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Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2 (Read 4306 times)
chalk
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Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
03/16/13 at 18:20:24
 
Hi everyone,

I received my taboo and csp2+ combo late last year and its been quite impressive so far. Think i got maybe 100 hours on it so far.

Need some opinions on what DAC would be ideal for the taboo and csp2+ combo. Anyone with any experience with the wyred 4 sound dac 2? Am thinking this would be a a good upgrade from the current musical fidelity v dac 2 i am currently using. Thanks!
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Lon
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #1 - 03/16/13 at 18:23:54
 
I don't have hands-on experience with the Wyred4Sound DAC2, though I think there are a few here who do. Reading reviews and how it compares to the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC, I would say this is well worth an audition. I like that it has an I2S connection via HDMI and could be used with the PS Audio PerfectWave Transport, and perhaps in future other products.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #2 - 03/16/13 at 21:39:43
 
Quote:
Lon
I like that it has an I2S connection via HDMI and could be used with the PS Audio PerfectWave Transport, and perhaps in future other products.


Hi Lon, I've heard you mentiont the I2S via HDMI connection before, can you explain the function of this port and why you would consider it over another connection?

Thanks!
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Lon
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #3 - 03/16/13 at 22:03:07
 
This is a method of transporting the data and clock information I2S interface via an HDMI connection that PS Audio has developed (but shares, Wyred4Sound and a few others have adopted it).

It is purported to be a more accurate, jitter-inhibiting method to transfer the data from transport to DAC. As I understand it I2S allows the data and clock info to remain separated in transfer (similar in a way to how Single-ended keeps the signal more cohesive than push pull in the signal chain). A digital engineer friend of mine says he thinks this is a very good delivery system, with potential to sound better than SP/DIF, usb etc. I'm not savvy (or to be honest, interested) enough to be an authority. I will say that my PWT uses this HDMI connection to connect to the PWD, and I've also tried the coaxial and optical connections, and the HDMI I2S sounds better. And as I suspect I'll have that PWT for many moons to come (in my opinion it's a fantastic transport for many reasons) I would partner it with a DAC that would allow the HDMI connection if possible.

I found this from PS Audio itself about the interface and the use of HDMI:

The I2S format has separate clocks and data and lower jitter and better performance if handled properly. I2S is the native format inside every CD player. If you are using a separate transport, the native I2S inside the transport must be converted into S/PDIF format to get out and into your DAC. This is not the best way to do this.

When we released the PerfectWave DAC and Transport a year ago, we decided to include I2S as a standard interface between the two machines. We also decided that the best way to transfer the I2S data was over an HDMI cable. There are many great HDMI cables available on the market and it's an excellent interface cable.

Our engineering department spent a great deal of time developing a "standard" that works quite well and several other companies have already adopted this standard. Our hope is that more and more manufacturers will include a similar interface on their devices.


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« Last Edit: 03/16/13 at 22:04:00 by Lon »  

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #4 - 03/16/13 at 22:36:37
 
But to get back to the Wyred4Sound DAC 2, there was a 6moons review that was very favorable (for what that's worth) and I exchanged some emails with an audiophile who is very happy with his, and was asking me about the PWT that he could partner it with. It has a 32 bit volume control that means it can operate as a preamp for many amplifiers, and that's a plus in many systems. Its predecessor was on my radar when I was looking for a DAC to replace the ZDAC-1 and both the Wyred4Sound have very good reviews and recommendations online. If I were in the market it would be a contender.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #5 - 03/17/13 at 16:35:24
 
IMHO, the only theoretically preferred method would be to avoid the HDMI stage altogether, by processing the digital input coming into a USB stage that transforms it into I2S and 'directly coupling this I2S signal to the DAC,' internally.

This is the design principle behind John Kenny's JKDAC32 (out of Ireland), who builds and sells these highly rated USB/DACS at a fraction of the cost of the otherwise excellent W4S DAC2.

Given its simpler design, at its price point, it's not surprising that the results seem to be on par with the more sophisticated W4S DAC2, as you can confirm with, for example, the John Darko DAC index:

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/the-darko-dac-index/

where both devices share the same relatively high rating.

Of course, the limitation is its USB-only input restriction.  Nevertheless, I wonder why other manufacturers have not come up with this more direct approach, even in more traditional input environments.
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Lon
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #6 - 03/17/13 at 16:40:40
 
I don't quite see the possible superiority here and don't feel like wading through that review. USB to the DAC and then i2S from there. How is that significantly better than i2S maintained from transport to DAC via HDMI ? In this method there is no conversion. "Theoretically." And that list. . . "one man's opinion." Okay.

