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 4 responses by jackd

You can buy a brand new Musical Paradise MP-D2 Mk III and have a good bit of cash left over.  

I actually own the NT-505 and the MP-D2 though the first version with the AKM 4490 chipset.  As a DAC only the sound is similar though the sound of the MP-D2 can be "tuned" quite a bit with the various input and rectifier tube combinations.  So if DAC only is what you need then the MP-D2 is a good place to start.  If you need or want the streamer and don't have another DAC then the NT-505 does a lot of things right. 
I have the first version of the MP-D2 with the AKM 4490 chipset. I don’t suspect the difference between the 4490 and 4497 is that great and I would never order one with the ESS chipset as that is not what the DAC itself was designed around. The major updates to the Mk III are in other areas like the power supply and the USB modules. As to the NT-505 the only two main dealers are Sound Approach and HiFi Heaven and the price is the same though as they are distributed by Onkyo in the US any Onkyo dealer should be able to special order one. Even at it’s $1999 selling price it is still $300 less than the Lumin D2. It’s kind of a pick em as to the DAC so it comes down to if you want the streamer or not.
Always warmed the MP-D2 up thirty minutes in advance. Never left on 24/7 like the Teac.  Don't know anything about Audirvana or any of the "aftermarket" player software.  I only use the streamers designated software for any of the six I've owned.  Not interested in compatibility issues.