Gustard DAC-R26 Discreet R2R Streamer/Renderer

I needed a replacement for my TEAC NT0505 that lost its network card and came across the Gustard DAC-R26. Have been intrigued with R2R, so I took a leap of faith. Unit arrived to the USA from China in 6 days! This unit claims to be Roon-capable (do not know if they will ever become truly Roon-Ready/Tested). Upon arrival I upgraded the required firmware to make it so, my core found it right away after a restart. This DAC sound absolutely wonderful. So much fuller, improved detail, more musical compared to the TEAC.

Problem is volume control through Roon. The onlt way I’ve found is to set the Gustard to “FIXED” and use DSP volume control. Sounds flat/lifeless usung DSP control. Went back to controlling volume on the unit itself, huge improvement. Any ideas on getting hardware control through Roon like my old TEAC used to do?

That’s not possible if the DAC doesn’t support or advertise hardware volume control. How is it connected to your core?

I have my answer, here is the response from Gustard. Bummer.

“Roon does not allow controlling the volume of the decoder. Only the remote control or the machine panel knob can control the volume. The problem cannot be resolved by a firmware upgrade because the hardware does not support it.”

Hello Martin. It is connected through my network using Ethernet.

Because this isn’t a Roon Ready device it would seem that it ships with, or downloads, Roon Bridge.

Slightly incorrect since no player can control this R2R DAC using hardware volume since there is no hardware volume built in. Your only options are DSP volume or a preamp.


I too have the R26 and so far have been testing with MConnect UPNP and it works.
I have also been running Roon from Sonictransporter to Ultrarendu then USB to R26.
Can you give me a few pointers on how I can get it running from Roon core on Sonic transport via Ethernet to R26?

I have the Ethernet from my network router/switch connected directly to the R26, nothing else in-between. After connecting the cable I restarted my Roon core, then was able to find Gustard R26 ALSA under Setup >> Audio. Hope this helps.

Thanks Lawrence, I will give it a try and advise.

Hi all, I just received my R26 and was excited to connect to Roon via ethernet. It found the R26 right away under “Other network devices” but is defaulting to Airplay protocol and down mixes everything to 16 bit. Is there a way to not downmix the files so that they play in native format? Thanks!

Hi Derek

I had the same but rebooted the core and Gustard with it in LAN and it took a couple of minutes for it to show up as ALSA device. It’s not recognized by Roon as a ready devices but it plays nicely and the sound is fantastic.
It also does MQA full rendering but I prefer Qobuz.
My initial impressions are that its cleaner from top to bottom than my USB connection even though my USB was coming from ultrarendu with 7V DC. Playing over Ethernet seems to have more definition in lower region and a bit more up top.

Thanks to Lawrence above.

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It shows up twice for me, one as ASIO (for Airplay) and again for ALSA, which is what to use.

That worked thank you. All is good now.

Thank you!

Me too I have ALSA and airplay options. What does ALSA stand for?

ALSA = Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. Its streamer has full Debian 11 built in with SSH enabled. There’s UPnP, Roon Bridge, Airplay (via shairport-sync), and MPD installed.

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Thank you all! It was an oversight on my part. I saw the ALSA option but the default name mentioned USB so I assumed it was just via the USB input. Now that I changed to the ALSA option it shows the sample rate changes on the display. Wish it showed bit rate but no biggie.

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It seems to me that the Ethernet sounds much better than my USB input. It seems to me that there is more separation and crisper sound.

Yeah, from what I’ve read USB introduces a lot of noise so direct via ethernet is a great option. One of the big appeals to me. Burning mine in on some studio monitors for a bit before I move to my main setup.

After about 100 hours straight, mine started to get definition and the soundstage improved. Bass is the biggest thing that cleaned up. I have well over 300 hours now. To me its step above my Oppo Delta Sigma Sonica DAC.

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I looked at this option to replace my NT-505 for a while before opting for another DAC and a discrete streamer. What I lacked was testimony like that written here but I am glad that this DAC is being recognised as a quality option for use with Roon. The fact it has Debian 11 on it is also really interesting for HQ Player users. Put NAA on it and you might find yourself with something truly exceptional sound wise.

On your burn in are all your hours at reasonable volume? I left mine playing music over night at a very low volume level. I assume as long as it’s passing a signal through that’s all it needs to be considered break in?