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?


@parker65310 When playing loud, cymbals become harsh and bright for this recording of Californication by Red Hot Chili Pepper: 


Robert congratulations on one hell of a system.

That said, I would look to your own words for guidance.

"Nothing wrong with wishing to mellow things out a bit if you’re in a large untreated room."

Transparent system, beryllium tweeters, rock music, loud.

I would spend my money on room treatments first so that you actually know what the system sounds like. Not the room.

My 2 cents

+2 on optimizing the room first. So much time and $$$ on a fantastic system and so little effort with the most important component. The room. Happy listening 



I use REW to measure the room myself.

Why not use it to EQ the offending frequencies? You could use room treatments but in this case I suspect it needs some attenuation at certain frequencies. Much easier to do.