Massdrop x Airist Audio R-2R DAC
Massdrop x Airist Audio R-2R DAC
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Product Description
Featuring discrete resistor ladder technology at an unheard-of price, the Massdrop x Airist Audio R-2R DAC is one of our most requested and anticipated products this year: a DAC with the looks and quality to match our new lineup of amps. An older technology that’s been making a comeback, R-2R is known to produce rich, warm, natural sound and can have benefits in spatial awareness and staging Read More

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CEE_TEE
3377
Jun 6, 2018
Stickied
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Torq https://www.head-fi.org/threads/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac-a-discrete-resistor-ladder-dac-for-350.881315/#post-14282867 “The TL;DR here is simply that the RDAC sounds marvelous. The signature is one of general neutrality with a touch of sweetness to the midrange and upper registers, and a distinctly 'pristine' quality/clarity to the sound. Overall presentation is open with a good sense of air but is neither lacking, nor carrying too much, tonal weight/density. The RDAC’s rendering is fluid, articulate, nuanced, and well balanced—capable of excellent top-end delicacy while simultaneously plumbing a tuneful, driving bassline and keeping vocals present and lucid.” Head-Fi.org, SuperBestAudioFriends.org, Headphone.com
Jun 6, 2018
rastus
801
Nov 3, 2019
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Which "steaming" monoblocks & speakers if I may inquire? Love the sound of those 300B's, watching the Westinghouse factory re-re-startup with interest. I use my Cary CAD-300SEI w/CAD-300PB capacitor bank mostly for cans, even though I got it for room speakers. Edit... just saw it above in this discourse, thx. Sharing here, as you, as I also believe you need to hear the actual shit hooked up with electrons flowing and air moving your organ of corti; as in it is fine to run the numbers and check the specs, but in the end is it "life" ?? Current rig; re-constituted extra virgin electrons siphoned from the Sacred fire of Vesta, i.e. a double-conversion UPS > pachyderm power cables > DSD-Audivarna-PC > USB/ Corning Optical-Gemini/LPS > Denafrips Ares > Oyaide AZ-910 > Cary CAD-300SEI w/PB300 > Silver Dragon > Focal/MD Elex's. Every link in the chain... plays... I have also just started listening with a pair of HD600's off eBay that are very early "vintage" 600's, liking the sound of these higher ohm cans, Elex's still fill in the lower side better,, would very much like to trial the HD800S & Utopia....
(Edited)
Nov 3, 2019
dicynodont
19
Nov 3, 2019
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Thanks for adding your list of components to this thread. Since we can't meet in person to compare the sound directly, at least I know where you are coming from. 300B's tubes are such a great sound if the amps are implemented to your taste. They can really bring out the emotion in music, so you end us listening to music more and more. That's what it's all about. I've got my eye on those Westinghouse 300Bs too. Love the fact they are re-creating a USA-based vacuum tube factory. I also really like Cary Audio. One of my audio friends has a pair of Cary monoblocks with KT-88 tubes. Quality engineering, so I would love to hear their version of a 300B SET. Have you compared it to any other amps? My 300B amps are unique, and sadly, won't be made again. George Wright was an Oregon-based amp designer who died a few years ago just as his amps were breaking out with mainstream audiophiles. It uses 300Bs in push-pull, so 30 watts makes it capable of driving most reasonably-efficient speakers. Also a bit more bass control and slam on the low end. What I love about them is that the circuit uses small transformers instead of capacitors to couple the various circuits. So there's no coloration of sound from caps, but rather the sound is all 300B. The quality of transformers is also super high, which allows for great detail and soundstaging.
Nov 3, 2019
CEE_TEE
3377
Jun 6, 2018
Stickied
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Hans030390/Hands http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/massdrop-rdac-airist-audio-r2-r-dac.6415/#post-210078 “The RDAC has a nice, full, powerful low end with good extension. The midrange is liquid and free of congestion. The treble is on the softer side of things but has an effortless, clear quality to it, even if some of the overall details seem to not pop as much as they should. Unless you are opposed to this warmer tone and liquid but very slightly soft timbre, it should just flow with ease in listening. It also has a nice sense of swing and micro-dynamics to it. It’s nimble and grooves nicely despite its warmer, softer leanings. It’s never boring, veiled, or smothering.” SuperBestAudioFriends.org, InnerFidelity.com, Head-Fi.org
Jun 6, 2018
Khronus
33
Aug 27, 2019
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I do not have some particularly expensive equipment, but... I understand what the reviewer means???
