R2R DACs 2017

j.phelan

New Member
Mar 25, 2014
54
0
0
#1
These type were rare in 2010, now they're surging.

Current production, player or processor, made in U.S. or U.S. presence.

Multiple price points if apply:

Up to 3k: Border Patrol, Monarchy, Denafrips, Audio-gd, MHDT, Holo, Soeskris, Metrum, Schiit

5-15K: Audio Note, MSB, Metrum, Computer Audio Design, Aqua, LessLoss, Totaldac, Lampizator

15K+: CH Precision, Aries Cerat, Light Harmonic, Audio Note, MSB, Totaldac, Lampizator

**Special mention to MSB, Monarchy and Audio Note, who never gave up R2R. Even after the takeover of delta-sigma.
 
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sbo6

Member
May 19, 2014
696
0
16
Round Rock, TX
#2
Yep, quite true.

I have a friend who recently bought a DIY R2R DAC that I believe also comes built called Soekris and it's absolutely outstanding. I think it's about $1500 fully assembled an includes volume and a headphone amp. The digital sonics / $ are ramping like nobody's business!
 
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astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
754
13
18
SF Bay Area
#3
I believe my Pacific Microsonics Model Two is R2R Ladder. It is more than 15 years old. Does up to 192/24 PCM with dual wire. Of course it is an A to D and D to A.

Larry
 
Jun 18, 2011
743
5
18
Hong Kong
#4
In 2010, it was just MSB and LessLoss -but now, R2R DACs are surging.
Made in U.S. or have presence here. (Euro-brands like Rockna not incl.)
Up to 3k: Soeskris, Metrum, Schiit
5-15K: MSB, Aqua, LessLoss, Totaldac, Lampizator
Two made-in-China brands are becoming popular in Asia and Europe and I am sure that there are owners in N America too :
1. Denafrips : Terminator, Venus, Pontus & Ares. (MSRP USD680-4480)
2. Audio-gd : R2R 7 HE; R2R 7; R2R 1; R2R 2; R2R 11. (MSRP USD350-3480)
 
#5
My trusty Resolution Audio Cantata MC 2.0 from 2011 is also R2R with its four 1704 units
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,314
12
38
Switzerland
#6
I have had almost only R2R dacs in my audio career. Monarchy Audio M22B had BB PCM63s, Monarchy Audio M24 also had BB PCM63s, Kinergetics Research KCD-55 Ultra had two UltraAnalog D20400 modules, PS Audio Ultralink II also has the UA D20400, Aries Cerat Kassandra has 8 AD1865 chips per channel (16 dacs per channel in total). The only detour was for a while I had the Audio Aero Prima DAC that used AD1855 (I think) Delta/sigma DAC...I ended up finding it inferior to the Monarchy M24.
 

marslo

Member Sponsor
May 2, 2014
495
4
18
Poland
#8
I have had almost only R2R dacs in my audio career. Monarchy Audio M22B had BB PCM63s, Monarchy Audio M24 also had BB PCM63s, Kinergetics Research KCD-55 Ultra had two UltraAnalog D20400 modules, PS Audio Ultralink II also has the UA D20400, Aries Cerat Kassandra has 8 AD1865 chips per channel (16 dacs per channel in total). The only detour was for a while I had the Audio Aero Prima DAC that used AD1855 (I think) Delta/sigma DAC...I ended up finding it inferior to the Monarchy M24.
I still keep Audio Aero La Fontaine as second PCM DAC and Sacd player with Burr Brown 1792 chipset and upsampling STARS module , micro triodes in output stage.
It is a keeper for me, with R2R Lampi as a first PCM/DSD DAC.
 
May 30, 2010
13,978
50
48
Portugal
#10
XXX believes that YYY technology used in current DAC chips does not sound as natural as ZZZ technology.

I have read it tens of time, only XXX, YYY and ZZZ vary. Fortunately we can pick what our preferred DAC technology and smile, some one who feels like us has probably written the proper sentence. I have listened to several technologies sounding excellent, IMHO it is the implementation and details that make the difference. And curiously, most people ignore the technical aspects of implementation and details, they just know the soundbytes.
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#11
XXX believes that YYY technology used in current DAC chips does not sound as natural as ZZZ technology.