Anyway, a USB DAC is of no interest to me whatsoever. And the PS Audio method works wonderfully.

My only point here is that as the DAC seeker was asking about the DAC2 I think, for many reasons, it would be worth an audition.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/13 at 16:51:28 by Lon »  

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #7 - 03/17/13 at 16:50:39
 
It's amazing how detrimentally poorly you read these messages.

1. The link is not a review. It shows an expert opinion on both devices' results.  I don't really care if you want to read it either.

2. The path is not DAC to I2S, is the other way around, exactly as W4S DAC 2 is trying to achieve through the HDMI connection, just because their two stages are housed in different chassis.

Sometimes I think some people in this forum are just so full of ego and self-contemplation, that trying to share ideas here is perceived as a personal challenge to them.

Just grow-up!
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« Last Edit: 03/17/13 at 16:51:35 by Fireblade »  

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #8 - 03/17/13 at 17:01:53
 
Another post that can be interpreted as "snottily superior." Your insult to we fellow forumites is uncalled for.

The page you sent to me was a list of reviewed DACs. I inferred from your post that info about this I2S conversion was in one of the reviews; I guess that was wrong, I guess there was no info in your post about that. If you read my post I did not say the path was "DAC to I2S." What you wrote leads me to believe that it is SP/DIF or USB to the DAC and then conversion to I2S.

I just was asking why you think a USB to I2S conversion was "theoretically" better than non-conversion transmittal. You gave no evidence to support your statement. But whatever, I no longer want to hear the reason behind your assertion since you can't converse without insult.

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« Last Edit: 03/17/13 at 17:40:23 by Lon »  

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #9 - 03/17/13 at 17:56:35
 
You're so wrong in all counts, I'll let the forum decide for themselves about the incident.

Seriously, just grow up. The material exposed in these forum threads are NOT directed to you!
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #10 - 03/17/13 at 18:01:44
 
Wahoo! Old dude fight!
As a person who owns a W4S DAC1, I will say that their products are top notch and work well. I won't get lost in little details that I can't even hear. I will just say that I am happy with their products.
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Lon
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #11 - 03/17/13 at 18:06:04
 
Donnie, thanks for weighing in with real experience on the W4S DAC2.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #12 - 03/17/13 at 18:08:56
 
Fireblade wrote on 03/17/13 at 17:56:35:
You're so wrong in all counts, I'll let the forum decide for themselves about the incident.

Seriously, just grow up. The material exposed in these forum threads are NOT directed to you!


Oh sure. The insult was to "some" of us, I'm not taking it personally. Thanks for being so helpful with my question.

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« Last Edit: 03/17/13 at 18:41:48 by Lon »  

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #13 - 03/17/13 at 22:11:38
 
I looked hard at the W4S DAC-2 before choosing the PWD. I was able to listen to one in a system, and thought it excellent. The praise in the 6Moons review and its TAS selection are well-merited. The pricing is excellent.

I suspect everyone here knows this, but use of an HDMI cable in the PWT/PWD, W4S, or Sonore ecosystems is unrelated to the HDMI signal standard. The cable is just a convenient physical medium. It's for I2S, and there is no HDMI conversion going on with the cable. The same is true with the fantastic Universal Player and DACs by MSBTech. Those devices use Cat 6 cable, but the signal has nothing to do with Ethernet. It's for I2S.

Either version of maintaining I2S straight from source to DAC strikes me as better than running through USB. And when using a transport, why do it any other way? If given an option with something like a network player, why not use it? Just no reason in my view to use USB unless there is no other choice, or the USB implementation is better than the BNC/optical/coax SPDIF input. Sometimes though, USB is the only choice. In such a situation, you definitely want an async USB DAC [Kenny's is good, but there are lots out now, and it only does USB, while costing about 70% of the cost of the W4S, which does a bit more; the Kenny is also portable, while the W4S really isn't], or a USB/SPDIF bridge to use with an otherwise musical DAC. Anyway, lots of choices for the USB approach, thank goodness.

Back to chalk's original question:
Quote:
Need some opinions on what DAC would be ideal for the taboo and csp2+ combo. Anyone with any experience with the wyred 4 sound dac 2? Am thinking this would be a a good upgrade from the current musical fidelity v dac 2 i am currently using. Thanks!
What is your source material going to be? Transport? Hard drive? Desktop? Laptop? Etc. File types? Resolution? The sources will drive some of the answers for which inputs might matter to you, and once you get there, then the musical qualities of the DAC, its future upgrade-ability or expandability, your budget, might help narrow the list further.

