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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. UsoppNoKami
    I went from R2R-11 to R1, then i managed to compare a Master-11S against Hugo2 TT + Mscaler and bought the M-11S... and now I am a happy owner of the R7HE.

    I've heard some decent Chi-Fi DIY gear like XiangSheng DA-05B (dual AKM4497 and i fitted a WE396A in the tube buffer, upgraded the OpAmps to full set of Burson V6 Vivids :) ) and have extensively auditioned the Chord Dave + BluMscaler at a local dealer's place with their obscenely priced speakers...

    but I keep coming back to my AGD gear with a smile :)
    motberg and ToddRaymond like this.
  2. PLGA
    How did you find the Chord Dave against the three times cheaper R7-HE? Did you have the chance to compare them side by side on the same system?

    I have Audio-gd R8 DAC and the M1 preamp with a pretty decent hi-end system with all the electronics from Asia (Audio-gd, Gustard, Line Magnetic and SOtM) and I've heard +100k and +200k systems that were worse than mine, and that was before several good upgrades I did on the last weeks. There are a LOT of hiden gems in HiFi from Asia.
    motberg likes this.
  3. UsoppNoKami
    I only did the Master-11S vs Hugo TT + Mscaler side by side with the same headphones, cables. And I preferred the AGD.

    The Dave + BluMscaler set up is at a different shop, no A/B with my R7HE possible.

    The Chord set up sounds nice... reminds me of how my gear sounds with good tubes in the amps, tho if there are any characteristics imparted by the shop's amps, speaker selection.. i wouldnt know what made the sound better or worse.

    For the cost involved, I'd much rather buy and roll tubes on my Glenn OTL, but that's me :wink:
    ToddRaymond likes this.
  4. PLGA
    I agree 100%.

    Why did you prefer the Master-11S over Hugo TT + Mscaler? How would you describe the differences?
  5. Jackula
    I also thought about how I'm going to do the comparison, and it will be done with each DAC sounding their best. So for me it will be Terminator [AES input, XLR output] vs R7HE [ACSS input, ACSS output].

    Burn-in of the R7HE is almost complete, but for high-end DACs like these I really ought to compare them on my loudspeakers to do either of them any justice. There's still about 500 hours left burning in my Master 2H.

    What I can say now is, bad things come to those who don't wait.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  6. ToddRaymond
    How are the Master 2H amps sounding? Are you still having issues with transformer hum? Outside of some sort of other potential one off limited production run product from Kingwa, those very amps are at the top of my list of "end game" that I'm about to start saving up for (after these incoming Fidelity Acoustics speakers with Scan Speak drivers are paid for).
  7. Jackula
    They are sounding fantastic and I bought a Holton DC Blocker that got rid of my hum and also improved dynamics. At first, they were a bit hot up top and lean in the bass, they have become more balanced with burn-in.

    What sets it apart from other amps I've tried is the bass control surpassing any amps I've heard. I have used with my sold-last-week speakers the PrimaLuna DL Premium, Sugden Masterclass, Moon 760A and the Master 2H is the best I've ever heard and it's not even fully burnt-in yet. The midrange and treble is no slouch either, I'm simply pointing out that bass control is class-leading!

    Everyone who has come and heard the Master 2H reckon the bass control is incredible, no bloat, no bleed, expressive, nuanced and at the same time it sounds big - great slam and dynamics. For many years I had thought my speakers weren't capable of deep clean bass, but it wasn't my speakers, it was my amplifier. For the price Kingwa offers the Master 2H, they make an incredible value proposition.

    Something else - When I changed amps previously, it was because I always felt something was missing or could be improved. When I listen to the Master 2H, I feel it is the complete package, I do not have the desire for anything else.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
    FredA likes this.
  8. FredA
    Same here with m3, bass control is the best i have had, and the highs, the smoothest, with still excellent resolution. Mids are just fantastic.
    Jackula likes this.
  9. 517269
    Amplifier Specifications Page:


    >250W @ 8ohm
    >500W @ 4ohm
    >1000W @ 2ohm

    Transformer Power 1700W (4 transformers)

    Amplifier Summary Page:

    The capacitance of the whole machine reaches as high as 260,000 uF, with two 800W circle core and two R cores transformers (Total 1700W) and separate power supplies for the right channel and left channels.

    I'm confident these are fine sounding amps but if I interpreted these specifications correctly, I am intellectually curious about the 1KW output at 2ohm derrived from an 800W output transformer [or in addition to a 50W[?] ACSS/gain stage R core transformer].
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  10. JaMo
    You should not expect to play 1000W. To fully reproduce a drumstick stroke on and with a synchronized compressed high hat, requires around 400W. The 8-4-2 Ohms wattage numbers means that this amp can handle difficult loads and still not choke under almost "shortcut"-loads.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  11. 517269
    Based on interpretation of the summary information, an 850W power supply producing a 1KW output doesn't add up. I am curious about the integrity of the power specification.
  12. FredA
    Quite simple, the amp should be able to play 500W under 4ohms steady, and 1000W only briefly. But it does not really matter. They can drive any speaker at insanely high levels.
    Jackula likes this.
  13. motberg
    I think my speakers may be a fairly difficult load:
    Nominal Impedance: 3-6 Ohms
    Average Efficiency: 82.5dB/2.83V/1m

    The Master 3 has been controlling these speakers for about 5 years at sometimes very loud levels for extended periods (using passive preamps at about 90%, and various active preamps) without any audible sign of distress or degradation. It is quite amazing that when I first bought these speakers about 8 years ago (using a another well-reviewed amp, that was actually smoked in one session) I thought for sure I would be upgrading speakers within a couple years. Instead, I have found that I have probably not yet reached the limit for optimal source quality, everything that improves the front end is communicated through the Master 3 / M&D Rubies ...
    FredA likes this.
  14. JaMo
    The Master 3 can output 30 Amps/channel short times. The Master 2 (older version) can output 60 amps/channel short times (Kingwa's statement). The Master 2H can probably output 100 amps/channel shorter times, based on the amount of output transistors. (24-48-80). Note. They all share the same output spec with the exception of the > for the 2H
    ToddRaymond and FredA like this.
  15. rsbrsvp
    I own a HE-9 and just bought a DI-20HE. However for my dad I have a Reimyo DAP999EX limited. I am thinking to try the R-7HE to complete the total Audio-gd set from beginning to end but not sure. My Reimyo dac is incredible.

    In short, I like full saturated tone.- not light, airy, and etherial.

    I would like to ask advice from R7-HE users. Is the R7-HE going to provide this or is it not the direction to go in?

    Also- has anyone compared the R7-HE to a Dave or to a Directstream? How do they differ?

    Is the R7-HE a cost no objectlevel dac- or just an incredible dac for the price?
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