Rockna RD-2 ReviewHaving had the RD-2 DAC in my system for quite a few months now, I still have no regrets about buying it and it was well worth the wait.
The serial number on mine is 126 meaning it was the last of the MK1 RD-2 version (online is a picture of the new silver mk2 with serial number 127). Just my luck!!
I am not good at reviews though will have a try.
My sound system is computer based. The RD-2 DAC is fed via a USB transport (Trends Audio UD-10.1). From the UD-10.1, the spdif signal is fed via digital cable to the coax input of the RD-2 DAC. The analogue signal from the DAC is then fed via some reasonably nice Siver Arrow interconnects into my Triad Audio Lisa3 XP headphone amp (to Sennheiser HD650 cans).
The RD-2 appears to be reasonably neutral in its musical approach. No particular frequency is emphasised ahead of the others. On the other hand, it does not sound in any way recessed. In general a nice neutral balance is struck.
Due to the RD-2 being neutral sounding, it does not give the false illusion of detail that some DACS (my old MW Signature Perpetual Technologies P3a for example) give by pushing the upper mid & treble forward artificially.
Having said that, the RD-2 does offer a very detailed musical presentation (as good as any DAC I've heard).
Stereo imaging is very good (bearing in mind my system is headphone based).
Build quality is very good for the price. I did however have the problem of not being able to properly insert a Sound Professionals optical glass cable into the RD-2's optical input due to the hole arround the input being too small.
The RD-2 has proved to be reliable and has had no problems.
One warning, if you are curious enough to want to open it up to look inside, DO NOT UNDO THE SCREWS AT THE SIDES OF THE CASE. These screws attach to several small nylon brackets internally that act to keep the circuit in place. Being a lidless case, all interal parts have to be removed to get these brackets back in. Even then, due to limited space inside the tubular case, these little brackets proved to be absolute swines to get back in place. Took me hours with a pair of needle nosed pliers!!
If you do wish to remove the internals, you don't need to undo these side screws!!
Internally there is not much to see of interest.
At the very front there is a small circuit housing the input switch and row of front LEDS. Behind this, screwed to the base is a small, high quality toroidal transformer. Above and behind the transformer is the suprisingly small main dac circuit. This is exactly as appears in the Rockna website. Soldering and internal work all appears to have been done to a neat and professional standard.
Overall I would highly recomend this DAC, especially at the price. I was after an upsampling DAC so in this price range, there really were not too many options available (maybe a few flakey chinese ones) especially with discrete output.
In case anyone is wondering, no I don't work for Rockna (I'm living in Malvern, England not Romania).
Would be good to hear anyone elses views / experience of this DAC.