DAC Upgrade - I've folded..... Or the Weiss DAC202 thread



  • Without doubt changing speakers would bring about bigger improvements compared to adding a 202 Keith, however I am quite surprised at how much of an improvement the 202 has made over the Young DAC in my system. It's a superb piece of kit.

    So on a completely unscientific scale of 0 to 100 Keith and judged purely on sound quality, where would you place the Young, 202 and Medea+? I'd say the Young is somewhere around 75 with the 202 at 85.
  • Thanks Sergio,

    Yes I saw the Thomann site before - that seems to be the cheapest place to get a MYTEK. I have never heard one though.

    The no-nonsense approach they take (they make pro gear like Weiss) and the rather good things that are said about them make me want to try one.

    The problem is I would have to sell the Young to finance it, ideally I'd want to demo one.
  • Tried to stock Mytek once, but the Polish guys ,didn't really want retailers they would much prefer to sell direct ,are they Async now?
    Brum, please don't misunderstand me, the 202 is a genuine improvement over the Young, which is quite something in itself, until the Medea came out the 202 was the best DAC I had heard , two customers swapped their Scarlattis for them ( not just because they needed the cash) the Medea Plus is really nice , quite different to anything else I have heard.
    Alan have you tried active speakers, the Genelecs I have are really superb, active ,with filtering in the digital domain, inbuilt DAC ( if you want to use it) and active room correction, coax mid and treble aluminium enclosures designed specifically etc etc, thats where I would lok next.
    KR Keith.
  • Yes, they are Async over both FireWire and USB 2. It also processes DSD files, although there is an additional USB1 input which won't handle DSD or 192kHz - that is a more conventional plug 'n play input that doesn't need drivers.

    MYTEK make quite a thing about their application Async transfer due to their high end clocks - they primarily manufacture for pro audio applications.

  • Active speakers could be a lot of fun, that's yet another can of worms!


  • Are they one of your five a day?
  • No, they are my five a day...
  • :))

    I prefer sour snakes myself.....lovely.
  • Have just an email from Andrea Weiss, attaching a link for a download of Amarra Hi Fi for free. Nice touch. Keith, any news on the MAN 202 availability and pricing?


  • Are you thinking about buying the MAN202 then Justin? I wonder if it will sound better than say a Bryston BDP-1 into the DAC202?

    Slightly off topic, but there's an interesting Linux based PC due out soon from a company called Auraliti. I think the model number is L1000. This afternoon I've emailed them requesting more info. Will post their reply here. I like the idea of a dedicated PC which can sit discreetly by my DAC and do nothing else but feed music.
  • Justin Hi, Daniel says late this month or early next, no confirmed price as far as I am aware, I hace ordered both versions with and without inbuilt DAC ,the Auralitt and the Bryston 'server' are the same aren't they, same designer, price is somewhat different,
  • James,

    Would you mind telling me your findings re speaker matching for the 202. Funnily enough the guy I bought mine from had a pair of Adam Audio speakers, huge things that cost him £25,000. They looked you in the eye as you walked into the room, I felt as though they we're going to start kicking me around if I said I didn't like them!

    Hi Justin.  My speakers were purchased prior to the 202 arriving.  Before buying active speakers I was using ATC SCM11's fed by an Arcam power amp.  Hearing active speakers for the first time was a shock - I've not heard any passive speakers which come close to the crystal clear, dynamic sound that can be delivered by a decent pair of actives.  This is something of a double edged sword, because being crystal clear makes them highly revealing of your source equipment.  

    Initially I purchased a pair of Genelec 8040A's.  These lasted about eight weeks in my possession because they didn't suit my room.  They are rear ported and I couldn't give them enough space from the rear wall to do them justice.  My advice if you look at Genelec (assuming you can get them away from your rear wall) is to go for one of the models which include DSP.  These models are denoted by a model number which starts 82, e.g. 8240A.  Here's a link to the store where I purchased my speakers.  They carry most of the Genelec range:

    Keith at Purite Audio is rather taken with the range topping 8260A.  

