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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. Currawong Contributor
    Music was dropping out using I2S from my DI-U8 unfortunately, even using a very short HDMI cable. If there is an I2S input on the board that is free I still have long internal cables. With the Master 7 I rigged I2S up with an older DI with the top off, but sitting upside-down with the cable threaded through the vents. I could put the pins on my F-1 board and try something like that to see if that works.
  2. zeissiez
    We are living in a strange world. There's even one site which bashes everything AGD and recommends everything Xxxxx! I think it's unfairness to AGD. I like Kingwa's low-key, no bull approach. I also appreciate Currawong's no bias approach.

    Having compared numerous AGD amp and DAC to other brands. I have grown to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Their amps are superb in transparency, speed and dynamics. They are still my go-to brand for amps. While their DAC's are more varied in personalities. I'm still a fan of Master 7's sound, even today. Love those dense and weighty notes. What do you think of the R2R 7's soundstage depth? Master 7 was kind of limited there, despite having an awesome width.
    BoyNamedSue likes this.
  3. FredA
    +1. That is when i think the r2r 7 will win the battle. A few headfiers already prefer the S7 to the Yggdrasil.
  4. FredA
    The dropping could have to do with what Kingwa calls the "high exact mode", which i think is controlled by the "bypass" pin of the DSP configuration (see a post from Dacladder on the m7 thread with regard to this occuring with the S7). You can also disable the PLL, that could help, not sure.

    As for the f-1, it is a great i2s source when fed with a Schiit Wyrd. The image it produces is quite something.
  5. DACLadder
    Edit: This post originally was about High Exact mode, I2S, BYPASS jumper and mostly incorrect/ deleted. See my post further down (#43) which explains operation on I2S inputs.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    seaice and Currawong like this.
  6. seaice
    Thanks DACLadder! Just tried the Bypass ON mode with my Singxer SU-1 and HE7S (over HDMI) and the effects are cool, exactly as you wrote.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  7. DACLadder
    Thanks for confirming. Subtle but noticeable difference.
  8. seaice
    Agree. Really noticeable. Even more enjoyment! Does it matter to play with PLL settings now? I switched it off in my old Master 7 but not sure with the HE7S and Bypass ON setting (PLL still default).
  9. DACLadder
    The BYPASS jumper on the Singularity DSP board seems to only control enabling "high exact" mode (off) or not for input #5(on). It's not a true bypass. I haven't played with other jumpers but I need to first load the latest firmware. Have you tried NOS mode? I heard that was a feature of the latest (May 2017) firmware.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  10. FredA
    Hi guys.

    Could not resist, pulled the trigger. After some back and forth, Kingwa answered all the questions i had, especially about turning the pll off, which can still be done but has less effect because of the better firmware since V7, if i understood correctly.

    Also, about the ladder, i tought Kingwa was using a magic trick to reduce the sign magnitude ladder to 72 resistors. The thing is there are 100 more resistors per ladder on the other side of the board! So nearly 700 in total. Kingwa is very positive about his new baby and he was able to convince me it was a better dac than my current M7 with latest firmware.

    There is a three-week lead time so i will not be before a month that i'll be able to give some feedback.

    If anyone is interested in making an offer on my mint or near mint M7, PM me. But i will not ship it before i receive the r2r. Or i could keep it if i am not satisfied with the new DAC. I will not refuse a raisonable offer. It was bought in 2013, and was updated to the latest firmware. It is in perfect working condition and plays awesomely. The I2s input is the RJ45 but i have the hdmi kit i will include in the transaction.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    DACLadder and Currawong like this.
  11. JaMo

    @ FredA: -I think You not will regret this even if I know it's a struggle to love the present thing for a possible better upgrade. Everything that's new don't always have to be better. We all have our own preferences.....But I am pretty sure that Kingwa has acheived a superior dac this time.
    Personally, I think this R2R-dac "has it all" featurewise. I have pretty much DSD-material and this dac also has this ability. Good luck and let us hear Your verdicts later on.

    @ Currawong: Thanks for the informative and balanced pre-review of the R2R 7dac. I also agree with Your wise words a few posts back.Very nicely down.

    Currawong likes this.
  12. seaice
    I have not tried NOS yet but I am planning to...
  13. DACLadder
    Well some good news and some corrected information. ALL inputs operate in "high exact" mode. Kingwa said that he can control clock recovery on all inputs except I2S because he can't control what customers connect to the I2S inputs. So he developed lower bandwidth operation for crappy I2S signals. It sure weeded out my Gustard U12 and forced me to use something better!

    Here's a clearer explanation of Hi Ex mode, I2S, and the BYPASS jumper...
    "All inputs on the Audio GD Singularity M7 and new R2R 7 DACs operate in "High Exact" clock recovery mode (very high bandwidth) for lowest jitter and best performance. On I2S inputs source clocking and cabling must be stable and sufficient quality for "High Exact" to operate reliably. If you experience audio dropouts or noise on HDMI or TTL I2S playback try placing a jumper on DSP BYPASS = On. This forces I2S inputs into a lower bandwidth/ wider lock window mode with only slight affect on sound quality. I2S input default has "High Exact" mode Enabled (BYPASS = Off). And the BYPASS jumper only impacts the I2S inputs."

    Now we can get back to comparing which DAC sounds best on what input!
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    Currawong and JaMo like this.
  14. seaice
    Thanks. This explains much! To my surprise, I faced some accidental dropouts (once in several hours) with my HE7S HDMI at default settings (never had them with my M7). But there are no dropouts with Bypass ON so far and I really like the sound with bypass ON better. According to your info, it is strange and the opposite should be the case. It is time to find out what was causing that dropouts in my setup. They were very rare but I faced them so something was wrong before the signal came to the HE7S or SU-1. I suspect my cables or PC (and Intona not blocking all the PC noise coming to my SU-1 and DAC).
    DACLadder likes this.
  15. FredA
    In my setup, i have two isolation transfos, and my noisy gears are connected to one that performs filtering as well, so that my computer or TV for instance does not pollute my signal components. The sensitive components (dac, pre, headphone amp, wyrd) are connected to the other isolation transo (a balanced one i took on ebay). My power amplifiers, on the other hand, are connected directly to avoid compressing the dynamics. I have an intona and a wyrd, plus two jitterbugs to isolate the PC furthermore.

    So i am looking forward to telling you if it works well in the "high exact" mode. I will try to turn the PLL off as well. I use a singxer f-1 with an hardwired and very short rj45 cable as i2s source, by the way.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
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