W4S DAC1/STI-500 vs DAC2/ST-500

Can anyone provide some comments about the W4S gears below? Which one is better? Thanks.


I have a DAC2 and a STI-1000. I have tried using the Dac2's pre-amp in HT bypass on the STI and something was missing.The DAC2's sound was not bad but the STI's was superior. I prefer the STI's pre-amp section to the DAC2's.

The pre-amp in the STI is very different than what is built into the DAC2.

Of your choices I would buy the DAC1 and the STI because the DAC1 will probable be long gone because of advances in technoloy when th STI will still be great integrated amp.
Only you can know which is better. It is a personal decision.
Whats your setup?
Thanks, Tubeking. That helps.

If your using home theater bypass on the DAC2 why not go directly into the power amp?
Have you tried that configuration?
I'd go for the DAC2 + ST500. We did actually.

The preamp stage of the DAC2 is taken from the STPSE.

It also offers an upgrade path for an STPSE in the end ;)
oh - I thought the sti-500 was their preamp but now I see its actually their integrated amp

So please disregard question! :)
The HT bpass in NOT on the DAC2 it's on the STI.

The HT bypass is the equivlant to direct to amp for the STI integrated amp.

The pre amp section of the DAC2 is not the same as the pre amp of the STI. The STI IS based on W4S pre amp.

As far as I can determine the pre amp built into the DAC2 is not. My guess would be possabily it is in the digital domain where as the STI is a resitive ladder arrangement with some added boost at higher volumes.
What I meant was the analog output stage of the DAC2 where they use the same upgraded components as the STP-SE.

I agree not everyone likes the digital volume control of most DACs