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PS Audio about to ... (Read 96225 times)
stone_of_tone
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #200 - 06/27/14 at 00:10:05
 
I actually have a 6/28 arrival date.

Besides the passive review at first...I will only take out my current Digital element and provide details of the rest of my chain...and offer some initial impressions... .  Fun stuff.... .
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stone_of_tone
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #201 - 06/27/14 at 14:09:27
 
She's now truckin' from Chi town...out for delivery tomorrow. So, as you can imagine...I cleared my calendar for tomorrow.

I will be using SPDIF Illuminati D-60 in to it via Transport. I will eventually pump some hi-rez PCM in via USB. All about the Redbook to start.

Some Hi-rez PCM will have to happen. You don't buy a new Mustang GT 5.0 V8 and not drive it above 90 mph when you can.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #202 - 06/27/14 at 14:25:09
 

Ping me if you need some sources for pure DSD.

Here is a good place to start.

http://www.2l.no/hires/

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #203 - 06/27/14 at 14:25:17
 
This is certainly an encouraging statement.

"Thanks Joe. It makes the whole system so responsive. Every system change is easily heard. But I am most impressed with the red-book playback. Good ole CD's really have more quality than I ever thought. And I am running direct to my VAC Phi 200. I didn't like running direct at first. But after a break-in at @ 400 hours, direct was better. And they will buy it back if it doesn't agree with your system !! How can ya lose"??

Post #100
http://audioshark.org/computer-digital-audio-11/ps-audio-directstream-dac-4438-p...
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« Last Edit: 06/27/14 at 14:26:03 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #204 - 06/27/14 at 14:33:13
 
Cool LR...thanks!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #205 - 06/28/14 at 14:57:45
 
Give me FedEx over UPS any day!

I have an out for Saturday delivery....on the Truck headed my way!

Rainy day here...so I'm missing nothing outside.  I just need my DSD DAC for inside.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #206 - 06/28/14 at 15:37:43
 
Oh I hope it arrives in the early aftenroon!

I'm sitting and waiting too, but in my case I'm sitting and waiting for the lovely Lucinda to arrive and start my day off in a great direction. After the year I've had, I'm glad I'm waiting for her, about as glad as you are to be waiting for FedEx.

I'm just finally getting a handle on the sound of my system after the new HR-1s have seasoned, the newest (among the last) Mk III has really come into its own, and the tube-rolling I have done has settled down. It sounds so good that the DS has to put its best foot forward. I know you feel the same way!
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« Last Edit: 06/28/14 at 15:40:10 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #207 - 06/29/14 at 14:59:29
 
Hi Lon, hope everything is well with the arrival of your gal yesterday.

FedEx arrived at 1:30 yesterday! I had it in my System by 3pm sharp.

I listened to it from 3 till 11:45 pm. The first 4 hours I was in and out of the room. It was all over the place... . In the 5th an 6th hour I started to hear what people on Audioshark and Gordon an others are hearing/enjoying over on the PS Audio Forum. Totally relaxed with details...even more....with depth. Oh and yes, I played a song that just has the drummer hammering the upper inner bell of the ride cymbal and it was the best I've ever heard. The overall sound of a band complete with decaying percussion is so sweet.

I am obviously a ways from having this burned in too. Furthermore, the first Firmware upgrade became available June 19th. I will wait a few hundred hours before doing so (to SD card download-for those unfamiliar then to unit). ...See Firmware PS Audio thread DS Firmware update created/posted by Paul.

A lot of people have mixed feelings about hi-res if you read through the original DS thread starting in March (starting with post #268 page 9).

However, no disappointment (from anyone on any Forum)with decoding redbook via SPDIF.

I wanted to convey more initial impressions...but I have to get going. I can't listen today but I will be in the Listening Room tomorrow! -Stone

Oh PS, I've had the NAD 51 DAC in last year and the PWT with PWD MkII an I've had Audio Alchemy's best gear for 19 years via premium 12s. The DS just doesn't sound different....it is an improvement in Redbook...with much more nuance to come....I expect.

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #208 - 06/29/14 at 15:24:59
 

That's good to hear!

I'm still scheming to get one, I just have too many other financial commitments right now.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #209 - 07/01/14 at 14:52:44
 
Hey, I just deleted a thread/link for free financing at Music Direct. This is against the no ad policy. So, I don't think it was appropriate.

Yes, you can do 36 months same as cash through July 3rd. I mention, because I remember LR mentioned if he could get a good financing deal.... . You probably new that...but we're all so busy...maybe you missed it (if you don't get their sound bites newsletter). A good opportunity...and they only offer it periodically.

