Which DACs are known to be sweet/rich/relaxed?

System is nicely transparant and detailed, but tends to get bright and harsh with certain (rock) recordings and at higher volume levels.

Nudge the system towards a sweeter, richer, more relaxed presentation.

Proposed solution / first step
Upgrade to a (tube based) DAC, budget $25-40k.

Current chain

  • ROON Nucleus
  • Mola Mola Tambaqui
  • Gryphon Essence pre amp
  • Gryphon Essence monoblocks
  • Focal Stella Utopia EVO
  • Full loom of Triode Wire Labs cables
  • Dedicated power line straight into Puritan PSM156 mains filter
  • System resides in the living room with some diffusors but no absorption other than sofas, chairs, and some rugs.

On my radar
Lampizator Pacific (or Golden Gate 2 since I heard it's more "tube-like")
Aries Cerat Kassandra 2 Ref or Sig

— What other DACs should I consider?
— Do you think upgrading to another (tube based) DAC will achieve that sweeter, richer, more relaxed presentation?


@robert1976 There's nothing wrong with your DAC it's the Nucleus.

Get a decent streamer/server, preferably one you can attach a master clock to, like Aurender N20/N30 or similar.

Many rock recordings have a hot top end. Ever been to a rock concert? An accurate DAC should be transparent to the source. If it adds its own sonic signature it is POOR quality - and not worth using. 

Thanks @lordmelton, I should do in-home demos to see what a difference that makes.

I remain a bit sceptical because Stereophile said about the Nucleus "JA found that the sonic differences between the Nucleus+ and the considerably more expensive Innuos Statement server were small."

Also, Jay's Audio Lab found zero improvement with his MSB Select II between streaming from his laptop and using a Taiko Extreme: https://youtu.be/k0SDLQJDrG4?t=199 

I suspect it's highly system dependent and should be tried in one's own system. Which is what I'll do. Thanks again.