Wyred DACS

They released the final specs for their DACs last week. Shipping this month. Anybody order? The DAC-1 is quite reasonable, but not upgradable to the asynch-USB, which the DAC-2 has. The DAC-2 also has the I2S but I don't know what it's gonna connect to.
I plan on buying one. Rick is an excellent designer and is honest. I look forward to listening to the 2.
Tempting, but I'm waiting on full specs and maybe a review or two as I'm quite satisfied with my current source.
Going to Wyred today. Will find out more from Rick.
Sounded great at RMAF with the Sabre 9008 and now contains the superior Sabre 9018.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Please let us know what you find.
Went by Wyred to pick up a Wadia iTransport that I had modded.
Saw my future DAC. EJ was just putting the final tweaking on the DAC 1. Saw the DAC 1 and DAC 2 that were used in their web pictures. Still the robust unit I saw at RMAF. Huge power supply, superior parts, massive filtering.
The DAC 2 has more going on with the preamp section and all the inputs, outputs and bypass. Forgot to ask if the DAC2 could be used as a stand alone DAC if desired. Would assume so.
Production should be ramped up in the next week or two.
Price of the DAC 1 has been lowered to $999. The DAC2 will be $1499, seems like quite a bargain with the preamp and extra connections.
According to their site, DAC2 has volume control that can be bypassed. Seems to have all the bells and whistles at a (relatively) reasonable price.
Awaiting reports of sonic performance from users.
BTW: Are they planning a transport for use with the I2S input?
Magnum, do you know if the ht bypass input on the DAC 2 can be configured as an input for an analog source?
Emailed Rick today to ask about the defeatable volume control. I wasn't sure that meant it could run as a stand alone Dac without running through the volume control.
Johsti, I think the HT bypass is the usual sub connection.
Rja, not a mention of a transport.
Hopefully their Reference amps will be in production soon. New machined faceplates will adorn the Reference models.
Hope to hear reports on these as they become available.
Anyone receive theirs yet?
As for the I2S, I heard from W4S that they will be offering mods of an I2S output to existing players (Oppo for example was mentioned). Not sure if they will release their own transport.
I assume the I2S input on the W4S DAC2 is meant to be used with the PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport, which AFAIK is the only "off the shelf" transport that transmits I2S via HDMI. It therefore seems to me that the W4S DAC2 by doing both asynch USB and I2S via HDMI is trying to be a one-box solution to compete with the Ayre QB-9/Wavelength USB DACS and the PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC at a fraction of the price ($1500 for the DAC2 vs. $2500 for the Ayre QB-9 and $3000 retail for the Perfect Wave DAC.) Whether the W4S DAC will pull off this trick remains to be seen (or, heard). I can see W4S matching the sound quality of the PW DAC since they have modded so many PS Audio Digital Link IIIs, but I am somewhat doubtful that their asynch USB solution will sound as good as that developed by Wavelength and licensed to Ayre, especially since W4S is being a little mysterious about how they developed or obtained their asynch USB technology. I do know that they did not license it from Ayre.
The last word in my post above should be "Wavelength" not "Ayre".
Interested in this DAC.
Does anybody know if it will have balance control?
It has volume control, but not balance control.
The W4S DAC-2 has balance control using the remote.
thanks for the answers. it has balance control after all
DAC-2 owners,

How is the digital volume control? Has anyone decided to get rid of their preamp and using the digital volume in the DAC-2 instead?
Also, is there a phase switch on the DAC-2 remote?
yes. there's a phase button.
"Also, is there a phase switch on the DAC-2 remote?"
But , gentlemen and ladies: What is the sound like? Is this something that will enhance my squeezebox and NAD and Vandersteen 1C's to the point where I will definitely want to ditch my old Theta Pro Progency A DAC? I am really wanting to upgrade this but want to know if this will make a subtle difference or a very major one...too bad you can't hear these at a local shop...
I am supposed to receive delivery of my DAC2 today and will audition it over the next few days and report on my findings. I have had a number of CDP's and DAC's over the years and so feel that I will be able to tell if this is a quantum leap, an incremental improvement or just more of the same in a value package.

