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Red Book Transport Recommendation (Read 3167 times)
ihmeyers
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Red Book Transport Recommendation
07/13/13 at 00:40:38
 
Just bought a Taboo 3/CSP2+ and now it seems as if my transport is failing.  It's a very high quality piece, a Sonic Frontiers SFT3 but its quite long in the tooth and its been glitchy lately.  It has already been to Canada to be repaired by the Parts Connection techs but I know its on borrowed time.

I use that with a W4S Dac-1 (black gate upgrade) and it sounds pretty good driving my LCD2s.  I'd like something that's at least as good, or better yet a step up without breaking the bank.  Having not auditioned transports in well over 10 years I'd think that improvements in technology over that time would allow me to get something at least as good, or better for ~$2k.  Then again, maybe that's not the case as the original price of the SFT3 was $7k (1998).

Can anyone make a recommendation?  The PS Audio transport looks pretty good but the reviews on it are pretty scarce.  They're about $1600 or so used if you can find one.  I've seen some vintage Levinson's for $1800-$2400 but I would be trading one 15 year old transport for another....

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.  :)

Ian
Florida, USA
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« Last Edit: 07/13/13 at 02:13:26 by ihmeyers »  

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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #1 - 07/13/13 at 02:04:11
 
I have the PS Audio, and it's awesome. I love it. I think your WFS will accept it's i2S output(?) If so I'd say it's a natural choice. With the digital lens inside (and the ability to read hi-res on DVD-R) it makes great music.

I haven't really tried many other transports, but the I2S connectivity would steer me to that with your DAC.
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ihmeyers
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #2 - 07/13/13 at 02:43:06
 
The W4S DAC doesn't have I2S capability.  

Now I'm thinking maybe I want both the PS Audio DAC2 and the Memory Wave Transport.  It's 50% off for the combo at PS Audio for another few weeks (which leads me to believe they are introducing a new DAC/Tranpsort).  I think the wife will kill me if I spend another $4k on the combo plus that still leaves me with the W4S DAC and the transport I would have to sell.  I guess the W4S DAC will sell pretty quickly...

If I am right about a DAC/Transport 3 being introduced (I can't think of why else they'd be 50% off), the DAC2/Memory Wave pair will probably trade at ~3k by end of year...

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #3 - 07/13/13 at 03:47:04
 
I'm not sure about a new DAC or Transport from PS Audio. Maybe, but they're pretty good at building up a buzz for new things and nothing has been mentioned from them as would be their modus operandi.

The Duo is amazing imo. And that 4000 dollar deal is one not likely to be seen again.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #4 - 07/13/13 at 19:15:16
 
Yes, the buy a PrefectWave DAC MKII and get a PerfectWave Transport for FREE is a great offer!  I don't use CD players however as I prefer ripping them to my hard drive and playing back on my PC using JRiver and my DAC.

Have you thought about the Oppo BDP-105?  Pretty good bang for the buck, not only is the drive mechanism really good, but you get a universal disc player (that plays SACD and Blu-Ray), network player and DAC as well.  It can still be used with your DAC and preamp of choice though if you prefer one DAC chip over another.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #5 - 07/13/13 at 19:27:52
 
It's precisely because I don't like computer audio and playing with ripping and files Cheesy that I love the Transport, plus it does all the same things as EAC and has a digital lens in as well, it's really something else.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Oppo's sound and wouldn't recommend them but I seem to be in the minority and I'm comfortable there. Wink
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« Last Edit: 07/13/13 at 21:58:48 by Lon »  

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beowulf
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #6 - 07/14/13 at 20:22:58
 
Quote:
Lon said,
Personally, I'm not a fan of Oppo's sound and wouldn't recommend them but I seem to be in the minority and I'm comfortable there.


If you look at it strictly as a redbook transport, all the parts are high quality, but's its a lot more than that ... SACD + Blu-Ray + Networking on top.  I think a lot of people are kind of "iffy" with the DACs Oppo uses though, but that's what the RCA outputs are there for.

