DAC upgrade, new or used, $1000


I am looking for suggestions from the Audiogon community for a DAC upgrade.

My system is; Classe CT-2300 amp, Classe CP-800 preamp, Focal Profile 918 speakers TEAC-CDP650 CD player/transport, TEAC UD301 DAC, Bluesound node 2i, Mac computer for downloaded music.

I listen to jazz and classical using downloads, CDs and streaming qobuz,

I have compared the DAC in the CP-800 vs UD301 using the same source (CD player) and the UD301 sounds better. I have compared the DAC in the UD301 vs node 2i using the same source (streaming qobuz) and the node 2i sounds better.

The DAC in the node 2i is not accessible to my other components but the node 2i has an optical out to bypass the DAC in the node 2i, so I need suggestions for a DAC upgrade.

DAC can be new or used and I have a max of $1000 to spend, WSF (Wife Spending Factor)

Thank you for any suggestions.



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The Black Ice FX Tube DAC DSD WIFI ain’t no punk. A best buy from Underwood HiFi if your preamp handles RCA signals alright. Just happened to be present at the famed “Arizona Audio blind shootout” and while I don’t recall it winning outright, it was an extremely satisfying DAC.
Since you already like the sound of the Teac UD-301, I’d recommend looking for a used Teac UD-503.

I had the Teac UD-501 and thought it a highly underrated DAC. I eventually replaced it with a Singxer SU-1 (highly modified - SBooster PS, upgraded discrete voltage regulator and caps) and a Gustard x20 Pro DAC. The cost of the Singxer (including upgraded parts) plus the Gustard came to almost $2,000 which put it in a different league altogether.
The Node 2i has an optical in. I’ve never used it, and I think a stand alone DAC would still be a good move. It’s a combo 1/8” jack for analog in or toslink in.
mhdt (any model) with upgraded we 2c51 tube
ayre codex
metrum octave or amethyst
I would add the Black Ice (Jolida) tube DAc to jjss49's list.