Does anyone know if the sound of the DAC-1 and DAC-2 are essentially the same? Does the DAC-2 just add a preamp, AES input, etc. to the DAC-1?
I'm thinking about replacing DacMagic with DAC-1.
Hey Neal: I am really looking forward to your comments!
I have a Dac Magic, it's not even close.. I also have a PS Audio PWD, and the W4S is close to the PS for a third of the price..
I have a Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 and would be interested in hearing anyone comparing it to the DAC2. It was my understanding, other than the USB, IS2 and the preamp functionality, the two are audibly identical. When I corresponded with Wyred 4 Sound, they indicated that the preamp function in the DAC2 is good but not as good as their integrated amps. This is why I went for the DAC1 with a Wyred 4 sound integrated coming up as my next purchase.

My system is comprised of Magnepan 1.7s, Bada Amp and Preamp (Chinese), Netgear 9150 which holds all of my 315 CDs feeding the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1. Amazingly good sound.
For those of you who received your Wyred DACs, please commenton your experiences and comparisons! Thanks from the rest of us.
Ronwills-Did you have another DAC before the DAC-1? If so, which DAC and how did it compare?
There's plenty of discussion about features. Can *anyone* offer comments on the sound? Have any reviews been done yet?

Many thanks in advance.

I was wondering if you received your DAC2 yet and what you think of it?

06-17-10: Nglazer
I am supposed to receive delivery of my DAC2 today and will audition it over the next few days and report on my findings. I have had a number of CDP's and DAC's over the years and so feel that I will be able to tell if this is a quantum leap, an incremental improvement or just more of the same in a value package.

I have not had time to listen to it long enough to form an intelligent opinion. Designer says 100-200 hr burn-in. I have listened about 5 hrs. Will report at closer to 100 hrs. so it gets a fair shake.

Thanks Neal,

I'm sure we are all looking forward to hear what you have to say about it, whether it's good or bad.

Best regards,
No Regrets
I have about 20 hours on my DAC-2, waiting until I get some more hours on it before writing a review on the unit. I will also have access to a DAC-1 to compare it to.

So far my impressions are very favorable. My Nova doesn't even compare.
I've had the DAC-2 for over a month now. I'd guess it has almost four hundred hours on it. I first compared it to my old Lite DAC-AH from Pacific Electric. The Lite DAC has a super hot signal and distorts sometimes. It sounded decent but I've been looking for more soundstage and detail. Its strength was decent mids. The W4S easily bested it in all areas. Next I brought it to my friend's who has a Jolida/Vandersteen rig. We A-B between his ADCOM GDA700 DAC and the W4S. On his system it was tough to pick a winner. It was evenly split between a draw, the ADCOM and the W4S winning. Then I brought the ADCOM to my place for a week. About half the time it was a draw and half the time the sound stage and detail really blossomed with the W4S. I'd spent 3 weeks in critical listening and was feeling worn out from it. I removed the ADCOM from the system and let some time pass. I had about 300 hours on it and I mentioned in an email to w4s that I wasn't sure if the bass was doing it for me. Then while listening that night I started to feel quite differently and the next day I emailed EJ a retraction and said the bass was sounding better. Now a week after those emails the bass has opened up even more. Tight and accurate as I was used to, but stronger and deeper. Something good happened between 250 and 400 hours. For a while I thought it might be my ears, but with more time I'm feeling confident that it's the break in still doing it's thing. For instance, this second I have on Yo La Tengo "Don't Have to Be Sad" on and the bass line is sounding great: detailed with presence. I haven't listened to expensive DACs (except in pro-audio studios), so I don't have the experience of many others here on Audiogon. But I've had to do a lot of careful listening for work over the years. Overall I'm very happy with it. I was getting a bit worn out from comparing DACs and weighing its value. Luckily that's passed.