That's why I mentioned that (if you prefer a different sound) you run the output through a DAC of your choice it will change the sound more to one's liking. Cool
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #7 - 07/14/13 at 20:44:00
 
Well, I've played around with one of the SE ones a friend has in Texas. At his place and he brought it over to my place, we tried it feeding the PWD and we tried the analog out and I just didn't like it's character either way. I've heard others in others' systems a few times and there's just something about the sound, a sort of upper mid sound that I just don't like, even when used as a transport. SACD sound as well. And I have no interest in network stuff, I know that makes me a Luddite but it's just neither fun nor "better" for me, I don't find the so-called convenience a plus for me, etc.

Anyway, that's just me, many love them, they're an incredible value for money but I personally would not recommend them.
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« Last Edit: 07/14/13 at 21:37:23 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #8 - 07/14/13 at 22:47:12
 
After adapting to my tweaked Mac Mini as a file server, and my Tranquility DAC, I could not go back to a transport. I have become addicted to EQ, and using it from within a great sounding, and very adjustable audio player app, like Pure Music, or now Audirvana... this is an amazing thing. The ability to tame and fix cumbersome room issues with transparent EQ is priceless for me. And with noise shaping and quality dithering to taste...great stuff.

I do miss being able to easily reference CDs for player information at times, but then my main thing is the music, and a hard drive loaded with error free CDs is mighty convenient.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #9 - 07/15/13 at 00:00:25
 
I'm with Will on this one.
It is time to realise that in the future music isn't going to be in a physical medium anymore. I don't like that fact, but it is inevitable.
The kids want convenience over everything .
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #10 - 07/15/13 at 02:30:01
 
I can fully realize that, and not care or embrace it. I don't even have to face it if I don't want to, and it doesn't have to be a part of my future. If I were 13, okay. . ..

I'm not after the ultimate sound and I'm tired of always futzing and tweaking whether it's hardware or software. I just want to enjoy my music and I do so with my physical objects. I'm outside the mainstream and probably won't rejoin it, I can establish the parameters of my own musical entertainment world and I am NOT intrigued by computer audio. eq software, etc. I can understand why others are, maybe even more than others might understand why I do not. It's not for me, I don't need to go there, I'm not going there, it's a waste of time for me, time I don't have.

I tried it, I didn't like it, I'm not forcing myself to like it, I'm okay with not being on the "state of the art cutting edge." I'm happy with the Torii, I really love my transport and DAC combo (it's awesome!) and I don't need a "mystery amp" or a network..

I can imagine it's a lot of fun for some, but I'd rather spin my discs, and save my exploratory learning and excitement for something else (like making music, or writing, or building personal relationships, etc.)

Now back to the regularly scheduled transport thread.
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« Last Edit: 07/15/13 at 02:33:00 by Lon »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #11 - 07/15/13 at 03:41:42
 
I'm in agreement with Lon, in that there is life (before, during & ) after
computer based audio.
I can certainly understand why folks choose to embrace a computer based system, there's many valid reasons for doing so.
It wasn't so many years ago that anyone (still) spinning vinyl was being told that it would soon disappear.
Now we hear the same predictions for the cd format. It's still here, sounds great, and will likely continue to be around.
I won't hesitate to buy another player when necessary.
Happy listening!
Don
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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #12 - 07/15/13 at 04:42:18
 
I really don't think a whole lot about the future relative to my audio decisions. I mean, I still use all redbook and a NOS DAC, and the sound is awesome! But I just like my sound and file access (Redbook CD data) better with what I can do with my little Mini. I can comfortably say, that in this system/room, a traditional transport, no matter how good, in front of my DAC, could not sound as good as my system does now.

The cold reality is: though I have treated my room in numerous ways, and it started with many excellent traits, it still has issues. With the help of appropriate EQ and other sound shaping tools that the computer and software easily offer, I can really dial the sound in, both for greater accuracy, and for my preferences...my musical pleasure.

I really don't care if one prefers a normal transport...this is clearly a totally valid choice. The thing is, they are both options that can be good. The only reason I responded to this thread about transports, is that I prefer my "transport" ...the Mini transports the CD data to DAC beautifully while offering me a lot of versatility toward efficiently and aesthetically making my system/room much better than without. After all...room is a huge part of our sound!
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« Last Edit: 07/15/13 at 05:00:32 by will »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #13 - 07/15/13 at 11:19:52
 
Well, moving into room correction is essential if you're seeking ultimate audio playback.