I also like the units they are shipping = virgin stock....so you can hear and burn in....then add the new Firmware upgrade just posted June 19th.

Peace, an everyone have a great 4th!   -Stone
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« Last Edit: 07/01/14 at 16:11:19 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #210 - 07/01/14 at 16:57:11
 
Quote:
Hey, I just deleted a thread/link for free financing at Music Direct. This is against the no ad policy. So, I don't think it was appropriate.

Yes, you can do 36 months same as cash through July 3rd. I mention, because I remember LR mentioned if he could get a good financing deal.... . You probably new that...but we're all so busy...maybe you missed it (if you don't get their sound bites newsletter). A good opportunity...and they only offer it periodically.

I also like the units they are shipping = virgin stock....so you can hear and burn in....then add the new Firmware upgrade just posted June 19th.

Peace, an everyone have a great 4th!   -Stone


Music Direct means I pay tax...but, same as cash means Eric might get a DirectStream!  :)

Thanks for the heads up!
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« Last Edit: 07/01/14 at 17:02:50 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #211 - 07/01/14 at 17:24:15
 
Stone, LR,  I don't think posting a link to a store or deal is prohibited here.  Steve can correct me.  If members here want to alert others to discounts or other deals I think it's great...I do it all the time.  Now a retailer directly advertising here is another matter.  Mark.

PS...Elusive Disc, Sound Stage Direct and Music Direct have all started there 10% off sale for the 4th...the later two you have to remember to enter the code given.  I'm busy deciding what to order from whom as I type!

This CD next...

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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #212 - 07/01/14 at 17:52:03
 
Thanks for the impressions Stone. It will be interesting to hear in my system in about three weeks. All those things you speak of I feel I already have with my PS Audio power treatment (including all those PowerBases!) and cabling and the PWT and PWD Mk II, as well as the Decware amps and speakers. It really has to be a step up for me to go gaga.

Boy was the wait worth it for me on Saturday, had a wonderful time with Lucy then, and Sunday afternoon as well. So looking forward to my next time off, Thursday!
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« Last Edit: 07/01/14 at 17:53:07 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #213 - 07/02/14 at 14:13:08
 
I agree Lon. It is going to have to show you something substantial.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #214 - 07/02/14 at 14:16:43
 
I agree as well - after the XLR upgrade on my ZMA, I really feel my Oppo/Decware setup with P10 foundation is at the highest level it's ever been.

That said, I'm practically salivating at the idea of what the DirectStream could do for my Redbook collection (which is like 200GB+ of ripped data now).

I have a few calls to make this morning, lets see what happens.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #215 - 07/02/14 at 14:22:03
 
stone_of_tone wrote on 07/02/14 at 14:13:08:
I agree Lon. It is going to have to show you something substantial.  

I'm pretty sure that it IS going to be a step up, but my sound is so good now* that it seems insane to spend the dosh.

But then being sane has never been my favorite state of being.

Eric, I think the DS will blow your mind on balanced into the ZMA. I know you like the sound of the Oppo a lot more than I do, but this is going to be a leap up.

*The latest changes that boosted the sound to new heights are Genelax KT66 power tubes and an Amperex OA2 voltage regulator tubes. Wow!

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« Last Edit: 07/02/14 at 15:32:43 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #216 - 07/02/14 at 15:43:18
 
Lon, I might have to check out those KT66 on the ZMA sometime. I've already got a spare set of Cryo'd Tung-Sol from Mike, so I'm in no hurry to procure more tubes.

I do like the Oppo - mostly because for the money it's really a great Swiss Army Knife. I know there are better sounding devices, but for me, it's exactly what I need.


Anywho - DirectStream INBOUND!

Worked out 36 Months same as cash with Music Direct. I had to pay tax, which hurt, but I should have my DirectStream plugged in and playing later tonight!  :)

Now I just need to save up and wait for the Bridge II
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« Last Edit: 07/02/14 at 15:48:49 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #217 - 07/02/14 at 15:53:15
 
Good news on the DS. Excellent!

I have a set of the Tung-Sol as well . . . and at first, before the Genelax broke in I was like "what, the Tung-Sol are better" but after break in the Genelax are really something! (Both my sets are cryo'd).
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #218 - 07/02/14 at 16:54:26
 
Awesome LR...36 months same as cash! Even with your IL state tax.... . I'm glad I put that out there.

