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PS Audio about to ... (Read 198513 times)
Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #850 - 11/03/16 at 20:12:53
 
Yes, I did. Loving it.

Here is what I wrote on the PS Audio forum yesterday:

It’s been 21 hours now since the DMP was installed and plugged in and spinning discs.

Initially, cold off the truck, the unit sounded “fuzzy” and “splashy” in comparison to the well-seasoned PWT. There was a lot of higher frequency energy that was filling spaces that were “black” with the PWT and there was a looser and less overall lower frequency sound in general. This made Redbook sound less satisfying than the overall warmer and tighter presentation from the PWT.

The DMP Redbook playback is very different at the moment. All the “fuzzy” and “splashy” aspects have ended. The “black” spaces may be a bit diminished in presence as there are new minute micro-detail nuances that seem to sneak in to those spaces. The soundstage has bloomed and in comparison to the PWT the soundfield seems a bit denser and yet airier as well. I’m not a “soundstage nut” so I haven’t developed my vocabulary to describe what I hear nor have I as much experience in many changing  impressions as I don’t really tweak for that. The DMP is giving me a new, different presentation that I enjoy, retaining very similar boundaries, but blending the instrumental images a bit more, in a good way, cooperatively, as they sound to me when I am listening in a small club or when I was rehearsing and performing with others in the ‘eighties (yes, I can still remember that far back). So. . . more like real music, making the PWT seem just a bit more “Hifi.” (And before I thought the PWT had the most realistic presentation that I have heard in my home).

I listened to a few well-recorded piano trios as I have played piano, bass and drums in my musical life, after the unit had warmed up some. I agree with Alan W that piano is presented in a superior way on the DMP than the PWT. There is a quicker overall sensation, and as he noted each note is more definitively played. There is also “more” to the sound of contrabass via fingers or bow, as well as more “air” and “burst” to the drum sounds. These are not extreme differences, but more than subtle when noticed and looked for. When just experiencing the music as uncritically as is possible with a new, anticipated component of this stature, there is a lot of energy when tempos are up, and a magnetic drawing in when there is quieter, slower beauty to hear.

So less than a full day in I have to say that as happy as I am and could be still with the PWT, the DMP is a decided improvement as a Redbook transport. Buyer’s remorse never entered my head or heart.

SACD playback. . . initially it was very disconcerting. The presentation was dramatically different than what I have been accustomed to in my system. My best SACD players (from Denon and Arcam) are warm, vinyl-like reproducers. I ease right into the listening. The DMP when just installed was like a speed racer in comparison, detail filling the air and tickling the senses, in that “fuzzy” and “splashy” way the sound had in the first few hours of use. As the unit settled in I was startled a few moments by the realistic and insistent percussion that jumped out at me on the Mobile Fidelity “On the Corner” SACD I was spinning. That was my first sign that SACD playback on the PMD would be something special.

I still need to listen to more SACD and Blu-ray Audio discs to get a handle on the hi-res sound now that the unit has been powered for almost two dozen hours. First SACD today, spinning now, is showing me that the improvements in Redbook sound are mirrored here in SACD playback. Minute details are realistically and appropriately introduced, yielding a dynamic realistic sound, with no “overhang” or added “richness.” This is very reassuring, as I had high hopes for the SACD aspect of the DMP, and I know I will be listening to SACD more often with the DMP in the house.

More impressions later today or tomorrow, but kudos to Paul, Ted and all those responsible for the development and release of the DMP. I’m a happy listener, and I sincerely feel priviledged to be a “beta tester.”
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Matchstikman
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #851 - 11/03/16 at 22:20:03
 
Lon, that's an impressive review.

Question; when you have a transport that makes your music sound amazing, how much more amazing can it get?
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #852 - 11/04/16 at 00:56:25
 
Don't know. I think there's always another layer of amazement waiting to reveal itself.

Getting there isn't easy, and may not even be necessary for most of us. Digital is coming into its own at last The different changes to the processing in the DAC I have through each upgrade. . . . The changes are small, targeting jitter and other noise issues, and yet the sound improvements are there. . .  I'm sure there's a point where one can stop, but in the case of the DAC the upgrades come and for the most part are free. I view PS Audio in ways that I view Decware. Always striving for improvement, good for the most part with customers.

