Massdrop RDAC Airist Audio R2-R DAC

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Yes, now that I have listened a bit longer I am hearing a bit of bass bloat and muddiness in the R-2R. I would even say there is a bit of bass to mid bleed and congestion, perhaps responsible for vocal f&ckery some report.

    A/Bing between Gun MB ad R-2R, straining to hear difference in detail, especially 500hz up. I think I do...Maybe my Asgard 3 is limiting here. Will try Bachelor later...wish I had Starlett in house already.
     
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  2. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    I'm typing this drunk, but my mind still works.

    Starlett for me did show the difference of RDAC and BF2 to me. Even when BF2 is better on technical levels, RDAC still sound good. Too bad the drama from that DAC ruined future sales of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Has anyone here heard one of the preproduction versions of the RDAC (the micro usb input being the giveaway)? I’ve got one here and keep finding my impressions of it not matching the impressions I’ve read here and I finally confirmed that it is either really shitty sounding or something is wrong with it. When I first got it I was underwhelmed but was using it with amps that were also new so wasn’t sure what the problem was. I’ve just finally got my old trusty SOHA1 plugged into it and modded a pair of Yamaha YH3’s both of which I know well and before I plugged in the SOHA1 I was using my iFI Nano BL to drive the YH3 because the other 2 amps didn’t have it in them as they’re more iem amps (LCX and 789). So to get to the point, the iFI Nano BL sounds much better with my YH3’s than the RDAC -> SOHA1. Which is baffling.

    also, all the amps connected to this RDAC need the volume turned down on my iPod (my digital source- using CCK adapter). They distort when the iPod is at full volume. Even though it’s through the digital out of the CCK adapter which shouldn’t be too loud I can’t imagine.

    any thoughts? I heard there were some changes made to the RDAC after this preproduction version.
     
  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    ^ I bought a production version.

    would it be crazy to have a Sigma 11 LPS made for the RDAC? Or should I just get a better DAC? I’m surprised reading so many negative impressions of this DAC. I don’t have another to compare it to. I do hear it as being a little bassy and warm but vocals certainly aren’t hazy.

    RDAC with LPS vs Gungnir Multibit A1? I wonder if the RDAC would do anything better.
     
  5. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    I had a Sigma 11 made for me a few years ago and it was $285. This was by YBM Audio, who AMB recommends on their website, so you might be able to find someone to make it cheaper. If not, you would now have a $635 RDAC. Would it compete with a Gungnir? I have no idea. It wouldn't have balanced outputs.

    A used RDAC just sold on Head-fi for $310. They're not often sold, so you could easily get $300-$325 if you wanted to sell. Add in the Sigma 11 money, and you could get a used Denafrips Ares or Bifrost 2 (or a new one for a little bit more). There's a Metrum Amethyst for $700 on US Audio Mart right now. A lot of options for RDAC+Sigma 11 money.

    If you invest in a power supply for your RDAC, you'll either be more likely to prefer it to other things because you've spent extra on it, or you'll be more likely to be plagued by regret because you've doubled down and aren't hearing what you hoped.
     
    sheldaze, triiiangle, YMO and 3 others like this.
  6. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Don't forget the noise nuke. A cheap solution and will tell you if an LPS is even worth it.
     
  7. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    thanks for talking me off the cliff! I might try that Amethyst...

    I’m making a few of those with someone else but they’re actually not that cheap when you factor in an enclosure. The enclosure alone is close to 100$.
     
  8. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    I'm not convinced that a better LPS will make the RDAC into a BF2 level of performance. For the money I would put it away for an used BF2 if you wanna do that route.
     
  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Be cautious that the Amethyst, being non-oversampling, will have a unique sort of sound. It's a decent starting point if you want to try non-oversampling, but it's not for everyone! I know you're a long-standing member of both CS and SBAF, but I honestly can't recall if you've used non-oversampling DACs before.

    I heard both a pre-prod and production RDAC. The pre-prod unit sounded more "euphonic" and like non-oversampling. The production unit sounds more like a warmer, but typical, oversampling DAC. I think they might have changed the upsampling/oversampling filter.

    Could you go into more details about what doesn't sound right about the RDAC?

    Have you tried other digital sources with the DAC? The issue you mentioned with the iPhone sounded really odd. It sounds like it's either not sending your data in a bit-perfect format, which then adds a huge variable to your experience, or otherwise busted in some manner. I'd want to rule that out first before suggesting any changes to the DAC.

    Lastly, I would not stress power supplies so much. I don't think they're going to change the core behavior of the DAC enough to change any opinions.
     
  10. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    Adding Atomic Bob's Noise Nuke after the stock wall-wart makes RDAC sound slightly better (as in better blackground / clarity), but it doesn't elevate the RDAC to an another tier. Bifrost 2 will still be technically more competent and wins on resolution, dynamics and treble extension.

    For those who like RDAC's sound signature and are willing to DIY for maximising it, I can recommend building a noise nuke, but that's about it.
     
  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Thanks Hands! Nothing sounds wrong with it per se except it’s not as neutral as I’d like. It seems a little basssy. I’d prefer a neutral DAC and an amp add any coloration. I guess really I’m just a whore and want moar resolution. I’ve tossed the idea of getting an LPS for the RDAC. I got the Amethyst in a whim because it was used and local and he was willing to drop it off which made it super easy. I figured it must be better than the RDAC because it costs more ;). Really I want a Gungnir A1 but none have come up for sake here yet. I put a WTB out also and didn’t get a response so I’m just waiting. But it would be fun to compare the Amethyst to the Gungnir. I have a switcher and will be setting up a Pi2AES so all I’ll have to do is turn a knob to switch back and forth.

    I’ve been around for a while. But I’ve actually never bought a good DAC or amp before. I’m really good at hearing problems with transducers, better than most I can’t buy commercial headphones they all suck last time I checked. (Which was many years ago to be fair) but TBH I’m not sure I care as much about a DAC AMP. but I’ve never owned a good rig before like I said. I bet owning will illuminate upstream gear for me pretty quick. I’m in a unique situation right now where a desktop rig works for me better than in the past.

    I’m using iem’s exclusively so I’ve got the 789 and just want a neutral resolving DAC.

    I wish I could afford a Yggdrasil or Pavane or Wavelight!

    edit: oh and the noise in my system is truly weird. I’m slowly replacing everything. I had the noise with the pre production RDAC and got a production one and it’s still there. I bought a new 789 and it’s still there. Replaced all interconnects. I’m getting a LPS made for the 789. And NoiseNukes for everything else. And a power conditioner. And garden hose power cables from AliExpress. I don’t know wtf else to do. Geeeeezus
     
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  12. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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    A simple solution to NOS roll off is to upsample in your player software. I had HQPlayer already so I upsample everything 2x. Never a/b'd it, maybe some day, if my ears ever overcome my hearing loss, lol.
     
  13. Climber

    Climber Rando

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    I'll be interested to hear what you think if you get to do the shootout, because I compared these three for a while as well. I actually miss the bass slam of my Gungnir A1 which I've not found anywhere else, but am otherwise very happy with the resolution and NOS-ness of Amethyst.

    RDAC I thought was a little juiced in its presentation -- seemed very forward and energetic, everything had a little extra jump and boogie. Which I loved for a lot of things, but being forced to choose, I let it go.
     
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