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Fred always tells me what I want to hear
Based on my own experience, I think Fred is right.
Thanks for all your impressions. Still, I would like to hear a direct comparison between R2R 7 and HE-7S personally. You are comparing R7R 7 vs. Master 7 with upgraded firmware (I suppose). I have the same reference point - Master 7 with upgraded firmware. To me, the HE-7S is a worth upgrade of Master 7, better at everything from day one. No contest here. It is absolutely clear to my ears. Your preference of the R2R 7 is not always so clear and, based on that, I tend to think that the HE-7S may be superior to R2R 7 in terms of your or my preferences. But this is just guessing and I do not plan to buy any R2R products anytime soon for direct comparison as I do not feel any urge to do now. So anyone here with personal experience of HE-7 Singularity (or Master 7 Singularity) versus R2R 7? This would be really interesting.
My M7 has over 5000 hours on it. I expect i will say i prefer the r2r 7 to the M7 in every possible way when it reaches 1000 hours. Last night, i was close to saying it. The r2r 7 has the longest break-in period i have ever eperienced. It is like a mind game burning it.
I think from what i could gather as information that the r2r 7 compares to the he-7s and that the he version of the r2r 7 will be the new flagship. One advantage of the he-7s (compared to the r2r 7) is your are much less dependent one the power grid. I think it is a great buy.
Like R2R DAC’s delta sigma DAC’s has improved, especially the last 5 years. Many of the improvement are not even related to the digital to analogue conversion per se. Most of the today’s delta sigma DAC’s are hybrids that has taken the best from R2R and the best from DS and made a new type of converters. No doubts R2R is great and am not arguing that DS is better than R2R it’s all in the in the execution and implementation and depending on design and components.
For the record, which DS dac have you compared to?
It sounds very good. Black background, very good imaging and channel separation, very good dynamics, better extension (than nfb7). Still sounds like sabre though so very neutral, fast and clean, but treble can be a bit sabre like depending on recording. I tend to think that's just the way things are recorded. It doesn't bother me. There is probably always a tradeoff.
I would like to hear the r2r7 to see how that compares for accuracy and dynamics, but these are already very good on nfb7.77. Crescendos finally hit hard enough. It's really good for piano with the channel separation to hear the interplay between the hands. Vocals sound VERY pure. Maybe this is what Kingwa was tuning. Timbre and resolution generally are also improved.
Anyway very happy customer.
Audio-gd NFB-8 (wm8741) and w4s dac-2 (sabre). Nothing recent. One critical aspect is how well the dac chip converts pcm to dsd. This has certainly improved, plus the multibit implementation. Let's say four years ago, r2r was the king. Today, the best regarded dacs are still r2r designs for the most part, but i suppose it could change.
I've auditioned a few highly-regarded DACs in the last few years, and all the sigma-delta-based models sounded artificial to me to varying degrees. It is irritating to me that someone will then write that the DAC sounds best playing back DSD, or high-res. I'm firmly a supporter of the idea that since the majority of music is 44.1/16 that a DAC should be designed to play it best above all else. If a $100k dCS stack sounds best with 192k, then it is, arguably, a failure of the design.
One thing I noticed listening with the R2R 7 (and the other two, comparable DACs I have here) is how natural they sound listening with TIDAL, or anything I have in my library, regardless of sampling rate, to the point that I didn't think to write at all about the sound in detail, because they were so seamless and natural that there is nothing really to say. Unless I sit for hours and A/B piano notes or sections of tracks, simply put, all make me enjoy listening to the music and forget about the gear.
Good point. A dac should sound good with the most common formats.
For the past 7 years I've been mining torrents and nntp for hi-res, so if it were the case that the higher sampled rips of the same recording didn't resolve anything more, then that would green light me looking for a dual 9038, not to replace an R2R dac, but for a 2nd interpretation/opinion of playback. Many of my audiophile friends juggle multiple sets of speakers, pre/amp/int, cables, etc for that sense of variety (DAC & computer are generally fixed). My mental obstacle to being 2dac household is more a fear of becoming that audiophile hoarder who has more stuff unplugged, than plugged in. I'll be in no rush (I'll have an R2R7!) so it's something that would likely only happen after an in-home audition.
Amos, can you give a brief comparison between R2R 7 to Yggy as you ran that unit for quite some time.
The r2r 7 or M7 are so resolving with 44/16, i don't care much about getting hires material, although i believe it sounds slightly better in some cases, like with some Marsalis albums i have in 96/24. You can extract a lot from a 44/16 with a top notch dac, even more so using a software upsampler like Izotope.
+1 on that! Plus, if somebody could compare to Holo Spring....
Another great night for the r2r 7. Just awesome. It's so dynamic, resolved and smooth at the same time. So real as well. So effortless. Tonight, it plays at a level that competes with any source at any price i have heard attending audio shows. It sounds like a turntable on steroides (without the side effects ). I am about to say: buy one now before the price goes up. It's that wonderful. Or wait for another week so i can confirm this judgement is definitive.
In Stardust, from Dizzy Gillespie Concert of the Century, the bass track and some noise in the intro go very low. This is rendered with brio. This track is overall perfectly rendered. It is as if you were there. Got myself a time machine!
The sound is back to liquid state, and it's flowing like a river in perfect harmony with my listening room. I am so connected to music, it's like a new form of meditation. No Schiit!