Another listener sort of put this new unit into perspective for me: the improvement is in timing. Even more precise timing, the kind that makes vinyl playback so real. The new "Lens" is likely the culprit, it's brought a new focus into play, and that improves so many factors slightly. And cumulatively the improvements are very noticeable.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #853 - 11/06/16 at 13:39:44
 
For the past year or so I have been streaming almost exclusively from TIDAL to the Bridge II in my DS Dac.   I came back from the gym yesterday and my wife was listening to Tracy Chapman’s  ‘Let It Rain’ on the system and it sounded fantastic.  I have a couple of Tracy’s albums saved in TIDAL so I assumed she used the controller to switch albums.  Turns out she found the CD and dropped it into the PWT.  I had forgotten just how musical the PWT is.

It does seem slightly backwards to be making a CD transport in 2016, but I do have a lot of those shiny discs and I’m sure many others do to.  And it’s really not that difficult or inconvenient to get up from your seat and change a disc.  We could probably use the extra steps as well…
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Matchstikman
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #854 - 11/06/16 at 14:22:58
 
Honestly, DSD streaming is a mystery to me.  I'm not sure how to do it.  It's a black hole that's seems overly complex.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #855 - 11/06/16 at 14:24:26
 
Gosh yes the PWT is musical. And so far the Redbook on the new DMP is a step up from that even. And SACD. . . whoa! I'm glad I got to be a beta tester.

So far navigating DVD music discs and Blu-ray Audio discs is really not good. You pretty much have to just pop it in and listen to the whole disc. That's generally what I do anyway so I'm not really troubled, and I think they'll improve this with updates.

My unit is NOT going back! Wink
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Dave1210
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #856 - 11/06/16 at 15:07:51
 
Match...are you referring to streaming in general or specifically streaming DSD files?

Lon...I'm glad you are enjoying the new transport.  I will continue to read your thoughts and those of the entire beta testing team over on the PS Audio forum.  Happy listening...
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Matchstikman
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #857 - 11/06/16 at 16:10:49
 
I'm referring to DSD streaming and what it takes to get it done.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #858 - 11/06/16 at 16:44:47
 
Match...are you currently streaming PCM in your system?  

In theory, streaming DSD shouldn't be different (assuming your streaming software/hardware is capable) That said, DSD will likely put a higher demand on your network.  
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Matchstikman
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #859 - 11/06/16 at 22:12:22
 
I listen to music off the internet but that's as far as I do with streaming.  I'm not a member of any streaming service.  My PC is connect via USB to a DAC which in turn connects to the Decware amp.  

So, what will I need to get into this?  I use an iFi Nano iDSD DAC.
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Dave1210
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #860 - 11/06/16 at 22:38:25
 
Match...you are most of the way there.  I recommend TIDAL as a streaming service and I believe they still have a trial offer so you can check out the service.  You want the HiFi version (assuming you care about SQ), because  HiFi is a stream of CD quality files.  As long as your PC is connected to the internet, either via wireless or ethernet, you will be able to stream music via your internet browser (e.g. Google Chrome) to your DAC.

Are you using any "audiophile" software on your PC?  If so, many of them offer a "shell" for TIDAL, to further improve the SQ vs. streaming directly from your internet browser.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  

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Matchstikman
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #861 - 11/07/16 at 14:13:21
 
Dave, I will check out Tidal.  I've heard of it on this site and through some research but not very familiar with it.

I don't use any "audiophile" software on my PC.  When I listen to CDs I use Win10 Media Player.  That's about all I do.  

I appreciate the help.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #862 - 11/07/16 at 15:52:10
 
Quote:
Another listener sort of put this new unit into perspective for me: the improvement is in timing. Even more precise timing, the kind that makes vinyl playback so real. The new "Lens" is likely the culprit, it's brought a new focus into play, and that improves so many factors slightly. And cumulatively the improvements are very noticeable.


That's great to hear Lon! I kinda wish I had the money to be part of the current beta tests. I'd like to put it up against my streaming setup, but I think the I2S might give it a leg up on everything else.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #863 - 11/07/16 at 16:00:43
 
Quote:
I don't use any "audiophile" software on my PC.  When I listen to CDs I use Win10 Media Player.  That's about all I do.



