Finally....PerfectWave SACD Transport

Thanks, Ryann and I do understand the angst. Of course the PST plays the 44.1kHz version of the SACD and what you were hoping for was the downsampled version of that at 88.2kHz.

That downsampling of the DSD layer was a built-in function of the core Oppo transport mechanism and one we debated about implementing when we launched DMP. At the time I felt unhappy about the LP filter algorithm they used for the downsampling as it had added phase shift that, properly implemented, would have been amazing to listen to but… To my ears the unaltered CD layer sounded better than the downsampled DSD layer but, what the heck, it was a freebie feature so we left it.

Unfortunately, that same downsampling hardware function is not available in the DM transport mechanism used in the PST. Had we to do this over again and if we knew it was something important to folks we could have built a proper phase-correct LP filter and output buffer in the hardware to accommodate the function. Unfortunately, this was not on our radar at all. I apologize.

It may someday be possible to execute a LP filter in the output FPGA to render the DSD layer but it still couldn’t be phase perfect. That is because the processing requires a look forward function. Look forward functions depend on extensive RAM buffering to place the file in storage, perform the processing, etc. That hardware is not on the PST.

Do give the non-molested 44.1kHz layer a good listen. Honestly, with what we’ve done with galvanic isolation, elimination of jitter, and the new output stage, I’ll bet that layer, compared in a direct A/B with the downsampled DMP output, would perform as well or better.

Let us know.

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Keeping my new PST. Sending back the DMP. Let me tell you about it in a few installments. I was delighted with the sound of the DMP and DS DAC. They served well the emphasis on detail and nuance that were important to me in selecting a highly-resolving Spectral system decades ago, still in service.

Paul’s new book and test CD provided the impetus to address loudspeaker placement in a new, smaller cluttered listening room. Schlepping 200 lb Thiel loudspeakers and massive MIT cables with their metal mystery boxes at each end—very unfun. But what else is a pandemic for?

At last, loudspeakers optimally placed and spiked, my system seemed worthy of more attention. For the first time, I was experiencing a spacious soundstage with dimensional accuracy. Good bass.

Sounded terrific then and there. But I had long eyed the DMP with a certain amount of suspicion regarding the durability of its flimsy-seeming mechanics, and irksome touch screen. Did I touch the play arrow too soon? Hard enough? Long enough? Should I touch it again? And the DMP itself had replaced two prior high-end transports (not PSA) that perished by mechanical or laser failures that the manufacturers had no solutions for.

So maybe…….trade in, take advantage of my newfound 3D soundstage, add longevity to my transport. No risk. Why not? Many folks on this forum and at PSA were all kinds of helpful, and @JamesH was hugely facilitative.

So fresh out of the box, I plug the new PST into the DS DAC with the old, stock HDMI cabled, and use the stock power cable. Kind of a handicapping maneuver. I leave the DMP plugged into the other I2S input of the DAC with its nauseatingly expensive Wire World Platinum Starlight HDMI, and leave it privileged with the similarly costly MIT Zip whatever power cable.

Then I parked in my listening chair and played Paul’s test CD twice.

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I have my PST for over a month and over 100 hours I think. It actually sounded worse around 50 hours, probably because I used USB playback mainly for break in. When I changed to a AQ Coffee HDMI there was a clear improvement in all spectrum of music frequency. Then I added a Silnote Orion 1 Master power cord and the improvement was just amazing!

I will try a fuse upgrade later to see if that will bring it to even a higher level (hard to imagine how much more improvement can it make).

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What a tease!

:wink:

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That’s indeed (for me) the worst problem with the DMP. The workaround is to press the play button when the tray is still open, the CD will always start playing… PS Audio claims it’s an issue with the Oppo mechanism but I’m sure it’s not, for me it’s a pure software issue (sorry guys!).

It most certainly is a software issue relating to the PS Audio and the OPPO side. It is not the fault of the touch screen. I never had the operational issues with the PWT or DAC, both which use the very same touch screen. The DMP misbehaved the same way when one was using the remote.

