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Which DAC would you chose?

 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4605
Registered: Feb-07
Today my short list is (and I say "today" because I change my mind a lot).

Rega DAC
W4S DAC-1

Stu, I think we all know which one you would choose - but given the specs, which actually looks better on paper?

Rega USB Input: 16bit 32/44.1/48KHz
DAC-1: 24-bit 96kHz

Rega weight: 9lbs
DAC-1 weight: 15 lbs

Rega DAC: Wolfson WM8742
DAC-1 DAC: (ES9018) 32 bit

Rega DAC SNR: -105db
DAC-1 SNR: >105db

The fact that the DAC-1 is 6 lbs heavier is interesting. I wonder if this comes from a larger power supply? More solid case?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4314
Registered: May-05
Those specs favor the W4S. No arguing that. For some, the USB input is make or break too.

If the Rega wasn't everything it is in my home, with my system, music, and most importantly my ears,I'd have tried the W4S.

I didn't try it for 3 reasons - the money back issue (yeah, I know I'm being cheap), but mainly because I have such a good relationship with my Rega guy, and because my Apollo did everything I wanted my DAC to do. If it was exactly like the Apollo and no better, I'd still have kept it.

Don't you have a guinnea pig who tests out this stuff for you? Maybe you order it, Nick gets a hold of a Rega DAC and his Father Nelson and any other DAC he has, and have Nuck come over with his DAC for a shootout.

I'd make the trek, but Canada's too far, cold, and the border isn't friendly to guys of Middle Eastern descent even though I look nothing like one!

You've got a lot of interest in the W4S. I say roll the dice!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 915
Registered: Dec-06
The one thing I like about the Rega DAC is that it accepts high res signals for SACD and DVD-A discs (and other formats) and processes them at their native bit rate. This is one thing that many DACs to date have for some reason not been able to do. Not sure if the W4S DAC is able to do it. For me it's a very nice to have feature.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4606
Registered: Feb-07
You're right Stu, I am sorta leaning towards the W4S. The nice thing is now that they're starting to turn up on the used market just a little now for around 700-800. Remember when the DACMagic first came out and was all the rage, and there were none on Agon? Now there's at least a dozen at any given time. Maybe the DAC-1's will be like that too in another 6 months (albeit different price point).

USB performance is not really a big selling point for me, since I've come to realize that USB implementation of music playback leaves a lot to be desired.

When you're ready for the DAC shootout, we'll hold it here in July or August - when it's 30 degrees (Celsius) here. That's like 86 of your American degrees!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4315
Registered: May-05
I think pretty much every product goes through that phase on Audiogon.

A couple of things the Rega DAC does that few others do, and even fewer do them all -

No oversampling
No upsampling - combine both of these, and the signal isn't messed with
Isolated coax and USB input for less noise
Proprietary version of asynch USB
Reclocking of the signal for reduced jitter

I think the W4S automatically upsamples? Is it selectable/defeatable if it does?

At the end of the day, the only features that count are the ones you're going to use, and how the DAC sounds. There's a lot to be said for the W4S weighing what it does and the reviews it's gotten. It's not a DAC to overlook IMO.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13816
Registered: Feb-05
I'd choose the Rega...but you know me and specs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1197
Registered: Jul-07
I'd need to hear them. I've read good things about both.....although not a lot is out there yet for the Rega. I expect that will change over the next few months. I'm also going to seriously consider the Eastern Electric DAC. A little cheaper, very well reviewed, and I expect the sonics are similar (but better) to my Minimax....which would be a very good thing.

But, a DAC is 3rd on my list so it will be a while. Amp mods first, then speakers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3417
Registered: Jun-07
Stu are you not in New York? Only a few hours away from us Southern Canadian folk. David and I are only about a 45 minute drive away from the border. Your right though, the border folk are pr1cks. We have roughly the same weather as you here. Drive North about two days and thats a different story.lol

I know one thing is for sure, is that you can't hear specs.lol. We need to put together a DAC day. I personally want to pick up both the wyred and rega for a test drive. *oink oink* lol
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4316
Registered: May-05
I'm about a 6 hour drive from Niagara Falls, Nick. If it was 7 years ago when I was in grad school at Niagara, I'd think nothing of jumping in the car and heading over.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4317
Registered: May-05
We used to have problems when we'd cross the border in NF until we smartened up. Anything other than saying we were going to the casino would get a million questions.

That was a little after 9/11, so hopefully things have gotten a little easier.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3422
Registered: Jun-07
Niagra Falls!!! If your in New York you went the wrong way Stu! Perhaps I have no idea where you are.lol I can hit New York from Ottawa in 5 hours hitting the Watertown border in 45 minutes. 2 hours if were taking David's Lancer. haha. 12 days if you take my Civic.lol I am a good 2.5 hour drive myself from Niagra Pooh.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3423
Registered: Jun-07
Fella's were taking a road trip to New York. hehe I get shotgun in the Lancer. I pay for gas. Nuck has food.lol
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4318
Registered: May-05
Mapquest says 8 hrs 26 min from Stamford, CT (10 min from NY) to Ottawa, ON. A bit of a hike. I thought Ottawa was closer to Toronto than Montreal. I'm not great with geography, among many other things.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4607
Registered: Feb-07
That's quite a hike Stu. Montreal is about 2 hours east of here, Toronto is closer to a 4 hour drive southwest of here (it's taken me as long as 7.5 before....grrrrrrrr).

Nick, I think I broke the land speed record coming back from your place that weekend.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3424
Registered: Jun-07
8 hours? Mapquest sucks.lol

I am in Kingston, about one hour (in a lancer) from Ottawa, 3 from Montreal and 2.5 from Toronto. I am in the middle. I have made New York city in little less than 6 hours. I was hauling and only one pit stop.

David - Any Wyred Dac's on CAM?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4609
Registered: Feb-07
Lots of new ones for sale (both DAC-1 and DAC-2) but whenever I contact the sellers they always tell me they don't have it in stock now, but can pre-order it for me.

We both know how that turns out.

I've seen a few used DAC-1s on there, but they get snapped up fast.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 919
Registered: Dec-06
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/211805-wyred4sound_dac1__mint/

In Ottawa too.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4619
Registered: Feb-07
Yuppers... I already talked to him, he lives a short hop from me.

Thanks Dan! You a CAM guy too?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 921
Registered: Dec-06
Yep, I post occasionally on CAM, though not as much as I do here.
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