    After selling the Genelec's I looked around at some of the main active speaker manufacturers including Meridian and ATC.  Most of the brands I looked at specialised in floor standing actives which wouldn't work in my room.  So, determined to remain with active speakers, I happened upon Adam Audio on a couple of different forums.  They do three different ranges - one is more for studio use, then there's the 'classic' range and finally the Tensor range.  There aren't many retailers that stock Adam Audio's Tensor range, so I had a mad moment and bought a pair of ex-demo Tensor Epsilon's without ever hearing them.  The Epsilon's are front ported and have a tweeter which is Adam's take on a ribbon design:

    Aside from the Genelec's bass performance in my room, I also found the treble to be too forward/bright sounding for my tastes.  The X-Art tweeter is just superb - it doesn't stand out from the overall mix like the Genelec tweeter did, yet still sounds realistic - well recorded cymbals sound like they are in the room.

    Here is a link to my speakers:

    As you've seen from the guy who you bought your 202 from, they also make some monster floor standers.  Each speaker in the Tensor range is meant to be voiced identically - it's just the scale that changes as you move up the range.

    Anyway, to drag this post slightly back on topic, I can say that my Weiss/Adam Audio setup is a wonderful sounding combination in my room - it is a ruthlessly revealing combo, and poor recordings do sound cack, but with a decent recording it sounds like audio nirvana.  If I had the space and cash I would love to try a pair of the Gamma floor standers :-O

  • Justin Hi, Daniel says late this month or early next, no confirmed price as far as I am aware, I hace ordered both versions with and without inbuilt DAC ,the Auralitt and the Bryston 'server' are the same aren't they, same designer, price is somewhat different,
    Auraliti worked with Bryston to develop the BDP-1 during the early design phases (that's what I've read anyway).  There's no official price yet for the L1000 (I hear rumours of $2,500-$3,000), but even at the top end of that estimate it should still be a bit cheaper than the Bryston.   

  • Just to add, the Gens I bought. are £7k a pair so not cheap, but the amps are built in, crossovers are in the digital domain, DAC is built in and active room correction, and they are some of the best sounding speaker s I have heard. If you would like to borrow a pair just let me know.
  • WOW, thanks for all the info, alot to think about there. I've just spent all evening doing research on mains leads, what a minefield that seems to be!

    I can feel that this is all going to get VERY expensive! There is just so much enjoyment in planning your system, almost as much as listening to music, when you know you have made the right decisions, and got the right components.

    I am going to wait to see how much the basic MAN 202 is, and then make a decision/start saving from there. Then in time look at fine tuning with headphone/mains cable and invest in a rack, then apologise to the bank manager!!!!


  • Justin mains cables will not make the slightest difference,ditto racks, unless you have a turntable, a wall shelf might help in that case,
    Kr Keith.
  • Thanks for that Keith. James that's really helpful, thanks for a good write up. What are people's thoughts on the potential difference in sound quality between a Mac Mini, and the MAN202, any thoughts???

    Also, am I right in thinking that the HD800's could be plugged into the back of the 202 via XLR outputs, and does anyone have any thoughts on the difference in output quality of XLR compared to headphone?

    I'm so pleased with the sound coming out of the 202. This time last year, I remember stumbling across it on the Internet, and spent the whole day reading about it, never expecting to own one. I think that the anticipation of owning some products is better than the actual pleasure it gives, but the Weiss has more than lived up to the expectations.

    Kind regards

  • It will be interesting to see whether the MAN202 sounds better than a Mac....if the sans DAC version is as expensive as I'm expecting, it had ought to much better than a Mac.

    Would you go for the integrated version Justin or stick with your 202 and go for the server only version? Must admit until the posts on this yesterday I wasn't aware there was going to be a server only version. Interesting.

    I know what you mean about the anticipation of new kit. It's even better when the kit sounds better than you could have expected. That's my experience with the 202.


  • Hi James,

    I would struggle to part with the 202, and afford to purchase the fully integrated MAN i think. I guess it all depends how much it is going to be. I listened to a Naim NDX, which was £3,250, so i am hoping it will be similar. I could be disappointed, but here's hoping!! As sad as it sounds, although i would consider buying it on sound quality grounds, i also like the visual effect that matching boxes give, but there has to be a price limit on that.

