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Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD (Read 14266 times)
Brett
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #45 - 03/08/13 at 23:08:28
 
Pale-Rider,

I like the way you mention conceptualized. I think with so many sources of information about audio that conceptualizing audio systems in to granular processes is the best way to cut through a lot of the BS we are subjected to in reviews etc.

I'm not privy to the the real world shortcomings of USB vs Ethernet as it relates to providing data to the clock. Conceptually though, it would seem the job of the USB or Ethernet receiver (on the master clocking component) to buffer the incoming data so that it is then presented to the master clock in such a way that it can perform it's job well.

In other words if the receiver is doing its job, then the master clock will behave the same regardless of how the data was received.

Another way to look at it is to consider that all digital clocks that perform according to the SPDIF standard are essentially the same. Some are simply better at timing than others. Some claim that a CD transport is the only way to go, but even here data from the CD drive is received, buffered, clocked, and then transmitted as SPDIF. And knowing that makes the concept of belt driven CD transports seem a kind of silly. After all a CD is not very well balanced and any vibration is a huge deal when we are talking about accurate timing in pico seconds. Thus the necessity of the buffer.

A pico second is one millionth of one millionth of a second.

For reference the OR5 master clock keeps timing accurate to within 390 pico seconds. 250 pico seconds if using the I2S output.

The main reason that jitter is reduced in I2S is due to the data and clock being transmitted on separate channels, where as SPDIF is sent as an infusion of data and clock on a single channel. The added complexity of processing into SPDIF fudges the timing a bit.

Re-clocking and digital lenses are band aids that are often necessary but to be avoided if possible. Assuming you have a happy master clock, the digital stream from that point on should be very carefully preserved all the way to the DAC chip. By carefully preserved I mean minimal alteration or interaction.
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« Last Edit: 03/08/13 at 23:18:25 by Brett »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #46 - 03/09/13 at 14:33:35
 
Brett, good discussion, and I like your bandaid reference. All these devices are attempting to solve—or more accurately, help address—the timing accuracy issues addressed by the very act of digital. the finely chopping up of waves into bits. This process of increasing sampling rates and bit depths won't stop any time soon. And as we get better at this, and the ability to measure exceptionally small and short bits and bursts (love your reminder of just how short a picosecond is), while our personal computing capability becomes more powerful and simpler, we'll see some of these approaches merge I expect. Mass adoption of sophisticated technology is usually well behind the curve of the leading edge, but when one considers how quickly async USB penetrated the industry (and it's not done of course), and where the PWD, the Lumin, the OR and other devices are now, how jitter control is orders of magnitude better now than just 5 years ago (compare the Empirical OR models generationally), it's not hard to believe we're going to see or hear the near-elimination of the distinction between digital and analog sound in our lifetime. Fun stuff. Wonderful music.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Fireblade
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #47 - 03/09/13 at 16:03:37
 
Brett,

Great work and achievements, congrats!

I'm curious why you don't take advantage of the latest version WASAPI Event style Plug-in for FB2K, designed precisely for lowest latency, best sound streaming from FB2K in a Win 7/8 based PC environment.  As in Kernel streaming, it bypasses the mixing processes from Windows altogether, allowing for an external DAC's exclusive mode of utilization.

I've tried several approaches (not Kernel, though), and the Event Style is the best I've found. It allows for very low buffering, therefore virtually eliminating latency issues (important, especially for a laptop), and the sound quality is just great (other things being equal).
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« Last Edit: 03/09/13 at 16:06:07 by Fireblade »  

Laptop-Foobar2K-ASIO Direct//WD 2.0Tb HDD//Audio Gd USB cable//Audio Gd NFB 3 (2014) DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish Pwr Cord
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beowulf
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #48 - 03/11/13 at 04:23:01
 
Quote:
PR
FWIW, I contacted Lumin to purchase a unit, and was told today the price is now $5480USD. Sorry, a $1500 price hike—coincident it seems with the rave 6Moons review—now puts this player in the wrong price range. Just me. YMMV.


Wow!  I would agree, they just put themselves into a price range where I bet a lot of people would have to draw the line ... that's too bad.

Still a cool concept and I would imagine that more "Universal Players" are in the pipeline from a host of other high performance DAC companies (especially if Twonky can get it together).
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beowulf
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #49 - 03/11/13 at 04:32:37
 
Quote:
Brett,
As for the computer itself, I got a wild hair and the crazy notion that it would be a good idea to build a computer that could run Crysis as well as pull double duty as a machine quiet enough to be worthy of a serious audio room. Obsession took hold and what follows was the result.


Wow, simply amazing wood work and attention to detail!  Are the other componets on maple blocks as well?  What are the specs of the PC and is it networked or the only way you pull music off it is through the OR5 via USB?

Awesome again, thanks for sharing!

p.s. I was just thinking that this thing must sound awesome for gaming as well! Grin
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Pale Rider
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #50 - 03/11/13 at 06:01:09
 
Quite the work brett! Serious props. Makes my lowly NAS want to crawl back into the closet where I keep it. Wink
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Pale Rider
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #51 - 03/11/13 at 13:12:57
 
In case Brett's posts have whetted anyone's appetite for an Off Ramp, there is a pretty good buy on one posted by a member at Computer Audiophile.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Brett
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #52 - 03/12/13 at 06:01:25
 
Fireblade,

I'm embarrassed to say the reason is because I didn't know about WASAPI Event. Maybe empirical didn't bundle it with their software since it isn't compatible with XP. Or Maybe because Steve Nugent has switched to Mac and Amarra.

