I auditioned Assemblage DAC 2.6 DF1704 version, and I was floored.
It had absolutely correct tonality, just incredible, exceptional rhythm, all instruments followed the same pace, the whole presentation was scary real.
I have never heard anything like this.
This DAC is no longer made.
Can those NOS DACs lovers please comment on what NOS DACs on today’s market may be equal to or exceed (if it is even possible?) the performance of Assemblage DAC 2.6?
I am not interested in USB or tube DACs, only SS DACs that will have AES/EBU digital input (preferably SPDIF as well) and balanced analog outputs (preferably unbalanced as well).
Part of what you're hearing is the Burr-Brown 1704 true 24-bit DACs as opposed to 1-bit DACs.

I've talked to several people who think the Burr-Brown 24 bit are the key to "natural" sound. I have no experience with the Assemblage but it was certainly priced right, even when current and new.

Glad you found something that pleases you without breaking the bank.
Find a used Timbre TT-1, they usually sell for $5-800 when they appear. I used to own one and have always regretted selling it. The sound is highly detailed but still organic and a bit warm. Cool industrial design to boot. Check one out sometime, and happy listening!
Not aware of any NOS dacs with balanced outputs, or aes/ebu...
I concur with Earthpulse...not sure what your asking for even exists. There are many good NOS DAC's though, with unbalanced outputs and SPDIF inputs. One of the best, I think, is the Altmann Attraction DAC. If you want the mother of tone, that's it. I was never really satisfied with a digital front end until I listened to a NOS DAC. Good luck!
Oracle DAC-1000

Dealer disclaimer applies.
As I should have mentioned above, the Timbre TT-1 was available with a balanced option, AES/EBU input and XLR balanced outputs. I know because I owned one. If you can find one for less than $7-800 buy it, you won't regret it. Good luck and happy listening!
i am not a fan of burr brown dacs. but you evidently like them, so that is all that matters.

i didn't find the assemblage dac to be forgiving of bad recordings.

there are some interesting older dacs. they are expensive.
for example, the original zanden and forsell dacs.