New Audio-gd R7 (R2R 7) & R8 Flagship Resistor Ladder DACs
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Articnoise

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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.
I don’t personal fancy DSD, and high-res or not depends on the recording. Many people like to upsample with something like HQPlayer and I’m quite sure I have read that you have recommended upsampling in a computer not long ago, lol. I don’t like to upsample in a computer, but nor will I criticize if others do.

Failure of the design, I don’t know. If a recording is made in high-res with more real samples and more bits (IE more data) is it then not reasonable that this sound a bit better? What about MP3? A high res recording down mixed to 44.1 is not lossless just like a MP3 to 44.1.
 
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conquerator2

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I second what's been said. 16/44.1 (or 48) are most of the music. If a device can't perform to its best there, what's the point? And likewise, DS can't touch R2R (not counting custom offerings like Chord's). My vintage Theta's been the best DAC I've owned yet and I've tried quite a few DS designs in the past, Anyway, I am really close to pulling a plug on the R2R 11. It seems almost too good to be true! R2R, powerful amplifier and cheap? So tempted!
 
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FredA

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I second what's been said. 16/44.1 (or 48) are most of the music. If a device can't perform to its best there, what's the point? And likewise, DS can't touch R2R (not counting custom offerings like Chord's). My vintage Theta's been the best DAC I've owned yet and I've tried quite a few DS designs in the past, Anyway, I am really close to pulling a plug on the R2R 11. It seems almost too good to be true! R2R, powerful amplifier and cheap? So tempted!
I am tempted too by the r2r 11. Such a great value. Only 100db of s/n ratio but still. If it is just 90% as good as the r2r 7, it's a steal.
 
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post-13656329
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I’m quite sure I have read that you have recommended upsampling in a computer not long ago
It was mostly with ES9018-based DACs that use the inbuilt filters on the chip, which are pretty bad. I've played around with up-sampling with the R2R 7 and in the end, I've been listening to it without using upsampling in Audirvana Plus.
 
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FredA

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It was mostly with ES9018-based DACs that use the inbuilt filters on the chip, which are pretty bad. I've played around with up-sampling with the R2R 7 and in the end, I've been listening to it without using upsampling in Audirvana Plus.
Haven't tried that yet.

For a third night in a row, i get perfect sound out of the r2r 7. It is again ultimately smooth and still extracting the last bit of music, this time out of the Very Best of the Beach Boys. This DAC is the best source i have auditioned over a significant period by far. It does nothing wrong and everything right. It is just wonderful. After 900 hours or so of mandatory burning time (let's say 850, to be conservative), it is really beyond anything i expected. Don't care if it does NOS or DSD right, haven't even tried, when it sounds right like it does, you just enjoy the ride along. To be frank, it could stop playing forever, i already got my money worth. But i know it will still play 15 years from now.

I sound like a fan boy, and one happy lucid one.

Even the harshness in poor recording like this is rendered smoothly, without compromising musicality. it is the very first time i enjoy an obviously poor recording so much.
 
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Wynnytsky

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To be frank, it could stop playing forever, i already got my money worth. But i know it will still play 15 years from now.
I'm a sucker for words like that. I've felt that way about something once or twice before, but never put it to words. That's what good writing is.

I sound like a fan boy, and one happy lucid one.
it does remind me of the fanfare that followed the Iggy, but some of the stuff I read online from them rubbed me the wrong way, and for no rational reason I had no desire to know what Schitt was all about.

Tuesday night I start the break in. To be clear, is it 850 or 300+850 hours?
 
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FredA

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I'm a sucker for words like that. I've felt that way about something once or twice before, but never put it to words. That's what good writing is.


it does remind me of the fanfare that followed the Iggy, but some of the stuff I read online from them rubbed me the wrong way, and for no rational reason I had no desire to know what Schitt was all about.

Tuesday night I start the break in. To be clear, is it 850 or 300+850 hours?

