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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. gk2013
    Agreed, the bass is a bit slow which for me makes the Terminator a bit "boring" for my listening taste. All in perception of course. The Master 7 on the other hand had a little "bulb" somewhere in the low section (specially with 8x Oversampling).
    Master 7 Singularity is much better in my perception: Very tight bass, fast; spatial and precise, better timing. Just better!
    R2R7 uses the same digital board I have been told. For me the R2R 7 is more flowing compared to the Master 7 Singularity. It seems more fluent; faster. Never heard a piano this clean!
  2. Currawong Contributor
    Since people asked:

    Yggy fed by a WaveIO powered from an iUSB 3.0.
    R2R 7 using the inbuilt USB.
    In both cases because i must have screwed up my DI-U8 mods and I don't have the Gen 5 USB for the Yggy yet.

    I'm listening to Papa was a Rollin' Stone by the Temptations and I feel that notes have more body and texture, and thus more emotional impact with the R2R 7 through the Utopias.
    If I max the volume on the amp though, there is a bit more hiss from the R2R 7 than the Yggy.

    I could play around with transports more, but I've broken my foot, so re-wiring my system is out of the question for the moment.
  3. decapitate85
    You mean that at high volume there is more confusion, less separation, with r2r7? What about bass?
  4. FredA
    Listening to Oscar Peterson Tenderly, especially the Foggy Monday track, i can say that the r2r7 has cleaner and a bit faster bass than the M7 with updated firmware (from memory). Overall, there is a little more punch, both in bass and medium. But bass is less abundant with the r2r 7. Still, it makes its presence felt firmly when the recording has enough in it. The r2r 7 is less forgiving when playing distorsion, meaning it is more faithful. This results from increased transparence and resolution.

    By mentioning the rich medium, what i mean is it is full of texture, not that it is exagerated. Overall, the balance is rather flat.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  5. Wynnytsky
    The internal pics of Denefrips models looks a bit too OCD to have been assembled by a human -- must be a robot right?
    I assume the picture of Audio-GD's sweat shop (all reported as missing persons) were breaking nails building my DAC.
    Maybe in the future the r2r DAC hardware will conform to some standard (like an ATX PC) and a new market will emerge selling FPGA images -- if not the whole operating system then just the filter itself. We'd buy them online like we buy music. I don't use HQPlayer but I'm guessing that filters implemented in FPGA are going to outperform something compiled for a PC.

    sorry to hear. Your podiatrist / orthopedic surgeon might offer sound wave therapy but you tell him your utopian r2r chain would put his instruments to shame.

    For some quiet passages in recordings (especially live) the R2R7 has further revealed a buzz/hiss that I had previously assumed was something in my chain.
    It's a relief knowing it's the recording.

    This is the R2R7 with dBr on the Y-axis (Decibels relative to reference level)
    graph r2r7.PNG

    This is the Terminator with volts RMS on the Y-axis
    graph terminator.PNG

    Different scales means I should compare them, but I couldn't help but notice that the R2R7 shows the noise floor gradually increasing.
    Looks like the slope-intercept might be from -160 to -132 dB.
    (give me a graph [any graph] and I'll tell you how to forecast the weather with it)

    anybody have a request for my next recording?
  6. hyperdanny
    I have to say that I am reading thse reports about the R2R 7 being more electrically noisy and/or acoustically hissy with rising anguish.
    This could be a negative deal breaker for me..call it obsession if you want but I cant't stand hiss..and I was almost ready to buy it..
  7. FredA
    The hiss can come from the recording. You would normally not hear much of that coming out of the dac itself if any at all based on this response diagram unless listening at deafening levels. Hearing more hiss from the recording itself means the dac has a peek in its response or just is more resolving. You have to use many recordings to determine the source of the hiss.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  8. Wynnytsky
    when my source exposes a recording for it's faults I don't yell at it -- I pet it and say "good boy"

    I'm no stranger to hiss because nothings escapes 105dB speakers, and my primary source of it has always been preamps and amps. My worst hiss was from a 115lbs hybrid amp (CJ EV2000). A closed second was from Emerald Physics class D monoblocks (terrible). Tubes generally make that fluttering sound while they warm up and within minutes that would become a stable hiss. Most SS amps have been totally acceptable in this area, but if you get close enough you'll hear something. With my current amp (T+A class D) I have to put my ear into the horn to hear something (like a sea shell) -- that's dead quiet by my standards.

