Dilemma: PWT or DMP?


#1

Hi. I could use some advice.

My system is now entirely driven by computer (system is shown below in the sig line.) I’ve tweaked the audio to the best extent possible, and we like the sound – and LOVE the convenience of computer-based audio and streaming from Roon/Tidal.

Thing is, it’s not really intuitive for non-computer people (like SWMBO), especially if something goes wrong, which seems to have happened a number of times, lately. I’m the computer guy; she isn’t. Add in the fact that, sometimes, our internet service is unavailable – rare, but it has happened, and that knocks out the music.

So, my lovely wife suggested that we need a simpler, backup arrangement to networked audio. If I ever became incapacitated and she needed music, CDs would be the best choice. It would also get us around network issues and the like.

Plus… I’m curious as to how the SQ from a good disc player would be compared to networked audio. Perhaps there’s a sonic advantage for those times we’d just like to spin a disc and kick back.

For these purposes, getting a DMP seems rather a steep price ($6K) to pay for the limited use we’ll have for it. Yet, from what I’ve read, the SQ is fantastic, especially when paired with the DS that I love. (Note: We do NOT have much use for the SACD or Blu-Ray capabilities.)

On the other hand, the PWT seems a lot more affordable. But, how does the SQ stack up against the DMP?

If the DMP were to be “worlds away better” in terms of SQ, it would be a compelling argument. Looked at from the other side, if I saved money by getting a PWT but found the SQ to be just “meh” in comparison, I’d feel as though I spent $1500 for not-so-great sound.

Having never heard either unit, I can’t help but ask, “What to do? What to do?” Any thoughts?

Rob


#2

Hmmm… not sure what happened to my sig line.

Modified Mac Mini w/external disc, LANRover to DS DAC, Rowland Continuum S2, Maggie 3.7, etc.


#3

Spend the money on making your networked audio more robust and user friendly. You don’t need a disc spinner.


#4

Rob, I changed your avatar to RobH as it was your email address. Please let me know if you would like it to be something else and I will change it for you.


#5

Why not both? a Bridge II and Roon would make networked audio much more accommodating and user-friendly, and a PWT would let anyone use the system. The final cost would chalk in well below the cost of a DMP.

You’d be leaving behind a healthy amount of performance, though I highly doubt you’d find the performance of the PWT “meh.”

Haha plus if you snag a PWT for $1,500, you could always trade it in to us or one of our dealers and get $2,000 off the cost of a DMP. Works out well in your favor :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

Thank you, Elk. I mentioned this to you some months back, but the problem persisted. I couldn’t change it from the profile page. Glad to know that you addressed this. Thanks.


#7

@Brodric

Actually, it already is rather user-friendly, to one who knows how to identify and debug problems when they arise.

I don’t NEED a spinner, but if the network is down for whatever reason, it would come in handy. Or, if my wife is left with my system (and not me), it would be easier for her to operate, a not insubstantial consideration. Also, I do sometimes wonder if there’s a sonic advantage to a good spinner over my network audio, or enough of an advantage to make it worthwhile. These were the points of my original post.


#8

Interesting idea, @Schroedster, netting a $500 savings off of $6K. Still leaves a layout of $5,500 to consider, which is substantial in the context of what I would need it for.

Hmmm…

I think I’m going to have to look into adding a Bridge II to my system and get rid of the Mac Mini. I had been holding on to the configuration because, at one point, I felt that PureMusic/iTunes had a sonic advantage over Roon/Tidal, so I’d use Roon for around-the-house listening, but PureMusic for critical listening.

I no longer feel that way, and, in fact, have tweaked Roon/Tidal to sound better than PureMusic/iTunes, obviating the need for the Mac Mini.

My only hesitation is in setting up a NAS. I have zip for experience in such things, and also have a few hard wiring considerations that might make that less-than-optimal.

Time to do some research on that…

Still, I’m feeling the need for a spinner as backup to networked audio.


#9

If you are hesitant to spend $1500 or so for a PWT, maybe you should just try a DVD/BluRay player. Most or all of them have a SPDIF or TOSLINK output that can connect to your DAC. Of course these will not sound as good as a PWT or DMP, but you may already have one in your home or can get one cheap to try (garage sales are a real cheap source!). You did say this was a back up, so try one and see how it compares to your network audio.


#10

A good network player could do the job…

SQ-wise my Melco beats my PWT, so i ripped all of my- and some friends- cd’s to play from the Melco, just like the HiRes Qobuz-purchased downloads, leaving the PWT unemployed (even without internet service).

Adding a Bridge II (or III ; -) is a good start, no need for computers with easy control points on tablet/phone.


#11

I am very sorry I did not get this properly addressed for you earlier.


#12

No worries @Elk. It didn’t seem to open me up to spam, as the spelling was just slightly off. All’s good now.


#13

If you need to identify and debug problems as they arise it indicates to me it is neither robust or user friendly as it could be.

No sonic advantage in disc spinner over networked audio, done right.


#14

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spin discs. I still buy and play records, even though there’s no technological reason to go for vinyl over digital. Sometimes playing an LP is just what my mood dictates :grin:

It sounds like Rob asking for something similar - more functionality in his system, not necessarily a sonic advantage (though getting a bump in performance is always a nice bonus).


#15

@Brodric

Must be nice to be in your position, where problems don’t arise from time to time, whether it be lightning hits, updates that step on each other, reboots required, or just the machine-gods having a field day.

Thanks for your input.

[Edited] I don’t think you picked up on the gist in my OP and subsequent replies that if I were to die unexpectedly, I want to leave something for my wife to play that is straight-up easy, like we did in the early days of audio.


#16

I did pick up on what you said. Problems just don’t arise, and my 14 year old has been able to use it since she was 2…and I also have a DMP, but I don’t use it. It is far more problematic than the networked audio option. Which was the crux of your question, I think. If network audio is more problematic than spinning a disc, it doesn’t have to be.


#17

I can sympathize with your wife. Tidal from my Mac to GSdac sounds good, but PWT to GSdac sounds much better and I don’t need to dive into computer menu, or climb behind the equipment rack to restart the GS because the Mac and GS are no longer talking to each other. For the tech deficient there is much to be said for physical media. The PWT transformed my digital music, it used to make me squirm , now I rarely use my turntable .


#18

@Brodric

You may have picked up on what I said – you go little buddy – but I don’t think that you have the level of compassion to understand the implications of what I’m talking about.

My wife – to quote her directly – asks that you provide your phone number so that she can call you if she’s grieving deeply and needs to play good-quality music to get her through the situation and she can’t figure out why this-doesn’t-talk-to-that. If you’re willing to do that, we might just start a nice friendship. If not, we’re done here.

I believe you’re letting your own personal experiences with spinners interfere with giving good advice. Thanks for playing.


#19

@jgiese

Thanks, bud. I appreciate your input… very much, considering. You “get it”.


#20

Again, all I can say, is if you build your network audio system right, when you pick up the iPad and press play, it will play what you choose to play 100% of the time. If you want a DMP to do that, good luck to you. I’m speaking from a lot of experience with both.