I'm turning in my audiophile card. I've gone the distance up to becoming the ultimate audiophile and addressing these final frontiers, and my life has changed and I don't have the time to dedicate to the final yards nor the temperament. I found a very good sound that works across the breadth of my collection--and ultimately listening comfortably to my collection is more important to me than getting the best sound out of some of it. I'm going to park myself here--especially after I receive my new Torii that has the feature I lacked before.

In my new life I can't dedicate the time that I did before to listening let alone to futzing and improving my system. It's a huge challenge and change for me but I've had to move my "heart" elsewhere and I'm trying to meet the new battles with real vigor. I don't spend enough time in my room to dedicate to room correction, I don't even get a bare minimum of enough time to just relax and listen. So that aspect of exploration I see as unnecessary for me and maybe something for the distant future.

And ever since computer audio became a possibility I've just laughed at the huge waste of time ripping my collection would be. Major! I could spend the rest of my life ripping my collection, and what a sad waste of time that would be. I laugh just thinking of the absurdity of it. If one were starting a collection, sure. But for people with decades of collecting I just don't see it.

Anyway, to each their own. I've long marched to the beat of a different drummer and with this supposed inevitable shift towards computer audio I'll be offbeat again. I'm cool with that. I'm cool with anyone who headed off in that direction, but I won't be nipping at their heels.
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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #14 - 07/15/13 at 14:30:37
 
I doubt I would convert either with your collection Lon. I just slowly add CDs, but I have many 100's on my drive compared to your many 1000's. I just see no reason to convert a lot of my collection, discs that I have not listened to in years. Every so often I will pull an old disk, but mostly adding new stuff at this point and it is easy to add say 10 at a time over a couple mornings. I even gave away three or four hundred discs a couple years ago, and more 5-6 years ago when I moved.

And of course there are other ways to get EQ. It is just efficient and easy in the computer, and I think quite clean...sort of like adding a mastering EQ at the source.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #15 - 07/15/13 at 16:04:53
 
I can definitely see the appeal of the EQ, and I've an ear for it, used to do some recording and analog mastering and had some good results.

I'm just done with "going to the next level" in audio playback. I'll leave that to you other pioneers! Smiley Right now I need music to be my escape route and need to focus my efforts elsewhere. My new life is far more challenging than I thought it would be, and at the same time limiting my relaxation and stress relief far more than I thought it would. ARGH. Luckily I have great systems that get the job done when I need it most and don't have to put those together. They're at a good point to just stop and smell the playback roses with, thank goodness.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #16 - 07/15/13 at 20:45:26
 
Anyone have any insights into the Esoteric DV50s?  I have an opportunity to buy one from a friend and the reviews I have read are very favorable.  If it's better than my SF Transport/Wyred4Sound Dac I could replace 2 pieces of equipment.

It's a universal player so at least I'd be able to play SACD, etc in addition to Red Book since I am not ready to convert to PC-based just yet.  :)
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #17 - 07/15/13 at 21:07:52
 
Dumb question re PC based audio.

I was out of high-end audio for a long time, more than a decade (moving around, job responsibilities, etc.)  At the time I put my system in storage it was sate-of-the-art (SF Transport/DAC, CJ Preamp, Audio Note monoblocks, Wisdom speakers, dedicated audio room, etc.).  In this incarnation of high-end enjoyment I have dramatically simplified/downsized; 'phones only, Decware Taboo/CSP2+, SF Transport/W4S DAC.

In the time I was away everything seemed to transition to PC audio but I have no idea how to build a PC based high-end system nor where to acquire the music?  I have fast/robust PC's all over my house and could convert one but what exactly do I need in terms of hardware?  Is it better to get a media server already set-up for the process?  Are there sites where I can download 24/192k music or do I have to rip all of my CDs (~1000).

Thanks very much.

Ian
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« Last Edit: 07/15/13 at 21:08:53 by ihmeyers »  

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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #18 - 07/16/13 at 00:07:45
 
There has been a lot of development in computer audio over the last several years, but not a total shift as far as I can see. Still loads of non-computer music being played. I don't know the best place to learn about it if you take an interest, but computeraudiophile.com has a lot of info and opinion! There are threads here also, probably in the ZDAC area. Maybe search computer?

I don't know the story as well as many, but here are some starting points. I chose a Mac Mini because I like Macs, but as much because they were tried and true as quiet audio players. They are made to be cool and efficient and therefore use pretty good (quiet) parts, and the solid aluminum case is a good thing...good for keeping out exterior noise and vibration reduction, and also for cooling without fans.

A main thing to consider with a PC is noise. Those cables do not just move digital data to DAC, but also electronic noise...so a quiet computer is a big deal as far as I can tell. A computer devoted to audio only, with the system as simplified as possible, will give the most attention to the audio app while using the computer resources minimally. Enough memory counts..the better audio players pull files to memory while turning off non-essential (for audio) system activity, but those I have talked with who have tested find that more memory is generally better sounding, again, chilling out computer electronics use. I found (as many have) that external drives are a better place for the music than internal, not using the system dirve except for essential stuff. And since my DAC is USB, I use a Firewire drive, leaving the USB buss for the DAC activity. And finally, at least with my system, the cables matter...different USB cables sounding different.

There do appear to be good server/players out there now, but I know nothing about them. Probably the easiest way to get going, but it limits DAC choices. Not sure that matters if the server DAC is great though. I am just one for flexibility, and you have a good DAC.

I really enjoy how my Tranquility DAC pulls the beauty from uncompressed, error free redbook, so I have not looked at highres. You can download highres files though...I think there are several places to do this, but HDtracks is one. You can also rip CDs with error correction software that accesses online databases for comparison, but also the software can more slowly correct data problems if the files are not in the databases.

I hope this covers the basic stuff.
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« Last Edit: 07/16/13 at 00:55:38 by will »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #19 - 08/14/13 at 20:21:34
 
Mr. Meyers right some months back:

Now I'm thinking maybe I want both the PS Audio DAC2 and the Memory Wave Transport.  It's 50% off for the combo at PS Audio for another few weeks (which leads me to believe they are introducing a new DAC/Tranpsort).  I think the wife will kill me if I spend another $4k on the combo plus that still leaves me with the W4S DAC and the transport I would have to sell.  I guess the W4S DAC will sell pretty quickly...


This deal is still there at musicdirect.com and I sprang for it. . . I love this combo so much and as I now have two Torii Mk IIIs and will soon have two pair of HR-1s. . . why not two of the PWD Mk II and PWT? These are amazing components. I still have heard nothing that compares to the I2S over HDMI from the Transport into the DAC Mk II for Redbook. This is the sound for me. And this is a deal for the quality you get.

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #20 - 08/14/13 at 20:45:33
 
Geez, "Mr." Meyers. Feel free to call me Ian, lol.

I really like my transport especially now that I bought a Q cable for my Audeze LCD-2.  I plan on adding the DAC2 in the near future.  I would have by now but the Martin Logans in my video system crapped out and the wife figured as long as we needed to replace the speakers "why not buy a nice AV cabinet for the TV and oh, can you cleanup the wires (required new shorter run speaker cables and interconnects) so $2k later there goes the $$$ for the DAC.  ;D

Ian
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« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 20:48:55 by ihmeyers »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #21 - 08/14/13 at 20:55:52
 
Yes, Ian (sorry) It is hard to see that money go elsewhere. . but. . .the cabinet will be nice as well, and perhaps in time. . . .:) Audio hope springs eternal.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #22 - 08/14/13 at 21:06:37
 
I had a really nice audio rack from my dedicated music room days (Zoethecus) and the TV on a decent $300 glass stand with cables running to the components on the rack.

The wife decided she wanted a nice piece of furniture because though everything sounded great, "the room looked like hell."  I can't really dispute that so we bought a solid AV cabinet.  Nice piece of furniture but lousy for vibration control.  Good thing my Decware system is on a smaller Zoethecus rack in another room.  But yeah, ate up my upgrade budget not including what I am going to have to spend to replace the Martin Logans.  I am looking at a pair of Cabasses as replacements because they are really efficient so if I ever decide to add speakers to my Decware system all I have to do is buy speakers for the family room video system.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #23 - 08/14/13 at 21:32:39
 
Sounds like a great plan.

