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Rega DAC-R - what is your opinion?


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Hello,

Anyone own or have/had experience with Rega DAC-R and can share it here? I know that it isn't support DSD ;-)

Basically if possible to pick up something better with this price range in your opinion?

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

 

PS. I am aware of the stereophile review here: http://www.stereophile.com/content/rega-research-dac-r-da-processor#F010K5grE6ZXr9yY.97

 

Even here is the Rega response to the power spurae found in this review:

 

"The power supply feeding the analogue supply of the DAC IC’s in a current production unit was measured and found the 100Hz (120Hz USA) ripple rejection, measured 78.8dB below the unregulated supply – this being a typical figure for the linear regulator used in the Rega DAC. Just to confirm the measurements are what are expected, reference was taken from the National Semiconductor Voltage Regulator Data book and the typical ripple rejection ratio for the regulator in question is 80dB. The supply pins on the DAC IC’s are decoupled using low ESR polymer capacitors, which helps with noise"

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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I've got the first version, called Rega Dac, with 5 filters and without remote control. For the rest it's the same, as far as I know. The buzz lately is about high rate DSD, or R2R. But the Rega also has something to it. You'll be hard pressed finding a negative review. Most comments are on the usb input. I've paired it with a usb-spdif converter and regen, over thr coax input. And it's wonderfully musical, with some extra details and space provided by the better signal quality. Using HQ player or AUI sample rate converter to feed it 4x upsampled Redbook is also very nice. It may not be the latest word in resolution, the (analog) musical quality with good tone is still very enjoyable. Some reviewers call it's the dac sounding closest to analog, or closest to R2R tone quality for a sigma delta converter. Still haven't seen that written about more recent dacs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had an opportunity to listen to Rega DAC-R over the last 3 days and this is quite good and capable DAC. What is the most important it has to my ears quite good USB implementation done with XMOS and galvanically isolated I2S lanes and ground from the computer noise. Don't know how it was implemented - probably using kind of giant magnetoresistive electricity...

 

As it goes for the sound signature based on the measurements it's rather neutral (as most of the DACs), but perceived as little bit on the warmer side with very enjoyable PRaT and midrange - voices, string instruments, violas etc sound marvelous! Paired with my Beyers T90 over the Lake People G103 amp the sound is smooth and gives you long hours of listening without fatigue - also for not so good recording it seems to tame them a bit to the listenable level IMHO - not all of them, but at least those with acceptable level of loudness.

 

Selection of the filters is nice, but quite subtle as I was able to catch up with most difference between the 1st and 3rd filter settings. Don't know what is the best to leave it on, probably apodizing type of the filter - limiting completely (almost) pre-ringing and lowering the post-ringing. Digital section is based on dual mono WM8742 chipsets.

 

After those 3 days it could be my next buy! Yes, it does not have DSD capability ;-)

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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It's extremely musical and enjoyable, what you'd call foot tapping and PRAT. I had it for a while on loan and it would be perfectly at home in any setup.

 

Take a look at Arcam if you have the chance. I'd use the same words to describe them... very musical. You can listen to them for hours and forget everything else, kind of get you involved emotionally and actually listening to and even enjoying the music. Not many DACs can do that. FWIW, I'd go back to my Arcam in a heartbeat, it was pure joy.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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It's extremely musical and enjoyable, what you'd call foot tapping and PRAT. I had it for a while on loan and it would be perfectly at home in any setup.

 

Take a look at Arcam if you have the chance. I'd use the same words to describe them... very musical. You can listen to them for hours and forget everything else, kind of get you involved emotionally and actually listening to and even enjoying the music. Not many DACs can do that. FWIW, I'd go back to my Arcam in a heartbeat, it was pure joy.

 

Which one Arcam?

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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It's extremely musical and enjoyable, what you'd call foot tapping and PRAT. I had it for a while on loan and it would be perfectly at home in any setup.

 

Take a look at Arcam if you have the chance. I'd use the same words to describe them... very musical. You can listen to them for hours and forget everything else, kind of get you involved emotionally and actually listening to and even enjoying the music. Not many DACs can do that. FWIW, I'd go back to my Arcam in a heartbeat, it was pure joy.

 

If you're talking about D33, probably, but it's 3x the price of the Rega here.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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No, not that. Haven't heard it.

 

It was a budget friendly one, the irDAC (around $700). Extremely musical, warm, the same sound signature as the entire Arcam range.

 

It's the opposite of the dry, clinical accuracy of some DACs, but extremely musical. I'm not saying it lacks in detail, it does not, but its real strength is in timing. Will get your feet tapping for sure.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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No, not that. Haven't heard it.

 

It was a budget friendly one, the irDAC (around $700). Extremely musical, warm, the same sound signature as the entire Arcam range.

 

It's the opposite of the dry, clinical accuracy of some DACs, but extremely musical. I'm not saying it lacks in detail, it does not, but its real strength is in timing. Will get your feet tapping for sure.

