To my surprise Purk had the new matix dac demo unit on display, and had it set up for a blind comparison with the w4s 2 dac. His amp had a source toggle switch that made quick easy switching between both sources. I wasn't aware of which one was which until after the comparison when I took a peek at the wiring on the back of the amp. The w4s was on the left, the matix on the right, but he had the cabling reverse with the toggle switch. A few who thought they were picking the w4s were actually picking the matrix instead. I don't know if Purk did this intentionally or not but it was a smart move since turning the toggle switch to the left was actually selecting the dac on the right.
What I liked about the matrix was it's clean, colorless sound. The dac didn't impart any sound signature on it's own and just got out of way. The sound was very neutral, with a very wide sound stage, and great extension. But I ultimately prefer the w4s. It wasn't quiet as neutral as the matrix, but it had more body, better depth and layering, and just a little more punch in the bass. But the matrix was still a great sounding dac and I liked it alot.
So the Matrix DAC was the one at Switch-Left? Quite clever of purk, I must say. I remember thinking the one on the left looked much more substantial, so it "fit" with my impression of the sound - better, more substantial, greater clarity, etc. On the other hand, I thought the Matrix box looked a little cheap.
At least I got the direction right (left) with everyone else.
Regarding the DAC shoot out, the "Switch-Left" is the W4S DAC-2, and "Switch-Right" is the Matrix X-Sabre DAC. Hope that clear thing up a bit. The DAC to the left of the amp is W4S Dac-2 while the right one is the Matrix X-Sabre. Approximately 10 people have participated in the shootout, hopefully they can post their impression as well. Thanks guys.
Edited by purk - 5/9/13 at 12:18am