Look for a used PS Audio DirectStream Senior.
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Most all solid state DACs won’t alter bass nor decay.
Soundstage width issues could be channel matching and/or crosstalk.
The Benchmark, Chord, and PS Audio ones would be excellent. the Benchmark and Chord are awesome, I just really dislike their asthetic. I would not recommend buying the PS Audio one new though, it is not worth >2x the Benchmark or Chord.
As a DAC, the Node 2i has a SINAD (Signal over Noise and Distortion) of ~87dB, so not good enough for 16Bit (CD, MP3, etc.), while the Benchmark and Chord are between 110dB and 115dB.
Now, 87dB may be good enough with music masking the noise/distortion in addition to your room’s floor noise, but as an absolute audibility threshold it falls short.
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I do want to clarify that I’m looking for a DAC that does conversion best first and foremost. Preamp and streaming abilities are not necessary with the other equipment I already have.
@kalali, your suggestion is a good one. Replacing the Node 2 is the next piece of the upgrade path. I’m looking at Lumin U1 or Mini U1 and Aurender N110C. Or the other all in one options I initially noted, the NAD C 658 and Simaudio 390.
Is the DS Sr that much better than the Junior? Last time I checked, the Sr was out of stock till mid 2019. Seems that PS Audio always runs a big sale at the end of the year and blows out all their stock. I saw it in 2017 when I was searching for a Preamp. I missed the great sale on the BHK Pre.....
Anyone got a good dealer recommendation on where to purchase the PS Audio gear from?
It seems I did miss something. The DS Jr is no longer a product for PS Audio. With the coming release of their cost no object DAC, they're dropping the Junior.
So where I'm at right now is probably getting the Schiit Yggy and then a separate streamer. I plan to sample streamers at Axpona in April. This will give me an opportunity to sample the OS of each streamer. Looking at Lumin, Auralic and Innuos. I wish Innuos had AES/EBU as well as USB....
Thanks @canibefrank. I found that thread and have pretty much dismissed the C658 as an option. There's a dealer in NJ that gave it good reviews, but, as you said, it had to be paired perfectly. I'm looking for a piece that isn't that picky. I've also pretty much decided I'll be going with a separate DAC and Streamer instead of an all-in-one solution. The Yggy fits my DAC needs. Not sure if there's any other DAC out there in the $2500 range that can beat it. I fully recognize it doesn't support MQA or DSD, but I don't have any DSD files and don't plan to invest in any. And MQA is not that important to me.