Bridge II Update Appreciation


#1

I am sure that I will get some negative comments on this but that is life. PS Audio has been great giving us free upgrades of the FPGA for our DACS. The latest freebie Huron was a major upgrade to the sound of my DSD DAC. The work is done in house but as I understand it, that is not the case for the Bridge II which I believe is manufactured by a third party that probably has not done any modification work for free. Added to this is the inclusion of MQA for which there was probably a licensing fee and possibly additional labor costs.PS Audio has set a precedent by giving us free upgrades but I am curious what it has cost them to upgrade the Bridge II excluding the labor of their employees. I don’t think it was cheap. PS Audio did not want to get involved with MQA but they so did because a number of us said we wanted to try it out. I believe in fairness and since they will not charge us for the change to the Bridge II why not do something to show our gratitude. What I am proposing is that PS Audio selects a charity that we can contribute voluntarily to as a token of our appreciation. If you do not wish to contribute no problem you will still get your upgrade; they were not expecting any remuneration to begin with.


#2

There is indeed no free lunch. Whether or not Paul takes up this offer, we should all be grateful that PSA is the kind of class act that it is.


#3

If you would like to support PS Audio, buy their products and tell others about them as well.

If you feel a charitable donation is appropriate, I suggest not trying to put PS Audio on the hook to make a choice, but rather make a donation to something important to you. Or take someone out to a concert, buy someone a CD or downlod, support a music student, attend a charitable/community performance and make a donation.

As a trumpet player I am playing a bunch of patriotic gigs this weekend. I like to think this sort of thing is good for us as a culture. People enjoy it, it may make a kid decide he wants to pick up a horn and play, etc. Live music is always a good thing.


#4
Elk said

If you would like to support PS Audio, buy their products and tell others about them as well.

If you feel a charitable donation is appropriate, I suggest not trying to put PS Audio on the hook to make a choice, but rather make a donation to something important to you. Or take someone out to a concert, buy someone a CD or downlod, support a music student, attend a charitable/community performance and make a donation.

As a trumpet player I am playing a bunch of patriotic gigs this weekend. I like to think this sort of thing is good for us as a culture. People enjoy it, it may make a kid decide he wants to pick up a horn and play, etc. Live music is always a good thing.


Elk I have to take exception to part of your response.I was not trying to put PS Audio on the hook but rather the community that uses their products and all the freebies they give us. Except for Magister, the rest have spoken with their silence.

#5
Elk said

As a trumpet player I am playing a bunch of patriotic gigs this weekend. I like to think this sort of thing is good for us as a culture. People enjoy it, it may make a kid decide he wants to pick up a horn and play, etc. Live music is always a good thing.

Very cool!! I'm missing The Marine Corps Band playing with Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis' and their Big Band at The Trinity Episcopal church in New Orleans by an hour tomorrow. Wish I would have booked my flights differently. This kind of live music is the best!

Enjoy your patriotic music performances! We have a lot to be proud of!


#6

That would be a concert to enjoy! Too bad you are missing it. Ugh.


#7

If you are looking for a charity, I’ll be happy to volunteer.

Living on SSD, my house needs work, and thanks to bulging discs and spinal stenosis, amongst a whole lot of other health issues, I can no longer do the labor, if I could afford the materials.

But, in reality compared to so many, I have it pretty good. I used to do a monthly support of my local college station, and I usually prefer helping animals to people, and this year I did receive as a Christmas present, a donation towards a goat, it goes to someone in a third world country. That seems to be a good charity.

I think Elk is right, spread the word, and buy regularly from PSA. I remember Paul saying he had hired a business manager, so the updates may be figured into the purchase price. Unlike some companies, that sell a small number of units due to five and sometimes six figure prices that sell for 10 times the material costs, I think PSA sells more units for a much fairer mark up. The MQA licensing though is quite a gift to owners of the Bridge. You could turn it around, and see it as PSA, showing it’s appreciation of their customers.

