Relaxed, musical DAC around 2k used?


I tend to differ from many audiophiles in that I am very sensitive to treble and what is commonly referred to as detail retrieval. I want something musical that is forgiving to poor recordings rather than reminding me that I’m not listening an audiophile mastered album, something laid back that gives the sense of ease and relaxation I get from vinyl.

I’ve previously tried DACs like the Chord Mojo, ifi xDSD, and Sabre 9018 based McIntosh D150 and found all to suffer from weak bass and overly emphasized treble (sparkle, air, detail) which is not to my liking. I’ve heard through reviews that something like the PS Audio Directstream DAC might be more of what I’m looking for but at the moment it is out of my budget. 

I also see things like the Mytek Brooklyn and Benchmark recommended at this price range but I fear they will have the same emphasis as the above and won’t be what I’m looking for. 

Im very open to used gear as it gives greater value. Is there anything out there for me?
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Showing 1 response by hgeifman

Ayre CODEX DAC.   "The Codex is hand built in Colorado and can be used as a stand alone DAC, headphone amp, or digital preamp. The Codex can unlock the potential of any system.  A fully-balanced signal path throughout the analog circuitry provides an inherently clean and quiet backdrop for your music. The zero-feedback design maintains the pace and rhythm of your favorite artist, rendering your digital music as effortlessly as if it were live".   List price is $1,995 and used prices around $1,200 (+/-).   Input connections are USB and optical.  

The CODEX DAC has great sound from a very small package and is certainly worth a listen.    If possible, I suggest using its balanced XLR outputs to your amplifier.