Lon, same here...to heck with sane:

I will be getting the Genelex Gold Lions
I have Cryoset Pre Tubes already in hand for the ZMA
I will be adding a Kimber Select 1030 RCA IC from my DSD DAC to my CSP3...the CSP3 is that good! (I'm currently using a Kimber Silver Streak to my Pre and a Kimber 1030 from Pre to ZMA.....then to Kimber Select 3035...)

Loving the DS!  The little bit of bass bloat is gone and the cloudiness is gone, now letting all the detail through! (Lets face it, I get more musical detail because the ZMA's Clean Power Supply and No Negative Feedback...Steve, the mans a genius...an the CSP3 too...obviously...). ....my Cables have a lot to do with it too = Holographic an Low Noise Floor...... .

LR, yes, the bridge is in my future too.

Lon, what Power Cord are you using to your PWD?  
Is it the AC-12?
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« Last Edit: 07/02/14 at 17:55:42 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #219 - 07/02/14 at 17:20:47
 
Lon, you will be getting the new FW update. I am going to resist doing it until I have 200 hours on my Unit.  

I like the fact that their will be access to old....
http://www.psaudio.com/forum/directstream-all-about-it/directstream-dac-first-im...

posts: 1953 & 54

I am on Holiday and it will be hard to split time between the DS and being outside partying! Weather is looking good here for the 4th! Then I'm off to NYC an Upstate for 10 days.  I might have the GF run some hours on the DS for me...she is not on this Trip.  
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« Last Edit: 07/02/14 at 17:28:15 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #220 - 07/02/14 at 17:56:38
 
Glad you are enjoying the DS Stone, sounds like it's a great source.

Yes, I have clean power and no negative feedback too, it's the way to go.

Yes, I'm using the PS Audio AC-12 on all my components. I've tried quite a few cords and this is the one that works everywhere for me.
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« Last Edit: 07/02/14 at 17:59:07 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #221 - 07/02/14 at 18:09:22
 
Awesome guys!  I really think there is a synergy between PS Audio and Decware, but maybe that's too strong of a statement.  Regardless, they sound awesome together!  

Keep the feedback on the DirectStream coming in...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #222 - 07/02/14 at 18:39:19
 
Thanks Lon, it is on my list.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #223 - 07/02/14 at 19:31:13
 
Norman Brown....Lydian, from the redbook CD After The Storm.

Norman was in the Room and he just burned the Listening Room down!!

I only have 27 hours on this DAC... .

This DAC should get CJ's Trademark free of charge...and to keep..."It just sounds right".  

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« Last Edit: 07/02/14 at 20:10:18 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #224 - 07/03/14 at 05:57:19
 






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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #225 - 07/03/14 at 06:26:36
 
I've got the DAC going, but I can't seem to get my Media PC to see it. I think this install of Windows is having issues with the PS Audio DAC driver. I'm at the point where I'm thinking about just formatting the damn PC and starting fresh. Right now, I'm playing music via my Oppo -> Coax -> DS DAC -> XLR -> ZMA



So, Brianne was pretty heated that I dropped money on this...even with the 36mo Same as Cash and all that. (apparently she wanted me to buy new kitchen countertops/sink/faucet). She grumbled that at the PS Audio demo we went to, she couldn't hear a lick of difference between the Oppo and the DS. I've just spent the past two hours trying to get the damn Media PC to work, gave up and just started streaming from the Oppo - first track I play is Crosby, Stills, and Nash off CSN (1969) Helplessly Hoping - It's one of my go-to songs to see how resolving something is, and I just love the harmonies. I'm not 10 seconds into the song and Brianne is like "is this the same copy you always play?" I say, why yes, look at the CD image it's displaying on the screen (it's my DCC 24k Gold CD), and she's like "who's the whiny girl on the right speaker?" I break out laughing as I was thinking the same thing.

First impressions, separation of instruments and vocals is far greater. You could clearly pick out each vocal and drum whereas in the past is was kind of a muddled blur...though I never realized that. I used to think the separation was great with the Oppo and ZMA. Reverb in albums is more apparent. Percussion sounds more realistic; being a casual musician, I think I have a good sense of the attack a plucked guitar string or crack of a drum head has, and this is very apparent with the DS DAC. (Edit to add: Attack and Decay both are amazing)

