USB DAC/amp (dongles)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Stuff Jones, May 17, 2021.

  1. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    Saudi Arabia customs laws are ridiculous0 so getting warranty services are very expensive. That's why Schiit ceased doing business with us according to their email when I asked why.
     
  2. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Thanks. I was unaware. Bummer.
     
  3. econaut

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    I have an RU6 for about two weeks now and had the chance to listen to an Luxury & Precision W2 a few days ago. I am a little irritated, because it seems to me that I am hearing things quite differently than many posts and the one comparison I have read.

    To me and my friend (better ears, more experience than me) it was quite obvious:
    1. W2: the best of the three. Basically perfect, just smooth and neutral in NOS mode.
    2. S2: also pleasant in principle and quite full bodied, but with a more pronounced treble region. Don't know exactly if it's elevated or harder/sharper/glaring. Almost sibilant, but not quite. A malus in comparison to the W2.
    3. RU6: sounded like ass in direct comparison, thin and bright.
    This was just a quick comparison with a recabled HD25 Alu in 3.5mm and maybe the CFA Cascade, don't remember if we used that one as well. We did a lot of other stuff, so we did not spend much more time on this. All the dongles were cold, but I have not found that warming up the RU6 makes a big difference. The RU6 is fully burned in with way more than 100 hours, the S2 as well.

    After this I ordered an W2 and will return my RU6 which did not convince me before, neither.
     
  4. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    That's interesting - I did complain about the RU6 slightly etched treble earlier but it seems to have improved after burn in. It also seems to be quite inconsistent sometime sounding great other times ok - I noticed it's very dependent on usb quality source and power. The mids are quite forward so pairing also important. In any case I'm surprised you had such a negative experience with it, perhaps some other factor was impacting the sound
     
  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    That’s almost the exact opposite of how I experience the RU6. To me it sounds thick and dark, with a mid-bass emphasis and long decays. It tames the treble peak of my UM 3DT, which bright sources exacerbate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
  6. econaut

    econaut Facebook Friend

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    I have to take back the "thin" in my above post, I think. Sorry about not being precise. My audiophile vocabulary is not yet spot on. I should take more care when writing impressions and take more time listening. Also "sounding like ass" was true for me when listening and my friend also did not like the RU6, although he might not have used that wording.

    So today I did some more critical listening with the S2 and the RU6, since I have to send the latter back tomorrow.

    Here's what I found out after using many headphones in the process (cheap IEMs, HD25 Alu, Cascade, HD650, LCD2C):

    The culprit is my phone.

    Both the S2 and the RU6 have a certain harshness to them when listening with my phone (UAPP bit perfect), but the S2 lesser so.

    That harshness is gone when listening with the dongles connected to my Windows desktop PC using Roon.

    This is very interesting and helps to understand the problem. Unfortunately, I need a dongle for my phone only, so the S2 is better suited for my use case in comparison to the RU6. And I expect even less harshness from the W2 that I ordered as I heard it a few days ago.

    I finally figured this out, because the RU6 was still sounding harsh even with HD650 and LCD2C, but none of the headphones were sounding harsh out of Bifrost 2 + Jot 2.

    Sorry for any misconceptions and maybe useful for others.
     
  7. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Hmmm...I have one coming that I purchased specifically for use with a phone. I'll report back how mine behaves compared to DragonFly v1.2 and Fiio BTR5 with Moondrop Kato.
     
  8. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    Does the RU6 still sound like ass compared to the others when plugged into your desktop pc?
     
  9. econaut

    econaut Facebook Friend

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    No, the RU6 sounds great when listening with Roon on my desktop PC. I did some longer listening with it and if I needed it for that use, I would consider keeping it.

    Out of curiosity I also quickly compared my Oneplus 8 Pro to my Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ tablet, both with UAPP bit perfect and Cascade out of the balanced output in low gain.

    With the RU6 there's a difference. On the phone it sounds more forced. Bass less precise, upper mids / treble harsher. Like more v-shaped and both ends also sound worse in their respective ways.

    Maybe the USB C specs are completely the same with both devices, I don't know. I am also not 100% sure if I would pass a blind test on this. But I think it's worth mentioning and what I hear today.

    I don't have the W2 (yet) and the RU6 is leaving today.
     
