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?




If by now you’re still thinking of getting rid of that Mola Mola DAC, please send it down across the causeway where I live. HAHAHAHAHA


Anyway, just this 11.11 sales, I bought a cheap China brand DAC (about USD500), runs on dual ESS9038 Pro chips, and had lots of fun swapping op-amps, and I am very happy with the sound now. Sweet, relax, rich, wide soundstage, good focus, warm, fluid, dynamic, attack... you name it! Some people coined this term "very analog" sounding. I never knew I’ll say this BUT I don’t feel like turning it off!! Hahahaha~