DAC Question: Delta-Sigma vs R2R

I have a general question, I am looking to buy my first standalone DAC, right now I have an Azur 851N, which is a streamer/DAC. As I look I continue to see discussions on Delta-Sigma vs R2R DACs.

I am in no way an audio expert nor do I have a good understanding of electronics.

In Laymen terms, Could anybody explain what is the difference between the 2 technologies?



As I fellow senior music lover who, like the OP, also has tinnitus, let me say this. Your tinnitus  most likely becomes an issue with brighter presentations and higher volumes. No matter what DAC you get, you will still find certain recordings an issue. This is because of the way the music was recorded/mastered/remastered, etc. In other words, the effect of human input and the sonic signature of the gear used in the music production/recording process before it even gets to be on your CD/ or digital stream.

So here’s my input. Buy a good quality equalizer like a Schiit Loki and insert it into your music chain. Eiter between your preamp and power amp or your DAC and preamp. It is very transparent yet will allow you to modify the high and middle frequencies to suit your specific hearing preferences on a global as well as a recording by recording basis. This little inexpensive device may get you further towards your goal of making your digital source more listenable than what tonal flavour DAC you get. It has a bypass switch so it can be in the chain when you want it. Not saying you should not get a DAC as a better DAC regardless of the technology will get you closer to the music than the internal one you are using, but the ability to adjust tonal balance, for me was the best way to make music more listenable with tinnitus.

@alvinnir2 While an equalizer is not what I was specifically referring to when I was saying that its best to customize the signal only after it has left the DAC, introducing something as you suggest is another good example.

Rather than trying to get a DAC that is a jack of all trades and master of none, kinda thing.

[and while I am here, I will regret forever writing "you won't be disappointed" in my previous post but I can't edit them out, grrrr ]

Just a slight digression....

I agree with adding a LOKI Mini+ to your system...$149 from Schiit......also the Topping e30 for the same price is an excellent valuefor a DAC.....or for a little more, look at a Denafrips Ares 2 with the cover off...very impressive and the phase control button is an incredible feature to open up the width...depth and height of the soundstage. (R2R) ....No need to spend more.

@buddyboy1 the Topping e30 for the same price is an excellent valuefor a DAC.

I can confirm that about the Topping E30.

I recently made my Rega Saturn CD player the transport for such a one.

It is the only thing I changed (plus adding the necessary el-cheapo no brand 75ohm digital coax cable).

I dare not mention anything about any superlative changes in what I hear or I may lose any shadow of credibility that I may or may not have with the multi thousand dollar boys and girls.

I went with a FPGA dac for many reasons:

* it’s software based so you aren’t locked in with todays technology. Try adding MQA support to a dac that didn’t come with it from day 1, it’s almost impossible.

* the designer/software writer of the dac can update the software of the dac that can give you better sq with every release.

The  hardware technology of the dac does make a difference since I only use Ethernet or i2s inputs, the only inputs that sound any good