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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. bballas
    usb cable most important, 0.0m the best :metal:
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    HoloSpice likes this.
  2. Wynnytsky
    that's what I found as well, and it explains why the web has so few solid recommendations for i2s cables

    The R2R7's USB input wanted a very lively USB cable and the Singxer brings extreme life up top so I switched to a much darker USB cable, one that was straight up boring/dead on the R2R7's USB input.

    With guest components coming through my stereo is like a long term stock -- sometimes goes down but goes up in the long run. Last night it surged something unbelievable:
    iFi Curious => W4S Recovery => Synergistic Research USB Active SE => Singxer => monoprice hdmi => R2R7 => single ended copper interconnects => deHavilland UltraVerve 3 => Exposure 3010s

    that tube preamp was such an amazing listen I'll be reflecting on that experience all day (starting with this post!)
     
  3. motberg
    The SU-1 was bright to the point of being un-listenable in my system until @bballas modified it for me to accept external 5v (currently using 2xLPS-1).

    I am very much looking forward to your tube preamp review and/or comparison comments. I have/had a few lower level tube preamps in my system and always return to the detailed presentation of my current Audio-GD pre... but that tube magic stuff plays well with a lot of my favorite music.....
     
    bballas and FredA like this.
  4. bballas
    A631DCD4-E7E7-4F91-8BF9-A10144E13874.jpeg
     
  5. bballas
    My Chinese friend make this preamp,think this is good one....
     
  6. Wynnytsky
    1 UltraCap into the SU-1, 1 elsewhere?
    A $400 200watt HDPlex is sending 19.5v to a computer, 9v to a W4S recovery, and soon 5v to my SU-1.
    I loaned the SU-1 to a friend while I wait for the DC kit and a W4S recovery to come in the mail.
    Thanks for the heads up on the DC brightness drop. Sounds like I'll be rolling again.

    The preamp is not mine but once my DC conversion is ready, I'll try to borrow it again. That thing deserves a youtube video.
    And if I can sell two integrateds (and maybe a set of speakers) then I'll reward myself with that tube pre.
     
  7. motberg
    The SU-1 uses the 5V from the USB in line for powering the input side of the ¨moat¨, so I have an Uptone LPS-1 powering a Recovery, which powers the SU-1 input side.
    Then I have another LPS-1 directly powering the output side of the SU-1 board.
    I should also mention I have ifi DCiPurifiers on both LPS-1 outputs (using Ghent DC cables) and both are driven by separate 3A TeraDak LPS´s :astonished:
    (Probably overkill, but everything can be used in different future applications if desired...)

    My speakers have a FR rise about 6db ranging from 13k to 18k, so I think that could be why I found the stock SU-1 bright even after a few solid days break-in (not sure if I can hear that high any more though..).. but the super capacitor power supplies somehow removed the harshness and now I get just loads of detail from my NOS7. I did have a few other DDC´s though before the SU-1, including a Tanly, Gustard, etc., and the SU-1 was the only one that exhibited this brightness with the stock power supply.

    I will probably need wait until after Christmas (...2 grandkids) for some good tube solution... maybe Kingwa will come up with a 6922 dual mono balanced output version of the R2R 1 by then.. something in the range of 799 USD with an introductory 10% discount offer would be fine:L3000:
     
  8. Wynnytsky
    agreed, this is the first I2S box with that much life in the highs, but I'm not yet sure it's a bad thing, and it's not offending the way I remember from a Audiobyte Hydra Z + 3A TeraDak. The Tanly didn't do this -- how has the SU-1 bettered the Tanly for you? In my brief listening I think the texture and layering improved.

    6dB climb in the highs? And I though I loved the highs! Is that a super tweeter thrown in? Most people shoot for a -6dB slope. After major changes I recreate Dirac filters targeting a flat curve (at different levels 0.5dB apart).

