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?



that audiophiles are more interested in throwing money and stuff on the wall and hoping it will stick than delving into the source of their problems so that they can intelligently fix them

Me posting here and asking for feedback is *exactly* that: delving into the source of my problems. I’m open-minded and not fixated on one particular solution or the other. Yes, my budget is substantial, but that does not mean I want to throw mud against the wall and see what sticks. I started this topic to learn.

I use REW to measure the room myself.

The best dac’s I owned/had: Metronome Technologie “Le Dac” / C6 signature/ C8+ ,Ear Yoshino DAc 4 , and Audio Note dac 4.1x ( all dac’s with tubes!


i guess there are just several things i would address before a dac. Perhaps you have already addressed them. Dedicated line was great. Good on you. So many don’t have a clean source. Ignore the slamming of this. It is so important. Also you are building a great system. Most of what you already have. Synchronicity is so important and trust that. Use your gut instincts on that. They are probably right. I have found that set up by a great system set up guru is so key. It was a whole new system after I had a top set up person come out here. Changed EVERYTHING. For the better. Build the system bottom up and enjoy. Yes though, please consider a great speaker/system set up person. Game changer and maybe the best component I ever added to my system.

With your budget, you really need to clean up your USB connection between the Nucleus server and the DAC. Think Singxer SU-6 or similar (or better). That is your current weak link and will continue to be no matter how much you spend on a DAC. 

Try a Musical Paradise MP-D2, get the DAC chip upgrade, Jupiter Copper Foil caps, GZ34 rectifier and 6SN7 tubes. That ought to do the trick.