 

+1 on the irDAC. You can read the review at WhatHiFi, which describes the sound to a T. Very clean, sweet and liquid. I listen for hours to all sorts of music (jazz, classical, rock) with pleasure. I am only tempted to upgrade for greater upsampling capabilities. But I'm afraid I might miss the sound of the irDAC. :-) An extremely nice piece for the money. And it has six digital inputs, so it's a great hub for a system. I have a Blu-Ray player, computer, and several other things plugged into it, which gives me lots of options for music, movies, YouTube vids and other stuff.

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I am only tempted to upgrade for greater upsampling capabilities.

 

Don't. At least don't sell it off. I miss my Arcam the most.

 

Do upgrade, but keep the Arcam too. Of all the DACs I've used, I love the Arcam the most. Truly you can listen for hours and even days without any fatigue.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Don't. At least don't sell it off. I miss my Arcam the most.

 

Do upgrade, but keep the Arcam too. Of all the DACs I've used, I love the Arcam the most. Truly you can listen for hours and even days without any fatigue.

 

Thanks for reinforcing that. :-) I will definitely hang on to it.

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Well, I haven't heard Arcam, but to me it is slightly not complete package. It has additional PSU which is switching and may benefit by changing it to linear power supply - but it will be additional cost, where Rega DAC-R already has built-in linear PSU and selection of appodizing filters.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Another thing what I see different is DAC-R supports 176.4kHz sampling rate fulfilling the full range of PCM sampling rates supported without any additional drivers on my Mac OSX. Don't know about the measurements available for irDAC, probably similar and below -100dB (probably not audible) - anyone seen the irDAC measurements on the web? I know that they may provide you with nothing, but at least could be compared.

 

Anyway, I think DAC-R is a quite good piece of gear with quite different build - two, parallel Wolfsons IC's with buffer and toroidal transformer with USB galvanic separation of the ground.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Finally purchased DAC-R - so far very happy and in my A+ all the PCM sample rates are now supported, even 176.4kHz which if fact is used when playing SACD ISO with 64-bit multistage setting for DSD to PCM conversion. Pure heaven ;-)

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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You will be happy with the Rega. I've a friend with a full on Rega setup - DAC, speakers and even a Turntable.

 

Good sound, very musical.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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You will be happy with the Rega. I've a friend with a full on Rega setup - DAC, speakers and even a Turntable.

 

Good sound, very musical.

 

Yes, that musicality strikes me the most. When I first auditioned that DAC my feet started tapping immediately.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Finally purchased DAC-R - so far very happy and in my A+ all the PCM sample rates are now supported, even 176.4kHz which if fact is used when playing SACD ISO with 64-bit multistage setting for DSD to PCM conversion. Pure heaven ;-)

 

I am glad you are happy with your Rega DAC R. I have had mine for a little over a year and love it! It is a "foot tapper" for sure! I also like that it plays vocals with body (what some pejoratively call thickness). Voices sound like they are coming from the singer's throat and diaphragm, and not just the mouth.

 

If you want to take the Rega to another level, get a better power cord. The included 18AWG cord holds it back. I have a Shunyata Venom Digital on mine and it is much better.

 

I also changed the Stock fuse for a Furutech fuse. Wow! I hesitated for a good amount of time, but finally decided to try one. It is probably the best upgrade (dollar for dollar) I have done. It does not change the character of the Rega sound. It still sounds like a Rega DAC; smooth and analog like. But, it renders it much more transparent. It removes the slight layer of grain from the high frequencies.

 

The best way I can describe it, is that it sounds like a higher priced DAC from Rega. It has the same qualities and sound, but it goes further.

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I am glad you are happy with your Rega DAC R. I have had mine for a little over a year and love it! It is a "foot tapper" for sure! I also like that it plays vocals with body (what some pejoratively call thickness). Voices sound like they are coming from the singer's throat and diaphragm, and not just the mouth.

 

If you want to take the Rega to another level, get a better power cord. The included 18AWG cord holds it back. I have a Shunyata Venom Digital on mine and it is much better.

 

I also changed the Stock fuse for a Furutech fuse. Wow! I hesitated for a good amount of time, but finally decided to try one. It is probably the best upgrade (dollar for dollar) I have done. It does not change the character of the Rega sound. It still sounds like a Rega DAC; smooth and analog like. But, it renders it much more transparent. It removes the slight layer of grain from the high frequencies.

 

The best way I can describe it, is that it sounds like a higher priced DAC from Rega. It has the same qualities and sound, but it goes further.

 

Very interesting. Why 18AWG wire may holds back the DAC which is supposed to take at max 7.6W of real power? It gives you around 350mA of current for 230V and AWG18 is fine up to ~7A?! Wire Gauges - Current Ratings I may try 0.75mm2 three wire cord with shielding to see if it makes any changes.

 

For the fuse, which one exactly you've chosen - which model? In case of fuses it has to be with the same speed as the original one or faster to prevent any damage in case of short circuit.

 

The rest characteristic of the DAC are very true, vocals are very sweet and full bodied and the bass very well controlled. So far very happy.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Very interesting. Why 18AWG wire may holds back the DAC which is supposed to take at max 7.6W of real power? It gives you around 350mA of current for 230V and AWG18 is fine up to ~7A?! Wire Gauges - Current Ratings I may try 0.75mm2 three wire cord with shielding to see if it makes any changes.

