Time To Get Weiss?

While bunches 'o companies were hopping on the USB DAC bandwagon, Weiss quietly goes their own way, focusing on getting the audio out of your computer via FireWire. The company also sells professional audio equipment.

Their consumer division's Minerva and Vesta converters both accept only FireWire or S/PDIF and provide an AES/EBU and S/PDIF output, with the Minerva also offering both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.

President and Founder Daniel Weiss was on hand to demonstrate the products connected to an Apple notebook and using iTunes with the Amarra music server software to get high resolution files out to the FireWire port.

The Vesta retails for approximately $4,300 and the Minerva around $5,000.

Sean Heath's picture

The main benefit of Firewire is it handles 24/192 , USB will only do 24/96 at this time. A well designed DAC, such as the Benchmark, will handle USB jitter issues

David Dlugos's picture

Boy is it good to see some hi-end computer oriented DACs with the proper interface for media. USB is OK for cheap DACs, but FireWire is far better.dave

John Atkinson's picture

From my experience with Metric Halo gear, Firewire does seem to sidestep the timing issues in streamed audio via USB, other than in the new Wavelength, Ayre, and dCS DACs, which use the protocol's asynchronous mode. Daniel Weiss's earlier AES/EBU input Medea processor - search for the review in our free on-line archives - was one of the best-measuring I have encountered, BTW. I am hoping to get an Amarra system for review.

Charles Hansen's picture

Actually only USB 1.1 is limited to 96/24. (In fact, it could do more, but it would be non-standard -- like 192/20 for example.) USB 2.0 can easily do 192/24, but the only problem is that only Mac's have the native drivers to do this. Windows and Linux require custom drivers. This will get fixed soon. And FireWire is disappearing from most computers. It's kind of like SCSI was -- a nice high-performance interface, but too expensive for the mass market. So it disappeared.

grinch's picture

The Weiss DAC2 is the same as the Minerva, minus the RCA sockets, minus the fancy casework, minus $2,000. That's why it will never be reviewed. :-)

time to get weiss?'s picture

Weiss ist heiss?