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Audio-gd Reference 7 Loaner Program (USA) - Page 19

post #271 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

I have been really enjoying reading this thread as well, but I definitely wish  there were more details of what equipment was being used, and more detailed reviews. I'd really like to see how people fair using different cables. I've got custom made ACSS cables, and definitely feel they help the sound significantly.


Hey,

 

May I ask you who made your custom cables and what type of cable are you using, is it Copper/Silver etc? What difference it made to the sound? I have a REF-7 and wondering about having nice ACSS cable connecting to Phoenix.

 

Thanks.

post #272 of 370



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flecko View Post

I think some reports are a little poor. There is not enough information how exactly the setup was, nor what was tried to change the sound. Like this, it is no great help for other people. Of course, if you have a dac and you just plug in another, it would not sound that great, if the differences are small, because your system is matched to what you have. Comparing appels to oranges like using different digital sources (m-audiophile to brigde) or different cable types (rca, xlr) is just the wrong way. Please reviewers, tell us exactly what your system is and what music you used. What have you done to integrate the ref7? Just give us more impressions not just three lines.



 I think the types of impressions you seek are vastly overrated.

post #273 of 370

I had made one made out of silver, but really didn't like the sound that came through. My favorite, and the one I use is made using Audience's Auric wire, which is my favorite wire hands down. I have another pair that uses Home Grown Audio's solid core copper. The HGA copper is very clear and clean sounding, but the Auric wire is very very luscious and full sounding.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vilasn View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

I have been really enjoying reading this thread as well, but I definitely wish  there were more details of what equipment was being used, and more detailed reviews. I'd really like to see how people fair using different cables. I've got custom made ACSS cables, and definitely feel they help the sound significantly.


Hey,

 

May I ask you who made your custom cables and what type of cable are you using, is it Copper/Silver etc? What difference it made to the sound? I have a REF-7 and wondering about having nice ACSS cable connecting to Phoenix.

 

Thanks.

post #274 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by flecko View Post

I think some reports are a little poor. There is not enough information how exactly the setup was, nor what was tried to change the sound. Like this, it is no great help for other people. Of course, if you have a dac and you just plug in another, it would not sound that great, if the differences are small, because your system is matched to what you have. Comparing appels to oranges like using different digital sources (m-audiophile to brigde) or different cable types (rca, xlr) is just the wrong way. Please reviewers, tell us exactly what your system is and what music you used. What have you done to integrate the ref7? Just give us more impressions not just three lines.



Two weeks during holidays just isn't enough time to "tweak" things to get the best the REF 7 has to offer. If it requires all that to shine, shouldn't the "tweaks" be part of the kit? If I'm trying to get the best responses, I'm putting out the best my product can do. Besides, the DAC's sonic character can be heard dropping it in your rig as you know what all the other pieces do. I think owners are disappointed with the subdued responses thus far but it is what it is. As commented earlier, not all can put a reference source, ICs and power cables with massive speakers around a loaner. Had I more time, I'd have loved to have dropped it in my main rig but headphones were it. Our reports are just that, two week reports. You want long term tweaked out comments, go to the owner thread.

post #275 of 370
Thread Starter 

Reminds me, we're about due for an update.

post #276 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flecko View Post

I think some reports are a little poor. There is not enough information how exactly the setup was, nor what was tried to change the sound. Like this, it is no great help for other people. Of course, if you have a dac and you just plug in another, it would not sound that great, if the differences are small, because your system is matched to what you have. Comparing appels to oranges like using different digital sources (m-audiophile to brigde) or different cable types (rca, xlr) is just the wrong way. Please reviewers, tell us exactly what your system is and what music you used. What have you done to integrate the ref7? Just give us more impressions not just three lines.



 I think the types of impressions you seek are vastly overrated.


x2 More is not always better and in this case that seems to generally always be the case.

 

Having someone tell you about how they feel emotionally about a product, and how it actually sounds are two different things.

post #277 of 370

I know, one or two weeks is not enough to judge a dac. But it shouldn't be to much work to write how the hifi chain is build up. I mean, you got a nice dac for a free try. If you can not use this information, others can. And the apples to oranges thing...It makes no sense to "compare" like this. But don't feel disturbed by me. That is just my opinion.

post #278 of 370
I guess I just assumed people check profiles for gear, but I suppose not everyone keeps theirs up to date.

Associated gear from my time with the Ref 7:

Transport: iTunes playing all sorts of genres from lossy to hi rez
Source: Ref 7, PS Audio PWD
Amps: n_maher-built B22, HeadAmp KGSS DX
Phones: Thunderpants, HF-2, O2 mk1
Cables: who cares?
A/B/X device: Manley Skipjack
Dynamic rig is single ended

Hopefully that helps a little.
post #279 of 370

Mine is in my sig but has since changed. SP Extreme Pl. amp & stock K701 & LCD-2 were in the circuit.

post #280 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post


A good point.  Based purely on SQ, I would recommend a used PWD over the Ref7 if someone had a budget of less than $2k.  But I think there are plenty of people who would be happy with the Ref7.  To my ears, it's a nice sounding DAC.  Not necessarily my favorite sound signature, but still a solid piece of electronics.  At some point I'll get around to posting more impressions. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The R2R v. Sigma-Delta debate doesn't really mean much to me.  I've heard DACs using both and have liked some and haven't like others--on both "sides."  Of the DACs I have heard, the two the Ref-7 reminded me of the most were the Esoteric D-70 and the Bryston BDA-1.  That's based on recollection and not direct comparison, so take with some salt.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

I guess one thing I'm learning is the more DACs I listen to, the more they sound the same.   Kidding, sort of.  Will get to impressions soonish, I promise.


