Waiting to take delivery of PS Audio DirectStream DAC

Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
edited September 2014 in Going Digital
I'm sitting here today waiting for FedEX to deliver a recently purchased PS Audio DirectStream DAC that I plan to use in my main system. It will replace the PS Audio PefrectWave MKII DAC I installed a few weeks ago.

My goal has been to install and use this DS DAC to render music from the Synology DiskStation 713+ that I added to my home LAN several months ago. With the DS 713+ (two 4TB Western Digital hard drives) and the DS DAC I hope to begin to acquire and stream hi-res music files to my main rig.

I'm already streaming music from the DS 713+ to both my PW MKII and PW MKI DACs with some success. The sound quality is good, but not as good as standard CDs playing in either the PS Audio PerfectWave Transport or the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C.

In my "exercise room" rig I'm largely using an iPod with AIFF files playing through a Wadia iPod transport into the PS Audio PW MKI DAC. The sound quality of this configuration is, in my opinion, at least as good as CDs playing through the CA Azur 840C. My wife disagrees, saying that the sound is still "brighter" than she likes and than the CDs. While I mitigated this "brightness" to some extent by switching out the Canare 4S11 speaker cables with Supra Rondo 4x2.5 cables I fabricated for the purpose, she still hears more brightness than she likes.

When I install the DS DAC in my family room system, I'll move the PW MKII DAC to the exercise room, and I hope that will further mitigate the brightness my wife hears.

My objective is to move all my music files to the Synology DS 713+. So far, I have taken only small steps to transfer my music to the DiskStation because I want to get the way I store files on the DS 713+ standardized before I go too far and have to redo things to remedy whatever problems I encounter along the way during the transition.

I'm finding the transfer process, using the stock Synology DiskStation Manager software, cumbersome. Perhaps, I haven't mastered the software package, but I think it is just inherently less user friendly than I -- a committed Apple user -- am used to. The biggest problem is that in order to get an album stored on the DS 713+ in a manner that displays the album art in the "Album" viewer, I have to manually create a file for each album on the DiskStation then transfer the tracks into the file then manually transfer the album art into the same file.

The album art part of the process is, perhaps, the most cumbersome part of the process, perhaps, because I have to find the album art (usually on Amazon), download it to my iMac, change the file name to "albumart" or one of several other options the DiskStation Manager recognizes, and finally move the album art file into the DiskStation file for the album. Time consuming to say the least.

I've looked for software packages to automate this process, but have not identified one that will work for my particular configuration. As I understand it, these packages are generally designed to work when music files are stored on a computer which is directly connected to a music renderer (DAC, in my case) by way of a USB connection. Because my music is stored on the DiskStation as a NAS and serves music over ethernet (CAT 6), as far as I can tell, none of the packages I have explored will work for me. In addition, while I haven't verified it, I have read that AIFF files will not store the metadata for album art.

In any case, when the PS Audio DirectStream DAC arrives sometime today, I'll have the last piece in the puzzle I'm trying to put together to go digital with central storage and distribution.

I'll update this as I progress -- or NOT!

Cheers.
Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.

Comments

  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,165
    Congrats! It is an impressive design with transformer output. Some might not like the up sampling/conversion, but that takes advantage of different filtering in the output that can result in better SQ. Looking forward to your impressions.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,624
    edited September 2014
    I was impressed with the sound coming from that unit mated with Emerald Physics products at AXPONA earlier in the year. Interesting technology....and not cheap.

    http://parttimeaudiophile.com/2014/05/03/axpona-2014-emerald-physics-and-ps-audio-dazzles/
    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • WLDock wrote: »
    I was impressed with the sound coming from that unit mated with Emerald Physics products at AXPONA earlier in the year. Interesting technology....and not cheap.

    http://parttimeaudiophile.com/2014/05/03/axpona-2014-emerald-physics-and-ps-audio-dazzles/

    Is that your blog/site or just a review you found?

    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    edited September 2014
    I received the DirectStream DAC late this afternoon and installed it -- promptly.

    First impressions were disastrous because the volume control would not lower the volume to a listening level that my wife would tolerate until I switched on the "attenuator" that reduces the output of the DAC for "sensitive" amps that are directly connected to the DAC. I never knew that my Perreaux Prisma 750s were "sensitive."

    But, that fixed the volume control problem, for now. However, I suspect that I shall not use the DAC as a preamp in the end. Rather, I shall reconnect my Perreaux SM6 MKII.

    The "Quick Start" manual for the DAC indicates that it takes three hours for the DAC to warm up after initializing, and my listening so far confirms that observation. I've now been listening continuously for about 2.5 hours and I have heard the music "blossom" noticeably as time passes.

