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Audio-GD Reference 5.2 (New Balanced 4x PCM1704UK DAC)

post #1 of 283
Thread Starter 

So aparently Audio-gd Is coming out with yet another new Balanced DAC. basically this looks like a NFB-17 on steroids with  4x  PCM1704UK instead of dual WM8741.

 

Considering how well regarded the Ref7.1 (8xPCM1704) and DAC19 (2XPCM1704) are i am willing to bet that this thing is gonna be awesome. Balanced and 4XPCM1704 for only $900? not bad if you ask me, considering the PCM1704's alone cost $200.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/dac/RE5.2/RE5.2EN.htm

 

here is king-wa's description:
 

Copy but Upgrade from Reference 5 :
1,  5 groups input .
2,  Refer to Reference 7.1  fully balanced design, even connect RCA output , all PCM1704UK working for RCA output  , had more neutral sounding .
3,  192K/24 Bit support by USB, coaxial inputs . ( The SPDIF input module can be replace , default install WM8805 for 192KHz support , USB always support up to 192KHz )
4,  High / Low output level select .


Fully balanced design built by discrete analog stages without any OPA and couple caps in the signal channels.
Non- feedback ACSS analog output stage .
Uses  R-core transformer .
More than 20,000uf audio grade NOVER capacitors are used to ensure ample and smooth power feed.
A total of 4 groups class A PSU and 4 groups linear PSU  are used to purify the power supply. To achieve high S/N, the control circuit is powered with separate regulator.
Uses most Hi-end grade parts and exact match transistors.

5 groups digital input :   coaxial *2 / Optical *2 / USB
Preamp / DAC output :   XLR / RCA / ACSS
USB Audio Class 2 High-speed Input from PC/MAC
Supports full speed Asynchronous Transfer Mode
Resolutions support 16 / 24-Bit with sampling rate support 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz  ( USB model)
Supports up to 24Bit/192KHz (coaxial / USB )
The DSP-1(V5) digital processor can supports NOS, 2X, 4X and 8X oversampling customers setting.
Memorizes all settings and it could resume the last settings when power on.


What's different between NFB-17.2 and Reference 5.2:
     TI want to discontinued PCM1704 but there are still a lot hi-end fans love the real sound of the PCM1704UK.
     The Reference 5.2 built in 4 pcs PCM1704UK which is cost USD 48 /pc from TI and USD70 / pc from market , cause the Reference 5.2 price costly than NFB-17.2 , and we can't confirm when it will discontinued .
     The NFB-17.2 sound :  "Neutral but smoothness sounding ,it doesn't sound skeletal or digital (or metallic). There's meat aplenty on them bones . It's a sigma-delta DAC chip implementation without the dryness, neutrality without the emotional disconnection" - John Darko
     The Reference 5.2 sound dead neutral and monitor .

 

RE521.JPGRE522.JPGRE523.JPGRE524.JPGRE525.JPGRE526.JPG

post #2 of 283
Thread Starter 

I would have bought one of these the second i read about it, as i have been waiting for an Audio-GD DAC like this.

 

Unfortunately i just ordered a Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 with upgraded caps (essentially DAC2 without the preamp and extra inputs) which i should have on Wednesday.

 

Im almost tempted to sell it right away just to buy the REF5.2 lol. Thats the thing that frustrates me about Audio-gd; just when i know their lineup off by heart and i dont see exactly what im looking for, then i buy something else, literaly the next day they come out with a new awesome product like this!

 

would love to hear some impressions when someone receives one of these.

post #3 of 283

Damn allready have an NFB-17.2 wich i am enjoying a lot , but PCM1704 UK seams so magical ... 

 

REF 7.1 was too much expensive at time when i bough NFB-17.2 , REF5.0 was gone , raah biggrin.gif


Edited by HaVoC-28 - 6/10/12 at 4:28pm
post #4 of 283

The Reference 5 has been released for awhile now but got discontinued when the PCM1704 chips were not available. Now that audio gd has got stock of more PCM1704, the Ref 5 as well as the Ref 7.1 are back on sale. The only new difference with the Ref 5.2 is the new Tennor 8802 USB input.

post #5 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post

The Reference 5 has been released for awhile now but got discontinued when the PCM1704 chips were not available. Now that audio gd has got stock of more PCM1704, the Ref 5 as well as the Ref 7.1 are back on sale. The only new difference with the Ref 5.2 is the new Tennor 8802 USB input.

 

Ref 5.2 also have only one R-Core transformer . REF 5 i can see two of them , but should not matter much right ?

post #6 of 283
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post

The Reference 5 has been released for awhile now but got discontinued when the PCM1704 chips were not available. Now that audio gd has got stock of more PCM1704, the Ref 5 as well as the Ref 7.1 are back on sale. The only new difference with the Ref 5.2 is the new Tennor 8802 USB input.

 

 

That and the 5.2 is in the newer chassis.

post #7 of 283

I have access to a ref-5 and I've been thinking about trying to buy it for a while...but now I have something new to think about.  Though I like the old chassie and built better.

post #8 of 283

I just pulled the trigger on the 5.2.  I've almost bought one of Kingwa's DACs a dozen times over the last few years.  This one seems so near perfect to what I am looking for that I had no excuse not to buy it...
 

post #9 of 283

I own a REF5 (I believe I bought the last one from Audio-GD last year) and I also own a NFB-8 (bought last year too!!), and I prefer the REF5 over the NFB8....

 

So, I believe that the REF5.2 is an excellent choice......at a cheaper price !!!!! I fell like selling my NFB-8 (still on warranty !!) and buy this one.....

 

Denys

post #10 of 283

good, then you can compare the 2  ref-5's!
 

post #11 of 283

This will be my first foray into the world of high-end DAC's and I have decided to put my money on the RE5.2 (I have been eyeing the Violectric V800 for quite some time now as well).

 

On the RE5.2, I thought about requesting the following change. Change of the optical-digital WM8805 (24/192) for a DIR9001 (24/96) optical connection. The reason for this is listed bellow.

 

What are your thoughts?  Maybe the Reference 7.1 owners can chime in on this one as that's the stock optical connection on that unit. 

Thank you.

 

The stock inputs on the RE5.2 are as follows:

1x USB -- [Tenor TE8802 @ 24/192]

2x Coax-digital @ 24/192

2x Optical-digital -- [WM8805 @ 24/192]

 

This is Audio-gd's write up on the differences between WM8805 and the DIR9001.

1, SPDIF interface :
The default SPDIF interface is WM8805 module, it can free to replace by the DIR9001 module while place the order . Customer can buy the extra DIR9001 module cost USD22.5 .
What different between the DIR9001 and WM8805 modules : The WM8805 sound slight warmer , support up to 192KHz . the DIR9001 sound quite neutral, support up to 96KHz .*
*For best performance of the WM8805 we design the WM8805 signal lock is slower , so change the input maybe have 0.3 second noise but have not effect on normal playback .

post #12 of 283

I think I am going to return my 2 USB Bifrosts to pick up the NFB 5.2. I have been him hawing for weeks trying to find the right DAC and I ended up with 2 Bifrosts. But, I am still not satisfied. I really hope the NFB 5.2 can give me the transparency, detail, and rich "realism" that I am looking for. I have had my Audio-GD NFB-12 for over a year and I've been very happy with it. The Bifrost is definitely an upgrade, but it's not quite as good as I had hoped. I considered the NFB 17.2, but went for the Bifrost instead.
 

post #13 of 283

I just hope I got my order in before he runs out of UKs again!
 

post #14 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denys View Post

I own a REF5 (I believe I bought the last one from Audio-GD last year) and I also own a NFB-8 (bought last year too!!), and I prefer the REF5 over the NFB8....

 

would you mind elaborating on that a bit? I would love to read what exactly makes REF5 your preferred choice, sound-wise..

 

by the way, I remember some people preferred the NFB8 because of better detail and timbres. I think I found that on ravenda blog (ok, it's no longer out there so I won't paste te link,  I am recalling from memory). JulienM -- the guy who reviewed NFB8 on this forum sold his REF5.

post #15 of 283

everyone's going to have a different personal taste.  Plus there are different phones and transports etc involved.
 

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