i've heard the Minerva. as much as i wanted to like it, i found it to sound rather artificial (it had a "copy & paste" type of presentation / very little cohesion btw the performers). the Weiss Medea DAC i heard immediately after that was MUCH better.
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Has anyone compared the Minerva with BOTH Firewire and XLR cable from a Lynx AE16 card?
I hope all posters will indicate which INTERFACE they are using AND identify the SOURCE component or computer!
Also, a comparison between the Minerva DAC and the Berkeley Alpha DAC would be great but the interfaces and sources used must be disclosed in each case. Both accept XLR.
Thanks in advance for accurate info!
I've heard the Minerva against the Berkeley, both being fed AES/EBU from a very high-quality server. However, the Berkeley was run directly into the amps while the Minerva was run through a preamp. I expect to hear the two compared again in a few days, in a completely different system.
In that first setting, I preferred the Berkeley in every way. But it might be different in a different system.
I recently acquired the Weiss Minerva. I also own the PD MPS5, Esoteric P03-D03-rubidium clock, as well as some other reference grade digital gear. Using a Macbook Pro and setting the output to 24/96 while streaming FLAC files, I was very impressed. The sound was inviting, musical and instilled a sense of rhythm and timing, reminding me of the Naim digital gear I used to own. The output on the Minerva is very high, 6V RCA or XLR (about +17.7 dBu). Not all preamps may like this high an input voltage.
I have not had enough time to evaluate it critically but I am very impressed with the Weiss. However, I just installed it in a different system in a different location and can no longer run a side by side comparison. My impression of the Minerva is such that I would consider auditioning a Medea. Incidentally, I will soon have the Wadia 9 series on hand - it will be interesting to compare all of these units.
I am the US Distributor of Weiss products. You can contact me at:
Precision Audio & Video
12277 Arbor Hill St.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Minervas are currently available and in production. Shipping should take only several weeks at the most.
Best wishes to everybody,
I finally got the DAC since a week, Ive got about 50+ Hours on it.
Off the bat the difference between my AA Prestige are;
a) I can now UP SAMPLE all my music to 192KHz which in principle is not possible on my AA via COAX.
b) To my ears its darker than the AA, its tone is neutral. The AA's tone is beautiful but perhaps veiled in comparison for a lack of better term.
c) SPEED! the ability to resolve a note/passage is way better than the AA, on complex recordings or on rock music the AA can sound a little confused sometimes well the WEISS just does it well!
d) Lastly the TEST disc that I got with the DAC a HRx Reference Recordings DVD SAMPLED @176KHz according to me takes DIGITAL to another level *Again I've not heard everything in the world of 2-ch* but this is SERIOUS and unfortunately I cant think of another *STANDARD NON-USB* DAC or maybe even USB Dacs which dont lock @ 176KHz would realize what this has in store! for digital.
A Wonderful DAC I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking to foray into Computer Audio. Would love to hear the Berkly Audio Design too.
A Couple of Pics below.
Long time no speak! How are you doing?
Good to read your feedback on the Weiss Medea DAC & good to read that you like the sonics from it.
I believe that MBJ also received his Medea (you guys probably got it from the same source in Delhi??) but I believe that he has not yet installed his?
The DAC is 'Minerva' & not the Medea !
The Medea is an older DAC & is much much more exp.
This is a 'new' DAC & it is relatively 'cheap'
The greatest usp of it is that it can connect to the Mother board of a Computer / Music Server with a Firewire - 13944 - 6 pin cable.
No Sound Card is required.
HDD - CPu - RAM - Firewire Port - Minerva
This is the product.
Basically in the HRX - Ref Rec CD [DVD] it is 'miles' ahead of anything I have heard.
dCS / Teac Esoteric / EMM etc. etc.
There is just no comparison.
However, I still need to listen to this DAC [with a computer as a transport] against 'respectable' CD Players in my set up, before I pass any judgement.
That will happen after 1 month.
Shall post again.
Mumbai - India
Going forward or even right now with various options available to UP-SAMPLE to 192KHz makes a difference on SQ and eventually when one has a wider collection of software for Hi-Rez PCM it would be essential to have it available on DAC's.
