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PS Audio about to ... (Read 19326 times)
beowulf
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PS Audio about to ...
02/14/14 at 02:08:24
 
In McGowan's own words ..."shake up the world of high-end audio.  In a big way."

Hmmm, I bet it's not the class D amp they scrapped Grin
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #1 - 02/14/14 at 03:07:07
 

Yeah, I was reading that. With my luck, it's a new P10 that's half the price and twice the features. LOL

Since the P3 and Power Base are on sale, I'm thinking it's something power related.
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beowulf
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Reply #2 - 02/14/14 at 04:08:01
 
Well in the comments on his website he mentioned that is was slightly more expensive than the P10 so I think you're safe on the cheaper aspect Grin
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« Last Edit: 02/14/14 at 04:34:10 by beowulf »  
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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #3 - 02/15/14 at 06:17:25
 
I'm thinking this might be a new PerfectWave DAC MK III with DSD capabilities that can stream over a network.  In an email exchange with them a year or so ago they said that one was in the works.

Today I listened to DSD files playing through the AURALiC VEGA DAC and it is the best digital I've heard to date.

Of course they were hooked up to a pair of Rogue Audio Apollo Mono Blocks, Vandersteen 5aCarbon Speakers, Shunyata Triton/Typhon Power Distributor and all cables were Shunyata's garden hose sized ΞTRON cables. Grin

Me and my son were drooling for a half hour or so, but when we got home and played our new records through our little Decware, Omega and Rega kit (at a fraction of the cost) we were almost there.

My point is that the DSD itself was awesome ... I really liked that DAC A LOT!  And other than the PWD MK II it's the first DAC (that I've heard) that I liked better than the Rega DAC I have (there's something about that little Rega DAC that's very musical to me, but I can see DSD in my future ... I'm hoping this format catches on more predominantly).
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #4 - 02/16/14 at 02:50:58
 

I play DSD through my Oppo - I really like these files. I just wish the albums were $40 each.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #5 - 02/18/14 at 21:32:16
 
I don't think it's a new PWD. I think it may be the Digital Lens finally. We'll see.

No wait a minute, that should be cheaper than a P10.

Don't know. Almost afraid to find out.
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« Last Edit: 02/18/14 at 21:33:16 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #6 - 02/18/14 at 21:48:24
 
What's the thing here with McGowan and ps audio.? Neither the name or the products are well known here up north
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #7 - 02/18/14 at 21:53:59
 
Well, Paul has been talking about the digital lens for a while...judging from what you just said, Lon, I guess they never had it out, or incorporated into any gear?

From what Paul's said in his little blog, he made it sound like the gear has had this feature for years, or maybe *could have* had it.

Regardless, I don't think you could do the lens by itself, it sounded like the lens was *part* of the DAC, the final step before it goes analog in fact.

That said, Paul mentioned that if listening to different sources sounded *different* (same source media, just different "source"), then maybe he'd have to investigate further, and he might have to delay the release of the new product - or at least hinted at that. If the digital lens were working perfectly, the media file from USB, HDMI, NAS, whatever, should all sound exactly the same - but it's not.
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« Last Edit: 02/18/14 at 21:55:32 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #8 - 02/18/14 at 22:06:44
 
nO, I think that it is a new amp that he has been working on forever. He didn't like something about and went back to the drawing board. It is SS, no surprise, but i don't recall much else.
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #9 - 02/19/14 at 00:02:21
 
Jeff, I believe you are right: it's probably that N-Core amp he was working on. Not sure that is going to set the world on fire.

Eric, yeah the Digital Lens used to be a separate component put out by. . .Genesis Technology.

http://www.stereophile.com/digitalprocessors/824/

Paul was involved in that. It could easily be put out as a standalone product and he has said that he intends to but it hasn't. Instead it was incorporated into the PerfectWave Transport and then into the Mark II version of the PerfectWave DAC--just the jitter elimination aspect, not the "resolution enhancement" function. It makes a noticeable difference and is a big reason why I bought the PWT and PWD combo and then upgraded to the Mark II version (and then bought another Duo for my second system. It's not going to make "all formats sound the same" but it does reduce jitter tremendously and does make digital sound wonderful.

When the Genesis Technology items come up for sale they disappear in a heartbeat. One of the Decware forum demigods Smiley Randy in Caintuck used one forever and a day and probably still does, probably will have to pry it from his cold dead hands. I don't need one as I have the Duo, but a stand-alone Lens would be an excellent prodcut to come out with for PS Audio.
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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 00:18:32 by Lon »  

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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #10 - 02/19/14 at 06:24:38
 
He scrapped the Class D amp and went with Class A MOSFET ... Maybe the new one is ready ~ so you could be right there.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #11 - 02/19/14 at 15:35:03
 
Yeah, he said the Preamp portion was ready, but the Class-D amp portion was not sounding good.

I can't imagine the amp being that revolutionary...unless maybe it has a digital lens built in. LOL
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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 15:47:28 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #12 - 02/19/14 at 18:43:15
 
 It would be a revelation to hear SS component sound as good TO ME  as a well made tubed component. I am impressed however, with how good some of the SS equipment does sound. Wonder if Paul would ever go to a hybred concept.
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Dave1210
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #13 - 02/24/14 at 12:47:41
 
Slightly more insight on the new PS Audio product launch.  A product that will help us get more out of those shiny discs...

http://www.pstracks.com/pauls-posts/buried-treasure/13362/
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #14 - 02/24/14 at 14:11:15
 
I think this hype is leading up to the launch of the Digital Lens. That's my guess.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #15 - 02/24/14 at 15:15:37
 

LOL, you guys beat me to it, I was just about to post this as well:



"We’ve spent the last 100 years of vinyl reproduction perfecting the art of pulling music out of those grooves.  We’re getting pretty good at it.

After 30 years of trying to do the same from the shiny silver discs, we’re getting better.

But there’s a lot of music buried in those little silver discs you’ve not yet heard.

You have a library full of buried treasure.

And soon you’ll have a treasure map that will unlock those secrets.

I am guessing right around March 1."

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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #16 - 02/24/14 at 16:05:41
 
Lon wrote on 02/24/14 at 14:11:15:
I think this hype is leading up to the launch of the Digital Lens. That's my guess.


I keep forgetting he has said it will have a big price tag. So no idea, but from his hype I'd say it has a digital lens inside.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #17 - 02/24/14 at 16:33:34
 

Yeah, if that "more than the P10" thing is to be believed...ouch that hurts.


I'd really like to see what they next step is. Maybe CD Transport/DAC/Digital Lens in one - if it was a universal Disc player like my Oppo, I'd seriously consider it!

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #18 - 02/24/14 at 17:11:37
 
Technology should go as far as it can help us, but no further.
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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #19 - 02/24/14 at 21:40:55
 
Quote:
LR said,
Yeah, if that "more than the P10" thing is to be believed...ouch that hurts.

I'd really like to see what they next step is. Maybe CD Transport/DAC/Digital Lens in one - if it was a universal Disc player like my Oppo, I'd seriously consider it!


Yes, a Universal Disc Player/DAC/Digital Lens all in one would certainly be a great product.  I just couldn't see paying $5000 for a CD player this day and age, or a company putting that much effort for a stand alone CD player since the sales of CD's have steadily declined since late 2000.

Although I know there are probably a lot of guys that still use CD's, but I'm not one of them.  Besides about 50 CD's, I'm all about vinyl and hi-res digital downloads ... I just skipped over the CD phase altogether.

What sounds interesting and coming up is the HDMI DACs that are able to de-embed the uncompressed LPCM 24.96K as 2.0, 5.1, or 7.1 soundtracks, ‘derived’ from the DTS MasterHD soundtrack but not requiring DTS decoding (which is essentially hi-res PCM).  DACs like the HDACC HDMI/USB DAC can do this, as well as the Oppo with some tweaking in the settings.

There is going to be support for this through Universal and a lot of titles are on the way.

Hopefully PS Audio is on this bandwagon!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #20 - 02/25/14 at 01:49:11
 
Quote:
Yes, a Universal Disc Player/DAC/Digital Lens all in one would certainly be a great product.  I just couldn't see paying $5000 for a CD player this day and age, or a company putting that much effort for a stand alone CD player since the sales of CD's have steadily declined since late 2000.

Although I know there are probably a lot of guys that still use CD's, but I'm not one of them.  Besides about 50 CD's, I'm all about vinyl and hi-res digital downloads ... I just skipped over the CD phase altogether.


I hear you. It better not be a CDP. What would they say to all the PWT/PWD owners out there?

All I have ever known are CDs. I ditched tapes a while ago, and I have never owned a record. Sad, I know.
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« Last Edit: 02/25/14 at 01:51:20 by busterfree »  
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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #21 - 02/25/14 at 03:15:24
 
Agree ... for those who don't know ... Universal is going to be releasing a lot of titles:

From Universal:

Blu-ray Pure Audio Discs: No Compression, No Compromise.  Blu-ray Pure Audio Discs Offer True High-Resolution 24-bit/96kHz Audiophile Sound.

Universal Music Group has gone back to the original master tapes to deliver fully uncompressed, high-resolution versions of many of your favorite albums on Blu-ray Pure Audio Disc. Mastered at 24bit/96kHz, Blu-ray Pure Audio Discs deliver the sound the artists originally heard in the studio when these classic albums were recorded. These discs provide all the recorded musical information. While convenient due to their small file size, today’s heavily compressed music files do not represent the true fidelity of the original album.


•     Recordings are transferred from the original master tapes and delivered in high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio

•     No compression is utilized, and the sound quality is vastly superior to MP3 or standard CD

•     Three separate choices of audio file format for playback: PCM 2.0, Dolby True HD, or DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1 available where noted)

•     Your preferred audio format is chosen either by pressing the "Audio" button on your Blu-ray remote or via your onscreen menu display

Blu-ray Pure Audio Discs:

Audio is taken from the original master tapes and mastered in 24-bit/96kHz resolution with a choice of three sound formats: PCM, Dolby True HD, or DTS-HD Master Audio. You can finally enjoy the music in the fidelity originally experienced in the studio.  


I'm looking forward to grabbing some of these titles.  John Darko of Digital Audio Review reviewed Essence's HDMI DAC you can read it here: http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2014/02/blu-ray-audio-with-the-essence-hdacc-p...
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #22 - 02/25/14 at 03:21:11
 
I have three of these Pure Music Blu-Ray Audio discs. The John Coltrane, the Miles Davis and the Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald. They sound pretty good. . . but the SACD of A Love Supreme (either one) sounds better imo for example, so I'm not exactly bowled over.

It's all about the mastering, and some of these aren't exceptional.
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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #23 - 02/25/14 at 04:30:57
 
Quote:
Lon said,
I have three of these Pure Music Blu-Ray Audio discs. The John Coltrane, the Miles Davis and the Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald. They sound pretty good. . . but the SACD of A Love Supreme (either one) sounds better imo for example, so I'm not exactly bowled over.

It's all about the mastering, and some of these aren't exceptional.


Hi Lon, what are using to decode them?  Its my understanding that not every Blu-Ray can play these (although I could be wrong on that).
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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #24 - 02/25/14 at 11:10:01
 
You're not right there, they are made to play in any Blu-ray player, or at least they play in my US region player. I am using a Denon DCD-A100.

The only thing really special about them is that they can be played and started easily without a monitor.

It's all about the mastering. The three that I have sound pretty darned good, but as I say I think one of the SACDs is better for the Coltrane. Though the price for both are about the same, and the Blu-ray does have additional material (which I also have in Redbook). Overall this has led me to the conclusion that SACD may offer better sound, at least in my system (though both the Blu-ray player and the SACD player in the system are Denon 100th Anniversary products and excellent, the SACD is more a dedicated and less a universal player, and I think has a better analog output section) but I would need more comparisons to be definitive. I somehow don't think they will be releasing a lot of jazz titles in this series, and so I'm not really that excited. . . that is the genre I buy the most of.
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« Last Edit: 02/25/14 at 14:51:02 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #25 - 02/25/14 at 19:42:07
 
Had a brief discussion with a friend regarding the PS Audio announcement and we think it could be the PS Audio PerfectWave Master Clock.

-Master Clocks exist as a product category (typically with very high end digital front ends or studio equipment (e.g. Apogee Big Ben)
-The clock would be a PW line extension and wouldn’t replace either the PW Transport or DAC.
-Previous claims made about master clocks include improved imaging, better resolution of detail and music with more control, authority and power
-There has been a lot of discussion about timing and jitter on the PS Audio forums that could indicate a new device that offers significant improvement in this area

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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #26 - 02/25/14 at 20:18:11
 
Quite possible. Good guess.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #27 - 02/26/14 at 01:42:35
 
Quote:
Lon said,
You're not right there, they are made to play in any Blu-ray player, or at least they play in my US region player. I am using a Denon DCD-A100.

The only thing really special about them is that they can be played and started easily without a monitor.


Yes you're right there ... any Blu-Ray player can play them, but only players with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio can decode the true hi-res Master Tape Soundtracks buried within the disc.  I'm not sure if these are standard formats on most players at this point in time or not.

But I wholly agree about the Mastering making all the difference though. Cool
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #28 - 02/26/14 at 02:06:51
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dave1210      Posted on: Today at 11:42:07
Had a brief discussion with a friend regarding the PS Audio announcement and we think it could be the PS Audio PerfectWave Master Clock.

-Master Clocks exist as a product category (typically with very high end digital front ends or studio equipment (e.g. Apogee Big Ben)
-The clock would be a PW line extension and wouldn’t replace either the PW Transport or DAC.
-Previous claims made about master clocks include improved imaging, better resolution of detail and music with more control, authority and power
-There has been a lot of discussion about timing and jitter on the PS Audio forums that could indicate a new device that offers significant improvement in this area


Would the Master Clock go between the PWT and PWD?
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #29 - 02/26/14 at 02:26:23
 
beowulf wrote on 02/26/14 at 01:42:35:
Yes you're right there ... any Blu-Ray player can play them, but only players with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio can decode the true hi-res Master Tape Soundtracks buried within the disc.  I'm not sure if these are standard formats on most players at this point in time or not.