That's a problem right there. The difference between an "audiophile" playback software, and something like iTunes and Windows Media player, is that the audiophile software sends the bits out to your DAC unmolested.  iTunes and Windows Media aren't bit-perfect. Also, the better "audiophile" software does what it can to reduce any outside influence on the unmolested bits to try to reduce jitter and noise. It could be as simple as turning down fans and stopping unnecessary sound processing applications that aren't being used.

Along with Tidal, which is a subscription based music streaming software, there are good audiophile playback software that range from free and very hands on like Foobar2000 to easier to setup and use inexpensive like Plex and a little more expensive like Roon or HQPlayer.

Please, feel free to ask any questions in our Digital section of the forum - I try to visit it a couple times a week to share what I've learned.  You might not realize what's out there or what you can do with what you have; I know I was pretty surprised and I'm pretty techy
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Matchstikman
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #864 - 11/07/16 at 17:29:57
 
Lonely, one last question on this thread about DSD and audiophile software.

I have a Window's box.  Most of the audiophile software I've read about is for OSX.  What do you recommend for Windows?   Also, would you recommend I get an Ipad?   I see that Audionirvan is great on OSX.  JRiver is good on Windows.  What do you suggest?
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #865 - 11/08/16 at 16:30:00
 
Being completely up front - I'm biased. I don't care for the Apple world at all. Great products - I'm not knocking the quality, but I don't like being restricted by their "walled garden" approach to everything. I'm a firm believer in a free market, open architecture for innovation and ultimately competitive pricing for us, the consumers.

So obviously I'm PC and Android based. I could go all geeky and go Linux based, but I see no need for that right now.

What being open means, is that some genius OCD kid in Japan who a prodigy in programming can whip up a great audiophile software like Bug Head

http://oryaaaaa.world.coocan.jp/bughead/index.html

Or multiple people/groups can contribute to something completely open architecture like Foobar2000, which is really powerful but a bit techy.

http://www.foobar2000.org/


Then the small programmers could come up with something so good they go big like Roon, or JRiver, or HQPlayer.

There are lots of options with Windows, because it's open to anyone who puts forth the effort to innovate.

Now, *you* need to decide what you need, and how much you're willing to put forth in effort or $$.  

For example, Foobar2000 is powerful, heavily configurable, and "bit perfect". It's FREE, but it's very fiddly to get setup correctly. It took me a couple hours to get it working, then a couple weeks to tweak all the settings and get it sounding the best it possibly good. Once setup, I didn't do a damn thing to it for two years - Rock solid. But there were lots of parts to getting it working, and lots of tweaking. If you're tweek inclined, have time, and no money - it's awesome! LOL

But today, I don't have the time to tweak, I really wanted to get great sound quick, and wanted to control it from my Android and not have to open up a laptop every time like I did with Foobar2000 (Note: I could do Foobar with my Android phone, but it was another layer of fiddly I just wasn't in the mood for).  So I dropped the $115 for a year subscription to Roon. It's *not* an online streaming system like Tidal; it instead manages and provides metadata (and more!) for your existing music collection - and took me about 15 minutes to setup on *both* my computer and my andoid!!  So that $115 gets me quick and easy setup, decent controls, and info like reviews and similar artists and other projects the artist has worked on! It's helped me discover great music I already had, and helped me seek out new stuff I didn't realize was out there. And it pushes my music over my network to my DirectSteam, my Denon Home Theater Receiver (networked), and any computer or phone...though that last part hasn't proven to be useful to me yet. LOL  But I hate yearly subscriptions...ugh - I'm too broke for this.


That said, when things settle down a bit for me, I'm going to try some other software like the Bug Head mentioned above, and HQPlayer which is a DSD upsampling software like the OSX stuff you mentioned that Palomino uses...and HQPlayer also integrates with Roon, so that works out.

You could even go straight up hardware solutions that are basically networked DACs that have some sort of interface you can control with your phone like the AURALiC Aries.

http://www.audiostream.com/category/players-streamer-reviews



Sorry that was so long - it's just, your question is like saying "what kind of car should I buy". There are a lot of "it depends". So I had to give you a broad overview of what's out there to help you narrow down what you have and what you need.

IMHO - if you have a DAC with a network connection, I'd just be jumping into some playback software with a demo period like Roon or JRiver. I'm sure there are more out there, I've just not taken the time to make a list or try them all.

