I'm looking for some recommendations from people who have actually owned certain DAC's, as I am currently shopping for a $1000 or less (used) one for my two channel rig. I was thinking about the Cambridge DAC Magic as far as cheap ones go, or the PS Audio Digital Link III, possibly with Cullen upgrades (v3 or v4). I've also read a lot of raving reviews of the Benchmark DAC1 but have noticed it is an older unit and am wondering if they have continually updated the DAC1 version and if there is a way to tell? Or if the new versions are the DAC1 USB, DAC1 Pre, and so forth, and whether or not those have different chips.
I'd like to bring my electronics up to the standard of my speakers right now, i'm currently using my Rotel RSP 1068 as a DAC, though I also have a Mac C39 I can use as a pre with a seperate DAC. Amp wise I own a Rotel RMB 1075, Integra Research RDA7, Mac MC 7106, Anthem MCA20, and Anthem MCA50, haven't decided which one to keep of the lot but will sell the ones I don't. Source is a PC via Optical, speakers are Usher BE-718.
So will it be worth spending $1000 vs $300 vs keeping what I have? I'm looking for the next major improvement in my sq. Any suggested DAC's would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!