Weiss is so underrated

I have had the Weiss DAC 202 in my system for about a year now being used in a very ambitious and high resolution system. But then I got that typical audiophile itch and given that this DAC was the lowest priced component in my system, I thought that it was time for me to focus on a new DAC. So with the help of some friends and a local deal I got the following DACs to try in my system for an extended period of time: Berkeley Audio DAC 2 + Alpha USB, Calyx Femto, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC2 and DCS Vivaldi.

The Berkeley was the most analog sounding DAC and had great image focus. In comparison when inserting the Femto I could immediately hear a slight loss of focus on the location of instruments or voices. The Berkeley also has a very little electronic signature in high frequencies which is very impressive, especially at this price point.

The Femto DAC is quite an impressive machine with a well balanced sound. It is a substantial leap over the PS Audio DAC in every way. The Femto has a sound that should work well in virtually any system although it is a little on the dry side. But ultimately it's lack of tight focus of images bothered me.

While the Berkeley has a terrific analog sound and no matter how much you dissect it there is very little if anything that one can fault about his DAC, there is something about it that I found just doesn't suck you into the music. I often found my attention wandering and being distracted while listening to it.

The Vivaldi is by far the most expensive in the group and while it was impressive at a lot of things, in particular how it was able to remain composed during complex passages, it has a certain bright sound that just sounds very artificial to me. It has that sound that is remarkable for audiophile demo discs, but when just listening to music you enjoy I found it to be disappointing overall.

The PS Audio doesn't even come close to any of the DACs in this group. It sounds lifeless, flat, and dull in comparison. Any experienced listener will hear this right away. Beautifully made machine with great specs, but it just doesn't deliver the musical goods at all. I would say that it sounds like kind of how CD players sounded in the early 90s.

But let me tell you, the Weiss despite its relatively low price point beat every DAC in this group, including the mighty Vivaldi. It's soundstage is absolutely massive, much wider and deeper than the other DACs which makes it feel like you are listening in a much larger space (the opposite of Berkeley). And then it also has this incredible airiness that is very special to hear. Images float on silky smooth and airy presentation which is supported by a very dynamic foundation. It is just a thrill to listen to this DAC. The bass is also the most dynamic (although not very deep) that I heard which gives everything far more rhythm and pace.

So the conclusion is the Weiss 202 is a very serious piece of equipment, a remarkable bargain, and probably one of the best DACs out there regardless of price. Has anyone else done an direct A/B comparison with the Weiss? Does your opinion mirror mine?
Dweinstein, one thing I've learned concerning "hi end" is there are a lot of differing views and opinions. Your pursuit of "perfect sound" can become a full circle, like a dog chasing it's tail. I agree with you in that we all want to improve our systems but when "improve" comes at the expense of reasonable reason enough IS enough.

For a person of means to write a check for whatever it is he wants is one thing, I have no problem with it, but when one makes major sacrifices at not only the expense of himself but his loved ones in the pursuit of "perfect sound" it seems to me maybe too obsessive? Really, after all, isn't this about musical enjoyment over some unattainable ideal? I'd only add that based on your comments on this thread, you'll NEVER find what you are looking for, it just doesn't exist. What the hobby SHOULD be about is the means to enjoy the simple pleasure of listening to music. There is a reasonable point where that truly exists, sometimes simple is not only good but better. Unfortunately, the hi-end media propogates the myth that the next best greatest thing is right around the corner which is in THEIR interest as well as the manufacturers' of much of the high price hokum out there. Yes, I've heard enough to consider that a reasonable statement. Hey, you're happy with your Weiss, good for you! Don't kid yourself into thinking that it is some kind of "budget" product though. Again, only if you can simply write the check in which case it just doesn't matter only to the ones that think like you and can't.
go here to read one of many reviews posted in cyberland proclaiming the PWDII superior to the Weiss202.

No doubt, the Weiss is a great sounding DAC - I've heard it many times. Here's the thing; (if) the Weiss DAC 202 represents high-end - if that's the benchmark - then the PWD II is without argument a high end DAC. Neither can compete equally with the true state of the art (e.g.: dCS)...

Die thread die..........
ADDENDUM...........Correction to my previous post:

Sorry to hog this thread, but I only realized after I posted my previous thread, that the reviewer was comparing the original PWD (not the current MKII version) to the Weiss 202 - and the reviewer preferred the PWD...