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INT202 Firewire Interface (Preview Update)

INT202 Firewire Interface (Preview Update)

April 2010 Update: The INT202 second shipment has enhanced features and updated new pricing. For more information please see: http://www.asiaweiss.com/main/?p=167

INT202 Firewire Interface

The INT202 is a small interface box for Firewire to AES/EBU and S/PDIF conversion. In addition the audio volume can be controlled in the digital domain via an infrared remote control unit. The INT202 finds its application in interfacing a PC or MAC computer to a D/A Converter unit. With the volume control feature it can also replace a preamplifier. The outputs can be operated in single wire up to 192 kHz sampling rate or in dual wire at the 176.4 / 192 kHz rates.

Features of the INT202:

  • Two firewire sockets
  • Can be powered from Firewire bus or from an optional power supply
  • Two XLR output sockets
  • Two RCA output sockets
  • Operates up to 192kHz sampling rate
  • Single or dual wire operation at sampling rates of 176.4 or 192 kHz
  • Infrared remote control (optional) for volume
  • Volume control is dithered to avoid quantization distortion

This is return the quest for audiophiles who already own very high quality DAC, and want to add a simple high quality stereo digital interface to playback audio files.

INT202 can get power from the Firewire Bus, but there is power supply. The remote control is same as ATT202, so one remote can share between 2 units. If you do not need to change the digital volume on INT202, it simply acts as a firewire to AES / SPDIF digital device, the content is bit transparent.

More indepth info can be found here: http://www.designwsound.com/dwsblog/?page_id=2033


  1. Hercules

    30 September

    Finally, something interesting is coming!! So notebook user can ride on Hi-Res highway without using studio sound card!!

    The master clock of Digital Out generated by the box like AF1 and DAC2?

  2. admin

    30 September

    Yeah, Did I tell you we are listening??! But well….the best is yet to come. =)
    Oh yes, since there is no AES, SPDIF input, there is no clock sync from the source, the firewire allows the internal master clock, the same like AFI1 and DAC2 firewire connection.

  3. Hercules

    1 October

    So the major difference between INT202 and Vesta is remote, digital volume and digital input?? and Vesta equipment with same digital level firmware after firmware update??

    If INT202 can handle one digital input, then it can be digital control amp! Hope more info about this little monster in the future.

  4. admin

    1 October

    The biggest different between INT202 and Vesta to me……is the pricing. The INT202 will be more affordable although I don’t have final pricing yet.

    Vesta allows user to have AES input to firewire. This means you can hook up with an ADC and record analogue sources (LP, Open Reel) back to computer.

    INT202 is only for playback, no AES input.

  5. elprior

    16 October

    Definitely the thing I was looking for.
    Any idea if it operates correctly with dCS dual/aes input ?

    Elp

  6. admin

    16 October

    Hi, Yes it works perfectly with dCS dualAES input.

  7. elprior

    18 October

    @admin
    Hi Kent,

    thanks for the answer.

    The Delius is having a wclk output, wondering if that does not push the AF1 instead.
    Still, I’m not sure how that would be usable. The clock signal has to be either 44.1 or 48 depending on the signal frequency. Since I have to go into the dCS menu to change that (between 176 and 192 files for instance), I see it as being annoying to use.

    Any idea if it would make a big difference (between int202 vs af1 clocked) ?

    Elp

  8. elprior

    18 October

    Hi again,

    worst, in the manual, it says it can only output a 44.1khz clock signal.
    So that would not be usable with 192khz material anyway.

    I might be stuck with the int202 eventually 🙂
    What about external psu vs powering through firewire ?

    Elp

  9. admin

    18 October

    Hi Elp, I serviced almost all dCS units here in HK/China for last 7 years, so I quite understand its working procedure. In digital audio system, there should be only 1 clock, which usually is the source.

    We can separate INT202 with AFI1 not because AFI1 has WLK I/O – AFI1 allows other digital inputs (AES, SPDIF, ADAT) but INT202 doesn’t.