    Listening to Katie Melua whilst writing this message, a really easy to listen to album, recommend it!!


  • Did you hear the NDX into your 202 Justin? Or was the NDX on your options list as an alternative to the 202 and Mac?
  • The NDX was with a Head line, and Hi-cap, but why is it with Naim, that you need so many different boxes!!!

    I hope Weiss will keep the price sensible, as people will otherwise look at Mac if it is overpriced.

    Looking forward to finding out the price, and if it is in budget, to then have a listen. Anyone able to give me a steer with regard to if HD800's will play from XLR outputs on the back of Weiss, with fully balanced cable's, and if there should be an increase in sound quality??

    Regards to all

  • Can't help you re headphones I'm afraid Justin. Have you seen the Naim Unitiserve? Could be an alternative to the Weiss server. Less than half the price of Naim's HDX.

  • Yeah, i don't like mixing manufacturers too much within a system, my (very) short list will be a Mac mini/MacBook Pro or if it sounds significantly better (and is not too much) a MAN202 (when i can get the funds together).

    I can't help but to be more in awe of the DAC202 each time i listen to it.


  • Hi all,

    Just picked up on this interesting thread and have had my 202 for a couple of months now and can only reiterate everything thats been said regarding this brilliant dac.
    the termination for the sound i hear would be analogue and so non digital sounding that im so pleased playing rips through my macbook pro / pure music/ firewire is quite astounding at times that i forget im not listening to vinyl.
    this is my point in time i cant stress how much some are missing the true value of this dac when not using the firewire connection of which it was designed for.......i understand that the cost of a source like a macbook can hold some back from using the 202 to its full potential but a decent 2nd hand mac mini would be an ideal option which would not break the bank.
    personally i would not even consider a firewire dac purchase without adding on the cost of a decent front end control hub.


  • Seems there's a number of Weiss Dac202 owners who are happy bunny's, after me Weeeisss, Weeeisss, Ra, Ra, Ra!!!!!

    Had another email from Andrea Weiss, apparently the new streamer is going to be called the MAN301, as it has a new version of software, and will be available by the end of Jan. Sounds interesting, and would look so good above/below a DAC202!!!!

  • Very nice review in Stereophile, with the best measurements John Atkinson has encountered in 25 years.
  • Thanks Keith, really interesting to read. It really is a great piece of kit. Thanks also for the informative chat the other day. I know there are cheaper hobbies out there, but when you get (even in the process of getting) your system as you want it, combined with some good music, I have not witnessed any other hobby that brings so much pleasure and relaxation.

    Best wishes to all.

  • Thanks Keith, really interesting to read. It really is a great piece of kit. Thanks also for the informative chat the other day. I know there are cheaper hobbies out there, but when you get (even in the process of getting) your system as you want it, combined with some good music, I have not witnessed any other hobby that brings so much pleasure and relaxation.

    Best wishes to all.

    So true and well said Justin.
  • Not art mate. Happy New Year James, hope you are well. You've got me looking at Adam Audio speakers. Trying to convince myself that I can afford Gamma or even Beta's, I know that I can't, but resistance is, erm futile!!!!!


  • Beta's!!!! Now you are talking. I'm going to have to find a hifi show where Adam Audio are exhibiting. It would be great to hear the Beta or Alpha models.

    I'm getting good results using a Squeezebox Touch into my DAC202 at the moment. At some point this week I'll get round to posting a review of it. It's actually away at the moment having a new clock and a few other bits fitted. I can see the Touch potentially replacing my Mac as my streamer of choice.
  • Sounds interesting, look forward to reading your thoughts!!


  • Jus if you do get some Adams I would like to near how they compare to my Genelecs, are the pair you are thinking of active.
    kr Keith.
  • Hi Keith, yes they are active. Just can't myself to like the look of Genelec's, sorry. I am waiting for a decision on a pair of used Beta's, still need to convince my wife that they really arn't THAT big, ahem!!!!! I do think that there are much better looking speakers, but i like the form over function approach, and they look to have a very high standard of finish to them, i particularly like the piano black finish. Also need to be happy to get a reasonable size bank loan, havn't got that sort of money available.

