Responses from nitewulf

Metrum Onyx versus Metrum Pavane
I would spend bulk of the budget on speakers, and then a very good source. At this level, Onyx is certainly not going to be the limiting factor.  
Best speakers in the 50-60k range ?
I would spend 5 to 10 K on room management and sound dampening, that's a small room.  Then with the 50 to 55 K I would buy the Focal speakers within that budget (based on your taste), which would be:Stella Utopia EM: 
Dynaudio C4 old stock discounted
I’d be worried if they were 40 years old. You realize people keep audiophile electronics for 20 to 50 years right? They change hands yeah but they survive. Else what are you paying for exactly? The wood finishing? 
Eastern Electric out of business?
Best of luck, love my Minimax phonostage!!! 
Metrum Onyx versus Metrum Pavane
Jan Garbareck - Pygmy Lullaby - Sax is center focused, percussion starts stage slight left backstage with the hand held tambourine drums (I believe that's the instrument) slight right backstage. Then the percussion comes in at stage right backstag... 
Metrum Onyx versus Metrum Pavane
I have been very busy but I will get back to my impressions on known audiophile tracks as well the tracks you mentioned. One quick note is as a headphone listener your experience of soundstage is different than a primarily speaker listener. Of cou... 
Aqua xHD v Rockna WD SE Balanced
I would straight up stay away from both and either get a Metrum Pavane or an MSB Analog. Aqua is overpriced for a rolled off dac, Rockna...not sure but why bother? 
Metrum Onyx versus Metrum Pavane
@donThe issue is, many of your questions are system dependent, as in, what are the speakers and how are they placed in the room.  Anything to do with sound stage is more dependent on speakers and speaker placement than electronics. At this level, ... 
Metrum Onyx versus Metrum Pavane
Yes I own the Onyx, I have owned it almost since it came out. The dac progression would be:Peachtree Decco integrated > HRT Music Streamer + > Cambridge Audio Dacmagic + > PS Audio Perfectwave MK2 > Metrum OnyxI own a portable high res... 
A DAC that can make digital sound analog?
Anyone actually like digital glare and noisy dacs that do not sound good? Anyone? 
Metrum Onyx versus Metrum Pavane
It's not so much about "how better can it get" rather, how astonishingly good the Onyx/Jade are for the price. Pavane has more output hardware, dual transformers and two more r2r chips (same generation chips as Onyx/Jade) per channel.  So in theor... 
Paradigm Persona series
There are no 9Fs, I see someone keep mentioning them. 9H and 7F. Personally I wasn't a fan of the 3Fs, but the 9Hs were fantastic. I would get the 5Fs if that's what you auditioned...unless you also auditioned the 3Fs and liked them. 
Chord DAVE, any lesser Chord DAC come close?
If you check out head-fi or superbestaudiofriends...their lesser dacs seem to be almost as good. 
Chord Dave Replacement
Any specific reason you wanna replace the Dave? 
So disappointed in today's Americana
Have you checked out Rhiannon Gidden's? She's amazing lyrically and production is fantastic as well: Musgraves (though pop country) isn't bad either:https:...