@verdantaudio Have you had a chance to listen to the Weiss Helios DAC? I've enjoyed the DAC501 (base and 4-channel) and I'm wondering how the Helios compares to them.
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@mistercrash I have the Helios here burning in. The first batch recently arrived in North America. I have listened to it initially and it sounds great. Sort of a middle ground between Playback and Aries Cerat. It is dramatically better than the 501 in the sense that everything was smoother and more analog sounding. It helps that there are 4 DAC chips per channel as opposed to 2 in the 501/502. They also have improved the output stage. I want to listen to it after it has a chance to have some hours on it though for a final opinion.
I will my write up here and we are going to begin posting to a YouTube channel videos of the DAC.
EMM Labs DA2 V2 - This is the most expensive unit I have tested to date. It is well built and has an awesome remote.
This is a big and dynamic sounding unit that has extraordinary detail. It is different than any of the other units I have heard and is very much a departure from the MA3. If I had a customer who wanted to step up from the MA3, I would steer them to Playback. This, in many ways, would be an elevation above Rockna and the Wavedream Signature.
Drum rolls in In a Sentimental Mood were clean and crisp. The overall song is big and dynamic sounding. Great sparkle on the piano. Outstanding air around cymbals.
In Be Still My Beating heart the image is deep and wide. Noise floor is extremely low. Bells sound natural. In Liberty, same kind of massive image. Effects are seemingly coming from a distance away from the speakers. no sibilance in either song.
Opening of Duende is precise and clear. No smearing in the bass solo. The song is hugely dynamic is incredible air and decay.
The intimacy of the berg piece is missing just slightly. This is an incredible, top tier DAC. It is not dramatically better than the Playback, just different. If you are looking for incredible dynamics and realism while also having totally next level DSD processing, this is THE DAC for you.
@verdantaudio isn’t the Weiss Helios using one chip but with 8 channels? The 501 uses 2 mono chips. What would be interesting is if you could test the new 204 or 205, in general. It has an outboard power supply, presumably not an LPS. Some reviewers are touting these units as equivalent to the 500 series (in sound). The description of the 200 DACs also seems to imply it only uses one chip. Many makers (e.g. Oppo 105) used one chip with its multiple DACs run in parallel. I’m sure though that however Weiss implements its DACs sounds great.
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