    Accept for this recovery, I hope to inject as few course-corrections as possible, keeping the source brutally honest (sold the iFi purifier, iFi tube buffer, and the iUSB is getting sold next). Would like to tame the sound with the wires and components between the DAC and speakers. A tube pre/amp/int is the easy way to dial back an ultra-resolving sound, but was going to make that a last resort.

    grandkids -- one day they'll make great recipients of 2nd hand audio gear.
     
  9. FredA
    image.jpg
    For the DIYers who like short cables and want to avoid two conversions to/from balanced (hdmi), it is always possible to add an rj45 out to the singxer f-1. The f-1 has a better tonality that way. Frankly, i would doubt the su-1 is better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  10. motberg
    One thing that I was also wondering about the SU-1 is if the little switches to control the HDMI i2s output configuration are in the i2s data path between the board and output.
    I would think that with all the stuff I have been reading about that clock connections need be as short as possible ... if this switch idea is really optimal.
    If the switches affect the integrity of the i2s, then the F-1 as per your setup would seem to have an additional inherent advantage, (in addition to the transmitter/receiver i believe is used for the HDMI i2s output).

    I have once tried however, a 1M Wireworld red starlight cable for the HDMI connection and did not have any trouble with playback... I did not do any serious A/B comparisons with the 0.3M I usually use, but did not immediately notice any degradation either.
     
  11. motberg
    I agree that when comparing the stock SU-1 vs the stock Tanly, the SU-1 seemingly allows more detail to get through, I think this added some sound-stage improvement and more clarity in the highs especially. Cymbals sound more real, and snare has more thwack with better tone. One test CD for me is the opening song on Genesis Duke .. I don´t know what they were thinking when arranging that song (sounded great live though...), but now occasionally I can pick out and appreciate the cymbal work on that track.

    I would like to try again the Tanly though (I still have it) with the same outboard power setup as I am using now with the SU-1.. that may actually work better with my current speakers... but I will probably keep both units as this SSD point in the digital conversion path seems like a good place to adjust the overall sound presentation. I think the Tanly has slightly different clocks and power scheme, also the Tanly i2s has been wired direct at the factory for Audio-GD.

    I have super tweeters, but do not use them currently.. they are omni-directional and to me the system is clearer without them.. I think this is because I am listening pretty much nearfield at less than 2 meters... or maybe because I was powering them with an amp not as clear as my main amp.. What i did to make up for the lost sense of space was assemble a partial center barrier in an effort to reduce R/L crosstalk... sometime in the future I will remove the barrier to double check if it is really working, but for now it will stay (currently I can easily hear occasional depth clues maybe 3 meters behind the speakers - and that is with a NOS DAC and the speakers 1 meter from the front wall). I am pretty sure the barrier is working.. I have a rebuilt and upgraded Carver C-16 preamp that is like new that I recently tried... and engaging the Sonic Holography circuit had very little additional spatial effect, if any.

    I have an original iTube also.. changed the tube to a nice WE396 recently, seems less grainy than the stock tube but not have seriously tried that yet.... maybe that will go to the grandkids first :L3000:

    My speakers are Mark and Daniel Ruby v1. They have a lot of good attributes - and probably that HF rise from the wide range Heils match my grandfather-range hearing anyways. (Note I may have measured them incorrectly.. this was my first try using a computer and USB measurement mic). Sometimes they are really really nice though, I have had them for over 7 years and with every front end improvement they sound better.. I am trying to keep my system neutral - so when I get new speakers there will be less adjustment required. But if I come across another set of the Ruby´s cheap, I will get those first and then try stacking to get a little more slam for my progressive rock and classical.. (I had a pair of well powered Carver Amazing Platinum´s some time ago in a larger room and stuff like the Telarc Stravinsky Firebird CD could take your breath away when it gets rocking near the end...)

    I have tried briefly adding a filter to HQPlayer to offset the high frequency boost (also tried various oversampling ideas), but still find that JPlay playing native res files sounds better to me (Kernel Streaming and in Hibernate mode)... my next step for the source will be to add a faster computer in front of the current one (JPlay "control PC" idea) so I can try oversampling and convolution filters and still leave JPlay in Hibernate... the control PC will also allow me a better song selection experience while the playback PC is in Hibernate mode....

