New Audio-gd R7 (R2R 7) & R8 Flagship Resistor Ladder DACs
Feb 14, 2021 at 11:11 PM Post #6,496 of 6,527

Shahrose

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Any reports on the R7(HE) 2021? Synchronous USB input? 10M input vs XOs? i2S? How does it sound? R8 2021s as well...

Yes, I compared the direct USB input of the R7HE (2021) with the Coax and HDMI input of the R7HE fed by the DI20HE. The latter is noticeably better still; a larger soundstage and more liquidity in the mids/treble being the chief differences.

Interestingly, the audio-gd Reference 7.1 from years back has a significantly larger soundstage than the R7HE and the Yggy2 and sounds only slightly less tight/focused/detailed than the R7HE (and equal to the Yggy2). This is only with the DI20HE (or DI20) feeding it. Maybe a function of firmware or perhaps some of the old PCM1704UK magic that has yet to be emulated?
 
Feb 15, 2021 at 4:50 AM Post #6,497 of 6,527

falcon70

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Audio-Gd R-8 2021 caught my attention as I'm looking for a new DAC. Looking at several brands and models. Anyone heard this? Or owns one?
My R8 2021 arrived last week from Magna-Hifi. This is the last component from my Audio-GD chain, after Master 3 and HE-1. I don't know if R8 is the best buy from several brands but the most irresistible Audio-GD R2R dac for that price.
I didn't test usb input beacuse Magna Mano streamer is connected to R8 by I2S.

Previous dac was Topping DX7s and sonic difference is huge in favour R8. Still in burning time.
I really like this neutral and natural sound.

How much will be the sound improvement after 300 burning hours?
 
Feb 15, 2021 at 8:01 AM Post #6,498 of 6,527

DACLadder

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May take 600 to 1000 hrs for full burn in but start sounding better after 1 week. Thanks for the reports.
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 12:19 PM Post #6,499 of 6,527

PLGA

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""R8 DAC, my law of diminishing return Audio-GD DAC""

Hi guys, I've got a few days ago a 2018 model R7-HE (with the 2021 HDMI upgrade), that I bought from a fellow audiophile from here, to replace my R8 DAC. Here are my impressions.

First, let me clarify some things:

A) I consider my system pretty revealing (all of it) and I've really took care of the digital signal the following way (before the DAC):

1. Modem without WiFi (the WiFi affects pretty much the signal)
2. Ubiquiti Networks Er-x-sfp 5 Router
3. Uptone Etherregen switch
4. SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo SE
5. Audioquest Jitterbug
6. Wyred4Sound USB Reclocker
7. Audio-GD DI-20 DDC

Accesories: vibrapods all over, Supra CAT8 ethernet cables, Curious Evolved USB cable and BJ Belden HDMI cable.

Also I have a dedicated AC line for the system, a Holton DC Blocker and the Audioquest Niagara 1200 power filter.

All of them made improvements in sound quality. Some more than others, but all of them did it somehow.

B) My 2018 R8 DAC does not have the 2021 HDMI input upgrade, so with it I prefered the AES/EBU connection and I couldn't compare both DACs with the same HDMI upgrade.

C) I've tried the DACs on different days, not to long apart, so I couldn't make a direct A/B comparison and it's impossible for me to do it without unistalling half of the system eadh time as the DAC goes underneath 1/2 of the system. Nevertheless, I've been listening to the R8 and the same test tracks for the last couple of years and I'm pretty sure I know how they sound very well.

My experience:

First, after plugging the R7-HE with the AES/EBU cable, I left it playing music for about half an hour to warm it up. After it, my first reaction was, it's a very nice DAC, same flavor as the R8, of course better than the R8, but not as much as I was expecting. It was mostly smoother, with a little darker background, maybe with a little more analog sound. I mean, I was better, sure, but... does it justify the price gap? I'm not pretty sure.

As the HDMI/I2S upgrade was new, I was told to burn it for a few days, and considering my experience with the R8, I wasn't expecting much from this input. Nevertheless, as I was not floored by the AES/EBU connection, I gave it a try. And then, with almost no burning time, I felt the difference. NOW things were CONSIDERABLY better. Same Audio-GD flavor, but really better on every aspect: more resolved, darker background, better tone, stronger bass, more analog, better 3D image, etc. I'm very happy with the R7-HE with HDMI connection.