    INT202 is purely designed for computer audio playback, which should be the source of the clocking, even though I must be biased but I can’t see why Daniel would like to compromise on clocking design in pure engineering term.

    I wish to get the INT202 for my next month (Nov. 14) digital audio seminar here in HK. INT202 can be bus powered or external PSU. That means there is a chance which you made design a n audiophile external power supply for INT202.

    For people who are using external mastering clock approach with dCS, Esoteric, Grimm, their system budget should allow them to get whatever they want, INT202, AFI1, Vesta etc. INT202 is designed for audiophile who already have a decent DAC system, to add computer playback capability with its best shape. It has digital audio volume on remote control also.

    When comparing to other pro audio digital sound cards, I do think Weiss INT202 provide better sounding quality, without extra features which audiophile no use of. However I do wish to see AFI1 upgrade on software patching (routing) and metering for professional usage since it is an pro unit.

  10. elprior

    19 October

    Hi Kent,

    sure I have’t tested the use of a unique clock. I would not have wanted to miss this opportunity, but since the delius is only sending 44.1khz on wclk ouput, I won’t take it as a must do.

    One last question about the int202.
    What happens if the switch is set to dual/aes output and I’m playing, let say, 24/96 or 24/88 files (not to mention 16/44.1) ? Does it send the same signal on both outputs, or just one of the two ? I wouldn’t want to have to switch manually each time the file resolution is changing the need for dual/single aes.

    Elp

  11. admin

    20 October

    When using Dual AES on 96kHz or below, same signal will outputs on both AES1&2.

  12. leochan

    20 October

    If it will equipe with a remote controlled “Phase” changes, it is more than perfect.

  13. admin

    3 November

    We do hope it will be more than perfect. Thx Leo

    @leochan

  14. mikeyla

    8 November

    Is there a schedule release date or pricing?

    • admin

      8 November

      The release schedule will be before Christmas.
      The introductory price is HK$10,000.
      Power supply (option): HK$1200
      Remote control (option): HK$1600

      INT202 can get power from the Firewire Bus, but there is optional power supply. The remote control is same as ATT202, so one remote can share between 2 units.

      If you do not need to change the digital volume on INT202, it simply acts as a firewire to AES / SPDIF digital device, the content is bit transparent.

  15. augomol

    23 November

    The Int202 digital converter price is $10000????
    I heard that the price will $1300

  16. admin

    23 November

    HKD$10,000 in Hong Kong Dollars, similar to US$1300

  17. augomol

    23 November

    AAAAAAAAAAAAA. it’s clear:)

  18. Stupid Boy

    10 December

    What firewire version does it support? Is it IEEE 1394b?
    If my PC uses IEEE 1394a, can I use it?

  19. admin

    10 December

    It is IEEE1394a – 400Mb on all Weiss firewire devices.

  20. Dogman

    14 April

    Hi kent, i have the weiss int202 here now!! thanks for a very nice product, i have not set it up yet as am still waiting for some other stuff for connecting it to laptop i will let you no i get them and setup Thanks Ken

  21. Gerhard Hoppe

    24 April

    Hi Kent,

    is it usefull to integrate a grimm CC1 as external master clock into following chain: mini mac – AFI1 – DAD AX24?? My equipment is only for home listening.
    no one can tell me.

    thanks
    gerhard

  22. admin

    12 May

    @Dogman
    Great! Look forward for your feedback. I think as a digital interface (soundcard), the INT202 is as good as it gets.

  23. admin

    12 May

    @Gerhard Hoppe
    Hello Gerhard, Both AFI1 and DAD AX24 are top notch clocking design, I cannot comment if that helps or not. However I am a big fan of Grimm stuffs. I especially like the starting paragraph of their paper. If I take no responsibility in a bet, I bet it will enhance the quality of your chain.

