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post #526 of 529


Well after listening to it for many hours yesterday I can now say that the difference in sound quality between the older Apollo CD player and the DAC is large. More detail, more analogue sounding with a much larger soundstage. Largest difference I have ever heard in a digital device (but then I did wait 10 years to upgrade :) )  The older Apollo now sounds grainy if I can try and describe it and some very low level sounds are not resolved whilst with the DAC they are.

post #527 of 529

Sorry to hog the thread but now I have listened to the DAC - R for many days now. Firstly take all my comments with a large grain of salt, I am a 43 year old guy with old ears who is currently on a large DAC-R induced sugar high.  

 

I am actually quite shocked at how much better my speakers sound. It all comes down to the soundstage which is huge compared to what I am used to. It makes my small room sound much larger than it should be and there is a lot of height and there is great depth .In short this DAC with cheap Concept 20 speakers in a smaller room equals holographic presentation that I just hadn't heard up until now (I have listened to lots of equipment over the years in a variety of room sizes, but equipment which is normally priced at less than $2000USD per component). 

 

 I have been listening to lots of needle drops. It doesn't matter if the needle drop is 24bit or a youtube track using VOX and macbook. The Rega DAC R has a way of making even low quality rips sound very, very good. There are vinyl rips I have listened to where a synthesiser sound is coming to me from 8 ft high and 12 ft away from listening position and this is in a small room. Is it true to original tape- probably not. Is it immersive and enjoyable- hell yes. Of course 24bit through USB sounds great but I am not sure if I can hear a difference over CD.

Using HD800 there are still times (when listening to general non-binaural music) where I think the centre drum beat is 30cm in front of my nose (Yello, Pocket Universe CD), but this is not a common situation and the image normally appears reasonably closer. Your mileage will vary due to your other gear and head width.

 

Stereophile reckon the DAC- R is less warm than the original DAC and produced great floating aural images, there are other reviews which state the product sounds very neutral. Other reviews note the difference in soundstage between the DAC and R.

All I can say that it is not a 'clinical' sounding DAC and that it matches well with clinical sounding speakers and headphones like the HD800. It is warm and I believe it's strengths are it's musicality and it's soundstage. I really cannot fault it at this point.

 

Cheers

post #528 of 529

I just got the old Rega DAC at a good price. I have a NAD c272 hooked up to the VAF DC-X, using an optical out from a computer as a source. The sound is amazing, very warm and smooth, a very analogue sound. Yes, it "kind of" slightly muffles the mid to high end, but now i am hearing much more detail. It doesn't have the harsh digital sound, it just makes music enjoyable to listen to. I just blows away the DAC in my old Marantz receiver. And there is also much more bass with the Rega, it has a very controlled and deep bass, I now don't need to listen to the music loud, at low volumes it sounds very dynamic. I highly recommend you listen to the Rega it gives you that high-end sound.

post #529 of 529

Anyone know a good website except Stereophile where they measured S/N and bit resolution of the Rega DAC-R? I want to compare it to Hegel HD12 and I think it has better figures than Hegel?

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