I have more on my mind, but I need to let it percolate a bit. I like giving a "percentage of improvement" when I talk about how gear improves my experience with the system. At first I was going to say only 10% improvement, but the fact that Brianne was immediately hearing differences (even in songs she hates like Helplessly Hoping), and the clear separation of voices and instruments - I'm bumping this up to a 15%+ I'll let it burn in a bunch (one of the few digital pieces that I truly believe needs to be burned in) and I'm betting this is going to be a 20-25% improvement to my system. That's as big of a deal as getting the ZMA was. They are a good match so far - I just need more time, and I need to get this damn JRiver/PS Audio driver working!
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« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 06:30:24 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #226 - 07/03/14 at 06:52:40
 
How the heck did you get it so fast did you run down to Music Direct and pick it up? Shocked

After installing the drivers, did you go into Control Panel>Sounds and set it as your default device?
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« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 07:08:31 by beowulf »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #227 - 07/03/14 at 11:04:17
 
Awesome Eric. Sounds like I'm in for a treat when I'm done with my vacation and I send one of my DAC Mk IIs back for the upgrade.

In the meantime I need this vacation, both for time with my new gal here and to see my friends in Texas, so badly--my days can be so hard to get through that I'm beginning to look fondly on the worst jobs I've had in my life-- that I'm not even jealous you guys got yours first (and mine has been paid for for weeks and weeks!)
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« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 11:10:36 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #228 - 07/03/14 at 12:57:56
 
Awesome LR! I am 31 hours in and could not be happier. The step up in musicality/involvement is very pleasing and justifies the purchase for sure. Plus, I've only scratched the service... .

Yes! You need to get things rolling out of your CPU. I read your post at PS....looking for a cheap USB cable. You have to much ripped...not to get that up and running. I saw some postings in regards to your issue...on the PS Forum.

My continued order of musical enjoyment is getting 200 hours on my DS then consider the latest Firmware update? However, I read through all of the posts at PS in regards to this...and I might leave my unit alone for 500+ hours. I like it the way it is! But, you can always go back to the version you had. I suppose I will have to play around with it eventually. Hey, I like the dedicated line your running too!  Smart.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #229 - 07/03/14 at 15:28:38
 
Quote:
How the heck did you get it so fast did you run down to Music Direct and pick it up? Shocked


I was going to drive into the city to pick it up, but (long story short), John from Music Direct hand delivered it to me here at home.  No kidding! LOL  We chatted about guitars and gear a bit, and I slipped him a six pack of a rare Dogfish Head beer as a thank you for dropping off the equipment. I did have a six pack of good Root Beer in hand in case he wasn't a drinker - I always feel terrible when I find someone is in AA *after* I try to thank them with a rare alcohol - so I try to have a backup plan.  :P

Quote:
After installing the drivers, did you go into Control Panel>Sounds and set it as your default device?


I spent hours on the #$%^@ last night - it's a Windows issue I'm sure. The DAC appears to be working fine, my settings were setup according to several guides I read on the intarwebs. Windows just wouldn't take the DAC Driver correctly, and absolutely wouldn't let me reinstall the driver. I went as far as to wipe the PC and try a fresh copy of windows (last thing I did before going to bed at 3am). If that doesn't work, I'm going to try going back to Windows 7 - this is my first foray into Windows 8.1 and so far it sucks.

Quote:
Awesome Eric. Sounds like I'm in for a treat when I'm done with my vacation and I send one of my DAC Mk IIs back for the upgrade.

In the meantime I need this vacation, both for time with my new gal here and to see my friends in Texas, so badly--my days can be so hard to get through that I'm beginning to look fondly on the worst jobs I've had in my life-- that I'm not even jealous you guys got yours first (and mine has been paid for for weeks and weeks!)


Lon my friend, you deserve this time off more than anyone I know. Enjoy it! In fact, get the F off the forums! Go! Now! Stop reading, and GO!

Stone, don't be a dope, jump up to the 6115 Firmware NOW! It's a grand improvement! *This* is the what I heard at the demo with Paul two weeks back - the clarity and *depth* of image! I nearly fell out of my chair with how the music suddenly stretch far through the back wall. I've had some chats with Ted and Paul, and they both say this is *the* firmware to have. The older firmware may sound good/better in some systems, but this latest change takes the DAC from a 15%+ improvement to a solid 25%! I thought the DirectStream was good, now it's GREAT.

Also, I had a short geeky chat with Ted about burn-in. I can keep up with his theories and ideas as long as he doesn't delve into the technical minutia (which is to say I'm pretty sure he's dumbing it down for me  :D  ). He said the analog parts he's selected for the DAC are really low heat generating parts, and he believes the side-effect of this is long burn in before "steady state".


