R2R DAP Duel Part 1: Cayin N6II-R01 vs. L&P P6 Pro
Today I would like to compare two R2R DAPs (Digital Audio Players), both of which promise maximum music enjoyment: The Cayin N6II with R01 Board and the Luxury & Precision P6 Pro.
R2R - Excuse me?
The R2R network is an electronic circuit of resistors and one of several circuit techniques to convert digital values into an analog voltage, see (digital-to-analog conversion). (wikipedia.org)
In other words, not a conventional DAC (Digital Analog Converter) chip is used here, instead the conversion of the digital into analog signals is carried out by means of resistors, which lead to a Type "conductor" are interconnected, executed. This is actually nothing new. However, the use in mobile audio devices is relatively new, because the miniaturization of this R2R ladder is already a remarkable technical achievement.
R2R DACs are credited with a unique musicality and emotionality that some compare to the "warmth" of tube amps.
But enough with the preliminary technical banter!
Let the fight begin!
Today, Cayins N6II with the R01 motherboard will compete against Luxury & Precisions P6 Pro. By the way, the L&P P6 Pro is twice as expensive as the Cayin. An unfair fight?
I don't want to go into the technical details and characteristics of the two opponents, but focus entirely on the sound - or the sound differences, because I think that's what ultimately matters.
The Empire Ears Odin in-ears were once again used as playmates, which I know are able to reproduce every little detail.
The P6 Pro surpasses the Cayin in terms of clarity and detail reproduction and adds the "sparkle" so loved by many music lovers to the treble.
Voices are more intense and foregrounded on the P6 Pro than on the N6II-R01. The Cayin presents the voices a little softer and with a little less detail. Overall, voice reproduction is more immersive with the P6 Pro, which of course can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your preferences.
Guitar strings and stringed instruments in general "sing" and have more weight on the P6 Pro. That's the closest I'd say to the live experience.
Slightly more punch, weight and speed - faster decay on the P6 Pro. The N6II-R01 "punches" a little softer, but still offers a very good amount and quality of bass. The difference isn't huge.
Channel and instrument separation
In this category, the P6 Pro outperforms the Cayin: It offers better, clearer separation - individual instruments and voices stand out much more clearly. Even the softest, faintest sounds can be heard and identified clearly. This is top class!
Although the R01 shows absolutely no weaknesses in terms of resolution, it still has to admit defeat to the P6 Pro, because the smallest nuances are much clearer and reproduces better.
This is particularly evident when listening to more elaborate, complex compositions, where the R01 exhibits a few "artifacts", while the P6 Pro dissects the whole scene with surgical precision, depicting every element with clarity and precision .
That's not to say the R01 does a bad job here. The P6 Pro trumps the performance of the already amazing Cayin and takes the action to the next level.
The Cayin N6II-R01 offers the overall warmer, silkier and more relaxed Playback with very good detail and excellent bass foundation.
The L&P P6 Pro resembles the Cayin in overall tonality, is a little less "warm" but offers more detail, clarity and punch compared to the R01, it's almost like wearing a thin veil air.
The N6II-R01 isn't too far off the L&P P6 Pro in terms of overall sound signature and quality. The N6II-R01 combo is probably the best value for money R2R DAP I can think of.
In fact, I consider it one of the best DAPs out there right now regardless of price gives to the market. Unlike the P6Pro, you also get an open Android system with streaming capabilities and swappable motherboards. The Cayin N6II(R01) is and will certainly remain one of my absolute favorite DAPs.
You have to take some time to really appreciate the differences to the P6 Pro. These become more apparent the more one uses the P6 Pro and switches back and forth between the two devices.
The P6 Pro maintains the musicality and emotion typical of many R2R DACs and adds a Clarity, precision and a weight that is unique and can only be compared to other top-of-the-line DAPs like the Lotoo PAW Gold Touch.
The L&P P6 Pro is intended for enthusiasts and audiophiles, who only want the best that is currently available on the market and can do without streaming on the device. Yes exactly - there is no streaming and no installation of apps here. The P6 Pro is made solely for the playback of local data - but at a level that corresponds to that of a very good home stereo system!
Everyone has to decide for themselves whether the differences are worth the extra charge . In any case, with both devices you get a sound potential to be permanently happy!
Of course, both devices can be tested at home free of charge to your heart's content!
R2R DAP duel part 2
Next time the new Hiby RS6 will be added. Let's see what it has to offer in comparison.
More blogs about DAP
Hail to the King, baby! - Luxury & Precision P6 Pro Unboxing
Lotoo PAW6000 - Review by The Vagrant Audiophile