Best EXTERNAL DAC suggestions

Yes, I have the latest addition to the Bluesound node, I guess third generation, prior to the most recent anniversary X addition. I know they have improved the inner DACS with each version but now I’m asking what would be some thing better in your opinion and one that is in the ballpark.

I have Cornwall Heritage IV speakers, and I am currently running a NAD C 316BEE amp( which pairs well with Klipsch 102 db) at 40 WPC. In the winter my Mancave is heated by a tube Cary SLI-80, UL /Triode 4/8 OHMS. 
either way, I love the ability of the Bluesound node to be my preamp and facilitating my Apple Airplay 2 and the eArc into the TV/CD. Mancave is treated, speakers and me complete a 6’ triangle.

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xmoose89

Mike Moffit, the Schiit digital designer is one of the greats. He's been at the top of his field for over 4 decades.

Soekris dac1421 is worth a look. As a bonus it has variable output, can be matched to an Apple Remote, and has a headphone output with crossfeed. 

+1 for the Denafrips Ares/Enyo - especially if you're looking for warmth and soundstage.

For warmth, a used MHDT Orchid will come in at your budget. +2 on the Ares. 

Schiit is a lot of things, but warmth isn’t one of them. I have a Bifrost2/64 right now and it is clear, airy, detailed and articulate with decent soundstaging. Best analogy is like an economical 4k TV with the contrast and sharpness just a click or two too high. Great for a lot of reasons, but warmth and ultimate natural realism isn’t it’s strongest features. It was better after a few modifications to the output card, but then I went too far and destroyed the board so I’m back to square one with a stock output card.

Just bought an MHDT Atlantis to play with and knowing that is easier to modify I should be able to tinker a little easier. From what I’ve read that dac is supposed to be on the smoother side and modifications and tube rolling brings it back to more neutral and snappy, clear side. We’ll see how it goes.