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Bluebird Music has been appointed the Canadian and U.S. distributor for Weiss Engineering digital audio technology products.
Weiss products are precision-built in Switzerland to rigorous professional standards. In addition to the company’s expertise in digital conversion, Weiss is also a leader in DSP, which is featured in many of their products.
“Weiss digital processors have been used in recording and mastering studios worldwide for decades, and they’ve brought the same exemplary performance, reliability, and versatility to their home audio products,” says Jay Rein, President of Bluebird Music. “We will begin by offering two unique, feature-filled DACs, the DAC501 and DAC502, and will then expand the range.”
The DAC501 and DAC502 share the same circuitry and componentry but differ in form-factor: the DAC501 is a compact, half-width unit, allowing placement flexibility in desktop and studio applications, as well as in home systems of any size. The DAC502, meanwhile, features a standard, full-width chassis plus it includes a four-pin balanced headphone connector on the back of the enclosure.
Both units incorporate a stainless steel chassis with a 10mm aluminum faceplate. Digital processing is performed by a pair of 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC chips per channel, providing superb channel separation and noise-rejection. An internal high-precision clock generator clocks the DACs at a frequency of about 195kHz; PCM signals up to 384 kHz and DSD x64 and x128 are reclocked to 195kHz. Power supplies are linear, incorporating dual toroidal transformers and separate regulators for each channel, minimizing noise and crosstalk.
There are five digital inputs: AES/EBU or S/PDIF via XLR, Toslink, or RCA; UPnP/DLNA via Ethernet; and USB. Outputs are by balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA; both units have front panel headphone jacks, and the DAC502 has an additional 4-pin XLR output on its back panel. Line and headphone outputs are separate, and discrete.
Both units can be controlled by the provided full-function remote control, or by a web interface.
Digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms featured in both units include: room equalizer, which can be used to suppress room modes; creative equalizer, with low, mid, and high boost/cut to correct less than optimal recordings; de-essing, which removes overly-bright sibilance; constant volume, which adjusts volume level across all cuts being played; vinyl emulation, which mimics the sonic characteristics of LPs; crosstalk cancellation (XTC), which allows playback of binaural dummy-head recordings through loudspeakers; loudness control, for equalizing low listening levels; and headphone equalization, allowing adjustment of frequency response to individual listener’s ears. Both units are also Roon Ready.
“I was blown away by how good the Weiss DAC 502 sounded in my system at home,” adds Rein. “The three dimensionality and dynamics were absolutely stunning. I’ve never heard such realism in my home system – and that was the reason I decided we ought to sell Weiss DACs.”
The Weiss Engineering DAC501 is available in Canada for a retail price of $11,900 Canadian and the DAC502 for $13,495. Both come in either black or silver finish options.