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W4S Dac2 or .....


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I've had a ps audio dliii for a few years now, and as usual after a few years i've been having the itch to upgrade.

 

I think I've decided that I want to go usb since i'm soon going to be building a separate music playback computer (currently running a asus xonar inside my htpc), and figured i'd give usb a whirl.

 

I was originally planning on the ayre qb9 but more important things have come up and it is now out of my price range.

So i've now stumbled upon the wyred 4 sound dac2, it has lots of positive reviews online, though I was surprised that it was never reviews by Chris.

 

I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on it since I actually found a local dealer W4S dealer here in Canada (doesn't actually stock dacs, would have to order), but I was just wondering if there was anything else in that $1500 price range that I maybe should consider?

 

Unfortunately there are so many dacs out there that I don't even know where and what to look at or even find what is available in that price range. Any recommendations for $1500ish dacs that others have had good experiences with would be much appreciated.

 

 

 

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You probably don't want to hear this, but your ASUS Xonar digital output is very under-rated. I know of several individuals (myself included) who have compared that to high quality USB implementations such as the Audiophilleo and have found the Xonar digital output to still be superior.

 

Personally I think it would take a very high end USB implementation to beat the Xonar digital output.

 

All that said, USB is ubiquitous these days anyway, and most high quality DACs will already have them. I guess what I am trying to say though, is that after you've lived with your new DAC for 6 months to a year, you might feel that the Xonar as the digital transport was not that bad afterall.

 

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You might check out the Schiit DAC. Supposed to be pretty good for the money. I'd be curious to know if anyone has compared it to the W4S. The W4S has been out for a couple years or so. Had mixed reviews then. So probably not as good of a value as it was then since there are many more players in the market. You get more DAC for less money. Many more have Async USB now too.

 

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My reason for upgrading wasn't just to go USB, it was to get a better DAC in general. Thankfully most USB DACs still have spdif inputs so even if I do get a newer DAC with USB I would still probably keep the xonar in the new music computer so I can play around with different input methods to compare.

 

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That was another reason I was curious to know about other options, I know the DAC2 is old (I guess old in terms of computer electronics), and i'm sure since it's release in 2008(?), there have been many more async usb dacs released in that price range. I just don't know where to look for other quality dacs in that price range, whatever gear I have read about is usually from this site and I understand it would be impossible to do reviews/articles on everything out there.

 

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Thanks guys. I'll definately read the thread on the mytek, looks interesting, though their website seems like a bit of a mess, they don't even list their 192/DSD under their products.

 

I will also check out the anedio d2 though i'd personaly need to wait and see what others think of it, since I doubt they'd ship it to Canada for an audition.

 

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I think I could see the 192/DSD on their European pages:

 

Digital to Analog Converters

 

see the top three product ids #1,2,3

 

(I got there by looking in the News tab on the main mytekdigital.com site. They have a "Mytek European Online Store" link there, then on that link click the "Digital to Analog Converters" in the Categories list in the upper left. )

 

Mark, Laurel, Maryland USA

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I had seen that on their online store, was hoping their actual product page would list it and give a bit more info then the online store.

 

Also, i'm guessing the $100 difference between the 'pre' and 'master' is just volume control on the 'pre'? The online store portion shows the same pictures for both and lists no preamp function and a completely identical features list for both.

 

I'll go read the mytek thread, this info is probably covered there :)

 

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well after spending a couple of hours reading the mytek thread I don't know if I should go for the mytek or w4s. Prices I got were within $50 of each other so price isn't a real deciding factor. Unfortunately there is no way for me to audition these dacs in my own system so i'm completely unsure which way to go now.

 

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A way to hear the MyTek. It is sold by pro audio shops, many give a trial period.

 

I bought mine from the cool folks at Vintage King. They have a 14 day no hassles return policy.

 

http://www.vintageking.com/Easy-Return

 

No, I don't work there, own stock...not my brother-in-law.