    If there's no heavy rain on Monday I'll travel with the R2R7 to be heard with Magico S5 mk2. Today I chop firewood.
  9. gk2013
    hiss? The R2R 7? Dead slience!
    I know Audio-GD does not have special muting circuits to avoid degradation of sound and the I2S input is sensitive. (no connection on R45 may give a little hiss, but who cares if it is not connected)
    PeterCraig likes this.
  10. FredA
    Simple test with the nfb-1amp. Connected to the r2r 7 with a pair of k701, i can hear a hiss at max volume when playback paused. It's normal in my opinion. Cause the heaphone would be playing 140dB over the hearing threshold, 26 on the scale of 99 being the normal listing level (75-80db). Means nothing really, just a hint that there is a noise floor.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    Currawong likes this.
  11. PeterCraig
    I have never heard any hiss from the Master 7 (except when it was coming from other components or a poor implementation eg. ground loop).

    I would be quite amazed if Audio-gd engineered their top-line R2R 7 with a hiss issue.
    JaMo likes this.
  12. FredA
    I unplugged the r2r 7 from the nfb1-amp. Still get the exact same hiss at max level. The nfb-1amp picks it up somehow. Perhaps from the computer nearby. You have to be 40db over normal listening level to start hearing it. I really don't care about it. Might try to put plugs on unused inputs at some point.

    Conclusion: the r2r 7 is dead silent.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    PeterCraig likes this.
  13. hyperdanny
    just to clarify....I do not have a problem with hyper-revealing sources : if the hiss is there ...is there.
    Just this afternoon I was listening to the Bartok's concerto for orchestra conducted by Stokowski from the Everest "35mm " edition..it sure had quite some hiss, but it's from the 50's (and the sound is glorious anyway).
    My listening pleasure was not impaired one bit.
    I can't stand hiss that's "added" by a noisy component..and the comparative graphics posted by Wynnytsky are indeed a little worrisome.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  14. FredA
    The noise never goes above -110dB. No concern, you won't hear it. The noise peaks go up with increasing frequency as well with the Terminator and the scale can be misleading. Normally, dBs are used. Why is it not the case with the Terminator? Compare the Master-7 Singularity to the R2R 7 graph and you will see that the r2r 7 does better. Plus Wynnytsky himself tells noise is not an issue with his hyper-sensitive loudspeakers. In my case, the unselected input shorting feature is deactivated on my nfb-1amp. I might put the jumper back in to lower the noise floor.

    To sum it up, the r2r 7 is not noisy whatsoever. It is dead silent.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  15. Currawong Contributor
    I think some of you are over-thinking it. Indeed, the VERY faint background hiss is a bit higher on my R2R 7.

    At -130 to -140 dB it isn't relevant. I think the relevant bits are those harmonic spikes up to about -110 dB that are possibly what gives the DAC the typical R2R "sound" which is very pleasant to listen with, but every so slightly less precision. What I'm finding is that the R2R 7 exchanges a very tiny amount of precision (and here we're talking about as good a system as I can assemble with Utopias + the best recordings I have, then listening for the last details of the reverb on guitar notes) for a very slightly harmonic bloom. It's rather like choosing between high-end tube and SS amps. Funnily enough, the comparison of the DACs related to tube amps at the end of that 6moons Denafrips review I thought was a good analogy.

    As for the bass, I don't feel that there is anything in it between the R2R 7 and the Yggy, at least so far.
    FredA likes this.
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