutely astounding DAC for the money.
Tranquility is a good choice for sure if you are going USB only.

If you need multiple inputs, chuck out the Schiit Gungnir.

To get some great DSP capabilities, check out the DSPeaker Dual Core. An amazing sounding and amazingly versitile component.
If it's gonna be the Bel Canto, it won't be $1,000 for sure.

It would be in the area of over $6K if you want the DAC3.5MKII, VBS with either the uLink or the REFlink, if you need USB.

Life is cruel, isn't it?


tranquility dac se. great analog sounding dac . just did a 4 dac shootout . the tranquility was my favorite regardless of cost .
I would like to get your feedback on the comparison between Schiit Gungnir and Yulong-D18. Any feedback is appreciated.
Sell the Bel Canto and purchase a Wyred 4 Sound Dac 2. Use it as a dac and digital preamp. The W4S are about $1200 used.