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?


@mahler123 it's not that I don't like the Tambaqui per se (it's great actually). I'm curious if I could sweeten up the overall sound a bit. And I thought I may achieve that with another DAC.

Gryphon amps are transistor based pure class A.

You have very revealing amps and speakers that are going to expose every flaw in the recording.  I think it’s going to be tough to alter that characteristic with another dac. I see this a lot. People spend a fortune on “accurate” gear and another fortune trying to dial it back. But in the price range you are shopping, I would think dealers would be lining up to bring over a dac for a home demo. 

Why not just use the equalizer function within Roon?

He needs to spend $25k so the Trinnov fulfills plus it can do more. 

Hi Robert, how did you conclude that it is the DAC problem?  Might be the amp and speakers being too revealing like what chayro said.


Perhaps a Conrad Johnson or Acoustic Research tube preamp would be enough to "flatten the curve", so to speak.