Irwin, you shouldn’t get any negative comments, as your heart is in the right place. I sure hope your avatar is not a self portrait, it kind of creeps me out every time I see it. And I always imagine you as an old guy wearing those glasses.


#8
jeffstarr said

Irwin, you shouldn’t get any negative comments, as your heart is in the right place. I sure hope your avatar is not a self portrait, it kind of creeps me out every time I see it. And I always imagine you as an old guy wearing those glasses.


Thanks for the kind words Jeff. I am an older guy , I do wear glasses and my avatar may or may not be an improvement on my looks !

#9
Elamsco15 said Enjoy your patriotic music performances! We have a lot to be proud of!
Absolutely true, and we are extremely fortunate as well.
jeffstarr said

If you are looking for a charity, I’ll be happy to volunteer.


Me, too. The Elk music fund always needs donations.
Irwin, you shouldn't get any negative comments, as your heart is in the right place.
Agreed

#10

Irwin, I agree that DS and Bridge II owners should be grateful for the free firmware updates. I got my DS in late 2014 with then-current firmware v1.21 installed, which sounded great to me at the time. The sound quality improvement from v1.21 to Huron is utterly remarkable, and I am grateful for the various DS updates leading up to and including Huron. I am also grateful for the upcoming BII update with MQA and TIDAL support built-in.

In addition to being grateful for the free updates, I am extremely appreciative of PS Audio’s user-installable firmware update processes. There are plenty of audio products on the market that require a round-trip to the dealer or manufacturer for a firmware update (not to mention the various products which are not firmware-updatable as well as those products for which a needed firmware update never materializes).

I do think, though, that your well-intended public suggestion to PS Audio that it select a charity to which DS and BII users could contribute is putting PS Audio on the spot and in a bit of a Catch-22. If PS Audio selects a charity, it would create subtle pressure on DS and BII users to contribute, and I am guessing PS Audio does not want to do that. If PS Audio declines to select a charity, then some might think the company ungrateful for your suggestion.

If you or anyone want to make a charitable donation in honor of PS Audio, then by all means do so. Speaking of which, your post caused me to think about doing exactly that. In searching for a potential charity, I discovered the “Colorado Fourteeners Initiative” (“CFI”), whose stated mission is to protect and preserve the natural integrity of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks – the “Fourteeners” – through active stewardship and public education. See: http://www.14ers.org/.

Given PS Audio’s DS firmware naming convention of honoring a different “Fourteener” peak with each new firmware release, the CFI sounds to me like a potentially appropriate donation outlet.

Note: I have no affiliation with the CFI. I have started researching the organization and am considering making a donation to it in honor of PS Audio.

Happy Fourth to all!


#11

Clever idea. The CFI sounds lie a neat organization.


#12

Bootzilla, the 14ers is an excellent idea! I think the best idea for this would be for forum members to suggest other donation sites which seem “connected” to our hobby. Musician related charities would be an obvious and good start. Quite honestly, I don’t know any in particular. The only music related donation I make is to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the home town band so to speak. I’m sure most (or all) of us have a home town band we could support. I think that is the spirit of what Iwin1949 was proposing, which (belatedly) is a good idea. I also agree it puts PS Audio in an awkward spot, we do need to keep in mind the hyper-partisan nature of society right now. PS Audio putting forth charities could be mistaken for pushing an “agenda”, something I know Paul would not do. One last thing, make sure to vet your charity, especially those you are not familiar with. Sites such as Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau will help weed out the scoundrels …


#13

Although I’m a charitable person giving to a few personal favorites, I believe this idea is a rabbit hole PS Audio does not want to fall in. Selecting a charity easily becomes political, potentially painting PSA into a corner that will anger some of their customers or potential customers either way they turn. Furthermore, the concept of buying a DAC that evolves with technology is one of the reasons I was sold on their DACs - it is part of their marketing. Personally I stretched my budget to have a DAC that would not fall behind the sound curve. If PSA turned around now to say they’d start charging for the software upgrades, then that would be reneging on their promise of what they sold me even if the charge was for charity.

