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Weiss Int202 vs HiFace contest.


blueixus

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This may seem a grossly unfair contest, but as I currently have my hands on both and as they purport to do the same thing it is a fascinating contest.

 

Both deliver 192/24 resolution. Here the similarity ends, The Weiss uses Firewire and costs 7-8 times more than the USB driven HiFace.

 

Starting with the HiFace which is a truly excellent product, numbingly good value and staggeringly competent. For us legacy Dac users it is an absolute blessing and rightfully very popular but in my view the Weiss shows it a clean pair of heels in the sonics department.

 

The Weiss delivers a delightfully solid and articulate bass, a glorious mid range and a very clean hi end. It images better and has more resolution right across the board. With complex music or simple harmonies it is comfortably the more musical of the two.

 

Of course this could be the difference between USB and Firewire, of which a great deal has been written, or it could be in the design and implementation.

 

Interestingly the Weiss truly excels when used in partnership Amarra where for me there was a real sense of system synergy. Its gains when used with Pure Vinyl were less but still marked.

 

It may be a less than an optimal way to continue using converters to generate SPIDF and then to use SPIDF but that is where I am right now as I have an Audio Note Dac that I love dearly and that in my opinion (and it is only that) has not been bettered by a ‘non SPIDF’ Dac (Metric Halo ULN8 aside).

 

I also know that the Audio Note runs out of steam beyond 96kHz and 18bits, so these comments need to be seen in context.

 

There are a plethora of other converters out there such as the Empirical Audio Off Ramp, Sonicweld Diverter and the Wavelength Wavelink, all USB based, that I am yet to try, often difficult being in the UK, but in the mean time the Weiss has stolen my heart, albeit at a price.

 

If there is anything to offset the price on the Weiss it is the additional IR remote volume control capability. I prefer IR control to a ‘wireless ipod type’ because I find it more dependable and immediate and I have everything integrated into one IR remote. I am still waiting for the Weiss remote but by all accounts the digital volume control is good.

 

The Weiss also has more output options, two SPIDF outputs and two XLR outputs. These can be used in single wire mode (stereo) or dual wire mode (L&R). These outputs can also

be used simultaneously which would be great for reviewers and those with more than one Dac.

 

Finally the Weiss can use its own power supply. I have only used it running on bus power, may be there are gains to be had here as well.

 

So there we have it. Importantly there are no losers here. The HiFace is a true audiophile bargain offering so much for so little. The Weiss, at a much higher price, offers more in facilities and more importantly in sheer sonic ability.

 

Both companies should be congratulated on these products and for expanding the choice envelope for us Computer Audiophiles.

 

 

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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Great review.

 

I was wondering, given it's quality, whether my audiophilitis (with respect to computer output) was now cured with the arrival of the HiFace. Thankfully your excellent review means that I can continue to lust after something! :)

 

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  • 2 months later...

Blue, great review. Thanks for taking the time. This type of information is very helpful. I would love to know how both of these devices stack up against a Lynx AES16 which I use as an interface to my Berkeley Alpha DAC.

 

Mac Mini / Pure Music > Firewire & USB > Metric Halo LIO-8 > Hypex NCORE 400 > Geddes Abbey Speakers > Rythmik Servo & Geddes Band Pass Subs // DH Labs Cables, HRS MXR Isolation Rack, PurePower 2000, Elgar 6006B

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