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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. anroj
    Thank you for this information, It sounds from your description that the HE-1 and Vacuum HE1 sound very similar, with the HE-1 better able to play loud. I don't listen to high levels, but sometimes when the music calls for it, I like to crank things up a bit. Which preamp would be your personal preference?
  2. PLGA
    For me tubes are a must in a hi end system.

    I have the DI-20, the R8 DAC and the M1 preamp connected to the Line Magnetic LM-518IA 300B integrated, used as power amp. To me, the latest sounds much nicer than my well regarded Class D power amp. More body, more tangibility, better tone and mids to die for. Much more like real music.

    My system sounds much better, for me, than a few +100k systems I've heard, all Solid State.

    If I had to choose, I would take the Vacuum HE if the rest of the system is SS. If your power amp has tubes, I would go for the regular HE-1 preamp. I think the result mixing SS gear with tubes is great.
    motberg likes this.
  3. anroj
    I like the combination of my C2200 tube preamp with the solid state MC402 amp, so your views line up with mine.
    PLGA likes this.
  4. gk2013
    Yes, the HE1 and Vacuum HE1 are similar in transparency and sound characteristic. The HE1 solid state can play extremely loud without any distortion. The sound remains intact and very tight. The HE1 Vacuum has a "sweet spot" and if you play very loud it is not as tight as the HE1. In exchange the focus is slightly more on the mid-section and very sweet height with great micro details. . Although I like them both very much and both have their strengths I prefer the HE1 Vacuum. I listen at "normal volume level" (between 20-55) and the HE1 vacuum rich and soft mid-area and velvet heights are irresistible!
    Genna likes this.
  5. Jackula
    Listened to an Audio Research Ref 250 tube power amp yesterday, great midrange and treble but no bass. That's the problem with all tube power amps, they can't drive low impedance loads.

    Whilst I really like tube amps, they are not adequate for the ultimate realism. I used to to think tubes are more real sounding, but really they are just nicer sounding. I went from high end tube to solid state Audio-GD.

    I now hold the belief that if you want the solid state control while needing some pleasantness in the sound, the best way is a solid state power amp and pre, and a DAC with tube output, i.e. Lampizator, TotalDAC tube, EAR Yoshino DAC4, AMR etc.
  6. gk2013
    Under no stretch of the imagination my R7HE stays :). Therefore I have selected the tube preamp of audio-gd!
  7. anroj
    Thanks for the additional information. I think I'll get the Vacuum HE1 in May.
  8. rsbrsvp
    The poorer bass performance on the R-7HE vs the Terminator in the recent review may be due to the ISO Regen. I have one and it thickens and rounds the bass- unlike my SOTM usb-tx ultra which gives a substantially leaner and more detailed presentation throughout the spectrum.

    I guess however the same ISO Regen was used with the Terminator- so fair is fair.

    What is the value of a USB regenerator before the DI-20HE anyway? The DI-20HE and the R7-HE both have re-clocking, galvanic isolation, and regenerative power supplies; and the clock in the ISO Regen is not as good as the Accalusion either so all your adding is a weaker clock powered by a LPS 1.2 which certainly is not as good a power source as the regenerative power supply in the DI-20HE and R-7HE.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  9. rsbrsvp
    Wow-was I wrong. I just got my DI-20HE and R7-HE around a week ago and did not have a chance to try the ISO Regen placed before the DI-20HE until just now.

    It did fatten up the bass quite a bit in a very pleasant way but it did not round things as it did on my previous DAC. No detail seems to have been lost relative to the DI-20HE without the ISO Regen and the ISO Regen actually added beautiful tonality to the bass and midrange and a wallop of punch which was not there before.........
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    Jackula and FredA like this.
  10. REAN1MAT0R

    Great job!
    Good review!
    Thank you for your time!
    One thing you still left undiscovered. R7HE has 10mhz input.

    I think about it too.
    I plan to connect 10mhz with R7HE, DI-20HE and SOTM USBUltra
  11. Jackula
    Don't think about it too much, it's hard to miss the bass you've never heard. In fact, I now also care less about the bass since wrapping up the review, it only irked me when I was in the process of A/B'ing the DACs, acoustic memory doesn't last.

    I'll say it again, the R7HE is incredible value, especially if you've already got an Audio-GD pre, then the R7HE is a no-brainer with ACSS. With firmware updates it will keep getting better, Kingwa has told me he will look into improving the bass in an upcoming firmware. It could take months, but good sound is worth waiting for.

    My setup is sounding brilliant now after changing a few cables (HDMI, power), I can listen to this all day and not get bored or tired. I also highly recommend the Duke speakers if you're ever in the market for one, they will give you the "complete" Audio-GD experience, like the Audio-GD they are also incredible value, costing about $19k delivered (introductory price I think) and is the most perfect sound I've experienced. In all the speakers I've heard (including many flagships from - Raidho, MBL, PMC, Focal etc) I can always pick out some sort of fault, but not with these speakers - why I bought them immediately after my first audition. You can ask Kingwa about it, he also praises them a lot and is why he uses them to voice his products.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  12. Tango Sierra
    Can you supply a little more information about the Duke loudspeakers? Manufacturer? Is there more than one model, if so which model? A link if possible?


  13. Jackula
    Here is a link to the Duke: http://www.hulgichaudio.com.au/duke.html

    There's quite a few reviews around the internet despite it being a new-ish speaker. They are also the first and only Australian speaker to win Soundstage's Product of the Year.

    I believe Kingwa will be the distributor for these in Asia.
    Tango Sierra, motberg and PLGA like this.
  14. REAN1MAT0R
    A link to few cables if possible
  15. Jackula
    The HDMI cable is this one: https://store.wireworldcable.com/co...eo-4k-18gbps-hdr-cable?variant=12210768543828
    I got the 0.5m one because that was the shortest available, in hindsight the 0.3m would've been better.

    I'm building my owner power cables with 10 awg silver plated copper and the IEC ends are Furutech FI-28(G): https://www.amazon.com/FURUTECH-FI-28-High-Performance-Connector/dp/B00J21P9GS
    I've made the AC mains plugs myself using my own design.
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