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 soix

I think you'd do well to focus on some of the R2R NOS DACs out there now.  Many people find them to sound less harsh or more natural sounding, while others will say they're rolled off in the highs.  Whatever.  I just think they'd suit your tastes.  The previously-mentioned Metrum Onyx would possibly be a great choice, and it reputedly comes very close in sound quality to their flagship DAC.  Another one to look at would be the SW1X DAC.  The great thing about this one is they offer an in-home trial period, and owners have been giving them glowing reviews for both sound and customer service.  Hard to see going wrong with either of these excellent DACs, and best of luck in your search.