Not so good at keeping promises huh?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by flecko View Post

I think some reports are a little poor. There is not enough information how exactly the setup was, nor what was tried to change the sound. Like this, it is no great help for other people. Of course, if you have a dac and you just plug in another, it would not sound that great, if the differences are small, because your system is matched to what you have. Comparing appels to oranges like using different digital sources (m-audiophile to brigde) or different cable types (rca, xlr) is just the wrong way. Please reviewers, tell us exactly what your system is and what music you used. What have you done to integrate the ref7? Just give us more impressions not just three lines.



 I think the types of impressions you seek are vastly overrated.

 

From the looks of it, they'd be a lot more worthwhile than reading yours. Please don't discourage others when all you've posted is a few vague lines about the DAC after keeping it for a week.

Like flecko, I would definitely be interested in having more info about the tests/setups and more detailed impressions.

post #281 of 370
Thread Starter 

I think if I do this again in the future, I'm going to have to do as TTVJ did and require that people at least post some kind of review within a reasonable time frame after having had the unit.  While I agree to a point that succinct comments can be just as good, people expect a bit more than what we've seen. So far, it has been lack-luster to say the least. Part of the problem has been that most reviewers are busy professionals of one kind or another (which is why they have expensive gear to test and compare it with) and don't have much time to write anything comprehensive.

post #282 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post


A good point.  Based purely on SQ, I would recommend a used PWD over the Ref7 if someone had a budget of less than $2k.  But I think there are plenty of people who would be happy with the Ref7.  To my ears, it's a nice sounding DAC.  Not necessarily my favorite sound signature, but still a solid piece of electronics.  At some point I'll get around to posting more impressions. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The R2R v. Sigma-Delta debate doesn't really mean much to me.  I've heard DACs using both and have liked some and haven't like others--on both "sides."  Of the DACs I have heard, the two the Ref-7 reminded me of the most were the Esoteric D-70 and the Bryston BDA-1.  That's based on recollection and not direct comparison, so take with some salt.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

I guess one thing I'm learning is the more DACs I listen to, the more they sound the same.   Kidding, sort of.  Will get to impressions soonish, I promise.


Not so good at keeping promises huh?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by flecko View Post

I think some reports are a little poor. There is not enough information how exactly the setup was, nor what was tried to change the sound. Like this, it is no great help for other people. Of course, if you have a dac and you just plug in another, it would not sound that great, if the differences are small, because your system is matched to what you have. Comparing appels to oranges like using different digital sources (m-audiophile to brigde) or different cable types (rca, xlr) is just the wrong way. Please reviewers, tell us exactly what your system is and what music you used. What have you done to integrate the ref7? Just give us more impressions not just three lines.



 I think the types of impressions you seek are vastly overrated.

 

From the looks of it, they'd be a lot more worthwhile than reading yours. Please don't discourage others when all you've posted is a few vague lines about the DAC after keeping it for a week.

Like flecko, I would definitely be interested in having more info about the tests/setups and more detailed impressions.

 

Actually, I'll continue to post whatever the **** I want.
 

post #283 of 370
To expand on my point above. I don't put much stock in reviews or in-depth impressions. IMO the vast majority of them take a lot of words to say very little. And I mean that about all audio reviews, not just those on this site. HF has a few decent reviewers. The rest, not so much--myself included. However, I think loaner programs enrich the discussion here, not because more people can write long reviews. Rather, I think loaner programs such as the Ref 7 that is the subject of this thread deepen the knowledge base and provide more data points.

My main reason for participating in this program was due to the fact that I had been an outspoken critic of what I perceived to be shilling for audio-gd. I figured I should at least hear one of their DACs if I was going to be critical. I heard the Ref 7; it did not knock my socks off. It sounded fine. I don't have much to say about it other than that. However, if people have specific questions, I am happy to try to answer them. I think this site works much better as a discussion than a bunch of mediocre reviews. In my experience, ears I trust on this site saying "I like it" or "meh" tend to be much better indicators than someone I don't know who writes a treatise (I think in particular about some of the professional Bryston reviews, which left me thinking WTF after my time with that DAC).

As with all things, reasonable minds can differ on this stuff. I just find this place more informative and interesting when it doesn't try to sound like the audio rags. There are also plenty of impressions in the main Ref 7 thread. Enough to keep anyone occupied for hours.
post #284 of 370

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

"In my experience, ears I trust on this site saying "I like it" or "meh" tend to be much better indicators than someone I don't know who writes a treatise (I think in particular about some of the professional Bryston reviews, which left me thinking WTF after my time with that DAC)."

 

I like this wink_face.gif

post #285 of 370

I received the REF 7 on Monday. First impression is that this thing is heavy and appears well made. It's also bigger than both my preamp and Emotiva XDA-1 DAC. I first set up the REF 7 in my speaker system with a Conrad Johnson PV-15 preamp, Conrad Johnson Premier 11a amp and Quad 63's. My source is a Logitech Touch connected via Coax to the REF 7 and Toslink to the XDA-1. MY CJ gear is all single ended so I used the RCA outputs on the REF 7. I haven't spent too much time listening but I like what I hear. I'm pretty sure the REF 7 is louder than my XDA-1 so I'll drag out my SPL meter and some pink noise to make sure I have all the levels matched. After a week in my speaker rig I'll put it in my headphone system and compare to a Modwright Transporter and Metric Halo ULN-2 DAC.  More comments later but so far so good.

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