DirectStream Transport


#1

Hello again to all the forum members and admins.

I saw Paul’s video on the new DirectStream Transport (and LANRover) and got very excited. I have a bunch of questions I hope Paul and his staff of wizards can address.

My current setup, as you all may recall, has an Oppo BDP-105 connected to my DirectStream DAC via coax for Redbook CDs. The analog output goes to a McCormack passive preamp. For SACDs, DVD-As, and Blu-Ray Audio discs – and the occasional DVD video, Blu-ray video, streamed AppleTV or Roku – its analog audio output is connected to my passive preamp, with HDMI to my Sony monitor for video. It’s a necessity for the menus on non-Redbook discs, as well as for configuring the Oppo itself.

In the video Paul mentioned that the DST would play CDs, SACDs, DVD-As, and Blu-Ray Audio discs. Since I collect all four types of discs, I was intrigued. Here are some questions:

(1) Does this mean that the DST will natively play all of these in two-channel or surround (when available) and send the digital data of all of these discs to the DSD via i2S?

(2) Will the menu information on non-Redbook discs be displayed on the DST’s screen or be sent to the DSD’s screen?

(3) If not, will there be a way to connect the DST to a video monitor? Some Blu-ray Audio discs have somewhat extensive menus and track info; will these be displayed?

My beloved Oppo BDP-105 may become an (audio) redundancy in my system if the DST is as feature-rich in the music playback department as I suspect Paul and his crew are trying to make it. Frankly, I’ll replace it with a BDP-103D for my music BD-Vs and DVDs if that’s the case. I recently bought one for my living room HT and the Darbee image quality is stunning.

Thanks in advance for the answers.


#2

Regarding point 3. I’m pretty sure Paul mentioned the DST will have no video monitor output capability what-so-ever.

I assume this also means there will be no video data on the I2S interface that the DSD can interpret and display on its touchscreen.


#3
George Moneo said

(1) Does this mean that the DST will natively play all of these in two-channel or surround (when available) and send the digital data of all of these discs to the DSD via i2S?

(2) Will the menu information on non-Redbook discs be displayed on the DST’s screen or be sent to the DSD’s screen?

(3) If not, will there be a way to connect the DST to a video monitor? Some Blu-ray Audio discs have somewhat extensive menus and track info; will these be displayed?

My beloved Oppo BDP-105 may become an (audio) redundancy in my system if the DST is as feature-rich in the music playback department as I suspect Paul and his crew are trying to make it. Frankly, I’ll replace it with a BDP-103D for my music BD-Vs and DVDs if that’s the case. I recently bought one for my living room HT and the Darbee image quality is stunning.

Thanks in advance for the answers.

  1. Yes. The DST plays natively in 2-channel and surround directly to the DirectStream or DSJ. If you have surround, you’ll need multiple DACS as our DACs are only stereo. But yes, for the first time, you’ll hear what’s really on your discs.

  2. Yes, sort of. The screen will show the track titles, sample rates and file types. It won’t have lots of other stuff you might see on the Oppo generated video.

  3. There will not be a way to connect a monitor up the the DST. We have found that when we turn on video, sound gets worse and since this is a dedicated audio player, that’s the sacrifice we’re willing to make in the interest of purity.

The DST is strictly for high-end audio applications, 2-channel through 6-channel.

One other piece of info. You won’t need PS Audio DACs connected for everything. We’ll also offer 3 coax outputs, each capable of a stereo stream. Discs with surround sound that are not on the protected SACD layer can be streamed to any make or model of DAC. The encrypted SACD player will only be available to PS Audio DACS to maintain copy protection.


#4

George Moneo, was the video on the new transport part of the LANRover video or a separate clip? The LANRover video was removed from You Tube by the time I heard about it, but just the LANRover video was posted on the forum yesterday. No mention of the DST in that video, so I’m hoping there is either a link someone can post or paste it here. Thanks!


#5
pmotz said George Moneo, was the video on the new transport part of the LANRover video or a separate clip? The LANRover video was removed from You Tube by the time I heard about it, but just the LANRover video was posted on the forum yesterday. No mention of the DST in that video, so I'm hoping there is either a link someone can post or paste it here. Thanks!
It was a separate link I saw on PSAudio's Twitter feed.