But I wholly agree about the Mastering making all the difference though. Cool


But they all have an uncompressed PCM track that all players should be able to decode. And very few of these have 5.1 tracks, and not any I would buy, and I don't do 5.1 anyway.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #30 - 02/26/14 at 16:07:49
 
This is probably "it". . . so why all the secrecy? A bit under-whelming,  as far as revelations go. . . we'll see. Could potentially be improved sound. But I'm not going to pay 6 large for this after buying two PWDs. If there's a PWD upgrade, I'd strongly consider at a good price.

http://www.audiostream.com

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« Last Edit: 02/26/14 at 16:18:19 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #31 - 02/26/14 at 19:56:48
 
Hmmm. . .now Paul is saying three grand to upgrade from PWD. That's a lot. I'll probably be sticking with what I have, I am very happy with the sound.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #32 - 02/26/14 at 20:12:42
 
Lon...did you reach out to Paul directly?
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #33 - 02/26/14 at 20:53:24
 
No, there's a thread on the PS Audio forum. I don't frequent that place much, but with this "news" forhtcoming I looked around. The cat is now out of the bag so he's talking about it.

Thread before the news was "leaked":

http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/6467/buried-treasure#Item_22

Thread once the news was out:

http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/6474/directstream#Item_11
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #34 - 02/26/14 at 21:40:50
 
Thanks for posting that Lon.  Unique concept, but 5K for new or 3K for an upgrade is a lot of coin.  I'm actually ok with what I have as well (for now Grin).  Cool concept though, hopefully he'll drop the price on these in a couple of years or run some specials every once in a while for those who want to upgrade.

Interestingly enough used PWD MK IIs are just starting to come down to price levels that a poor guy like me can start to afford and we may see a lot more of these coming into the used market from all the guys who are going to upgrade.  But a PWD MK II still doesn't do DSD, so I'm going to have to move on as I want to explore that a bit more.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #35 - 02/26/14 at 22:07:50
 
I like that "for now." Smiley

Yeah, I really don't have much interest in DSD as in files, but I can see how this MAY be a nice step forward in sonics for my disc sources (love my PWT). As you say, it might come down, there may be specials etc. We'll see, and we'll see reviews, and I agree, more used PWD IIs.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #36 - 02/26/14 at 22:48:44
 

Well, I guess I'm not going to jump on that bandwagon. If PSA did something like my Oppo, I'd be all over it. While I really do enjoy the sound of DSD, I'm not sure I enjoy it $6k worth (or whatever street price or "open box" price I can get it at).

I'd rather just put a Decware preamp in my chain and see if that gives my current files the air that DSD seems to bring.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #37 - 02/26/14 at 23:38:31
 
I don't think I am going to be an early adopter on this one.  I also find it hard to believe that this will replace the PW DAC in the product line but maybe I am wrong.  The NuWave DAC is at the $1000 price point and the DSD DAC jumps to $6000.  I think a price drop on the PW DAC might make sense.  1000, 3,500, 6000 to have a nice 3 product good , better, best lineup.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #38 - 02/27/14 at 01:01:14
 
Just thinking out loud here ...

What would be cool for $5000 though is if it had (2) high-quality analog input stages (with a option for Balanaced) and (1) HDMI Input For Blu-ray HD Audio.

What you would have here is a kick ass Preamp and DSD/HD Audio DAC that could do almost anything.

Then they should turn the PerfectWave Transport into a PerfectWave Universal Disc Player and they would have the perfect combo IMO that could cover/play almost everything that's out at this point.
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« Last Edit: 02/27/14 at 01:01:33 by beowulf »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #39 - 02/28/14 at 13:11:50
 

Part 2 of the video is out - this sounds very interesting - it really sounds like they nit-picked this as best as they can, to make it the best it can be.

I'm interested now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv1XWedFgDY&feature=youtu.be
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #40 - 02/28/14 at 13:46:53
 
I don't do youtube, but I've been reading up on the product on the PS Audio forum, and it is interesting.

I made a mistake in building up a second system this last year that I am unlikely to use (as it seems I'm stuck in my caregiving role for ever and a day and I don't spend any quality time at my place). Had I not, I could afford a ZMA (with some sort of treble correction somehow) and an upgrade to the new PS Audio thing. Ah well, I have killer sound now, and I may be able to do these things in the future. Plus, I've been burned being an early adopter before, better to wait a bit.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #41 - 02/28/14 at 19:13:20
 
10-roger on the "early adopter" philosophy Lon.  Being "on point" is almost never a good thing.  The early bird may get the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese.....
 
Having been in the software development biz for 30+ years... you never want to be on the receiving end of a beta release, there are always bugs - always....

but somebody also has to be first don't they?  and we are thankful for those that feel so inclined... Grin absolutely !!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #42 - 02/28/14 at 22:09:53
 
      It seems that PS Audio better hope that not all all of us on the Decware site are in an age group that may cause us to not hear all of these wonderful details in the equipment they are producing! I know I'm getting closer everyday that goes by. I guess it could become like some other things in life its the thought that counts anyway! Ha Ha! But until then keep on spinning them and enjoy!

Finally a sunny day here in Ohio! Cold as H#%$ though.

Cheers!



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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #43 - 02/28/14 at 22:21:54
 
Hey Digger...

never fear - there is a "pill" or an "app" for anything that we will ever need.!!!! Grin
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #44 - 02/28/14 at 23:47:14
 
maddog07

Thank goodness for modern science! I'll need to get an upgrade for my hearing aid when one comes available!!!!          
                                                               
Probably shouldn't joke about this stuff maybe the younguns will get a laugh out of it!

Life has been good!!!       Grin


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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #45 - 03/12/14 at 20:42:24
 
Paul just uploaded this video a few minutes ago -

http://youtu.be/BCCh2j6trJk
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #46 - 03/12/14 at 21:49:14
 
I want one. I will figure out a way to get one too. I just watched the 36 min Ted presentation. Pretty cool, to pump PCM in to it and get results.

It will be fun/interesting to read the coming Reviews and know what is on my 44.1 16 bit Discs....have more to offer. 6K though....ooowy!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #47 - 03/12/14 at 21:56:02
 
Just imagine if you invested $6k into your listening room.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #48 - 03/12/14 at 22:50:15
 
....don't need to invest 6k in the Listening Room. I hope you know you can Acoustically treat it for less than that! heehe

Best items I purchased in 2013...and I had quite a few things in here...are my Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable for my KS-1030 IC. Of course, the Zen Mystery Amplifier. CSP3 coming in soon... .

This fall I'll get the PS DSD...I have half the cost covered now.

Finally, something worth getting that beats my Audio Alchemy DTI-PRO32 & Pauls Digital Lens.  Cheers, to Ted & Paul.   -S
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #49 - 03/13/14 at 00:44:08
 
  Wow big bucks! $6,000 reasons to buy more vinyl certainly a thought here.                              
                         
               
Smiley





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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #50 - 03/13/14 at 02:37:33
 
Doesn't the new Sony HAP-Z1ES HDD Player convert all playback to DSD on the fly as well?  I thought but not sure that the AURALiC Vega may as well (or upsample something to that effect).
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #51 - 03/13/14 at 03:43:56
 
The current PSA PerfectWave DAC sounds so wonderful and musical feeding Decware direct that I can't imagine what the DirectStream will sound like.  Lets just say I wait in great anticipation for the community reviews to start trickling in.  Most of my music is Redbook CD, and the thought of getting more information from this format is certainly appealing.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #52 - 03/13/14 at 03:49:11
 
That's how I feel as well, love my PWD Mk II, and I have thousands of cds I hope to have and listen to the rest of my life.

I look forward to the reports of upgraders and all my stuff better be all it can be, they're on notice, just in case something has to go. Smiley
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #53 - 03/13/14 at 04:09:26
 
That kind of cash does buy a lot of Vinyl Digger - agreed.

I just researched the Sony HAP Beowulf. Man Sony pisses me off. I have to with my extensive CD collection, one would need to rip CDs to my computer and then transfer the files via ethernet to the HAP-Z1ES.

Not the end of the world to do this. However, really Sony, no S/PDIF input? ....as used with the PS Direct Stream Digital.

Anyway, getting more from our PCM CD's is awesome and appealing as you stated Lon & Dave. I think I will wait until this time next year instead of this fall purchase. I want to see what more of the competiton will do. Furthermore, PS Audio and their Firmware updates (might not apply to this new DSDAC)....drive me crazy.  

All in all, very exciting. I would buy the Sony HAP right now....for 2K if it could accept S/PDIF.....Sony you bums.   -S

....I'm researching the  AURALiC Vega right now.... .
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« Last Edit: 03/13/14 at 04:15:16 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #54 - 03/13/14 at 04:49:41
 
The AURALiC Vega has my attention!

This might be happening for me soon.  I will report back.  -S
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #55 - 03/13/14 at 06:46:26
 
Quote:
stone said,
I just researched the Sony HAP Beowulf. Man Sony pisses me off. I have to with my extensive CD collection, one would need to rip CDs to my computer and then transfer the files via ethernet to the HAP-Z1ES.

Not the end of the world to do this. However, really Sony, no S/PDIF input? ....as used with the PS Direct Stream Digital.


Hi Stone, yes I agree if you are not ripped this would be a big pain in the a$$ however I like the fact that Sony is on board with DSD and after some previewers already mentioning that SPDIF is nowhere in sight perhaps Sony may come out with another more thought out component for others.

Quote:
stone said,
The AURALiC Vega has my attention!

This might be happening for me soon.  I will report back.  -S


This one peaked my interest as well, I would love to hear more if you decide to check one out! Cool
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #56 - 03/13/14 at 16:03:47
 
SPDIF has a 96k bandwidth limit - I'm really unsure how PS Audio is using this. If it was only *internal*, they could be using it to electrically de-couple sections of the circuit, they could be using high end transceivers and real glass fiber. But *external*, standard SPDIF, is a plastic fiber and limited to 96k.

Many companies are ditching it going forward I've read.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #57 - 03/13/14 at 16:17:11
 
I think Ted addresses this LR in his 36 minute presentation.

Bottom Line currently: What's available in Hi-Rez is didly squat. What is important is using Balanced or Unbalanced inputs and outputs to get PCM processed to rival Hi-Rez....SACD et all... .

Why is this important?  For those of us that have extensive PCM Audio collections that is why! ....that is why Hi-Rez means squat to me. I am NOT Paying TWICE for my MUSIC Collection and I use a AUDIO ALCHEMY DTI-PRO32 to wring the most out of PCM. Only, when the CD is no longer manufactured/obsolete....then I will....obviously, with one these Processors download/purchase ~NEW ~ Music.
....AND WHY AURALIC, SONY & PS AUDIO ARE MAKING SURE PCM IS BEING COVERED and turned into something special through these processors.  Albeit, the Sony from hard drive files. Sony might add Balanced and/or Unbalanced inputs for PCM later on another Processor like Beowulf eluded to in his last post.

Auralic and PS Audio "get it"....PCM needs to still come from my Transport for convenience!

Anyway, John Atkinson & Chris Martins.....you know are waiting to get their hands on the PS Audio DSD to compare to the Auralic (Reviews they just did)!

http://www.stereophile.com/content/auralic-vega-da-processor
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/auralic-vega-digital-audio-processor-1/...

.....then of course, if the Auralic Vega is compared favorably to the 6K PS Audio...the Auralic will jump from 3499.95 TO 4695.00. I think I will get the Vega now! Plus, the Auralic has a preamp with a 100 step attenuator (digital domain yes...you just use it at its upper limits)...that added value will put it at 4695.00 soon. -S
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« Last Edit: 03/13/14 at 17:35:52 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #58 - 03/13/14 at 19:44:06
 
Nope, I am passing on the Vega. I think the PS Audio DSD might be the one to get....down the road.

For now, I have my front end dialed in with the ZMA and I look forward to getting my CSP3.  -S
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« Last Edit: 03/13/14 at 20:42:16 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #59 - 03/13/14 at 20:44:16
 
Nope, I just watched Ted's presentation for the 2nd time = I want one.
Be sure to Listen to Gus....he follows Ted Smith.

Worth your time......Scroll down to Ted.
http://www.psaudio.com/products/audio/media-players/perfectwave-directstream-dac...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #60 - 03/14/14 at 00:18:03
 
I believe the AURALiC Vega is one of those pieces of gear that the designers just got it right.  Here are three other glowing reviews:

3 part by John Darko: 1, 2 and 3

6 Moons: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/auralic5/1.html

Audio Stream: http://www.audiostream.com/content/auralic-vega-digital-audio-processor-0

IMO it's just one Analog input shy (us vinyl guys need that input) of being a preamp that could cover the entire spectrum.

I wish they would come out with just a DAC version, maybe that would drop the price a bit for those who already have an integrated or preamp they want to use with it.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #61 - 03/14/14 at 00:31:02
 
Quote:
lr said,

SPDIF has a 96k bandwidth limit - I'm really unsure how PS Audio is using this. If it was only *internal*, they could be using it to electrically de-couple sections of the circuit, they could be using high end transceivers and real glass fiber. But *external*, standard SPDIF, is a plastic fiber and limited to 96k.

Many companies are ditching it going forward I've read.


SPDIF TOSlink can only do 96, but SPDIF Coax can do 24/192.  USB has quickly surpassed both of them at 384kHz.  With the gains USB is making in both bandwidth and aftermarket  jitter reduction technologies it has quickly become one of the better ports for audio reproduction.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #62 - 03/14/14 at 02:14:05
 
I am taking a step back...and tempering my enthusiasm for PCM to DSD.

I have great musical involvement with my recent infusion of the ZMA and continue to have it with my SE84CS with my Front End on both Amps (CKC too). So, why change anything right? So other than the CSP3 coming in....which I am very excited about.....I'm letting this Sleeping Dog (for me) lay still on this subject.      ..........but I'll be watching the Sony's/Auralic's/PS Audio's and others....will see what best distills out over time.  -S
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #63 - 03/14/14 at 03:37:15
 
I hear you Lar. I just finished listening to the Blu-Spec 2 cd version of Charles Mingus "Mingus Ah Um" and I have never heard it like that, just amazing sound that took me deep into an album that I have heard since the early 'eighties. It doesn't at this time have to be better than this!

We get moving so fast we forget to smell the roses at times!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #64 - 03/14/14 at 17:52:34
 
Well said Lon...well said.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #65 - 03/14/14 at 19:17:26
 

I'm in the same boat; I'm going to enjoy what I have.

