Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by dropadred, Nov 5, 2017.
That is exactly what I meant by "presented better"
Lol. Restroom3: You are a dih-ick. Plain and simple.
Made an account to talk about the r2r-11. bought it 6 months ago as a complete beginner after seeing the name pop up a few times and then watching some "reviews" on youtube. There are people out there WAY overhyping 'not-that-good' gear to noobs like me. its like the guys on other forums hear something positive about gear and just relay the recommendation as if they know shit. i bought AKG k7xx as my first headset and wondered why it was so harsh after people said it was more laid back than HD650/6xx. it was so bad that i thought up the idea to cover the driver with toilet paper - way before i even knew that was a thing.
i got the 6xx and that helped with the sibilance obviously. thought i was all good and the 7xx just sucked. tried the warm jumper setting on the R2R, still pretty bad but better. tested my phones on PC out vs r2r-11 vs PS4 controller VS phone and the R2R has a 'fuller' sound with more impactful and deep bass. i could more clearly perceive placement and distance in the soundstage as well. so i thought it must be a good amp. these changes were subtle and i guess they could be attributed to just having more power to the phones. the amp is definitely a couple steps up from my onboard tho. makes voices sound better and separates the bass from the rest of the sound making it less muddy if that makes sense.
6 months down the line now. bought a project sunrise (shipped with a vintage 12AU7). Used the R2R as a pre cause i dont have a dedicated dac. sounds a lil better but sibilance is still problematic and now the upper mids (i think) are hurting my ears on the 6xx (not the R2R's fault but rather the amp/tube/headphone pairing). order the SDAC as a last resort measure, expecting it to be even brighter cause the R2R-11 is supposed to be buttery smooth "like an oil painting".
I switched it out for the SDAC an hour ago and it sounds infinitely better. the mids were still too much but that was fixed by switching out the 12AU7 for an electro-harmonix 6N30P. might also try the KISS mod. The r2r-11 isnt terrible but not worth $350 USD imo. There are certain songs that i like the sound of through it like vocal focused stuff like MJ, as long as there is no sibilance in the track it sounds pretty nice.
I guess the objective takeaway is that the new combo is more visceral sounding than the R2R11 because of better imaging and sound stage, as well as the toned down treble (which of these are attributed to the tube im not sure). the amp is also adaptable to different headphones and ears through tube rolling. I noticed that when a lot of things are happening in a song at once, the R2R11 sounds kind of messy while the sunrise setup makes it sound like a little more organised - things are more discernible.
Edit: 4/17/19 i bypassed the capacitors on the sunrise and adjusted re-biased for the electro-harmonix tube and it sounds better somehow. tried to switch back to the R2R-11 recently to see if it really was worse or if i was just in buyers denial and trying cater to the sbaf echo chamber. its worse. not terrible, but everything above pretty much stands.
In all its glory:
yes thats paper and tape over the LED because its way too bright. The LED on the SDAC is not bad as it looks in the pic but still too bright at night.
was editing and somehow reposted as quote
There is so much bullshit out there on head-fi and youtube, sorry you had to be a victim. I remember a member on some forum once saying he would pass his HD800 and R2R-11 on to his children as an heirloom since it was the best thing since sliced bread.
So full of ignorance and/or shit.
I think there are a lot of people who have never heard anything better than the product they're currently using. To be fair, what they are using may be light years ahead of whatever they had prior. It's expected that they will be excited once they realize that there are worlds beyond the headphones they bought from the rack just in front of the checkout counter at Best Buy.
I like to see users who comment on hardware relative to something else they've experienced. It must be taken with a grain of salt, but it's at least helpful to be able to gauge where they're coming from with their impressions.
Thank you for sharing and being specific about the combinations of gear and relative comparisons. At first I thought it might be the AKGs, but when you made the comparison to SDAC, things became clear. Contrary to common belief, R2R DACs can sound strident or lean. I've been curious about this R2R 11 and have been offered to try it many times. I think I will pass. Thank you again so that I did not waste my time.
The Garage1217 Sunrise and Horizon are the highlights of their line. The Starlight is unimpressive and the Ember is warmpoo.
South Africa seems to love AGD. The R2R 11 gets praised regularly here. And there are folks with money and expensive reputable kit. It's kinda odd.
maybe the "robotic" (scratchy/grainy) vocals im hearing is just detail that makes bad tracks sound worse. likewise the ear piercing esses might just be better clarity. i am sensitive to treble for sure and the akgs are still harsh although not as much now. even if thats the case i dont think i will ever use the R2R again except to remind myself what im not missing. the SDAC seemed to immediately improve soundstage and image placement/seperation. this could be attributed to me liking the sound sig better now, allowing me to turn it up and take in the music, instead of sitting here scrunching my face up. but im switching between them now and my feelings seem to hold up. I started by listening to the R2R again this morning and was like "ey its not that bad, maybe my post was knee-jerky and exaggerated". but then switching to the SDAC im like "fuck that POS". it doesnt sound like $350 to me.
all this said, i am new to this stuff and everything i say should be taken with a grain of salt. it would be cool to read impressions and measurement analysis from some experienced ears.
What are you listening to in order to determine which one you like best? You mention Rihanna who I am not entirely familiar with, but I am guessing it's recorded and mastered much like other horrid pop albums where dynamic range is compressed.
