Upgrade from Oppo Sonica DAC


I am thinking of upgrading my Oppo Sonica DAC. What would be a good DAC around 3K USD range to look at? Main source is Tidal streamed directly to the DAC. I feel my setup is lacking bit of soul in the current setup. Will a move to R2R type DAC make a huge difference?


Below is my current setup.
Speakers: Canton A45
Amp: Parasound A21+P6
Cables:Blue Jeans cable.
ranjithkp
I recently moved my Oppo Sonica DAC to my upstairs system.  I felt I was not getting the best resolution when streaming Tidal (no masters).
The Oppo for the price was great, unfortunately no longer made.
I replaced it with a Bluesound Node 2i for streaming and a Benchmark DAC3.  The Benchmark is much superior to the Bluesound onboard DAC.  So for about $2500 (2i =499 and Benchmark about 2K) I have temporary audio bliss.
Get the remote for the Benchmark even though it runs $100.00.  If you can utilize the balanced outputs on the Benchmark I highly recommend you configure it that way.  The Benchmark has replaced my tube preamp as it has two analog inputs and 4 digital.  

Bob
Hi OP,
I was never a fan of Oppo DACs I'm afraid, so I'm not surprised. You don't have to get too creative or special in your hunt, lots of DACs better than that, and lots of streamer/DACs too.

I like Mytek, and Schiit a great deal, Chord also has a lot of fans.

Best,
E
I haven't owned the Sonica, but I did have an Oppo HA-1 and have an Oppo 105D.  If the Sonica has the same "house" sound, then there are more musical (which to me means "less digital" sounding) DAC's out there. 

A used Auralic Vega will come in way under your budget and be a big improvement.  A new Auralic Vega G1 would stretch your budget, but includes streaming (the original Vega is a DAC only).
I have been looking at Metrum Onyx. Hifiheaven has good trade-in program. Thinking of getting Node 2i+Metrum
send it to Ric Schultz at EVS for upgrade...awesome improvement
What are you trying to get? A DAC that is as transparent as possible for the price, or one that adds distortion/coloration? 
@ mzkmxcv something transparent and non fatiguing. 
@ranjithkp 
 
The Benchmark DAC3 and the Chord Qutest then. You would have to spend a ton to even get a worthwhile measuremeable performance, let alone audible (and not talking perceived audible), even the Chord DAVE shouldn’t sound noticeably better than these two. However, these are based on measurements, not what you hear with all the unconscious bias that comes with that.
I have over 2000 DSD albums . I am using Foobar2000 to DoP to feed my Oppo HA-1 and Oppo 205. Can also play DSDx2,x4 or even MQA. R2R DAC can't do DSD and MQA naturally.
Roon > Metrum Ambre > Metrum Onyx here using I2S connection. I think it sounds great. I wouldn't think of using Bluesound with Onyx- get the baby Ambre instead. 

Also R2R DAC aka Onyx can play MQA- just maybe not the "full" unfold, but as long as you get the first unfold (that is the most important) still sounds great. Once you get to the higher end DACS, the whole "full unfold" with MQA is a bit irrelevant as long as you get the first unfold.


Agree that sending the Oppo to Ric at EVS would be a huge improvement and may be your most cost-effective option.  However, as Oppo is effectively out of business you have to consider that investment if you have a problem in the future. 

If if it's me, and since you mentioned R2R DACs and are looking for something less fatiguing, I'd absolutely go for the Onyx if you can get a decent trade for your Oppo.  No brainer IMHO. 
I have the Modwright Oppo Sonica. It’s great. I like better than my PS Audio DS DAC. Send it to Dan.