I have read it tens of time, only XXX, YYY and ZZZ vary. Fortunately we can pick what our preferred DAC technology and smile, some one who feels like us has probably written the proper sentence. I have listened to several technologies sounding excellent, IMHO it is the implementation and details that make the difference. And curiously, most people ignore the technical aspects of implementation and details, they just know the soundbytes.
Yep.
 

j.phelan

New Member
Mar 25, 2014
54
0
0
#12
I added Mola-Mola and Border Patrol. This list was tough -more and more are coming and half of them haven't been reviewed. At least thru U.S. based publishers.

The count is now 18 (different) brands -2 have diff. price-points.
 
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Dec 12, 2012
243
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16
#14
With all due respect I'd be curious to know where you have seen the Mola Mola DAC described as being an R2R design?
According to their website, the Mola-Mola DAC features high order noise-shaping. Single-bit sigma-delta modulation DACs also feature high order noise-shaping. The actual quantizer Mola-Mola implements here is NOT an R2R, but a pulse width modulation (PWM) type. PWM is a kind of single-bit quantizer, but operates differently from the much more common pulse density modulation (PDM) type single-bit audio quantizers, such as is utilized in DSD.
 
May 27, 2013
402
0
16
Chicago suburbs
#15
According to their website, the Mola-Mola DAC features high order noise-shaping. Single-bit sigma-delta modulation DACs also feature high order noise-shaping. The actual quantizer Mola-Mola implements here is NOT an R2R, but a pulse width modulation (PWM) type. PWM is a kind of single-bit quantizer, but operates differently from the much more common pulse density modulation (PDM) type single-bit audio quantizers, such as is utilized in DSD.
Thanks very much for your excellent explanation Ken!
 

j.phelan

New Member
Mar 25, 2014
54
0
0
#16
They say "no off-the-shelf chips". Then, 2 boards for conversion w/ discrete 32-stage FIR DAC.
 
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Dec 12, 2012
243
0
16
#17
They say "no off-the-shelf chips". Then, 2 boards for conversion w/ discrete 32-stage FIR DAC.
They very likely utilize FPGA chips to implement proprietary processing algorithms, and the 1-bit PWM quantizer - as opposed to commercial DAC chips.
 

j.phelan

New Member
Mar 25, 2014
54
0
0
#18
When I hear (2) boards for conversion, I think discrete. But you could be right -I'll delete them for now.
 
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sbo6

Member
May 19, 2014
696
0
16
Round Rock, TX
#19
Good stuff. It would be good to have a comprehensive list as the OP had started, maybe keeping it with DACs <=5 years old?. Can we add to this list as we discover more?

Up to 3k: Border Patrol, Monarchy, Denafrips, Audio-gd, MHDT, Holo, Soeskris, Metrum, Schiit, Audio-gd, Border Patrol

5-15K: Audio Note, MSB, Aqua, LessLoss, Totaldac, Lampizator, Denafrips, Audio-gd, Resolution Audio, PSAudio, CAD,

15K+: CH Precision, Aries Cerat, Audio Note, MSB, Totaldac, Lampizator, Audio Aero,
 
May 27, 2013
402
0
16
Chicago suburbs
#20
Good stuff. It would be good to have a comprehensive list as the OP had started, maybe keeping it with DACs <=5 years old?. Can we add to this list as we discover more?

Up to 3k: Border Patrol, Monarchy, Denafrips, Audio-gd, MHDT, Holo, Soeskris, Metrum, Schiit, Audio-gd, Border Patrol

5-15K: Audio Note, MSB, Aqua, LessLoss, Totaldac, Lampizator, Denafrips, Audio-gd, Resolution Audio, PSAudio, CAD,

15K+: CH Precision, Aries Cerat, Audio Note, MSB, Totaldac, Lampizator, Audio Aero,
Border Patrol & Audio-gd both appear twice in the first list; and Metrum also has DACs in the 5-15K range.
 

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