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DMP-PST Part 2
So before I sit down and listen to Paul’s test SACD twice (once each on the DMP and PST), brief preliminaries: Not to dwell on the past, but life with the DMP started sorta like a breech footling delivery. In contrast, the PST, once powered up, initialized quickly. Set up the Wifi. Entering my password. Annoying as always to click through 80 characters to select each one, but once I did, wham, PST informs me there is a firmware update. Sure go ahead. Then zap, PST downloads, installs, reboots like a champ. No Caesarean section needed.

Test SACD goes into the satisfyingly robust drawer. Kachomp, it closes with persuasive determination. Disk icon spins. No detectable vibrations. Ready to roll. Press whatever button you want, the command is executed promptly. Are these improvements over the DMP worth, say, $1000 of upgrade value, you scoff. Well, sanity, security, a sense of agency and control in your world are hard to put a price on, especially these days.

So now, a once-through the test SACD on the DMP and then PST. Those double bass notes–now they are even more authoritative. That passing, deep low sound on the synthesizer track, once a smudge, now a rhetorical Rrrrrrrrrripp. “Now we moved 6 feet back from the mic” goes from “yeah, maybe” to “for sure”. The singing: more breathy little details. The lyrics, not just understandable, but crystal. And imbued with meaning.

Members of the small ensembles go on crash diets and occupy more precise locations in space. Strangely, whereas the best loudspeaker placement achieved from using the test SACD on the DMP still required use of the preamp’s balance control to get things centered, might that be less necessary now?

OK, looking good. PST has earned the right to have the good power and HDMI cables. Burn-in track goes on repeat overnight. We’ll listen to some music tomorrow.

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Very thoughtful…thank you.

Cheers.

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You got me at “Kachomp”. :rofl:

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Mine does make a clunking sound at full open and full close, maybe you could call it Kachomp!

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Milorp - you hit the nail right on the head !!

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PST-DMP Review Part 3

This Forum—indeed society as a whole—has a fascination with Really Big Organs. Many have been confronted by a Really Big Organ face-to-face in the setting of a large, reverberant church where the organ is at play. The details of the organ’s emissions don’t always matter that much, because in effect, one is surrounded in a warm, murky bath of sound. Sometimes it can be a repulsive acoustic tsunami, other times a gentle etherial shower. The same is true of organ reproduction on your stereo.

So—yes, we’re getting there—let’s listen to Harald Vogel’s performances on a variety of well-restored historic North European tracker organs (some modest specimens, others Really Big) in a boxed set of Buxtehude’s complete works on the PST vs. the DMP. Both transports reveal an astonishing variety of timbres and textures in music that can be sometimes stunningly engaging in its contrapunctal complexity and vigor, and sometimes, well, a trip to Dullsville.

Here is the difference the transports make: Comparatively speaking, the DMP presents more of a homogeneous wall of sound. Yes, you have a sense of the acoustic environment. You appreciate the various timbres and understand the music. But, bottom line, you’re still in the bath.

The PST: Dullsville becomes a ghost town. Those astonishingly distinct and gorgeous pipe divisions, sometimes breathy chuffing, thunderous low honkings and snarlings, the tweetings and hootings, and Vogel’s nimble articulations—all imbue the experience with a hightened level of engagement.

But, stay tuned, there’s even more: Only on the PST will you recognize, beyond a doubt, the physical location of the division of the organ at play—the parts in front of, above, aside, or behind the organist. You may even have a sense of the location of individual pipes as they sound, And now your brain gets really busy and excited, because it is matching the tunes, the counterpoint, the brilliant design of an Arp-Schnitger with the chosen locations of it grouping of pipes and their extraordinarily distinctive, inventive sonic designs, employed with deliberation and consumate artistry.

You’ll find the soap.

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My Jimi Hendrix album is repeating, but the settings menu shows “Repeat Off”

Thoughts? It’s Are You Experienced - Analogue Productions.

Only with that particular disc?

I don’t think so, but need to confirm. Maybe if I toggle the menu…I’ll report back.

Seems to be just that disk. Strange!

Even tried another Analogue Productions disk (Nina Simone) and it behaved as expected. Pardon me.

Damn, I hope it doesn’t mean the PST isn’t a Hendrix fan.

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It would seem that the PST is a massive Hendrix fan and never wants it to stop! Ha!

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Does it repeat just the stereo program or play both the stereo and mono programs and start over on the stereo program?