DirectStream


#1

Looking forward to upgrading my PWD II to DirectStream - just as soon as you can gear up for the volume of interest this is going to have.


#2

Yes, I know I will want to do this too. Hopefully it will not be prohibitively expensive to do so.


#3

The upgrade replaces all three boards and the transformer inside, so unfortunately it’s the majority of what’s in the PWD itself. All that remains is the chassis and the front panel display. Upgrades will cost $2995. Or, you can get $2K trade in for the PWD and get a brand new DirectStream for $3995.


#4

DirectStream is a good name, by the way. =D> :-bd


#5

Just curious–will the PWD MkII stay in the product line-up? If so, at the same price?


#6
Just curious--will the PWD MkII stay in the product line-up? If so, at the same price?


I don't think so, as I'm sure all focus will be on DS from now on.

--SSW


#7

Actually, why not to resell refurbished PWDs after the trading-in campaign?


#8

Paul, did you try the DAC without your tube preamp? Do you still prefer the preamp in the chain with this new DAC?


#9
Paul, did you try the DAC without your tube preamp? Do you still prefer the preamp in the chain with this new DAC?


Actually, the big question is if one can hear the rosin on the violins, If that sounds right, even on 44.1/16 redbook CD, then everything else will pretty much fall into line.

I can hardly wait to hear it.

--SSW


#10

OK, let’s move the discussion to this thread.



While the idea of PCM -> DSD DAC is indeed not new, it’s all about the implementation. Looking at the white paper I can say that I like the simplicity, I like the software (FPGA) approach, I like 10xDSD (vs 1xDSD or even 2xDSD), and, of course, I like the passive LPF.



On the other hand, I’m afraid that the software approach (though extremely flexible) may lead to unpredictable results (e.g. 2.0.x vs 2.2.x vs 2.3.x). But again, it’s nice to have a choice :wink:



Speaking of the 10xDSD upsampling. I wonder if the pre-upsampling (let’s say from 16/44 to 24/172) will make any sense.



#11

Hmmm. . . three grand. Not sure I can swing that for a while. Okay, thanks.


#12
streets still works said: Actually, the big question is if one can hear the rosin on the violins, If that sounds right, even on 44.1/16 redbook CD, then everything else will pretty much fall into line.

I am astonished at what is available from a 16/44 disk. It is not as inferior to other formats as I thought. It was just a matter of getting that info off the disk and out into the air in a clean fashion. The undetailed, less musical nature of "CD sound," especially at higher frequencies, is not the fault of the medium but rather the playback devices. We've been living with this since 1982.

#13

I have been saying that for a while based on my experience with the $30K MSB DAC. As the quality of hardware improves, the gap between formats narrows (and eventually all but disappears). The challenge of manufacturers like PS audio is to bring that level of performance to a realistic pricepoint.



I will soon be able to report if Paul has risen to the challenge, since I’ll be doing an MSB / Direcstream shootout. If I can also lose my Arc Preamp in the process, I’ll be able to swap out over $50K worth of hardware (including cabling), for a $6K DAC. I’m not counting on it (too good to be true?) but who knows!


#14
wglenn said: The undetailed, less musical nature of "CD sound," especially at higher frequencies, is not the fault of the medium but rather the playback devices.

Play back technology always falls well behind recording. One of the mysteries of the world.

edorr said: As the quality of hardware improves, the gap between formats narrows (and eventually all but disappears).

Exactly. I have had many arguments with others on this point.

edorr said: I'll be doing an MSB / Direcstream shootout.

Yes! I am eager to learn of your conclusions.

#15

Yes! I am eager to learn of your conclusions.


+1

#16

Paul, in the other thread you mention that the volume control will no longer have an impact on sound. Presumably this is in reference to the current PWD recommendation to keep the volume above 50 and higher is better. The addition of selectable levels is good too, but the real question is with the IRS system, do you still prefer to use a preamp? The need for a preamp may drive my decision on upgrading. While it is certainly welcome to have an upgrade path, $3k is still a big investment. Selling the preamp would go a long ways to making this more affordable. Also, I would love to upgrade my amp but I’ve been holding off for your new amp to see what it offers, but now I have another decision to make. Decisions, decisions …


#17

Once I get my hands on a unit I will be able to comment on whether a good preamp still offers improvements in SQ with the directstream. Eager to hear Paul’s personal experience as well.


#18

Very interesting news :slight_smile:

I want one as well, obviously.



I wonder if the FPGA is programmed inhouse or outsourced to 3rd. party?

Also, is the volume control 64 bits since it does not degrade SQ?



Post note:

I understand now that the programming is done inhouse.


#19

Since the processing is in 1 - bitstream, I believe the “losing 1 bit per 6db attenuation” paradigm does not apply, and a different method if digital domain attenuation is used. I could be wrong…


#20
Since the processing is in 1 - bitstream, I believe the "losing 1 bit per 6db attenuation" paradigm does not apply, and a different method if digital domain attenuation is used. I could be wrong...

Good point.....