    First, I put on Yo-Yo Ma's "Songs of Joy and Peace," and my wife -- shall we say -- did not appreciate the expense to which I had gone to materially degrade the SQ of our main system!

    However, as time passed, the SQ improved. Rebecca Pidgeon's "The Raven" was rendered as well or better than I have ever heard it with any of my previous systems. Details in the accompanying instruments were more distinct, more air around the higher frequency instruments, and clearer timbre all around. The voice was excellent, if, perhaps, a little veiled at first.

    Next, I played Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" (Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music) served from my NAS -- AIFF file ripped from the 1984 L'Oiseau-Lyre CD. I chose this because I had been unhappy with the apparent quality of this recording and assumed its age explained the deficiency. I wanted to see whether the DirectStream would do as Paul McGowan has claimed -- that is, pull sound out of standard CDs that hasn't been heard using DACs without the DirectStream's new technology.

    I have to say, fully warmed up or not and fully broken in or not, I was impressed. That old CD had life in it that I had never before experienced. The sound stage was bigger on all dimensions. The instruments were firmly located, and the sound was excellent.

    Now, I'm listening to Herbie Hancock's "Gershwin's World," also served from the NAS, and I believe the SQ is the best that I've heard from this extremely well recorded disc.

    One characteristic of this DAC is that even at very low volume -- and I mean almost at the point of muting the sound -- all the details of the music remain present in the rendition.

    More to come.

    Cheers.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,624
    edited September 2014
    Nice to hear its living up to the claims. Enjoy and continue to share.

    Is that your blog/site or just a review you found?
    Not mine at all...This DAC is waay out of my price range and I have no major personal experience with the higher formats, DSD, etc. However, that blog offers a good overview of the system...not really a review.

    Still, I do remember a few transactions going on in the room...and I think I remember hearing that someone bought the DAC right off the floor as stated in the blog. In a sea of more costly systems, the Emerald Physics/PS Audio combo really made an impression. Would love to hear it again. I never heard of Emerald or previously listened to any PS Audio products.
    Post edited by WLDock on
    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    edited September 2014
    I've been listening continuously for 6+ hours, now.

    Now playing to David Hill conducting the Choir of the Westminster Cathedral singing Tomas Luis de Victoria's "Missa 'Vidi Speciosam."

    This is a remarkable recording in an equally remarkable setting.

    The DirectStream DAC brings out nuances of the music that make the performance appear to be in my family room. Sounds profound to me.

    At higher volumes my wife says, "It's too shrill!"

    Time will tell.

    gthays9hekvh.jpg
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,439
    Not even going to attempt to make the wife happy ?
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    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

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  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,050
    In regard to the using the Wadia iTransport, I assume it is the 170 model. If so try to find the 171. It has an upgraded power supply, better RCA connector, lower jitter, and better sonics than the 170. An alternative is to replace the power supply with a CIAudio external supply. I did that to my 170, and used it on my 171, and it does improve the sonics. Of course, a good power cord for the external supply, and a good digital cable is essential for either Wadia model.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

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  • tonyb wrote: »
    Not even going to attempt to make the wife happy ?

    I jumped on the case ASAP.

    Stopped using the DirectStream DAC as a preamp; reconnected my Perreaux SM6 MKII; problem solved.

    After several hours of listening last night, I "took the plunge" and put on Beethoven's "Eroica" (Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). The rendering of this symphony was the best I have ever heard on a two-channel system, and my wife agreed!

    The sections of the orchestra are well defined. The transitions are clear and precise. The sound stage is broad and deep. I was surprised that I could clearly distinguish the first and second violin sections on the sound stage, for example.

    Wonderful!
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • BlueFox wrote: »
    In regard to the using the Wadia iTransport, I assume it is the 170 model. If so try to find the 171. It has an upgraded power supply, better RCA connector, lower jitter, and better sonics than the 170. An alternative is to replace the power supply with a CIAudio external supply. I did that to my 170, and used it on my 171, and it does improve the sonics. Of course, a good power cord for the external supply, and a good digital cable is essential for either Wadia model.

    BlueFox,

    Thanks for the comments.

    My Wadia dock is the 171 model. It worked beautifully with the standard Wadia coax cable, pawer supply, and power cord connected to the PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC MKI.

    The coax connection ceased to work only when I switched out the PWD MKI for the PWD MKII that I had been using in my family room system before I installed the DirectStream DAC.

    I had been using a Cambridge Audio iD100 iPod dock (when I used the iPod -- not often) in my family room system. I connected it to the PWD MKII with an AQ Vodka coax cable (I just realized that my signature is misleading). This combination also worked well.

    The CA dock does not work with the DirectStream DAC with the coax connection, but it does work with an AQ optical cable through the Toslink port.

