Best Sounding Tube Dac you ever heard.

The ones that stand out, are the Sonic Frontiers processor 3 and the SFD 2, Audio Logic 2400 and the 34, Jadis JS-1, Audio Note, Anodyne ATAS, Stax DAC-X1T, Altis, VAC 2, Metronome, Melos Maxx, Wavelength tube dac, Manley WAVE and the Kora Hermes.
kondo ongaku converter
The Thor DAC (DC-1000) is wonderful. At about $8,500 it's not inexpensive, but it sounds better than the SACD decks I've heard - and is neck and neck with similarly priced analog rigs (table + cartridge + phono-pre and cable). This product is fairly well known in reviewer circles and is highly respected.

The other unit that may be even better is the Florence Audio Technology "Tube DAC". At $12K with spartan cosmetics it is a stretch on the value side, but it is the closest thing to State of the Art analog that I have ever heard. At present, I think that there are fewer than three in existence, but it is a rare and wonderful piece of gear.
Why the obsession with tube output? If I'm correct, many of the tube outputs function as impedance matching buffers and NOT amplification devices. I can understand tube amps/preamps (I'm using Atma-sphere products myself) but let's not rule out solid state equipment carte blanche. I happen to LOVE Accuphase digital products. Happy Tunes!
The Kora Hermes is wonderful, especially if you change the tubes to 1960's Telefunken gold pin tubes, but there is also the new and wonderful Chrod 64 DAC and the Zanden DAC from Zanden Audio.

By the way, the Kora Hermes works best with a balanced digital cable
AVC1, your right, i forgot about the Thor Tube Dac. I had to ask about Florence Audio technologies. At the Stereophile show last May, there were these speakers called The Florence Audio Poloena speakers. They looked like those Legends speakers. You know how the mini monitor looks on the Wilson Watt Puppy. Thats how they looked. I think it used a kelvar mid and kelvar tweeter. Is this the same company.
The best ones i heard are the Audio Logic 2400 and the 34, along with the Jadis JS-1. Jerry designed the Dac for Jadis.
Doug, there is a common thread here, I believe Jerry also designed the Thor, as well as the Altis. Twilo knows my admiration for the Audio Logic DAC. I think that the Audio Aero may also be worthy of inclusion in this group, judging from the descriptions of its sound.
Joe, I own the Kora Hermes and I love it. I'll have to check to see if my Theta transport can output a balanced signal. And I do plan to experiment with some NOS 6922s when I get the chance.
Rcprince, actually the late Howie Mandell designed the Altis dacs. I think you might be right, Jerry designed the Thor Tube Dac. Jerry also designed the VAC and Conrad Johnson Premier tube dacs.
The latest (Fire wire version) of the DCS Elgar with the Purcell upsampler is truly breath taking.