What is the rest of your system? Perhaps there is another solution that may make sense without losing detail?
I suffer from hyperacusis also.It definitely takes careful matching of components and wire to retain detail painlessly.A tubed dac or preamp may be something to consider.Detail without the harshness can be had by experimenting with different tubes.
If your preamp or integrated has some EQ you could dial the treble down a bit.
FLAC > Roon> Raspberry Pi> DAC> Jolida 1501 hybrid amp>Onix RS750 speakers (soon to be updated).
You can do some EQ in roon, that's where I would start.
@djones51I've been messing with it and don't know what the heck I'm doing. :-)
It varies but the area that most people find tiring is around 4.5khz you might try putting a slight notch there say -1db. Leave the rest alone and try it for a while if it's a little better but still to much try -1.5 in that same area. Don’t increase anything without adjusting headroom down a few dB.
Thanks. I also use Foobar and Audirvana.
@jtcf you mentioned wire. Do you notice much difference? What do you use?
OP, It might be wise to "borrow" or test a couple of different speakers to see if you respond differently to another option besides the Vifa Radiator Ring tweeter in those Onix. Perhaps a silk dome or ribbon implemented like the Golden Ear? A free test is never a bad idea.
I see Black Ice (Jolida) has a DAC right at $800.......
I’ve got the Black Ice tube DAC. Love it. I would say it’s neutral but for sure isn’t harsh. I changed to early GE5751s to focus the mids and sounds lovely
Thanks for that! Unfortunately, I can't find any place to buy it that will allow a return if I don't like it. Ugh! Have you compared it to anything else?
The D70 is an very good implementation of an AKM chip... way more laid back compared to ESS chips.
If you want a more “soft“ DAC, I suggest you go Multibit ladder. Schiit is on the low end and great way to dip your toe in without a huge investment. Chord is really solid on the higher end...
Chord is fpga not ladder. Its great and costs more.
If you can find a Metrum Octave it'll fit the bill. Great DAC very organic sound.
Whoops... my bad. You are correct. Chords are on the “soft” side of DACs though.
The Jolida Black Ice dac is likely a very good choice. You can actually custom taylor the sonic signature by changing out the tubes. It can be anywhere from very high resolution fast responding sound or a very soft laid back sound or a very textured warm FET type sound.
A lot of excellent advice here. I'll check out multibit ladder from Schit. Good point about changing out the tubes in the Black Ice. Not a lot of reviews about it though. Wonder how it is with features and ease of use. The D70 is really nice in that department.
+1 on the Schiit product line.
Bifrost vs. Black Ice?
Haven't seen a Metrum or Bel Canto.
I think above you said you had an equalizer? If you want a simple way to use it, try boosting each individual frequency until the objectionable tone pops out at you. You'll know it when you hear it. Then leave the rest flat and cut back a drop on the offensive one. Maybe it will solve your problems.
There's an equalizer in Roon but not Audirvana. I think Foobar might have one. I'll check. Still will likely upgrade because.......that's what happens. Lol.
Thanks for the tip on 4.5khz. I lowered it and it's a little better. I think part (or most) of the problem is Roon. When I play through Audirvana or HQplayer it doesn't bother me as much, if at all. Roon has a great interface but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to make it sound decent.
As far as Schiit goes, Bifrost or Gungnir for more laid back?
NuPrime DAC9 or Schiit Gungnir
That NuPrime looks interesting. How does it compare to the Gungnir @misterd2?
Right now I'm down to the Schiit Gungnir ($1,200) or the Jolida Black Ice ($695).
I found a place that will take the Jolida back if I don't like it (10% restock).
Maybe buy both and A/B?
I didn’t AB the Black Ice with anything else but did try different tubes. Settled on warmer GEs versus the Tung Sol reissues it came with. That said, the amp tubes have more effect
Ayre Codex on ebay for under $1k....
I have a Nuprime Dac10 and its stunningly good. I still suspect the highly directional radiator ring tweeter might be giving you too much of a spotlight effect and choosing something with more dispersion may do the trick. It never hurts to test and try.
I recently bought a Gungir Multibit (gen 2 udb, which I don’t use, thats why gen 2 wasn’t a deterrent) for $850.
I love it! Great dac. Needs to be left on all the time though. Comes to life, even buying second hand, after it’s been on for 2-3 days.
For fun you could put headphones on and go online and listen to frequency sweeps. I did and it was an ear opening experience. I have sensitivities around 1khz, 4.5 khz and again around 8-9khz. Im also slightly deaf in my right ear between 4-7khz and nothing over 15khz. So much for having the golden ears I thought I had.
What is this?
The denafrips ares 2 is an excellent Dac that can be adjusted to sharp or softer presentation. Great for the money in my opinion.
I found a used Ayre Codex for $900. What do you think?
Well, I ended up getting the Codex for $800. Hopefully, it was a good choice for me.
NAD M51. You will not be disappointed.
Just got the Codex set up. So far, pretty happy. Still detailed but not quite as bright and clinical (...to me). There's also definitely more low end. Very bassy. The D70 didn't have this low end.
FYI Metrum went out of business so if you go that route good luck on support if the DAC malfunctions