Firewire DACs?

I know these are allegedly fairly common - so I have read - within the professional recording industry. Are there any consumer (normal ole Joe's like me) Firewire-based DACs?
Google my friend.
Just get a firewire to spdif converter and you can get any dac you want. No limitations.
The short answer is "no." And the reason is that, unlike USB, Firewire computer interfaces all need custom drivers written for them. If you buy a Firewire DAC or Firewire - SPDIF converter, you will need to install drivers on your computer and probably futz with them a bit. It's not necessarily hard, but USB interfaces require nothing of the sort.

If you want to go Firewire, I would go with a true Firewire DAC, such as the Weiss DAC2 or their new DAC202, rather than a Firewire-SPDIF converter into another DAC. The latter approach can yield good results, but you'll still have to deal with drivers and you are adding another clock into the chain. In my experience, you would do just as well as a Firewire - SPDIF converter by going with a good USB-SPIDF converter (ART, Bel Canto, Empirical Audio, Wavelength) or, better still, a good USB DAC, such as the Ayre or one of the Wavelegths.
Apogee has a couple firewire DACs if you don't want to drop $2500 on a Weiss. Their MiniDac sells for $750 and the Duet goes for $500. I've seen good comments about both.

But USB is....TERRIBLE. Just listen.
But USB is....TERRIBLE. Just listen.

SOME USB is terrible. Not all. It really depends on how it is implemented.

Another Firewire option if you don't want to drop large coin on Audiophile gear is the Focus Saffire or Saffire LE ($299), which is a pro piece and requires some savvy to use the interface. Apogee's choices would be easier to use though (being more of a plug-and-play experience).
KRK Ergo for $499 with Lyngdorf room perfect room correction on board. It does a lot more too. I am in love with mine.
I just bought the Apogee Mini-Dac about 1 week ago. I was previously using the PS Audio Digital Link (USB).
The Apogee required more work to set up, but it wasn't very daunting. There is an increase in 3 dimensionality of the soundstage compared to the USB. Cost was $1000.
"....But USB is....TERRIBLE. Just listen."

You're very fortunate to have been able to audition all of them in your system to make such an encompassing statement.

That has simply not been the case with my dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC.

You have a great looking room, there. I haven't heard all of the USB Dacs, but I have heard many. I have also done extensive research with the USB protocal since, well, the beginning. I fault its inherent limitations, specifically it's transmission method and taxing of the cpu. I have not yet heard the Tranquility yet. It has gotten rave reviews and was also a best of show at RMAF. I am certain it sounds excellent in your system. I am at a point where I have just abandoned the interface. Perhaps if I ever hear this dac, I will change my mind. The best USB DAC I have heard so far is the Ayre, which I thought sounded thin, not too great in the dynamics and just didn't bring the emotion home. Again, I fault the protocal, not the hardware. Enjoy your beautiful system.

Thank you for your kind words. And my goodness, talk about a beautiful system! The only thing more beautiful than the view of your system is your view of "the view".
M-Audio makes a firewire 410 that you can still get for around 300.00. They also make a new 600 model that costs around 400.00 retail. For the money both of these interfaces/DAC's have excellent sound quality. Obviously, you can do better but it will cost much, much more.

These both have 8 analog outs too so you could do multichannel out or even active crossovers.

check out this site:

If you read down through that page it eventually discusses firewire DACs. It works really well. This is the type of setup I use with active digital crossovers. That site helped me do it.

I forgot here's a link to that interface/DAC.

hope this helps!

Can somebody give me some impressions on the older dCS DACs using Firewire (Delius, Elgar)?
best regards
I've been listening to the Weiss DAC202, a Firewire DAC. It sounds amazing. I don't have any listening experience with other Firewire DACs, so can't really make any comparisons. You would not be disappointed with the 202, though.