There are so many great choices out there. And the downward pricing pressure is amazing. For example, I have a PS Audio DAL III, modded by Rick Cullen [Mod IV], and an Audiophileo Model 1, that all in cost me about $2800 just 4 years  Sounds fantastic. I figure, if I am lucky, in today's market, I can maybe get $700 bucks for it as a highly musical async USB DAC with other inputs and outputs as well.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #14 - 03/17/13 at 22:46:03
 
Thanks for explaining that Greg. I wasn't sure I had made it clear there was no conversion in the HDMI transmittal.

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chalk
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #15 - 03/18/13 at 16:12:43
 
Thanks for the replies and opinions everyone. The dac 2 certainly seems well regarded.

Source material for the dac 2 would be cd player as transport via coaxial  and laptop (iTunes) via USB.

for convenience, i may get an airport express to stream music wirelessly from itunes. I read that the airport express should be better than the apple tv for this purpose as the apple tv up samples to 48kHz which is a slight degrade from cd quality at 44.1kHz.

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #16 - 03/19/13 at 01:22:43
 
Big thumbs up to the W4S DAC-2 with Decware. I am very pleased with it. I am using it with USB from the MBPro and via Coax from JRiver and my Windows 8 HP Elite Desktop.

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« Last Edit: 03/19/13 at 01:23:18 by Longbowbbs »  

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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #17 - 03/19/13 at 02:28:21
 
chalk added:
Quote:
for convenience, i may get an airport express to stream music wirelessly from itunes. I read that the airport express should be better than the apple tv for this purpose as the apple tv up samples to 48kHz which is a slight degrade from cd quality at 44.1kHz.

FWIW, and I certainly don't want to start an upsampling war, it is not necessarily true that upsampling degrades SQ. In fact, that upsample may be less impactful than the wireless aspect. You'll have to listen to decide. Also, are you referring to a current ATV, or a Gen1? I believe Gen1 still supports 44.1. I used a Gen1 ATV for quite a while to feed my PS Audio DAL III, and liked it a lot. And I still use an Airport Express in a couple of rooms to feed low-res music playback to a couple of portable units. Anyway, good luck with it!
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #18 - 03/21/13 at 03:32:20
 
I am realtively new to DAC's and don't have the experience that PR, Lon and others have, but I just wanted to mention that I spoke with Steve at Empirical Audio and he had high regards for the W4S DAC 2. EA makes their own DACs and also SPDIF to USB reclockers for others as well), but he also mentioned that I2S was the way to go for that DAC if possible.
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« Last Edit: 03/21/13 at 03:32:56 by beowulf »  
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #19 - 03/21/13 at 20:14:31
 
Good info beowulf. Steve knows his stuff.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #20 - 03/22/13 at 22:58:00
 
I'll toss my .02 cents in here.  I by no means have heard everything in the DA world.  But I have owned/heard many, and I currently own a Wyred DAC-2 since last fall.  I have owned a Levinson #39, some of the CAL stuff long ago, Musical Fidelity, started with Audio Alchemy back in the day - hey, hey!  A PS Audio DAC or two has passed thru the system.  And though I have heard the PWD, I have never had it in my system.  I have also owned and/or had in my system, every DAC or player that Theta Digital has ever made, except the current Gen. 8.  To my ears, Theta has been superior to everything I've ever owned or heard.  Bear with me - this will be relevant shortly.  Their DAC's just make music sound more "live", more "real" to me.  I think Theta was way ahead of the times.  They were up-sampling and oversampling long before those became marketing buzz words.  And I think a lot of the Theta "house sound" has to do with the analog output sections in their products.  To say they are robust, would be a huge understatement.  But anyway to cut to the chase.  My 1999 model Theta has been my preferred Reference DAC for over a decade, besting all comers - up until the Wyred DAC-2 hit my system last fall.  Now to put this into perspective, the Wyred does not annihilate the Theta or anything like that.  But the Wyred is "as good" as the Theta in all areas, and best it in a couple areas, and is just "different" in some other sonic aspects.  Where the Wyred does whoop up on the Theta is in connection flexibility, bit depth and sampling rate capability, volume control if you like, etc.  I am slowly headed to a music server type rig setup so I can sit on my fat butt in my listening chair and call up any tune I want via my iPad without ever having to move!  And my Theta will not accommodate this, and thus I went on a search for a DAC that would, and that did not sacrifice the sonic qualities I value so highly in my Theta.  The Wyred DAC2 meets my needs – sonically and functionally.  And I can’t say enough good about the company and its customer service so far – excellent.  Met them at RMAF too, a couple of years ago before I ever bought one of their products – really good guys.  Now I have one of their STi-1000’s also.. as well as my Torii….  But that’s a whole nother discussion!
Also… something I have noticed about both of my Wyred components.  They generally sound better “cold”, when you first turn them on for a listening session than most every other component I’ve ever owned.  They sound pretty good right off the bat – not as much “warm up” time required.  But after about 30 minutes, even though I have never seen them getting any warmer than slightly above room temperature, they really start to bloom and come “on song”.  As opposed to my Torii, which just sounds “wrong” when first fired up.  Takes about 30 minutes… really 45-60 before my Torii really starts to sound delicious and deliver all its luscious, sonic goodness.  No detriment to the Torii at all, just the nature of the technology I think.
I think the Wyred is definitely worth your time and trouble to give it a listen if you can - even if you ultimately find its not your sonic cup of tea.  I really can't think of anything else that will give you its SQ and functionality for anywhere near its price.  I'm sure there's something out there, but like I said, I haven't heard everything - nobody has.  And the choices these days are staggering.
But I also believe that the advances in DAC technology in the last 3 years or so have made it a lot easier to get "world class" digital sound for less than "world class" $$$.  Just my opin and experience.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #21 - 03/23/13 at 00:36:51
 