No. More like 300 + 550. Before that, the bass never was fully there, at least with the pll jumper on. It got smoother and beefier all of a sudden 2 days ago. Tonight, it was brilliant with everything i played.

One big plus with audio-gd dacs is to be able to use an acss connection to the preamp or headphone amp. You get a clarity bonus without breaking the bank buying interconnects. I made myself one using plussound wire. This wire was not available for diy anymore last time i checked. Very hard to solder (you have to prepare the wire) but very high quality stuff.

I am sure the Yggdrasil is great but i am a very satisfied customer with Audio-gd and have no reason to buy anything else (besides power amplification, which i am sure sound great but for which i do not have enough room, these are really big and heavy amps).
 
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Wynnytsky

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acss connection
I never heard of ACSS before, and from a quick search it appears to be something proprietary from Kingwa.
I would assume it's the 2pin circular outputs on the back of the R2R7, but I see he's selling ACSS cables with XLR plugs
http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/CablesEN.htm

so, my question is, are the 3pin outputs safe to treat as balanced, or do I have to change a jumper to make them behave as balanced?
 
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FredA

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I never heard of ACSS before, and from a quick search it appears to be something proprietary from Kingwa.
I would assume it's the 2pin circular outputs on the back of the R2R7, but I see he's selling ACSS cables with XLR plugs
http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/CablesEN.htm

so, my question is, are the 3pin outputs safe to treat as balanced, or do I have to change a jumper to make them behave as balanced?
First, their are 3 outputs, rca, mini-xlr (acss) and XLR (balanced). Kingwa sells both Xlr and mini xlr cables. To use the mini-xlr (acss), you need a Krell or Audio-gd gear to connect to, headphone amp or preamp or integrated. The mini xlr cables offered by Kingwa are basic and do sound ok but not great. For the price, they are good.

Using acss, the signal is transmitted as a current instead of a voltage. This allows bypassing the last section of the output stage of the dac and some conversion in the input stage of the connected gear, thus the simplest/shortest signal path between the two gears and a cleaner sound as a consequence.

The second best output is the balanced one (xlr). It's a standard balanced out.
 
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FredA

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I forgot: both the mini xlr and xlr are 3-pin connectors. And there is also a 4-pin xlr as output on the back of the master-1, which is an addtional type of acss connector meant for connecting to a power amplifier from Audio-gd like the Master-3 or Master-2h.
 
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Wynnytsky

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a busy week for kingwa

Units by Country:
13 USA
9 China
5 Canada
1 Australia
1 France
1 Italy
1 Japan
1 Romania
1 Singapore


Units by popularity (some omissions):
3 R2R7
1 R2R15
1 Master 7s
1 Master 9
2 Master 10
1 Master 11s
1 Singularity 19
13 NFB 11.28
4 NFB 28.28
1 NFB 29.38


surprised no 7.77s were shipped
 
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FredA

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a busy week for kingwa

Units by Country:
13 USA
9 China
5 Canada
1 Australia
1 France
1 Italy
1 Japan
1 Romania
1 Singapore


Units by popularity (some omissions):
3 R2R7
1 R2R15
1 Master 7s
1 Master 9
2 Master 10
1 Master 11s
1 Singularity 19
13 NFB 11.28
4 NFB 28.28
1 NFB 29.38


surprised no 7.77s were shipped
You got one of the three r2r 7, i assume. I am quite proud to say i am the first to buy one worldwide. Still playing great tonight. The dynamics are just right, always there when expected with the right dosage. It's gives a very nuanced and refined rendering.
 
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Matez

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R2R7 is getting more and more love, it seems.

@Currawong when might you publish your material about it?
 
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conquerator2

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Do we know of anyone who's received an R2R11 yet? I am really close to purchasing one but would like some reaffirming thoughts :D
 
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R2R7 is getting more and more love, it seems.

@Currawong when might you publish your material about it?
When I'm ready. :) There's some other stuff that has to get done first, but I also want to do a DAC-off with good speaker system.
 
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