So, I'm playing the DAC again this morning (of course), and I keep gravitating back to my Blue Coast Records recordings. Even DSD run through the Oppo (converted to PCM then through Coax) while not ideal, sounds amazing. Very engaging and lifelike. The output volume on this DAC doesn't seem to be as much as the Oppo, so I don't feel it's *driving* the ZMA as hard as the Otari Reel to Reel or the Oppo does. I feel the ZMA likes that drive and brings a direct mic to mixing board sound into the room. The trade-off is that the DS DAC is easier and less fatiguing than the Oppo (or tape!).
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« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 15:29:53 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #230 - 07/03/14 at 17:27:56
 
LR, you convinced me! I will do the 6115 as soon as I can.

I'm surprised even with the +6db from XLR out to the ZMA XLR you're lacking a little for attenuation? I am glad I have the CSP3... .

Dogfish...I love Dogfish beer!  Now I have to go get some when I'm in Wisconsin tomorrow and of course it ships out of Delaware to NYC for me next week!

Arnie Nudell is involved with this DAC too. So, in honor of him I'm hooking up my Genesis Genre II's! They image like nobody's business and why I won't sell them...they get rotated in often. IF, I can only stop Listening to Music right now to do it. This DAC is blowing my mind!  Knowing the 6115 FW will blow it further is ....I'm at a loss for words.
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« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 17:29:47 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #231 - 07/04/14 at 02:09:11
 
LR...sounds like you are hearing what your system is capable of with the ZMA and a great front end.  Still thinking about replacing the 944's?

Stone...Enjoy the DS and keep the feedback coming in.  Also, since you are the King of Speakers on this forum, please keep reporting on your experiences with your different speakers.  They are extremely helpful.    

Lon...can't wait to hear how the DS sounds in your system and the direct comparison between DS and mkii.  Most importantly, enjoy your time off!

Hope you all are enjoying the music!  I know I am!

Cheers,
d  

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Reply #232 - 07/04/14 at 02:41:35
 

Stone,

If you watched the video I posted from Paul's visit, he mentioned that (if I remember correctly) they lifted the low pass filter higher and added DXD processing to the Firmware. It really makes an imaging difference. Though in the PSA forums, they also say there is a new midrange sweetness and some other stuff. I think it's just the "air" that creates the illusion of depth, but I don't have the hours on the DAC to say the mids aren't improved.

Whatever, this version Rocks.
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Reply #233 - 07/05/14 at 18:53:10
 
OK, two days into this now - I've played the DAC 4 hours on, 4 hours off almost 24/7 for this first two plus days.

Sound wise, it's smoothed out a bit. Bass is huge and punchy - maybe too  much bass. I'm still trying to put my finger on what's wrong as "too much" doesn't sound correct. Every album I put on sounds "different", be it a CD rip or DSD - it's like I bought a collection of remasters. It's good, but in some ways disconcerting. You know, like you've listened to and loved an album for 30 years, and they go and remaster and re-release it...it sounds good, better even, but the differences throw you off. My audio-memory is hiccuping due to the changes.

The latest (6115) Firmware is amazing. Due to the fact that this DAC uses an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), whenever Ted comes up with some revelation in programming, you can simply put the latest changes on SD card, pop it in, reboot the DAC and boom, you just got a DAC upgrade via Email! Seriously, the first Firmware was good, but a couple albums I listen to sounded a bit edgy, good albums too like Blue Man Group - Audio (note: this could also be new hardware burn in, but I'm 98% sure it's the firmware). After the firmware update, it's like I bought a new-*new* DAC. This Blue Man Group album is now punchy, tight, smooth, and had D-E-P-T-H. The depth I feel was the biggest improvement in this firmware. And these improvements can simply be sent to you via E-mail! So lets say they come up with a DSD-super-duper format. No problem, Ted just rewrote the code that runs the DAC, you can download it and boom! you have a new format. In fact he did this recently to add DXD support.


With Ted's help I got JRiver working on a micro-PC I built. The JRiver Software is still flaky, and I'm not sure it's running correctly, but I don't exactly have the money (nor inclination) to run out and "Buy a Mac" as the saying goes. In fact, right now I can't even afford the PS Audio Bridge to add network capability to the DS DAC (I'll wait for the Bridge II - whatever/whenever that is). Long story short, I have *everything* encoded as DSD128 and playing back via DoP, even if it's a Redbook rip (which is what I'm listening to as I type this). This setup wasn't exactly intentional, as I'm having many issues with JRiver, but it's working, and working well - so I'll leave it for now.

