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"DIAMOND" vs. "NEUTRAL" Audio-GD DACs - who has COMPARED? Or are DSP1 - REVISIONS more crucial? - Page 2

post #16 of 158

I don´t think it´s fair to claim which one is the "true" flagship. The REF8 and 7 are both flagships of their own "line". If you ask Kingwa he´ll tell you the 7 is the highest range in his products, at least that´s what he told me. It´s most likely named after his "first love", the Marantz CD7 (my guess). My personal view is that in an all Audio-gd setup, then REF7 is the real flagship, but if you intend to pair it with another amp/transport, then the REF8. But judging from the comments I´ve seen here comparing the two, the difference really isn´t that big. 

 

If I weren´t going to run a full Audio-gd rig, I´d get the REF8 instead though...

post #17 of 158

Hello

 

In order to compare musical and neutral series , i' m considering the option dac 19 + C2 SA (the C2 SA  has the diamond buffer output..)and send the signal to my tube amp and spaekers. I Would use the C2 SA as an optionnal  preamp... What do you think of that option?


Edited by lobe67 - 11/4/10 at 2:29am
post #18 of 158

SP Wild, Kingwa himself says that the ref 7 single-ended and ref 8 single-ended are slightly better than ref 9 (single-ended only). I have compared dac19mk3 pmd100 with dac9mk3 pmd100 single-ended, and I think dac9mk3 single-ended has slight advantage in microdetail control and retrieval, but dac19mk3 has a slightly more listenable macrodetail.

 

I like both SE and balanced, they present music differently, it's like looking at the same song from different angles, although you can say one angle is clearer or more objective, you can't really say one angle is better than the other.

post #19 of 158

Yes but the thought of buying something then only using 1/2 of its circuity is certainly a disturbing one, for me at least. 

post #20 of 158

I'm looking into Audio-GD TOTL DAC's so it's interesting to hear that the REF8 might be a better fit for a non-Audi-GD system. Could you please provide some more information on this? Is this view shared by others (including Kingwa)?

 

Thanks in advance for the input!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

I don´t think it´s fair to claim which one is the "true" flagship. The REF8 and 7 are both flagships of their own "line". If you ask Kingwa he´ll tell you the 7 is the highest range in his products, at least that´s what he told me. It´s most likely named after his "first love", the Marantz CD7 (my guess). My personal view is that in an all Audio-gd setup, then REF7 is the real flagship, but if you intend to pair it with another amp/transport, then the REF8. But judging from the comments I´ve seen here comparing the two, the difference really isn´t that big. 

 

If I weren´t going to run a full Audio-gd rig, I´d get the REF8 instead though...

post #21 of 158

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the ACSS units used, and benefits sound, regardless of what it's plugged into (non ACSS equipment)?

post #22 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

Yes but the thought of buying something then only using 1/2 of its circuity is certainly a disturbing one, for me at least. 



A bit hard to justify paying almost 50 % extra if you are not going balanced yes. I couldn´t justify it anyway personally.

 

I changed the DSP modules now and as mentioned they do make quite a difference. Not enough to make me favor the DAC19 DSP 5 over the Ref9 with the DSP 3 though.  DAC19/Ref9 is of course not a straight comparison. EU REF-7 loaner program anyone wink.gif

 

But anyway the DAC19 do seem to have a flatter FR response. Soundstage seem truer but that is one part that improved most with the Ref9. May seem like a bit of contradiction but I really don´t want to be able to hear where the transducers are located. Particularly not with headphones that have quite unrealistic placing of those transducers.

 

On the DAC19 I could really feel where the LCD-2 drivers are and the voices was all inside my head. The instrument separation is greater on the Ref9. I said before that the Ref9 felt more like an amp upgrade since it did so many things for my LCD-2 I normally expect from proper amping. Better attack, more controlled decays, more blackness and cleaner sound and a more realistic less compressed soundstage.

 

The differences are slim though. It´s not like the Ref9 sound totally artificial or anything. Due to the soundstage improvement on the LCD-2 quite the opposite though they have somewhat of a digital sound signature to it or what I would like to call it. Kind of a blanket that hugs my ear and spice things up a bit... Similar to the oppo bd83SE does. I like it very much though it´s not something I will ever be annoyed by. Music has never flown more freely for me then with the Ref9/LCD-2 combo. Both on my Head One and GHP. Particularly my Head One grow though I still preferr solid state for LCD-2.