    I've got some permutations of configuration to work through, but it seems clear to me that the coax port in the DirectStream is either malfunctioning or is incompatible with both the Wadia and CA docks. (I have tried both docks with the DirectStream using the coax connection.

    I still don't understand the reason that the PWD MKII worked well with the coax connection to the CA dock before I moved the DAC to my other system and tried to use the Wadia dock through the coax port. I also tried the CA dock in my "exercise room" system with the PWD MKII, with which it had worked well for months upstairs, but for some reason it won't work in the exercise room system. Go figure!

    As I said, I have some more work to do before I conclude that something is wrong with the coax port on the DirectStream. A problem with the DirectStream certainly does not explain the same problem with the PWD MKII, especially when the PWD MKII coax connection worked before the move.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,439
    [I jumped on the case ASAP.

    Cool man, happy wife and all that makes a huge difference.

    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    edited September 2014
    Yesterday, I set up my rig so that I could relatively quickly switch between the new PS Audio Memory Transport/Directstream DAC and the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD player I had been using for a couple of years.

    My wife and I sat down for some A/B comparisons.

    My wife definitely prefers the CA 840C sound. She describes it as softer, richer, plenty of detail, good sound stage and placement. Good transients.

    I, however, prefer the PS Audio combination. I hear greater clarity and precision, more defined placement of of instruments and vocalists on the sound stage. Equal richness and depth with faster transients.

    My judgement is that my wife likes what I call the "smear" the the CA 840C produces because it gives softer edges and mellower renderings.

    However, her hearing is probably better than mine. She may be reacting to high-pitched sounds, harmonics, etc. that I don't even hear.

    When I had the PS Audio PWD MKII in my system, my wife initially made similar comments. However, the PWD MKII, unlike the DirectStream, had several filter choices, and using those I was able to remedy the problem my wife perceived.

    We agreed that because the PS Audio equipment still has only about 20 hours on it, we need to give it more time to burn in. Time will tell.

    I also rely on my daughter's comments to mediate these differences, as does my wife. Our daughter is a good amateur violinist with a lot of knowledge of music performance. When she comes home for Thanksgiving, we'll get her opinion.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • vcwatkinsvcwatkins Posts: 1,909
    Updates?
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  • Briefly, I've been letting the DirectStream process bits about 16 hours per day since my last post, so it's getting pretty well burned in.

    The SQ has improved dramatically -- even to my wife's ears.

    I would say now that the DirectStream is a significant advance over either the PWD MkII or my Cambridge Audio Azur 840C.

    The clarity of rendering of vocals and instruments has improved and the brightness has resolved. The depth and richness of the sound are extremely good.

    I just listened to Daniel Barenboim conducting Beethoven's 6th symphony ("Pastoral"), and the rendering of this complex orchestral piece was clear. The placement of the sections of the orchestra was realistic, and the movement around the orchestra was also realistic and well defined.

    I am happy with the purchase of the DirectStream, and I think my wife is ready to agree!

    I won't get my daughter's opinion till she's home for Thanksgiving!

    Thanks for asking.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    I probably have more than 200 hours on the DirectStream at this point.

    The sound quality continues to improve: Increased clarity without brightness is, perhaps, the most notable change. However, the overall warmth, richness and depth continue to improve.

    For example: In listening to Track 12 "Night at the Caravanserai" from Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble's "Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon" I was struck by a passage near the end. At opposite ends of the soundstage two unusual drum sequences playoff against each other. The precision and clarity of this sequence are phenomenal, and the sound stage extends at least six feet beyond the speakers on each side.

    In fact, the rendition of the entire track and album was stunning. This music has really come alive as the DS DAC has broken in. Listening all the way down to "2" on the volume setting, the details and richness are still present. With my prior player and DAC, much was lost at any volume below "10."

    I should also note that I was streaming this album from my NAS via my LAN. This set-up also appears to be producing really good sound.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,439
    Cool man, sounds like you found yourself a winner. The increased clarity at higher volumes is telling of a good system you've put together. I take it the wife is also happy now ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    tonyb wrote: »
    Cool man, sounds like you found yourself a winner. The increased clarity at higher volumes is telling of a good system you've put together. I take it the wife is also happy now ?

    She is definitely admitting that the sound is pretty good! :)

    We're getting there.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,607
    Congrats. Now that's what I'm talking about!!
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    edited October 2014
    An interesting recent development after many hours of breaking in the DirectStream DAC:

    Tonight my wife and I listened to various albums streaming from our NAS. These albums included Anna Wilson's "The Long Way," Joshua Bell's "At Home with Friends," Harry Connick, Jr.'s "Lofty's Roach Souffle," and Stan Getz's and Joao Gilberto's "Getz/Gilberto."

    We were listening with satisfaction with the volume control of my preamp at 04 or 05. (The scale runs from 00 to 59, which is -95dB to +18dB with 47 being 00dB.)