As many of you know, I jumped on the Reel to Reel bandwagon after being blown away by Steve's Otari setup and a couple "master tapes". I love the sound of 1/4" tape, it just has a density that I've not heard anywhere, short of live performances. I was honestly hoping the DS DAC would present me with that same *density* and wake up my music collection so I could stop trying to be such a tape hound, hunting down good deals on great tapes...truth be told, the DS is great, but it's no tape unfortunately. Yes, it has huge depth, clarity, and dynamic range, just not that density.

Volume and "Push" - previously I mentioned that the DAC didn't seem to be pushing the ZMA as hard as my reel to reel or Oppo. I had the volume pretty much cranked between the ZMA and DS DAC, and it wasn't quite as loud as the Otari or the Oppo. I'm not sure exactly what's changed, but the DS DAC *seems* louder today, but oddly I think the Oppo seems to "ride the gain" better still. If I wasn't able to get the DS DAC with the great deal I did, I could honestly say I'd be quite happy with the Oppo to ZMA via XLR.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions - I kinda rambled as usual, but I think I touched on all the points I wanted to, and hopefully with some clarity.  :)














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« Last Edit: 07/05/14 at 18:56:30 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #234 - 07/05/14 at 19:11:29
 

I missed this earlier -

Quote:
LR...sounds like you are hearing what your system is capable of with the ZMA and a great front end.  Still thinking about replacing the 944's?


Yes - While the frequency range and detail on the 944 is amazing, especially DS to ZMA (the bass is huge and full - I've actually stopped to check to see if my sub was on, but it's not even connected!), I'm nutty about 3D imaging, and the DS just drives me to want more of that. I really need a 2 way system, or radial to get me where I want to be. I'm afraid I'll probably have to give up on some bass in order to get the imaging I dream of. The style of (my pair!) these speakers is great, the frequency response is great, I just don't think M-T-M work for me, except maybe in a home theater setup where I'm not as critical about throwing an image.

I'm tapped after purchasing the DirectStream...and Brianne had me go ahead and order new kitchen counters to boot, so I'm really tapped. If I were to go for another set of speakers, I'd have to hope for a good deal, and probably sell my 944, my Otari, and my tape collection to afford the upgrade. That's hard for me to do, but I'd consider it if the right speakers came around. Steve tells me he thinks the HR-1 are  probably what I'm needing to make me happy - so I'm going to schedule a visit with Steve and give them a run with his ZMA and my DS to see what happens.
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Reply #235 - 07/06/14 at 19:31:48
 
Yeah, others have noticed even with the 6db of gain using Balanced...they long for more....when driving the DS direct to Amp. Ultimately, a Preamp is needed.

Speaking of my CSP3 Preamp....I'm spending time today A-B-A'in the DS against my AA Front End.  I love the DS....but I love the fatigue free extended highs and overall tonal balance I am getting with the AA with 20 bit dither. Riding the gain of both my DAC and the CSP3 (plus I have the voltage output dialed in)...I don't care when I truncate a couple of bits back to 18 or 16....because the CSP3 is maintaining it all/tonal balance and detail=definition an weight!

Well, I have until the 25th of July to make a decision. If I send it back...that free's up some serious funds for coming Decware masterpieces!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #236 - 07/06/14 at 20:45:55
 

Quote:
Steve tells me he thinks the HR-1 are  probably what I'm needing to make me happy - so I'm going to schedule a visit with Steve and give them a run with his ZMA and my DS to see what happens.

What about the Monoliths?  Those are a 2 way MT config.  Weren't those the speakers used at TapeFest?  Thoughts?

Anything new you are hearing from the DS as it continues to break in?  I wish you had a PW mkii to do a direct comparison.
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Reply #237 - 07/06/14 at 22:19:32
 
Quote:
Anything new you are hearing from the DS as it continues to break in?  I wish you had a PW mkii to do a direct comparison.


No, nothing besides what I've already mentioned above. The sense of space, depth, and detail - all without fatigue are really what make this DAC wonderful. I'm going through CD rips that I was burned out on, and it's like they are all remasters - they sound different, but better.

If anything's changed after 3 days of 4-5 hours on, 4-5 hours off, the DAC just seems to be getting more consistent. Bass doesn't seem as squirrely as before

I'm listening to my old Satriani recordings right now, and the detail that's being pulled is amazing - the synths have more growl to them, the drums more snappy, the reverb and space is huge and with luscious decay. I'm constantly amazed as how much micro-detail and spacial information was missing in all these CDs until now.