If you have a DAC that's USB only and you're really happy with it, you either need a PC next to it, or you drop $700 on the microRendu which is basically a high quality Network to USB adapter, that also buffers the bits to improve sound. *then* you go through trying out some software mentioned above.


If you have no money, or love tweaking, then try out FooBar2000. There are guides out there to help you set it up. And it can work either via USB or over the network.

This is all basically what I wanted to post in the Digital forum. I'll probably cut and paste it there, and flesh it out a bit more when I have time. But work calls, and work pays the bills...




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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #866 - 11/08/16 at 16:41:04
 
I'd go with a windows based program if that's what box you currently have.  Why buy something new when you have something to learn with right now?

I went OSX because I have been using Macs since 1984.  I know how to troubleshoot them, etc.  The limitations Raven explained are real, but there are also benefits to everything working together.  I do all kinds of digital media so the integration is good for me.  That is what has kept me on the Mac bandwagon.

I have only tried 3 Mac based player programs and like Audirvana best.   I have heard Raven's digital system and can't hear any issues with his setup/software, so again, windows is viable and you have a machine...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #867 - 11/08/16 at 17:37:51
 
Thanks, guys.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #868 - 11/10/16 at 15:51:51
 
A quote from Paul McGowan about the new DirectStream Memory Player's performance and design compared to the PerfectWave Transport:

Yes, it is a very different approach we took on the Lens technology inside DMP. There’s the same buffer but because of the way it’s implemented it isn’t necessary for so much time to be stored to let the drive mechanism do its work. The clock we are using at the output of the Lens, which is the whole purpose of the Lens – the fixed low jitter clock – is lower by a wide margin than even the PWT.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #869 - 11/10/16 at 20:16:17
 

That makes sense. I remember Ted talking about going to the clock makers and saying he needed something better than 6 picoseconds for the DS, and they looked at him like he was nuts. At least that's what I remember. The general consensus was that we couldn't hear the difference...but apparently we can.

Just like I'm not sure I believe we only hear 20hz - 20khz. I think there is more to sound than that small slice of bandwidth.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #870 - 11/10/16 at 21:07:23
 
Absolutely, it's my experience that whenever the bandwidth is increased either direction or both directions a bit more is "there."

I'm loving this new player especially the last few days; it now has over 150 hours of playing various discs under its belt.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #871 - 11/12/16 at 06:10:52
 
+1. I firmly believe that undertones/overtones contribute much to the emotional involvement that we feel when we hear great music.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #872 - 01/19/17 at 23:11:14
 
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #873 - 04/06/17 at 21:41:53
 
Another new review of the DirectStream DAC and DirectStream Memory Player:

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/spdif-dac-reviews/ps-audi...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #874 - 04/06/17 at 21:50:26
 
Another nice review.  Thanks for sharing.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #875 - 04/06/17 at 22:06:48
 
Sure. I don't exactly agree about the "laid back" sound of the DS without the DMP but maybe that's system dependent.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #876 - 04/06/17 at 22:11:43
 
PS Audio is about to unleash a new series of components, the "Stellar" series. Beta user reports have been quite complimentary, especially of the DAC/preamplifier.

http://www.psaudio.com/products/stellar-gain-cell-dac/

http://www.psaudio.com/products/stellar-s300-power-amplifier/

http://www.psaudio.com/products/stellar-m700-power-amplifier/

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #877 - 04/07/17 at 17:02:47
 
Interesting - I wonder how the Gain Cell stuff works.  I'm going through the PS A forums and trying to catch up a bit...it's been over a year since I've seriously gone through them.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #878 - 04/07/17 at 17:23:49
 
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #879 - 04/07/17 at 17:25:49
 
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #880 - 04/07/17 at 17:34:44
 

Thanks for that Lon.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #881 - 04/07/17 at 17:55:54
 
Sure. Interesting stuff. PS Audio has used the Gain Cell tech before.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #882 - 04/08/17 at 01:56:01
 
I especially like the "balanced all the way through" aspect.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #883 - 04/20/17 at 16:48:31
 

I agree with the softening of sound via the DS. I had noted that when I was beta testing. Now from the description of the Memory Player via I2S, it sounds like the edge I've been missing.

