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?


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.

@x5owner1 I don't use USB. The Nucleus connects to a wireless access point via ethernet. The Tambaqui DAC is a Roon endpoint and connected via ethernet to the same wireless access point. The Nucleus acts as a server only, the playing/rendering happens in the DAC.

are you nuts or something? you want to get rid of the mola mola dac? that's one of the best sounding dacs on the market, get rid of those crappy cables those are ofc junk get OCC single crystal wire it's far superior to anything ofc at any price and also your focals can be a little bit edgy with that beryllium tweeter as well.

Same issue, but different solution. You need to clean up the jitter which in your set up means an ethernet switch. Think SOtM sNH-10G or similar. Maybe adding optical modules from Small Green Computer (systemOptique) etc.  Again, given the budget, you should have these devices anyway, so start here first. If they do nothing, sell them.