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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
    My updated setup.

    On the top shelf, the transport.

    On the left, the ocxo, stacked over its lps. On the center, from Foshan City, weighting 14 pounds, the reigning champion... On the right, the usbridge signature stacked over its lps. I like the symmetry.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    Toni-Mang, motberg, DACLadder and 3 others like this.
  2. nikko510
  3. ItsAllInMyHead
    @Jackula - Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Greatly appreciated. :relaxed:

    Would you perhaps take a bit of time to see how you feel about the sonic signature (only in the bass region) of the James Blake song using the using the same source file, but not upsampled from Roon (all DSP off) in the following configurations:
    1) NOS Denafrips.
    2) NOS A-GD
    3) OS1 A-GD
    4) OS2 A-GD

    If you find a difference, and if it is meaningful, could you share? You've dedicated an exceptional amount of time and effort to post your review, and I hope is is not too much of an imposition. Perhaps you'd also find the results interesting.

  4. Genna
    @Jackula Thank you very much for the comparison!

    I was also undecided on whether to buy the Denafrips or continue with Audio-GD. Here in Germany exists already a distribution that charges around €5300 EUR for the Terminator. That's why I bought (with a smile) the R-7HE. With the difference to the Termi and the spontaneous sale of my three-month-old Master-1 I was able to upgrade to the HE-1 right away. Now that I have read this great comparison, I am very happy about my decision and can't wait for the packages to be handed over to me on Tuesday.
    FredA likes this.
  5. PLGA
    Excellent job Jackula!!

    Thank you very much for your review and effort. That's exactly the kind of review I wanted to read.

    One observation. You've said that, to even the DACs performance, you used the Isotek Solus with the Terminator as it doesnt have internal power regeneration. The Isotek Solus costs new about 1k, so that makes even more competitive in price the R7-HE. A real hi end bargain!
  6. anroj
    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this great, unbiased review and I'm glad my song made it into the review list :) I have an R8 and I have noticed that the bass is a bit thick as well. I am going to try different room treatments and maybe silver cables to see if I can tame it somewhat. Has anyone else tried that with any success?
  7. PLGA
    Hello Anroj
    I also have the R8. I find the bass outstanding.

    What do you mean with thick? Undefined?

    What is your source?

    Im feeding it with the SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo and the DI-20 and it sounds superb.
  8. FredA
    Yep that was my point bringing up the usbridge signature, i would say bass is excellent here too.
  9. anroj
    Hi PLGA, in my listening room "thick" is boomy, lacking articulation. Source is Musical Paradise-MP Berry music server, Wyred4Sound RUR, DI-20, R8. I just thought about this, but I'm using a subwoofer, which is in a corner. I will try some tracks with the sub turned off to see if that makes a difference in what I perceive as thick bass.
  10. Jackula
    Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I'm done with comparisons for awhile :)

    @FredA concerning the USB bridge, the ISO Regen *is* my USB bridge. The ISO Regen is designed so at the moment the USB signal leaves the USPCB, it is completely jitter free when entering the DI-20HE. It's the reason I bought the ISO Regen as I've got a large air gap and a long USB cable that is very jittery without the ISO Regen.

    I also like to point out the R7HE doesn't have a slow bass, it's just slower than the Terminator. I've tried different cables and it has made the bass better, but when you add the same cables to the Terminator it also improves and stays ahead of the R7HE.

    I know it's hard to do swallow the Terminator has a better bass, as this is the R7 thread on head fi, you'll just have to trust me on that. It's almost like someone buying their first audiophile headphone and saying it has the best bass they've ever heard, because they haven't listened to anything with a better bass. We've all been there :)

    Peace out
    ToddRaymond, UsoppNoKami and FredA like this.
  11. FredA
    Thanks Jack. I would argue the usbridge sig. possibly beats you regen but again, i have never tried the regen. Splendid work you have done, i am very grateful. Thanks very much Jack, this is a great contribution to this thread and very inspiring material. Awesome!
    Jackula likes this.
  12. PLGA
    It must be something related with your room modes. According to experts, subwoofer location is extremely important. I will send you some links about subwoofers written by James Smith, the author of the book Get Better Sound that help me a lot.

    For me, a proper implemented pair of subs are a must in any good hi end system. It will improve a lot the bass response of the room and it will also improve soundstage and highs.
    motberg likes this.
  13. anroj
    Thank you for the comments and advice. I backed off the volume on my sub to match my main speakers and it made quite a difference. I welcome the subwoofer article you mentioned.
  14. PLGA
    Jim Smith is a well known expert in the audio comunity and totally advice reading his book Get Better Sound. He has worked with a lot of audiophile gear and voiced, according to him, about 1.000 systems.

    He once wrotte me "I have never heard ANY system - no matter how great, no matter how expensive, no matter how deep the main speakers are claimed to reach, that did not benefit from a properly integrated pair of subs".

    I followed his advice and bought a pair of subwoofers. Couldnt be happier.

    After you get the best possible location for your main speakers and, most important, your listening position, considering your space, decor, couple and budget restrictions, you must locate and set the best you can your sub or subs (better two).

    His articles about subs are the following, read them in order:








    Remember, you must FIRST set properly your main speakers and listening position and then your subs.

    Jim recomends the use of a RTA and a Sound Presure Db, but you can use apps for Android or Apple like "Sound Analyzer" and with the phone you can get the job done pretty well, professional gear is expensive and not extremely necessary.

    Its incredible how even one properly integrated sub can change the sound, but you MUST have a smooth bass in your listening position, meaning that the flattest frequency response from 20 to about 400 Hz.

    If you follow Jim's advices to locate and set your subs, only one step will be done by ear, the last one. That will make the process more precise.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    motberg likes this.
  15. Chopin75
    Thanks again for the the excellent review. May I suggest that a tighter bass perhaps can be achieved by doing OS x 0 if one still wants a NOS sound. It also smoothens out the sound a bit more. I suspect the Terminator has digital filter but the R7 NOS has none (or At least minimal) as far as
    i know. The R7 NOS is very wide and deep and not necessarily worse despite perhaps slower or less well defined. It works nicely with classical acoustics instruments to give a full resonant sound.
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