Finally....PerfectWave SACD Transport

I agree, although some here have argued that recordings quality is totally subjective.

A very different discussion and much vastly more nuanced than that. I will leave it up to that thread if you care to again post where that unrelated discussion took place.

As for the current topic in this thread, I suspect most would agree the underlying quality of the recording matters more than whether it is released in PCM or DSD. That is, the recording matters more than digital format.

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Perhaps it was my inability to articulate myself clearly in the previous discussion. The point made by Famavolat is exactly the same point I was trying to make in regards to the sound quality of Tom Waits recordings in the other thread.

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I agree, and not just among one individual format. The very best of my CDs sound better than the very worst of my SACDs. The quality of the recording is what matters most, IMO.


The media does not matter as much as the mastering itself. It’s all in the mastering.

If I had a nickel for every time I have read that here I would have way
more nickels than I need.

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I’ve spent the last couple of days comparing my PST (which at this point has close to 500 hours of continuous play via USB stick) to my DMP (which was boxed up for a year but warmed up with a little over 100 hours of play before comparing). Here’s my 2 cents worth of opinion.

Both transports are hooked up via I2S to the (as yet unmodified) DS. The PST via the RAL which has only about 90 hours on it, and the DMP via a well burned in AC-12. The DS runs to my XP-20, which feeds my X260.8 monos, which in turn are hooked up to my Von Schweikert Endeavor SE’s.

My bottom line is the DMP is still a pretty d@mn good transport. The PST is better - sounding a bit more natural, a bit more fluid, with instruments especially like a grand piano sounding more like a grand and less like a baby grand (which of course I never noticed before comparing the DMP to the PST). The DMP is also a bit “grainy” by comparison. You’d never really notice if the two of them weren’t side by side. But, and here’s the interesting part, the DMP seems to favor the higher order percussive sounds - like the strike of a brush on a cymbal, or the higher order sound associated with the pluck of a banjo string. It makes you feel like instruments like these are more “present” in the listening space. Now this is why I pointed out the cable differences. Could this be due to that? I’ll have to check and see. Or it could just be the DMP favors this characteristic. Note I didn’t say it “does this better than the PST”. Yes, it makes me take more notice of these things, but at the expense of a less natural and realistic ease as with the PST. In the end it makes the DMP a bit more exciting, but the PST is definitely a better music player when taken on the whole. Could I swap HDMI or even IC cables to change things? Most likely.

In summary, yeah the PST is better, and I’m happy I got it, but I wouldn’t lie awake nights sweating about not having one if I was using a DMP. YMMV.

As per my comment to @lonson, here’s a short update, having swapped the two HDMI cables, now with the PST using the AC-12 and the DMP the RAL.

I won’t wax poetic - the RAL is a better match (IMO) for the DMP than the AC-12. Less grain… a bit smoother with no loss of detail. Interestingly the PST didn’t suffer as much by using the AC-12. It made this comparison, in my system in its current state of burn in, much closer. The PST still comes out on top, but if anyone staying with the DMP is looking for a relatively inexpensive tweak - even if the wait for it can be frustratingly long - getting a RAL HDMI is a good bet. You won’t really be too far off from the PST with an AC-12. OTOH if you can swing for it, the PST is going to move your system up a notch.


Thanks for that comparison. I use the AC-12 with my DMP and imagine that the PWT would be better but can’t afford one in the near (or longer term) future. So I take some comfort in your comparisons.

I would be interested to hear your impressions swapping the cables if you ever get around to that.

That’s my next step. Stay tuned.

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I’m always on this Batchannel.

The thing that I was concerned about more than sound quality differences, was that the transport mechanism was no longer being manufactured and there is only a limited supply of them left.
The prospect of ending up with an expensive paperweight kept me up at night.

Yes, I can appreciate that, Gary. Everyone has their drivers for their decisions. :+1: