I took my time with commenting on my experience, but a while ago I felt like taking the punt to buy a Theta DAC, even if just to see if Purrin is talking out his arse basically. And because, well I bought more stupid and more expensive products in the past, so why not.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on my first Gen V A about 5-6 months ago, while owning the PWD2. The latter was a DAC I really enjoyed. It is difficult to convey to my friends who have not experienced an R2R DAC at any length, why I think the R2R sound is a transformational experience. To me it is NOT just another DAC.
I will start with what I did not fully know bothered me. One of the greatest assets R2R brings to the table is that treble response is a completely different experience. No matter what headphones or speakers. It just is no longer harsh, grainy or in the slightest unpleasant at any level. No matter what. You can try really hard. Throw silver at it. I did.
Stax SR-009 a walk in the park - absolute love even with poor recordings.
HE-6 - why would anyone in the world consider these headphones to have even the slightest brightness.
On the PWD2, which is one of the decent sounding S/Ds, sometimes I still had tune my system so it sounds nice enough for me in the treble, even with the Audeze LCD-3s. And that is not one of the brightest S/D DACs by a large margin imo.
And now the shock as it may be. The macro detail on the Theta R2R DAC was actually on par with the PWD2. Yes, one can have both: perfectly detailed yet natural, non-aggresive treble response AND overall great detail.
However all this to me is only the tip of the iceberg. Actually my first reaction to the Theta, was more like.... holy f*** the bass response and sound stage holography. Those are immediate. They always are with any gear though, when it's there. Comparatively the PWD2 sounded hollow. To most other S/D DACs I heard it was not. The R2R DAC also has this amazing natural body and tonal purity. A piano sounds so real and so does a violin. I did not used to think of it that way, but I almost had an instinctive fast forward reflex to trumpet heavy tracks. But yes, they actually can and should be enjoyable. To some extent one could almost get to re-remember how instruments actually sound and what has been missed.
Now about the Yggdrasil, I could be in two minds. From one perspective, I was not impressed by the Ragnarok, which was another very hyped product, so I could easily be biased. To me the Ragnarok sounded almost veiled, by having that added smoothness layer that I found it has. I kept reading about the clarity and resolution it has. I did not find that, comparatively, with either my speaker amp, the Audio GD HE-9 or the Moon 430HA. All those amps I found to be more resolute, more clear, more articulate, more transparent. Yet all sounding very different from each other. To be fair the Ragnarok is priced OK for what it offers. No wonder product there for me though.
However, this should have little to do with the DAC product. A modern day R2R DAC at a palatable price is more than welcome by me. I think I will buy it right away, even if to support a point made. I want more R2R DACs out there.
Edited by negura - 4/2/15 at 6:59pm