An important Weiss MAN301 review on Japan audio magazine Stereo Sound is just launched. Few of my thoughts about it.
The MAN software has been continuous evolving through out time. The internal d/a converter has improved to 2nd generation, from the development of Weiss 30th Anniversary “GOLDEN MAN” model in 2014. d/a is modular based so user can easily upgrade by local distributor. MAN301S “server version” (and obviously more affordable without internal DAC) has no analogue output. AES/EBU, SPDIF, USB outputs pair well with your own choice of high quality DACs.
MAN301 in-co-operate ram buffer, cd ripping and master clock technologies on realtime cd playback before outputting to various digital/analogue outputs, overcoming high end audio CD real time playback demand using an ordinary DVD rom. This benefits user for future mechanism replacement would be extremely affordable compare today high end red book CD-reading mechanisms. (e.g. CD-Pro2)
MAN301 has the most complete set of tools for CD ripping. The Gracenote CDDB database fetching provides extremely accurate/details metadata. Powerful tag edit function allow user to build solid music library without using computer operation. This fetching function does not limit to the CD metadata, but also for SACD (dsf/diff) and HiRes PCM (up to DXD 384kHz). DSD files (dsf/diff) playback is elegant via Weiss most popular DSD tool – SARACON.
For modern digital audio streaming (e.g. Tidal, Quboz, Naxos), internet radios, youtube etc, MAN301 provides a web browser, Air Play support for your own choice of streaming services. The bit transparent in CD quality is secured through wifi connection from your iOS device to MAN301. MAN301 also can stream its music playback library to any computer/mobile web browser within the same network.
For future, I personally look forward MAN software to start providing more audio related DSP algorithms, which are Weiss most famous from the pro audio sector. Improved view mode(s) and GUI widen view choices for different customers.
In high end audio market, Weiss MAN301 is an unique type of concept. It does not fade out easily like all other expansive digital boxes. It combines real software and hardware to perform excellent audio playback quality. When MAN301 reaches its 6 years old in the high end audio market, by moore’s law it would be able to swap a new DSP 4x times more powerful if needed. If you have not notice, Weiss just launched the UPnP/DLNA option for all its DACs. This means if you own a 15 years old original MEDEA d/a, which launched in year 2000, you can still make it a DLNA renderer and stream digital audio directly from NAS.
Sept 15, 2015