I tested a bit with my other gear but LCD-2 is what I focused on primarily to not confuse things to much.

post #23 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the ACSS units used, and benefits sound, regardless of what it's plugged into (non ACSS equipment)?


Yes, ACSS gear work in current domain regardless of connector. But ACSS can also make the signal stay in the current domain between two equipment that carry the signal in current.

 

Glad you're enjoying the ref 9 oqvist smily_headphones1.gif. I believe that overall, I would probably enjoy diamond differential better than ACSS, but the opportunity (ie sale price tongue.gif) never arose for diamond differential.

 

Regal makes an interesting point about Ref 8 and Ref 9 costing less for non-Chinese customers. I think it's half because few head-fiers have tried diamond differential, and half because diamond differential is relatively more well-known and regarded by Chinese audiophiles. I might have to ignore Regal and Oqvist before they make me give in and get a diamond differential dac -_-.

post #24 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

SP Wild, Kingwa himself says that the ref 7 single-ended and ref 8 single-ended are slightly better than ref 9 (single-ended only). I have compared dac19mk3 pmd100 with dac9mk3 pmd100 single-ended, and I think dac9mk3 single-ended has slight advantage in microdetail control and retrieval, but dac19mk3 has a slightly more listenable macrodetail.

 

I like both SE and balanced, they present music differently, it's like looking at the same song from different angles, although you can say one angle is clearer or more objective, you can't really say one angle is better than the other.



I emailed Kingwa about the PSU and he responded by saying the R7,8 and 9 have PSUs designed to run four channels...the R9 PSU us overkill for 2 channels (Overkill is a good thing though) and that the R7 and 8 loses nothing.  Then I remembered that he also told me REF7 and REF8 was better than REF9 in single ended mode and that was why I chose the REF7...my memory fails me yet again!

post #25 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post





I emailed Kingwa about the PSU and he responded by saying the R7,8 and 9 have PSUs designed to run four channels...the R9 PSU us overkill for 2 channels (Overkill is a good thing though) and that the R7 and 8 loses nothing.  Then I remembered that he also told me REF7 and REF8 was better than REF9 in single ended mode and that was why I chose the REF7...my memory fails me yet again!

OT: have you received your REF.7 yet SP Wild?
 

post #26 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post



OT: have you received your REF.7 yet SP Wild?
 


Its been exactly a month almost since I've paid...they e-mailed 2 days ago to ask me what digital cable I wanted with the REF7...I hope this means that they've finished building it and close to shipping it out.  I didn't want to ask...I prefer to play the "it comes whenever it comes" masquerade.  Even though I am dying of anticipation inside.

post #27 of 158

That means they are boxing it up for shipment.

post #28 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post




Its been exactly a month almost since I've paid...they e-mailed 2 days ago to ask me what digital cable I wanted with the REF7...I hope this means that they've finished building it and close to shipping it out.  I didn't want to ask...I prefer to play the "it comes whenever it comes" masquerade.  Even though I am dying of anticipation inside.


Fine! Can't wait to hear your impressions

post #29 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post




Its been exactly a month almost since I've paid...they e-mailed 2 days ago to ask me what digital cable I wanted with the REF7...I hope this means that they've finished building it and close to shipping it out.  I didn't want to ask...I prefer to play the "it comes whenever it comes" masquerade.  Even though I am dying of anticipation inside.


I urge you wait until it is truly burned in [after 500hrs] before you really make an assessment or comparison to other Dacs that are known to be broken in.   Mine just now has over 500hrs on it, and yes, YES clarity, focus, depth, control, soundstage all come into a homogeneous state of musical perfection.  Before this you 'may' get instances of things not sounding quite right or overly lush etc.  But rest assured it is neutral and it does pull out a lot of information from your music.  I also recommend that you look into ways to improve your source as much as possible, it pays dividends in spades.

 


Edited by Dynobot - 11/5/10 at 9:24am
post #30 of 158

I question a lot of things on this site (cables) but I don't question the need for burn in of AGD gear, it did make a difference to me- their DAC's go from pretty good to goosebumps in a few hundred hours.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › "DIAMOND" vs. "NEUTRAL" Audio-GD DACs - who has COMPARED? Or are DSP1 - REVISIONS more crucial?