I'm using it now but I wanted to try it out for few days before commenting. I can switch back and forth on the fly while listening to a song. The difference between the WASAPI Event plugin and KS is subtle yet becomes identifiable after giving it some listening time.

WASAPI sounds less jumbled in micro detail. Listening to bits of certain songs where lyrics can be difficult to understand are more intelligible now and there is more clarity in timbre and deciphering individual instruments.

The overall character is the same, yet the image seems to have a bit more depth and width with a sort of glassy slick integration that is missing when going back to KS.

It's funny cause as subtle as the changes are I knew right away that WASAPI was more engaging. The differences between Event and Push are harder to delineate. I can't say that I prefer one over the other at this point, but conceptually (HaHa) Event should be the winner.

Anyways thanks for the suggestion and thanks everyone for the compliments. I haven't shared this stuff except with my friends at home. This is a good place.

Beowulf,

The maple blocks are from the scraps I had left over from the computer build. I glued a bunch of .75" planks together and then cut them into blocks. Maybe not as tuneful as a solid block of maple, but they definitely helped control vibration.

Hardware as follows:

QX9775
Striker II Extreme
OCZ DDR3
Nvidia 280 GTX X3

Pretty mild by today's standards but it still runs everything out there. FSB and memory linked and synced at 1900mHz, and proc at 4.2gHz when over clocked. Healthy OC on the GPUs as well.

Hehe yes some of the the game developers really their put time into the sound quality and music. It is easily half of the experience if not more.
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« Last Edit: 03/12/13 at 06:40:59 by Brett »  
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Fireblade
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #53 - 03/12/13 at 12:29:30
 
@ Brett,

Nothing to be embarrassed about. There's so much going on in this field, the information is overwhelming.

One more thing: I've found converting FLAC into WAV on the fly through Fb2K (or any other fast converter, for that matter), is not the best procedure for sound quality. The ideal is to separate the conversion in a previous stage and have the player pick the WAV files up and put them into RAM memory before processing it.

The difference between Event and Push is subtle, as Event is geared more against latency issues typical of laptops, a problem you may not have given your more powerful desktop configuration, provided at the time of streaming you kill all irrelevant underlying OS processes.

I can recommend using Fidelizer (Extreme Mode) as a big help achieving the described 'freezing.'
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Laptop-Foobar2K-ASIO Direct//WD 2.0Tb HDD//Audio Gd USB cable//Audio Gd NFB 3 (2014) DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish Pwr Cord
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beowulf
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #54 - 03/13/13 at 02:25:31
 
Just read this post over at PS Audio:

Quote:
By Paul McGowan

Over the last few days we’ve been discussing the two main technologies in digital audio today: PCM and DSD.  In my mind there’s no doubt that DSD is superior to PCM – if for no other reason than the fact it is simply closer to analog than anything I have ever heard.  Properly implemented you’re not even aware of its presence and that’s how any piece of equipment or format in a high end audio chain should be: not there.

We’ve also learned that nearly all modern 24 bit and higher DACS are essentially PCM to DSD decoders and the final outputs of modern DACS is already DSD in nature.

So what’s the future of DACS in the PS Audio ecosystem?  DSD, of course.  We’re right in the middle of a long range, long term project to fundamentally change the nature of the DAC itself from that of a compromised PCM/DSD decoder to a purpose built DSD architecture that also accepts PCM without compromise.  It means getting away from off-the-shelf DACS and chips and heading down a brave new frontier essentially alone – but that’s ok, we kind of thrive on that.

The fruits of these labors won’t be enjoyed for quite some time but in the scheme of things it won’t be that long.  Perhaps sometime in 2014 we may see a new breed of product from some of the really great minds we have working on this now.

I am delighted to be along for the ride.


We are well on our way into 2013.  Should be an interesting year for PS Audio with the Class D Amp and work on the next generation DAC with DSD capabilities.

After reading a few other posts from McGowan, I also feel that the PWD will become more of a preamp (than it is already) and maybe a phono stage will rear it's head once again in their lineup (if not already included within the new upcoming DAC).

Just a rumor and thinking outloud on the phono stage as some of his posts seemed he hinted about it or at least getting set up for one. 

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Lon
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #55 - 03/13/13 at 02:48:16
 
PS Audio will soon be releasing a new version of the GCPH phono stage/preamp that will incorporate an ADC so that a digital signal of the converted analog can be sent to a PWT or other DAC.
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« Last Edit: 03/13/13 at 02:48:42 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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beowulf
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #56 - 03/13/13 at 05:48:33
 
Hmm ... trying to stay as much analog as possible seems like the main point to vinyl playback!  So turning an analog signal into digital doesn't sound right to me ... It's almost a why bother after a certain point ... although doesn't RIAA equalization break up the signal somewhat anyways?  Perhaps it the lesser of evils however?

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Lon
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #57 - 03/13/13 at 11:23:07
 
Well, needle-drops are all the rage with the youngstahs. Smiley In this manner people can use their PWD as the preamp for their vinyl playback, I know it sounds not quite right to you and I, but it may sound good enough for many.

The former GCPH is a decent phono preamp. It's no ZP3, but a steady rolling machine for records with good sound. I still use one in my second system.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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beowulf
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #58 - 03/13/13 at 22:55:25
 
For anybody who's interested, I have just verified that the upcoming version of the PWD will bring DSD streaming via ethernet.  Also the current PWD MKII will be upgradeable, however it must be sent back to the factory for them to do it as it is a complicated procedure and requires a number of new components to be changed out.
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Lon
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Re: Excellent Promo on PS Audio PWD
Reply #59 - 03/14/13 at 00:05:21
 
Interesting. I guess some people want that. Wink  I won't be sending mine back.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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