The DAC 200 can be set as a pure DAC as its volume control can be set to a line level output. I have demoed both and prefer the DAC 200, but take that as you will as I am a T+A dealer.
The DAC 200 has a wider bandwidth resulting in a wider, deeper soundstage. It is also a bit more organic and revealing in character. The 501 becomes more worth it if you take advantage of its room correction capabilities, but sometimes it as a bit more of a sterile sonic signature, obviously sucking some of the color that your room adds to the final result. I have typically shied away from DSP room correction because of this.
with no exaggeration, i have tried (in my own system) some50 dacs since early 2020 (ranging from a few hundred $ to many thousand $)
the weiss 501 is one (of a handful) i have kept, i value its very rich feature set, its small footprint, and its spacious, precise, energetic ’straight wire with gain’ nature of sound... yes, poor recordings will sound poor, there is little in the way of ’masking’ -- i do have other dacs that nicely color the sound, one way or another, but the weiss for me is truly a ’reference’ unit - i recently upgraded to the latest version ’4 ch’ with updated processor chip
@jasbirnandra, Like you I have to go blind - at least for now. And based on the information I gathered, I would go with the T+A DAC 200, if these were the only 2 DACs. For me the reasons are completely different. The primary being that the T+A can do DSD, while the Weiss cannot. I don't want to go into the discussion of PCM Vs DSD because that is not relevant here. But all my FLAC files are converted to 512 DSD before playback through the current DAC. Hence the T+A. TBH, I would be content even with the older T+A DAC 8 DSD, which is not made anymore. But they are hard to come by on used market since they are coveted for their DSD playback.
Interesting. I also looked at the T+A DH200 DAC. The retailer wanted $7,125 + $600 for HDMI connection + 9.5% CA sales tax. The Benchmark DAC is $2,399 and I like that the Benchmark DAC HAS 4 Sabre 9028PRO DAC’s, 2 per channel. The signal is summed to reduce the noise and jitter. This is Impressive technology and I am anxiously waiting for my DAC to arrive.
For my 2-channel home theatre application, the Benchmark DAC3 HGC DAC is a better deal.
and Ethernet switch if you stream the Innuos is Fantastic $37 but worth every penny for me a must li borrowed my brothers when he went on vacation
Can you explain what any of this means? I know what Innuos is but the rest is incomprehensible due to lack of punctuation and capitalization. I have a Dac 200 and am considering buying the matching streamer but am open to anything. I know the Innuos Zen sounds great but I don't care about storage and as an NAA it wasn't any better than a fanless miniPC.
I’ve had the T+A DAC 200 and the Weiss 501 in my system recently. I’m buying the T+A along with the matching MP 200 streamer. Together they are a totally different animal; incredible detail, more than I’ve heard from from $50k DAC’s. The soundstage is very wide and deep. The Weiss, make no mistake, is a great DAC, it’s just a generation behind now.
I have the T+A DAC 200 in my system now on a trial basis. I am also trying the PS Audio DirectStream Mk2. I own the Bricasti M3, been using it for more than a year. In my system the T+A and M3 are similar, with a slight edge to the T+A in terms of detail.
The DS Mk2 on the other hand is more refined than either: smoother but with more micro-dynamics, resulting in better textures, detail, and separation of instruments; definitely more soundstage depth than the others; a larger soundstage; better definition in low frequencies.
I am not using the preamp feature in any of these. Unless things change dramatically I will be going with the PS Audio unit. I will say that the build quality on both the Bricasti and T+A is stellar.
@thibaultgeouiYou have to trial the T+A MP 200 with the DAC 200. They were designed as a pair and it makes a huge difference. Be prepared, though, they connect with an Ethernet cable and you won’t want the use the one they supply. Use at least an AudioQuest Vodka or equivalent and you’ll hear SQ that transcends the VERY expensive DACs.
I also auditioned the PS Audio DS 2 and was disappointed in the amount of detail. Sent it back.
thanks for that info, I’ve got about 100 hours signal time on both so far. Did you find the DS 2 lost detail as it burned in? My experience with DACs and most electronics is they open up and get smoother, but apparent detail improves.
I demoed the T+A 200 against my Denafrips Terminator Plus 12th addition. The T+A was much more natural and pleasing to my ears. I put an order in for the T+A, sold the Terminator, and then things took a strange turn. Long story short, I sold all my gear and purchased a pair of Dutch & Dutch 8C's. I'm done upgrading and tweaking.