Great feedback maddog.
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #22 - 03/23/13 at 01:04:01
 
Quote:
Great feedback maddog.


Agreed!
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Re: Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2
Reply #23 - 03/23/13 at 04:02:59
 
maddog07 wrote on 03/22/13 at 22:58:00:
I'll toss my .02 cents in here.  I by no means have heard everything in the DA world.  But I have owned/heard many, and I currently own a Wyred DAC-2 since last fall.  I have owned a Levinson #39, some of the CAL stuff long ago, Musical Fidelity, started with Audio Alchemy back in the day - hey, hey!  A PS Audio DAC or two has passed thru the system.  And though I have heard the PWD, I have never had it in my system.  I have also owned and/or had in my system, every DAC or player that Theta Digital has ever made, except the current Gen. 8.  To my ears, Theta has been superior to everything I've ever owned or heard.  Bear with me - this will be relevant shortly.  Their DAC's just make music sound more "live", more "real" to me.  I think Theta was way ahead of the times.  They were up-sampling and oversampling long before those became marketing buzz words.  And I think a lot of the Theta "house sound" has to do with the analog output sections in their products.  To say they are robust, would be a huge understatement.  But anyway to cut to the chase.  My 1999 model Theta has been my preferred Reference DAC for over a decade, besting all comers - up until the Wyred DAC-2 hit my system last fall.  Now to put this into perspective, the Wyred does not annihilate the Theta or anything like that.  But the Wyred is "as good" as the Theta in all areas, and best it in a couple areas, and is just "different" in some other sonic aspects.  Where the Wyred does whoop up on the Theta is in connection flexibility, bit depth and sampling rate capability, volume control if you like, etc.  I am slowly headed to a music server type rig setup so I can sit on my fat butt in my listening chair and call up any tune I want via my iPad without ever having to move!  And my Theta will not accommodate this, and thus I went on a search for a DAC that would, and that did not sacrifice the sonic qualities I value so highly in my Theta.  The Wyred DAC2 meets my needs – sonically and functionally.  And I can’t say enough good about the company and its customer service so far – excellent.  Met them at RMAF too, a couple of years ago before I ever bought one of their products – really good guys.  Now I have one of their STi-1000’s also.. as well as my Torii….  But that’s a whole nother discussion!
Also… something I have noticed about both of my Wyred components.  They generally sound better “cold”, when you first turn them on for a listening session than most every other component I’ve ever owned.  They sound pretty good right off the bat – not as much “warm up” time required.  But after about 30 minutes, even though I have never seen them getting any warmer than slightly above room temperature, they really start to bloom and come “on song”.  As opposed to my Torii, which just sounds “wrong” when first fired up.  Takes about 30 minutes… really 45-60 before my Torii really starts to sound delicious and deliver all its luscious, sonic goodness.  No detriment to the Torii at all, just the nature of the technology I think.
I think the Wyred is definitely worth your time and trouble to give it a listen if you can - even if you ultimately find its not your sonic cup of tea.  I really can't think of anything else that will give you its SQ and functionality for anywhere near its price.  I'm sure there's something out there, but like I said, I haven't heard everything - nobody has.  And the choices these days are staggering.
But I also believe that the advances in DAC technology in the last 3 years or so have made it a lot easier to get "world class" digital sound for less than "world class" $$$.  Just my opin and experience.


If this system allowed you to a "like" a post, I'd "LIKE" this one. Smiley
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