Don't feel like you need to change your musical tastes. However, as you discover gear that is designed to extract the best qualities from digital recordings, you will also discover that the opposite is true. Great gear may serve to exacerbate the poor qualities in digital music. Finding the right balance is part of the game for most.
nah just the song "never ending". Im listening to random shit on spotify that sounds nice. space bass type EDM stuff does a great job of showcasing the differences. yeah just listening to different stuff that has a different focus to see if its not just a per-song bias towards the new setup. so far its not.
No agd fanboy here but I've heard some of their models and thought they compete very well at their respective price points. I did not perceive any agd as bright. Switching to low gain will improve matters as will keeping to sane listening levels ... The lower powered models especially lose grip when pushed.
AGD Master 7 was both organic sounding and strident (from USB). Had to go external SDPIF to i2s to mitigate the stridency. Don't have time for too many converter boxes and chains of Mutecs anymore. My expectations now are that I just want to plug in it and have it sound pretty good.
Technically that applies to coax/AES, as long as you are plugging it into a transport.
Yeah I2S was pretty much the only way to go with the Audio-GD DACs back in the days. Probably because they used off-the-shelf SPDIF receivers that sound mediocre at best.
The world deserves a good and cheap reclocking solution for all DACs to use!
I have been lucky with USB only once (on the NFB-27) - where everything sounded like pure music, without any weakness to the sound and certainly better than what I get nowadays with more expensive gear - but I never managed to replicate it, ever. It was in the early days of Audio-gd's USB-32 solution (firmware #3) and I'm not even sure it was asynchronous...
so after one year and a half of not having the use of my main rig, the renovations in our new house (our 1st house yay! ) are complete. it is just my wife and I in a 2200 sqft house and my wife lets me take however much space i want and make as much mess as i want so i have taken over the 550 sqft high ceiling living room as my listening room. Basically im in heaven but i have a real problem here with the fundamentals of what is good sound in the first place.
During the time that i didnt have the use of my stereo, i went deep into headfi and when i got the R2R11 and had quite a moment with it, when it sounded so gorgeous with both Audeze LCD-3 and also Hifiman HE400i and also Senn HD650, I remember distinctly when i was listening to "straight to my heart" from camel's "RAJAZ" and it sounded heavenly on LCD-3. i remember telling myself that only rarely my stereo has sounded so immediate and so holographic with vocals.
so that was last year and around that very same time i had decided that few schiit dacs were quite good but werent for me and schiit Amps that i had tried (asgard and original lyr) really werent for me at all. in general i kinda liked schiit dacs but liked others better, and i did not like schiit amps. And and that was when i posted in this topic that i preferred audio-gd to schiit and of course ya'll foamed at the mouth and started making rabid dog noises.
but it also wasnt all rosy because with my Audeze LCD-2C it became too shouty that the pairing just wasnt listenable (incredily shouty mids)
also recently we had amir releasing measurements from another audio-gd product that agreed with what ya'll have been saying about Audio-gd products preforming poorly in various aspects.
I also have my Soekris DAC from the DIY line with dedicated power supplies for the analog section and the digital amanero input in balanced configuration. I also just bought the Single ended model of the Soekris DAC from a member here. also in the arsenal are RME ADI-2 and NOS TDA 1543 DAS. so i have a real problem here do i just not know what good sound is? so should i just stick with the underperforming product that sounds better to me or do I keep chasing?
this is a real dilemma of what i like to hear versus objectivity.
as another example of subjectivity of this whole comparing sounds stuff, I just saw above a post about Grace SDAC + SMSL and i have heard that combo extensively and i think it is pathetic to call that good sound, it sounds so thin, i call that sound an assault to my ears.
oh i just saw my title there under my username has been changed again. i think it is not funny and i dont appreciate this kind of bullying that you are doing. i want you to put the "idiot of SBAF" back and never to change it without my consent. i want that idiot of SBAF title so that maybe you realize not everyone is easily intimidated by your bullying since you put that there in the first place.
How about a custom title "Wants to be the idiot of SBAF, but likes Audio-GD and is proud"
Dude chill. Read more, post less and learn the vibe of the place and you may come out all the better for it.
I just want to be fair and I only disliked this because it is very much rambling. You are also not specific about the other Schiit DAC's you have tried.
Please try to be more specific, concise, and just remember that when putting out an opinion that is counter to the overall feeling (I am having images of Marv's poop in reference to the R2R11), then please have some really good reasons why it is so convincing to you. Saying something is just has "shouty mids" or "werent for me" or an "assault on my ears" are not very fair, descriptive, or helpful.
@restrav3, I dunno why you are looking at measurements. Here is a bit of follow up:
"i went deep into headfi and when i got the R2R11 and had quite a moment with it." - Oh boy, have I heard that one before.
"Basically im in heaven but i have a real problem here with the fundamentals of what is good sound in the first place." - Probably there is some of that.
"this is a real dilemma of what i like to hear versus objectivity." - Far more than "objectivity", it seems to be more of a dilemma of what you like versus what most every other random dude's likes.
"so should i just stick with the underperforming product that sounds better to me or do I keep chasing?" - Don't limit yourself. You could always chase for even shittier sound. I don't think you have hit rock bottom.
If you want to experiment with different color and texture of shit, consider the Audio-GD S19.
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