    So early stages yet, have also been offered an ex dem pair of Gamma's, for a lot more sensible price. Need to go and have a listen, but don't think I'll be able to do a home demo, but as I understand, the speakers can be tuned to a room. Due to their size, I would need to position fairly close up to the wall, but as I understand, this can be done, but I would need to back off the bass.

    From what I have read, ADAM speakers give off a very large soundstage, with airy vocals, and a very smooth treble with lots of detail, which I hope would compliment the Dac202 well. Not sure if you can second this James? I like the idea of just 2 boxes (DAC and Mac Mini) with minimum wires, but maximum sound.

    Still unsure about the outlay, but if I got either pair, I know that would be my ideal system, which I would feel very humble to have in the house, I guess the outlay just scares me a bit.

    Will keep you updated if anything progresses. Any feedback welcome as usual guys.

    Kind regards

  • Justin Hi, I am sure Adams are good, do they have active room correction built in, room integration is one of the appealing features of the Gens.
    KR Keith.
  • There is room EQ via dials at various frequencies on the back Keith. Nothing like as sophisticated as the Genelecs. Page 12 of this link shows the eq options on the Beta:


    How big is your listening room Justin? Despite the size of the Beta's, Adam Audio quote 0.5m as the minimum distance from the rear wall which isn't too bad. Unless your room is cavernous though I would think the Gammas would be more than enough.

    The Epsilons image superbly, particularly front to back and the tweeter is like nothing I've heard before. It's the same unit across the range.

    No idea where you are based Justin, but give me a shout if you are within a reasonable drive of Birmingham and want to hear the Weiss with one of Adam Audio's standmount models.



  • Thanks for the response chaps. My room is approx 7M X 4M, speakers would be about 3M apart, and realise that I don't need the Beta's, just love the look, and hopefully the DAC202 would do them justice. Thanks very much for the offer James, I am hoping to hear from the seller tomorrow, and will arrange to go and listen.

    All the best

  • Hi all, I have today agreed a price on an ex demo pair of Adam Audio Gamma's, they are being delivered to me on Friday for a home dem before parting with the money. I am soooo excited :-bd Hope they will sound good wired straight into the Weiss, been advised to budget for £2,000 for cables to do the speakers justice $-) OUCH.

    Anyway here's to waiting for Friday, will tell you more once they are installed and wired up. Now I remember what it was like being young and waiting for Father Christmas. The delivery driver will have no idea how he is going to make my day.

    Regards to all

  • Excellent news!
  • Thanks Dave, hoping they arrive in one piece [-O< .

  • I would exercise healthy scepticism regarding the cables!
    I hope you enjoy the speakers,
    KR Keith.
  • Wonderful news Justin. Congrats! Tomorrow is going to REALLY drag.

    £2k for cables hey :-O

    Make sure you post some pics for us to dribble over on Friday :)
  • Great news Justin! 2k for cables eh - if I were you (I wish...) I'd spec them up and then talk to our own custom cable maker, mr @PAC to see what can be done. He is no amateur...
  • That is a good idea mister!
  • It's the booze talking.
  • Get yer Bee Gee voice exercised...

    B-b-b booze talking...
  • Who says time stands still for nobody :!!
  • Oh WOW, has taken 4 hours of adjusting the positioning, but starting to sound so so good!

    Must go and listen some more, will report back later.

    Regards all

  • Not jealous. Nope! Go and get that positioning sorted before you come back here!


  • Funny that, I like it, I'm on the case Alan!!

    Wife just pulled up, had to intercept her at the door. "Come and look at these love, they're the small ones". She walks in the door (I'm feeling a tad uncomfortable about the reaction) and she says "I'm glad they're not wood, they match the tv". YES, first hurdle over.

    Have a good weekend all, will post some pictures over the weekend.

  • edited January 2012
    New Weiss 301 server released at CES,  Keith
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