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Audio-gd R2R DAC Thread

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by JoeDoe, Oct 5, 2017.
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  1. gLer
    For $50 I reckon the R-28 is even better value, considering it comes with a ‘free’ NFB-1 amp for that price. And it does NOS, and OS, and is FPGA programmable, and it does DSD, and it’s R2R. Of course if you’re after delta sigma specifically then yes, the D77 is probably your best option in this price range.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  2. Pharmaboy
    Terrific summary!

    When I first became interested in multibit DACs, I was looking for a used Mk3, based on some intriguing review comments from overseas. But none came up F.S. for months, so I became interested in the 2016 10th anniversary, for which there was a lengthy & very informative thread here on Head-Fi. It was in that thread that I read the occasional user comment about the NOS 19--often in connection with owners of the DAC-19 who badly wanted to run it in NOS mode, but faced a slew of problems doing so (the whole difficult firmware update tango, plus channel imbalance issues).

    I'd never heard of NOS multibit, but everything I read about it whet my interest more. It sounded like "my kind of thing" in digital (at a time when I was unsatisfied w/delta-sigma digital). NOS 19s very rarely come up F.S., so I purchased mine ~2 years ago. People said it needed to burn in for 400-500 hrs, which sounded like science fiction--but they were right. It took that long for the sound to stop changing & stabilize. And what a sound it is! The NOS 19 became my primary system's DAC from that moment forward. It has completely changed my entire relationship with digital, which had always been kind of rocky (I'm an old vinyl/analog person, and d-s digital never really sounded right to me). With NOS digital in the house, I never even think about this anymore.

    The only reasons I'm interested in the R2R 1 (now R1) are:
    • It can easily be configured with 3 live output pair that can be used simultaneously (checked that w/Kingwa): 2 X RCA & 1 X balanced. With all my amps, this is an extremely flexible & ingenious solution
    • And there are multiple NOS modes (courtesy of the FPGA design) -- several of which are raved about by posters on the R2R 1&2 thread

    BTW, about a year ago my curiosity about the DAC-19 overcame me, so I bought one of the last ones available. I asked Magni HiFi (terrific vendor from whom I'd purchased the NOS 19) to reverse the firmware to V5, because sonic impressions of v7 were being posted & I didn't like what people were saying. Again, 400-500 hrs of burni-n, and I find the DAC-19 to be a very fine sounding DAC, slightly behind the NOS 19 (but those differences are meaningful). The DAC-19 has anchored my secondary headphone system ever since. I could happily live w/it as my main DAC.

    I'll soon sell the DAC-19 in order to buy the R1. It's a calculated risk, selling a classic audio box like the DAC-19 to get one that hasn't been around so long. But that's how I roll.

    Goal is to end up with 2 DACs that do NOS digital in truly satisfying ways.
    alphanumerix1 and FredA like this.
  3. guilders0
    hi everybody.
    i purchased a r2r 7 he to replace my he7 i am currently selling.
    I have updated it to the v2 firmware smooth/accurate, thanks to the informations shared on this post :)
    I am now trying to identify the best jumper setting.
    Currently I only have bypass jumper on, which I think, sets the NOS mode 3 8x oversampling. Is that correct?
    What are your experiments and best settings?
    Do we have some recap table or something somewhere in the post?
  4. FredA
    A jumper on bypass means nos 3. Non oversampling.

    The most recmmended settings are either no jumper at all (8x os) or one on bypass only (nos3). I use the former.

    Did you get your dac from a fellow headfier?

    I strongly recommend a high-quality i2s source to drive it. The amanero can do a pretty good job in the mean time.
  5. alxw0w
    Ok so after listening for couple of days. Here are my thoughts;
    - highs are smoother, more refined, before the update sometimes they tend to be too "edgy" from time to time
    - now highs are more separated have more clarity, just really much much better
    - mids/vocals - thats were the ride begins :), the sound is more natural also neutral now, they are more like.... hmmm "wet?" - just have better texture really pleasant to listen
    -bass got tighter/more precise and maybe a bit deeper/more sub-bass
    -separation got better, and overall sound signature is more like analog smooth sounding - of course without sacrificing details
    -soundstage is a bit wider also

    Also i change to OSx8 and NOS mode 3. NOS mode 1 was to "muddy" after firmware update.
    Overall I'm really happy with new firmware. OMG these r2r dacs are so pleasant to listen to :)

    And here comes my question
    Currently I'm thinking about:
    a) - doing TCXOs upgrade and USB isolation upgrade (according to agd website)
    b) - buying singxer su1 and feeding the dac trough hdmi I2S

    I assume that option B - is muchh better for sound quality... but option A will be much cheaper. Anyone have their thoughts on this ? How these two options compare ? Is singxer worth upgrading over only tcxo and isolator upgrade ?
    If I buy another device for ~400$ fiancee gonna kill me :p
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  6. bballas
    option C)
    -source upgrade -singxer f1+ultra low noise power -lush2 isolation designed short usb,dc cables -power regenerator
  7. alphanumerix1
    Any reviews on the r1 ?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  8. VilMo
    lush2 isolation?
  9. guilders0
    I am using mano streamer as i2s source, a very good unit (manufacturer magna hifi from Holland).
    I need to compare os mode to nos mode, jumper in bypass yes or no. I believe all ither jumpers have better not ti be put.
  10. Pharmaboy
    Those are both valid options. I read intriguing posts here about the sound via I2S...

    But for me, it's coax all the way. Currently using a USB-to-Regen-to-Musical Fidelity 24/193 VLink for S/PDIF conversion-to Oyaide R-510 coax cable-to-NOS 19. The VLink limits resolution to 96K, which is no problem since nearly all my files are redbook .wav or .flac. This system sounds great to me. The Oyaide was a real upgrade from Billy Jeans coax, BTW, though it's not cheap.

    I may eventually upgrade the S/PDIF box from MF to Schiit Eitr, but will keep the same coax cable. Oddly enough, I can't find the output resolution of the Eitr's coax anywhere on Schiit's website.
  11. Chopin75
    It should be 24/192 like all their products. But u can email the guy on website.
  12. depthgrammar
    One more question for DAC19 owners - is there a way to tell what firmware is installed? I have a line on a DAC19 2016 but the owner is not sure which firmware. Also - is it still possible to get the different firmwares?
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  13. alxw0w
    Ask Kingwa about firmware. I'm surre he will help you, I think that they can say which firmware was installed in factory depending on serial number of unit. About different firmwares, I think maybe some people on the forum will have some files, if not - same path here ask Kingwa :) He is really nice and kind person.
    Turdski, motberg and depthgrammar like this.
  14. jasoun

    I was told that there were only two firmwares available for the DAC19 the V5 and the V7 . I may be a little off here but if the DAC was bought after 12th Oct 2016 it should have the V7 firmware , before that date it should have the V5 fitted . However the Firmware files are available from Audio gd or I can let you have them .
    depthgrammar likes this.
  15. depthgrammar
    sweet - many thanks!
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