Help me find this sound

I'm looking for a DAC that can smooth out the sound of all my cd's, make them sound more MoFi's cd's. With that smooth, warm, non-fatiguing yet still detailed sound.
Something in the under $2k range.

Currently, I'm using an MSB Link 2, un-modded. This, I think, is the weak link (no pun). I was thinking of a Kora Hermes, but that's just a thought right now.

System is:

Sony 333es mega changer (mega changer, yes, and no, not on the table for replacement, we listen to too much music! If anything, we're getting one more.)

Monarch DIP (have another, but took it out as the ES changer sounds better with one DIP in line)

Adcom GFP 750 pre
Spectron Musician 2 amp
Von S. VR-4's

Dig cable is AZ Silver Photon
IC's are AP copper
Speaker cables are Oval 9's

getting dedicated lines in a week or two (when I get off my butt and get the wires).

I would appreciate any advice/comments/suggestions.

thank you

While i hate to sound like a broken record, check out the EVS Millennium II. While you might see some of these for sale on occasion, there seems to be a common denominator amongst this crowd. It seems that the people that buy
these and end up selling them move up to a "one box" that costs FOUR times the price of Ric's DAC. I am specifically speaking about the Audio Aero Capitole. Obviously, it takes a LOT to beat this DAC when properly set up.

Besides that, Ric offers a 30 day NO HASSLE return policy. While these normally cost $1050 plus shipping, he currently has a "cosmetic blem" model for something like $800 with full warranty listed on his website. He may
even have an older Millennium 1A or 1B that someone traded in towards the Mill II. Even the 1A would SMOKE (!!!) your Link DAC for about $400 from Ric with a 30 day exchange. You might be able to find either of these for
sale on A-gon if they are not already gone.

Quite honestly, i currently have 7 DAC's on hand and it is my favorite. It is NOT perfect, but it does most things so VERY "right". The liquidity, ambience, depth and spaciousness of tubes with the detail and speed of SS.

The Kora is probably also a very valid approach, but i think that it is also quite a bit more money. If i remember correctly, i think that the latest
incarnation lists for about $2600 ( give or take ).

Going down in price, the CAL Sigma's and Alpha's work well with Sony mega changers. I know a few guys running that type of system and were amazed that the difference that a "good" DAC made. These are tube units, so they
will add that "warmth" that you might think you're missing without breaking the bank. Sean
THe Bel Canto Dac 1.1 is very musical and a touch warm. There are some used ones out the for @ $750. Unlike most dac's the Bel Canto rejects all jitter at the optical input and they actually recommend using the Toslink which is another reason it's a very good choice for your mega changer.

This is a strange mixture. The music bank as a transport is on the weak side, but if you must you must. Never have liked Adcom preamps and am not familiar Spectron amps. The Analysis Plus I use and love, so do many audiophile friends with bigger dog systems than mine.

I use the Hermes and find it serious. Tubes of course will smooth things out a bit. The EVS Millenium may also be a consideration as I see one for sale for reasonable.

I would do the Hermes or EVS, dump the Adcom for something more musical and use power cords if not already. Good luck.
You can never go wrong with MUSE 296 DAC. A used one can go for about $1700. There is also a MUSE Model 2+ with Bessell filter for about $500. These are superd sounding DACs. Check them out.
You could send your Link II to Stan Warren, and for $250 your DAC will sound like one costing much much more. Stan Warren's contact information is available at:

There is also Dan Wright at
Dan has similar Link DAC mods ranging from $250 to $375.

A couple months ago I had the opportunity to demo in my home for a weekend, a standard Link DAC III and a Link II modded by Stan Warren. Stan's versions simply sounded more natural, or as some say analog. (Less glare).

I spoke with Ric and he's getting out of the DAC business. Hence, my post here (I was going to go ahead and get one of his DAC's).

Don't really want to send the Link in for mods, as this seems like a half-measure, and it'd leave me DAC-less (what, I said DAC!).

Do have a mix of different power cords in the system, line filter, etc.

I keep the Adcom in passive mode, so the switchable voltage output on the Hermes sounds attractive to me.

I'll also check out Muse and Bel Canto as suggested.
Thank you, gentlemen, keep 'em comin'!

You will love the Kora Hermes 24/192 version whether with the recent silver wire upgrades or just the recent 24/192 upgrade. Sells for 1600 and 2600.
KP, sounds to me like you're on the right track. I own the Bel Canto DAC 1.1 and love it, but from your query I think the EVS Millenium DAC II or Kora Hermes may be the better route for you. The Bel Canto DAC 1.1 is more dynamic, but less warm than the original DAC 1. Check the Agon Classifieds, I thought I saw a couple Hermes and one EVS II listed. Good luck!
No offense, but I think the weak link is your transport. Use your mega changer an a cd holder and buy a decent single disc player. I actually have a sony changer that is not connected to my system, but serves as a compact way to store and organize my cds.
No offense taken, Mtsars!
But we must have the mega changers. We listen to music for hours on end, and jump all over the place.
I've dampened the **** out of it, and that helped improve the sound quite a bit (a lot more than I expected).

A single player may sound better, but we'd end up listening to a lot less music, so that is not an option. We want music, and tons of it!

I have a Conrad Johnson dv2-b player that I really like. Nothing at all fatiguing about it. Very musical, very under rated. They also made DACs that can be had for a very good price. Check their web site in the classic products section.
Oh, man, don’t you hate it when someone doesn’t provide closure on a thread question?

But hey, 19 years is better late than never, no?

It’s been a heck of a journey, and I could have never imagined in 2002 where I’d end up, but I have far more than I originally set out to find.

So my happy place:

Preamps: alternate between Shiny Eyes 4P1L DHT and Bottlehead 300b BeePree

Amp: Korneff 45 (not clone)
Speakers: Omega SAM’s

TT: Rega Planar 10
Cartridge: Rega Apheta 3
Phono pre: Herron VTPH-2A

Transport: home built fan-less pC, Windows Server 2012R2, headless
{various USB and PS supply doohickeys)
Concert Fidelity 040NX