Gustard R26

Is anyone else looking forward to the reviews coming out on the Gustard R26 r2rDac? I am interested to see if it can compete with the Holo Spring at a lower price point. How will it stand up to the other r2r dac’s out there right now. It does present well and is feature rich right out of the box. Is it a true proprietary resistor board or is it off the shelf and tweaked? I know the other Gustard equipment is well received and liked so my hopes are high for this as well.



I am an engineer. I have run testing labs and worked for the federal government, military, nuclear energy....I am trained in testing and evaluation.

I have heard what I need to hear.

i too chuckled when i read this... what an awful handicap for someone to have in achieving the enjoyment and bliss this pursuit can bring! 🤣😉😆

FWIW, I intend to run the R26 (hopefully arriving end of next week) for at least 100 hours before sharing my feedback :)

IME, R2R dacs need significantly more break-in than other types of DAC. But at 100 hours, I should at least get a basic idea of the true character of the Gustard R26.


I recently purchased the Gustard R26. It replaced the Denafrips Ares ll. It has been fed a signal, and left powered on for approx. 240 hours. IMO it is still improving in presentation. The presentation (source dependent) is large and open in soundstage, transparent without fatigue, and well defined. I think the Ares is slightly warmer. Instrument separation is very good. When using my Rotel MCD-1572 mk2, the Rotel internal DAC sounded better than the Rotel feeding the Ares ll. With the Gustard R26, it sounds better feeding the R26 versus the Rotel internal DAC. Most of my listening is my iFi Zen Stream via 1 foot long USB from Ghent Audio ($20 shipped). I prefer the Ghent over the Cardas I have. I do have a LPS on the Zen. Output of the R26 feeds my Luxman L-550 AX ll via Anti Cable 2.2 RCA. The output of the Luxman feeds my Dynaudio Contour S 1.4's on Dynaudio stands via GR Research 16 strand cables lifted off the floor. I did put some bypass caps on the tweeters. I hope this input is of value to my fellow non-recovering audio addicts:)

From the dozen people I know with an R26, they do not use it as a streamer and are very happy with its performance.

Seems to be well worth its cost. 

i do use it as a streamer and roon endpoint, it works flawlessly and sounds very nice

@arafiq which did you keep? pontus or r26? 😁

btw, i posted the following several weeks back (unwisely) in a thread about a different dac... anyways, i will share it here as these comments properly belong here...

fwiw, i bought a nice used r26 just to try it, see what the fuss is about, and i would agree that for the $ it is absurdly good... particularly from the lan input (i am a roon user) - i have confidently poo-pooed the chifi brands since i started my dac journey at the start of covid, especially those from the guangzhou/shenzhen factory alley (smsl, gustard, topping, singxer, matrix and so on...) but this r26 is pretty amazing... with an effective built in streamer too...