Also, Paul posted this today

-------------------------------

Sometimes it’s a mystery
You’d think that after forty-something years of designing high-end audio equipment I/we would have most mysteries figured out. In fact, the opposite is true. The more we learn the more we understand how little we know.

Humbling.

At last weekend’s Colorado Audio Society meeting I knew there would be a lot of interest in the DirectStream Memory Player (DMP). And the obvious question would be, “how’s it compare to your reference of Mac Mini or Bridge II?”

Using the exact same track from our One SACD (nice to have the original DSD source files), I compared the two at identical volume levels. I was shocked. The difference in sound quality wasn’t subtle. DMP sounded open, extended, airy and the Mac server, as well as the Bridge, sounded as if a wet gauze had been draped over the system tweeters.

I had performed this experiment when we were designing DMP and do not remember the differences being this great.

I remember the days when a ripped CD to a hard drive sounded better than the playing of the original disc. Now the tables have turned.

Often, the magnitude of change grows in our imagination over time. Like the fish that got away. But other times, it shrinks.

Sometimes it’s a mystery.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #884 - 04/20/17 at 20:37:57
 
Eric, The PerfectWave Transport was great and the DirectStream Memory Player is sen better, I can easily believe what Paul is saying there. With the DMP and DSD I feel I am set, and with over 10,000 discs to spin I can do so for a long time. I hope you get to hear what the DMP will do for your system one day.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #885 - 04/20/17 at 21:41:30
 
I'm curious Lon, does the DMP have inputs so it could be used as like a network input, or USB input? Or is it only spinning disc playback?

I think we went over this before when it was still early beta, but I don't recall. It would have been great if they made it a network Endpoint as well as transport, but I doubt they did that.

I'd love for some sort of I2S endpoint to play my all digital library. I'm still bummed that the Bridge II doesn't support DSD128 - I told them during the beta that in my eyes that made the Bridge II outdated before it was even released.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #886 - 04/20/17 at 22:56:36
 
No inputs, just outputs, I guess they want to sell Bridges. I don't have a need for any networking, use of files, streaming, etc. and don't have or want the Bridge for network use. I think the DMP is geared towards someone with lots of discs who wants to spin them (guilty as charged). The way this duo sounds together I'm set for a long time.

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #887 - 04/20/17 at 23:31:43
 
Raven, interesting, Pauls' post. Like many of McGowan's comments, though they may be pretty accurate, often not fully explained. Like a "Mac Mini" in this quote...a Mini is literally hundreds of possible things depending on the original computer, setups, and associated, lots of different influences on sound. Whether a transport or server...how we adjust the many things, individually and collectively, clearly makes lots of difference... In a computer, just looking at variability in software players and system software (and the many ways these can be set/adjusted), CPU power, drives, computer loads, vibration management ... feet, damping; USB interface; power supply and other noise reducers; AC and data cables; memory, etc, etc. Just in the simple area of digital filters, I did not like Audirvana in my Mini for years, until later development, and after I got good at adjusting the filters. For a truer comparison, I wonder what putting deeper development into a computer could do...similar effort as the 6K Memory Player. My fast Mini was 750 used. I wonder what another $5K could do to improve it, if you could even spend that.

McGowan is bound to have optimized the Mini, but it is doubtful to me this effort even approached the first stages of his transport development...No doubt a new PSA transport got absolutely loads of attention and input from everyone involved.

Then I think of power. I don't prefer my Mini or my DACs plugged into PS Audio's P5, even after I adjusted it from stock in many ways to notably open up the sound...to allow more space and fine detail/less coloration. With this extreme effort, it has become good, finally not the impediment it was, but the front end still suffers compared to a simpler power source.

If I trusted the unadjusted P5 as an accurate power source, and I was developing something new, I would likely adjust the source cleaner, more revealing, partially in compensation for the power unit sound.

Finally it just seems to be too much a laberynth when you get down to the fine details of making something sound good (especially when it is designed for something else like a Mini) for McGowan's Mini to be realistically an optimal reference for sound comparisons against the Memory Player...I imagine sort of a computer in some respects itself.

I can certainly believe this transport to be very special. I bet it is great....but the comparison to the "Mini" as a reference, without more story, is suspect to me. Just thinking out loud. Wink
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #888 - 04/24/17 at 21:41:24
 
There is much more story on the mini, but it's in his past blog posts.