The 3D soundstage is excellent. The highs are real nice: nothing harsh, doesn't wear on you, there is more detail there than I'm used to. The mids also improved over the break-in and and are sounding sweet: fat guitar licks and Dinah Washington's voice sound great.

I believe the DAC is decently neutral. But really can only guess considering we all have room issues and only components. I'm guessing the other components and my room color the sound more than my dac. The dac has some options for controlling the PCM roll off which are functions of the chip. Haven't evaluated it's effect on the sound yet.

I'm going out of the mac mini via toslink and USB. There is an issue with the USB route getting delayed/buffered inside the mini. Been talking with EJ about it. The Mac doesn't seem to have a way to adjust the buffer. I think he said there was a way to do it with PCs. When I watch videos I switch the output to toslink. It was pretty easy to write an AppleScript with keystroke to switch the inputs back and forth. Hopefully it might get solved down the road. The two methods mostly sound similar.

I'm not gonna write up a formal review. I wrote up these notes because folks here are eager to here opinions. I'm quite happy with the DAC and will be keeping it. I'd still like more of an in the same room as the band sound from my system. Not sure it's possible for a DAC to help anymore with that issue. I think the low jitter/async aspect of the DAC has helped with that a lot. Now I need to work, get outside and start enjoying just listening again. :) Of course, now my minding is starting to wonder about room treatments (stop it, just stop it).

Good luck to everyone on their choices. I'd also like to say that EJ at W4S has been very communicative with me regarding my questions and concerns. Which I'm sure was a challenge considering how many new and prospective costumers he's had to deal with lately.
Hey Smholl did you get your Dac 1 yet?? What do you think?
Cutterfilm... thanks for sharing your experiences with the Wyred DAC2. I'm trying to decide on a DAC upgrade but comparison info is hard to come by. For my system and budget the Wyred DAC2, Bryston or PS Audio PW seem like the best bet. If anyone has done a direct comparison please let me know.
Cutterfilm, what brands/model cables are you using, toslink, interconnects, power cord?
Cutterfilm I asked about cables because the W4S responds very well to good cables. I'd at least try one of these VDH toslinks out. It would be The choice since it's the only high end toslink I know that can be had with a mini toslink at one end, and it's not very expensive and it's been universally lauded for it's exceptional SQ. http://www.bluebirdmusic.com/Van%20den%20Hul%20AV%20Cables.htm
I have been living with the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 now for several months. My system consists of Magnepan 1.7s, Bada hybrid tube preamp and solid state amp, Netgear 9150 music and video server and Xindak cables. Total investment less than $6,000.

I recently visited a gentleman who has MBL 111E speakers ($30K) and top of the line MBL monoblocks along with analog front end. While it was very impressive, the Magnepan 1.7s powered by the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 give his system a run for the money at 1/20 of the cost.

I recently tried some 96 khz/24 bit downloads and was blown away by the sound quality. Very 3 dimensional. I had replaced a Pacific Sounds Modified DAC with the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 and, while the Pacific Sounds DAC was an over performer, it is bested by the Wyred 4 Sound DAC in detail, space around instruments and attack.

I am shocked at times how realistic the system sounds. And much of the credit goes to the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 which is truly a musical DAC and well worth its price.
The DAC is using a Shunyata Diamondback power cord, a Kimber USB cable, and a Blue Jeans optical cable. The Blue Jeans didn't cost a lot. So far it sounds good. Over time I'll keep A-B-ing it with the USB. Not sure I'm gonna put more money into cables right now. But thanks for the suggestion. When I'm listening to music, it'll mostly be through the USB.

Also, I have listened to some hi-res audio. The Raising Sand record sounds great in 24/96. I've compared 16/44 to 24/44 for some of the Beatles catalog. The 24 sounds superior. Not sure if they're mastered quite the same though.
I will give my brief comments on DAC2 after only 20 hrs of listening, well short of the recommended 100-200 hrs burn-in. I will preface my comments by stating I approached this audition with healthy skepticism an inexpensive DAC like this, so loaded with features, from a relatively new company could play with the big boys.

