What other DACs and amps do you have experience with, other than the Anedio? That might give people a better idea of where you are coming from.
Review: Resonessence Labs Invicta - new high end DAC/amp/playback system - Page 6
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Not that many, but here is what I have heard (and owned):
DACs (w/wo internal headphone amp):
Headroom Desktop Max (amp + dac)
Headroom UDAC (first version)
NuForce Icon HDP
I hope you'll post some impressions, as I'm very interested in their comparative sound signatures.
Nice! All should be extremely good, to the point where there really won't be any loser in the comparison..... But I'm also intrigued to hear your thoughts.
I don't think that functionality is done yet, but I could be wrong.
Well, I tried the Weiss dac 202. This was a very nice sounding dac but had so many bugs in it that I returned it after a few days. I have no idea why Weiss just doesn't offer a hirez usb input and the toslink won't do hirez.The firewire was so buggy( even after updates) that I simply gave up. I also had my son look at it( he is a computer engineer) and he couldn't believe how much processing power it was using.In his opnion the drivers weren't very well written........ The Meitner MA-1 is a very very good sounding dac as well as the Invicta. The invicta has the best transient response and bottom end control I have heard from any dac.The Meitner and Invicta just sound different. I wish I could afford to keep both but the Invicta is defintely a "BEST BUY" . All of these dacs are very dependant on HOW you feed them but are all capable of very very good sound. I have only had the Invicta for a couple of days and the Meitner for about a week or so.I will report further next week...
Ok, got a chance again to hear the Weiss minus the bugs. Here follows a brief report.
I recently had the opportunity to audition these 3 dacs side by side in my system.
First I want to state the importance of proper set-up for each dac as it would be very easy to come to the wrong conclusions. The settings were different for each one to get the best sound. Also upgrading from a cheap usb cable to the $60 kimber usb cable made a very noticeable difference. This is the best $60 you could spend if you decide to get into computer audio.
This will just be a very very brief review and is only my opinions of these dacs in my system. As always YMMV.
First up was the Weiss dac 202( $6690).This dac has a built in preamp and I tried it on it's own as well as through the Bryston preamp.I preferred the sound through the Bryston as the attack was better and sounded a little more solid.For this dac I initially tried the firewire connection.
The Weiss Dac202 is a wonderful dac with beautiful life like midrange and an airy top end. The sound staging presented by this dac is exceptional with great 3d effects and front to back layering. Cymbals sound open and real . It's almost as though the drummer is in the room.The timbral midrange accuracy of this dac is superb but is ever so slightly bloated. Voices while very very good sound just a tad larger than real life. The two main areas of weakness for this dac in my opinion are in the bass region and the attack( or transient response).The bass is a little bloated and sluggish but an even bigger weakness is the attack. A $6690 dollar dac should have good transient response in my books and the Weiss just doesn't have it.
Next up was the Invicta( $3995). This dac uses the highly regarded sabre chips and is engineered by the guys who created those same sabre chips.This dac also has a built in preamp. I tried it both with and without the Bryston but found it better on it's own. It has a world class preamp section. I used the USB connection as I found this the best sounding out of the ones I was able to try. I will say right here this dac has the best transient response of any dac I have ever heard and it has the best bass control of any I have heard as well. Voices sound completely real and the right size.Pipe organ recording are so real it is uncanny. This dac also has pin point imaging for those who value that aspect.It is important to get the set-up right or it can sound slightly edgy.However properly set-up the highs are extended and sweet with an airiness around the individual performers.In the 6moons review of this dac they said it sounded virtually identical to the Weiss Dac2. I had that dac and I say the guy must be half deaf as the Invicta is far superior.At a price of $3995 the Invicta is an absolute steal.
Last but not least is the Meitner MA-1.For the music lover this dac is about as close as you can get to digital nirvana.It doesn't have the transient response of the Invicta but close. It doesn't have the bass authority of the Invicta but again close. What it does have is the most natural highs I have ever heard from digital and even better imaging than the Weiss dac202. The Meitner has a very high degree of resolution but still manages to sound musical.
So, what does all this mean?
Well,if properly set-up in a blind test I think most audiophiles would pick the Meitner or Invicta but the Weiss would be a good choice as well.
If money was an issue I would pick the Invicta.
If I was a recording engineer and could buy any dac on the planet I would probably but the Invicta.
I ended up buying the Meitner but also plan to buy the Invicta as well in a few months when I can afford it...
I was really torn between the Invicta and Meitner. The invicta simply does certain things better than any other dac I've heard which is why I plan on buying it as well in the near future.The Meitner is better on certain recordings and the Invicta was better on others. Again this is simply my opinion and of course in my system...
As always YMMV..
Edited by canuck525 - 12/7/11 at 3:00pm
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On behalf of Resonessence Labs, thanks for taking the time to put our Invicta through the paces. New firmware is just around the corner as we are beta testing now.
I recently joined this blog to help liaison between your members and Resonessence Labs.
If I can be of any assistance to member's please post a message privately or in another thread....lets not hi-jack this one.
Just noticed on the Resonessence website that there is new software available for downloading (version 2.1.0). It apparently adds 5 new digital filters in addition to several new operational features. They do mention that playback of FLAC files from the SD card will be available at end of August (should be a welcome update for many Invicta users). I have the Invicta but have not yet installed the updated software - should be doing so shortly. If anyone here who has an Invicta has installed the new filters, I would be interested in your opinion -- it's difficult to get a feeling how the filters actually affect SQ just from reading their description.