Review: Audio GD R-7HE Mk2 DAC - LPs are now Optional

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Mike from NYC, Mar 17, 2023.

  1. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Senior Member Thread Starter

    Surprise, AZ
    I have owned this DAC since the late summer when it first came out and all I can say is WOW!!

    As soon as I warmed it up for a day I began to listen - and it blew my mind just how great digital can sound. I own several other DACs to compare it to - Cary 200TS, Teac 505 and a Holo Spring as well as the DACs built into my CD player and streamer (both are TOL Cambridge units).

    The problem for me began when I bought a new phono pre -a Zesto Andros Deluxe {which blew away my Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista Vinyl pre) and I could hear the superiority of my analog front end compared to my digital front end. So began a search for a DAC that could equal my analog section and not cost me an arm and leg. I bought a Holo Spring based on reviews and while it did sound better than the Cary I still wasn't happy.

    Initially I intended to buy a Denafrips Terminator Plus DAC but the price increased so much I was put off from that purchase. I also thought about a Holo May BUT when I saw the ads for the Audio GD DAC and read its specs I thought I'd give this DAC a try - same specs and almost the same features as the Terminator (it can't serve as a preamp) but at less than half the cost of the Terminator and after speaking with Walter from Underwood and his promise to refund in full if I decided I didn't like its sound. When I purchased the DAC there were no reviews anywhere which is why he made that generous offer.

    To be honest I don't have 'Fremer' ears so I was hesitant to write a review because what I heard was just too good to be true - and then Herb Reichert reviewed it and all the things he heard was what I heard - confirmation that I wasn't crazy or biased in my opinion.

    When I compared the sound of my CDs with my LPs (they were the same masterings) I couldn't tell the difference - the soundstage was just as wide and deep and the tonality matched that of the Zesto which is saying something because the Zesto is far more expensive and when combined with the price of my carts - a Clearaudio Stradivarius, Benz LPS (and others) the Audio GD is a bargain.

    If you are looking for a GREAT sounding DAC look no further!!!!!!!!!!

    This DAC should dispel any argument that LPs are superior in sound quality - because until I bought the Audio GD I too thought LPs sounded better.

    Live and learn
    luckyno13, bever70, rexp and 4 others like this.
  2. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Flat the 5 and That’s No Jive

    That’s a pretty strong recommendation. I’d love to hear it in person. I hope you get a lot of enjoyable listening hours rediscovering all your CDs.
  3. rexp

    rexp Forum Resident

    SE Asia
    Cool, are you using a CD transport connected via coax or streaming too?
    bever70 likes this.
  4. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Senior Member Thread Starter

    Surprise, AZ
    I have my CD player connected by AES and my streamer by RCA coax.

    I notice a notable drop off in performance - especially when it comes to sonic/atmosphere/high frequencies - when I stream.
    rexp likes this.

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