I don't know if this would be the norm or not but one thing is for sure it betters SACD without a iota of doubt, i.e. HRx Reference Recordings and others like it! (PCM).
Yes (single) spdif coax and optical are limited to 96/24 whereas (Dual) AES/EBU maybe spdif too are capable of MAX 176K! Whereas the Minerva is capable on firewire @ 192KHz!!.
Other USB dac's that I've seen are mostly capable of 44.1K and a few for eg. Bel Canto DAC3... make 96/24 possible, principally they are capable of 211/32 please correct me if I'm wrong.
exactly. except for the Weiss Minerva, most of these so called "true 24/176 or 192 DACs" don't utilize digital connectors that are even capable of this high native sample rate (& none of these DACs mentioned hv dual AES/EBU, SPDIF, Toslink inputs), so how in the world are they "true 24/176 or 192 DACs"??
you might also wish to look into yr music s/ware's audio resolution. as far as i'm aware, not all s/ware will do 24 bit (e.g. iTunes, etc. will only do 16 bit max). this is not related to what bit rate you actually "lock" yr computer:DAC at... if yr music s/ware's unable to feed 24 bit data to yr computer, then yr computer will not be feeding 24 bit data to yr DAC.
anyway, with regards to the Weiss Minerva, i hv previously compared this DAC at 24/176 against Weiss Medea doing 24/88. downstream components consisted of Gryphon's top-of-the-line components & Gryphon Atlantis speakers. to me, Medea still sounded much better despite Minerva having a higher native sample rate. guess specs may not always tell the whole picture?!
this is all a bit confusing...
aren't AES/EBU, SPDIF Coax, & Toslink cables limited to 24bit 96kHz bandwidth, & USB 2.0 cables limited to 24bit 48kHz bandwidth?
how does one feed raw 24bit 176kHz (&/or 196kHz) data into these DACs with just a single cable?
Hello Sir [Alexsee] !
You are correct;
SPDIF & AES/EBU cannot carry more than 24/96.
Hence, top end Transport & DAC's [Esoteric & dCS] use 'dual' connections. Left & Right from Transport to DAC. Even Chord has 2 cables & that too can only transmit 176 Khz.
Basically, to send 24/192 from a transport to a DAC either a 'firewire' has to be used or a 'proprietory' cable like what is used by Accuphase.
However, all those DAC's [Teac / dCS / Accuphase] cannot accept digital inputs from a computer, since no computer sound card gives you 2 digital outs [192 KHz sampling].
USB too cannot support sampling frequencies of 192 Khz.
Basically, one needs to get 3 things sorted out.
A - Digital out from a 'source' [computer or CD Transport] @ 192 Khz.
B - DAC that can accept 192 KHz & 'lock' @ that rate.
C - Word Clock [master / slave]
Yes, the HRX recordings from RR are from a 'different planet' Just too good. No CD / SACD can come close to it ! All must hear them. Keith Johnson has done a great job !! Bravo !!
hi Schwinnindia, i agree with yr 3 pts & would like to add another 2:
D - media software needs to be compatible with high def audio files;
& most important of all...
E - there needs to be more titles/albums properly remastered in high def audio formats (no point investing in all this gear to listen to the same 10 CDs over & over).
anyway, i've not managed to hear RR's HRx, but do hv quite a number of RR's discs - which are also very good but prob nowhere near HRx (in a proper setup).
btw, is anyone currently using the Lynx AES-16 24/192 digital I/O? what kind of cables/connectors does this btw the I/O & the DAC?
This still clocks @ 24/96
Cannot do 24/192
The Digital Out on the Lynx Card cannot give 192 Khz out on a SPDIf - AES / EBU.
So any External DAC only gets a 92 KHz input.
Forget RR HRX recordings.
This Minerva can accept 24/192 output from a computer. That can only happen via firewire. This is its biggest USP. Even dCS has the same cable connection format for its Scarlati System.
