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 itzhak1969

I have a McIntosh D100 which is the same as the D150 except the dsd capability and it doesn’t certainly suffer from weak bass and overly emphasized treble as you describe on the contrary the bass is tight and powerful ,the treble is natural and smooth. Before blaming the DACs you tried maybe you have problem with your sources,cables or amplification which cause the weak bass and bad treble.
Another point, the Harbeth in general are great speakers but tend to smooth gentle bass (which is very good IMO) and if you are looking for rubost/aggressive bass you will not
get it from your speakers and also the Harbeth’s are very revealing speakers (this is a good sign how good they are )so are not forgiving to poor recordings . It doesn’t matter which DAC you buy rubost bass and forgiving to poor recordings just not going to happen.