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Rega DAC R - slam dunk mods


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I wanted to share two great modifications/tweeks I did to my Rega DAC R. I did two simple modifications that greatly improved, the Rega's already very good sound quality. The two modifications also have the following benefits:

 

-no special skills or tools are needed to do them;

 

-they are completely reversible within minutes;

 

-the two mods cost 134$ Canadian, taxes included.

 

For a mere 10% increase over the price of the stock Rega DAC R, you will get substantially more than a 10% improvement.

 

Before I get into the subject and reveal these mods, I will make a few statements. I only make these statements to prevent wasting my time, and yours.

 

I am not affiliated with the companies that make the 2 products. So, I will not defend their technology, their marketing, or the names they choose to name their products. That is completely out of my hands. I will only comment on my experience with these products as used in my Rega DAC R.

 

If someone feels they must make a joke, tell everyone they are a physicist and this stuff cannot work, or any other similar comment; feel free to do so. I will feel equally free to not respond. If someone who has never heard the Rega DAC R, and has never tried the two products, and has never tried all 3 of them together; but still thinks he knows (better than me) how these products will sound in my living room, please, let me know! icon_biggrin.gif

 

My goal is only to share my observations, and let fellow Rega DAC R owners know that they can improve their DAC for very little money and effort. I have done the work, the listening; I have taken the (small) risks involved. If someone else had done the same, I would be very happy to learn from this person.

 

So, now starts the fun! The 2 mods are:

 

1. Replace the stock fuse with a Furutech fuse;

 

2. Put WA Quantum chips (semiconductor type) on the 2 Wolfson DAC ICs, and the XMOS USB receiver IC.

 

The Furutech fuse

 

The Furutech fuse renders the Rega DAC R much more transparent and clear. It cleans up the slight grain in the treble. It does all of this without changing the character or flavour of the Rega. It still has all of the Rega qualities: warmth, rhythm, analog sounding. It is much more transparent, but never bright. Imagine Rega made a more expensive DAC with the familiar Rega sound, this is what it would sound like.

 

I put the fuse in with the F of Furutech towards the fuse holder, and the H of Furutech towards the DAC. It seems to be ideal this way.

 

The WA Quantum chips

 

The gains in transparency are surprising. Every instrument and singer is better delineated. The separation between performers is much better. This delineation and separation of instruments and voices was the biggest effect of the chips. The sound is less muddled. It is like turning a lens on a camera and putting an image that was 90% in focus, to 100%. BIG difference.

 

Another thing that surprised me, was that the chips added a bit of rhythmic snap. I have a Naim 5i integrated amp with the Rega DAC R. So, pace, speed, rhythm and timing (the famous PRAT) was not a weak point of my system. Despite that, the chips gave my system a little more snap and rhythm. All of these benefits came with no loss of speed or dynamics, or dulling of the sound. No tradeoffs!

 

I was thinking of trying out more expensive DACs. I no longer feel the need. These two tweeks have greatly elevated the sound quality of my Rega DAC R, while keeping its qualities. All for a whopping 134$!

 

It is really easy to take off the cover and install them (just be careful to detach the ground wire).

 

Kindly respond if you try one or both of these mods and of your results! icon_biggrin.gif

 

 

Rega-Quantum-2.jpg

Rega-Quantum-1.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Yes, the first generation Rega dac can also be upgraded with these same mods. I've did this on my dac, the Furutech fuse and Quantum chips on the Wolfson dac chips and on the reclocker chip.

Both mods seem to really improve the dac, and the quantum chips are a good start to try because they are not expensive.

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I cannot provide a video, because I no longer have the DAC. Explanations for the WA chips are here:

 

https://www.vhaudio.com/wa-quantum-chip.html

 

It is the semiconductor WA Quantum chip.

 

https://www.vhaudio.com/miscellaneous.html

 

You will have to look on the back of your DAC for the proper fuse rating. It is a small slow blow from Furutech:

 

https://www.vhaudio.com/fuses.html

 

 

 

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Great thanks. Another question. I'm using a Mac. Do you have any experience with the inputs on the Dac? I'm currently using a mini to toslink, through the headphone jack. It feels a bit weird to use the little headphone jack. I'm getting 96kh out of the Mac (it's limit) so that's not a concern, and currently it's my limit and won't be changing the computer or source anytime soon. I've heard about the SPIDF converter. Any thoughts pertaining which input sounds best on the Rega. 

PS. I love the sound of this thing. Thought of selling and "upgrading" to a newer dac, but I have a feeling it's a case of grass is greener. I think all the headphone guys are missing out on this baby.

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7 hours ago, deetothevee said:

Great thanks. Another question. I'm using a Mac. Do you have any experience with the inputs on the Dac? I'm currently using a mini to toslink, through the headphone jack. It feels a bit weird to use the little headphone jack. I'm getting 96kh out of the Mac (it's limit) so that's not a concern, and currently it's my limit and won't be changing the computer or source anytime soon. I've heard about the SPIDF converter. Any thoughts pertaining which input sounds best on the Rega. 

PS. I love the sound of this thing. Thought of selling and "upgrading" to a newer dac, but I have a feeling it's a case of grass is greener. I think all the headphone guys are missing out on this baby.

 I only used a Mac Mini with a USB cable. I never tried any of the spdif converters. 

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19 hours ago, Indydan said:

I cannot provide a video, because I no longer have the DAC. Explanations for the WA chips are here:

 

https://www.vhaudio.com/wa-quantum-chip.html

 

It is the semiconductor WA Quantum chip.

 

https://www.vhaudio.com/miscellaneous.html

 

You will have to look on the back of your DAC for the proper fuse rating. It is a small slow blow from Furutech:

 

https://www.vhaudio.com/fuses.html

 

 

 

 

Another fuse seller who has more amp ratings available. 

 

https://www.audiyo.com/ac-products/fuses/tf-20-fuse.html

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