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Smoothest Dac with least sibilance / brightness?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I am trying to iron out the sibilance in my system...

 

Maybe it is just the source file and the sibilance is simply part of the sound I am not sure..

 

I currently have a cambridge audio dacmagic and I am wondering if there are any similar priced dacs which may have a warmer sound and less treble/siblilance? or do they all sound similar?

post #2 of 39
The Musical Fidelity V-DAC II is pretty smooth to my ears. It certainly doesn't add any sibilance to the recording. It does tame it some in my system.
post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

I have a feeling it may just be the source and the speakers and the DAC is not causing it though

post #4 of 39

Look for older DAC's with the now-gone Ultra Analog 20 bit chips.  Enlightened Audio Designs DSP-9000, Resolution Audio Quantum and others.  While lacking the ultimate detail of the best current DAC's, it just does not get any smoother than this.  You can get the once- expensive gear at great deals today and they still more than hold their own.

post #5 of 39

In my experience sibilance is the result of excessive digital (and perhaps SMPSU) noise in a system. So I choose NOS DACs over S-D heavily oversampled ones, and make sure my mains is well filtered. Try the Lite DAC-AH as an example of a low sibilance NOS DAC - it can be modded for even lower sibilance but its decent out of the box.

post #6 of 39

I would say you could try NFB-3.1 (which is similar to NFB-2 that I have), it is very smooth, even with lesser recording.

 

On the higher (price) side (not necessarily performance), MHDT Havana might also solve your problem.

post #7 of 39

Take a look at the Yulong Sabre D18.  Project86 did a detailed review.  Its NOS and priced at $699.00, $100.00 more than the DacMagic Plus. 

 

Here is a link to the review.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/586153/yulong-sabre-d18-thread-reviews-impressions-discussion-full-review-added-2-5

 

I have both the Yulong D18 (speaker rig) and the DacMagic Plus (headphone set up).  To be honest, I don't find the DacMagic Plus to be bright or sibilant.

 

In my opinion the sound quality is superior in the Yulong but the DacMagic Plus is a good DAC and has many additional features - preamp capability, digital pass through for examples.

post #8 of 39

Try the Grant Fidelity TubeDAC 11, the tube output warms the sound and smooths out the highs. 

post #9 of 39

Another option would be the EE Minimax dac.  You can change the tube and opamps to finely tune your sound.
 

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Mostro View Post

Look for older DAC's with the now-gone Ultra Analog 20 bit chips.  Enlightened Audio Designs DSP-9000, Resolution Audio Quantum and others.  While lacking the ultimate detail of the best current DAC's, it just does not get any smoother than this.  You can get the once- expensive gear at great deals today and they still more than hold their own.

I'll second II Mostro's suggestion here, the older DACs are a steal and you cannot beat them for their smooth and 3D presentation, my favorite of the older DACs is probably a Meridian 563. However, the cambridge is pretty warm and smooth already.  If you wanted to try something that might be a tad smoother, and modern, try a Jolida FX tube DAC, it also has capacitor output stage so you can swap those out to really smooth the sound out.  Throw some Jupiters in there or something.  Pick up a Theta DSP Pro basic, that will also be very very smooth and will blow the doors off most modern DACs anyway should only run you around 300.

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 

Do you think that the cambridge audio dacmagic is smooth already then?

 

Do you think a new interconnect RCA might make a difference?

post #12 of 39

I don't think interconnects make one lick of a difference.  And I have sensitive ears, too.  This is a highly debated topic, but I have stated merely my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Do you think that the cambridge audio dacmagic is smooth already then?

 

Do you think a new interconnect RCA might make a difference?

post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 

Have you tried various interconnects cheap ones good ones etc? Copper, silver plated etc...?

 

I suspect you are right but I was just looking for possible solutions.

post #14 of 39

Yeah I do think that is quite a smooth DAC already and it seems to be the strongest point of your system judging by your signature.  If you're experiencing a bit of sibilience I wouldn't suspect the Cambridge as it is a very nice piece of gear.  Honestly I'd target the NAD if that's how you are powering your headphones.  Cables aren't really going to do much for you yet, but if you are really worried just grab some Supra cable and call it a day.  No frills copper tinned cable that sounds very nice, though I don't think that your system is quite ready for an all out cable adventure lol.  The money is just better spent elsewhere.  

post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hmmm but through the HD650 the NAD sounds sweet. Also when EQ'd the speakers sound good (B&W 602s3) I think the problem is basically that the speakers are a bit bright at the top and the best upgrade would be new speakers.... TBH I think the NAD is actually a VERY nice amp for the money.

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