Firmware 2.4.0


#1

I have upgraded my PSaudio DAC MK II to firmware version 2.4.0. My initial response was a noticeably definite improvement in sound quality compared to 2.2.0. After listening for a short period of time though I have noticed a marked change in the sound stage. I am reasonably new listening to music at his level and how to listen to the ingredients and describe them. However I will have a go.



It seems to me that the sound stage is much wider and even possibly higher but the image is less precise. It is noticeably different to what I had previously experienced with the DAC. There are times when I think the performer is in front of me, or above me, then behind me and then beside. The sound goes from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. In fact it might be best to describe the sound as being in my head like it has never been before. It is virtually all over the room with the almost no movement of my head. At this time I have not changed anything else in the system except try different speaker angles with little variation to the sound stage.



I have tried to go back to an earlier version of the fimware so that I could compare, however the DAC did not respond to the files on the SD card. That is work in progress for another day.



I take my music from a NAS with an Ethernet connection to the DAC Bridge. The sound is wonderful and fills the listening space more than before yet there is less precision about where some things are. At times I think that I am listening to my surround system even though it is not turned on. Does anybody have any comments as why such a change?



Regards



John


#2

There are no sensible reasons for this to happen, so it must be compiling issues if improvements are reported unanimously.


#3
assisi said: I have tried to go back to an earlier version of the fimware so that I could compare, however the DAC did not respond to the files on the SD card.


Yeah, that sucks ... "Intermittent issues" are the worst ones. Probably we do not understand the correlation yet (e.g. with serial numbers?).

#4
assisi said: The sound is wonderful and fills the listening space more than before yet there is less precision about where some things are. . . . Does anybody have any comments as why such a change?

I am very impressed with the sound of 2.4.0. In addition to the substantial improvement in reproduction of timbre, which is more important to me, I also hear an expanded soundstage.

I believe they are related. Both timbrel accuracy and soundstage recreation are dependent upon accurate timing and precise reproduction of each distinct frequency, both high and low. Given the overall improvement in sound, 2.4.0 is somehow more precise, less smeared.

I also feel I hear improved reproduction of expression, micro-dynamics in particular. I may be imagining this however. (Musical expression is also often exhibited through changes in sound texture/timbre as well so I may be misled by the improvement in this respect.)

I also agree with you that the soundstage is less etched in place. I find this to be an improvement. Live instruments do not sound segmented to separated places as is often reproduced on a sound system. You can locate each by ear, but they do not exist in independent boxes. I find 2.4.0 more lifelike in soundstage presentation.


#5

Is 2.4.0 released now, I thought it was in beta ?


#6

It remains in β.


#7

@elk - Agreed with all of what you said about 2.4, particularly on micro-dynamics and soundstaging. It has an effortless feel to it. Unfortunately a couple bugs, too, so it stays in beta for a bit longer…


#8

Where can we download 2.4?


#9

Soon, we hope. ~X(


#10

I just have listened initially to the 2.4.0 and will do some more listening tomorrow.

I kind of agree to the comments herein, however I do not find the differences between 2.2.0 and 2.4.0 huge, really. I wouldn’t change back to 2.2.0, though.


#11

2.4.1 is available.

http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/5512/2.4.1-official-release#Item_9



I’m listening to it even as I type this.

I like it, but I need more time (more tracks that I’m familiar with) to fully grasp the changes.

But thus far there is more definition of and around each instrument and the intelligibility quotient is greater, which is a sure sign of improvement.



JJ


#12

I can’t stop asking myself if the SQ impressions are real based on the release notes;

'PS Audio PerfectWave D/A Converter Firmware Version Log:

Release 2.4.1 7/10/13 DK

Fixed power off not turning off audio.'



It doesn’t make sense at all…

Could it be explained by anyone?

My only theory is compilation issues.



#13
frode said: Could it be explained by anyone?

See Maniac's explanation. In short: the FPGA compiler creates different "binaries" (gate locations in the chip) from the same code. So, if you compile the same code twice, you may get two differently sounding firmware.

#14
frode said: Could it be explained by anyone?

See Maniac's explanation. In short: the FPGA compiler creates different "binaries" (gate locations in the chip) from the same code. So, if you compile the same code twice, you may get two differently sounding firmware.

So, what happens if you run an MD5# on both compiled sources?


#15
frode said: what happens if you run an MD5# on both compiled sources?

Apparently they will be different ;)

#16

I made a post last week seeking comments about the PSAudio DAC II firmware version 2.4.0. I note that over the weekend there was brief release of version 2.4.1 that was subsequently removed because some DAC owners experienced operational problems.



I have listened to my DAC with the 2.4.1 firmware upgrade over the past few days. I have not experienced any issues yet. I use the bridge and very very rarely use the remote.



assisi said: Live instruments do not sound segmented to separated places as is often reproduced on a sound system. You can locate each by ear, but they do not exist in independent boxes. I find 2.4.0 more lifelike in soundstage presentation.







Initially I was confused because the sound stage was different to what I was used to. Now I am comfortable with the new sound. At first the lack of the ‘boxes’ was confusing to me. I can now appreciate the wider sound stage with a seam less blending or integration of the components across the sound stage. I fact in my system and in my room the music is exquisitely wonderful. So close to real it is fantastic.



I hope the glitches in the new firmware are resolved quicly and that every one can appreciate what has been achieved.



Regards



John



#17

The last part of my post above should not have been included in the quote from elk and the folowing was from me



"Initially I was confused because the sound stage was different to what I was used to. Now I am comfortable with the new sound. At first the lack of the ‘boxes’ was confusing to me. I can now appreciate the wider sound stage with a seamless blending or integration of the components across the sound stage. I fact in my system and in my room the music is exquisitely wonderful. So close to real it is fantastic.



I hope the glitches in the new firmware are resolved quickly and that everyone can appreciate what has been achieved."



Regards

John


#18

Your observations are consistent with mine. I like your description.


#19

For those using PWD firmware 2.4.0 and the bridge, what bridge firmware are you using? For me, the combination of PWD 2.0.2 and bridge 2.13c is outstanding. I’m wondering if PWD 2.4.0 matches up with the newer bridge FW 2.14b in the same way.


#20
radioclash said: I'm wondering if PWD 2.4.0 matches up with the newer bridge FW 2.14b in the same way.


But for the few inconvenient bugs [soon to be fixed] I would say that the 2.41/2.14b [soon to be 2.14f] is the biggest jump in sound quality since the MKII upgrade.