I wouldn't mind a demo of the new PS Audio device *with my gear* to see what all the fuss it about...but I'm afraid what that might do.

Thanks for the clarification on the Toslink and Coax - I just assume Toslink when we're talking SPDIF as usually it's (correctly or not) usually stated as SPDIF or Coax or Toslink or Coax (which is more clear)

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #66 - 03/14/14 at 19:40:53
 
I would not mind a demo either LR.

I know what is going to happen. Once production settles in down in Boulder.....Music Direct is already carrying it. They say 2-3 weeks on their product page....but we know it is out until late May or June pulled from the pre-stock count down on PS's product purchase page... .

I will have one in from Music Direct....AND if it is revelatory.....ouooch.......it is going to happen on the VISA........... .   Then it will be a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese rest of Summer & Fall for me....but with Music from the Angels!   -S
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« Last Edit: 03/14/14 at 19:42:19 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #67 - 03/14/14 at 20:54:57
 

Yeah, I can't damage the credit cards with a wedding coming up next year...I'm in a circling pattern. Unless I donate a kidney or something.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #68 - 03/14/14 at 21:50:59
 
Wedding and Gal...much more important - period.

For me, at this stage, I am compelled to enter this Rabbit Hole. I am so intrigued with Tim Smith & Gus....and it makes sense, to join forces with that whole Boulder Group down there via Paul McGowan and the economies of scale/infrastructure he has in place, to hit up Production with him... .

I have met a few of the Tim Smith's of the world...and their passion for software development is contagious. Of course, for me, it is vicariously, my ex-wife is a software person for Medtronic...where I have met some of the nicest Tim Smith's of the world....Bermuda Shorts and bare feet and all.  -S
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 16:34:12 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #69 - 03/15/14 at 14:37:16
 

From Paul's latest blog.

Parenting
The first 10 DirectStream DACs are finished and ready for me to listen to in Music Room One.  The first of the 10 sailed through test and is on its way to our Community Forums leader, Gordon, because he is not only one of the best listeners I know but he tells it like it is – even if IT isn’t good.

In Music Room One that first DAC sounded nearly identical to the reference; a reference I have vetted over the months and have every confidence in.  But how will it sound at someone else’s home and system?  It’s always at this point I get nervous.  When the first new product goes out into the world, untethered from its parent and asked to fly on its own, is the scariest moment for the team that designed it, cared for it, nurtured it and taught it what it needs to know to succeed.  Sounds a lot like parenting.  Probably just as scary.

It’s odd.  On the one hand you have complete confidence in something.  On the other, you’re scared you missed something.

This cycle of birth and release from under the wing to fly on its own has been a process that’s been going on since time immemorial.

It probably never gets easy.  Fly little bird!
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Reply #70 - 03/17/14 at 03:06:55
 

Everything I'm reading on the PS Audio DS reminds me of how we've been describing the ZMA - it almost sounds like the DS was built to go with the ZMA.

I honestly wish I had the cash at this point. I'd be in the queue for one.

http://www.psaudio.com/products/audio/media-players/perfectwave-directstream-dac...

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Reply #71 - 03/17/14 at 03:09:31
 
Gordon 7:26AM
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Well, here we go with first LISTENING impressions.

The DirectStream DAC has been playing and burning in on the Bridge input for a bit over 24 hours. It is cool that I just touch a button and get a drop in gain in case anyone wants to sleep through the night while the music continues to play. I mentioned earlier, there are some thoughtful and welcome changes to the front panel that feel, well, just more 21st century than the old one.

My Set up for Perspective.
Mac Mini running JRMC with cat-6 ethernet connected to the DS/Bridge.
Single ended rca from DS to First Sound tube pre-amp and single ended to Jeff Rowland MC-6 amp running in “high current” mode and connected with Shunyata “Lyra” speaker cables to a pair of healthy, but vintage, Wilson Watt3/Puppy2 speakers.

The general signature of my system is pretty neutral. The Wilsons, in some set ups, can tend to be a bit analytical.
A few years ago I swapped out the Puppy drivers for the ones that are supplied in the newer 7 and 8 series. They are not necessarily “warmer” but just a bit “fuller”.
This and the tube pre-amp into the Rowland SS amp has pretty much provided me with a system that just plays what is there and you either love it or you don’t.

Oh, “and just one more thing”.

My honey came home last evening from a few days trip and a neighbor’s wife popped in to say hi for a few minutes.
Music was playing pretty loud and I was sitting with a note pad throwing some words on it when she asked “what are you doing, now”?

Well, “see that silver box over there”? I am listening to it.
The look on her face was a classic. Somewhere between a stern policewoman and a compassionate psyche ward nurse.
“OKaaaaa” she said, walking away.

It dawned on me that what I had said could sound pretty ridiculous to many people and give the impression that “Audiophileism” does strange things to grown men over time.

My list of things to check like stage, timbre, tone, articulation, energy, presence, emotion, yada yada yada can be summed up in ONE word.

YES!

Perhaps you were awaiting some thesis on the DS that would be “over the top” positive to justify that you have a DS or kit on order and whether you can afford it or not.
I had many PMs begging for a comparison to my PWD , which , by the way is just another little box but happens to be black.
So one box to another? really?

The PWD, as most of us know, rings all the bells in the above buzz words and rings then loud and clear. The subjectivity is in the degree for each descriptive and can vary depending on the equipment used and the ears of the listener.

The PWD is GOLD.
The DirectStream DAC is PLATINUM+.

It does EVERYTHING the PWD does, it just does them all better.

Timbre, for example was remarkable with PWD MKII and nativeX. The separation of attack, tone and decay were well discussed here after the MKII upgrade.
The already VG sound stage is even better now .
What does better mean? Wider, higher, deeper? NO. “MORE REAL”.

So I am going to let the review experts delve more deeply into the “fine details” and I’ll try to sum up the bottom line for this new DAC.

From the first few minutes of listening I felt that something was very different.
I took out my buzz word list so I could start dissecting the “what is different” and of course “was it a better, different?”
I kept getting distracted from my list. Yes, by the MUSIC.
My body was toe-tapping, my shoulders moving, WTF.?

The difference, with this DAC is that it SOUNDS RIGHT!

The timing is spot on. The instruments sound REAL for the first time.
Not Analog real, or Organic real etc, JUST real like it is somehow supposed to be in nature. Like “you are there”? You be the judge of that. I think we have never been closer.

So far I have limited my listening to red book to see if what Ted and Paul were saying held true for me.
Yes, it does seem like some instruments have more presence and they have this without becoming more forward. Tabla and high hats etc are now more part of the performance.
Is this because of “more info” on the CD? I am not sure and quite frankly, I don’t care.
It is just there and if I were to rate this baby compared to PWD then it would be a 10-15% improvement on all the buzz words but a whole new experience in the “realness” of what this “BOX” delivers.

I hope to listen to some hi-rez and DSD files today. I am not so sure that I will be posting whether flac-192 sounds better than DSD64 yada yada,.
It really doesn’t matter.
What you put in to this baby is what you get out. If the red book is well produced it will be really yummy. If not, you will just not play it as often.
"REAL" is what I think I have been striving for all these years.
And, "REAL" it is!
To quote a fellow Canadian starship commander "ENGAGE".

One thing you WILL do is Listen to Music, and YES, tap your toes.
- See more at: http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/6605/directstream-dac-first-impression...


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


tedsmith 4:03PM
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My design goal was to get people's feet to tap. I'd witnessed for years that when I heard jitter people were a little more on edge. When I didn't hear jitter their feet tapped. I only make changes to my system that cause me to tap my feet more. If I tap less (or worse listen less) I know I've gone too far or just screwed up. When I have people over to listen or I take my DAC to other places I don't care what they say, I watch their feet.

Most people won't worry about how it compares to a PWD after they hear it. They enjoy the DS more and see no reason to care about how or why it's different.

P.S. I consulted on the MkII, or more properly we all had a brainstorming session and I suggested a list of possible ways to lower jitter (get people's feet to tap more). They chose from that list a subset that they thought were interesting/possible/practical/whatever and not a little of the MkII difference from the original PWD comes from the same point of view as the DS.
- See more at: http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/6605/directstream-dac-first-impression...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #72 - 03/17/14 at 16:35:48
 
Cool LR, I will continue to follow. I am glad Gordon limited his Listening to PCM only...for his initial impressions.  
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 16:40:48 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #73 - 03/17/14 at 17:39:49
 

Yeah, but I'm really looking forward to hearing what he says about 24/96, as that's what I've been leaning towards lately.

And I'm also curious/concerned with ripped files. I have my whole CD collection ripped to FLAC, and I'm wondering if rips sounds any different (better/worse) than the original CD. I'm guessing it probably wouldn't matter, but I'm curious.

I can absolutely hear a difference between the original CD and my ripped FLAC, the FLAC files off local hard drive sound *better* than the original CD - I figure it's jitter related - and Oppo agrees. Though the number crunchers and math-musicians say it's impossible for me to hear a difference, that on paper it's all the same or below the humans ability to hear jitter.  Ted Smith seems to agree with me, as does Oppo.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #74 - 03/17/14 at 17:58:14
 
I am a curmudgeon about hi-rez...for obvious reasons of not wanting to duplicate what I have on CD and the Library of 24/96...DSD et. all, is low... . New music I want though....I watch...will see what continues to happen/develope... .

However, you nailed it about FLAC files reducing jitter. I agree with you and Ted Smith. I have to start preserving my CD collection anyway, a good chunk at a time... . I will eventually have it all on an external hard drive besides the hard drive in front of me right now.

The PS DSD is really all about taking those FLAC files to a higher plane over the PWD (Perfect Wave Dac's) Native for 44.1. Which, quite frankly, I was not impressed because I have a good front end to compare it too. I am glad I returned the PWT & PWD....and will potentially get this DSD gig/rig  8-). -S
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 18:09:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #75 - 03/17/14 at 18:20:53
 
I find the PWT and PWD together improves the sound of Redbook. The material goes through two digital lenses, really cool results. (Stone, you didn't put enough hours on that pair to really hear what it can do). I like Hi-res but really well reproduced Redbook is awesome enough, and I have over 15,000 cds now. Gulp.

Gordon's reports sound great. I'll probably convert one of my PWD Mk IIs into a DirectStream in time, but I'm not going to be an early adopter. (Nor will I be a Decware early adopter again).
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 18:21:36 by Lon »  

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Reply #76 - 03/17/14 at 18:40:02
 
Lon, I had well over 100 hours on the PWT/PWD.

You might not realize this, but the Audio Alchemy DTI Pro32 is comparable to the Digital Lens. It did not stop doing what it does by virtue of other DACS coming along.
http://www.stereophile.com/content/audio-alchemy-dti149pro-32-jitter-filter

The DTI Pro32, Digital Lens ( in front of Redbook DACS) & Camelot Uther DAC still dragon slay todays contemporary DACS/Emperor's new clothes. If they did not ....I WOULD OWN ONE of THE NEWER DACS now or years ago.

The PS DSD has promise.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 18:47:09 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #77 - 03/17/14 at 18:42:32
 
Stone, it took in excess fo 500 hours before I experienced what I have now experienced with each of my PWT and PWD combos. They just don't happen til then and longer. I still say you didn't get to hear what they do.

I heard AA gear in the early nineties, and read all about them in the mags I used to read at the time. It was nice and I didn't listen much to be honest and not in my system. There have been a lot of advances since then. I'm sure your front end is great. . . but you said you couldn't stand the tame top end of the PWD and if that is so I would need ear plugs to listen to yours. YIKES!
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 18:47:59 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #78 - 03/17/14 at 18:51:23
 
Nope, 100+ hours was plenty.

NO advancements....just variations. The AA DTI Pro32 in front of any new conventional Redbook DAC, still improves them.

I have not replaced it...and have had in many DACS...no go.

Like I stated: the Pro32 did not stop doing what it does so well for Redbook because/by virtue of time passing and the Emperor's new clothes of subsequent DACS.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #79 - 03/17/14 at 18:55:01
 
Okay, we'll agree to disagree on this one. I'm glad I have what I have and not what you have and vice versa. Because I don't need all that high end.

The Duos have changed a LOT between 100 and 500 hours for me, and even more after about 2000. And clearly have been better than anything else I've heard in my home. Sometimes you need to go the distance. Sorry, it's not emperor's new clothes.
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« Last Edit: 03/17/14 at 18:58:59 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #80 - 03/17/14 at 19:00:49
 
Roger that Lon.... seldom is it a good thing to be "on point".... the early bird may get the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese....
there were a few companies doing digital in the 90's that were way ahead of the times.  I once owned the original AA DDE v1.0 and later the DDE v3.0 and its partnering anti-jitter box, the DTI, but moved on to Theta Digital products after that which were much more "real" sounding to me.  I still own one Theta product, as well as a Sony ES player, an Emotiva unit and Wyred4Sound dac2.  To my ears... most of the "latest & greatest", "flavor of the month" DAC's in the past 10 years just sound "different"... not necessarily "better" than my vintage Theta.  I'll give PS' DirectStream unit a listen in 3-4 months from now - after the dust settles and see if it's really revolutionary or just "different".  There is no "objective" information out there yet... all subjective opinions and subjective opinions from its creators and/or those involved with its development no less... hardly a definitive source of objective information - or even an unbiased opinion.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #81 - 03/18/14 at 06:44:27
 
Good points gentlemen all in all.

I am seriously following the PS Thread on this DAC over on their Forum.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #82 - 03/22/14 at 01:32:27
 
       This has been an interesting thread hearing every ones view points. I am not heavily invested into cd's yet and am having a hard time finding quality sounding cd's. I am able to get them but mostly leaning out of my typical music style I listen to regularly. Most of my wife's older motown music sounds horrible all related to recording quality great music just bad quality recordings. I do like hearing the smoothness of my system and a lot of recordings such as Celine Dion and John Hiatt sound excellent do to mostly being newer recordings. I haven't had the time to get my vinyl up and running yet to make the comparison. Lon, If you by chance read this what is your favorite cd's or vinyl? I realize your heavily into both so I figured you would be a good source to ask.

Hope all have had a great week!