  10. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    It does appear that the RU6 is sensitive to some degree to the quality of the USB connection. I still think it sounds good out of a phone but I find it sounds better out of my iPad and best out of a laptop.
     
  11. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    So I've been listening to RU6 + Zen Pro for about a month now. At the risk of running a @rhythmdevils-esque hype train (I kid!), for my preferences this is the best portable audio setup I've heard. The RU6 accentuates some of the strengths of the Zen Pro - texture and timbre - while taming the lower treble and metallic timbre, which I no longer hear as problematic. It also adds a nice natural sense of space - almost like that tube 3D effect.

    I found that the RU6 became clearer after around 10 to 20 hours of listening. While this could also be Zen Pro and/or brain burn in, it is consistent with other impressions over at HF. I don't know enough about R2R to know if this could actually be a thing. Anyway, I no longer find it lacking in details, but they are presented organically throughout the frequency range whereas DS dongles I've heard exaggerate details through upper mids or treble emphasis. For example, upright bass sounds more detailed and textured than I've heard on a portable setup.

    All my listening is done from the 4.4 output - SE is a bit soft. NOS and low gain; OS sounds a little more digital. I've mostly listened out of my laptop, which sounds best to me. According to the Cayin rep. over on HF, the source based SQ differences are based on the cleanness of the USB source, not the power. I haven't done much listening with other IEMs because the Zen Pro pairing sounds so good and because I don't have balanced cables for them.

    It would be great to get some more SBAF ears on this setup - I know @Rockwell has the same pairing and enjoys it. I think if you prefer DD sound, need portability and don't need a DAP, the RU6 + Zen Pro setup will be hard to beat. The reasonable price (for our hobby) is a bonus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
  12. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Great synopsis. The RU6 is an incredible device. It's got a great synergy with the 7HZ timeless as well. Though I prefer Zen Pro on the whole RU6 + Timeless is pound for pound probably the best "bang for your buck" you can get for $500 right now.
     
  13. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I want to highlight how good the RU6 sounds in NOS mode. At first I was switching back and forth between NOS and OS and over time I found that I was consistently preferring the NOS presentation. Maybe it’s just variety, as I only have and have heard OS Multibit DACs before, but there’s something really engaging about the NOS mode on the RU6. I’m sure there are plenty of other dongles that have more clarity, or detail, or a more reference tuning, but I guarantee none of them sound like the RU6.
     
  14. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    While sitting here listening to RU6 I had the same thoughts. I can't think of anything that provides near this level of engagement and enjoyment in a portable at this price. The holographic/3D soundstage is intoxicating. A lot of my favorite albums I've heard a million times are hitting me deep in the feels.

    On the DD iem side of things the RU6 and Moondrop Kato I'm finding to be an absolutely killer combo for under $500. It is scary how close this tiny thing comes to the Bifrost 2 and Lyr 3 (with iems).

    Agreed Merrick. NOS is very engaging and natural.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
  15. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Has anyone been using these with the Ara? curious about impressions here (as is @shotgunshane).
     
  16. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    Could you kindly verify that the RU6 works with your iPad via the lightning adapter supplied by Cayin or a different adapter? My concern is to get "the accessory draws too much current" kind of message from Apple portable devices. My Airist R2R DAC does not take USB input from my iPad (gen 7) or iPhone 11, so I am thinking of getting something like the RU6. Thanks.
     
  17. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    My iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPad Air 2 both work fine with the RU6 using the Cayin USB-C to Lightning OTG cable. They both also work using the Apple USB 3.0 camera adapter that allows me to plug in a power cable and a USB-C device simultaneously.
     
  18. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    (A handfull) of people on headfi were only having issues on iPhone when on high gain and above 70 volume. For what it's worth. The designer of the RU6 responded that it is most likely the iPhone hitting its current limit. I have not seen any android users on the forum report the same issue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
  19. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Another aspect worth highlighting which I omitted above is how balanced it sounds. It's not warm and thick, its not neutral (which I often read as a euphemism for sterile). I think the best description is natural.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
  20. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    moi aussi, including with CA Solaris 2020.
    I've read elsewhere there is hiss with RU6 and sensitive IEMs like CAs, the recommendation has been to only use the single ended connection to reduce it a bit. :(
     

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