First, the HT3's look fantastic. A friend of mine bought a used pair a while back, and he has them sounding incredible. Very nice speakers.
What tube did Jim sell you for the EE DAC? I'm just curious. I went through many tubes with my EE DAC, and the tube I thought had the least compromises top to bottom was a Psvane 12AU7. When testing the SS output, try it with the tube pulled. It's a very different sound, and for the better for many. However, the magic comes from discrete opamps in all 4 positions, SS output, and no tube installed.