New Goodies in the Genesis/Weiss Room
I was real excited to hear the advanced prototype of the new the SMC-1, a fully balanced linestage preamp collaboration between Steve McCormack and Gary Koh of Genesis. The preamp will come in two versions, the higher-priced of the two probably coming in around $8000. For the extra money, you get higher quality parts and a different sonic signature, which amounts to quite a lot.
Equally enticing was the Weiss DAC202, a FireWire-connected 24/192 DAC ($6500). The converter and analog output stage designs are completely different from those of its predecessor. There's also a remote volume control, and both digital and analogue volume controls. The DAC202 also has a headphone jack, and a word-clock input and output which allows you either use it as a master clock or synch it to a separate master clock.
Weiss also has introduced their new INT202 FireWire interface ($1300) that allows you to go from FireWire out from your computer to either AES/EBU or coaxial outputs on your DAC. It also has an optional volume control that enables you to control volume output from the DAC without use of a preamp. Daniel Weiss has embraced FireWire over USB because of its greater bandwidth. The new product also has a transparency feature that checks if playback is totally bit-transparent.
The rest of the system consisted of the CES 2010 "Innovations Award"-winning Genesis 7.1 F loudspeaker ($8000/pair, seen here with Gary Koh), Genesis GR180 Reference class-D amplifier ($4850), and MDHR (Maximum Dynamic Headroom Reservoir$3650), an upgraded external power supply for the amp. Connecting the speakers was the brand-new Genesis Absolute Fidelity loudspeaker interface speaker cable ($3000), designed by Gary Koh.