To finish, a couple of thoughts:

1. I totally recomend the 2021 HDMI upgrade to every AGD DAC. I believe it's a noticeable improvement.

2. I would have LOVED to test both DACs with the HDMI upgrade with a direct (or semi-direct) A/B test as it would have raised the R8 level, I'm sure. And that's why, I'm pretty sure the R8 is where the law of diminishing return starts with AGD DACs. It has an amazing price to perfomance ratio.

3. It's very likely that the difference between the DACs is bigger connecting both DACs to a regular AC line of the house (not a dedicated one) and with few to no filtering. I'm pretty sure. And maybe also with a less conditioned/tweaked digital signal.

Hope it helps. Cheers,

PS: sorry for my english!
 
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Feb 23, 2021 at 1:08 PM Post #6,500 of 6,527

FredA

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""R8 DAC, my law of diminishing return Audio-GD DAC""

Hi guys, I've got a few days ago a 2018 model R7-HE (with the 2021 HDMI upgrade), that I bought from a fellow audiophile from here, to replace my R8 DAC. Here are my impressions.

First, let me clarify some things:

A) I consider my system pretty revealing (all of it) and I've really took care of the digital signal the following way (before the DAC):

1. Modem without WiFi (the WiFi affects pretty much the signal)
2. Ubiquiti Networks Er-x-sfp 5 Router
3. Uptone Etherregen switch
4. SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo SE
5. Audioquest Jitterbug
6. Wyred4Sound USB Reclocker
7. Audio-GD DI-20 DDC

Accesories: vibrapods all over, Supra CAT8 ethernet cables, Curious Evolved USB cable and BJ Belden HDMI cable.

Also I have a dedicated AC line for the system, a Holton DC Blocker and the Audioquest Niagara 1200 power filter.

All of them made improvements in sound quality. Some more than others, but all of them did it somehow.

B) My 2018 R8 DAC does not have the 2021 HDMI input upgrade, so with it I prefered the AES/EBU connection and I couldn't compare both DACs with the same HDMI upgrade.

C) I've tried the DACs on different days, not to long apart, so I couldn't make a direct A/B comparison and it's impossible for me to do it without unistalling half of the system eadh time as the DAC goes underneath 1/2 of the system. Nevertheless, I've been listening to the R8 and the same test tracks for the last couple of years and I'm pretty sure I know how they sound very well.

My experience:

First, after plugging the R7-HE with the AES/EBU cable, I left it playing music for about half an hour to warm it up. After it, my first reaction was, it's a very nice DAC, same flavor as the R8, of course better than the R8, but not as much as I was expecting. It was mostly smoother, with a little darker background, maybe with a little more analog sound. I mean, I was better, sure, but... does it justify the price gap? I'm not pretty sure.

As the HDMI/I2S upgrade was new, I was told to burn it for a few days, and considering my experience with the R8, I wasn't expecting much from this input. Nevertheless, as I was not floored by the AES/EBU connection, I gave it a try. And then, with almost no burning time, I felt the difference. NOW things were CONSIDERABLY better. Same Audio-GD flavor, but really better on every aspect: more resolved, darker background, better tone, stronger bass, more analog, better 3D image, etc. I'm very happy with the R7-HE with HDMI connection.

To finish, a couple of thoughts:

1. I totally recomend the 2021 HDMI upgrade to every AGD DAC. I believe it's a noticeable improvement.

2. I would have LOVED to test both DACs with the HDMI upgrade with a direct (or semi-direct) A/B test as it would have raised the R8 level, I'm sure. And that's why, I'm pretty sure the R8 is where the law of diminishing return starts with AGD DACs. It has an amazing price to perfomance ratio.

3. It's very likely that the difference between the DACs is bigger connecting both DACs to a regular AC line of the house (not a dedicated one) and with few to no filtering. I'm pretty sure. And maybe also with a less conditioned/tweaked digital signal.

Hope it helps. Cheers,

PS: sorry for my english!
What is the rest of your setup, Pedro? Amp, pre? Speakers?
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 1:19 PM Post #6,501 of 6,527

PLGA

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What is the rest of your setup, Pedro? Amp, pre? Speakers?

Hi Fred,
My preamp is the AGD Master 1, connected with the DAC via ACSS.

