Review: Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1 DA converter

Category: Digital

I just finished setting this up and am in the process of breaking this unit in. The soundstage this unit renders is fantastic. I am not a huge audiophile like many of the listeners on this forum but I have a pretty descent ear and have been listening to lossless audio files from my home theater computer with a toslink out into my Arcam AV9. I spent quite a bit of time getting the speakers into an optimal listening position and was pretty pleased with the set up. Adding the DAC-1 to the system took it to a completely different level. I listen to a pretty broad array of music and I heard an immediate effect across the board. Soundstage was wider and deeper, female vocals became more "clear", and everything sort of tightened up in a good way. I've never used a DAC before and I thought I would give this one a try due to the reviews the new chip they use is getting. Well worth the $1k price. I have it running from several sources with no problems. The UI is completely intuitive and the unit is very well built. The only improvmeent I would like to see on this unit is a 12v switch becasue I am lazy. Nice work Wyred 4 Sound. Great value for the money.

Associated gear
Sonus Faber Domus, Krell Amp, Arcam AV9,
How has the sound changed after how many hours of use? How would you describe noise floor and low-level detail characteristics? Has the soundstage changed after break in? If so, how?
The soundstage is still very deep and broad. I would say the whole thing has mellowed out a bit especially on the highs. Noise floor hasn't changed - pretty low to begin with. I am defintiely impressed with this unit.
Purchased my DAC-1 about a month ago. Using it with new Magnepan 1.7s. I found that the first week or so, the sound rounded out and became very clear although somewhat understated. Vocals as mentioned above are amazing! So clear you feel you hear the artist in front of the microphone in your room.

The unit settled in for the next couple of weeks with about 100 hours on the unit. Now with around 200 or more hours on the unit, it sounds a little more lively then it did at first.

Overall, very detailed, incredibly realistic vocals, piano and most acoustic instruments. Very satisfied.
Thanks to all for your posts. I am seriously considering this unit as an upgrade from my PS Audio DLIII. Are there any limitations or disappointments with the W4S DACs? Thanks for your review.
The only limitations and disappointments I found with this dac is, "We all have to pay for one"
I have been posting information on the Magnepan 1.7 discussions. Here is part of what I posted, the rest can be found by looking at the Magnepan threads.

I have been living with my MG 1.7s now for two months. Shortly after purchasing the MG 1.7s, I purchased the Wyred for Sound DAC 1, a Netgear 9150 digital music center and a Polk Audio DSW MicroPRO 2000 subwoofer so some of the subjective changes in sound quality can't be pinned on any one piece of equipment. Other equipment includes a BADA MA3MK II tube hybrid preamp and MA100MK II amplifier (300 watts into 4 ohms). All wiring is Xindak ribbon speaker wire and Xindak analogue and digital cables.

The past two months have been an amazing journey with the new equipment. I replaced 5 year old MG 1.6s with the MG 1.7s (along with an original 35 year old pair of MG IIs!). As the equipment has broken in the clarity of sound is becoming nothing short of outstanding. The combo, Magnepan and Wyred 4 Sound DAC, has been a marriage made in heaven. Both seem to provide amazing clarity without sounding etched or unrealistic. I primarily listen to classical music and couldn’t be happier about the sound quality. Music ebbs and flows and where orchestra crescendos used to send me to the volume control to turn it down, now explode with amazing control. It really is phenomenal.

For the first time ever for me, I am enjoying rock music over the Magnepans! I can't believe that the Magnepans can handle rock music at this level of enjoyment.

I have to give a great deal of credit to the Wyred 4 Sound DAC 1 for providing the cleanest, most relaxing digital presenation I have ever heard. My equipment is probably on the lower end cost-wise to most of you on this site, however, the combination of the DAC 1 and Magnepan 1.7 is absolutely incredible.

Soon, I will be visiting a gentleman with MBL loudspeakers and amp/preamp system. Best guess is that his investment is $50K to $100K in his stereo. I will be bringing my Wyred 4 Sound DAC 1 over to his place. He has no digital front end. Can't wait to hear it over a cost-is-no-object system.