I am down to the last piece of the puzzle. I am very happy with the sound of my system at this point, so I’m not sure if the DAC needs to be improved on. What I am looking for is to hear those background subtleties in the music a little more pronounced. The strum of a guitar, the stroke of the piano keys, the clicks, ticks & tingles that accompany the music. I do here that now, I just wondered if there is a way to elaborate on those background sounds (details) a bit more.

Is it the DAC that will make this happen? If it is, they say my Gustard R26 is as good as a $5K DAC, how far over that $5K do you think I have to go?

Thank you for your help and suggestions and the best to you all over the holiday season and beyond!

PS: I listen mostly to Jazz


Hello NavyYachts!  Be sure you have a quaity cable feeding the DAC. It can sound no better than the signal it gets. If you are feeding it via USB cable, be sure to use a good one.  Good cable are available used at decent prices. Try a Wireworld Silver STarlight Seven ( a couple of years old) or something with silver wire inside. There is a Canadian outfit with an odd name that makes a fine cable. The fancy Japanese cables re good too. I wrote a rather lengthy piece about my adventures with DACs and cables a year or so ago. I'll be happy to send it to you if you like. Happy listening! 

The T+A 200 gets fantastic reviews from those who own them.  I haven’t heard much about the Preamp section in them, in theory, you wouldn’t need your Preamp any longer but the synergy between the Coda Pre and Amp might be better.  I’ve tried a decent amount of DAC’s, anywhere from Node 2i to DAC in a Parasound P6, to MHDT, Krell, Lumin D2 / P1 and some others I’m forgetting.  Price ranges between $500-$10,000.  Once I got into the 5-10 k range, so much depended on the sound signature I liked and synergy of the DAC with the rest of my Gear.  That’s likely as important as price.  Right now I have a PS Audio MKii, it’s to my ears the best balance between detail, nuances, subtleties in the music being highlighted but not being too overly analytical, dry.  Weiss, Lamp are great suggestions based on what you are looking for as well.  Briiscati would be another brand to give a look to, Lumin as well but most of Lumin’s gear are Streamer / DAC combo’s.  P1 / X1 would be above your price range new but get you the details you are after.  


The description of what you are looking for in sound seems to be the opposite of what the RR dac is offering. I have the Gustard X26 PRO instead of the R26 and I enjoy all the details you may be missing. I used to have a RR dac, albeit the lower end Denafrips Ares II and ended up selling it.

I have a modified R26 with external 10MHz clock and prefer the Weiss DAC204 with the stock power supply. I hear a small improvement by swapping the stock power supply with a linear power supply.

With that said, I find the R26 to be a good value and great for the DIY hobbyist given all the modification opportunities.

Huge R26 Thread