I have two Mapleshade Samson racks, a V.2 and a V.3 and I view them as important components of my system, and everything looks great. In time I might buy another V.3 for the second system IF I find I'm going to be here long enough to warrant carrying it up the stairs! Smiley
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #24 - 08/14/13 at 23:51:31
 
Quote:
Lon said,
This deal is still there at musicdirect.com and I sprang for it.


This is such a great deal, even though I have all of 15 CD's I would spring for it too if I had the bucks!

I wonder if they are trying to clear out some inventory to make way for a new transport or something ... perhaps a universal player?
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #25 - 08/15/13 at 02:13:28
 
McGowan replied to a query on his forum that they were not discontinuing anything, and the new products coming out are an amplifier and a phono stage/ADC.

It may be that the deal is really over (wasn't supposed to last this long at least initially) but I had saved this link, and as of today it still works;

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-139699-ps-audio-pwd-perfectwave-dac-mkii-pwt-memory...

It's odd, you can buy one by itself, or with the DAC Mk II, both for the same price. Similarly the PS Audio Dectet was true six weeks or so ago either by itself or as a package with a power cord and five PS Audio outlets for the same price. That doesn't seem to be active still.

I shouldn't have done it, but . . . well I'm doing a lot of things I shouldn't so I wa able to sneak that one in.
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« Last Edit: 08/15/13 at 02:18:06 by Lon »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #26 - 08/15/13 at 21:55:29
 
Got them in today. Wow. . . can't tell you how cool it is to have a Duo downstairs in the main system, and a Duo upstairs in the second system.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #27 - 08/16/13 at 00:32:48
 
You go Lon!  Do you like the Black or Silver components?  Black always seems to stay in style and Silver has it's ups and downs, but still cool ... The silver would especially look cool next to some Apple stuff such as a Mac Mini though.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #28 - 08/16/13 at 12:05:20
 
This deal only seems to be for black, though I would probably have gone silver if I could for this one, just to be different; the first is black. (No Mac Minis, I don't mix computer and audio, not a combo I like).

PS Audio sent out a notice about their new phono stage/vinyl ripper and mentioned there are only "a few" more of the deal sets available, and not directly from PS Audio, only from Music Direct. Deal is almost done.

EDIT TO AD: well silver seems available now, perhaps it was when I ordered. I would have ordered black anyway.
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 17:59:48 by Lon »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #29 - 08/16/13 at 12:45:13
 
Thanks Lon, for the Music Direct Link!
I ordered mine!

The Primaluna ships back today. Only Decware will do!

This does mean, I have to hold off on the Mystery Amp though.... .
However, this PS Audio Digital Front End Deal....I could not pass up!

My Living Room System, Bedroom System & Garage System/Patio too, are some good Hi-Fi.... .
My Listening Room just became even more Organic with this front end coming in.....I have no doubt!  

-Stone (VERY HAPPY)
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #30 - 08/16/13 at 12:51:10
 
Awesome Stone! I think you'll love this front end. Don't be too critical with the sound til it gets about 300 plus hours on it, takes that long to "bloom."

I'm not surprised the PrimaLuna is going back. . .Decware is a class above.
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 13:13:40 by Lon »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #31 - 08/16/13 at 13:59:57
 
Thanks Lon, I will give it the time it needs to burn in.

The Primaluna...I have more than 80 hours on it and 50 is the recommendation by Kevin Deal at Upscale...and I am just not happy with it. Enough said.

I did some soul searching in the 11th hour last night. I do not like preamps and was considering getting one (see my last Pasta Primavera post if you wish). However, having been satisfied all these years driving my AA gear direct into my SE84CS.....I relish being able to do it with the PWDACII versions preamp. Also, the precision balance control too. No preamp is the best preamp (if you use a single source only)...I agree with PS Audio (IMHO).

Question: I assume the I2S cable comes with it(?), because it is proprietary....and different I know than the I2S I use with my Audio Alchemy gear.