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Reply #83 - 03/22/14 at 02:09:43
 
Hey Digger,

Are you asking what are my favorite cds and lps or what are the ones I think sound best or really good?

I expect most recordings I like to not really sound that great. And I don't seek out recordings just because they sound good. My struggle has been to find a system that helps all my recordings to sound better. So extreme detail and extreme fidelity to the recording are often my enemies. The Torii Mk III and its amazing flexibility and the PS Audio PWD Mk II are key components in that regard because they bring the best out of ordinary recordings.

My "favorites" are always changing. I would say look at the "What's Spinning" thread to see the music I am playing. I play stuff that I really like listening to.

As far as cds go I've been really fascinated by the difference that Blu-Spec and Blu-Spec 2 cd processes/materials make on playback. Shouldn't make any difference, especially in a player that uses a digital buffer to make "perfect" playback of cds, but it does make a difference (I have the same masrtering on earlier issues to compare with). I think they sound very very good. So I would say if you see an album you really like available on Blu-Spec or Blu-Spec 2 get it and experience it in this format (but don't hesitate much as they don't stay in print too long).

On vinyl. . . most of my vinyl is jazz. And I would say the ones I think sound really best and that I really like to listen to are on Columbia.
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« Last Edit: 03/22/14 at 02:11:01 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #84 - 03/22/14 at 12:07:45
 
    Good Morning Lon. I was mostly wondering what your favorite format is for best sound cd's or vinyl. It almost sounds as though its pretty equal for you with what you have said depending on the availability of music that you like. Thank you for your response!

Have a great day                  

                        Smiley




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Reply #85 - 03/22/14 at 12:18:28
 
That's about right. To be honest, I look for the very best sound for Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix releases (these were the first musicians to really turn me on to music and remain a bedrock for me) and don't obsess about "the best possible sound" in general.

As far as "which is the better format, cd or vinyl" this is so apples and oranges to me that I won't say one is better than another. I will say that with the ZP3 and even a modest turntable you can get fantastic sound at what appears to me to be a lower, considerably lower, price point with vinyl compared to cd. But. . .I can't find even 10 percent of the music I want to hear on vinyl any longer. So cd is where I toss the most time and money.

To be honest, I think that SACD has the biggest sonic potential (not often realized) for digital. If there were more releases of music that I really really wanted to have I would invest as much as I could into the very best SACD player possible. I have a few very good ones. . . but my Redbook front end is better quality, and I have about 150 times more cds than SACDs.
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« Last Edit: 03/22/14 at 13:03:16 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #86 - 03/22/14 at 21:23:16
 
DSD is promising, but it will be a tough battle against 384kHz PCM. You have smaller file sizes and some are arguing the sound beats out DSD. I'm not sure. I have a lot of DSD and I am still getting used to it with the Auralic Vega. I hope to get a Chord Hugo in house soon to see how it does on PCM. Good vinyl still sounds great to me although I don't have a reference cart (AT33PTG/II), it  is not too shabby.

Lately, upsampling using J. River PCM2DSD has been fun, but I find myself using my "native" Zone. Exciting times nonetheless!

@LON - What VooDoo cable are you using? I am about to buy some Grover Huffman cables, and I have a Decware Silver Ref. w/ Xhadows on the way.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #87 - 03/22/14 at 21:29:46
 
I'm using VooDoo Evolution and Ultralinear interconnects. Ultralinear are no longer made, were the step up from Evolution, and I only have one pair, form CSP2+ (with beeswax caps) to the Mk III. I really like these cables a lot. Got a few used, one a special from VooDoo Cable itself, and a few from the Cable Company at a good price.

Here's the page for the Evolution:

http://www.voodoocable.net/VEVIC.html
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #88 - 03/22/14 at 21:32:08
 
I'm on the fence about the Ultralinear. I need a 3-4M cable and was going to grab the Huffmans at half the cost of the UL at Cable Co.....
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #89 - 03/22/14 at 21:37:51
 
Well, can't help you with the decision, I've no experience with the other cables. Very happy with the VooDoo that I have, I've stopped the "quest."
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #90 - 03/22/14 at 22:37:47
 
     I'm using Decware interconnects and am very happy with them. Steve does also offer the upgraded silver cables for a bit more than his standard cable which is very good I must say. Just trying to help Steve out don't hear much talk about his interconnects and they are very good.



Cool
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #91 - 03/22/14 at 23:02:22
 
I used Steve's cables for years, quite happily. They're very good cables, and very good for the money. I found other cables better to my tastes and for my system, and paid more, considerably more. . . . A system can sound really nice with his cables.

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« Last Edit: 03/22/14 at 23:04:08 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #92 - 03/25/14 at 19:08:45
 
another brand of wire to give a listen to, if you get a chance is Goertz(Alpha-Core).  I became a convert of these about 8 years ago now.  I have used many other brands and types prior and a few since - always come back to these.  The IC's and speaker cables from this company are a "side business" of the parent company that makes transformers... so they know something about electrical engineering.  And there is solid science behind their design. No snake-oil, fairy dust, voodoo science or BS marketing involved.
I have used the copper and silver IC's in numerous configurations of components and have always been pleased with the sound.  I had only used their copper speaker cables until recently when I had a chance to snag a pair of the solid silver foil speaker cables at a very reasonable price.  Goertz does not make the silver speaker cables anymore due to the cost of silver... That said, I can hear a slight difference between the silver & copper speaker cables, but certainly not worth the difference in price and in some configs you may very well prefer the personality of the copper versions better.  The copper versions are very reasonable priced... and you can snatch'em up used for almost nothing - they are not well known and Alpha-Core doesn't spend much on marketing them... one of the best kept secrets in audio IMO.

check'em out if you get a chance and see if they're a good synergy in your rig.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #93 - 04/06/14 at 08:06:50
 

Looks like Paul is finally considering tubes, though it doesn't sound like it's going to be an all tube amp, just the input section.

http://www.pstracks.com/pauls-posts/i-never-thought-id-write-this/13733/#comment...

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #94 - 04/06/14 at 11:58:10
 
Cool. Maybe it will replace your ZMA!

Yeah, right. . . . Cheesy
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #95 - 04/06/14 at 18:18:53
 
OMG, I almost got on there and suggested that if he really wants to make the best amplifier in the world he better man up the rest of the way and do a tube output stage as well.  Thank God I stopped myself. Wink

After reading the comments about how horrible tubes are from those who've never heard one it would have been a real Decware Roast.

Steve
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #96 - 04/06/14 at 18:26:05
 
Ah Come On Steve! Do it...I dare you...hehe.  Mark.

PS...did you get my email from earlier today?
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« Last Edit: 04/06/14 at 18:27:14 by mark58 »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #97 - 04/07/14 at 00:50:05
 
Quote:
Steve D said,
OMG, I almost got on there and suggested that if he really wants to make the best amplifier in the world he better man up the rest of the way and do a tube output stage as well.  Thank God I stopped myself. Wink

After reading the comments about how horrible tubes are from those who've never heard one it would have been a real Decware Roast.

Steve


LOL ... you should have heard Paul himself last year saying how bad tube amps were while he was trying to promote that Class D b.s. amp he was trying to come out with.  After the amp was done he took it to an amp shoot out and lost to a 10 year old tube amp ... you would think he would have learned his lesson and that point but then went back to try and re-design it again with the same results.

He's not breaking any new ground here Rogue Audio already has the Class D/Tube Hybrid Sphinx, so I think he wasting time personally.  I would have like to see them focus on a kick-ass preamp in the half rack side that could match well with their NuWave Phono Stage and DAC.  However from what I've heard that Phono Stage was not well received either and the older version was much better.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #98 - 04/07/14 at 04:03:04
 

What I'm confused about - he said his input stage and power supply were great, but the output stage just didn't sound good enough to him. Now he's going with tube input stage?

So what output stage? Or is he hoping the tube input stage will warm up that Class -D?
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #99 - 04/07/14 at 04:14:14
 
I think he's abandoned Class D and is going with a Mosfet output stage. He mentioned that somewhere in that thread itself I believe.

Edit to add: yes, he posted this:

Second, that means of course it has to be a true hybrid. So it’ll be all MOSFETs except for the input stage

Personally, for me and most of us I don't think it matters what he does. I don't think anyone who has a Decware amp or is interested in one would be eying his amp anyway.
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« Last Edit: 04/07/14 at 04:18:40 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #100 - 04/07/14 at 14:15:15
 
I like that he continues to experiment.  I find the dynamics of the high end audio marketplace to be fascinating.

Also, I will look seriously at buying any amp (tube or SS) that delivers:

-      Surreal, 3D, holographic, imaging
-      Room width, depth, and height defying soundstage
-      Musical, yet neutral presentation of recorded material
-      Accurate and pleasing instrumental timbre
-      Low or no listening fatigue
-      Listening volume in the 80-100db range (in a 13 X 17 room)
-      Under $1,500

These are table stakes for me going forward.  My budget may increase someday, but for now this is it.

This is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, are there amps out there like this?  At whatprice point?
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« Last Edit: 04/07/14 at 14:50:44 by Palomino »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #101 - 04/07/14 at 15:01:11
 
Pal,

 I would agree with you about experimenting. It's an education to watch and learn. Every once in awhile, it gives me an idea for my own system.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #102 - 04/07/14 at 15:22:15
 

I haven't been closely following his amp build, exactly for the reason's Lon mentioned above (who with a good Decware amp would really); this is also why I was trying to get him to spend a few minutes with me and the Mystery Amp at Axpona, but he's pretty booked up that weekend of course.

I'm betting something like the ZMA would at least rattle his cage about a full on tube amp.

I had to bite my tongue in that thread as well "oh the noes! It's got sockets, and requires occasional maintenance, and does stuff to the sound!"

Too many math guys talking about building amps, and not enough artists actually building them.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #103 - 04/08/14 at 15:35:29
 
It is a shame about those that mock Tube Amps. I always remember Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenbergs words: "You are a gifted Listener an don't let them tell you otherwise". However, like Steve said...no sense wasting time or energy in flame wars against Decware.

LR, I was catching up on the Direct Stream DAC Thread and got to the last page (13)...currently and found this (below). Oh yeah, digital & analog cables matter. I would not own them...if their was not a difference. I run to put my Kimber Select back in...every time I A-B-A them with my others. Especially with my Gallo 3.1's.  Speaker's like my Parker's & Reference Klipsch RF-7 II's....in which both, go back out in the Garage...very good Cables are wasted on them.... .

Digitally, the Illuminati D-60 & Revelations Audio Labs i2s....I still can't find anything to beat them.
http://revelationaudiolabs.com/cables-digital/index.htm

"lonelyraven said: Paul, is that JCAT USB cable really all that good? (assuming that was you that posted the photo). Color me skeptical, especially at $350 EURO for a USB cable.

Yes, it's really that good. I've been playing with USB cables on DirectStream and, as Ted has mentioned, there are only slight differences - nothing to write home about or get excited about IMHO. But then comes along this JCat designed by Paul Pang out of Taiwan. I almost fell over when I heard it. And, you know what? I didn't want it to work. I didn't want it to work because it makes no sense. Because DirectStream doesn't care about jitter coming in.

So what the hell could make this cable so different? I really don't/didn't want to believe how good this is. Seriously. It makes me nuts. Ted suggests its ground loop related and Ted's usually right about things. The designer claims not. But there it is. The aliveness and openness the music takes on is stunning. I immediately ordered mine and am in touch with the designer already. I want to not only find out what's going on but want to hear his other work. Crazy. - See more at: http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/6605/directstream-dac-first-impression...  "
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« Last Edit: 04/09/14 at 21:27:54 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #104 - 04/13/14 at 23:50:23
 
Well, I escaped taxes far better than I anticipated. I shouldn't, but I placed an order for the DirectStream kit, installed at the factory. Not sure yet when my shipping and installation will be scheduled, and I can be patient (the sound I am getting right now is simply amazing!) But I think this will be a worthy upgrade for me, better to improve my digital front end than take a risk on the Mystery Amp (especially without a treble cut circuit) when the Torii is such a magical beast in my system. And this upgrade is half the price of the Mystery Amp.
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« Last Edit: 04/13/14 at 23:52:13 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #105 - 04/14/14 at 00:25:54
 
Congrats Lon.  Good buzz on this DAC.  Can't wait to hear you impressions.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #106 - 04/14/14 at 01:33:33
 
You will hear my impressions, but it is not likely to be too soon, I think 100 assembled units are tested and shipped, then the kits will start to be distributed and installed, and I'm #41.

Interestingly, I thought it would be hard to figure out which PWD Mk II to send in to be "transformed" into a DirectStream DAC. I thought probably the oldest one right, several years older than the second, new one, why not keep the newest one as a PWD Mk II. Well. . . I put that new one in place in my main system and it really does NOT sound like the old one. Clearly the older one is far more seasoned and "mellow" and far more to my taste.* The other sounded fine in my second system which is a bit less resolving than the main one. So I'll be sending the newer one back for conversion to the DirectStream and keeping the original one (which started out as a PWD (Mk I)) for my second system.

* The same happens comparing my original Torii Mk III with my newest Torii Mk III. The older clearly sounds better, seasoned and mellowed and refined.
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« Last Edit: 04/14/14 at 01:38:48 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #107 - 04/14/14 at 02:08:45
 
Awesome Lon!  I feel like the DirectStream is made for you and all your Redbook CDs.  Hopefully it lives up to the hype and you have the same Holy _ _ _ _ reaction that everyone who has heard it so far has had.  We both know that PSA tend to live up to their claims (after you cut through all the hyperbole).

I plan to wait for more reactions to roll in, but I have a feeling it's inevitable.  Can't wait to hear your reaction.    

Are you running the same firmware on both of your older PW DACs?  That could explain the differences in sound you are hearing.
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« Last Edit: 04/14/14 at 02:09:20 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #108 - 04/14/14 at 02:41:52
 
Doh. Yeah, that's probably a contributing factor, and hadn't thought of it. To be honest, I have not updated the firmware on the first nor the second, it's possible they are running the same firmware, also possible they are not.

Though some of the difference does seem to be "seasoning" related.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #109 - 04/14/14 at 03:39:26
 

I'm betting firmware makes as much of a difference and seasoning.

Congrats on the upgrade kit! Color me jealous! (again).

