Recommendation Temporary DAC


My ARC DAC 8 does not appear to be passing a signal, and I imagine it will soon be boxed up and going in the shop.  I am thinking about getting a temporary DAC.  Would like to spend no more than $500...$1000 max.  I can't even begin to weigh and balance the pros and cons of older, higher build quality devices vs the latest little plastic box that has the best tech and may sound better.  Key limitation: Needs XLR input.  Older model that I have noticed is NAD51, newer one is Nuprime DAC 9, as examples only.  Ideas?  Is new tech so good that I should be looking to leapfrog the ARC  8 altogether?  DAC will feed an ARC preamp.  Thanks

mathiasmingus
Would you please clarify your source component for the DAC? Does it have USB, Coax outputs? What type of digital connector you’re using with DAC8? 

“Key limitation: Needs XLR input”

I think you meant to say DAC should have XLR outputs not input for your ARC pre.
Could mean that the OP is using an AES/EBU connection.  There aren't too many < $1K dacs with AES inputs, but the two mentioned in the OP do.

There are plenty of DACs with balanced outputs though. 
DAC problem resolved!  So don't mean to inconvenience anyone more on this, unless they want to jump in.  Lalitk, sorry, I meant I use an XLR from Bryston BDP2 INTO the DAC. The Bryston does not have RCA out for some reason.  XLR out of a DAC seems common, XLR in seems less common. 
Ah...I see, you meant AES/EBU (Digital) connectivity :-) 
Yes clearly i am a newbie as I use XLR for that...incorrectly!
Schiit Bifrost for $700 has both XLR/RCA inputs and outputs.  It's also a pretty good DAC for the money.
BiFrost doesn’t have an AES input which is what the OP was looking for. 
Singxer SDA2 has every input except BNC.
You don't need the advanced version that has an improved clock for USB.
It also plays DSD that Schiit don't and won't.
The Gustard A18 is $569 and there’s a Bel Canto DAC2.7 on US Audio Mart for $1100.  Best of luck.