#6
Paul McGowan said

One other piece of info. You won’t need PS Audio DACs connected for everything. We’ll also offer 3 coax outputs, each capable of a stereo stream. Discs with surround sound that are not on the protected SACD layer can be streamed to any make or model of DAC. The encrypted SACD player will only be available to PS Audio DACS to maintain copy protection.


Well, there may be some that use other DACs, but as for me, give me a DS DAC or give me death.

The DS DAC surprises me on a daily basis with what it does. Everything I feed through it – from a CD or through the Bridge II – just sounds right. Even low-res internet radio feeds sound good. When the wife starts commenting on how good music sounds from the system, you know you’ve got a winner. That’s all I can say.

Paul, when I get home later tonight I’ll take a pic of the menu on a couple of my Blu-ray Audio discs so you can see what I mean. I think the Oppo does display something but I can’t really remember since I’ve only used the BD-A’s video menu for navigation. I 'll take pics of both.


#7

For those who only have a single DSD, will you be able to play in 5.1 by sending the SACD stereo channels to the DSD via I2S, and the other surround channels from the CD layer via coax to other DACs? Or are the different digital interfaces not tightly syncronized for playback in this way.

And, can the volume control of a stack of DSD be syncronized in a master/slave relationship so they always vol up/down together (perhaps with a preset offset for correct level adjustment between channels).


#8

For SACDs, digital rights management will preclude sending the other channels to other DACs. Tho I don’t have any inside knowledge about the transport I suspect that the different interfaces out of it will be reasonably well synchronized, but a DS will likely have a different latency than any other DAC you might have.

Unfortunately the DS was only designed to be a stereo DAC, it has no provisions for side to side communication with other DSs. That said, my stack of DSs keep their volumes, mutes, phase, etc. synchronized well if they are stacked and the remote is pointed roughly in their direction. It doesn’t appear to be a problem in practice.


#9

I found the video! I’m not a Twitter user so I wasn’t monitoring that but I found the post with the link. The only problem is the post and the You Tube page show it as “BHK Preamp 1”, but it is a 12 minute discussion on the DST. Very interesting. Here’s the link to You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeuCvKAZlkY&feature=youtu.be


#10

Hi Paul, is there any chance at all to add a 10Mhz BNC clock input for the Directstream Transport? We don’t have it for the Directstream DAC but I am hopeful we can have one for the Transport as a start :slight_smile:

Thanks


#11

It’s not planned. Help me understand what you would do with this clock input?


#12

Probably for connecting something like this: http://www.cybershaft.jp/a-products/a-products-rb.html

I thought an external world clock would connect to a DAC and then the transport could be clocked from the DAC (?)

To connect something like this externally via a cable could even worsen things, IMO.

I know the the dcs stack use such an approach, though.


#13

If the reason is to use a clock from the DAC to lower jitter, etc. then it’s not necessary for the DS - it was designed to work best following the incoming data while ignoring the incoming clock - having the transport follow the DAC wouldn’t help.

If the reason is to use a higher quality clock, then once again the DS is designed to generate it’s own low phase clock better than it could buffer and use an external clock.

If the reason is to sync to a house sync, e.g. for editing or syncing with video, the DS is optimized for audio playback and not to closely follow a clock. It will follow the incoming data and hence the overall incoming rate, but the latency isn’t entirely predictable and certainly not sample accurate so it would be misleading to imply that the DS will track close enough for quality editing.

If the reason is to help some other DAC, well … :slight_smile:


#14

Thanks all, I have an Antelope Isochrone 10M rubidium clock clocking my Aurender W20 connecting via USB into the DS. The sonic improvement is not subtle, probably improving the source clocking out into USB. While the DS ignores the data clock input, the question is not about data clock input, but the improvement of the internal system clocking of DS or the new DST. While DS has a Femto clock and it was launched without clock input, it is in the hope maybe DST could have it if it is not too difficult. If no external clock is present, then the internal DST clock is used. If one is present then it switches to the more accurate external clock input.

Hope I am making sense here…thanks in advance for considering this request, as I suspect DST might live a very life like its Perfectwave predecessor. Cheers!