I really want a DS myself.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #110 - 04/14/14 at 03:49:09
 
To be honest, I think the two were built about the same time and I think they could share the same firmware.

Seasoning is very real in my experience.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #111 - 04/14/14 at 13:39:40
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 04/14/14 at 03:39:26:
I'm betting firmware makes as much of a difference and seasoning.

Congrats on the upgrade kit! Color me jealous! (again).

I really want a DS myself.


I checked. Both the same firmware. Only thing I haven't checked is to see if they both/either have the fuses that were supposed to be part of the upgrade to MK II. I know it was part of the kit, not sure that it was part of the production model. And I had them upgrade the board because one of my inputs (coaxial) had shorted out on the Mk I board, and didn't open the unit to see if they changed fuses, didn't sound as if they did.

Also got to thinking: one has a few years plus more screen time use than the other. I'll be sending the new one back for conversion. Looks as if it will be sometime in June.
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« Last Edit: 04/15/14 at 19:42:48 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #112 - 04/15/14 at 18:24:29
 
Paul's latest musings are on building a simple music server using a Mac mini.  I use a mini as a server with Audirvana.  I started with Audirvana because it was free, but liked the sound and upgraded to the plus version.  

Yesterday he mentioned his choice for software is BitPerfect.  At $9.95 I decided to give it a go.  I found the sound to be significantly different than Audirvana.  Less aggressive, more smooth.  

Better?  I don't know which one I like better yet.  But I am now rolling Mac software which is kinda weird.  Audirvana for rock, Bitperfect for jazz/anything softer.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #113 - 04/15/14 at 20:26:31
 
I've been reading up, hoping to find a way to measure the changes we're hearing, and all I find is more info about how measurements prove we are fooling ourselves.

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2013/06/measurements-part-i-bit-perfect.html

I'm not sure what to think about this. Are we fooling ourselves, or are there measurements we should be doing to *prove* we are hearing a difference?

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #114 - 04/15/14 at 20:57:53
 
I have seen those tests before and think they are fascinating but I don't think they register how the sound is received by a human, in a room, for a specific recording, on a specific system.  They typically measure the properties of the electrical signal.  

You don't hear an electrical signal, you hear a sound, which is produced by a chain of interacting components (room included).

The only way that I have been able to *prove* that there are differences is to record the same song playing through my system using the same recording device and then line them up in a computer editor so that they are exactly sync'd, then randomly remove a portion of the A or B track for the entire length of the song.  Then I output the entire hybrid song and then listen to it and see if I can determine when the recording goes from the A track to the B track.  In most instances I can.

I don't think you can measure soundstage or imaging with this technique, but you can definitely hear differences in things like bass response, treble, definition and decay.  

Maybe I am just being fooled again by the recording in the same way that I am being fooled when I listen to a track, make a change and then listen to it again.  But I can't always remember where in the hybrid recording I switched tracks, yet I know when the switch occurs - just by listening.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #115 - 04/15/14 at 21:58:25
 

I think you and I need to do some double blind tests.

I agree that there is something going on, even with the power cords we listened to (though I still don't believe it was a big improvement) - so I keep my hopes up that it's just something that we haven't figure out how to measure yet.

But the fact is, all things being equal, if the software outputs the exact same data, with the same hardware, with the same jitter, with the same everything...then it *should* sound the same. So why are we hearing something? That guys measurements are very compelling.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #116 - 04/15/14 at 22:30:21
 
A lot going on with that ear-brain connection we can't measure with machines.  I think the only way to get at it would be some kind of deep brain stimulation monitoring.

"Notice the red areas lighting up as LR listens to the ZMA.  These are the auditory pleasure zones." Grin

You and I could do some single blinds that would probably prove or disprove the point for me.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #117 - 04/16/14 at 14:06:12
 
I changed BitPerfect to the settings Paul recommended in his lastest blog posting and the sound came much closer to what I get with Audirvana+.  Now, I'm not sure that I could always pick out which program is playing.  I still think I give Audirvana the edge but I need some more time with it.

Interestingly enough, iTunes by itself, BitPerfect and Audirvana+ all seem to output at different levels.  Audirvana definitely has the highest output so matching volume levels for comparing the programs is difficult.

I don't know anything about high end transports, but I would believe Paul's comments about the Mini rivaling his transports.  To me, it sounds pretty good.  Especially once I plugged it into the PPP and added a better power cord.

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #118 - 04/16/14 at 15:13:22
 
Glad I have two PS Audio PerfectWave transports, and don't have to do computer audio. It's all more than I want to figure out or spend time I don't have downloading or ripping, and on top of that there's then all kinds of firmware rolling in the picture! Smiley
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #119 - 04/16/14 at 15:15:11
 
You know, I am starting to think that this crazy hobby never ends Wink
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #120 - 04/16/14 at 15:45:16
 

I've actually started selling off my physical media and started buying some DSD from Blue Coast and Linn. I've already sold a few MFSL CDs that I purchased in the late '90s for $12.50 each, and have raked in over $400. I'm hoping if I sell enough off, I might have a down payment on the DirectStream...just don't tell Brianne.  :)

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #121 - 04/16/14 at 15:59:09
 
That's cool. That is certainly not something I want to do. There is not enough that I want to listen to available on DSD files, and I have so much stuff to listen to and like the physical aspect. I'm an old dog who wants to lie by the fire and not learn new tricks. But mostly it's the musical content that drives me. . . I have what I want, a lot of what is being put into files etc. I either have already in several forms or am not interested in, I admit that a lot of the music posted here as listened to is not what I am listening to or want to. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 04/16/14 at 15:59:52 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #122 - 04/17/14 at 09:53:06
 
I met Paul McGowan and attended the PS Audio DSD DAC discussion/demonstration at the San Diego Audio Guild meeting at Stereo Unlimited last night.  Paul is very down to earth and also pretty funny.  His talk was interesting and there were some math/engineering guys posing some tough questions in which he did some fairly good explaining ... although I feel like some were there just to give him a hard time and seemed that they were not too keen with Paul's new found interest in USB cables making a difference (or his power cable/regeneration philosophy either), but he kept his wits about.

Stereo Unlimited is a cool store, with a cool sales staff, that sells audio gear at all price points.  It also has a great little vinly section in the back of the store and is one of the only places I know that you can buy a record and (if they aren't too busy) they will play it for you on one of their $100,000 rigs which is always fun!

We had a beer while Paul talked about the new DAC and did Q&A for about an hour, then moved next door to a well treated and dedicated audio room for a listen.  I'm glad it took place there as I am familiar with the room and all the high end pieces in there as I visit them often.

So we heard the PS Audio DSD DAC with a Mac Mini server (he has been talking about lately) on behemoth Rogue Audio 250 watt Apollo Mono Block amps, behemoth Vandersteen Model 5a Carbon speakers and an Electrocompaniet EC 4.8 preamp (I think that was the model but not absolutely sure)

and here's a little piece of irony ...

the Stereo Unlimited guys are huge Shunyata freaks so all power and cabling was top of the line Shunyata Hydra Triton/Typhon, fire hose sized ΞTRON Anaconda Power, Signal and I think speaker cables (but again not 100% sure of the speaker cables). Grin
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #123 - 04/17/14 at 11:53:10
 
Too bad they made him dance a little.  If it's genuine inquiry fine, but challenges are a little rude in that setting.

So....any Comments about the DAC?
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #124 - 04/17/14 at 12:51:45
 
Yeah, WTF Beowulf! You talk about the shop, but not about the DirectStream!  >:(

I'm kinda glad the math/engineering guys put some pressure on Paul. I'm really hoping he and Ted can maybe figure out a scientific way to document some of their cable claims. I mean, I don't want this to distract him from making a great product, but I'd like for it to sit in the back of their minds so that maybe an idea of how to measure will germinate.

I kinda gave him similar questioning on his forums, but haven't really had a chance to follow up and see what he said.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #125 - 04/17/14 at 22:05:16
 
Quote:
Palomino said,
So....any Comments about the DAC?


Quote:
LR said,
Yeah, WTF Beowulf! You talk about the shop, but not about the DirectStream!  >:(


LOL Grin

Sorry guys it was getting late and I ran out of steam when I wrote that.  

First of all we were packed in there like sardines, but me and my girl are fairly short people and were capable of squeezing pretty much into the sweet spot ... I think some of it may be due to the fact that a bunch of geeks never thought a cute girl such as mine would attend something like this so they pretty much got out of her way Grin

Of course they were playiing audiophile music ... female vocals such as Allison Krauss & Union Station, Patricia Barber (her version of The Doors' Light My Fire), etc. which although I liked some of it, it wasn't my usual fare of Porcupine Tree (damn you Lon Wink) and we spent about 30 minutes or so listening and asking a few more questions along the way.

Ok, I'm coming from the viewpoint of using a Rega DAC which makes stuff sound warm and cuddly, it's a decent DAC, but there are better out there.  Well I'm not really good at describing audiphile terms, etc., but there are a few things that stood out to me.

The first thing I noticed was that it sounded very dynamic and lively, but in a polite way ~ not in your face annoying.  I felt there were details that this thing was flushing out that my DAC just couldn't even begin to cope with.  There was just a little hint of fatiquing on the upper ends of some of the stuff he played which may be contributed to the actual recording (or not .. I can't say for sure).

Cymbals sounded very realistic which was one of my favorite aspects of this thing, as mentioned the Rega DAC seems to make everything warm at the expense of rolling off the upper ends and the DSD DAC is almost the opposite in that regard.  I remember hearing Nat King Cole and in the beginning of the song the cymbal sounded spooky real and even though I'm not a musician I felt like I knew which cymbal was being tapped.

When listening to Patricia Barber's version of Light My Fire, the guy next to us mentioned that he was very familiar with this song and there were shades of tones being expressed that he had never heard before (whatever that means I'm not sure Roll Eyes Cheesy).  

So over all it sounded pretty good like a $6000 DAC should be expected to.

There was something that stood out to both me and my girl during this demonstration and that is ... even though this DAC is supposed to convert everything to DSD ~ Hi-Res Native DSD files still sounded much better in comparsion to standard Redbook.

Paul had copies of files in both Redbook and DSD and we were able to A/B compare them.  Even Paul had to admit that the Redbook (while still sounding good) sounded flatter in comparison to the DSD files of the same songs.  To me this brings a little controversy into the mix as the DSD DAC is supposed to make Redbook sound like DSD, but to me and my girl's ears they still did not compare to DSD native files.  I realize that it could be the recordings themselves, but in our experience we heard the differences and they were better by a fair margin ... so all you guys out there contemplating DSD ... this particular DAC was playing DSD native files better than any other DAC I've heard ... not that I've heard a lot, but if you're on the fence about DSD ... listening to DSD files on this DAC will change your mind.

There are a lot of ways to skin a cat and I believe that with JRiver's capabilities of on the fly conversion of PCM to DSD and a DAC capable of playing Native DSD X2 files can get you into the realm of what the PS Audio DSD DAC can do for a whole lot less.  However this is a no brainer and clearly better than what my Rega can do.
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« Last Edit: 04/17/14 at 22:16:12 by beowulf »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #126 - 04/17/14 at 22:09:27
 
Thanks for the great writeup.  We'll hopefully get some time with it in a few weeks at Axpona and can compare notes.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #127 - 04/17/14 at 22:57:48
 
Thanks for the report H!

I for one would never expect Redbook converted to DSD to sound the same as native DSD files. I think what sets this DAC apart is the upconversion to many times DSD and the way that it does digital to analog conversion in a different manner than most DACs. Regardless, I'm not planning to buy any digital files, DSD, hi-res or otherwise, and I have so so many Redbook discs, this seemed like a right move for me--I have one on order.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #128 - 04/18/14 at 01:25:28
 
@ Lon ...

I think the bit depth of a hi-res file just has much more room to be processed (totally unscientifical assumption Cheesy), but I remember Paul saying something to the effect of truncating data within 16/44 compared to 24/96 and up there was just way more room to work with and if Sony had just waited a couple more years that it would be a different world (musically speaking of course).

It's been my observation that the bit depth means more than the resolution.  I cannot tell the difference between 96/176/192, but where things get past a fair margin are between 16 and 24 .bits ... there's no doubt to me that there is a difference for the better between those bit depths as I just find myself hearing a fuller and more detailed sound and into the micro details much better.  A lot of guys pointed this out last night as well.

However, what I'm not saying is that you need to get into DSD if you buy this DAC ... even if not wanting to get into those types of files, the DSD DAC has a great effect for the better (IMO) on lower res Redbook from what we heard.  And a few Redbook guys really liked what they were hearing.  So either way I know you aren't going to be disappointed and I'm jealous of your purchase Cheesy ... I also can't wait to hear your impressions after living with it a few weeks!

For those on the DSD fence though I was merely making an observation that if anyone was thinking about DSD you should defintely hear it through this DAC as it sounds excellent.

@ Palomino ...

It will be interesting to hear your observations from a room that is setup by Paul and the PS Audio crew at Axpona.

IMO I don't think the gear in this room favored the DSD DAC to it's best.  First of all, I find Shunyata stuff to be a little forward or on the cold side of nuetral in comparison to PS Audio's Power stuff (which depending on one's system could be a good or bad thing).  Secondly although I like Rogue Audio's stuff, I have never warmed up to those mono blocks and find them more analytical than musical in comparison to Decware or even their own Cronus Magnum which I find to be a nice balance of power/price and musicality ~ but still not in the same class of Decware.  Thirdly, the Vandersteen's need a preamp due to the woofer setup and Paul even mentioned that he generally likes to go straight to amp with this DAC.  Fourthly, since living with the Omega Single Driver speakers I find myself noticing that the different frequency ranges are not as coherent in multi-driver setups such as those ... I will often find myself picking out the tweeter location in comparison to the midrange and it sort of bothers me to a certain extent so even though those amps and speakers can throw a freaking huge soundstage, I feel they miss some of the finer nuances that are associated with my Decware/Omega combo.

