By price level the PS Audio Perfect Wave & Direct Stream combo competes with the Marantz, being much cheaper, in some opinions less good looking and inferior DAC, but also with this:
- multiple linear power supplies
- discrete (or rather FPGA) DSD upsampling DAC extracting the DSD layer equally in extreme high quality
- and an enclosure and drive mechanisme that is truly Esoteric
It comes for the same price as the PS Audio combo (certainly in Europe) and you don’t have to worry about a digital interconnect cable.
But, Esoteric does not offer a server and their streamer is also another EUR 13500. When you add the Octave Player to the equation the PS Audio combo has the lead price wise and looks less “bulky”.
You could off course add another brand server for less than the Octave Player but than those don’t look too good together. Which doesn’t matter in case the server is in a different room or out of sight.