External DAC?

Hey guys,

Here's my current setup:  Node 2i > Marantz PM KI Ruby > Dynaudio Special 40.

I am considering getting an external DAC and bypass the Node's DAC.   I have seen great reviews for the Topping D90 but the MQA only works via USB (node 2i doesn't have usb out).  Not that big of a concern because I can always use Qobuz HiRes instead and to be honest, I can't tell much of a difference on most tracks.

Anyway, is the Topping D90 a worthy upgrade to the node 2i?  Or should I spend more and go for the trusted Chord Qutest?  I will be stretching my budget with the Chord but I am to wait and save up if it is worth it.  Any other DACs in this price range?

Please advise! 
Hard to say they are both really good DACs you won't go wrong whichever you choose.
The Benchmark DAC3 HGC sounded very good to me. The Benchmark DAC3B (no volume) with the Benchmark HPA4 preamp sounds even better. Both of these DAC3's have the same conversion engine. The volume control on the HPA4 is one of the best and it is super quiet.

I use to think the DAC direct to amp is the best choice but not anymore, at least with the Benchmark pieces I have mentioned.
The Benchmark Dac 3 HGC arrived today. Boy, what an improvement over the node, simply blew it out of the waters.
Rme is arriving tomorrow. Can’t wait to compare the two. Will let you know which one I decide to keep. My wallet hopes that it will be the rme.. lol
Alright, the RME arrived this morning. And after hours of A/B testing, I have decided to keep the RME and return the Benchmark. To my ears, the difference was marginal (Dac3 > Rme) and in ways I can’t even properly explain. Something about the Dac3 felt like the sound stage was wider. Perhaps even a best t more musical (probably just in my head coz I expect the Dac3 to be better given it’s price point).  Anyway, the Benchmark Dac 3 is a fine piece of equipment but I just couldn’t get myself to spend almost twice as much.  Thanks everyone for your inputs. Rme is a keeper and I’m very happy with it. Cheers!

you made a good call imo

the rme is remarkably clear and clean sounding, while still coming across as fairly natural and relatively non fatiguing - benchmark dacs are cut from the same cloth tonally but cannot compete with rme on value - the rme sounds just as good but does so much more and costs less

you have identified tne only, quite minor weakness of the rme being its highly centered image with inadequate width and height... depending on other gear this can be compensated for

have fun listening, you have chosen a winner