@ LR

Yes, the talk about the USB controversy was interesting.  While Paul was going over the features I asked him about his preference point of input.  He told us that up until a few weeks ago it was (1) Networked through the PS Audio Bridge/Digital Lens, then (2) by I2S, then (3) AES, and finally (4) USB.  Now emphatically USB has moved to the front of the line.  He said he was using a USB cable from a Chinese designer JCat (sp?) anyways he said it was better than any other input on the DAC and that also the Light Harmonic cable was pretty decent as well.  Both Paul and Ted are currently trying to figure out WTF is going on and why its happening.  Oh, I almost forgot ... there was a guy there who asked about the mental processing of sound and if he had any reasoning as to why he thought the power cables and conditioning made a difference ... that was a tough one and he didn't really have an answer to it ... he said something to the effect that we don't know why it sounds better, it just does to us ... I would love to know why for some it seems to make huge differences and others (myself included) it's not that big of a deal.
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« Last Edit: 04/18/14 at 02:04:11 by beowulf »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #129 - 04/18/14 at 01:47:46
 
I agree with your assessment of bit depth and resolution. I have high resolution and SACD discs, and I can enjoy their sound, but I don't listen for "the very best sound" (in my experience that would be the best vinyl or analog tape anyway), just want really musical sound for all the Redbook I have. I think I'll be happy. Rest assured I won't be able to keep quiet about my impressions. Going to be more than a month and a half though before I can begin to form them.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #130 - 04/18/14 at 16:52:05
 
@beowulf

I found your comments about noticing anamolies in multi driver speakers intriguing.

Since I've switched to single driver Omegas, it's (sound from multi driver setups) something that really jumps out at me now and I find it really distracting.  The amazing thing is, I NEVER had issues with multi driver sound until I'd lived with the Omegas for awhile.

I've got two systems set up, one is multi driver and I find that if I listen exclusively to the multi driver system for a few days, it stops bothering me and I don't notice it anymore.  The ear adjusts, but then after I go back to the Omegas, the re-adjustment period starts again.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #131 - 04/19/14 at 00:55:18
 
Quote:
seikosha said,

@beowulf

I found your comments about noticing anamolies in multi driver speakers intriguing.

Since I've switched to single driver Omegas, it's (sound from multi driver setups) something that really jumps out at me now and I find it really distracting.  The amazing thing is, I NEVER had issues with multi driver sound until I'd lived with the Omegas for awhile.

I've got two systems set up, one is multi driver and I find that if I listen exclusively to the multi driver system for a few days, it stops bothering me and I don't notice it anymore.  The ear adjusts, but then after I go back to the Omegas, the re-adjustment period starts again.


Yes, this is very interesting to know that I'm not the only person ... Your post gives me relief that it stops bothering you after a few days once your ears get used to multi-drivers again ... as I thought I might have been ruined for any other designs! Grin

I'm also wondering if this incoherence is what I found a little fatiguing during the demonstration.
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« Last Edit: 04/19/14 at 00:58:31 by beowulf »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #132 - 04/19/14 at 00:59:50
 
I'm still undecided and skeptical about a lot of hirez stuff.  though I heard clear improvement at decfest when we played higher sample rate music through the teac dac and the ZMA.

So DSD is on my "wait and see" list.  I've read some people think is a passing fad.  A lot of others say it's the cats meow.

Just as I give a huge benefit of doubt to decware products after having my skepticism proven wrong with so many of their products...
I'm also give a huge benefit of doubt to Schiit products because of the bifrost Dac I have, that Stoddard and Moffat run that company, Maddog07's testimony of Moffat's Theta Dac (some of the earliest), and other people's choosing Schiit gungnir dac after sampling and reviewing tons of other dacs....  Just as I find no one who doesnt' like decware gear (people who have actually heard it)... I haven't found people who don't like schiit.  I follow a lot of Stoddard posts and these guys seemingly speak straight up truth.

So, as I await the eventual release of your future yggdrasil dac, I was just reading the faq about their $150 DSD dac.  it says some interesting things about manufacturers having to compromise to decode DSD vs PCM.  food for the brain.

http://schiit.com/products/loki  (click the FAQ tab)
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #133 - 04/19/14 at 01:16:38
 
@ SteveC

Yes I agree with you about the 2 sides of the fence.  I've read a review of sorts from one of the guys at Benchmark Media say the same thing in regards to DSD and that they only added the DSD feature to their DACs purely as a competitive/marketing approach, but not because they thought it was better.

Sony has the hugest quantity DSD music available and they just released the HAP-Z1ES that also upsamples everything to DSD (similar in idea to the PS Audio DSD DAC, but probably not the same design/process) and although I don't like the way the way the HAP-Z1ES is setup where all music must be downloaded to it before it will playback, etc., but with Sony on board and their huge catalog I think there is a good chance that DSD will be around for a while.  

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year or two, but as for me there is no way I would be shopping for a new DAC that wasn't capable of at least playing DSD back natively ... I don't really care about the conversion as JRiver can do that on they fly, but I want to be able to playback those types of files as I have already amassed a decent amount of them.  My current Rega DAC doesn't play DSD files, so I convert them to PCM through JRiver and they still sound pretty darn good though my DAC is showing it's age.
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« Last Edit: 04/19/14 at 01:17:07 by beowulf »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #134 - 04/26/14 at 22:31:55
 
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #135 - 04/27/14 at 01:24:21
 
This is the DS tease post from axpona.  More later when raven or I have more time.

I felt the DS was the best DSD DAC I heard at axpona.  We probably heard only 3.  Lots of uncontrolled variables though.  I will say that the system we heard the DS on was the poorest of the systems we heard dsd on.

Both raven and I also saw the lift dsd brings to the table hearing back to back tracks PCM/dsd.  It was pretty noticeable.  And this was PCM upsampled to dsd vs dsd.  I'd imagine regular PCM to dsd would be a bigger gap.

More later on our axpona experience in the axpona thread.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #136 - 04/27/14 at 10:52:13
 
Thanks for the little bit of info.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #137 - 04/27/14 at 13:05:33
 
Sorry for the short blurb.  I have more time now with my morning coffee.  Raven will weigh in later.  He's off camping.

I have a little more time now so I will post the PS Audio Experience here and do another post on Axpona in the Axpona thread.

We arrived a little early, registered and went up to room 434.  No Paul and they guy who was there was somewhat rude to us because we about 15 minutes early.  Other rooms were open and already demoing.

So we went to a few other rooms and then came back.  Unfortunately, no Paul again, and what we heard was not a good sign.  The system sounded terrible.  How guys in the business with good loudspeakers can stick a big sub in the corner and crank it up so that it completely overwhelms the room (and their pretty nice speakers) is beyond me.  It was the anti-commercial for their DSP.  Anyway, we left and thought we'd give it another shot once we saw Paul was there.

We later ran into him in the hall and chatted a bit.  He's a sincerely nice guy.  Easy to talk to, interested in what you say and you can tell he listens.  Anyway, he forgot the power cord to his mini and had to scramble to find/make something.  Thus, he was not in the room yet.

We returned later, and again no Paul, but the room was more tolerable and the speakers were at least producing a center image now.

So, I approach the nicer of the two guys and ask him if he can "back to back" a PCM track and a DSD track of the same recording.  He does so and there is significant lift.  I'm thinking that this DAC does not do much for regular PCM to bring it closer to DSD.  It's all hype, but then Raven immediately asks if there is different mastering on the two tracks and the guy says "ahhhh, yeah."

So Paul comes in finally and the room takes on a completely different vibe.  Where before, it could best be described as adversarial, now its more collegial and we think we'll at least get closer to what we want to find out.  

I ask Paul to back to back recordings and he immediately knows where we are headed.  He's got 3-4 tracks all picked out.  Mainly the ones he talks about in his blog.  In each one, native DSD shows a noticeable lift, but not a huge one over PCM converted to DSD.  Mainly a sense of more air, more of a sense for the recording room, but also the instruments sound a little more real, particularly percussion.  It was not a night and day difference, but an improvement.

What would have been preferable would be for him to have a PWD there to compare regular PCM to PCM converted in the DS DAC to DSD.

Raven is still not sure we actually heard songs with the same master on Paul's cuts.  All I can say is that is was a lot closer than what the other guy tried to pass off as a comparison.

So I guess here is my conclusion.  Assuming the same master, there was a noticeable difference, for the better, between PCM converted to DSD and DSD, but it was not huge.  One could conclude from this that you will get a lift on your regular PCM library to make it close to DSD.  But unfortunately, we did not get to test the lift from straight PCM to PCM converted to DSD.
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« Last Edit: 04/27/14 at 13:09:47 by Palomino »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #138 - 04/27/14 at 21:07:36
 

Well said, I think you again covered that very well.

Yeah, the DirectStream is a great sounding DAC, but in that environment I couldn't put my stamp of approval on it and throw $6k at it. The guy demoing (I'll leave names and brands out) was either confused, or flat out misleading, and that don't fly well with me...it really put me off. In fact, I started tearing down what I was hearing and what was told to me with some logic...maybe bordering on bitching, and Palomino's like..um, Eric, behind you. I look and there's Paul, I think he caught the tail end of a sharp barb from me. I had to stop for a second and replay what I had just said in my head, because I did mention Paul in this sharp barb (which the pointy end wasn't pointed at him, just a "Paul said").

So then Paul sits down with us and he's really listening to my concerns about the demo we heard, and immediately points out that I was right, a remastered DSD file isn't a good Apples to Apples to an original PCM. Honestly, Paul was great; he handled all my questions with great but gentle directness, he was very humble and honest, and was honestly just a great guy to hang out with. He really gave us some quality one on one time that showed he cared about what we thought, and he even apologized for not being able to give me a proper PCM to DSD converted PCM test for a proper Apples to Apples comparison of the "lift" we'd get with the DirectStream.

Again, I'm not yet sold on the DS, but Paul for sure won me over, and because of that I'll give his gear another chance in the future. I hope to have some quality one on one time with a DS sometime soon, and I *will* put it through the ringer. But till then, I'll just be happy with my Oppo at about 5X less with at least 90% the sound quality (if not more).

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #139 - 04/27/14 at 21:15:44
 
Thanks for the impressions.

You really think your Oppo has 90 percent the sound quality of the DS? That's pretty optimistic thinking as far as I am concerned; Oppos haven't impressed me as that close to my current PS Audio DAC.

About six more weeks to go or so before my DirectStream number comes up. I can be patient, I'm really happy with my sound right now (especially my vinyl sound which is flooring me recently).
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #140 - 04/28/14 at 01:56:59
 
More power to both of you for giving the Emerald Physics room multiple chances in order to try and make conclusions on the DirectStream.  My buddy and I gave up on the room on Friday and didn’t look back the rest of the weekend (yes, we did end up going all 3 days).
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Reply #141 - 04/28/14 at 07:22:54
 
@ Dave1210 ~ Emerald Physics?  Was that Walt?  I have been interested in hearing those open baffles any impressions of those?  Some really like them, but that seems like an odd pairing of systems.  Here you are trying to a/b tracks and show off a new DAC and yet everything is heavily EQ'ed through the DSP/Digital Crossover of the speakers anyway.
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Reply #142 - 04/28/14 at 13:06:23
 
Yes, the Direct Stream was the front end for Emerald Physics CS3 speakers.  I am not sure who was running the room.  There were a couple guys in there when we were there (including Paul for a little bit).  Palomino's summary of the room was spot on.   The DSP did ok to account for the REL sub they had cranking in the corner but only if you were in the sweet spot.  Otherwise, the bass was so overwhelmingly bad it literally had people shaking their heads.  I don't know why I expected Paul to have his own room to show off the DirectStream, but he didn't.  I don't think it worked out very well for him.

Here you are trying to a/b tracks and show off a new DAC and yet everything is heavily EQ'ed through the DSP/Digital Crossover of the speakers anyway.

I don't think I would have been able to make any strong conclusions (just like LR/Pal said) on the DS in this setup.  Overall, I didn't like the sound in the room, and my system is much more revealing vs. the EP one.
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Reply #143 - 04/28/14 at 14:16:48
 
The CS3 have some potential, I think, but you just couldn't tell.

The room was all about the emerald physics guys trying to sell their complete system.  You can't blame a guy for trying to make a buck but their system was set up poorly and one of the guys was a bit too aggressive and didn't seem to want anything to do with the DS DAC.

It was so bad when we first went in the room that I asked the guy if he could kill the sub.  He did, but it was crossed at 75hz so the bottom fell out.  I asked if he could adjust and he said he couldn't without fiddling with the DSP, so we just left.

To hear what was going on with the CS3s, I went to the front of the room and leaned down to hear them.  That gave me an idea.  They were better the second visit and when we got into the A/B stuff with Paul.  I want to say they were 91 or 95db so they could mate well with Decware.  I think they go down to 45hz so a sub could be required.

Sorry I can't give you more of an impression.  There is enough there to say its worth a follow-up auditon in a better environment.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #144 - 04/28/14 at 15:34:32
 
I don’t have a lot of experience with DSP and wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  The EP room was the worst example of DSP we encountered at the show. Both the Legacy Aeris (DSP built into the speaker) and the McIntosh/Martin Logan room were using DSP and both sounded excellent, even if you weren’t in the sweet spot.  So, I think DSP done right could reduce or eliminate the need for room treatments (which my wife would appreciate, although maybe not for the price of say the McIntosh unit, $4.5K) w/o totally messing up the sound in the rest of the room.  If I was running the EP room, I would have told people what to expect when not in the sweet spot, and might have gone so far as to only have 1 listening chair in the room.  Unfortunately that wouldn’t stop people from standing around and getting the same impressions we did.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #145 - 04/28/14 at 17:39:49
 
Don't blaspheme like that, Dave; there is no room correction that will completely eliminate room treatments! Phase/distance and EQ can only do so much - but the better ones you mentioned (especially McIntosh) did sound great considering the damage the room was doing to the sound.

Since Emerald Physics has already been thrown under the bus; I have to say, for guys who have been on the road many times before (even bragged about many years traveling with Paul in the past), I felt they were not terribly professional, the room sounded terrible, and the pushy used car sales feeling drove many people out. We gave them a couple chances to right things, and they seemed like they were getting fedup with my direct questions, and Pal's requests.

