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R-8 MK3


(truly balanced fully discrete r2r ladder DAC)



Note: The manufacturing process and design can be updated and upgraded at any time so internal and external changes to the actual product can occur without notification.

Summarize Use Manual Specs Custom Option Shipping Cost

( Exclude shipping cost . Include combo remote controller that can control the R8 MK3 and some lot audio-gd latest preamp and headamp models . It need two AAA batteries support by users .)  
Organic glass top board price  : USD25
 (Silver and black chassis versions available, customer must inform while place the order ,otherwise we ship the edition randomly:)
Please send your address, name  to audio-gd@vip.163.com  get the quote.

Please note:
If user want the R8 MK3 work with the external clock input , can update the firmware , the IN2 BNC input become the external 10MHz input. Download the R-8 EC firmware in the below link.The Extermal clock must be 10MHz, 75 ohm, 1-3Vp-p level, recommend the square wave output ,though sine wave also can work.

Customer also can ask we free update the R-8 EC firmware before shipping.

Click to download the driver of  Amanero combo 384

Unique Jitter elimination technology:
        Jitter has always been regarded as the root cause for sound quality of digital systems to be inferior to that of high-end analog systems.
       In some traditional DAC designs, the clock processing method is to follow and to restore the clock of the signal source, and some designs also include the capacity of reducing jitter, but with limitations when the jitter level is large.
      This common solution allows getting good measurements in lab tests. But in actual use, most signal sources have large jitter levels, so that the resulting sound quality will not be satisfactory.
       Some DACs worth only USD150 measure better then than some well-selling DACs of foreign brands worth tens of thousands. Who would think that this USD150 DAC is better? This reminds me of when the China Insurance Research Institute tested a direct collision between two brands of cars not long ago, and netizens commented on the car that scored higher in the test: "It has not failed the test, but it has not won the actual battle either."
       The following three product charts are from three DACs of different brands, guess which one is the most expensive? (The answer is at the bottom of this page)

Product A
Product B
         Product C
          In order to completely eliminate the influence of jitter in the incoming signal, the R8 MK2 uses an asynchronous clocking process.
          First it reads and stores a considerable amount of signal source data to RAM, discard the clock of the signal source, and directly use the high-performance built-in Accusilicons to clock the output from the RAM. Since both data and clock are handled by the FPGA, the impact of transmission on jitter is neglectable. The jitter level is essentially the same as what is specified for the TCXO clocks used by the R8 MK2.


         The key to this processing method is to ensure the integrity of data transmission, which is our technical secret. Realize that as soon as a single data sample within a million is lost in the transmission, a sharp and obvious cracking sound, like static, or a scratch on a vinyl, will be heard during playback.

        Mr. He is passionate about music and, too him, listening sessions are a source of inspiration for new design ideas. Our cie does not only have the advantage of having full control over software and hardware technology, we also possess a correct understanding of music reproduction.  Without having to rely on outsourcing for R&D, we can at any moment listen to the gears during development, allowing the pursuit and realization of the most realistic sound reproduction.

        Because the local clock and the signal source clock are completely isolated and run independently, the traditional jitter measurement methods can not be applied, instead a special data acquisition circuit is required to evaluate its level. For human beings, the best test method is always through listening tests. A jitter-free sound is very realistic and natural, as clear as pure water, and very involving.

R-8 MK3 feature:

            It has been 3 years since the R-8 was launched in 2018. Thanks to the fully programmable circuits of the R-8, we have continuously updated the firmware to improve the owner experience.
          The R-8 MK3 was designed and tested at the beginning of 2020, which was followed by a year of continuous audition, software and hardware fine-tuning.
          Using the latest discrete servo stabilized power supply, whose performance is comparable to batteries after more than a year of calibration and optimization for each part of the circuit.
          The DA parts use these new discrete servo stabilized power supplies, the analog circuits are still powered by pure class-A power supplies to achieve the best sound, as determined during listening tests.
         Productions and sales were not scheduled until we were fully satisfied with how realistic the sound was. The improvement is quite obvious compared to the previous generation.
         1. Fully discrete parts are used in a truly balanced current transmission design.
          Four sets of fully discrete and independent DSD hardware decoders.
          Eight sets of fully discrete R-2R DA modules to form a two-channel balanced push-pull decoder.
          Using the latest designed discrete servo stabilized power supply to feed the DA circuits, the noise level is comparable to that of a battery, but without the dry and thin sound characteristics of it, and thus the product's operating temperature is significantly lower than that of the previous model. The analog circuit are still powered by a pure class-A regulated power supply for the best sound results (New upgrade)
          2. By listening to a turntable and studying its sound for a long time, we have successfully integrated the analog vinyl sound characteristics into this product, this being allowed optionally through the front panel. (New feature)
          3. Both the USB and HDMI inputs are equipped with isolators, and two sets of linear power supplies to separately supply power to the USB and HDMI modules before the isolators to prevent interference from signal sources.
         a, USB uses a two-way transmission isolator, which not only transmits IIS signals to the FPGA processor, but also receives the synchronous clock signal sent by the FPGA processor.
         The USB interface itself is no longer equipped with clocks. The synchronous clock is applied to make the signal transmission more accurate and upgrade sound quality to an excellent level. The sound quality is now in fact better then with the previous generation R-8 2020 version fed by the DI-20 (not quite as good as with DI-20HE however).
        b, the HDMI module is now equipped with an independent isolator to improve the sound quality of the HDMI input.
        4. Display of the input signal sampling rate function. (New feature)
        5. The digital circuits of the whole DAC are comprised of 1 FPGA and 5 CPLDs (both programmable devices), which allow separating the different functional circuits and preventing interference.
        The FPGA operates using the parallel data processing mode.
        The IIS signal is serial data transmission. Each data bit requires one clock cycle. One frame of left and right channel data requires 64 clock cycles, so stability over a 64 clock cycles is needed.
         The parallel mode only needs one clock to transmit and process the 32-bit data of the left and right channels, which greatly improves the processing speed and is less affected by the stability of the clock.
        IIS input data (USB and HDMI-IIS) is reorganized into two sets of 32-bit parallel data as soon as it is inputted. After the SPDIF signal is demodulated, it is also sent to the next level of processing through two sets of 24-bit parallel data.
       DSD data is also reorganized into two groups of 64-bit parallel data processing as soon as it is inputted.
According to listening comparisons, the parallel processing mode can make the sound clearer and more neutral, with better dynamics and a more analog flavor.
        6. 2 top-notch Accusilicon TCXOs with frequencies of 90 and 98MHz provide synchronization for the whole unit, and they are applied to the playback of all data rates without PLL up-conversion.  The clock management design of the new architecture makes the clock work more stably, which brings higher transparency and more details.
        7. DSD uses the built-in asynchronous clock to enhance timing, which obviously improves the clarity and dynamics of reproduction.
        8. SPDIF supports DOP playback.
        9. All digital mode settings can be changed on the front panel live.
        10. A firmware upgrade port is featured on the rear panel of the machine (no need to open to take off the cover to upgrade the firmware).

The advantages and disadvantages of R-2R DAC:
         1, R-2R will not convert the clock signal to the output signal.
         2, R-2R is not sensitive to jitter but Delta-Sigma is quite sensitive.
         3, The output signal level of R-2R is more accurate than Delta-Sigma.
         1, R2R's harmonic distortion can be quite low but not as low as the ES9038 PRO (Delta-Sigma) harmonic distortion.
         2, The accuracy and inherent glitches of resistor ladders are not easy to deal with.

R-2R design popular in the market:
         Whether it is DIY kits or factory products, R-2R has become popular.
         In the low-cost DIY kit market, the usual design is based on the old MSB technology, but only retain the signal conversion part and discard the exquisite design of the original product.  
        This design uses data serial input to a shift register IC to convert data to an analog signal. It is not able to solve the technical problem of R-2R at all. The performance of this design is completely dependent on the accuracy of the ladder resistances.

 The factory products in the high-end market use quite complex technology to solve the problems of R-2R, in order to achieve high performance and sound quality. Some manufacturers use the serial control mode of the shift register IC.
          The design in the figure below uses an FPGA to control the step resistance switching in parallel. With the parallel control mode, the step resistance switch of each bit is individually controlled, so it has ultra-high speed (parallel mode only needs 1 clock cycle to output all bits, serial mode requires at least 8 to 24 clock cycles) to send or update the data, and can correct the data at any time to achieve an output signal with low-distortion characteristics, and solve the problems caused by resistance tolerances and switching glitches.


