DAC Resolution vs Non-fatiguing vs Cost
I just sold my Bricasti M3 to try the much much cheaper RME ADI-2 DAC FS and Topping D90 MQA.
Both of these DACs are amazing for the money and I am now wondering how much I should really spend on a digital source. I liked the M3 very much and the SimAudio 380D I had before it. I was considering go up from the M3, but now I'm not so sure after listening to these two DACs in my system.
To my ears, the RME is very smooth and non-fatiguing while offering good detail retrieval; I think it is lacking a bit of bass and dynamics but a better power supply might fix that.
I find the D90 to offer amazing levels of detail and a super quiet background, along with very good bass and dynamics. On really good HD recordings I think it might sound better than anything else I've had in my system. I do find it sharp and forward/fatiguing on some recordings though. Its ultra-resolution can be a double edge sword, but man for $800 I can't believe how good it sounds.
For me, I would now like to find a DAC that has the resolution and dynamics of the D90 with the smoothness and listenability of the RME. To get that, does it cost 5 to 10x the cost of these DACs?
I find the M3 very much a mix of these two sounds. But I keep going back to the $800 D90 and how amazing so many recordings sound to me with it. But yea, the many bright recordings I have do require either lower listening volumes or shorter listening sessions, which isn't ideal.
Maybe I should try a good R2R DAC next? The D90 seems like a great reference to keep so I can compare against other DACs for resolution and detail retrieval.