I will say, I thought the speakers had potential, but their demo left a lot to be desired. Again, this is why I couldn't really comment on the DirectStream - I don't feel I really got a listen to its potential. Though the few tracks Paul played for us did sound quite nice, who could tell with that mess that was going on.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #146 - 04/28/14 at 20:51:58
 
It sounds like the room you guys were in pretty much sucked except for a small sweet spot.  The room that I heard the DS DAC demo in was with the Vandersteen, Rogue Audio and Electocompanient, so a mix of tubes and transistors.  And even though I don't really care for Rogue's Apollo Monoblocks ... the room itself was treated very nicely and no EQ/DSP was used during the demo.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #147 - 05/06/14 at 01:39:34
 
An interesting owner review of the first hours of listening. . . start at post #52

http://audioshark.org/computer-digital-audio-11/ps-audio-directstream-dac-4438-p...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #148 - 05/06/14 at 02:12:33
 

I like his very down to earth descriptions - much how I try to do it. And he's saying exactly what I was hoping to hear from the first reviews.

I'm looking forward to more reviews (and maybe even hearing one for myself).
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Reply #149 - 05/06/14 at 02:19:25
 
@ Lon, thanks for posting.  It seems that my impression of cymbals resides along the same lines as the poster.  It seems fairly simple (but maybe more complex in the digital realm as opposed to analog at least from what I've heard) that whatever cymbal is tapped you should be able to pick it out, but in my system it is a weakness with the Rega DAC I use and no matter what cymbal is presented in the recording it all sounds the same and unfortuntately rolled off.

There are some other strengths from the Rega DAC that I can appreciate, but the highs and cymbals are not one of them.  The DirectStream however really made these cymbal taps stand out to me above and beyond what my DAC could do.  Although I'll probably never be able to afford this (unless I hit the lotto or something) I'm really looking forward to your impressions once you get some hours on it.
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Reply #150 - 05/06/14 at 02:30:34
 

Speaking of cymbals; the XLR upgrade on my ZMA with the Oppo brought my cymbals to life. I'm not saying as much as the DS DAC, but the XLR helped bring it from a single note sizzle sound to more of a brassy roar/crash/sizzle. It's still not as detailed as real cymbals, but better.
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Reply #151 - 05/06/14 at 02:48:18
 
@ LR - interesting observation, I'm sure the whole chain has some effect to an extent.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #152 - 05/17/14 at 01:26:38
 
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #153 - 05/17/14 at 02:40:00
 
Very favorable review.  The PSA PW Dac mkii is already a great DAC (I have yet to hear something better in my system), so I haven't had the urge to upgrade.  Maybe I should stop reading all the positive impressions/reviews of the DirecStream, because it is making me think a little more than I wanted to about an upgrade...

It shouldn't be too long until you have one in your system Lon.  Looking forward to your impressions.

Cheers,
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #154 - 05/17/14 at 02:54:50
 
Hey David,

Yeah, the Mk 2 sounds amazing in my system too, has made everything else shrivel in comparison, only the ZP3 is not ashamed.

I figure about a month more to wait before I send one of my Mk 2s in for the rebuild.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #155 - 05/17/14 at 03:43:36
 
Lon,

I have been buying lots of cds lately, and quite frankly, I don't plan to stop.  Purchasing vinyl has come to a halt aside from a few purchases here and there, since I took down my turntable(s).  I haven't been all that impressed with HD downloads (IMHO the HD gems are all remasters).  Net…a device that makes cds sound even better than they already do on the PW ADC is appealing to me.  Redbook is the format I expect to be spinning for the next 5 years (min).  

That said, I think I need to upgrade speakers (MG944's) prior to source.  I will get to hear the HR-1's in person in < 1 month and I heard a lot of great speakers at Axpona (most out of my price range).  In my experience audible memory isn't as short as folks may say, so I expect the HR-1 comparison vs. my own system and the systems I heard at Axpona last month will be straightforward (if not, Steve has 944's, so I can at least compare vs. my current system).

All that said, I likely need to chill out, because my system sounds so good right now.  I can sit for hours and just listen.  I really should get off of the merry go round.   Unfortunately, I have the urge to experiment and learn more, even if it doesn't improve my current experience.  Maybe it's just human nature to experiment.      
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #156 - 05/17/14 at 12:06:44
 
Dave, I know that urge well. We should be content, but we want to experiment. I both push that aside when I can and wallow in it when I can't. I suspect most of us here have it and that's a big common thread.

I'm still buying a lot of cds and to a lesser extent lps. Before I got the ZP3 I would have been able to pack my turntable up again, but the ZP3 and Rega combo honestly offers something completely different and at times superior to my digiatl front end. I love listening to it, and love having that alternative sonic experience. The good news there is I have no itch to upgrade, the sound is just right indeed for me, very satisfying.

You may be on to something in that the speakers may be your next step. The HR-1s are definitely going to impress you.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #157 - 05/17/14 at 19:36:50
 
I like this part, it reminds me very much of what the ZMA and other Decware amps do when the "speed" is *right*.

Quote:
Finally, I asked Smith the following question: ‘Ted, because I was a drummer long ago, I use percussion (cymbals, drums, etc.) to listen carefully (for testing purposes) because I know personally how they really sound live. My father played piano throughout my childhood so that instrument too I tend to use. What instruments (if any) do you find helpful in assessing sound quality, and did you use any in “fine-tuning” the DS?’

Smith: ‘Howdy Karl: I agree that of the sounds we can hear (and process) the best are the ones we have large amounts of experience with. I’ve played clarinet, trombone in bands, played piano, sung in choirs, and hence the instruments in a band, piano and voice are very useful for me personally. But in truth, after a while I just see whether a potential hardware or software change makes me want to tap my feet. When I have friends over I pay less attention to what they say than to their expressions while listening. In the last few months before production Paul and some of his associates listened to the DAC carefully and made suggestions to me as to what they thought it might be missing or how it could be improved. I translated that into potential technical changes and if those changes lead to a more technically correct DAC and kept my feet tapping I was happy to implement them: e.g. removing capacitors that were just there for EMI protection that weren’t actually needed for that or laying things out in the FPGA a little more carefully to avoid crosstalk with the output signals, etc.’
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Reply #158 - 05/18/14 at 10:22:44
 
Nice review and it confirmed my admiration for the way the DirectStream does cymbals.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #159 - 05/20/14 at 00:02:39
 
I am doing this from my iPhone. I have been in the middle of a move the last 3 weeks. I just got my rig set up in my new Listening Room.

I just read a piece about Chords new battery Hugo DAC....very promising.
Things keep heating up!

I look forward to catching up on all the posts/threads very soon.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #160 - 05/20/14 at 00:25:07
 
@ Stone ... yes it is quickly becoming one of the sweethearts of the never ending DAC community, especially using the FPGA's that are becoming more prevalent on more of the higher end DACs such as the DirectStream.

I would like to add one more DAC that I have personally heard several times and really like and that is the McIntosh D100.  Though it uses the Sabre ESS0918 chip, it does not have the upper treble problems usually associated with it (at least that I have heard with it so far).  I know this chip can decode DSD and when I listen to the D100 I almost feel as if it is doing the same thing as the DirectStream in that is it so smooth that it is upsampling everything to DSD (although Mac is not admitting anything to this), but this is just an assumption that I'm making because of the refinement/smoothness/fullness that I'm hearing and I don't think that I'm the first person to come to this conclusion either.

So I highly recommend a listen to the D100 if you get the chance.  Considering the level of build quality and the sound that the D100 is putting out ... I'm still shaking my head that McIntosh released this component at $2500 msrp ~ which I know is not pocket change, but I believe this DAC to be on the level of the DirectStream (or not too many notches below the DS) and possibly even better than the AURALic Vega (which is one of my all time favs), but comes in way under in price comparison.  Of course YMMV, but I do believe that this may be the best bang for the buck McIntosh product that they've ever released and possibly one of the best DACs currently out there.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #161 - 05/30/14 at 13:48:32
 
This sounds much like the debate we have over preamp or not to preamp. It sounds like Paul has similar feelings and debate of weight vs detail.

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

The preamp debate
Now that DirectStream’s are entering people’s systems the setup questions begin: chief among them is direct to the amp or through a preamp?  This is not an easy question because it is so system and user dependent.

When I travel to show our products I never carry a preamp.  Lugging a DirectStream with me is challenging enough, but the added trouble of hauling my preamp just isn’t worth it. And it isn’t worth it because there’s really little sonic advantage to doing so.

In Music Room One I have a preamp: a tube preamp to be exact.  And I vacillate between the euphonics of keeping the preamp in the system and the accuracy and revealing qualities of going directly into the amplifier.  Both have their advantages.

On the one hand a preamp, at least in this main system, seems to bring body and a sort of realism to instruments and voices, yet also seems to subtly mask some of what’s in the music.  Going direct doesn’t make me feel like there’s any less body, it sounds natural all right, but there’s also a certain directness that is bewitching in its hold on the music.

I understand most of us want a simple answer: yes or no to going with or without a preamp. But I can’t help with this. Which preamp are we discussing? I have not heard them all.  What speakers?  What are your tastes?

No, I fear there’s no simple answer.  But I can tell you this, either way you go you’ll enjoy the music immensely.

And that’s what matters.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #162 - 05/30/14 at 13:58:52
 
This week I've been running the PerfectWave DAC Mk 2 directly into the Torii Mk III which I haven't done for several years. This allows me to use my one best interconnect into the Torii Mk III from the PWD Mk 2 directly rather than the next step down interconnect from VooDoo Cable from the PWD Mk 2 to the CSP2+ and the best interconnect from the CSP2+ into the Torii Mk III.

It's a trade off. I hear nearly exactly what Paul hears. The added plus in favor of the CSP2+ is the ability to tube roll (though after years of that I use the same input and driver tubes in the CSP2+ as I do input tubes in the Torii Mk III) and to tailor the sound with the input and output gains.

Sounds great either way. I'm far more familiar with the body and weight from the CSP2+ and may go back to that next week. We'll see. I still need the CSP2+ in the system because I need the SACD player and the ZP3 and the PWD Mk 2 to all go into the two inputs on the Torii Mk III. And it always contributes a satisfying sound.
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« Last Edit: 05/30/14 at 13:59:43 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #163 - 05/30/14 at 14:49:57
 
I think I mentioned I did a comparison of some digital front ends I own (Oppo/NAD/PW DAC) in another thread, and the areas I think the PW DAC excel are as follows:

-Detail (extremely detailed without any grain, etching or harshness in the treble.  The speed of the DAC also seems on par with Decware amps, if that makes any sense)

-Space (this is an area where I think this DAC really excels, but I find it difficult to describe in words.  It’s as if you are transported to the space in which the recording was made.  I think the sense of space really helps create a large soundstage and gives you a greater sense of depth.  I think the space contributes to the liquidity/musicality of the DAC because the natural decay you would hear from instruments is present.  I don’t know if any of that makes sense.  Overall it’s a very musical DAC and gets your foot tapping)

-Timbre/Tone (instruments sound as they should…natural tone, timber and liquidity)

That said, compared to my Oppo BDP-93, the PW DAC lacked weight and body.  This was the one area where I felt the Oppo was better and why in a previous post I wouldn’t describe my Oppo as thin.  In fact, I would say the PW DAC is thin in comparison to the Oppo.  

This got me thinking that maybe a pre-amp would help provide the best experience with the PW Dac (I think you have been saying this forever, but I guess I needed to hear it for myself).  It seems like a reasonable trade off…giving up a little detail (which there is a ton of) for some weight and body (which seems to be a little lacking).  

I am first going to try the XLR inputs on my ZMA (I finally ordered an Anti-cable XLR interconnect so I can do a single variable comparison vs. my Anti-cable RCA), but there may be a CSP3 in my future.  
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« Last Edit: 05/31/14 at 02:49:03 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #164 - 05/30/14 at 15:50:03
 
Interesting. I wouldn't say that the PWD Mk II in my system is thin. I haven't heard an Oppo 93, but I've heard a 95SE, a 103 and a 105, and they sound to me in my system thnner than the PWD Mk II. If anything I think that the PWD Mk II may have a bit of low or mid bass thickness, as if it doesn't quite have the control of the lower frequencies the way that it does of the mid and high frequencies. With the CSP2+ controls I can ameliorate this a bit and also get a bit more weight and body to the midrange, which suits my speakers well.(Not also that my CSP2+ has the beeswax caps, and I agree with will that without that upgrade the CSP2+ has a bit of a signature of its own that I would say favors weight and body a hair, whereas with the cap ugrade it's more neutral and transparent by a hair).

One factor too is that my PWD Mk IIs have very early firmware and I like it. Perhaps that's a factor?

I'm eager to hear how the DirectStream DAC sounds both with and without the CSP2+.

I'm sure you would like the CSP3, but it's also a good idea to try the XLR transformer output to, that may just give you that little bit you're lacking!
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« Last Edit: 05/30/14 at 15:51:21 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #165 - 05/30/14 at 19:38:58
 
Actually Dave, taking into account your observations and doing a little more varied listening today I think I can hear that thinness you are talking of. The CSP2+ does flesh this out but does compress the overall width of the soundstage just a tiny bit and probably by obscuring details a tad. Or it could be cabling related as well, haven't eliminated that yet. I still feel that the Oppos I've heard are plagued with thinness, maybe a bit different, possibly a bleaching of the lower midrange, but I'm relying on audio memory--I think mine is pretty well-trained but it's far from perfect.

I did a little isolation component adjustment and the sound of the PWD Mk 2 directly into the Torii Mk III is stunning on some sources, and a bit better with the CSP2+ in the system on others. It's a bit fun today to experiment as I'm in a mellow mood after a late night of fun and an okay morning at my parents' place.
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« Last Edit: 05/30/14 at 19:53:16 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #166 - 05/30/14 at 19:49:01
 
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #167 - 05/30/14 at 22:31:17
 
Lon…I didn’t even think about firmware.  If I recall correctly, I have version 2.4.3 installed.  I will check when I get home.  What version are you using?

I did the last DAC firmware update pre-ZMA.  I remember reading in the PS Audio forums that some people were experiencing a thinner sound with 2.4.3, but I didn’t experience any thinness when I updated my firmware (SuperZen vs. ZMA).  It might be time for me to do a DAC firmware comparison with the ZMA.  

What’s interesting is that overall I wouldn’t describe my system as thin or lacking body (and I don’t think anyone else who has heard it would either), but when comparing the two front ends, it couldn’t be more obvious that the Oppo has a lot more weight/body.  