  24. Teddy

    17 June

    Hi Kent.
    I have just bought int202 with source as MacBook pro and Amarra mini. I have tried to connect to naim supernaim by RCA but no signal output. Does int 202 need dac with RCA input. It seems that supernaim has dac for digital input only. Do you have and suggestion for my system?
    Thank you.

  25. admin

    17 June

    Hi Teddy, Are you using the “tape” input? That should be the default input for SuperNait. And for INT202, please select Single Wire Output.

    If you need more help, please contact us. Thank you.

  26. SCLin

    26 June

    Hi Kent,
    I use the dcs Verdi Encore/Elgar Plus/Antelope OCX + 10M combination. I’m planning to use Mac mini 2011 as the source. I want to but Int202 since it can support 192k through dual wire; however, I’m also considering Int203 since it can accept external word clock signal (I don’t want to waste my colck setup) and provide the possibility of ripping CD by Verdi encore (is this true?). Is it possible to custom the gear for me to integrate both Int202 and 203? I mean a modification based on Int203. The SPDIF input is kept to accept clock signal; however, the AES/EBU input are modified to provide dual wire signal for dcs. Please tell me the possibility and price if possible. Thanks!

    • admin

      28 June

      Hello, for your combo you will need AFI1, Weiss pro product. I have been using it in excellent situation with word clock I/O. Please email me offline for further enquires, thx.

  27. SCLin

    30 June

    Thanks for your reply. I’m interested but I have to know in more detail.

    Is the performance of AFI1 slightly better than INT202/203?

    Is that true Int 203 can accept signal from external clock like Antelope OCX? Since my dcs gears and antelope clock are interconnected by 75 ohm cables, are AFI1 and INT203 both using 75ohm cable, too?

    The dcs gears can only accept 44.1K clock signal, is that means playing 44.1K, 88.2K, and 176.4K files are OK, while 192K files are not possible?

    It is said AFI1 adopted a switching power supply. Why not just use a linear power supply instead?

    Can I use AFI1 for ripping CD? If so, what software is required or recommended? Can you list some free or good candidates? To rip CD, I should connect transport and AFI1 by a (AES/EBU) digital cable; and then connecting AFI1 and Mac Mini by the same firewire cable originally connecting MAC Mini with AFI1 (bi-direction)? Will the effect of ripping CD by this way beat that of through iTUNE?

    Many thanks!

    • admin

      3 July

      Sorry for late replay. I am currently out of town. The AFI1 and INT202/203 have same high quality.

      INT203 can accept sync source from AES. So if the external master clock can provide AES/EBU output, this can work and INT203 to follow this sync source.

      INT203 has only single wire high speed output for 176.4 and 192kHz output. Your Elgar may need dual AES which means INT202 (or AFI1) is better choice.

      AFI1 has standard BNC word clock I/O, which is a better solution to pair with master clock BNC connection.

      dCS Elgar is a bit tricky. If you are playing back different sampling rate files, of course your audio interface (AFI1 or INT) should follow the same sampling rates, and while at the same time your dCS Elgar DAC can only accept sync source at 44.1kHz. That means your master clock will requires to send 2 different sampling rates at the same time to both AFI1/INT and Elgar. There are some master clocks working like this but I would not prefer to prefer. I rather using simple connection method: Computer-1394-AFI1/INT203-AES-Elgar and let the Elgar just lock to the AES source.

      AFI1 uses switching power, but that no means it has worse performances compare to a linear power supply. We have expierences that digital power supply has much better results than linear power supply, especially with purely digital equipment.

      CD ripping means using computer method to rip the disc. You need a software like MAX or EAC, or dB Poweramp to do ripping. Of course you can use AFI1 to record incoming digital signal. This you will need a recording software such as Wavelab, Nuendo, Protools etc.

      For recording, you can connect your transport -> AFI1 AES input and AFI1 same firewire cable to Mac Mini. But this will not gain any sound quality compare you use good ripping softwares as I mentioned above (Max on Mac).

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