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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. ToddRaymond
    I too would love the opportunity to buy an HE-350. Even if it doesn't quite perform to the level of having individual HE components, it's a bit more economical and flexible. It costs about $1000 USD more (give or take) per unit for the HE-version of the same product, whereas it was, what, $1580 for the 350? Four components could benefit from it, and there's less concern with leaving it on all the time, versus the other HE units (though I realize the most recent versions can be left on all the time, provided the ambient temperature in your room/home isn't too high).

    By the way, earlier this year, Kingwa mentioned the possibility of producing a run of HE-350s, provided a 'group-buy' scenario materialized, but not enough people had expressed interest (I think he said he needed 50 units for it to be viable, but I could be mistake).
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    motberg likes this.
  2. Chopin75
    Hmm perhaps we can email him of our interest. However I am now using a UPS (uninterrupted Power supply ) regenerator, with some good result but as I mentioned earlier it requires some fixing as the battery is not charging up. The HE-350 seems more simplistic and straight forward. I see it has only max of 350 W and cannot drive Power amp.


    It may work for small components that are not too power hunger so perhaps can work on multiple DACs, pre-amps etc and maybe a PC.
  3. darren700
    I am running my r2r-7, preamp, CD player and di-20 off my HE-350. It gets pretty hot but has no issues powering all these components. Hopefully Kingwa will consider building more, it is a fantastic unit and it's a shame it was discontinued. I also changed the plugs on mine to furutech gtx-d(g) as I didnt like the stock ones.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    ToddRaymond likes this.
  4. PLGA
    Hello guys
    I've installed the R-8_Parallel_DOP firmware and I found it a very nice upgrade in sound quality.

    A couple of questions for the much experienced ones:

    1- Are NOS modes the same?

    2- I loved NOS3 in my previous firmware (V3A), but wich mode (OS or NOS) did you prefer on this new R-8_Parallel_DOP firmware and why?

    PS: Im sorry, I know there are posts on this thread about this subject, but there's to much information that I think it will be easier asking again.
  5. barbas

    1. just one NOS mode (improved) with the new firmwares.

    2. always used NOS 3 previously, still prefer NOS over OS.

    Trust your ears.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    PLGA likes this.
  6. Jackula
    My entire chain of DI-20HE > R7HE > HE9 > M2H > Duke is coming along really well, listening to this setup, hearing nuances I've never heard before. It just sounds so real! Makes everything else sound wrong, including many mid-six figure systems I've heard and lusted for in the past.

    The only thing I would change is swapping the HE9 out for an HE1, eventually, no money or space at the moment.
    FredA and ToddRaymond like this.
  7. ToddRaymond
    That's great to hear, @Jackula! Really happy for you. I can't wait to have pretty much that very setup, but with – as you say – the HE1.
    FredA and Jackula like this.
  8. Chopin75
    I have been using NOS modes almost exclusively with all the FWs. I think the characteristics of OS vs NOS remains largely the same.
    Though NOS itself kind of evolve, mainly for the better. I find the TDA NOS has comination of most of the good things of each NOS1-3 combined.
    In general for the TDA FW (or maybe even earlier FW) I find that NOS works best with higher RES and very high quality recordings.
    Tonight I just tried compare between NOS vs OS X 0 (NOS with digital filter). I have not gone to OS x2-8 yet as in general I dislike them. They tend to thin out the sound stage and reduce detailed nuances.

    Interestingly the NOS vs OS X 0 are quite similar for very high Res DXD (24/352) There is added warmth of NOS but sound state is quite similar in that OS X 0 is not destroying it much.OS does make the sound stage a bit forward. For recordings that benefit from added warmth, e.g violin, soprano, NOS may be good if recording is of great quality.

    When using lower RES 24/44 or 24/96, the benefit of OS is clearer, much cleaner sound, more focus and sound stage better defined, again without shrinking or collapsing it. But it really depends on quality of recording. e.g another violin recording (24/44) seems just fine with NOS, being more naturalistic, where as with OS despite being much cleaner, looses the subtle nuances of the string tone, and becomes a bit monochromatic. Another recording of orchestra and choir 24/44 shows fuzziness/muddiness and with OS all becomes cleaned up and actually much more focused, with a more forward presentation that helps.

    Here is the thing, if possible avoid OS, as NOS is most naturalistic and fine details are originally presented but if recordings show glitches, it will show clearly. The other thing is that NOS is probably most affected by AC noise or any other noise from PC etc... OS tends to be more immune as I suppose the digital filters rid of the noise effect.
    There may be at times a hint of musicality loss with OS though I think OS X 0 really has minimal negative effect on musicality compared with OS 2-8.
    Ideally we need a superb recording, with awesome clean AC power (+/- superb LPS) and NOS would be excellent.....

    I am sure many may not agree with me. And it is personal taste and sensitivity. And depends on what type of music and quality of your music recordings/files as well as the music server itself.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    motberg and PLGA like this.
  9. FredA
    My similar setup is starting also to sound like out-of-this-world. The di-20he brings a major contribution to this. Real is the term that describes the sound the best. The lower part of the spectrum has such coherence and integrity! The highs are delicate and precise, the mids are rich. The whole is credible, very involving.
    Jackula and ToddRaymond like this.
  10. ToddRaymond
    EDIT: (@FredA) That sounds, well, absolutely perfect! Or at the very least, ideal to me.

    How's the imaging and soundstaging?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  11. Jackula
    As good as my small room will allow, however it seems the stage is not only behind the speaker, but is also popping forward as well.

    People generally like to describe good soundstage with "floating notes", but there's none of that here. Notes are where they're supposed to be, together with their instruments rather than floating in the sound field. It's an indication of perfect phase.
    motberg, ToddRaymond and FredA like this.
  12. Chopin75
    Floating sound is more of a Hi Fi phenomenon. In real live concert it depends on where you sit and acoustics of the hall. A dry hall won't produce any floating sound or if you sit very close. Usually sitting further back with a tall ceiling so sound will go up gives a floating sound. But it tends to lose focus this way, like the old NOS1 sound.
    Jackula likes this.
  13. Jackula
    Interesting, I didn't know that. I grew up on classical concerts (as my folks forced me) but always sat fairly close, I don't recall floating notes.

    What makes the Dukes special is they are the only phase perfect 3-way loudspeaker I know of, combining the coherence of a full range electrostatic and the dynamics and focus of a box speaker. They are a difficult load and the Master 2H is an absolute champ at driving them.
  14. Chopin75
    Haha, forced to go.to.concerts? Lucky u! Correct, floating won't happen if u sit too close, and can give u ear fatigue! The sound is actually mono when u sit close. It is hyper detail with solid instrumental placement, like a great mono recording
    Jackula likes this.
  15. Jackula
    Question for people interested in the R7HE vs Terminator comparison, want to suggest a few of your favorite tracks for comparison?

    I am looking for a handful of suggestions only, if I get too many requests, I will pick a few random ones. And must be a good recording, not MQA and is on Tidal.
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