He sent it out to have a lot of work done to it, then used it with the Bridge II. For the most part I agree with Paul's assessments - so if he says the spinning disc via memory player and I2S sounds better, I tend to believe him. Especially considering the memory player was designed specifically for this, so it only makes sense.

Agin, I just wish the Bridge II worked at DSD128 like the player does.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #889 - 04/24/17 at 22:22:21
 
Eric I was not absolutely correct above: there is a USB input for flash drives in the front of the DMP, it works well.

And one thing to note Will: almost no one pays 6000 dollars. They have a very generous trade in program, you can get up to 1800 dollars off, and somehow many get these on sale etc. as well as the trade in. (I got mine for nearly half price as I was a beta tester and traded in a component).

This is perfect for someone who doesn't want to take the time to maximize a computer audio set up. Time is money, learning and configuring is time. Some are willing to take the time and really enjoy futzing and learning computer things all the time. Some of us would rather learn and futz with other stuff (for me it's listening to music, playing music, and ancient history). DMP is less of a time consumer in that way, and so money is expended for others' time.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #890 - 04/26/17 at 02:08:27
 
From Raven "For the most part I agree with Paul's assessments - so if he says the spinning disc via memory player and I2S sounds better, I tend to believe him."

I don’t think I questioned the truth of what he heard, but rather his off-hand comparison to "the Mini." Even with all state of the art optimization tools, a good computer can still be tuned to sound quite differently using variations of parts, software and settings. Darker, brighter, more or less revealing, more or less live, etc, etc. Countless possibilities for sound preferences. Same with a transport.

Leading to my other main point....though you said Paul did a lot with his computer, with similar personalized development effort and tech as that given to the Memory Player, I still suspect "the Mini" might be closer, the difference less "mysterious."

From Lon: "This is perfect for someone who doesn't want to take the time to maximize a computer audio set up."

I agree Lon. I don't think I said computers are better or worse, but especially with a budget like the Memory Player requires for most, a computer is real option for truly great sound. It is ever-developing too, like transports.

The guy I got my Tranquility from has done years of work optimizing the Mini for music (good value an aspect of the exploration). Continuing innovation, they are fixing Minis with parts and cables, but now, instead of adjustments to optimize the system, they created a specially coded operating system specific for music, finding this alone made loads of sound improvement.

To be fair, adding it all up, my Mini, with USB cleaners, software, cables (some DIY), monitor, separate music file drive... cost about 1750...not cheap, but it sounds pretty amazing to me.

With $4200 (reduced Memory Player cost with a preamp trade) payed to the right audio computer person, I would think the sound could be pretty impeccable...also offering the many interface benefits from computers, user sound adjustability for those inclined, easy play lists, ability to uncheck and check selections in an album, not having to mess with discs every play (just putting them in once), direct EQ, specialized room correction software, not to mention things I have fallen behind on, but many love...streaming and advanced libraries systems like Roon...

I know you like the disk part Lon, and don’t like computers, but for me, the above benefits (and more) weigh strongly in my decision to use a computer. Just different choices, and truly amazing sound.

I guess I got tweaked with the off-hand comparison of “the Mini” as part of Paul’s method of weaving a story as a vehicle to sales. And thinking it through, started to imagine what thousands more to a Mini could do.

Like Raven said, the Memory Player being made entirely with current tech and purpose made, it should be the best yet, but then there are tastes, and the reality that how a computer is made and configured creates too many potential outcomes to categorize “the Mini” as a comparator.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #891 - 05/05/17 at 17:18:35
 
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #892 - 05/05/17 at 22:34:06
 
I beta tested the PS Audio Gain Cell preamp/DAC for nearly 2 months.  It's a respectable piece and very high value, DAC, preamp and accepts analog inputs all in one box.  Some of it's features were a little quirky (probably will be addressed with a future software update).  It uses the ESS 9010 chip, which coincidentally is the same chip in my long-term DAC.  In direct A/B, level matched comparisons the Gain Cell DAC/pre was almost indistinguishable from my reference.  The PS unit tended, at times to have slightly more "space" presented in the upper frequencies... but that's about the only real "difference" I could detect.  And without instant A/B comparison's, not sure I would have been able to detect it - it was that close.  So... for those with a current state-of-the-art DAC, this is not a giant killer.  For somebody looking to simplify to a one-box solution for digital, analog and preamp and/or has an older DAC that doesn't support current bit rate/sampling frequencies - this would be a good unit for your consideration.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #893 - 05/05/17 at 22:36:07
 
Interesting. The production units are out and getting good reviews. Thanks for posting.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #894 - 06/08/17 at 11:51:45
 
New OS firmware for the DirectStream DAC!

