Which DACs are known to be sweet/rich/relaxed?

System is nicely transparant and detailed, but tends to get bright and harsh with certain (rock) recordings and at higher volume levels.

Nudge the system towards a sweeter, richer, more relaxed presentation.

Proposed solution / first step
Upgrade to a (tube based) DAC, budget $25-40k.

Current chain

  • ROON Nucleus
  • Mola Mola Tambaqui
  • Gryphon Essence pre amp
  • Gryphon Essence monoblocks
  • Focal Stella Utopia EVO
  • Full loom of Triode Wire Labs cables
  • Dedicated power line straight into Puritan PSM156 mains filter
  • System resides in the living room with some diffusors but no absorption other than sofas, chairs, and some rugs.

On my radar
Lampizator Pacific (or Golden Gate 2 since I heard it's more "tube-like")
Aries Cerat Kassandra 2 Ref or Sig

— What other DACs should I consider?
— Do you think upgrading to another (tube based) DAC will achieve that sweeter, richer, more relaxed presentation?


Kora Hermes,NOS dual tube output. A gorgeous sounding piece of gear. Switchable output gain 2v/5v great for people with passive pre-amps, like me. And the fun of tube rolling.

I love mine. Almost bought an Audio Mirror until I saw the "under the hood pics" 

looks like it was made in a high school shop class. The Kora is built by French Aerospace engineers, and looks and sounds it!  

Proposed solution / first step
Upgrade to a (tube based) DAC, budget $25-40k.

i have no idea...  but my 2 cents...

with your system, if you have the mola mola dac and there is harshness, getting a different dac isn't the solution

Cullen Cables' Crossover 2 Series power cable claims to add a tube like sound to components. They've gotten good reviews. Starting price is about $330.00.

OP, you've received a lot of good advice, I wanted to offer my personal experience.  I like the "lush" tube sound and the detail of digital.  I have been very satisfied with with my Aesthetix Romulus Eclipse model (CD + DAC).  There is also a DAC only unit known as Pandora.  The beauty (and fun) of this was that I rolled tubes until I found the sound that did it for me.  Amperex and Telefunken NOS.  The rest of my system is Aesthetix, and it would be hard for me to gauge how much singular impact the DAC might have for you.  But if you have the ability to listen, I think it would be well worth it.  The Eclipse model would not negate/limit any of the other excellent gear you have.  Good luck