Interesting that you need two cables to get the high bitrates. I have a Cary Audio 306 Pro with digital inputs and it states in the manual that it accepts up to 192 khz 24 bit and will accept digital inputs at the following sample rates: 32khz, 44.1khz, 48 khz, 88.2 khz, 96 khz, and 192 khz and it accepts 16, 20, or 24 bits. When I feed it hi rez downloads via a dvd player like the Oppo, the display reads the proper sample rates (have done up to and including 192). If what you say is true, then this should not be possible (as it only has Coax, Toslink, and AES/EBU digital inputs and only one of each). It sure sounds good and will oversample at various rates up to 768hz for CD playback (via analog outs) and will playback digital inputs at 44.1, 96, or 192hz. I am not attempting to compare this CD/SACD player and DAC to the Weiss as I have not heard the Weiss, but I am curious as to the explanation for difference between what the unit display and manual by Cary say and what I am reading here. Thanks for any explanation, and please accept my apology if the answer is obvious and I am just too dense to know it. :)
We have the same CD Player.
Mine is Black - Serial # 08306PV6044 - Black.
This is a superb CD Player. Great VFM !!!
Your question is valid & I do not have an answer for it.
My 'technical provice' is rather limited; so I too ask for forgivness - in the event of some misrepresentation, however, from what ever little I know, 24/96 can go on SPDIF / AES-EBU.
However, 24/192 needs 2 cables.
This is done in Chord [Blu + 64]
Teac Esoteric - P3 + D3 & P0 + D0 etc.
USB can do 24/96. Again 24/192 is not possible.
Except for Firewire nothing I know that can transmit 24/192.
Can your Oppo DVD give a 24/192 output ?
24/92 - yes I can accept, but 24/192. I do not know....
Cary Audio CD 306 SACD Professional [Serial # 08306PV6044 - Black]
Meridian 808i.2 Signature Reference CD Player [Serial # 808-200379]
Bow Technologies ZZ Eight - 2008 Version - V8 [Serial # 1528] - Signature [BT]
Weiss Minerva - 1394 Firewire DAC - Black [Serial # 1118]
All I know is what the display on the machines say. However, a friend (who brought is Oppo over to test out the Cary) says he uses a Sound Devices 722 Recorder: http://www.sounddevices.com/products/722.htm
This recorder has 24/192 capability and only has one aes/ebu and only one spdif in and out and it has no trouble handling 24/192. The Cary shows 192hz on the display when fed the 192hz signal from the Oppo. When I talked to my friend, he volunteered to call Benchmark (Benchmark Dac folks) as he knows them well. What my friend says he was told is that initially two cables were used to transmit the high bitrate signals. Subsequently, and for the last 5 years or so, digital cables, such as SPDIF have been found to be fully capable of handling 24/192 signals and thus it is no longer necessary to use two cables for high bitrate digital signals up to 24/192. My friend called using two cables to transmit high bitrate "old technology". I don't know any of this information personally, and this is obviously hearsay, but my friend does a great deal of recording and has a great interest in high bitrate digital recording. I guess I have answered my own query and hope that this helps.
A simple test if possible would be to connect a computer with a sound card capable of 24/192 connected to your cary's digital in and stream music via foobar or equivalent @ 192K and see if plays!
If it does then yes it works!!
Until then I will dig out some white papers on SPDIF and see it does allow it!
Wish someone from the Industry could chime in on the same!
Below is a few threads talking about the same.
All conclude its RARE or maybe non-existent to transmit 192K/24Bits on S/PDIF perhaps I2s it is possible too.
Theoretical limit of S/PDIF is 25MBPS so a 192K 24Bit signal should be about in the range of 12MEGS which is on the border of supporting it after taking into account transmission loss. I don't know how the STACK is designed (maybe unfair to compare) but in basic networking(TC/PIP) there's a 70% transmission loss!!!
Hopefully we have more educated people tell us more about it.
With all due respect, Schwinnindia and some others are absolutely mistaken. As far as the Playback Designs and maybe a few other players and, or DACs, AES/EBU and SPDIF are truly capable of going up to up to 192kHz with a single cable. TOSLINK is limited to 96kHz.
There are some sound cards that support hi-rez output through single AES/EBU or SP/DIF cables. The Lynx AES 16 is one of them. The Playback Designs will receive these hi-res files and recognize the true bandwidth at up to 24 bits. As a matter of fact, it will even convert these files to twice the sample rate of DSD.
We just exhibited at CES / T.H.E. Show playing TRUE 24/192 through a single AES/EBU cable.