A recent thread on inexpensive DACs:
Just curious as to what you ended up doing, here. I have an NS999ES on its way to me, and I am considering the Modwright upgrade option. In my case, I am also hoping to upgrade my pre/pro to a significant degree (either Krell HTS 7.1 or Theta CasablancaIII), so my guess is that without spending a good amount on a dedicated DAC, I am not going to hear a noticeable improvement on the D/A side of things. Of course, the nice thing about the Modwright upgrades are that they don't limit your ability to add a DAC, just provide you with another option. But then you are back to your which is the best bang for the buck question...
I am very happy with the Modwright upgrade. I purchased the Signature Truth and it turned out to be a better redbook player than my emc-1 24/192 in my system. I did not intend to replace the emc. I purchased the Sony for the SACD, but after listening sessions with the Sony 999es, I sold the emc. I no longer needed it for redbook because the Sony sounded better to myself and my friends. My friends are very picky and I trust their judgement.
If I had it to do over again, I would have purchased the absolute truth mod. I think it is a good idea to purchase the maximum mod you can afford, but that is just my opinion.
Thanks for the responses. I am very seriously leaning towards just firing my unit off to Dan when it comes in. I will see if I can swing the Aboslute Truth mod. I do not need volume control. My only concern are warranty issues. What do you do if something breaks? Sony is very nice in that they offer a 5-year warranty, but I presume that you'd be giving that up with a mod. And I also presume that Modwright would not cover things they did not do, right?