Recommend a dac that contributes to system for tight bass

I am not a bass fiend just would like a dac that has pleasing tight moderately deep bass.  I have pass labs monoblocks so amp not an issue....don't really want tube dac....

I know room and acoustics and system synergy play crucial role but have found some dacs excel at transparency like chord and other sound a bit flat like oppo....marantz is slightly warm exc prat but bass is bit light....

Thanks in advance.....

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Showing 5 responses by jjss49

ayre codex or chord 2qute/qutest

I tried the chord qutest and the chord tt2 and the chord hugo 2 at different times in different systems and while they have an excellent midrange there bass has been on the softer side for my taste

then i would suggest there is something else going wrong in your system in terms of its ability to play bass notes strongly and properly - the chord dacs have very powerful tuneful strong bass response, among the very best of over 25 dacs i have tried

you make an opening post, with a title... asking for TIGHT BASS ("tight moderately deep bass" were your words), unqualified for other parts of the frequency spectrum

i read what you posted, and i am responding to your query, as stated

the chord dacs have a bright fast open treble, they have a grainless but slightly lean midrange - but they have tight fast strong and very deep bass... they are exemplary in that regard, notwithstanding their overall tonal balance

if what you actually want is a slower more mellow overall sound, with somewhat fattened midrange and an accentuated midbass that makes the treble and midrange sound recessed in comparison, then that is an entirely different sound character altogether -- and you should specify that as your target tonal palette

metrum, sonnet, ayre are your non tube options in that case

i can try to answer your questions in good faith, as asked, but i cannot read your mind

last point, i actually listen to all the dacs in my system, i may read some reviews but my findings are first hand

good luck and hope you find what you seek

for those that are wondering why good dacs sound different, here is my post from last september -- points c) and d) are significant in determining the sound character of a dac

jjss49 2,132 posts

09-01-2020 10:44pm

as to what matters in a dac, let’s make this simple, even though it isn’t...

a) the digital (bitstream) input signal needs to be received and timed correctly for d-to-a conversion, so clock circuit and jitter reduction is key, this is done by electrical isolation, reclocking as needed

b) then the actual d to a conversion / filtering needs to happen with low distortion both in freq response and in timing (phase response) - this is done by the internal dac chip/circuit or discrete ladder network, depending on design

c) then the analog output (post conversion) needs to be prepared for output to the receiving device... this is done by internal amplifiers, or transformers, or some other method... very rarely is the output ported straight out of the dac chip (there can be impedance mismatches with preamps/amps/whatever device is to receive the signal to amplify to drive speakers/headphones you listen to)

d) all the above needs to fed clean and strong power so they do what they do without added noise, so internal power supply design and quality (and power supply isolation of the analog from the digital sections) is key

so when knowledgeable people correctly say, "it isn’t just the dac chip (akm, burrbrown, ess sabre, wolfson...) or the ladder chip (philips tda, etc etc) or fpga (custom circuit) that makes a difference, it is the IMPLEMENTATION of it", that means ALL THE ABOVE designed and working in concert to produce good analog sound, as a holistic system

’what goes into a dac to make it good’ class 101 now in recess

hope this helps

agree that mhdt stockholm (as well as other mhdt family tube dacs) all sound excellent and reminiscent of good analog - dimensional, sufficient but not forward with treble detail, airy tuneful bass - cap and diode upgrades can further improve the sound, as can tube changes in the output buffer section

all components added to a chain, front middle or end, affect the sound... bass response included... no reason to not think about dacs in that way as well, just as one would change a phono cartridge or phono head amp to get more of this or less of that...