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 mtj

Save some money and look for something with the old AKM chip like AKM AK4396 multi-bit Sigma-Delta reference DAC chip. Very warm sounding. You could get a used or new old stock Squeezebox transporter for <$500 and drive it with Roon or LMS and you will get that warmth you are looking for without spending a bunch of money and still drive 24bit/192kHz and let Roon unfold MQA if you want Tidal etc. 

Ozz