The accuracy of the step resistance:
Many people only care about the accuracy of the step resistances because they think that R-2R depends essentially on the accuracy of the resistance.
        Nowadays, 24 bit is a standard, but can the precision of manufactured resistors reach 24 bit? Even with only 16 bits, the accuracy requirement is 1/66536, and so 0.1% (1/1000) of accuracy is completely inadequate. In fact, 0.01% (1/10000) would still fail to meet the 16-bit requirement, let alone 24 bits.
         Therefore, lowering accuracy of the resistance is not enough to solve the problem. If there were 0.00001% resistors available on the market, it would meet the requirement of 24 bits, but the inherent resistance of the switching devices would completely wipe out this super high accuracy advantage.
          We need to solve the problem technically, not just improve the accuracy of the resistance. But we still use ultra-high precision resistors in our products.

Importunacy of the FPGA/CPLD:
          On important thing to underline about the FPGA/CPLDs is that they are programmable logic array devices. Nowadays, FPGAs have been used in many high-end DAC products, such as the popular ROCKNA WAVEDREAM DAC.
          Since 2008, we have used FPGA designs in DAC products. This machine is composed of one FPGA and 5 CPLDs at the heart of digital processing.
          The hardware layout inside the FPGA can be designed and arranged through software, therefore the hardware can be upgraded through software updates.
           As a benefit, this design has a high degree of flexibility. It allows improving sound quality, adding functions, and keeping the product up-to-date, all through software (firmware) updates.

Responsibilities hor the FPGA/CPLDs:
         1. the FPGA implements a high-performance SPDIF demodulator (instead of using low-performance SPDIF demodulator chips such as DIR9001, WM8805, AK411X, etc...).
         2. Combining clocking and FIFO technology to output data, it can be accurately synchronized to the clock, and thus reject jitter.
         3. Built-in 2X, 4X and 8X digital filters and different NOS modes allow users to choose the tone that best suits their personal taste.
         4. Simulate the tonality of vinyl disc playback through a unique design.


Fully discrete output stage:

          The last stage in the signal journey is the analog output stage, and the output stage has a decisive influence on the sound quality of the DAC.
          No matter how excellent digital circuit design is, without an excellent analog output stage design, the sound quality will become extremely ordinary.
          The analog output stage is directly connected behind the DA 7 module, using only through-hole components (not SMD).
          The high-speed ACSS amplifier is used for signal amplification and processing. The ACSS amplifier is designed without negative feedback and works in the current signal mode. It does not have to repeatedly transform the signal between current and voltage like other designs.
          The output buffer stage is a single-ended pure class-A FET design, and the two groups are connected in parallel to achieve a lower output impedance. All in all, the output stage is working in a pure class-A state, with no negative feedback at all, so that it can reproduce pure and lifelike sound signals.
           The DAC has four built-in operational amplifiers to serve in the DC servo function, so that the DAC can work without coupling capacitors, avoiding noise and coloration. In the whole signal channels following the DA module, no switching elements are used to achieve the truest and purest sound quality.


Powerful power supply design:
            Use 3 high-performance R-core transformers with a total power of 135W and more than 30,000 uF of audio-grade filtering capacitors to ensure the purity of the power supply.
The digital parts DC power is distributed by 9 ultra high speed low noise PSUs, they are group became the double stages PSUs . 
            The analog parts DC power is distributed by 4 groups pure class A PSUs power supply to the analog output amps, and 4 groups discrete serve PSUs  that performance can rival to battery power supply to the digital and analog of the DA modules separately  .
Layout :
          The DAC uses 5mm thick aluminum plates to separate the digital section, left and right channel analog sections and transformer section to avoid mutual interference between them.
           The analog parts of the left and right channels are symmetrically distributed on both sides of the digital part, with the same signal path length and distance, which makes the sound quality more even and accurate.
          The DA 7 module is installed between two aluminum plates to avoid interference from other circuits. The complicated layout and installation procedure have been chosen for the clearer and purer sound quality they bring, and to make the sound field wider.


Product A GUSD150 DAC

Product B GUSD5000+ DAC American P brand DAC
Product C G USD10000  British E brand RIAA front


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