Paradisea owners

I'd like to know what Paradisea owners discovered after switching to another DAC in the $1000 range.
Regardless of cost, a solid state DAC will have performance differences (depending on the input impedance of the preamp used) from the tubed Paradisea due to low versus high output impedance.

You will potentially receive more refined answers if you limit your question to tubed output DACs in the $1000 range.
I like the Paradisea better than the 3500 Wavelength Cosecant. I owned the Cosecant for 2 years and sold it for the Paradisea.
I've seen a few Paradiseas for sale stepping up to the Havana. My friend made that upgrade and I'm pretty sure he felt the Havana was a nice improvement but haven't heard them together myself. Right in your price range. You may also want to check into the April Music DAC which is just a bit over $1k as I recall. Per Tvad's note, the April Music is solid state while the Havana had a tube in the output path.
Thanks for your responses. My question was intentionally open-ended, but obviously a little too much. I'm just curious if there's anything worth checking out in the 1k price range that betters the Paradisea. I've been happy with mine, but can't help wonder what else is out there. What I've read about the PS Audio DLink interests me, but whether it's an improvement over the Paradisea is debatable. I'm sure it sounds different. I'm definitely into a relaxed natural sound. I realize the only way to know if I like something is to get it into my system, but I need some ideas to experiment with.
Depending on the input impedance of your preamp, a solid state DAC may have more extended, and better defined bass and treble versus the tubed Paradisea.

Some may interpret this as sounding better. Would you?

If you are seeking a more relaxed sound, then likely a tubed DAC will be a better fit for your preferences. With some preamps, a tubed DAC will have slightly rolled off, less defined bass and treble, which will result in a relaxed, "natural" sound.

The term, natural, is open to interpretation. One person's natural will be another person's colored (and unnatural).
Synergy is the only sure bet.Like you say PS audio,maybe Wavelength for a grand also to try.Plus the resale is phenomenal[sp] on those 2 units,good luck,Bob
I've been happy with mine, but can't help wonder what else is out there.

This is where it all begins....

God help you...or budha...or Allah...somebody, help poor Mingles!
Tvad, can you briefly explain the impedance issue? The input of my preamp is 100k. The Paradisea output is 800 ohms.

Yep, this is where it all starts! Before I do anything crazy, I'd like to try some different tubes. I haven't used anything other than the stock JAN 5670. I'd also like to experiment with output caps (Obbligato Copper, Mundorf SIO). Generally speaking, I can keep myself amused and engaged with tweaks like this if the unit is good to begin with.
With an input impedance of 100k ohms, you have no matching issues with either tube or solid state sources.

If the input impedance was under 40k ohms, or so, you might have heard roll off with the Paradisea.
Grant turned me on to the relatively inexpensive GE 5-star tube which does indeed sound great in the Paradisea. Beyond that, the cream rising to the top of many lists is the Bendix and the WE. Cheaper than a new DAC...

You may want to Check out the monarchy NM-24. Both tube dac and ss dac plus linetstage at that price point. Very impressed with this piece, with my only minor gripe cosmetics and the good, but not great linestage.

Disclaimer: I'm probably putting mine up for sale next month as I have a linestage already that I prefer and looking to try the MHDT havana.
Is there a difference between a 5670 GE black plate and 5670 GE 5 Star? Which one do you prefer in the Paradisea?
Is there a difference between a 5670 GE black plate and 5670 GE 5 Star? Which one do you prefer in the Paradisea?

I've only tried the 5-star (don't think they have black plates - grey as I recall). It's been a while since I did that comparison, but I seem to recall feeling the 5-star were more linear and less colored than the Bendix or WE, though I did like the bit of added warmth the WE gave it. Bendix was pretty linear, but for some reason I cannot recall, I prefered the WE. I now only use the Paradisea in my office system and do not listen critically there, but find it a very enjoyable DAC nonetheless. If it lacks anywhere I'd say it is in resolving powers, but tends to sound very natural and laid back, which are qualities you seem to be after. The other DAC I've listened to at length that possesses those qualities is the Wavelength Brick, but I thought it a bit soft overall in the original version I had. Rankin has since changed the design to implemented a significant change in the USB connectivity which you can read about on his site. Retail is close to double your $1k, but you might find one used at that price. I can't speak for the new design though, but the old one was very enjoyable in terms you seem to be seeking in a DAC. Better than the Paradisea? That's really a subjective call.
Thanks Marco. I appreciate the info.
I had a Constantine, which is just the Paradisea without the tube buffer (it's NOT a tubed output). It was the most musical DAC I'd heard and I kept it over several much more expensive DACs and CDPs.

Then I bought a used Audio Note Kits DAC 1.1 here for $750. It was just as musical as the MHDT unit but with far better micro and macro dynamics and far greater nuance. The MHDT models are wonderful to listen to, but the AN DAC was just as musical but drew me in to a greater degree.

I've since built the Audio Note Kits DAC 2.1C Sig (the top model) and this is certainly the best digital I've had/heard.
Thanks to all who responded.

That's encouraging to hear about the Audio Note kits. I like the DIY, NOS, and tube aspects. It's something to consider.

I've heard about the Monarchy NM-24, but never knew it could toggle between tube and SS. How do the modes compare to each other? I also have to wonder how it compares to the Paradisea, but I don't expect anyone to answer that for me.

The Wavelength looks interesting. I'll have to read up on it.

Tvad, can you please tell me the rule of thumb for the best impedance match? There must be an optimal ratio.