Separate DAC and Streamer or go with a Streamer DAC?

My system as of today is an Unison Research Unico Secondo integrated amp, I stream throw a oppo 103 that goes thru a musical surroundings my dacii out to a pair of Focal Kanta 2s. Had a buddy lend me a Schitt ygg. DAC for half a day and noticed nice improvements in my sound quality so I wanted to upgrade my DAC. In doing some research I might be able to upgrade my DAC and streamer in the same move. So I have it narrowed down to two strong choices with a possible third, my budget for this is $2,500.  If I go the separate route it would be an Aqua La voce s2 DAC into an innuos Zenmini mkii. Streamer both used and one generation old. The beauty of this I can get into the Aqua lineup with the ability to upgrade to any current model down the road. Option number 2 is to get a lumin D2 new all in one unit. Obviously it's the newest version, it's simple 2 in 1 ( saves money on cables) but the hardware is not upgradeable if I'd ever want to switch it's a who new unit. A third option would be the ifi pro idsd DAC streamer combo.  So I'm looking for some guidance and what would be the smarter direction to go, I see plus and minuses in both routes. Thanks for your thoughts.
51dfd6ae af20 4344 bc96 94e9e253fa82Ag insider logo xs@2xsjsfiveo
@sjsfiveo  Based on your post, my sense is that you've been thorough and are addressing the pros and cons associated with each of your options. Kudos for that and for being open to various approaches!!!

If you are solely streaming, then my recommendation is for your 'streamer/player' to be optimized for that. It doesn't make sense to leave other functionality on the table such as storage, ripping, etc.

I like your choice in Aqua both in terms of sound quality and performance and of course the upgrade path they offer.
Another nod for Zen mini and Aqua La Voce. Both are excellent choices given your budget. Going the separates route always afford more flexibility with future upgrades.
Teac nt-505 and have $500 left to spare
I was advised that it is always better to separate components, if you are buying a quality product.  A separate phonostage is better than one integrated into the receiver or preamp, if you buy a good one.  Same with DAC and Streamer.  But, I do know there are some very high quality combo pieces of equipment out there, but at a cost.  
You sound like a separates guy. Innous is an excellent choice.
I am watching for the $4,200 Innous model to come along used.
My attitude towards hardware is to buy used, save money now and be prepared to upgrade when merited. We tested 2 of the DACs you are considering last month. Results are posted at
Best of luck!
Why not save money and go with the Bluesound Node 2i into an external DAC? If the Innuous app is like all others I've used, you'll be 10x happier with the BluOS and any sound quality difference in the streaming portion is absolutely negligible.  Maybe I have not seen the light yet, but I don't think it matters that much until you get to the DAC and the analog output section.   
Nice post! I used to be a separates guy and now look for minimal box solutions. Currently using a LUMIN T2 and very satisfied. The T2 would allow me to connect a DAC but I'm not feeling a need to go that way. 
I have been streaming thru my LUMIN D 1 for 4 or 5 years. I got the MQA upgrade for free once it became available. LUMIN routinely sends me updates for the unit when they become available over the internet. Software interface is great on my I pad mini. Tidal with MQA gives unbelievable detail. Retired my TT. 

You have ave to hardwire to your router - I use the balanced and unbalanced outputs to feed two separate systems with amazing quality!

I recommend any LUMIN product - the D1 has been bulletproof. 

Happy listening!
Pro-ject stream box ultra2 $850 for streaming and a dac of your choice.   Sounds excellent and has lots of rave reviews.   No need to spend a lot unless you want to.    
Well I'd like to thank all those who weighed in with their thoughts and ideas. A decision was made and I went the separates route. I did stay with the Innuos Zenmini mkii streamer but I ended up with a different DAC. As my friend put it I got the Holy Grail of deals, I'm the proud owner of a Aqua La Scala Mark II optologic. I've only had this up and running for 1/2 a day but it's like a whole new system it's truly something wonderful I couldn't be happier.

Thanks again,