digits than any other DAC I have auditioned, with the possible exceptions of the Chord DAVE and dCS Vivaldi, both of which are long gone from my system and neither of which has either a headphone output or DSP functions. Both of those DACs are also more expensive than the DAC502. But the Weiss’s resolution does come at a price: it is intolerant of problems with the rest of the system it is used with that would not be noticed with lesser DACs. During the six weeks I used the DAC502, I found I was continually finetuning my system before I could get the most enjoyment from my music.
But ultimately, musical enjoyment is what this product is all about. As I write this conclusion, I am listening to Stanford’s hauntingly engaging song “The Blue Bird,” performed by the Gabrieli Consort directed by Paul McCreesh (from Silence & Music, 16/44.1k FLAC, Signum Classics/Tidal). The interplay between the unaccompanied voices, the bell-like interjections of the high soprano, the setting of all the singers within a supportive chapel acoustic—the Weiss DAC502 made all these aspects clear, in service of the music. Which is what a great audio component should do.