Single Ended Discrete Ladder Headphone Amp/DAC (DSD native/DXD/PCM)

Audio-gd R2R 11

Average User Rating:
5/5,
  • R2R111.jpg

    SUMMARY

    •Discrete DAC single ended headphone- and preamplifier
    •True NOS , R-2R discrete ladder DAC
    •Built in pre- and headhpone amp
    •Built in 2 groups DA-8 R-2R modules with 450MHz ultra speed CPLD
    •Unique noise process technology will remove any digital artifact
    •DSD native , DXD, PCM up to 384KHz Support
    •Amanero Combo 384 USB interface
    •Soldered with silver tin for all parts on board
    •High quality ALPS 27 volume potentiometer
    •Without any mute switches for keep the signal without degrade

    INPUTS
    1.USB input.
    2.Toslink optical SPDIF
    3.RCA coaxial SPDIF

    OUTPUTS
    •RCA single ended (Output is configurable: fixed or variable)
    •Headphone 6,3mm jack

    Pros and cons of R-2R DAC :
    Advantages:
    1.R-2R will not convert the clock signal into the output signal.
    2. R-2R is not sensitive to jitter while Delta-Sigma DA is much more sensitive to jitter.
    3. The output signal is much more precise compared to Delta-Sigma DA .
    Weaknesses:
    1.THD today is extremely good with Sigma Delta chips; R2R ladders are good too but not as good.
    2. Glitches and accuracy of the ladder resistors are very difficult to avoid and require complex technology to resolve it.


    R2R 11 CHARACTERISTICS
    •R2R-11 are a breakthrough of discrete R-2R designed ladder dac’s. Audio-GD are first in the market offering high performance discrete R2R in this price-range.

    •Two pcs DA 8 modules equipped with ultra-high speed CPLD processors to correct the discrete resistor ladder. Unique parallel processing to achieve superb performance .

    •Analogue section design based on Audio-GD’s ACSS current driven technology, fully discrete transistors amplifiers.

    •Double stages ultra-low noise high speed power supplies offers a musical and black background and favorable transparency .

    •Built in Amanero combo 384 USB interface. Amanero offers satisfying and compatibility and marvelous sound quality.

    •True NOS design. NOS is less sensitive to jitter and offering neutral sound. To avoid the digital artifacts, a uniquely designed noise rejection processing technology is applied.

    •Native DSD support. no switch applied between the DSD and PCM decoder outputs for avoid effect on sound quality but had not obvious switch pop sound appear .

    •Built with purity components: all resistors are KOA / Vishay low tolerance resistors , silver tin soldering for all parts on board and ALPS 27 volume potentiometer .

    •Option to set Neutral or Warm sound (Jumper setting) according to personal taste.

Recent User Reviews

  1. JoeDoe
    5.0/5,
    "The Quintessential Diamond in the Rough!"
    Pros - Value, sound quality, driving power, versatility, desktop-friendly.
    Cons - Wait time?
    I'll be very honest. One of my favorite sub-hobbies in the grand scheme of head-fi is auditioning and discovering giant-killing gear. To me it's pretty fun putting much less expensive gear up against bigger, fancier kits to see how well the David compares to the Goliath.

    For those that like to skim, here's the TL;DR. The R2R 11 from AGD is a giant killer in every sense of the word. I can't think of a more versatile device for a computer based head-fier on a budget.

    Instead of the normal breakdown - bass, :, treble, soundstage - I'm going to go through this review according to the pros and cons list above.

    Value:
    Unbeatable. For under $400, the R2R 11 gives you a very solid ladder DAC implementation that can play every format from redbook to native DSD, enough driving power for just about anything short of an HE-6 or K1000, multiple gain levels, and a top notch Amanero USB board. Enough said.

    Sound Quality:
    Let me put it like this. This little combo unit compete handily with separate dedicated DACs and amps that together totaled over $1600. Did it beat them around the board? Of course not. But let's just say that it definitely took some effort to pick apart the differences between the two rigs.

    Overall the R2R is a smooth, fatigue-free listen that isn't rolled off or lacking in the detail department. For those who find the influx of Sabre chip-based DACs a little bright or abrasive, the flavor that this guy offers might be just your medicine. To me it's in the same vein as the Denafrips Ares and Schiit Bimby. Smooth, clean, and natural.

    Driving power:
    Like I said above, this little guy has enough juice to drive any dynamic, and almost any planar headphone with ease. I threw AKGs, Grados, and Senns at it and none of them presented a problem at all. Plenty of headroom all the way 'round!. It also bears mentioning that the 11's output impedance is friendly to any headphone and all but the most sensitive in-ears. Not to mention you can dial in the sensitivity/volume play using the different gain levels!

    Versatility:
    In addition to the aforementioned driving power, the 11 also has three different input options, AND can run signal to the headphone out, fixed, or variable LO.

    Size:
    There are plenty of other combo units that offer the complete feature set that the 11 does (although 99% at a higher price tag), but take up way more space on the desk or rack. This little guy has a footprint smaller than a piece of printer paper! If desktop space is limited, I can't think of any other combo units that can get you this far up the head-fi ladder in such small square footage!

    Cons:
    Not really any that I can think of. I suppose wait time on a new unit could be a con if you're not in China. I'm sure some purists will pick out flaws on the measurement sheet, or the fact that there's no LED or balanced outputs, but honestly at this price point, I think the 'pros' list far outweighs anything you could find on the 'cons' side!

    So in conclusion... the newest entry-level combo unit from Mr. Kingwa is a home run for sure. You could certainly spend a lot more money and do a lot worse in this hobby. The R2R 11 get's two enthusiastic thumbs up from this head-fier!

    PS - I certainly think that this is one of those pieces that could be moved into a larger, heavier case with a fancy OLED, a few more XLR ins/outs, and a bigger power supply, and then sold for $$$ and no one would be the wiser...

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