If you had to have an HDCD DAC which one ?

Over 50% of what I listen to is HDCD encoded with peak limiting so an HDCD DAC is a must. I bought an Audio Alchemy DDE1.2 which is OK but has an opamp output stage. What is a better HDCD Dac with preferrably a discrete output.
If you can find one, a Muse Model Two Plus (the "Plus" denoting the addition of HDCD, among a few other upgrades) is a great bargain for the used price it commands. It is a NOS DAC. I've held onto mine for years while other DACs have come and gone in my house. It may not be the last word in resolution, but it certainly is very musical. They come up occasionally for $400-600 and tend to sell very fast. There is currently one available here for $495 (no association with seller). I cannot read the faceplate in his photo, but it should say "HDCD" near the LED's if it is a "Plus" model.

Any Wadia DAC will decode (recognize) HDCD because Wadia DAC's use software to convert digital data to an analog signal, as opposed to the "brick wall" or other Burr-Brown type chip found in most DAC's. And so the software processes any signal it "sees" -- in fact some folks (like me ;--) prefer the result from the Wadia better than an HDCD-capable DAC. (But you won't see "HDCD" on the Wadia display ;--)

The best HDCD enabled DAC is the Mark Levinson IMO, because they use their own custom DAC chip made for them under license from Pacific Microsonics/Microsoft. Plus, it's an excellent DAC.
Pacific Microsonics HDCD 2

Bruce, is that a current product?
No sure isn't. You can find the occasionally on eBay. Make sure you get the Pacific HDCD 2 since it goes to 96k.