This DAC is so much better than it has any right to be for its price -- or even 3x its price -- I am wondering if mfr. misread the market. Even though it is still relatively raw, I am enjoying listening to it, my most important criterion for new equipment. It will replace my beloved Dodson 218 (unless I find something significantly better that is not several multiples of DAC2 price) and while in certain respects it does not (yet) equal the Dodson, I think in the end it may exceed it, and the added facilities like USB input (although no BNC) certainly make it a more contemporary option.

Note that so far, I am using only AES/EBU input set at fixed level, with transport a CEC TL-1X modded by RAM. DAC is playing through my Wyetech Opal pre, so cannot comment on how DAC2 operates as pre. Analog output IC's are Stealth Indras. Cannot comment yet on USB input sound.

Soundstage and dimensionality are excellent. Quite startling holographic sound. DAC also is so quiet I find myself noticing just how quiet it is; counterintuitive, I know, but true nonetheless. And the vocals are the most natural and realistic I have ever heard on my system. I was listening to Tift Merrit's new CD last night (excellent, BTW)and her virtual presence in the room sent chills up my spine. Highs are smooth but have not yet fully opened up; so far good enough. Same with bass, deep enough but still a bit loose. But nothing about the sound bothers me, and as I said, I enjoy it immensely. Have not yet played around with anti-resonance or vibration tweaks, or changed digicable or PC (Stealth Sextet and Nordost Valhalla), so cannot comment on whether that would improve sound.

My kids like its looks but I think it is engagingly unattractive, but very solidly built. One gripe I have is that the instruction manual is pretty weak (at least to me) on how to adjust the settings for the multiple inputs. I stumbled into the fixed setting for AES/EBU and coax and am not sure I could replicate it if I had to. They also do not provide an illustration of the rear inputs, but any experienced audiophile can figure it out . The remote is convenient and works well.

All in all, a very promising product that so far seems to be one of the greatest steals in audio history, and I have been at this mania for 40 years.

Will report further as DAC2 seasons.

N.B. I auditioned a SONY 5400 a few months ago. IMHO, it cannot be mentioned in same sentence as DAC2, the latter is so much better.

I bit the bullet on this today. Was going to go for the DAC 1, but then decided I might as well be ready for the future and hi res.
I'm gonna move my Classe' cap 151 integrated into the sysetm as well and we'll see what the VAndersteen 1C's can do.
Can't wait for that DAC 2 to arrive!
Just placed my order too. 3 week backorder time.
Now need to decide as to whether to go with a AES/EBU cable or a SPIDF (RCA digital cable). Any suggestions? It will be mated to a Bryston BCD-1.
Just a note; I contacted them about a bnc input and they said no problem. Just let them know that you want a bnc in place of one of the RCAs. Something to consider.
I personally prefer bnc to RCA for SPDIF.
BNC input, that's a very helpful info. I always read that BNC is better than RCA. But aren't they both 75ohm, with the same type of signal? How are they differ? The BNC to RCA is just a tip changer, even the most highend ones.
The message that I keep hearing about BNC vs. RCA is that BNC is a legitimate 75 ohm connector, whereas the dimensions of RCA prevent it from reaching a true 75 ohms. Because of this, BNC is the preferred connector if your gear allows it.
One of the problems with BNC is that very few top digital cables come with BNC terminations.

Even a $29.00 digital cable from Signal Cable comes with a choice of BNC or RCA for the same cost. Just did an RCA on one end and BNC on the other, seemed like no big problem.
I stand corrected, Pkubica. I checked the sites for Stealth and Nordost and they do supply digital cables with a BNC termination. I just have not seen many BNC terminated digicables on the used market, which is where many of us buy our digicables. I do have an inexpensive Chris Sommogio (ph.) cable from a few years ago that has a SPDIF adaptor over a bnc termination for greater versatility. I tried both when I had my prior DAC and could not hear any difference.