You're right - there is some objectively really bad-sounding digital out there: from older classical recordings badly digitalised, through the casualties of the loudness wars, to simply badly engineered horrors. I run an analogue mastering studio and have resorted to re-mastering favourite works which are superb on vinyl and dreadful on digital transfer - Quartetto Italiano on Philips, for example.Thank you both,
I don’t expect bad recordings to sound good but not to sound harsh. With other more forgiving speakers it is the case, I am not sure another Dac will solve the issue indeed. I find myself full of hope when I read “no harshness” in tube Dacs reviews ..
Another option is vinyl with original records, but that’s another level of challenge for me ...
Baltic3 seems to receive nice first reviews indeed. Just wondering if because more “audiophile” or more “musical“ or more “forgiving” or more all
The studio uses Esoteric K-01 as the monitoring DAC and I've found that it has flexible enough filters to tame a surprising amount of harshness whenever I'm listening for pleasure, but we're looking at other options for a new dedicated client listening room (opening if lockdown ever ends).
One option that appeals is a valved DAC (Lampizator, Aries) but perhaps also nice valves in the amplification ... And there's always the cheaper & cheerful option of Cardas Golden series interconnects ... Please report on what you find in your researches.