I think I need to get a better sense for how close both of these devices are to ‘Just about right’ for weight/body.  As in, is it possible that the Oppo has a little (or much) too much weight/body.  I do remember taking notes when listening to a Keb Mo track (when he hit the body of the guitar) that it sounded slightly unnatural/bloated, so maybe that’s what is going on here.

In summary, I clearly need to do some more experimentation…

Thanks for experimenting with your setup and providing observations. I always find these to be helpful.  As I experiment further, I will post my learning.

Also, thanks for posting links to the latest DS review.  I look forward to reading.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #168 - 05/30/14 at 22:41:21
 
Dave, I don't remember specifically what the firmware was but it's very early if not the earliest. I did one update a few years ago, prefered the original configuration and went back to that, have never touched them again on either PWD I have, and both had the same firmware.

That's an interesting review of the DS. Makes me anxious to hear it.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #169 - 06/10/14 at 15:14:45
 
6moons review:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/psaudio/1.html

They come to bold and extremely positive conclusions.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #170 - 06/10/14 at 16:40:38
 
I really love the simplicity of Ted Smith's design.  No doubt this is one of the best DACs I've personally heard and would be within my top 5 if I had the coin.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #171 - 06/10/14 at 16:43:50
 

Ugh, I want one so bad! I wonder if Brianne would still love me with only one kidney.

And no car.

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #172 - 06/10/14 at 19:27:58
 
Quote:
LR said,
Ugh, I want one so bad! I wonder if Brianne would still love me with only one kidney.

And no car.


LOL!!! Grin
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #173 - 06/24/14 at 00:30:53
 

Saw Paul and the DirectStream at the Chicago Audio Society meet yesterday. I found out about this last minute and drove up with Brianne. Paul was great as always, and I got to poke at the DS myself, and put it up against an Oppo BDP-105. Yeah, the DirectStream crushed the Oppo, and is the closest to tape I've heard so far.

Sorry for the crappy video, it was done on a camera phone - I'm trying to figure out how to bump up the quality a bit, but I really don't upload videos to you tube often.

http://youtu.be/okG-pRzz1w4

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #174 - 06/24/14 at 00:36:20
 
Nice that you got to hear it! I'm going to be sending one of my DAC Mk 2s back to be converted to the DS soon. (Though I won't be listening til after July 20, as I'm getting two weeks off from the dreadful monotony of my "job" here starting July 5 and going to Texas for a bit then spending a few days with my new gf here).
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #175 - 06/24/14 at 02:57:58
 
I look forward to your impressions Lon. I plan to buy one.

Cool LR, 58 Buddy Holly from Redbook per Paul!

.....reading the 6moons review..... .
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #176 - 06/24/14 at 03:39:35
 
It 's all about the Redbook! Our CD collections will thank us Lon!!!! I for one look forward to using it with an without my CSP3. The 3 is so damn transparent an dynamic! I am currently enjoying it with my SE84CS....then to my CKC next. Then of course, back to my ZMA.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #177 - 06/24/14 at 13:17:51
 
Well we'll see. My PS Audio DAC Mk 2 amazes me still, it's hard to believe the full breadth of the hype of this new DS. (That it crushes an Oppo and several other DACs doesn't necessarily impress me, I feel my DAC Mk 2 does as well).  But I want to be pleased with it.  We'll see.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #178 - 06/24/14 at 14:09:03
 
Yes, I will readily admit I should have given my combo (the Tport an DAC Mk2) more time. So I would be skeptical too Lon...in your shoes.

However, I did not have the original Firmware that you have. The current Firmware I had and the current Firmware that was available last August...I was not happy with. PS Audio does not offer "way back" Firmware. No surprise you and Dave were discussing this issue...in this thread.  A very common theme over on the PS Forums as well....not liking the current Firmware...can't go back at least 2 or 4 generations they or I would like...if I recall correctly.... .

In the current 6moons review you posted, I like how he makes it clear why should or why would their be a Firmware upgrade for the DSD DAC?!
However, if their is (in my opinion)....think twice about it and make sure you can go back...to Firmware you have (at least one generation back).

Here is another good one...skip part I (you know)...II an III are the goods.  

http://bitperfectsound.blogspot.com/2014/05/directstream-i.html

Opps, sorry...need more coffee....you posted the BlogSpot bitperfect above.


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« Last Edit: 06/24/14 at 14:18:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #179 - 06/24/14 at 14:30:43
 
Music Direct has access to new stock as of midnight today. I'm so tempted to order one!  I need to wait until fall. I will be buying one. I am excited about all the chatter here on the forum and other forums about the Cymbals sound an decay!  My Kimber Select does such a good job with Decware in fleshing this out further....add the DSD....lets roll baby! I like the fact the DSD DAC will accept everything with aplomb! I don't need the PS Transport buffer holder... .

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-209323-ps-audio-perfectwave-directstream-dsd-dac.as...
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #180 - 06/24/14 at 14:42:52
 
Well, I expect it to not be as amazing as all the hype, but it will still likely be a step up for me.

I love the Transport, I have two and they are not going anywere. They improve Redbook on everything I've tried it with (two SACD players that allow you to access their DACs--using the Transport in gave improved sound than using the internal transport in the SACD players.) I can see why you may not need it but I sure love mine.

Wait til fall, they'll work out the bugs and all will be well. I'm not that sure you would actually get one NOW if you ordered it now, that's not the picture I seem to be getting from the forums there, but maybe so. If you wait til fall though there may be several firmware changes. Smiley
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #181 - 06/24/14 at 15:08:35
 
So true on all counts Lon. Hey, thanks for the Audioshark Link from your post #147.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #182 - 06/24/14 at 15:21:44
 
Yes, nice to read actual users going through their experiences.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #183 - 06/24/14 at 15:37:13
 
Yes! Great thread at Audioshark.

The founder Mike and Administrator...what a Main System he has. Holy buckets on the TaraLabs Omega Gold Speaker Cables & TaraLabs 0.8 Interconnects too... .

Decware (SE84CS, Super Zen CKC an Zen Mystery Amplifier with CSP3) with Steve's custom cyroed Jupiter Bee's Wax Silver Lead Caps in the 3 an ZMA...CKC...with my Kimber Select RCA IC 1030 an Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable....and soon to have PS Audio DSD DAC....I'm not complaining here...... .  :)
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #184 - 06/24/14 at 15:43:50
 
Yes, I don't envy anyone's system any longer. The seasoned Torii Mk III with Jupiter caps is perfect for me, the HR-1s are all the speakers I'll ever need, and I have two systems with these as the heartbeat! When the DSD arrives I'm sure it will sound fantastic straight into the Torii as the PWD Mk2 does--I tried that again on a lark some weeks back and I now can't reconfigure wtih the CSP2+ with Jupiter caps, the CSP2+ is not needed, I now have one for my SACD and ZP3 to go into the Torii, and one in my second system, and a third in the closet, just not needed in the main system as it used to be.

Decware owners have life GOOD.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #185 - 06/24/14 at 16:05:39
 
Yes, Decware owners have a good life. This is a good time for me to clear something up. The disdain people here and elsewhere, have, for High End Cables.

YOU don't need them in my 30 years of experience with high res Speakers. I own the Zen Styx and they are wonderfully competent into my Parker 95's (WITH Hovland Music Caps on each too)! I have never sold them and use them periodically with the Zen Styx in my main Rig! They are a little dry sounding...but on well recorded Blues the 95's are very nice.

However, having said this...I don't like the Parker's or ANY I've had in the high efficiency speaker realm for much else...for the Music I like. I just sold my RF-7 II Klipsch. IT does not make them wrong (high eff)...just wrong for me.

Now, when running the 3 pair of Speaker's I like and mate well with my Decware Amplifiers...I need my Kimber Select....it is a whole other level in musicality for me. .........For me.

I can respect every System here...and I do. I can also respect Mike's - System...the Forum Founder and Administrator at Audioshark.

http://audioshark.org/computer-digital-audio-11/ps-audio-directstream-dac-4438-p...

So, I've been to Decware 2005 and 08/love Steve's Amplifier's an Speakers...I've been part of the Minnesota Audio Society....I've heard the System's like Mike's. I feel I have put the best of both world's FOR ME...with Decware ... Kimber Select ....and the PS DSD DAC pending.  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #186 - 06/24/14 at 16:19:15
 
I used the Zen Styx in my main system for years, and still use them everyday in the system I have at my parents'.

There are definitely better cables, and spending money will have some rewards. I didn't want to spend big bucks and tried the Mapleshade Double Helix Plus. Didn't know if they would better the Styx but they certainly did, I'm VERY happy with them in all manners. Some day I may try VooDoo Cable speaker cables as I believe that their interconnects are just amazing for the money. . . .

Anyway, some of us have the luxury of both time and money for seeking out the final percentages of sound. For those who don't, and for me when I didn't, the basic Decware items all work astonishingly well together and give one excellent excellent sound.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #187 - 06/25/14 at 15:07:27
 
No doubt Decware is top notch thru an thru.

Duly noted about not using the pre with the PS Audio DSD DAC (#184 post) when I get it. I will Listen to the DAC without my CSP3 for 150 hours before putting my 3 back in the chain.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #188 - 06/25/14 at 15:41:04
 
To be honest Stone, reading through the impressions of the DS it is like the PWD: should take more than 400, 500 hours maybe, to be really through burn-in and what it actually sounds like. It might actually be better to listen with the CSP3 for the first 400 and then try it without. . . .
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #189 - 06/25/14 at 16:04:07
 
Good point Lon. I was just reading over at Audioshark about doing just that and I made the mistake of not putting more hours on the MKII last August. ...So yes, 400 hours on it with the CSP3 then try it without...  I love the CSP3...for me it is sheer transparency and dynamic.

I just got off the phone with Music Direct....they have them in stock, in both Black and Silver! So ships today...... .  However, I need to wait until Friday to order. I will call Friday (I have a direct contact) and I should have it by Tuesday or Wednesday next week....in my Rig!  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #190 - 06/25/14 at 16:17:22
 
Cool. The CSP is pretty transparent and dynamic. . . but. . . well I now prefer my PWD straight in and that's unexpected.

You'll be the first on the block with the DS. Yes, they need time, I think the PWD would have impressed you more with a few more weeks. I think you'll take the DS to the distance!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #191 - 06/25/14 at 16:53:44
 
I will take it the distance. I put 481 hours on my ZMA and 118 on my CSP3 before I stopped recording/counting. I will monitor an enjoy every step of the way with the DSD DAC.

I like the credibility reviews of the DSD over at Audioshark. They know it is for Redbook improvement. I also enjoy the talk of it equaling a DAC when decoding Redbook that is 4X its price.

I wish it was only $3800. However, food and gas prices since the summer of 2005 have doubled....so why shouldn't the price of a dragon slayer state of the art DAC damn near double too.  They will raise the price of this DAC and the upgrade kit by fall I speculate. It is happening now...for me...I will report back with any initial impressions late next week.   -Stone
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« Last Edit: 06/25/14 at 17:01:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #192 - 06/25/14 at 18:05:55
 
I forgot to mention....pretty darn excited too!  

Yes, I will also contain my honeymoon excitement. The real test will be as it was for the Zen Mystery Amp at 500+ hours; do I love it = yes. The ZMA passed with flying colors.

My hope is the same enthusiasm for the DSD DAC at 500+ hours (I have for my ZMA), decoding most of my CD collection with musicality expected.  -Cheers
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« Last Edit: 06/25/14 at 18:18:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #193 - 06/25/14 at 18:44:58
 
From what I heard this weekend, I don't doubt you'll like the DS. It played music with ease and neutrality, but still with all the detail you can imagine. I couldn't tell if it had a good sense of space because people kept talking during the demos - but the reviews say this is good as well.

Comparing it to the Oppo BDP-105, the Oppo sounded good, but the DS sounded GREAT. The image the DS throws was much larger compared to the Oppo. As soon as we switched to the Oppo, it sounded good, but everything sounded flat, like it was a 2' deep image 12' wide rather than being 12' deep and 12' wide.

Edit to add: I think the DS was connected to the amp (don't even know what it was) via RCA. I'm pretty sure though that the DS connected via XLR to the Mystery Amp would have the presence and density that would bring it closer to the analog sound of 1/4" two track tape. I look forward to hearing how this works for you...I'm scheming to get a DS myself. If I can find 12 months same as cash financing somewhere, I'd be on the waiting list.  :)

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« Last Edit: 06/25/14 at 18:48:43 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #194 - 06/25/14 at 21:44:24
 
LR, you know you have to get one and thanks for these observations. I would have got there on the spur of the moment too if I were closer (the Audio Society Meet). We will be enjoying  it for a very long time. I am very fortunate to pull it off now. I might have to use my Select an CKC for awhile and get my ZMA back to Steve for XLR.

I keep telling myself I don't need XLR...but I have to hear it.

I propose this: Sometime in August or September, I drive down to your place, Palomino's place or to Steve's with...

DSD DAC
Kimber Select IC & Speaker Cable
Two pair of my Speakers

I would like to compare what I like to hear to what you guys like to hear. I think a lot of good could come from this!  I will either be keeping what I have...OR...selling my stuff on Audiogon or just adding some High Efficiency Speakers to my rotation... .

I know, I know...I just said above/a couple posts up, I don't like Hi-eff Speaks'....but I keep an open mind==and try all combinations a dozen times and again a year or two later.
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« Last Edit: 06/26/14 at 17:44:31 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #195 - 06/26/14 at 17:47:43
 
Ordered!

In stealthy Black finish!

I received my Invoice....FedEx tracking coming later. I might have it Saturday....FedEx has Saturday res....delivery. Probably Monday delivery...but I might get lucky on out for delivery on Saturday...I won't hold my breath... .  No worries...... .
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #196 - 06/26/14 at 18:32:41
 
Awesome. This is going to be great to hear about.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #197 - 06/26/14 at 19:55:11
 
Congrats! I'm really looking forward to your report on it!

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #198 - 06/26/14 at 21:20:32
 
+1 to Lon and LR ... please report back after  you get some hours on it! Cool
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #199 - 06/26/14 at 22:15:03
 
It will be fun to passively be in other rooms and hear it ...let it cook... .  
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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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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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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 »  

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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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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 »  

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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 »  

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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 »  

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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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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 »  

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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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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