Well, excited to receive it is an understatement....and with my reference Kimber Select to my CS, should make for stunning organic playback.
-Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 14:01:41 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #32 - 08/16/13 at 14:06:09
 
Stone, the I2S is over HDMI, and no, there isn't one with it, but get the best HDMI cable you can afford in .5 or 1 meter length. I can hear the differences in the cables. . . I'm using a silver one from PS Audio, nothing else has beaten that one in my estimation. The Mapleshade is my second choice from the handful I've tried.

The DAC Mk II sounds really good as a preamp, I know you'll love it. But. . . I confess. . . I prefer it with the CSP2+ by a fair margin. I spent most of the first year of use without the CSP2+ but I needed an additional input and started first with the CSP2 I have had for years and. . .well I prefer the body and depth the preamp adds. I've tried going back to no CSP2+ in the chain. . .but I don't prefer it. You will be very satisfied with its preamp capabilities though.
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 14:12:51 by Lon »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #33 - 08/16/13 at 14:16:38
 
Thanks Lon, I will order the PS Audio Silver HDMI.

I do remember your posts about the DACII direct vs. then adding the CSP2+. I will certainly consider it....because it is so fairly priced by Steve and I know Transparent.

Okay, off to bundle my HDMI with my order..... .  Thanks again, Stone
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #34 - 08/16/13 at 14:29:21
 
I don't think the PS Audio silver HDMI is available new any longer. They were blowing them out at half price (still too expensive!) when I got mine. . . for a while there was still someone selling them on audiogon at that price but at the moment there just seems to be a 2 m length. (I have one of those too to use with my Blu-ray player, amazing image!)
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #35 - 08/16/13 at 15:23:50
 
Yes, the PS Audio AC12 HDMI is out of stock and pricey.
http://www.psaudio.com/shop/ac12-hdmi-cable/

I called MD and got the AudioQuest Vodka HDMI. I figured with the good deal on the units....I want to burn it in with a great HDMI cable where attention was paid to the sonics (the Vodka). I would rather have the AC12...but no worries with this one. I confirmed, I should have the units & Vodka by Tuesday!  Thanks again Lon for all your input and on this.    -Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 15:28:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #36 - 08/16/13 at 16:34:39
 
Well I'm really excited to hear how much you enjoy this front end. I'm sure the Vodka is a great cable, and will help the Transport to "be all it can be."

Your welcome for any assistance I can bring. This Duo was the digital where I stopped wanting to upgrade, and it shows me what the Mk III and the ERR and HR-1s are really capable of!
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #37 - 08/16/13 at 20:53:20
 
I got the Primaluna on the road today.....good riddance!

Lon, I will definitely check in after spending some time with my new Front End. I get to move my AA Front End to my other System and get rid of my DacMagic that can't even come close to the Audio Alchemy. I hope to grow old with my PS Audio.

I have had my AA Front End for 18.5 years and counting.
I have had my SE84CS for 12 yrs & 3 months.
I have had my Kimber Select 1030 IC & 3033 Speaker cable for 13.5 yrs.
I have had my Polk LS90 for 20 yrs & 6 months.
My Vintage Polk SDA 1's for 2 years next month.
(*these musical SDA 1's stay in the Listening RM with LS90 switch outs...my behemoth SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers are out in the Living Room*)
I am in my 3rd house with my best Acoustically Treated Room yet!

It was time for an Listening Room Upgrade of the Front End!  Have a great weekend Lon and all.  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 21:22:47 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #38 - 08/21/13 at 21:29:28
 
I was able to hook my PS Audio PWT & PWDII up last night and counting today I have 11 to 13 hours on the units.

Currently, the sound is veiled with rolled off highs. I checked my units through the Initializing Screen to make sure I had the latest versions of Firmware installed. I do, 1.22 for the PWT and 2.4 for the PWDACII.
Furthermore, for CD, I am using NativeX with Auto Filter/44.1 via I2S, which is the best configuration for CD playback.

Well, obviously it needs more time. However, it is not living and breathing like holding a live fish just caught in your hands as it does with my Audio Alchemy Front End producing the lush Timbre's through my SE84CS, that I am accustomed to. The PWT/PWDII are just sanitizing the music/veiled and once again, rolled off highs/treble extension.

