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What makes Made in America a plus?
Depends on the gears you have got already. With an audio-gd pre/head amp, you can use the acss connection, which is a more direct path. As for sound differences, the r2r 7 certainly sounds different between nos and os modes. That's a trick the Schiit can't pull. Nor does it play dsd. Given repairs under warranty are a rarity with these gears (i might have seen a couple of occurences on forums, not even sure), i would argue that audio-gd is a better choice. They also have a remarkably responsive customer service. The best i have ever encountered.
I listened to 1500 hours of music per year, so for me a dac has to induce no fatigue while sounding top notch. Audio-gd fits that bill. For me, audio-gd is a no brainer, a judgement that is reinforced everytime i pop the hood up and see what's inside. There is always a wow effect even after tens of times. I just am amazed by the layout, the no compromise approach, the four compartments in the master series dacs, which are separated by thick aluminium walls.
My biggest complaint is with the quality of the aluminum finish i wish would be more resistant, but this has caused me no inconvenience so far, being a very careful person.
Thanks guys for your comments of Yggy vs R2R 7. As I understood, all of your latest comparisons are based on setups with preamps included? I am asking this because I tried to compare Yggy vs my other DACs ca year ago and came to conclusion that the sound was very close when playing via my MBL 5011 preamp. But, to my surprise, there were distinct sound differences when connecting Yggy and my other DACs directly to my headphone amps without preamps (DAC>KGSSHV Carbon>Stax 009). Cables and volume matched when switching DACs... So could you please post your whole setups where you are comparing R2R 7 vs Yggy or other DACs?
Since you asked... My current setup is KEF LS50 > Anthem 225i > Schiit Yggdrasil > Arcam CD73. I also use my computer to playback some music I don't yet own on CD but for the majority of my critical music listening sessions I use my Arcam. I am getting a new set of very sensitive horn loaded loud speakers and a low watt tube amp in the new year. I'll post more info about that as I get the new bits of gear
And nah I don't care about DSD or other hi-res audio memes. I'm 25 btw. And what's my gender got to do with anything?
ps. @tkcha can you please edit your post so your comment isnt part of the quote and appears separate?
I have a master1 pre feeding nc500 monoblocs via ultratransparent litz occ signal cables. The speakers are Gallo 3.1. All of this is transparent to the extreme. I am sure i could easily discern between any dac. I can easily hear differences between power cables or power distributors, or anything really. I haven't had the chance to audition the Yggdrasil. Would really like it, just for the sake of comparing.
I am mentioning all this cause i figured at some point that if you don't go the transparent/neutral/uncolored route, you will never get the last bits out of the recordings and it is then probably not worth spending extra money for a top notch source. You can have a great sounding set-up without it being transparent, but you will miss the point of some recordings amd loose what can make the difference between musical enjoyment and complete boredom sometimes.
On the other hand, the lack of tranparency will play in your favor occasionally.
I must add also that some important differences cannot be heard/identified easily but the overall impression of two sources sounding alike can be very different after a long listening session. It is as if some of it can be felt rather then heard. If you obtain great musical immersion, that's telling. If you don't get any fatigue, that's another big plus. It's not the same to spend a few hours with a dac than to have it in the long term, just like a person. Very subtle differences can be of huge importance.
Speaking of transparent and neutral, i am looking for headphones that are both. I am looking for the best pair around 600usd. PM me if you have any suggestion. Thanks in advance.
Lots of hearsay. What are actual examples of Audio-gd not reimburse buyers for items damaged in shipping? What did Paypal say about this?
In practice, this never happens. And i take Kingwa's word he would take care of his customers.
In case of damages Audio-GD will always ship replacement parts at no cost as mentioned before. The devices are packed very well and this could happen to any manufacturer shipping devices. In case it happens Audio-GD will work towards a solution. No need to contact PayPal.
This is what I suspect. The person was just hypothesizing about a situation that evidently has never happened. If it did, I am sure we would have heard about it on these forums.
I finally bought the he-560. Thanks to all for your input. Much appreciated.
Kingwa has excellent customer service. I have dealt with Kingwa a lot of times, and found him/Audio-GD to be accommodating and willing to solve issues without Paypal involvement. About shipping, Audio-GD uses DHL, and they instructed customers to open the box and check to see if there are any damages before signing for it. I have never done this, because all my boxes came intact. But people have the options to do so and refuse the shipment. Here is their shipping/return policy: http://www.audio-gd.com/Warranty-EN.htm
me neither -- I waive signature entirely because that's me. DHL sometimes leaves it on the back porch, or they'll put it by a side door that's less visible from the street. They just seem to care more than USPS.
got more time to compare the R2R7 to a visiting DAC and the R2R7 is indeed preferable over the long term (like Fred said).
also, ultra transparent wire combinations don't "cross the line" nearly as far as they do with other DACs.
And I'm impatiently waiting on a pair of Audio Tekne ARC-500 RCA's -- the ones I borrowed worked best for me coming out of the R2R7.
IMO a great deal of difference between various DAC in the sound fed direct, without a pre-amp, is highlighting the integrity of the line stage in the DAC. Too many DAC skimp in the line stage, and indeed skimp on the power supply as well. The chip and digital conversion architecture is only part of the story, and what affect the sound you will get. In just about all sub 4K DACs I would say the PS and line stages are poor and weak designs. There may be exceptions, but I haven't seen or heard them yet. IMO a DAC, any DAC should be able to drive an electrostatic amplifier to it's full potential. If that is not the case, what is the design of the line stage in the DAC? Is it class A, does it drive wide band with an output impedance below 300 ohms? Is there an output transformer at the output to ensure that, or are they just putting a resistor at the output to attenuate it to 2V standards?
If we consider a DAC as effectively a pre-amplifier with a digital board in it, we can then begin to pick part the differences, the weaker designs. I would also look at a DAC companies range of pre-amplifiers, see if they are producing good products. Lessons learnt in those areas trans;ate to a better DAC all round. All in my opinion and YMMV.
I am afraid manufactures may be feeding into our obsession with the sampling numbers and high res file handling. Positively ignoring the PS or line stage design integrity that affect the final sound much more IMO.