 

For the fuse, which one exactly you've chosen - which model? In case of fuses it has to be with the same speed as the original one or faster to prevent any damage in case of short circuit.

 

The rest characteristic of the DAC are very true, vocals are very sweet and full bodied and the bass very well controlled. So far very happy.

 

It is not only the wire gauge of the power cord that holds it back, but also the poor quality of the cord. Yes 18 AWG is big enough for the current flow, but bigger and especially better conductors usually provide better performance.

 

It is well explained in this video:

 

Shunyata Research : Official Site - DTCD (Dynamic Transient Current Delivery)

 

I use this fuse:

 

TF Series Audio Fuse | FURUTECH

 

I bought one with the exact same rating as the stock fuse (the rating and specs for the fuse are written on the back of the DAC). This rating will vary depending on the voltage in your part of the world.

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It is not only the wire gauge of the power cord that holds it back, but also the poor quality of the cord. Yes 18 AWG is big enough for the current flow, but bigger and especially better conductors usually provide better performance.

 

It is well explained in this video:

 

Shunyata Research : Official Site - DTCD (Dynamic Transient Current Delivery)

 

 

Nice video, but the guy is talking about the pulse delivery drop from 1.2kA to 500A - man, it's 500A where in case of the DAC it's less than 1A or even less limited by the PSU fuse :-) Additionally, regular cable is thinner in AWG than the Schunyata - but again it's 500 amps!

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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  • 9 months later...

I bought the Rega DAC-R last november along with the Rega Elex-R and Ryan R610 speakers. Originally searching for a new DAC, i fell in love with this soundsystem. Musically, it is hard to come up to this level considering the price it costs. It is very well balanced en really enjoyable! The DAC-R does a very very good job. I listened to the Ayre Codex on the same system, it is a bit better but it costs almost 3 times the price of the DAC-R ! I didn't hear a sound as good as this in this price range. There was the North Star Design Intenso DAC coupled wit Peachtree integrated and Fostex speakers that i enjoyed too but it was higher priced and not better, different.

 

My tests tracks were:

Diana Krall - The Girl In The Other Room (24/192)

Dire Straits - Fade To Black (24/192)

Eric Clapton - Layla (Live)

The Eagles - Hotel California (Live)

Beastie Boys - Groove Holmes

Chick Corea - Eternal Child

Bill Evans Trio - Come Rain Or Come Shine (24/192)

Level 42 - 43

Metallica - Enter Sandman

Sting - Englishman In New York

Nirvana - About A Girl (Live)

REM - Everybody Hurts

Thomas Enhco - Yesterday

 

I find the sound of my system to be very smooth and warm, very open and the image is very good. Highs are very precise/smooth and bass is tight. Good Choice of inputs but i played the last "Harmonium - L'Heptade XL" via my bluray player as a transport: It seems that the record has anticopy (Damn Sony again..), resulting in clicks while listening with DAC-R via optical... Stupid copy protection at its best...

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I bought the Rega DAC-R last november along with the Rega Elex-R and Ryan R610 speakers. Originally searching for a new DAC, i fell in love with this soundsystem. Musically, it is hard to come up to this level considering the price it costs. It is very well balanced en really enjoyable! The DAC-R does a very very good job. I listened to the Ayre Codex on the same system, it is a bit better but it costs almost 3 times the price of the DAC-R ! I didn't hear a sound as good as this in this price range. There was the North Star Design Intenso DAC coupled wit Peachtree integrated and Fostex speakers that i enjoyed too but it was higher priced and not better, different.

 

My tests tracks were:

Diana Krall - The Girl In The Other Room (24/192)

Dire Straits - Fade To Black (24/192)

Eric Clapton - Layla (Live)

The Eagles - Hotel California (Live)

Beastie Boys - Groove Holmes

Chick Corea - Eternal Child

Bill Evans Trio - Come Rain Or Come Shine (24/192)

Level 42 - 43

Metallica - Enter Sandman

Sting - Englishman In New York

Nirvana - About A Girl (Live)

REM - Everybody Hurts

Thomas Enhco - Yesterday

 

I find the sound of my system to be very smooth and warm, very open and the image is very good. Highs are very precise/smooth and bass is tight. Good Choice of inputs but i played the last "Harmonium - L'Heptade XL" via my bluray player as a transport: It seems that the record has anticopy (Damn Sony again..), resulting in clicks while listening with DAC-R via optical... Stupid copy protection at its best...

 

Congratulations on your purchase. I agree, the Rega DAC R is a fun and great sounding DAC. If you want to close the gap with the Codex, and elevate the sound of the Rega DAC R, you can read my post on the subject:

 

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/rega-digital-analogue-converter-r-slam-dunk-modifications-optimizations-or-enhancements-made-standard-audio-equipment-30961/

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Congratulations on your purchase. I agree, the Rega DAC R is a fun and great sounding DAC. If you want to close the gap with the Codex, and elevate the sound of the Rega DAC R, you can read my post on the subject:

 

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/rega-digital-analogue-converter-r-slam-dunk-modifications-optimizations-or-enhancements-made-standard-audio-equipment-30961/

 

Thanks but not for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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