Out tomorrow for download. I'll get a card from PS Audio soon, works best that way for me.

Here's the info:
Get ready for the weekend
Huron, the revolutionary new upgrade for DirectStream is finished and ready for release. Here’s some background.
DirectStream and DirectStream Junior are FPGA based DACs. This means that instead of an off-the-shelf DAC chip as most DACs are, DS products are completely handled in code through a complex arrangement internal to the device. This means the designer, Ted Smith, can pretty much design and redesign the DAC at will. Which is exactly what he’s done.
Huron is startlingly better than Torres (the last OS in DS). For one thing, Ted was able to wrestle a whopping 21dB of noise out of DS—3dB lower noise in the audible band and 18dB of ultrasonic noise. That’s extraordinary on any number of levels.
When you hear Huron for the first time you’re immediately aware of a blacker background. Instantly obvious. Instruments and voices appear out of the seeming blackness of space. What you’re hearing is that 3dB of lowered noise. But, more than the blackness, is a cleanliness and lack of hash I never anticipated—and the reason for it is obvious. Lowered ultrasonics.
High bandwidth power amplifiers and preamplifiers like BHK are capable of passing ultrasonics. “But wait!” You say. “So what? We can’t hear ultrasonics and speakers aren’t affected by them.” You’d be correct except for one thing. Amps and preamps are impacted by ultrasonics. The fewer ultrasonics they deal with, the sweeter they sound.
And Huron sounds sweet—perhaps because Ted has increased the DAC’s ten times upsampling-to-DSD to twice that: twenty times. Extraordinary.
And Huron has top-end extension I’ve never known the IRS capable of. On Daft Punk’s Within you can hear what sounds like another octave of extension to the cymbals. And horn blats are now as real as if they were live. On the San Francisco Symphony Mahler collection, the opening blasts of the horns have just the right amount of blare without harshness.
And Huron has depth and a correctness to instrumental placement that renders everything else wrong.
And Huron has bass. OMG, the bass thump of the kick drum sends shudders through your chest.
Huron also is MQA and Tidal ready for Bridge II owners. Once Huron’s installed and we release new Bridge II code later this month, DS owners will be treated to a full unfold of MQA (up to 192kHz) and access to Tidal.
We’ll do an official Huron for DS release on Friday, June 9, just in time for the weekend.
Less than one week later, we’ll release Huron for DirectStream Junior.
Huron, MQA, and access to Tidal are free. Indeed, a year of Ted Smith’s life has gone into this miracle of programming and lucky DS owners get it for free.
We all owe Ted Smith a big thank you.
Thank you, Ted. Job well done.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #895 - 06/08/17 at 14:27:28
 
It figures - Lon beat me to it. I was about to post the same thing.

This is pretty huge! Makes me want to try Tidal.

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #896 - 06/08/17 at 19:52:22
 
Pretty huge the move to 2x. Looking forward to hearing it. . . .
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #897 - 06/08/17 at 20:46:46
 
In that thread, Ted mentions this review of the DS. Here is page 2 of it as this is where it gets past the stuff we already know (what the DS is and looks like etc)

Just to clarify, this is an old review - doesn't reflect the new upgrade...I just wanted to share.

http://bitperfectsound.blogspot.ca/2014/05/directstream-ii.html

I'm surprised by how his review catches most of the same thoughts I had on the DS, even using the same descriptive words. His thoughts on the Nils Lofgren album reflect mine as well.

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #898 - 06/08/17 at 21:27:08
 
Yes, a good review that I read when it first appeared. I agree even though I don't listen to any of that music. . . .
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #899 - 06/09/17 at 02:08:42
 
Well, "Huron" is now available for download. I ordered a card with the firmware as that works best for me.
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