After chatting to a few people about the idea, I've managed to persuade Kingwa, the owner of Audio-gd, to loan out a Reference 7 to experienced Head-fiers in the USA to compare with other high-end sources. The idea is that people who own and are experienced with high-end equipment can borrow one for a couple of weeks and compare it, then post their thoughts or a review in this thread. It's no secret that the idea that Audio-gd DACs might compare with much more expensive DACs has lifted eyebrows to put it mildly, so the idea is to find out if they can.
Some requirements: The Reference 7 only works to its full potential when used with the balanced outputs (actually, ACSS has the lowest distortion, but would require the person already has other Audio-gd gear) so people with amps that have balanced inputs would be preferred. People with high-end speaker rigs and balanced amps are strongly encouraged to apply too. "Established" Head-fiers are preferable, that is, people with a few hundred posts who have been around a couple of years at least. The Reference 7 packed is 33 lbs/15 kgs, so needs to be shipped appropriately for an expensive item obviously. Kingwa is going to pay for shipping to the USA (and back if required).
Some fine details may need to be worked out, but this is basically it.
So far, I have on my (preliminary) list of interested reviewers:
Please let me know if you're interested, along with any relevant information about yourself (such as your address) and your gear you feel useful.
Edited by Currawong - 8/19/10 at 8:18pm