Then I have the Line Magnetic LM-508IA 300B-805 tube integrated, used as power amp. This amp has internal upgrades and upgraded tubes and it´s a very nice sounding amp.

My speakers are Q Acoustics Concept 500 floorstanders with Isoacoustics Gaia II feet. I took care on positioning them (within the limits of the room).

I also have a pair of subwoofers also positioned as good as possible following Jim Smith's advices on some articles he wrote. The subwoofers are not plugg into the dedicated AC line, but on a regular outlet of the house, but each one has it own Bada LB-5600 power filter.

Next step will be treating acoustically the room as much as possible because it's the living room and decor matters. Today I use some pillows in the corners, behind the speakers, wich helps A LOT absorbing bass reflections. I also use absorbers for the first reflection points on the sides.

AC cables are DH Labs, some Red Wave line and some Power Plus line.

I've been restlessly spending money, time and brain on the system. I think I will take a break for a few months! :beyersmile:
 
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Feb 23, 2021 at 8:49 PM Post #6,502 of 6,527

FredA

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Hi Fred,
My preamp is the AGD Master 1, connected with the DAC via ACSS.

Then I have the Line Magnetic LM-508IA 300B-805 tube integrated, used as power amp. This amp has internal upgrades and upgraded tubes and it´s a very nice sounding amp.

My speakers are Q Acoustics Concept 500 floorstanders with Isoacoustics Gaia II feet. I took care on positioning them (within the limits of the room).

I also have a pair of subwoofers also positioned as good as possible following Jim Smith's advices on some articles he wrote. The subwoofers are not plugg into the dedicated AC line, but on a regular outlet of the house, but each one has it own Bada LB-5600 power filter.

Next step will be treating acoustically the room as much as possible because it's the living room and decor matters. Today I use some pillows in the corners, behind the speakers, wich helps A LOT absorbing bass reflections. I also use absorbers for the first reflection points on the sides.

AC cables are DH Labs, some Red Wave line and some Power Plus line.

I've been restlessly spending money, time and brain on the system. I think I will take a break for a few months! :beyersmile:
Tell me about it. My next moves are to get the new Nimak acss, it’s in the mail, and to assemble an audio-gd i2s cable based on a dhlab cat8. It’s a cable with just the 4 required pairs of wire plus ground. It could beat the BJC series-fe if i do a good assembling job.
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 9:42 PM Post #6,505 of 6,527

uncola

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Hehe the belden fe bonded hdmi is one I have too.. I also like the apollo av lightning flat red hdmi.. that one is cheap too.. think it's on clearance even.. on ebay
 
Feb 24, 2021 at 10:16 AM Post #6,507 of 6,527

PLGA

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Have you guys tried the Moshou vs the Belden? I have both, but I haven't done a comparison yet as I wasn't using HDMI before this week, only AES/EBU.

How do this cables compare in sound quality? Is it better the Belden as I thought?
 
Feb 24, 2021 at 10:28 AM Post #6,508 of 6,527

FredA

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Have you guys tried the Moshou vs the Belden? I have both, but I haven't done a comparison yet as I wasn't using HDMI before this week, only AES/EBU.

How do this cables compare in sound quality? Is it better the Belden as I thought?
The Belden is smoother. I see no issue to the sound with it.

I just ordered a 0.5m Appollo. Cheap. I was curious. It's silver plated, could help. Quality of craftmanship is very important. The Belden is terminated in Asia. They seem to do a very good job.
 
Feb 24, 2021 at 12:36 PM Post #6,509 of 6,527

DACLadder

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I tried many HDMI cables for audio - Wireworld, Moshou, Belden, Apollo A/V, and even more. For the amount of treasure spent the shorter the cable always sounds better than a longer cable. Even the same brand of cable. That is why the Beldem fe 0.3m cable works so well. it is short and Belden is good quality cable with spec sheets. A year or so ago I tested asynchronous I2S on the R7 with the Apollo A/V 0.5m and 2m lengths. The 2m length cable sounded warmer with less soundstage. I have a Wireworld 0.3m cable that sounds great but costs $250 above the Belden fe. So start the shortest HDMI cable for your installation.. Save the fancier cable stock for long cable runs where their better specs may have more advantage.

The Apollo A/V cable is only HDMI 1.4 spec. It was on sale for $15 five years ago because it was obsolete for 4k TV. And if you find something interesting let us know. Always looking for affordable cables.
 
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