I'm sure the PWD and Stone's AA gear is good stuff, but I can't imagine anything in this price range and under coming close to what the DS is doing. The DS is the front end equivalent to what the ZMA was for me. I really just need to find speakers in this caliber and I could live with this setup till the end of times.

Quote:
What about the Monoliths?  Those are a 2 way MT config.  Weren't those the speakers used at TapeFest?  Thoughts?


I'd have to give them a serious listen as well. So far, I've not heard the kind of imaging I'm looking for from them, but I just figured that was because we had so much stuff in the room at Steve's place. My room still isn't done, I've got one giant diffuser half-way done and had to put a pause on any fun projects for house projects. It will be the next Decfest before I get around to mass producing diffusers at this rate. LOL
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« Last Edit: 07/06/14 at 22:24:07 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #238 - 07/06/14 at 23:05:05
 
I hear you LR. I have "On Every Street" = Dire Straits in right now on the DS...and I still don't have the FW upgrade in yet.  The micro and the macro....just nails me to my Listening Chair!

It is gorgeous outside...I'm to be somewhere....I cracked open a Dogfish Head Sixty-One...The continually Hopped India Pale Ale brewed with Syrah grape must.   I'm not leaving...the shade of my Listening Room tonight-is where I'm staying...I had a great weekend outside partying already... .  Cheers
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« Last Edit: 07/06/14 at 23:06:15 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #239 - 07/07/14 at 03:19:02
 

I'm trying to get Steve interested in Dogfish Head - he likes the Sierra Navada Extra IPA - which I think is good, though a bit bitter for me. Cost could be a deterrent for Dogfish Head - but, in my limited experience, they make the best brews around.
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Reply #240 - 07/07/14 at 19:38:00
 

Stone - I had a short E-mail conversation with Cookie from Blue Coast Records about the DirectStream. She says she's got one they use in the studio, and and one that's her personal DSD player at home. She sent me an E-mail to  tell me to go install the 6115 Firmware ASAP. I had to laugh because I was about to ask her if she's done the same yet.

I look forward to hearing your reports.

I'm going to try a couple Pangea USB cables and see if I hear any difference - I'm really doubting it, Ted even said he simply uses cheap USB cables - but others swear by nicer USB cables. Either way, it can't hurt to shorten the 10' cable I have with a nice .5m POCC copper one.

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Reply #241 - 07/07/14 at 22:43:47
 
There is an interesting thread going over on the Hoffman Forums as to whether they work or not.  After reading that I would say the consensus thinks they don't work for the most part.  

I have tried an upgraded USB cable ~ the $70 Wireworld Ultraviolet vs the standard freebee cable that came with my printer and while the WW Ultraviolet is made much nicer with better connectors, etc. I cannot tell the difference soundwise and if there is one it is so subtle that the costs outweighed the benefits.

However ... asisde the enormous bandwidth you can get with USB, the negative aspect is that it carries both data and power so there is noise involved within the signal that could potentially pollute the data preventing the cleanest signal possible to your DAC.  That being said there could be some potential benefits of splitting the signals (i.e. data in one stream and power in the other) which IMO would be better bang for the buck than buying expensive USB cables.  

There are some after market PCIe cards that filter this noise such as the one SOtM produces and that will clean up the signal.  But you can take it a step further and a newer device that I see a lot of potential with is the iFi Micro – iUSBPower which actually splits the signal when combined with their Gemini (double headed) USB cable.






I think what I like about this rather than the SOtM card is that even though it is filtered at the PC level, it is still transferred via the same cable so there is still potential for noise creeping in by the time it gets to the DAC.  If you wanted to take it one more step further iFi also makes a filter that plugs into the DAC USB port ... that way the USB noise is addressed at every link in the chain so to speak with the iPurifier.


There's a few good reviews on them:

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/01/amr-ifi-iusbpower-review/

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue66/computer_audio.htm

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ifi-idac-ican-and-iusbpower/?page=5
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« Last Edit: 07/07/14 at 23:05:42 by beowulf »  
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Reply #242 - 07/07/14 at 23:39:28
 
Funny, I was just reading about that stuff today. I had half convinced myself that I'd build a nice external linear power supply (or buy one probably), and DIY a nice USB cable using 26AWG Zen Styx type wire. I'm pretty sure I could build some pretty decent cables...but then, I don't have the time for this crap...so I still have the Pangea cable in my Amazon cart. LOL
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #243 - 07/08/14 at 00:24:03
 
I hate to admit this, but I bought a Mapleshade USB cable a year or so ago. It sounded different than the crappy one I was using. I suppose it sounds better.
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Reply #244 - 07/08/14 at 02:11:37
 
