REGA: DAC-R D/A processor test review

Jon Iverson (Stereophile mag) writes:

I've spent the last month recording songs for a pal's upcoming album. His act consists of powerful female and male singers, acoustic and electric bass, and acoustic guitars and mandolin. Jay-Z is funding the project, which is destined to transform the entire hip-hop/rap beat-driven pop landscape into an acoustic-music wonderland.Okay, I jest about that last part.

Anyway, a couple weeks before recording started, Rega Research's new DAC-R ($1195) arrived for review, presenting me with a chance to compare what I was hearing live in the studio with our recorded results played back in the listening room. And because the group was recording a second set of songs at Painted Sky, another studio nearer the coast, in Harmony, California (footnote 1), it was also an opportunity to hear how the same people sounded when recorded in two different places by two different sets of ears at about the same time. Every few days, I received a CD with the latest mixes from Painted Sky, which I could compare with what we were getting here at Dog Bark. I thought, What could be better than using live music as a reality check for a DAC?

Well, it got complicated. Although I and the other engineer were both .....