For 2K, including Digital Cables (RCA & I2S) for my AA gear back in 2005....lets me appreciate how good it is.

Another thing I learned is you can't go back and get previous Firmware Versions you might like over the current one installed. I learned on the PS Forum, some people prefer the 2.02 for the PWDII or 2.10 for Treble extension....and are afraid to lose it through upgrade to the 2.4 I have. I probably would prefer the 2.10.  Not cool.

Anyway, .....early observations....I have 30 days to return. However, the dynamics are there and the soundstage is layered....but, it is just sanitized playing nice and squashing that Treble Extension Dynamic. Better sound than a good CD Player.....but not better than Audio Alchemy's best Front End that I have. But, if you have never heard the AA?.....you might think this PWT/PWDII are great the way they are right now. More time will be given.  

 -Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/21/13 at 21:44:04 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #39 - 08/21/13 at 22:00:34
 
Interesting. I did hear AA components many years ago and they were good but not up to what the Duo delivers for me. It was so long ago and far away and not my system so that I can't be definitive yet I wasn't as impressed as I am by my Duo. But. . . my Duo delivers treble energy out the wazoo, perhaps too much for me, so I am curious about your results. I would try another HDMI cable, a cheap TV one, to see if that is a factor. That AQ cable may need a lot of break in to open up (AQ cables tend to be a bit on the recessed dark side, at least in my opinion, with the one exception of an all silver IC I have that took a while to open up but was very extended in the top and not as warm and full as the other cables of theirs I've heard). Or try coaxial or optical--I have all three input types in play and they all deliver (with the HDMI being a tiny bit better, perhaps).

Anyway, it's early and the Duo should go through a few shifts. I wouldn't worry about the software, people obsess over it on the forum but I don't quite hear what they hear in the software I have, and they don't have Decware components (I often feel a little sorry for them!)
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« Last Edit: 08/21/13 at 22:02:55 by Lon »  

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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #40 - 08/21/13 at 23:30:43
 
Stone_of_tone,
Give the PWT/PWDII at least 100-200 hours. Are you using the power cables that came with the units or some you already had?
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #41 - 08/24/13 at 15:55:39
 
Stone,

I've been experiment with my new Duo and HDMI cords on hand. I've got an AQ in now that I like but it is darker than my other choices, though that really works synergistically with my second system. It's silver plated copper. I have another of the "Ethereal" brand (which seems to use the same factories and wire as many PS Audio products) that is silver coated PCOCC wire and though new and still breaking in it has much more treble energy and "liveliness" than the AQ, closer to the PS Audio all silver HDMI that I use in the main rig. It's not expensive either. If you are still missing treble and "liveliness" and want to try another cable, it might fill the bill?

Just a suggestion. Hope you are enjoying the Duo more.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ETHEXSHDME-5/ETHEREAL-EXS-HDME...
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #42 - 08/24/13 at 18:44:46
 
Thanks Lon...busterfree, I will give it more time and I am going to order the HDMI you suggested Lon.

I am busy until Monday night....but I am then moving the PWT/PWDII out in the living room to run on repeat with my Solid State Rig = extensive burn in/with the current Vodka AQ HDMI. No way, I am calling for an RA# without taking the time to get the most out of this front end.  Thanks guys, I will check back in at the end of next week and I'll see where I'm at...... .  -Stone
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #43 - 08/24/13 at 18:57:06
 
Yeah, my new one has about 130 hours on it now of use and it doesn't sound closed in or recessed. I couldn't think of sending it back. I wonder if your AA gear was just so different (if it were that much brighter it would NOT work for me!) or if the ICs worked better for one than the other, etc. Anyway, keep us posted, I know you'll give the Duo a fair shot and I can hope that they will knock you out in time as they did me. 400 hours was the beginning of my love affair with it.
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #44 - 08/25/13 at 05:49:32
 
Quote:
Lon said,
I wonder if your AA gear was just so different (if it were that much brighter it would NOT work for me!) or if the ICs worked better for one than the other, etc.


Yes, I wonder if your ears are just so fine tuned to the AA sound from listening to it all these years combined with the units not having enough hours.

Anyways, keep us posted Stone!
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