 

Listening to Wayne Krantz "Greenwich Mean" on MyTek, which replaced an $8K Wadia in my system, as I type....a total bad ass guitar, bass, and drums jamathon...it kills and sounds as if I'm at 55 Bar, NYC where it was recorded (been there 20+ times, and I live in Tampa).

 

Tone with Soul

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I unfortunately live in Canada, the land of expensive cross border shipping and brokerage fees so I don't think it is going to work.

 

I really hate buying without giving a listen but i'm fairly positive I am going to be very happy with whichever I choose. I'm leaning towards the mytek because of the dsd but I think i'm going to go through a few more sleepless nights, tossing and turning trying to come to a decision before I pull the trigger.

 

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Personally I am planning on purchasing an Audiolab M-DAC when they become available here in Canada.

I would also recommend you check out the Rega DAC. I prefer to buy a DAC that allows you to choose the filter that sounds best to you.

I too will not be able to listen before I buy, but looking at my present audio system I have never been able to listen to any of my components before buying and I am very happy with the results.

 

PJH

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I own this and it's killer. I don't think the Ayre will outperform it. Plus it is possible to upgrade in the future. It just crushed my old Proceed Levinson gear.

 

Furutech GTX-D, GTX Wall Plate,106-D Cover > NCF Clearline >J River 27 > Curious Cable Evolved USB > Chord Hugo TT 2 > Empyrean Copper PCUHD Cable > Meze Empyrean > my ears > audiophile brain

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I wanted to follow-up on something labjr posted earlier.

 

"So probably not as good of a value as it was then since there are many more players in the market. You get more DAC for less money. Many more have Async USB now too."

 

As an owner of a W4S DAC-1 (upgraded Digital board; Low ESR "Super Caps") I'd like to point out the DAC-2 hasn't lost any of its value due to the proliferation of DACs hitting the market.

 

The performance of the DAC-2 at its price-point brings huge bang and value for the buck. Dismissing a fine component because it's been on the street for a while is a mistake in my view.

 

I could see if it were outdated, but it is not. And upgradeable to boot! Still, there's the matter of competition, seemingly spreading like bush fires. Though, I've yet to see any DAC take its lunch money at its price-point. ;-)

 

Further, when I hear that a component had mixed reviews after hitting the street, I won't run. Upon closer inspection it might be for me; serve me well. Where the component winning the popularity review may not be a good fit in my system.

 

Lastly, @ labjr, inflection is difficult in writing. Please know that my views stated in this reply are upbeat and positive in tone.

 

 

driven | by sound - \"bats & audiophiles\"[br]

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well I pulled the trigger on the mytek. The decision was killing me and I knew I had to decide soon so I called mytek to check stock and the guy I spoke with helped me out with a few things with regards to being in Canada so I put a deposit down.

 

I'm sure the w4s would have made me just as happy but it nearly became a best of three "rock, paper, scissors", game with myself, which is never a good way to buy audio equipment.

 

My integrated amp just broke down and is in for repair, good excuse to switch to a straight power amp since I no longer need a pre with the mytek? Hopefully this decision won't be a "i'll take whats behind door number 3" :)

 

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What computer you using? Hopefully a Mac with FW to hook up to MyTek.

 

Have to think about player software, like Audirvana +....pretty sweet and cheap way to get maximal bump in SQ from coputer audio. Memory play, iZotope SRC, iTunes integration for library.... Whilst you can hook up a transport to the Mytek, using A+ will change your view on that outdated technology for music file play.

 

Not to mention the covenience of having all your music at your finger tips, not in stacks of plastic boxes holding CDs.

 

 

 

Tone with Soul

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unfortunately no mac here. Currently just a pc with a asus xonar and jriver, though I will probably end up switching to the usb input on the dac. Going to play around with things when it arrives before running out and buying a mac :) I'm without an amp so I need to take care of that first.

 

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