Feb 20, 2020 at 8:28 PM
- Sep 13, 2014
- Reaction score
- Seattle area
Hi @ToddRaymond@DecentLevi: I often have difficulty being thorough in my explanations without being long-winded, so I should probably attempt to be more clear on a couple of things with regards to R-28/R-1 vs. Yggy A1.
For one thing, I was using the USB Gen 5 input on the Yggy, whereas almost from the start I've been using the SU-6 with my R-28. Given the very apparent jump from the built-in Amanero USB board to the SU-6, I can imagine the Yggy would deliver more goods with the new Unison USB board, or perhaps especially with a really fine digital-to-digital converter. It seems a number of individuals on the DI-20 thread have found the DI-20 to be better still than the U16 or SU-6.
I have also been using different power amps since my progression through the Schiit DACs to my current setup. On top of that, there's the whole audio memory being unreliable thing. However, the one constant in place would be the fact that I've been using flagship Ocharaku earphones the entire time, which are very revealing and borderline* sibilant (*give or take, depending on the upstream gear and recording). A Schiit DAC out of the box with their current best USB board may be a more convenient "set it and forget it" solution overall than the little bit of extra fiddling and tweaking that may (or may not) be necessary with an Audio-gd DAC. From my own experience, and for own ears, I would say the current Audio-gd R2R DACs are undoubtedly greater bang-for-buck components than the Schiit multibit DACs – at least without factoring in extras like a USB to I2s converter, better cabling (which seems perhaps more "necessary" with this gear), and über clean power if possible. Not everybody's going to want to be bothered with the (optional of course) FPGA firmware upgrades. Mind you, with the firmware revisions available for several years after the original release of the product, you really have the option to sort of upgrade your DAC to a new and improved product, without having to ship it anywhere.
I know the term "musical" is a tricky one to employ, but to me, the Gungnir Multibit A1 had that slightly more pleasant wamth that was very much enjoyable, while the Yggy A1 brought with it additional focus and overall resolution, possibly at the expense of some of that musicality. It sounded a wee bit thinner. I would say the R-28 sits somewhere in between the two, at least with the V3A firmware with 8X oversampling. I'm sure the V3S (smooth) using one of the NOS modes would sound quite a bit more euphonic than even the Gungnir Multibit A1, but at the expense of resolution (based on what I've read on the various threads on this site; and I've read a number of entire threads). I'm chronically chasing that perfect and probably impossible balance between ultimate resolution/transparency/neutrality/clarity/whatnot, and pleasantness/naturalness/realism/beautiful tone and timbre. Or perhaps it's all one thing. The R-28 in my system seems to get pretty darn close to that. I may have gotten better definition in the lower registers, perhaps a hair more separation of instruments, and 2% better overall resolution with the Yggy A1, but it's been a while now. So, grain of salt here.
If I don't include the cost of the SU-6 though (or the upgrades I did like the MUSES8920, and the upgraded internal wiring and connectors I did), my entire DAC, preamp, headphone amp, and power amp setup from Audio-gd (including shipping) costed less than what an Yggdrasil A2 alone does.
If you do go the Audio-gd route, I highly recommend getting the Accusilicon clocks. For me, they brought more focus/clarity to the musical picture.
super helpful post, thanks. I'm at work now so just a few brief questions for now if you don't mind.
Did you use any headphones in the R28 vs. Yggy comparison? Myself being more of a full size headphone guy I'm not entirely confident that an IEM can give a clear picture of differences between DACs. Of course this is just an opinion and can change, but I generally find greater differences with things like soundstage, realism, imaging, etc. with at least a mid-fi headphone such as HD-600 with upgraded cable.
For the Accusilicon clocks, is that an optional upgrade in the Audio-GD products, and is it costly? And I have the Singxer SU-1, doesn't that already include a reclocker?
For the firmware updates, are those fairly easy to install on their DACs?
Oh also for anyone else, have you tried the Holo Audio Cyan DAC? I was told this is also supposed to be a very good option if I'm looking for a good DAC with that supports oversampling options and DSD, though coming in at $2-300 more.
I will finally be buying my chosen DAC soon, so thanks for your input guys.