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New DAC: ROCKNA RD-2

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
New discovery, or old news?

http://www.audiokit.ro/dac_rd2.html

Quote:
As a companion for the cd/dvdrom control kit as well as stand-alone, we are happy to introduce to you Rockna RD-2 D/A converter. Designed to meet actual audio standards, the RD-2 offers on a compact smd board a considerable number of audiophile flavours, beginning with the active parts mix - spdif receiver from Cirrus(CS8416), jitter rejection from Analog Devices(AD1896), dac from Burr-Brown (PCM1796) and continuing with the low jitter master clock and a zero-feedback, low impedance fully discrete output stage.

Available in 2 versions : completed board or assembled in aluminium case.


post #2 of 65

Wow!

It looks like a very nice deal. Clean board layout, all SMD - love it.
This looks like the top deal of budget DACs maybe even outperforming
way more expensive stuff. Too bad I already have a battery powered PCM1704UK DAC Upsampler

Regards,

Peter
post #3 of 65
They also have a NOS version ( RD-3).

The company is in Romania so what is the cost in pounds and dollars? They ask 139 on Romanian money

Jose.
post #4 of 65
Prices are quoted in Euros on their website. Use this tool to convert currencies: http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

Peter
post #5 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfuller
Prices are quoted in Euros on their website. Use this tool to convert currencies: http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

Peter
And shipping to the US is $29 euro.
post #6 of 65
Thread Starter 
So this unit uses the same chips as the Citypulse 7.2x (Cirrus CS8416 and Burr-Brown PCM1796).

Is the "jitter rejection from Analog Devices(AD1896)" something the Citypulse doesn't have?

The Citypulse is about $50 more expensive (if you're paying shipping to the US and buying the Citypulse extra TCXO for $25), but the Citypulse offers
- Volume control
- Power switch on front
- Switchable upsampling (although nobody is quite sure what exactly that switch does!)
- Balanced outputs
- Remote
- Detachable power cord (Rocna also seems to have a hardwired AC power cord. I emailed them and they are willing to convert it to 110V )
- S/N ratio is better for the Citypulse (105 vs 113)

Advantages of teh Rocna
- 2 year warranty

Does anyone else see anything in the description that improves upon the 7.2x?
post #7 of 65
I would say the board layout of the RD-2 looks way better than most Chinese DACs. I seriously doubt the Chinese manufacturers pay too much attention to careful routing. Throwing in some boutique parts such as Blackgates and Cerafines simply won't cut it. Otherwise how does one explain a Benchmark DAC-1 with simple NE5532 Op Amps in the output stage outperforming many "High-End" DACs with more expensive ingredients? I haven't heard the RD-2 but it looks like a solid design to me. Heck it even comes with a discrete output stage. I'd say you won't need the TCXO if you're on a budget, save it for a later upgrade. The particular signal-noise ratio figures are not that important. Modern DACs are excellent anyway - but board layout and jitter rejection is where the rubber hits the road.

Regards,

Peter
post #8 of 65
It does look like a nicely done DAC, the discete output it nice. I wish the power cord was not captive though. I don't think you are giving Chinese designers enough credit though. The Zhaolu's, DIYEDEN's, and the City Pulse's aren't anything I would say is weak in design by any means and give stellar sound regardless of their incredibly low price. The Chinese DIY commmunity is flourishing in a huge way over there and some of the most progressive designs are coming out of this. That's where all these new Chinese companies are coming from, from this amazingly exhuberant community of DIY'ers over there and it's only going to keep growing and keep getting better. The Hong Kong community is as much a part of this as well.
post #9 of 65
So far i think pfuller is very correct and sean h is not Atleast thats what i have found out so far what i have listened some these chinese "designs".
post #10 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jriihi
So far i think pfuller is very correct and sean h is not Atleast thats what i have found out so far what i have listened some these chinese "designs".
Could you expand? You didn't love the chinese dac's you tried?

I just bought a Bel Canto DAC2 off audiogon, so that may end my searching. I suppose the Rocna could be the same or better sound for half the price, so maybe it's worth a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfuller
I'd say you won't need the TCXO if you're on a budget, save it for a later upgrade. The particular signal-noise ratio figures are not that important. Modern DACs are excellent anyway - but board layout and jitter rejection is where the rubber hits the road.
Is a signal to noise ratio of 105 vs 117 really that easy to ignore. You say jitter rejection is where it's at, but the TCXO isn't critical. Doesn't the TCXO help with jitter? I'm using a computer as a source, so I'm definitely concerned about jitter.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
Is a signal to noise ratio of 105 vs 117 really that easy to ignore.
Any SNR of 95db or better is as near inaudible as makes no practical difference, anything above 100db is inaudible.
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
Could you expand? You didn't love the chinese dac's you tried?
Citypulse 7.2x (unmodded?) from eddie. Diyeden great-march (modded) from lawrence.

Later added chinese diy forum/eddie recommended opamp mods to already otherwise modded great-march dac.

They are so far from each other that its not even funny Citypulse has PCM1796 + discrete output so it should be good but i find diyeden is much better. That makes me think that maybe both are quite bad without mods while buying something 2-3x cost you would not need mods to get good sound out of them (or better designed maybe)? This is all speculation ofcourse
post #13 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jriihi
They are so far from each other that its not even funny
You're not allowed to say stuff like this without expanding on the difference.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jriihi
Citypulse 7.2x (unmodded?) from eddie. Diyeden great-march (modded) from lawrence.

Later added chinese diy forum/eddie recommended opamp mods to already otherwise modded great-march dac.

They are so far from each other that its not even funny Citypulse has PCM1796 + discrete output so it should be good but i find diyeden is much better. That makes me think that maybe both are quite bad without mods while buying something 2-3x cost you would not need mods to get good sound out of them (or better designed maybe)? This is all speculation ofcourse
I find it peculiar you have never agreed with me on anything so this is nothing new. In my experience these affordable DAC's coming out of Asia are quite nice, but that's my opinion.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
You're not allowed to say stuff like this without expanding on the difference.
Well hm.. citypulse sounds flat and like something is missing.
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