Audio Research Dac8 question


Was evaluating the Audio Research Dac8, Heard the Copland CD player go into a Dac8, then into a Krell integrated and Martin Logan Ethos. After that, the Copland CD player directly into the Krell minus the Dac 8. Both were fine. There might have been differences, but nothing to choose from.

However, I then connected the Dac8 to my Mac via a Transparent USB, and played the same song in Flac lossless. It sounded awfully bright. I have tried playing this lossless through other Dacs at other dealers, and this hasn't been the case.

Any idea why? This is the first time I heard a Dac8, is it known to be bright, I seriously doubt that given AR's reputation, and if it is, shouldn't the same sound have come out when the Copland CD player was connected through it?
ARC has made some bright sounding components over the years, but I don't think that's the problem here. The most likely cause for your problem is how your Mac is set up. There's a lot to it. Its not good enough to just have the right OS, software and hardware. It all needs to be configured properly.
Agree with Zd542. If you read the multi-part series in The Absolute Sound a year or so ago you realize quickly that EVERYTHING matters -- including computer settings, recorded format, and things you'd never think would affect sound quality. So I'd be very careful before making any judgement using that format (not sure Flac is considered one of the best encoding formats either, which goes again to the point that everything matters). Also, and although I don't usually put too much stock in reviews, you should read some reviews and see if any reviewers also found the DAC8 to be bright through its USB input. If not then the issue may very well be your setup and not the DAC. Best of luck.
ARC recommends a ridiculously long burn-in time for the DAC as well as each input. No idea what components they are using that are so fussy unless the WIMA caps are like that in general.

I'd let the input burn in for a while and then compare again.