    When I say "with satisfaction," I mean that the soundstage is wide and deep, details of instruments and vocals are clear, transients are good, and at all frequencies the timbres of instruments come through realistically. The SDA effect is palpable. The rendition is rich.

    Before I installed the DirectStream DAC, I could not listen to music at this level and get much satisfaction from the experience. Too much was lost in the rendering.

    My preamp is pure class A, and my monoblocks run in class A up to 10 watts output. My theory is that the combination of the DirectStreams capability to render the music precisely and clearly with the preamp/amps capability to run in pure class A up to 10 watts output delivers this excellent sound at very low volume.

    I think the valve-like operation of the power MOSFET output stage of the amps also contributes to this capability.

    I am way out of my depth in offering up this theory, but I can say categorically that I am really, REALLY happy with the sound I'm getting out of the SRS 1.2s with this rig driving them.

    And the performance of the Synology DiskStation is great, too. I'm going to have to do some A/B comparisons with streaming from the NAS and playing CDs on the PS Audio Memory Player, but so far I think I would give the edge to the streaming from the NAS using the PS Audio Bridge.

    PS: Don't get me wrong here; I don't intend to always listen to my music at this low volume. However, when my wife wants to do some quiet reading and I want to listen and read at the same time, this works for both of us. Before, it didn't! :)
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • My DirectStream DAC should be here Friday or Saturday. Looks like an interesting weekend coming up.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    I look forward to reading your observations and evaluation(s) of the DirectStream DAC. You experience, knowledge and sophistication in these matters far exceeds mine.

    Much more listening with the DirectStream has led to a couple more observations:
    1) It does appear that it takes about an hour for the DAC to warm up after it has been unused for awhile, and it can take longer (three hours or so) for it to open up fully if it has been completely shut down for a day or two -- e.g., while my wife and I are traveling.
    2) After what now amounts to well over 200 hours of use in my estimation, it is very clear to me that the DirectStream DAC is a major improvement over my Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD player. Sound quality is better in every dimension -- soundstage, speed, clarity, detail, airiness of highs, clarity and definition in the midrange, tightness and realism of bass.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • I have experienced long warm up times with my digital gear. It takes my BDP-1 digital player 48 hours to open up after a cold start. It takes my CD 306 SACD player 24 hours from a cold start to open up.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • This is interesting as I see the Direct Stream also implements FPGA to handle DSD while using the native word length of eight. I am interested in knowing how It handles CD's with a longer word length but lower sampling.

    Congrats on your new setup.

    Halen
  • halenhoang wrote: »
    This is interesting as I see the Direct Stream also implements FPGA to handle DSD while using the native word length of eight. I am interested in knowing how It handles CD's with a longer word length but lower sampling.

    The DirectStream DAC's designer, Ted Smith, is active on the PS Audio forums. There is a subforum dedicated to the DirectStream.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,050
    The PS Audio is getting some good reviews. Be sure it has the latest firmware since that is an improvement over the initial release. I like they use FPGAs for decoding since they can make constant tweaks to better the D/A process.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    Initially, my DirectStream did not have the firmware upgrade.

    When I installed the upgrade, the improvement was obvious and important -- especially because it made a big difference with my wife's opinion of the DAC! :)
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • Moose68BashMoose68Bash Posts: 3,597
    I'm not sure what's going on with my system, now. I thought it was completely burned in.

    In the last couple of days, however, my wife and I have both noticed a palpable improvement in overall rendition of music. Performance has really kicked up a couple of notches -- stereo image is better, more well defined; highs are clearer and more distinct; timbre is better for all sources -- vocal and instrumental.

    The depth, height, and width of the soundstage is more well defined -- if not larger -- on all dimensions (I'm not sure whether it is actually larger).

    One thing that strikes me is the presentation of instruments in space apparently completely outside the speakers on both sides -- some times by four-six feet. I notice this especially with some drum kits -- tom toms and cymbals.

    Piano music also appears more realistic in both location within the stage and in timbre. Vocalists are more centered and "present" than ever.

    I've had the DirectStream for about four months, but because of travel it's been powered off for a few intervals during that time. Perhaps, it is finally getting fully burned in.

    The performance continues to be best through the bridge from the Synology NAS, although I'm still wrestling with the best way to get my music loaded on to the NAS with all the metadata intact.

    The PS Audio memory player playing CDs is second; AIFF files from my iPod through a Cambridge Audio iD100 dock is third. However, there is not a dramatic difference (to my ears) among these three sources.

    What I am noticing more than ever is the differences in the quality of recordings. The best of my recordings puts me right in the middle of the concert. Remasterings of some older recordings show their deficiencies.
    Family Room, PS Audio PW Transport, DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
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