Warming up digital in my setup

Here's my setup:

Hint6 (using embedded DAC)

Kef LS 50

PSA Subwoofer (x2)

DIY Mogami 4 wire speaker wire

Source:  iPhone + Amazon Music HD + USB cable



I can't quite dial in the my digital setup with the above gear - hoping you can help.  Bright glassy is what I get, but what I want is warm, organic, depth of sound.  I'm able to achieve the latter using analog.  Is it possible with the Hint6 DAC? 


Here's some info on the DAC:

  • ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018K2M)
  • Asynchronous USB 2.0 supports PCM up to 384kHz/32-bit
  • USB input decodes Native DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 and DoP DSD





Hey martinman, you and I seem to have similar priced setups at the moment. I believe I may have some insight for you. My system is as follows:

B&W CM9 S2
Peachtree Nova 300
Jamo sub
iFi Zen Stream + Roon (Qobuz & Tidal) with USB out

I've experimented with networking and power stuff--and I'm going to experiment with DAC's next--but for me, the big level up was moving to the iFi streamer. I wrote a little review with some thoughts, which you can read here on Agon. Some of the only other things that could compete with the level of improvement were adding a sub, adding nicer feet to the speakers/stands, and placing the speakers on stands. 


Seems you’ve accepted that your DAC should be replaced.  If so, stating your budget would help us narrow down DAC options

I wonder how much of an improvement you can get with a dedicated streamer vs connecting your iPhone via USB.  Is there any way you can borrow something like a Node or a Zen Stream just to test?  Or maybe buy a Wiim Mini for $100 and use the digital out into the DAC in your Hint6 to see if the iPhone is your weak link.