I'm still early in my evaluation of the T+A 200, but I can say without question it's bass presentation is quite substantial. I had to dial down my sub's by about 10% to quell the overwhelming boomy sound. I'll be honest I feel the MMT handles low frequency better then the 200, but I might possibly give the 200 the edge as far as far lateral left to right sound field width. When I say this I do mean very isolated far left to far right sounds appear to be coming from Beyond the speaker more so with the 200 then my MMT. However it's not even a question as far as holographics and center image generation the MMT is much more enjoyable in that regard than the 200.
The MMT is 3-5k more expensive then the 200 and to that I say the 200 is a great DAC, and it can handle DSD which is a draw especially with my SACD's.
I was interested in the 501, because of the DSP capability, but I was also very interested in the Meitner DAC MA3.
Now the MA3 and 501 being the roughly the same price I would definitely want to see these DAC's side by side to A/B them, but as interested as I am in these two DAC's, I am not interested in spending another $2,500 above what the 200 has to offer.
@markmuseThe PS Audio DS 2 did get better with burn in. It just never came close to the combo of the T+A 200 with the MP 200. Nor did it rival the combo of the new Innuos Pulsar with the DAC 200, which was also very good.
The real magic is the combo of T+A DAC 200 plus the MP 200. A staggering bargain IMO.
BTW, the T+A gear sounded much better in my listening room than at the dealer. I'm running it into a 9W 300B tube integrated amp and through silver Gryphon speaker cables to GR-Research open baffle NX-Oticas.
@dougthebikerOk, here are some key differences: A 300b amp would have a more gentle presentation than mine (BTW, what speakers?). I have a pair of AGD Tempo stereo amps bi-amping my Fyne F1-8s. The Tempos are very detailed and smooth, but not in the least bit shy... a bit forward compared to Pass, and I would bet a good bit more forward than your 300B amp. And the Fynes are similarly detailed. I want to replace my M3 because it is a bit too forward in my system, and at least so far the T+A has a very similar presentation. All summed in my system, just a bit too much of a good thing. I readily admit to being very sensitive to brightness. At one point I replaced the slightly aggressive tubes in my preamp with others for a more gentle presentation.
Regarding bass, yes, the T+A has plenty. But in my estimation it is like monitor speakers where there is an emphasis in the mid-bass. That is not so with the DS 2, and I think that is why my perception is better definition in the bass region with the DS 2. The very low frequencies are not masked by a hump an octave or two above. My sub, BTW, is a KEF 9 something, and it really does reach the limits of hearing with authority.
Anyway, I think the differences in our systems explains some of the differences in our perceptions of these DACs.
@mbmiit doesn't change the fact that he has it listed for sale on his website at the above link. Huff's latest video its also clear that he has replaced the T+A dac with the Weiss dac. I don't have a dog in this fight but the fact remains that on Huff's for sale listing on the Aavik, he clearly states that he is rolling his Pass Labs gear back in so the Aavik is for sale. Its clear he has moved on from the T+A to the Weiss 204 and is moving on from the Aavik as well.
What does all this mean? Well, nothing really. He rolls through gear pretty frequently so take it with a grain of salt that he once had something in his system. I enjoy his reviews and videos but has to be taken in context and that's all. Try not to let it hurt your feelings that he once had an amp and a dac and is moving on from it.
All these conflicting and opposite perceptions of these DACs (and some others) should give you a good idea that you will have to make the determination on your own with YOUR gear! You have NO idea what associated gear all these responders have and therefore NO idea how either DAC will sound in your system. Personally, I would buy used so you can move the one you don’t like along for about what you paid for it.
@ronbocoIf you don’t understand or didn’t know that your gear plays a HUGE role in soundstage depth and width (regardless of the room) then you owe it to yourself to find a store or a fellow audiophile who can demonstrate the affect using different gear! The room only accentuates/increases the affect.
My system comprises only world-class components; the speaker system is 2 levels beyond a model that AV Showrooms and Enjoy the Music awarded Best of Show @ 2022 FLAX.
I have heard the $100k dCS rack and also the $85k MSB rack. IMO HQ Player (about $300) w/settings defined by the author Miska (upscaling everything to DSD, Miska’s recommended modulator is mandatory/not optional) > DAC 200 defines current state of the art digital playback.
Miska + T+A co-designed DAC 200’s proprietary true-1 bit DSD circuit, one of audio’s all-time best design teams. Note the above-described settings for HQ Player requires an advanced dedicated computer (not in the sound room.) I also employ a small NUC for renderer function next to DAC 200 in the sound room (an Intona isolator inserts in-between the NUC and DAC 200.) HQ Player and the NUC both employ only Miska’s unique OS, not Linux-based.
