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

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by Currawong, Jun 30, 2017.
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  1. FredA
    Depends on the rest of your chain, on how transparent and resolving it is. If you can hear a slight bit of harshness with your M7, then the r2r 7 will be worth it. You need a great transport for both and i2s seems to be the ultimate. A clean usb signal does also make a difference, if you go the usb route. You don't have to. Many use the Mano streamer on the french forums, seems excellent from the comments. I use a singxer f-1 combined with a wyrd and an intona, plus a couple of jitterbugs. Fed by a mac mini with internal and external ssd. Kingwa will possibly release a new usb interface at some point and i expect it to be awesome.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  2. FredA
    Yes. I see. The boards are truncated versions. It seems that one stage of the double-stage psu has been removed. I assume it is not needed because the power coming from the regenerator is so clean. Looks clever.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  3. darren700
    I was considering upgrading to the Singxer SU-1 for I2S output to my R2R7. Although the ISO Regen has made a huge improvement with USB Audio in my setup, I still think that I2S would probably be a bit better. Another option I am considering is the newly released Matrix X-SPDIF 2 which also outputs I2S.
    but now I am tempted to wait and see if Audio-GD releases a good USB to I2S Interface.....

    so hard to choose what to do!
    what a great time to be an Audiophile, so many options for audio bliss in 2017!
  4. FredA
    I would say if Kingwa releases a FPGA-based unit using Crystek or NDK oscillators, with the latest isolation technologies, it could be the best possible for reasonable money. Something like a su-1 but with a better psu, that would be the target. Include galvanic isolation on the usb side like Schiit did (not sure actually), and you have got the ultimate solution.

    In fact, all in all, these are the functional elements i use in my usb chain and it works very very well. All in all, it cost me 100$ of usb cables, around 300$ for the intona ( regular version), 80$ of jittergs, 200$ or so for the singxer f-1 with case, and 100$ for a schiit wyrd. 780$ total. The new Schiit unit seems great but does not have i2s, which is too bad.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  5. darren700
    I Agree 1000%. I would love to have an Audio-GD USB DDC with FPGA instead of Xmos, Crystek Clocks (CCHD-575 like ISO Regen), Galvanic Isolation, and I2S output. Then feed it with a dedicated matching Audio-GD linear psu like they have done in the past with their usb interfaces (i used to own a Audio-GD Digital Interface with matching psu).

    I think the device described above would be better than any other USB DDC available today... We can dream!
  6. FredA
    I would not exclude using xmos on the receiving side, i think the xmos processors have a built-in usb receiver, that is something you better not develop all by yourself. On the clean/isolated side, that is where the FPGA is used. That is the general layout of the su-1 and f-1. And of many other leading-edge ddcs.
  7. darren700
    Ah, I understand now; based on your earlier post I thought that you implied that FPGA could replace Xmos completely, but you are correct, a USB receiver is not a simple thing to develop.
    I did not realize that was the layout of the Singxer DDC's. thanks for that info!
    Also i read that the new Matrix S-PDIF 2 uses FPGA also (project86's review states: "augmented by proprietary FGPA processing")
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  8. FredA
    I am sure those ddcs will reach maturity soon. And the prices should go down. The Schiit offering is a high-value one. There will be others.
  9. remoss
    Yes I wrote the review. English isn't my native language but I give it a shot: I tried NOS mode on the R2R 7 but it's a little "dull". The Holo (level 3) is more lively in NOS but also a little bit more "raw" on the edges. The R2R 7 never sounds raw. After that I compared the Holo and the R2R 7 in their best sounding modes (for my ears that is), so the Holo in NOS mode and the R2R in OS 8x. In these modes the R2R 7 sounds very very good and leaves the Holo behind on all aspects. After hundreds hours burning in the sound quality of the R2R improves greatly, like Fred also indicates, and the gap between the Holo and the R2R 7 increases more.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  10. davidnow
    I actually use the Mano streamer from Magna Hifi as a source and I think it is quite good. My quest is all about highs sweetness and dynamics, according to me, these are what I have to improve to get closer to live music. According to you, R2R 7 brings more sweetness and is closer to live music, that is what I am looking for, according to Remoss, the dynamics improve with time and get quite good, very good too! Of course, the rest of the chain is important too but I also think source quality is the most important. I mainly listen to headphones now because of neighbors, with Master 9 + HE-6, CAD300SEI + HD800 or KGST + L700. Thanks again for your reviews.
  11. FredA
    Thanks for your review. It made me buy this dac.

    One big plus i have not mentioned is the singularity digital board. I think that parasite input capacitance is so low that it helps the dac in sounding the same or almost every night. I think a big part of the varation comes from the noise in the i2s signal. Using i2s, there will be less noise-induced jitter with a shorter rise time. That is what reduced input capacitance will do.
  12. FredA
    The dac has to be a good match for the rest of the gears, if you want the most live sound possible. The best results in my case are of course with live recordings.

    In particular, matching the headphone with the dac seems to be tricky. For instance, the akg k701 needs a clean sound. I love it with the r2r 7, less so with the M7. The M7 sounds clean, the r2r 7 just sounds cleaner.

    For a live sound, you have to have transparence and neutrality. And good dynamics of course. A sweet treble is more like reality as well. Most of the gain you get with the r2r 7 has to do with the highs. But there is also so more matter in the mids and more definition in the bass. Bass is less generous, which is a good thing for me. Some recordings that sounded too bassy are now more enjoyable.
  13. Wynnytsky
    (love how you can resume a headfi msg on desktop after starting on mobile)

    I'm getting as much bass as the Gustard X20 served up, but the integration with the mids (transition?) is the best I've heard. When I see a DAC with this much attention to the power section I expected it to be an over achiever with bass and to have controlled highs, but these things are supposed to take time to mature. I don't even have 20 hours -- must be the 300 at the factory.

    The mids match the tone/texture of a great tube DAC. There's also lot's of extension which one would think would render confusion in complex recordings, yet my live recordings have never sounded this involving.

    I guess I'm saying, if [like me] your coming from a sub-$1000 DAC (and your I2S interface is on point) then you'll have plenty to be entertained with from day 1.

    Look forward to taking this on the road next month and hearing how the presentation changes for other speakers (Analysis Omega, Magico S5 Mk2, Odyssey Kismet Liquid, Revel F206)
  14. barbas
    Thanks so much for your reply Remoss. Have you tried NOS Mode 3? I actually have an AGD NOS 5 (Ref 5.32 upgraded to NOS and Amanero USB board) an I found NOS Mode 3 a noticeable improvement over stock Mode 1. Mode 2 is OK, but I found Mode 3 the best of all worlds.
  15. enigmus12
    I'm not remoss but I've done a little NOS listening session which I have reported today on the Master 7 thread (my unit have the Singularity board). On my system, NOS mode 3 was sounding similar to the NOS 1 (same musciality and huge bass) but with better high frequency and details (mode 1 is lacking for me in high frequency and details). The downside was that it was sounding V shaped, like a loudness mode, vocals were recessed.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
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