best under $1000 digital front end new or used?

seeking suggestions please, new or used, priority on sound quality onlyI was thinking some type of tablet with a small dac along the lines of mojo or ifi nano
also, would this type of setup provide higher sound quality than a $1000 DAP?

Well since your priority is sound quality only: Go on CraigsList, search under FREE until you find one. This will leave you with $1000 to spend on analog. And you can't do better than that.
The original Chord Hugo would be great as it has a great headphone section and decodes almost every format. Can be used as a preamp as well. For a little more, the Border Patrol DAC and the MHDT Orchid seem to be checking alot of boxes for alot of music lovers. Small form factors both although if hi rez is your thing, these 2 are not the solution. After listening to either, I’m not sure you would be missing anything anyway... Full disclosure, I have a new iPad with the usb/power adapter feeding via USB cable to a Border Patrol DAC at my office fed by Roon/Qobuz/Tidal streaming. It is terrific and no complaints. My home dac is a 5 figure retail piece and I have absolutely no complaints although the recommendations above are NOT at the same level as my home dac. All depends on what you are after.

there should be a lengthy list of pre owned DACs around which ought to do well for you.

having some more input on your needs and rig would not hurt either.

do you require a stand alone dAC for streaming? used with PC? with CDP?

Bryston, benchmark and Bel Canto have usually been well received thru the years. I own a Bel canto DAC 3 and really dig it. I believe too I saw one in the past couple weeks for under $1K as well.

BC has in the past offered an upgrade path so there's that.

the single caveat here is with its USB input. its only 16/44 so an adapter of sorts to use the higher rated kBNC/AES/RCA inputs will be needed, if that is a desire for use with streaming and or PC derived content. it does not do DSD oor MQA. , yet at this price level many will not.

BTW… disregard or simply over look peanut gallery feedback from the Analog or die crowd. depending on the system itself, I’ve heard ‘log rigs I would not buy with someone else’ money.

as well, I'e heard many others which cost tons that did not involve with their SQ one what so ever.

just because there is a big flat black disc spinning doesn’t mean it sounds better than some other outfit every time..

because, in fact, they very often do not.

want analog sound? Then ? get yourself some tubed pre and amps. Otherwise, IMHO its NOT a true analog rig.

the result is what matters. Not how you get there!!

some folks do not have enough exp or are simply engrossed in one of audio's great fallacies to find out otherwise and think the binyl front end the true 'end all be all' in this past time and they wear it like some sort of self adorned crown. given what it costs to get a vinyl rig sounding as good as a digital front end rig, perhaps they are justified at least in terms of over all costs.