It takes only about 20S to switch between DSD and PCM in the HQ Player menu (the menu allows -6 dB PCM setting to match DSD level.) Anyone who heard this AB test would permanently swear off PCM. In every potential aspect DSD upscaling just incinerates PCM even HR. IOW this rig allows you to enjoy state of the art performance with Red Book; you don’t need to rely on HR PCM. Yes, still, the original source recording quality defines ultimate performance but not the bit #/sample rate.
If you own DAC 200 you won’t know its potential till you hear it with HQ Player with Miska’s recommended settings on a dedicated high-powered computer. If/when you read users who preferred PCM over DSD on HQ Player > DAC 200 I feel 100% confident they used settings other than what Miska recommended since DAC 200 arrived for sale. (Note that earlier using HQ Player > May Audio Spring 3 Level 3 DAC I too preferred PCM on about 66% of the music programs I compared to DSD. But that AB test is irrelevant to the AB test described above.)
The payoff for the effort required to get the appropriate computer and settings for HQ Player as described is to know you shall likely never hear better digital playback. Considering how mediocre digital playback can be, that is a high-value reward.
BTW, HQ Player has huge EQ and bi-amp potential for persons interested in those features.
The reason people tend to burn through gear is because their room and its boundaries define audio performance more than any single component or combination of components. I suggest such persons hear something "different" with a new component, "different" temporarily appears "better," then the room signature finally makes itself known again, they swap in a new item, are temporarily infatuated with the new "different," rinse, repeat ad nauseum.
Visit your local movie house and listen carefully to the bass, how it is absolutely seamlessly integrated into the whole experience and sound stage. (That gear there is dirt cheap compared to our gear.) Now go home and notice how utterly disconnected is bass from the rest of the music and the sound stage; some bass notes are gone while some bass notes are +9 dB. And your gear costs tons more than the theater gear (at least per watt.) This single difference comprises the single biggest difference between the sound of live music vs. reproduced, the effect of a small room's boundaries vs. a larger commercial space (a commercial space has bass modes but they are all sub-audible, below 20 Hz.) This difference comprises a bigger difference than any swapping of components above mid-fi level. Yes, you can hear component differences but the magnitude of bass mode effects exceeds differences between any component (you can't know or hear or understand this till you hear a small room that solved the bass mode problem.) And EQ can't fix these bass problems; it's impossible to fill in a 9 dB dip (1000x power boost) and smoothing a 6 dB bump degrades quality somewhere else in the sound room.
Huff is constantly having a BEST of breed because he HAS TO......he has to keep changing out equipment to do what he does. The T+A Dac is great...The Aavik U-150 is also fantastic and the Weiss DAC is also great.....There is ALOT of great equipment and if one brand was better than all the rest...No one else would sell anything. Demo in your setup and buy what sounds to you ! It's ( almost) All Good!
Huff is constantly having a BEST of breed because he HAS TO
I agree with you. I also appreciate Huff's efforts to provide viewers with a POV on the latest and greatest DACs; but he is also not running a charity. Youtube pays you by the views and you also have ads on Youtube pages. So I would take whatever he says with a grain of salt. It is HIS system and HIS listening preference - so nothing is gospel.
Based on whatever I have been following and users on THIS forum, who currently own - the DAC 200 seems to be the one to got for the long haul. If T+A came up with a "DAC only" unit just like the Weiss, my check to any dealer would be ready right now.
@milpaiThe DAC 200’s preamp / volume control can be bypassed and set to a line level output. Most of my customers use the DAC 200 in this way, and only a few I know are using it for its preamp capabilities. The preamp/volume control is really quite good, though, and much better than most DACs even twice its price, but the DAC 200 is well worth it even if you use it set to line level.
@thibaultgeouiYou were curious about the performance of the MP 200 but also mentioned you don’t like that it has a CD player. I am a dealer for both T+A and Aurender and conducted a thorough evaluation of the MP 200, comparing it to the Aurender N200. Long story short, the MP 200 is a great value if you will use it for everything it offers - streamer, disc spinner, internet radio. The CD player is actually really quite good. That said, if you’re looking simply to stream and serve, the Aurender N200 delivers greater sonic performance in terms of clarity, air, and soundstage size, both width and depth. Message me if you want me to share my full evaluation, and I’ll dig it up. Happy to answer any other questions you have.
I am looking at the reviews for this T&A DAC and I can’t tell if it is a delta sigma unit or r2r. The Absolute Sound review as usual is worthless. They used to be so good but nowadays they seem to just put out sheer marketing cr!p. Harry Pearson would roll over in his grave if he knew what they have done.
Another review says there are two d to a streams inside the T and A unit but without details. I guess for DSD fans it is a useful DAC.
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