It is not resistor to resistor, the name derives from resistance values, R2R definition:
The name R2R, was originally written as R/2R, and refers to a resistor ladder network consisting of resistors of two values, R and 2R. ... An R/2R DAC can be implemented in silicon (TI make some) but there are a number of discrete component (usually surface mounted) designs.
This is true, but 90% of folk don't know that as I didn't, Al. Especially the yanks ...... They call them Resistor 2 Resistor.
plus there is no advantage in terms of technology. They measure worse and are more expensive to design and build.
Obviously perceived sound quality is a different matter but that will vary from person to person. And system to system.
Oh yes, they measure very much on the downward end of the ASR spectrum, but I'd be very surprised if anyone would know that from the listening.
As for perceived differences in sound, they are very evident between the PecanPi and the Soekris and it would be very much "pick to your taste"
But there is more width, more depth and more space with the Soekris, however I am not suggesting that's due to the R2R design, as the Chord DAVE was very much like this in a lot of ways in which it presents things.
With a proper PSU, I would suggest Soekris would battle it out with a lot of very expensive DACs. And I'm not saying that because I have one, I just think it's pretty f#cking awesome 🤣
Yes but DAVE does slice and dice the music a little more as do all the Chord DACs and all the cheap Chinese DACs I have heard. Funny enough I never felt the RPi with ALLO BOSS sounded clinical or Forensic. I am sure the Pecan Pi isnt either.
The Soekris sounded less processed / clinical and more natural and easier on the ear than many DACs I have heard.
I expect if you put the Denafrips Terminator, TotalDac or Holo Audio Kitsune Spring 2/3 up against DAVE the battle would be interesting bearing in mind to make DAVE sound great you need the M-scaler. So DAVE would be 2 or 3 times the price of the others.
''My first test was to see if I could hear the effect of FIR filter on and off. I was surprised that this was very audible. In one setting there were clearly more highs. I checked and that was with FIR OFF!!! This of course is not possible since measurements show otherwise and I should not be able to hear the difference anyway. Sure enough, when I did this test blind, there was no difference at all. I had imagined the original effect.
With lessons learned for the hundredth time to test things blind, I ventured into my AB test with DX3 Pro. Despite all the flaws in the measured performance of d1-six, audible effects are subtle to non-existent. However, with some careful listening, I could hear the accentuated highs through Totaldac d1-six.
Mind you, if you don't do an AB test like I did, you would not have much chance of hearing this effect. Instead your imagination can trigger into high gear thinking you are hearing all kinds of positive effects. Me? I did not hear any of that. No change in soundstage, not increase in PRAT and micro-detail, no nothing. Just a DAC that in "lean back" listening likely sounds like other DACs. So if you are buying this DAC because of some magic it imparts due to its architecture, don't bother telling me about it. Set up a controlled test and then we can talk.''
Well, all I can say is if you can't hear the difference in tone and space between the PecanPi and the Soekris, you're a lucky man as you could buy a cheap DAC and never be any the wiser.
I'd certainly love to be in that camp too.
However, I'm not in that camp and I can tell you quite honestly that whereas picking between DACs using the same chip like a sabre, would be more difficult. Picking between DACs using different chips is far easier.
They each have a sound or presentational signature, now whether that's down to the Chip, it's implementation, it's surrounding design or PSU.....I don't know.
I've had a fair few DACs here and Its always been the case.
r2r's have a certain presentation and traits if correctly implemented and are straightforward to discern, the crux however is if you like those differenices. People like different aspects of the sound spectrum for difference reasons including hearing and room issues so you may find it presents a sound that strikes a cord with certain listeners
Specialist audio consultancy with a total emphasis on musical reproduction. Audio & green energy design engineer a real test hound.Bonkers Mad power supply guy.