#15

Please don’t take this personally and I don’t know the Aurender devices, so I won’t speculate how a better clock helps them to disturb your system less, but not all devices and systems respond to any given tweak the same. The point is that the DS doesn’t use the incoming clock at all and any direct use of an incoming clock will add more phase noise (jitter) to the output. This is not to say that having a better clock upstream won’t help and I’m not saying the DS is perfect but adding any clock input will make it worse, not better. Adding an external clock to the DST won’t help a DST / DS combination either. Or perhaps I should say that there are more cost effective improvements to be had, like balanced cables, care with groundloops, power conditioning, …

[Edit - I’ll try to expand on my answer:]

If the DS had a clock input in addition to the standard inputs (AES/EBU, S/PDIF, TOSLink, I2S, USB, the bridge) and that clock got ahead or behind the input, then what would it have to do? The DS doesn’t use asynchronous sample rate conversion, but that’s the only answer when a clock input has a disagreement with a data input. The problem with ASRC is that it encodes the jitter difference between the two clocks as amplitude changes in the output data stream which is just another form of distortion. It may sound different than the direct distortion of the jitter without the input clock, but it’s not “better”. The DS uses a high quality wide pull VCXO with low phase noise and any replacement clock would need to be a higher quality wide pull VCXO with lower phase noise - External rubidium clocks (and any external fixed rate clock for that matter) just don’t work in this application and would likely have a higher phase noise than the clock the DS uses anyway.

The DS Transport will have a quality clock and tho it may not be quite as good as the one in the DS, it doesn’t need to be. It only needs to not cause any untoward effects on the rest of the user’s system.

Since 10MHz isn’t the clock rate that the transport or the DS needs, to use it they would need a clock multiplier (or a jitter attenuating clock multiplier) which has a PLL at it’s core and adding such a phase locked loop would likely add more phase noise than the transport’s fixed clock or the DS’s VCXO.

Rubidium clocks, oven controlled clocks, etc. are all designed for long term stability, but long term stability is irrelevant in audio. What’s relevant is phase noise, especially phase noise in the audio band. It’s a bit ironic that Rubidium clocks actually don’t directly use the rubidium inputs for the short term clock, they use it to carefully control the average speed of the short term clock. If this control were left out it wouldn’t matter for audio and it would make for a cheaper cleaner audio clock. Rubidium clocks don’t sound better because they are rubidium based, but simply because they are (presumably) well made.


#16

I just finished listening to Karajan’s 1959 recording of Richard Strauss’s EIN HELDENLEBEN on Blu-ray Audio through my Oppo. An amazing remastering, better than any other version I’ve ever heard. If the DirectStream Transport, through the DirectStream DAC, can make this sound better than I heard tonight, then I’m going to need serious medical attention on October…


#17

Questions to Ted Smith and Paul McGowan. The posted video of the announcement of the upcoming DS Transport. Isn’t the transport manufactured in China? OPPO is a Chinese company. They do take their audio very seriously and I do respect that. Will the new DS Transport rip Blu Ray Audio discs to the DS DAC and convert it to DSD? I am curious to know the differences and benefits of Blu Ray Audio compared to SACD/DSD as it relates to the upcoming DS Transport and DS DAC combo. I am want to learn more about the new DS Transport.

Thanks


#18

Hello tonic316, and welcome to the forum.

From what I have read and understand, the upcoming DS Transport only reads the audio from the disc and sends that unmodified to the DAC. It does not convert PCM to DSD, and when connected to the DirectStream DAC it does not convert DSD to PCM. When connected to any DAC other than the DirectStream or DS Jr it will convert the DSD audio from an SACD disc to PCM in compliance with the restrictions of the Sony copyright limitations.

All that said, if a Blu-ray disc had DSD audio on it that was not encrypted in the SACD format then this DSD audio should be sent to any DAC as is.

J.P.


#19

This is correct. And yes, it is a Japanese transport mechanism. Oppo is a Chinese company, and the chassis and circuit boards are made in China. We do not use the chassis, but we do use their circuit boards. Like most modern equipment today, its pedigree is from all over the world. Japan, China, Boulder. Even the PWT uses a China sourced DVD ROM drive. There aren’t any US manufacturers making drives.


#20
Paul McGowan said Like most modern equipment today, its pedigree is from all over the world. Japan, China, Boulder.
Which is a wonderful thing for all of us. We get to enjoy the best from everywhere.

One of my favorite examples from a few years ago is the analysis that, at the time, the Honda Goldwing contained more U.S. made parts than a Harley.