(Edited)
Aug 27, 2019
LuckyLuke575
389
Oct 26, 2019
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It's total audiofoolery bullshit. This DAC is a dud. All of these 'reviewers' have zero credibility; the whole setup is corrupt. The technical measurements show that it produces tons of distortion. The sad thing is that they advocate using this with the 789; what a waste of a good amp...
(Edited)
Oct 26, 2019
CEE_TEE
3377
Jun 12, 2019
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Hi Everyone, Nice to hear some of you already have your RDAC and are enjoying it! DRIVER STUFF For Macs- RDAC should be found in Audio Output Devices as "USB Audio 2.0".  For Windows- I have a link to the driver here and we will work on a product page link...  Windows Driver download link: XMOS Windows Driver (30C8) 
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1c0gQ2GjEaqS3pC75QXym_Jf9Veu11IbN  Note: Windows 10 may not need a driver.
Jun 12, 2019
CCD1
15
Sep 19, 2019
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Any thoughts about substituting the XX Grace SDAC for this product? In reading the discussions, it appears not to need any drivers and would pair well with the THX AAA 789
Sep 19, 2019
Whitedragem
63
Oct 7, 2019
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G’day (aussie here) Just did a little looking into this. (I do tech support and this is a frequent issue, and isn’t product specific, but relates to the controller chip used in the Dell XPS (and many other PCs).. Some quick research to confirm if i was on the ‘right train of thought’ was; “For users looking for an audio interface that will not require an adapter, PreSonus offers the Studio 24cStudio 26cStudio 68cStudio 1810c, and Studio 1824c. These audio interfaces use the USB 2.0 protocol which is fully compatible with just about any USB-C port on any computer on the market. However, it is always a good idea to double-check the specs for your computer.” -this was from another audio product that uses USB as a bus to transfer, or connect, to an outboard DAC. It basically suggests that USB has a few variants and they do not all engage ‘quite the same’. Another audio company had a page that highlighted the specific issue as it likely relates (and was what I was specifically looking for, being the two solutions I was going to lean towards) https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/360009604280-UR-C-Audio-dropouts-in-SuperSpeed-USB-3-1-Gen-1-mode (you do not HAVE to read this) For the record these issues are generally Windows specific, and Windows 10 is a pretty annoying platform to support (I literally closed my PC business down to avoid complex industry ethics that are about to unfold). Most creatives use Apple hardware, and many independent studies have confirmed that creativity flourishes on Apple platforms (and has done for decades). Musicians through the eighties and nineties were very happy with what Apple gave, and there is a reason many people seem to have missed a solution that is common knowledge to PC techs. I feel silly for somehow missing this thread post and SHOULD HAVE commented earlier. The Apple vs Windows rant aside (I’ve been a PC tech who has convinced hundreds of people that the total cost of ownership of Apple products is vastly less, especially so when we factor OUR TIME). My solution(s); prior to researching YOUR SPECIFIC DELL, I was simply going to say.. A) Use the systems BIOS to lock the USB connection mode to USB 2 or ‘compatibility’ mode. B) Recommend use a different USB port After researching the Dell 9570 model XPS, it has TWO USB 3.1 (gen) ports. Technically a third (or more) USB port if connecting the optional HUBs. Those ports may even be USB 3.2 now as the above link gives; the default windows (10) driver for some USB chips (might be different USB controller chips used on your laptops’ left side vs the laptops’ right side) defaults to an incorrect standard for USB audio kit. Using an official driver seems to offer an applet that gives some device control (that is to say, control over how your PC uses its USB ports). That link might give some ideas on how to change the USB mode to one that is industry standard for using with USB audio. Truly, at the moment, I would suggest that any issues you may be having with USB audio devices will not just magically ‘go away’, and is certainly not likely to be device specific. The nature of how various USB DACs connect, depending on whether they are USB 1.1 or USB 2 audio devices, is pretty straightforward. It generally is a ‘plug and play’ affair. The industry has learned that consumers like ‘bigger numbers’ on our spec sheets year in-year out. Of course the industry follows with constantly finding bigger numbered parts to sell us. Without going ‘anti Microsoft’ (a stance I have strong opinions on to do with their consumer ethics), I will confirm that their Surface Books do not always hold the ‘latest technology’ when it comes to USB standards. This makes for ‘forced drivers’ in Windows 10 for USB a front that makes their own Surface Books appear more reliable and ‘usable’ / easy for end users. This seems to be a thing for microsoft. Any non microsoft product that gets forced driver updates (something that the industry creed for decades has been ‘if the update doesn’t do anything that the user needs DON’T update’ (—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it)), Microsoft making Win10 a ‘forced driver update’ environment makes it a completely unusable environment for ANY production or use in business WORLD OVER. (Caveat Emptor) Anyhow this issue is exacerbated by Windows 10 forced driver updates. My own recent experience of a flagship wifi receiver, which is unusable with forced driver updates, I can generally make it work for “one boot” without ‘retroubleshooting’ to fix what Microsoft keeps breaking. They did the same with a Microsoft video game for many months, the trifecta of windows updates, driver updates and game updates (it was a microsoft first party software product), meant the game would never boot up twice successfully on PC, without loosing 10-30 minutes servicing the product. (with multiple boots) Microsoft sell Xboxs. (they get money for yearly net connections, money from peripheral sales, and money for EVERY title sold). On PC they get none of that. Windows 10 is very effectively going out of its’ way to kill PC as a platform, especially a gaming platform. Anyhow mildly angry rant, as the industry, in an attempt to sell more, puts time costs on millions of end users. Sadly, in this instance, a feature of having ‘faster USB’, means we have lost a lot more time than we will ever gain. I am happy to give succinct assistance, this message is bigger than it needs to be to confirm WHERE the blame needs be. It is neither user, nor hardware part, but the software vendor of the OS and industry need to ‘advance’. I DO feel your pain. Hope we can easily set, via BIOS, a backwards compatible USB mode. At least for one of the ports? edit: didn’t hear from you.. for other users in the same situation, a quick resolve: try a USB HUB? Forcing an older HUB in place using a slower speed, if you have one in the house, might get around this. (I have doubts as the USB3.1 port will still be in the pathway.) This issue could be a low quality USB cable (try rotating a thick and fast cable into use), but is most likely Windows 10 ‘forced driver’ updates. I have seen this issue countless times with people saying ‘it worked yesterday’ etc.. a quick check always seems to show that Microsoft have updated to an outdated driver that seems to break things- has happened to me personally, nearly weekly since win 10 launched (but never during the prelaunch version that didn’t force updates). The link above should give methods to forcing unsigned drivers etc, but at the end of the day, M$ just screws up the machine over and over and over again. The issues here are not likely at all related to the DAC, and will need to be troubleshot as the same issues will creep up on other DACs in a Win10 environment. (In this instance I would LOVE to be wrong, and it would be great if it was simply a dodgy USB receiver chip- yet this DAC has a cutting edge high quality receiver chip designed to allow top tier DSD etc)
(Edited)
Oct 7, 2019
nick_t
158
Nov 9, 2019
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I have $2000. Can this be my end game DAC ?
Nov 9, 2019
Catalin
0
Nov 7, 2019
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The power supply works in Europe also (at 230 V and 50 Hz)?
Nov 7, 2019
Lisasonictower
461
Nov 7, 2019
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Yes you just need a international plug socket adaptor.
Nov 7, 2019
trodiem
3
Oct 27, 2019
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Does this DAC upsample to 192, or is that a different "RDAC"?
Oct 27, 2019
trodiem
3
Nov 7, 2019
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Thanks, is that true regardless of what setting you have selected (44.1/16, 96/24, etc. - matched to source), or should you select 192/24 as the setting?
Nov 7, 2019
verifonix
702
Nov 7, 2019
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If you select 192/24 as setting, you will let Windows upsample to 192 which I personally would not do. I'd select 44 or 48 Khz as device setting myself
Nov 7, 2019
FuckHead-Fi
364
Oct 26, 2019
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Oct 26, 2019
Motorrad
2348
Nov 7, 2019
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and yet, it sounds superb. nice trolling!
Nov 7, 2019
porntipsguzzardo
57
Oct 26, 2019
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Absolutely brutalized on Audio Science Review. This is a piece of junk. Everyone who bought it was screwed. Sorry, guys.
Oct 26, 2019
adeadcrab
84
Nov 12, 2019
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Have you tried the Airist?
Nov 12, 2019
Motorrad
2348
Nov 12, 2019
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It is forbidden; Amir told him not to. It is a sin to sample the sound of the noisy DAC. Listening is forbidden by even Amir himself. What do you have to say for yourself, sinner?
Nov 12, 2019
NotABot
237
Oct 27, 2019
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Tried to read that for solsolar's (the original board designer) input, but the massive circlejerk of people who made zero references to the measurements was too hard to deal with.
(Edited)
Oct 27, 2019
verifonix
702
Oct 29, 2019
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such is the internet :<
Oct 29, 2019
HIFI778
593
Oct 25, 2019
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Is it possible to make a balanced version of this one?
Oct 25, 2019
verifonix
702
Oct 26, 2019
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It would cost $700 instead of $350
Oct 26, 2019
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