@ Donnie ... I've heard that about the Maple Shade from at least three people now.  I even heard that somebody replaced their Wireworld Ultraviolet USB Cables (the same ones I use) with the Maple Shade and to a greater effect than the WWs, so they must be doing something right.
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Reply #245 - 07/08/14 at 07:04:02
 
It may well depend on the DAC and how it deals with USB power and data. My Tranquility most definitely benefited from a better cable, specifically the one DBAudioLabs built for it. With the ZDAC, a Wireworld Starlight was notably better than the inexpensive computer cable, more everything. The Tranquility Essential cable was not as good in the ZDAC, but in the Tranquilty, the Wireworld was nowhere near as good as the Tranquility Essential.

Adding a USB power supply that intercepts the voltage coming from the computer and puts cleaner power to the DAC notably improved the Essential cable going to the Tranquility...increased detail throughout, and particularly micro. But Orangecrush tried the same USB power unit, and he could not hear it with his DAC, presumably because the DAC itself had its own power to the USB chip, somehow isolating the computer power, or filters to keep noise from the USB cable to the Anedio D2 DAC.

Seems cable importance or lack thereof might have to do with how the data is processed also.

I wonder if this is why Ted thought a simple USB cable would be just fine...because the DS somehow processes out any nasties the USB might carry be it jitter or electronic noise.

LR,

As an aside, looking at your 944 classified, with the bass that the MGs can radiate, I would think you might be getting vibration caused signal damage at the P10 and Mystery. They seem really close to a bigass resonator even with tube dampers and if you are using good feet under the units. From my explorations, excess vibration can really do a number on the signal as it passes through the circuits, muddling any or all parts of the spectrum. Could be worth checking out anyway.
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« Last Edit: 07/08/14 at 07:06:38 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #246 - 07/08/14 at 14:05:35
 

Will, thanks for the observation, but the photo was from a visit to Palomino's house where I was showing off the P10 and ZMA in his well treated room. My setup at home is still kinda close, but not nearly as bad as that photo...it jus thappens that was the clearest photo I had of the MG-944. I don't have much in the way of light in my livingroom, so all my photos at home kinda suck (too lazy to bust out the Nikon and the tripod to do it right).

I'm working on building a new rack anyways. The rack is going to be quite nice and heavy, with resonation soaking shelves and cones at the top and bottom. I'm just not sure how/where to fit it in the room!

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Reply #247 - 07/08/14 at 19:17:24
 
I see the complication... that is a lot of stuff to fit under the screen!

I am sure you have played extensively with the 944 placement within whatever limitations you have. But your system keeps changing. I found even with more damping and plinth adjustment (and without EQ) mine do better more out from the wall than that for the best sound and to get crazy good imaging. You probably already pulled them out further from the gear and wall, but if that were to work with the present system...sort of two for one?

It is good to hear yours and Stone's excitement over the new DS DAC! Interesting how we describe audio impressions, but as you both describe what you hear with the DS, if you replaced "DS" with "Tranquility DAC" (the way I have it set up anyway), I would agree with what you are hearing! Outrageous micro detail and associated textures and spacial information, timbre, and musicality. That is if redbook were the only choice with the DS like it is with the Tranquility!

I wish I could hear it. I live in the audio sticks!
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« Last Edit: 07/08/14 at 19:18:27 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #248 - 07/08/14 at 19:42:45
 

Will, the MG-944 are currently 71" from the back wall, and about the same from the side wall (on the left). Unfortunately on the right opens up to my dining room - so it's a non-symmetrical setup...which I do understand is part of my problem.

But even when we brought my MG-944 to Palomino's house, no matter how we adjusted things, we couldn't get them to image the way I want. I was getting huge soundstage, and a little depth (much more depth with DS now), but I wasn't getting that coherent 3d image of the musicians between the speakers. Vocals sound great honestly, I keep gravitating to CSN Helplessly Hoping and Wailin' Jennys - Summertime (live) because the voices just come alive and hover in the room with me...but guitars and sax don't. IMHO - it's the MTM that's keeping me from getting that.
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Reply #249 - 07/08/14 at 19:53:05
 

I should add, my expectation for 3d imaging, is exceptionally high to be sure. I was spoiled a long time ago by a well setup room, and it's possible I'm simply asking too much of speakers without having a completely dedicated and treated room.

Still, my instincts tell me MTM is hurting me. I think I need radial or simple time aligned 2 way.
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