Not sure why you want to add 2nd, 4th, and 6th harmonics and 35-50 dB of noise to well-decoded digital sound by running the decoded analog sound through tubes. "Tube guys" wax way too poetic over "tube sound". It's different sound, not better sound. Low frequencies suffer, the noise floor suffers, and tubes always produce more harmonic distortion than solid-state. If you're still interested, Audiogon.com
I'm a tube guy. I like the sound of a system with a tube pre any day over a pure SS setup.
It's what I like not saying it's better just what I like in my setup.
I Have always had a tube in my setup. Since I'm rebuilding my rig to be mixed use I wanted to have the dac in the chain with the processor and the streamer. Not looking to play CDs much.
The other option is to go with what I know and add the tube preamp, but I wanted to keep things simpler.
Seems to be a bit of confusion here noting comments ¨ a dac with tubes. Price point under 1K ¨ and ¨ I wanted to keep things simpler ¨.
There are wonderful DACs available for under $500, but DACs with tubes are High End audiophile fashion items and priced accordingly $$$$. Also they are nothing so simple, being mixed metaphors with 21st century low voltage digital signal processing circuits (con)fused into mid-20th century high voltage tube technology. So as commented by our dear colleague Da Wiz, why even pay big $$$$ for a DAC that throws out most of the digital benefits by incorporating the tube limitations. It would seem more coherent to me that you remain with a full-tube analog system, with vinyl, tapes, FM radio etc. and do not waste money on digital gadgets that you appear not to admire ?!? Just my interpretation ... for me, black is black and white is white ... ¨and never the twain shall meet¨.
PS: after 30 years of vinyl and tubes, I am selling off my entire beloved vinyl collection of over 500 LPs and moving to full surround sound (else FLACs), that is is just so much more enjoyable as an immersive aesthetic experience.