By Richard / Audio-GD, $1000+, Review, Desktop Source / April 4, 2021

Audio-GD HE-7 MK I

Audio-GD HE-7 MK I's image

The Beginning

I found a deal on the Audio-GD HE-7 Singularity last year. My first introduction to Audio-GD was in 2015, when I first began my audio journey and purchased an NFB-15.32 with TXCO and Amanero USB. I was able to compare the sound with Feliks Audio Elise, and it was a satisfying experience comparing the two products. The NFB-15.32 had a fun, upbeat, more musical tone with engaging mids, while the Elise was a more neutral amp: airy, neutral, and analytical with a fast PRAT.

I have long waited for a higher-priced product to purchase and use. There were a few choices I had been thinking of: the Schiit Yggdrasil, Audio-GD Master 7 Singularity, or another one of Audio-GD's products, the R2R-7. When I saw a deal on the HE-7 Singularity; I quickly made the decision. This product was once one of Audio-GD's top of the line DACs, priced at $3,080, before being discontinued.

At A Glance

The HE-7 Singularity is built like a tank. It is 17" x 19" x 4.25", and weighs in at 37 pounds. Its design is minimal, and uses an aluminum chassis to achieve a sleek, appealing look. Though not exactly subtle, it fits on a Monolith 4 Tier Stand XL perfectly.

Audio GD HE-7 photo

Here are some of the specifications about the HE-7 (non-Singularity):

  • Regenerative Power Supply
  • Four R-Core transformers
  • 95,000UF audio grade NOVER capacitors
  • 15 groups discrete class A PSUs
  • Fully balanced class A Non-Feedback ACSS analog design built by discrete analog stages
  • DSP Software for PCM1704
  • 8 Pieces PCM1704UK design
  • SPDIF Inputs
    • IN1: BNC input, up to 24bit / 96KHz support  
    • IN2: AES input, up to 24bit / 192KHz support 
    • IN3, RCA coaxial input, up to 24bit / 192KHz support
    • IN4, optical input, up to 24bit / 96KHz support 
    • IN5 , RJ45-I2S input ,up to 32bit / 192KHz support  
    • IN6 , HDMI-I2S input ,up to 32bit / 192KHz support  
    • 3 Outputs: XLR/RCA/ACSS

The HE-7 Singularity is an interesting animal. After looking at the specifications, you get a sense that it supplies exceptionally clean power with its’ 4 R-Core transformers. When you listen to the HE-7 Singularity, it's like a similar feeling, and it seems to derive its sonic characteristics from its design.

Soundstage and Imaging

There is an absolute openness about the HE-7 Singularity, and anyone looking for depth shouldn't be disappointed. It's very spacious and allows all the instruments to have their place, with excellent decay in through notes.

Bass

The bass ties in very well with the overall signature of the DAC. It delivers and is utterly dramatic when a track calls for it. It is tuned towards a more fun, full sound, with great extension, and complements the DAC’s other ranges well. It is slightly emphasized, but not overpowering, and has a unique character, and is definitely of quality.

Mids

The mids are on the laid-back side, and sit clearly and beautifully with the rest of the staging with sweet timbre and good extension.

Highs

The highs are very enjoyable because there is great depth and openness to backup the notes. They are also laid back, but are crisp.

Conclusion

Liquid, lush, laid-back, romantic and slightly warm is how I would describe the HE-7 Singularity. One thing to note about the HE-7 Singularity is that it’s stage is incredibly wide, and detail separation is great.

It's engaging in its presentation and doesn’t lose detail. No matter what is played, everything is pulled together gracefully. There's a certain amount of air that makes it sound very high quality.                                                                

In a dynamic song, notes register with clarity and the HE-7 Singularity really puts on a show for you and shows its capability. 

If you are sensitive to treble, you can rest assured that the HE-7 Singularity never fatigues, and does a great job at taming the more neutral/brighter Feliks Audio Euforia.

I found great synergy with the AMPs I currently have: the Yulong A18, and Feliks Audio Euforia. I found the best results when rolling with the EL38 and EL32. It took the holographic presentation you got with the HE-7 Singularity and brought it to another fun-filled level.

This DAC was my first experience with a high-end reference product, and as soon as I gave Audio-GD’s HE-7 Singularity a listen, it immediately impressed me, just as I would expect from a DAC once priced at $3,080. 

 It provides another level of sound that I can safely say is above lower-priced products. While it is far from inexpensive, I feel that it brings value to anyone's stable.

When comparing the HE-7 Singularity with lower priced products, I found that the lower priced products, such as the Schiit Modi Multibit had a more energetic expression and a bit more extension through the mids, but that’s where it ends. Across the ranges, in it’s large staging, presentation, and extension, the HE-7 Singularity won.

If you are in the market for a DAC, there have been reviews that the R2R7-HE is even better than the HE-7 Singularity. At this point, the R2R7-HE is the successor to the HE-7 Singularity, and if there was a reason to purchase it, it's because the HE-7 Singularity itself is an excellent DAC.

Final Thoughts

I believe it will indeed be challenging to find a product that will top to the HE-7 Singularity. It presents music with stylish softness and reels you into its sound, providing you with an ambient relaxation. You may find you get a phantom nostalgic feeling listening to music of different eras.

Of course, there is always more to try and experience, but I don't think any prospective owner could be dissatisfied with having this product as part of their HiFi setup.  It’s a very capable end game that delivers a unique and fulfilling sound.

Product Link:

Audio-gd website

 

About the Author


R

Richard

Software Engineer by trade, always loved music, but discovered Hi-Fi in 2012. Decided that since interest in sound quality was growing, could share experience with different products.

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