I think it is great that you want to give money to a worthy cause in the name of PSA. Do it! But it is wrong to assume we all value the same causes and that we agree to now pay an upgrade premium for something that up to this point has been a selling promise.


#14

Ray, you missed a very important word “selects a charity that we can contribute voluntarily to”.

" Voluntarily "

No one is suggesting that PSA charge for updates, and then donate it to a charity. And if PSA was asked to pick a charity, my guess is it would be environmental or to help those in need. It may not be a charity you had thought of, or were aware of, but I think I know Paul well enough to believe it would not be political or controversial. And it would be “voluntarily” done.

This came up, not so much because of the updates to the DACs, but because even though Paul and some of us, are not thrilled with MQAs secrecy, policies, and requirements, PSA is spending their money to purchase licensing. And they also had to invest extra time and money to implement it. And they are doing it only because enough customers asked for it. Purchasing a license for a new technology that was not available, or known when the Directstream was first released. I am not aware of them promising to add new technologies or support for new codecs either. So some of us believe they are going beyond what was expected, or promised.

I don’t believe Irwin assumed anything. And because I saw it as a kind, and thoughtful idea. I think berating Irwin is not a cool thing to do. You don’t want to donate, that’s fine. It would be voluntary. And once again this was suggested by an owner of a DSD, nowhere is PSA involved in this. And if you know Paul and PSA, you know they will keep their word. So, no rabbit hole, no upgrade premium. Just an appreciative customer with a thoughtful suggestion.


#15
rayk said If PSA turned around now to say they'd start charging for the software upgrades, then that would be reneging on their promise of what they sold me . . .
I'm sure this is not going to happen.
. . . even if the charge was for charity.
No one has suggested this but you. :)
lwin1949 said

Elk I have to take exception to part of your response.I was not trying to put PS Audio on the hook . . .


You wrote: “What I am proposing is that PS Audio selects a charity that we can contribute voluntarily to.” [emphasis added]

I do not think it is a good idea to ask PS Audio to select a charity. Thus, I wrote: “If you feel a charitable donation is appropriate, I suggest not trying to put PS Audio on the hook to make a choice, but rather make a donation to something important to you.” [emphasis added]


#16
lwin1949 said

Thanks for the kind words Jeff. I am an older guy , I do wear glasses and my avatar may or may not be an improvement on my looks !


Too funny. Thanks for the laugh!

#17

What a truly generous dialog. I love the idea of donating to charity. PS Audio donates a small portion of our profits to charities already and this might expand that effort. It’s a noble thought and one I applaud. As mentioned by several, implementation is tough and we don’t want to tie our work to that. I’d prefer to keep expanding the company’s role of charitable giving on its own. That’s something important to Terri and I and, in its own small way, the world.

To date, we’ve focused our giving mostly to local charities helping raise people out of poverty by giving on holidays. Someday we’d like to expand the efforts worldwide to help with fresh water, disease, hunger.

As we grow, so too will our charitable efforts. Thanks for thinking about this. Really.


#18
Paul McGowan said

To date, we’ve focused our giving mostly to local charities helping raise people out of poverty by giving on holidays. Someday we’d like to expand the efforts worldwide to help with fresh water, disease, hunger.

As we grow, so too will our charitable efforts. Thanks for thinking about this. Really.


Paul:

Your “fresh water” comment caught my eye. FWIW: TivaWater.

FYI,

Scott


#19
jeffstarr said

Ray, you missed a very important word “selects a charity that we can contribute voluntarily to”.

" Voluntarily "

suggestion.


Fair enough I missed a critical word - voluntarily. However I still believe it is prudent of businesses to keep their charities to themselves or anticipate pissing off some people. Even something like the environment, although you’d think we’d all be for it, I could see PSA losing at least one potential customer, Scott Pruit (head of dismantling the EPA). One man’s charity is another man’s political target.

#20

This is a corollary to my broader point from early in the thread; do not require PS Audio to make a choice, but donate to your preferred charity. Political issues are only one consideration and, for many, not all that important.