    I think I can arrange to have both SS and tube options available in my system at the same time... My amp is the Audio-GD Master 3, which is switchable between XLR balanced and the Audio-GD ACSS connections.

    Currently I am trying to get the ACSS connection to sound as good as possible using the M1 preamp... (then I have the XLR available for the tube pre).. The XLR balanced with Morrow cables is still a tad preferable to me, but the ACSS has more detail and is getting close in the ¨meat on them bones¨ department.
    The ACSS however seems more difficult to tweak with cables than the XLR, but my guess is that the ACSS could really be the truer of the two methods.

    I am also considering an optional tube DAC like the Musical Paradise 6922 MP-D2, maybe the ES9038 version.. but I think a tube pre direct to the amp may allow some additional micro-dynamics. I noticed this extra dynamics with a certain set of tubes on another 6922 pre I have. I am not sure if this was in the recording or some artifact, but to me this additional punch was closer sounding to what I remember as a direct mic feed from a mix board.
     
  12. FredA
    There are a few aspects to this connection to consider. One has to do with reflexions. Some cable lengths will sound better because they tend to cancel them out. Another one is your cable should pick up as little noise as possible. And, the main raison to try to have a cable as short as possible is rise time. The shorter it is is, the less incidence noise has. It basically means that the capacitance of the overall cable has to be very low, Also, cross-contamination should be considered. For that aspect, hdmi is vastly superior. The length of the hdmi cable has less incidence. In a setup where cable length can't be minimized, or when the digital signal is absolutely noise-free out of the source, hdmi should sound better.
     
  13. motberg
    Thanks for the additional considerations

    I am thinking SU-1 -> R2R 1 -> Tube Pre is probably a good combo for a flexible tube source with a lot of detail.

    For the NOS7 -> M1 path, I like the idea of the lighter/smaller F1 with the RJ45 i2s which I can set behind the NOS7 and allow easier access to the DAC jumpers. (Right now I have the SU-1 on top of the NOS7 due to the size of the SU-1 and the short cable, so takes some doing to lift the lid off the DAC).
     
  14. FredA
    Yes, good point about jumper access. I can take the top off my r2r 7 without having too much to do. This has been useful lately. However, there is a bit of stress put on the rj45 socket, but it seems OK with it. Been using that ddc setup for a long while.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  15. Wynnytsky
    When I'm not using an int-amp I like to use Morrow's single ended MA1.2's in between amp&pre (18") -- the speed and transparency mimic's the integrated amp experience.
    The cable between src&pre is where I focus on tone/color -- those cables are usually thicker and cost more

    can you show us your parts list for this? 10+yrs ago I remember making a 6" ethernet cable to be a jumper between my stacked linksys routers and access point, and that link would fail intermittently. I googled some stuff about a minimum length (definitely longer than a foot) to achieve the correct impedance, and I think crimping 18" worked. I'd later learn that there's a min-length rule for USB as well, and people were reaching optimal results with 4.5' cables. That being said, I do have the 8" curious cable going into the W4S Recovery, so there's more to it.

    My friend has the AKM version and I def preferred the R2R7 (pretty much all jumper settings). Would be awesome if there was a 30day trial on those new 9038 modules -- I have yet to hear a dual 9038 DAC.
    This weekend a PS Audio DirectStream with the Huron firmware visited -- the neutrality, freq-balance, and speed won me over. Not the impression I was expecting, though the deHavilland 6SN7 preamp was probably filling in for emotion. Though that was only when comparing the two via Singxer I2S with 5v LPS. I gave a very brief listen via it's USB port and magic was lost -- it reminding me of what my digital front end sounded like years ago.

    Speaking of near field, I put Fostex FE83-SOL drivers into this rear loaded horn (1" MDF, no xovers).
    Front ended by an ASUS Essence STX II and a Crown older than me, is so very nice indeed.
    Fostex.jpg
     
    motberg likes this.
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